Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Relating to COVID-19

Ottawa, ON (STL.News) Public Health Agency of Canada – In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:

“As of the end of the day on Friday, June 12, there were 97,943 confirmed cases including 8,049 deaths and 58,523, or 60%, have now recovered.  Labs across Canada have tested 2,072,096 people for COVID-19 to date.  Over the past week, we have been testing an average of 33,000 people daily, with 2% testing positive.  These numbers change quickly and are updated once daily in the evenings on Canada.ca/coronavirus.

More and more Canadians are wearing non-medical masks or face coverings in situations where it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from others.  A recent Leger poll released Tuesday shows that 51% of Canadians wear a mask when they go grocery shopping, which is an 8% increase since the survey was conducted two weeks ago.  This additional layer helps us protect one another from infection in areas where COVID-19 is still active.

Now that more Canadians are wearing face coverings, I wanted to take a moment to share some resources that are available to make sure we wear and dispose of them safely.

The Canada.ca/coronavirus webpage includes a section called Non-medical masks and face coverings: How to put on, remove and clean.  You can also find a video that demonstrates the safe use of non-medical masks and face coverings, as well as instructions on how to make a face covering.

Single use masks should be replaced as soon as they get damp, soiled or crumpled and disposed of properly in a lined garbage bin.  Do not leave discarded masks in shopping carts or on the ground where other people may come into contact with them.  Doing so not only hurts the environment, but can also increase the risk of contamination for someone else.

Please be mindful that for some people, including young children under two years of age, wearing a mask is not recommended.  For others, wearing a mask may not be possible due to illness or disabilities that make it difficult to put on or take off a mask, including for those who have difficulty breathing.

As we venture out in public in areas where COVID-19 is still active, I encourage you to wear a face covering as extra layer of protection in addition to washing your hands frequently and physical distancing as much as possible.  Remember, if you are sick it is important to stay at home and separate yourself from others to avoid spreading the virus.”

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