COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may continue to rise in coming weeks: Tam

MONTREAL — Canada’s chief public health officer is warning that severe cases of COVID-19 may rise in the coming days and weeks as hospitalizations and deaths catch up to the recent spread of the illness.

Dr. Theresa Tam says hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind new cases by one or more weeks, raising concerns that Canada has yet to see the full extent of impacts associated with increasing COVID-19 transmission in many parts of the country.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam wears a mask as she waits to answer questions as an update is provided during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.  SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Her statement comes as Quebec reported 33 new deaths today and Ontario 16, for a total of almost 50 between them.

New cases in Quebec also surged back above 1,000 after dipping below 900 the previous day.

Tam said the number of severe cases continues to rise, with an average of almost 1,200 people in hospital and 40 new deaths per day across Canada in the last seven days.

She urged Canadians to follow public health measures such as hand washing, wearing masks and cutting the number of in-person contacts with others as much as possible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov 4, 2020

The Canadian Press