Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.  As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada's chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a "collective effort" to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief public health officer calls for continued ‘collective effort’ against COVID-19

TORONTO — Canada’s chief public health officer is urging residents to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as parts of the country face new rounds of restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam has issued a statement acknowledging that as each part of the country experiences the pandemic differently, it can lead to uncertainty about what action is needed.

But she stresses that Canadians must “keep our number of in-person close contacts low” and adhere to public health practices.

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases, with 196,288 confirmed cases reported today across the country.

Canada has also recorded 9,746 deaths related to the virus.

On Friday the Manitoba government announced it will impose increased COVID-19 restrictions in Winnipeg on Monday, while the Ontario government plans to do the same in York Region, north of Toronto.

Restrictions limiting visitors at long-term care homes in the region also took effect as of Saturday, the Ontario government said.

“There are no quick fixes and COVID-19 is not going away, so public health is focused on making the response sustainable through to the end of the pandemic, balancing the health, social and economic consequences,” Tam said Saturday in a news release.

“What is certain, is that our response requires a collective effort. Everyone’s actions matter.”

Manitoba reported 85 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, for a total of 3,258, with 1,572 considered recovered and 38 deaths.

With cases spiking there, the province is imposing new restrictions in the greater Winnipeg area, starting Monday and lasting for two weeks.

The new rules in Winnipeg limit gatherings of people to five, and state that beverage rooms, bingo halls and casinos must close. Meanwhile, restaurants, lounges, retail stores, museums and libraries will be limited to half capacity.

In Ontario, which reported 805 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths related to the virus Saturday, another Toronto-area public health unit has imposed tighter restrictions on local long-term care homes.

The new ban on all but essential visitors and caregivers is in effect in York Region, which is facing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases.

Starting Monday, York Region will also join the province’s other three COVID-19 hot spots in moving back to a modified Stage 2 of pandemic protocol for 28 days.

Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were placed under similar restrictions amid rising cases a week ago.

The modified Stage 2 includes the closure of gyms and movie theatres, a ban on indoor dining in restaurants or bars, and a cap on public gatherings at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Ontario now has a total of 63,713 cases of COVID-19, including 54,686 that are considered resolved and 3,041 deaths.

With different approaches across the country while schools and some businesses remain open, the situation is “complicated” and challenging for individuals, families and public health authorities, Tam said.

But we need to remember that every person we encounter “brings with them a whole network of contacts,” she added.

“So, as much as you can, I urge you to reduce encounters with people outside of your consistent, trusted close contacts,” Tam said.

“I especially urge you to avoid these encounters in crowded and closed settings with limited ventilation. Keeping apart is difficult, but it is what will make us stronger, more resilient and better able to sustain public health efforts through the fall and winter.”

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is distancing himself from a decision… Continue reading

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Opinion
Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Most Read