As COVID-19 cases soar and areas lock down, Dr. Tam has a blunt message about vacation planning

You can watch the total interview with Dr. Theresa Tam tonight on The National on CBC-TV, News Network, streaming on cbcnews.ca and on CBC Gem.

On a day that noticed Ontario and Manitoba announce record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, two provinces pull out of the much-lauded Atlantic bubble and shut their borders, and thousands and thousands of people in several areas of the nation plunge again into lockdowns paying homage to final spring, Canada’s chief public health officer stated the tighter guidelines are a obligatory evil proper now.  

“The longer you wait to increase the measures, the longer it would take to come out of the restrictions,” Dr. Theresa Tam instructed The National‘s Andrew Chang.

She stated that over the previous a number of months, provincial and territorial medical officers of health tried laborious to attain a stability where they may sustain with COVID-19 testing and make contact with tracing while retaining society open. 

“It’s just something that people have never tried in the history of the last hundred years,” Tam stated. “They were trying really hard to minimize impact on the economic side, on schools, on work…. It’s just not an easy thing to do.”

In the previous month alone, Canada’s variety of confirmed or presumptive cases rose by greater than 125,000, growing from 211,732 on Oct. 23 to 337,555 Monday. Provinces are seeing every day case counts greater than they ever noticed through the first wave. 

And so now, with the vacation season simply weeks away, Canadians are questioning if one of many vivid spots in Canada’s lengthy, darkish winter will be one other casualty of 2020 — and whether or not the nation will ever get off the curler coaster of flattening the curve solely to see cases soar once more.

Celebrating the vacations 

Tam is blunt when it involves the upcoming vacation season: No massive gatherings. Keep it small. Keep it inside your personal family. 

“Christmas is not going to be having any kind of large group interactions,” she stated. “Even with family, you’ve got to really think twice. Avoid non-essential travel. Keep to your current household contacts as much as possible.”

WATCH | Tam says the message round holidays is identical regardless of where in Canada you reside:

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says it is clear that Christmas this yr is just not going to be like other years. She recommends in opposition to any gatherings however has some recommendation if people select to forgo the general public health tips. 0:48

On discovering the suitable stability 

Tam instructed The National that there was nobody factor that led to Canada’s second, stronger wave, however that it was slightly a mixture of various factors: policy, behaviour, contact tracing and testing. 

“With some of the increased interactions in society and more spread in certain situations, the cases unfortunately accelerated…. Obviously very fast.”

She stated that while it was proper to ease restrictions in the summertime months when case numbers began to go down, it’s essential now that people scale back their contacts to solely the people they reside with, in most areas in Canada. 

“As things accelerate, my message has been clear,” she stated. “You’ve got to flatten the curve as fast as we can. If we wait, it is not going to be helpful.”

She lauded the provincial and territorial health officers’ work to attempt to maintain society open, together with schools and important workplaces. But, she stated, as soon as the case numbers received too excessive and make contact with tracing could not sustain, the capability for health techniques and hospitals to maintain up was in danger. 

“It’s not a matter of health versus the economy. It’s both. You need to to control the virus in order to also ensure that we support the economy.”

WATCH | Tam describes why elevated testing and tracing weren’t sufficient alone to attenuate the influence of the pandemic: 

Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada, talks concerning the problem of discovering the stability between retaining society open and sustaining the integrity of the health-care system. 2:06

Remaining optimistic  

Tam warned that the approaching months are prone to be a few of the most troublesome of the pandemic thus far, however she stated there may be purpose to really feel positive about where issues are going. 

She cites the information popping out of vaccine trials displaying not less than three vaccines up to now with efficient charges of 80 to 95 per cent; docs’ elevated data of the way to deal with sufferers with COVID-19; and extra and completely different sorts of testing.

“All of those things coming together means that we will always see the end of a pandemic,” she stated. “No pandemic doesn’t have an ending.” 

WATCH | Tam says there are a number of various factors that lead her to imagine this pandemic will finish: 

Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada, describes why she is optimistic about an eventual finish to this pandemic. 1:01 

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