Daily new COVID-19 cases triple

COVID-19 CASES TRIPLE IN PAST MONTH; MORE SCHOOLS HIT

Lethbridge Herald - - Headline News | Weather - Colin Perkel

Adra­matic tripling of daily new cases of COVID-19 in the past month, mostly among young peo­ple, prompted warn­ings on Wed­nes­day that Canada is star­ing at a ma­jor sec­ond wave of the pan­demic and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment said short­term lock­downs might be needed.

Canada’s chief public health of­fi­cer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the coun­try had seen an av­er­age of more than 1,100 new cases of the novel coro­n­avirus a day this past week com­pared with about 380 a day in mid-Au­gust.

“Canada is at a cross­roads with the COVID-19 epi­demic tra­jec­tory,” Tam said. “Un­less public health and in­di­vid­ual pro­tec­tive mea­sures are strength­ened and we work to­gether to slow the spread of the virus, the sit­u­a­tion is on track for a big resur­gence in a num­ber of prov­inces.”

While the new cases were pri­mar­ily among young adults, more than 400 schools in Que­bec and an­other 153 in On­tario re­ported at least one case of the ill­ness. The fig­ures from the group COVID Ecoles Que­bec and the On­tario gov­ern­ment came as au­thor­i­ties seek ways to curb the spread of COVID-19 among younger peo­ple.

Data from On­tario show cases among those in their 20s have risen sharply in the past month, with one ex­pert at­tribut­ing the in­crease in part to the re­open­ing of schools and uni­ver­si­ties.

In an ef­fort to tackle the prob­lem, sev­eral prov­inces, cities and uni­ver­si­ties have warned of stiff fines for vi­o­lat­ing anti-COVID re­stric­tions. How­ever, Que­bec said it would not al­low po­lice to en­ter homes with­out a war­rant to break up gath­er­ings that vi­o­late the mea­sures.

The wor­ri­some up­ward trend in new cases came as the fed­eral Lib­eral gov­ern­ment laid out its plan to take on a sec­ond wave of COVID19.

“To pre­vent small clus­ters from be­com­ing ma­jor out­breaks, com­mu­ni­ties may need to en­act short-term clo­sure or­ders,” the gov­ern­ment said in its throne speech.

Strin­gent lock­downs in the spring caused un­prece­dented eco­nomic dis­rup­tion, prompt­ing the gov­ern­ment to spend tens of bil­lions of dol­lars on sup­ports as un­em­ploy­ment sky­rock­eted.

The throne speech promised, among other things, an ex­ten­sion of the fed­eral wage-sub­sidy pro­gram un­til next sum­mer, more aid for busi­nesses, and help to boost test­ing ca­pac­ity. Peo­ple in var­i­ous cities have waited for hours or even days for virus test­ing. Safety con­cerns led a hos­pi­tal in Kitch­ener, Ont., to close its drive-through test­ing cen­tre as peo­ple ar­rived in the wee hours.

In all, COVID has killed about 9,250 peo­ple in Canada, while the cu­mu­la­tive case count has been edg­ing to­ward the 150,000 mark.

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