Canada is reporting more than 1,800 new coronavirus cases and 52 deaths to the national tally on Saturday as the country’s top doctor warns time is running out to prevent a massive surge.
Not all provinces report their daily tallies on Saturday, so the national increase of 1,812 additional cases does not include new Saturday case data from Prince Edward Island, Alberta, B.C. or the territories.
And while some of the new numbers include cases added from previous months, the overall picture shows a continued spike in infections that chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says are worrying.
“Our chance to prevent a large resurgence narrows with each passing day of accelerated epidemic growth,” Tam said in a statement on Saturday.
“Public health testing and tracing remains vital, but it is clear that without all of us making hard choices now to reduce our in-person contacts and maintain layers of personal protections at all times, it won’t be enough to prevent a large resurgence.”
The case increase comes after the country broke a grim milestone reporting more than 2,000 new cases in one day on Friday and as pressure on the testing system mounts.
Despite pleas from public health officials like Ottawa’s top doctor, Vera Etches, that the city is reaching “crisis” levels set to overwhelm the health-care system, new cases continue to rise as Canadians continue to gather with those outside their household and in restaurants and bars across the country.
Ontario and Quebec this week rolled out new restrictions aimed at curbing the spiking cases.
Both continued to report increases on Saturday.
Ontario health authorities reported 653 new cases following a record stretch of testing, bringing the provincial total to 53,633.
Sixty-four per cent of those case are in people under the age of 40, said Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott.