Canada’s chief public health officer says that in spite of the challenges posed by the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are good reasons for optimism in the latest federal modelling data.
Speaking at a technical briefing on the data today, Dr. Theresa Tam said the virus’s reproductive number (Rt) has fallen below one for the first time since mid-July.
That means new infections are on a downward trajectory in Canada for the first time in months.
“However, Rt has only just fallen below one nationally, and still may be at or above one in some areas,” Tam said. “To bring the epidemic under control, Rt needs to be maintained consistently below one.”
“The efforts we’ve made give us reason for optimism,” Tam said. “But we must remain mindful for the need for continued caution in the months ahead.”
Over the past week, Canada saw an average of 3,745 new cases of COVID-19 per day. That’s less than half of the more than 8,000 new infections per day predicted by earlier modelling presented in September, Tam said.