Victoria Ahorn, The Canadian Press
October 17, 2020 Saturday 3:41 PM EDT
Last Updated, October 17, 2020 5:00 PM EDT
TORONTO – Canada’s chief public health official on Saturday called for a “collective effort” to address the Kovid-19 epidemic.
Dr. Theresa Tom released a statement saying the confusion over appropriate public health measures is understandable given the fact that the epidemic plays differently in different states and territories.
But she stressed that Canadians should “keep the number of our personal close relationships low” and adhere to public health practices.
“There are no quick fixes and COVID-19 is not going away, so the focus is on balancing the health, social and economic consequences of sustaining the response to the end of the public health epidemic,” Tom said in a news release Saturday.
“Certainly, our response requires a collective effort. Everyone’s actions are important.”
Canada climbed the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases, with 196,324 cases reported nationwide on Saturday.
There were also 9,746 deaths related to the virus in Canada.
The Manitoba government announced on Friday that it was imposing increased COVID-19 sanctions on Winnipeg, while the Ontario government plans to do the same in the York region north of Toronto.
The Ontario government said restrictions restricting visitors to long-term care homes in the area also went into effect Saturday.
Manitoba on Saturday reported 85 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 3,258, 1,572 recovered and 38 fatal.
As cases there increase, the province is imposing new sanctions on the Winnipeg area, which began Monday and will continue for two weeks.
New regulations in Winnipeg limit public meetings to five and state that beverage rooms, bingo halls and casinos must be closed. Meanwhile, restaurants, lounges, retail stores, museums and libraries will be limited to half capacity.
In Ontario, it is Reported 805 new cases of COVID-19 And 10 new deaths related to the virus Saturday, another Toronto area public health unit imposed strict restrictions on local long-term care homes.
A new ban is in place in the York region, which faces a rising trend in COVID-19 cases, except for those in need of visitors and caregivers.
From Monday, York area It will also join the other three COVID-19 hotspots in the province to return to the revised Phase 2 of the Pandemic Protocol for 28 days.
Toronto, the Peel Region and Ottawa were placed within similar limits amid rising cases a week ago.
Modified Stage 2 includes the closure of gyms and movie theaters, the banning of indoor meals in restaurants or bars, and the cap on open houses at 10 people inside the house and 25 people in the open space.
Ontario now has a total of 63,713 COVID-19 cases, of which 54,686 cases have been resolved and 3,041 deaths.
Quebec continues to post the highest number of new COVID-19 diagnoses in the country, reporting 1,279 new cases on Saturday.
With schools and some businesses open with different policies across the country, the situation is “complicated” and challenging for individuals, families and public health officials, Tom said.
But she must remember that every person we encounter “brings a whole network of contacts with them.”
“So, as much as you can, I urge you to minimize contact with people outside of your consistent, loyal intimate contacts,” Tom said.
“I especially urge you to avoid these encounters in crowded and enclosed settings with limited ventilation. It is very difficult to keep them apart, but it can make us stronger, more resilient and sustain public health efforts in the fall and winter.”
This report of the Canadian Press was first published on October 17, 2020.