Pedestrians protect themselves from the cold and COVID-19 as they wait for a light to change, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Pedestrians protect themselves from the cold and COVID-19 as they wait for a light to change, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may continue to rise in coming weeks: Tam

New cases in Quebec also surged back above 1,000 after dipping below 900 the previous day

Severe cases of COVID-19 may soon rise as hospitalizations and deaths catch up to the recent spread of the illness, Canada’s chief public health officer warned on Wednesday, as Quebec and Ontario reported almost 50 deaths between them.

Dr. Theresa Tam said hospitalizations tend to trail behind new cases, raising concerns that the worst effects of the second wave could be upcoming.

“As hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” she said in a statement.

“As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the fall and winter, placing increased demands on hospitals.”

Her statement came as Quebec reported 33 new deaths and Ontario 16, for a total of 49 between them. Manitoba also reported the death of a woman in her 80s at a Winnipeg personal care home and the death of a woman in her 90s connected to an outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital.

New cases in Quebec also surged back above 1,000 after dipping below 900 the previous day. Hospitalizations in the province have also increased in each of the last three days.

Tam said the number of severe cases continues to rise across the country, with an average of almost 1,200 people in hospital and 40 new deaths per day across Canada in the last seven days. She said health authorities are grappling with outbreaks in a number of settings, including long-term care, schools, factories and social gatherings.

In Ontario, those outbreaks involve a wedding-related event in the Waterloo region that authorities have linked to at least 16 cases, as well as a school in York Region that was ordered to close after six students and three staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Seventy-four employees at an Olymel meat-packing plant in Princeville, Que., have also tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday. The company has also been battling a second outbreak at a plant southeast of Quebec City, where 124 workers have active cases of COVID-19.

In Manitoba and Quebec, authorities threatened tough fines for those who gather in violation of local health rules amid worryingly high case counts.

In Winnipeg, police said they would start issuing fines of almost $1,300 for gatherings in private homes that exceed limits. The Winnipeg region, which reported 276 new cases on Wednesday, was recently moved into a restricted category, with private gatherings capped at members of a household plus five people.

In Quebec, deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault warned restaurant owners in the province’s red zones who open their dining rooms in defiance of rules, that both they and their customers could face harsh fines.

READ MORE: 335 new cases in B.C.’s COVID-19 infection surge

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

Graph showing the 2020 passenger totals at the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. (Submitted/Northwest Regional Airport)
New year brings an end to a turbulent 2020 at Northwest Regional Airport

Passenger totals half of what they were in 2019

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

The leisure pool at the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be open Thursday and closed Friday for maintenance, the DoK said in an updated Facebook post Thursday (Jan. 14). (Kitimat Leisure Services photo)
UPDATE: Leisure pool at Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre open Thursday, closed Friday

The leisure pool will be closed Friday (Jan. 15) for maintenance due to a mechanical issue

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Most Read