Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Monday October 5, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Monday October 5, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Health officials ‘steering in uncertain waters’ in tackling 2nd wave of COVID-19: Tam

New COVID-19 case numbers continue to surge in several parts of the country

Canada’s top public health officer says the complexities of the current wave of COVID-19 are spurring regions with rising cases to adopt different measures as they seek to turn the tide of the pandemic.

Dr. Theresa Tam says public health officials in each area are trying to target their response to local epidemiology and circumstances, but are “steering in uncertain waters.”

She says no one knows exactly what is going to work, which is creating a “grey zone” involving a variety of different measures.

But Tam says public co-operation is key and people should know to stick to basic strategies such as handwashing, physical distancing and wearing masks.

Tam’s suggestions come as Quebec announced more stringent rules than Ontario when it comes to mask-wearing for students in hard-hit areas, and days after Toronto announced it would scale back contact tracing due to an unsustainable case load.

Quebec says it is making mask-wearing mandatory inside high schools in regions at the highest COVID-19 alert level as well as outside on school grounds, at least until Oct. 28.

The affected regions include the Montreal and Quebec City areas.

READ MORE: Quebec to make masks mandatory in high school classrooms in highest COVID alert areas

Ontario, by comparison, only requires students to wear masks indoors.

New COVID-19 case numbers continue to surge in several parts of the country, particularly in Quebec and Ontario, which account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s total cases.

Quebec reported 1,191 new COVID-19 cases today, the highest single-day total since the beginning of the pandemic, and its fourth straight day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses.

Ontario, meanwhile, is reporting 615 new cases of COVID-19 today, and five new deaths due to the virus.

READ MORE: Canada’s top doctor gives tips for COVID-safe Thanksgiving amid high daily cases

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

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Kiara Robillard is seen in an undated handout photo. When the pandemic began, Robillard had to rush back home to Alberta from California, where she had been living for five years, after she was struck by a truck that broke her spine in two places. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kiara Robillard, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It kind of clicks:’ Text4Hope program helps with depression, anxiety during pandemic

Participants receive one text message every morning for three months

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Most Read