Statement by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, June 5, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause stress and anxiety for many Canadians, especially those who do not have access to their usual support network. The Well-Being Canada portal provides people of all ages across the country with immediate access to free and confidential mental health and addiction support. These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

OTTAWA, ON, June 5, 2021 / CNW / – Today, I challenge Canadians to get outside and get active on National Health and Fitness Day. I hope this day, celebrated each year with the goal of making Canada the fittest nation in the world, inspires you to find ways to make physical activity part of your daily life. There are many ways to be active, including walking, running, cycling, choosing to take the stairs, or dancing to your favorite song at home.

No matter who you are, physical activity is an important choice you can make for your health. Research has shown that exercise provides a range of benefits such as strengthening the body, supporting brain health, reducing the risk of chronic disease, and reducing the risk of injury. Physical activity can reduce stress and boost morale because it helps produce endorphins, natural molecules in the brain that improve mood. Exercise is also important for the healthy growth and development of children, and we know that if their parents are active, children are encouraged to adopt physical activity. Learn more about this by consulting the 24 Hour Movement Guideline for Children and Youth. Remember that physical activity can be tailored to your own needs. Try something you like or get active as a family.

The past year has been difficult and has had an impact on the mental health and well-being of many people across the country. One of the ways to promote your mental and physical well-being is to be more active. I invite you to respond to the call of the group ShowUsYourMoves and use its hashtag, and the hashtag JNAP2021, on social media to talk about your favorite activity to keep fit.

It is also an opportunity to take up the challenge Together, everything is better of ParticipACTION, a national physical activity initiative that aims to find the most active community in Canada and runs throughout the month of June.

While COVID-19 continues to spread in Canada, we are monitoring a set of epidemiological indicators to know where disease transmission is greatest, where disease is spreading, and what its impact is on the health of Canadians and on the capacity of public health services, laboratories and the health system. At the same time, the Public Health Agency of Canada provides regular updates to Canadians on the number of vaccines administered, vaccine coverage, and ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine safety at scale. from the country. Here is the most recent summary of national trends and data and the actions we all need to take to reduce infection rates as we continue to deliver immunization programs to protect all Canadians.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,389,508 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 25,679 deaths. These cumulative numbers illustrate the overall burden of COVID-19 to date. Taken together with serological studies, these figures also indicate that the vast majority of Canadians are still vulnerable to COVID-19. However, as the vaccination campaign unfolds rapidly, there is growing optimism about the possibility of achieving widespread and lasting immunity through vaccination against COVID-19 in the weeks and months to come. As of June 4, provinces and territories have administered more than 25.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

While immunity is still building in the population, public health measures and personal precautions are essential in controlling COVID-19. Thanks to the measures in place in the heavily affected regions, we continue to observe a significant and regular decrease in epidemiological trends. The latest nationwide data shows that the downward trend in disease transmission continues, with an average of 2,339 cases reported per day during the last seven-day period (May 28 to June 3 ), a decrease of 31% compared to the previous week. For the week of May 23-29, on average, 78,089 COVID-19 tests were performed per day nationwide and 3.8% of them tested positive, compared to 4, 7% the previous week. Until immunization coverage is sufficient to have a significant impact on the spread of disease in the community, we must exercise rigorous vigilance to bring infection rates down to low and manageable levels. and we must not ease restrictions too soon or too quickly, where infection rates are high.

With the The nation’s infection rates dramatically drop, the total number of people suffering from a severe and critical form of COVID-19 is also declining. Data from the provinces and territories show that on average 2,344 people with COVID-19 were treated daily in Canadian hospitals during the most recent seven-day period (May 28 to June 3), which represents 19% less than the previous week. On average, 1,006 of these people were treated in intensive care units, down 14% from the previous week. Similarly, the average number of deaths reported each day of 34 over a seven-day period (May 28 to June 3) is decreasing, which is a decrease of 21% from the previous week.

Canada continues to monitor and assess genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including their implications in the Canadian context. Overall, the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases across the country are attributable to variants of concern. The World Health Organization has established new simplified names for the variants of concern based on the Greek alphabet. Four variants of concern (B.1.1.7 [alpha], B.1.351[bêta], P.1 [gamma] and B.1.617, which includes the variant B.1.617.2, [delta]) have been detected in most provinces and territories, however, the alpha variant continues to represent the majority of genetically sequenced variants in Canada. The data show that the alpha and delta variants are at least 50% more transmissible. In addition, the gamma, beta and delta variants have certain mutations that could affect the effectiveness of the vaccine, although data is still limited. The fact remains that we know that vaccination, paired with public and individual health measures, can reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As we provide vaccines to more and more people, we urge all Canadians to get vaccinated and encourage others to do so when they have access to vaccines. However, whether or not they are vaccinated, it is important to remain vigilant and continue to follow the advice of local public health authorities and always take individual protective measures to ensure their safety and that of those close to them. Even though we are seeing the positive effect of COVID-19 vaccines: stay home or isolate yourself if you have symptoms, think about the risks, minimize your non-essential activities and outings, and avoid non-essential trips. essential. In addition, follow personal protection measures, namely physical distancing, good hand hygiene, good respiratory etiquette, disinfection of surfaces and the wearing of a well-designed and well-fitting mask (including in shared spaces. , both indoors and outdoors, with people who are not part of your household).

For more information on the risks and benefits of immunization, I encourage Canadians to contact local public health authorities, health care providers, or to rely on reliable and credible sources such as Canada. .ca and Together, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, Canada’s Chief Medical Officers of Health and other health experts across the country are monitoring the safety, efficacy and optimal use of vaccines to adapt approaches. As science and circumstances change, we are committed to providing clear, evidence-based guidance to ensure the health and safety of all people in Canada.

Canadians can also do more by disseminating information credible on the risks of COVID-19 and what to do to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in communities. I invite you to read my backgrounder for more information and resources on COVID-19 and ways to reduce risk and protect yourself and others, including information on immunization against COVID-19.

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]

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