COVID-19 cases hit new records as Dr. Tam urges vigilance

Virus cases hit new highs

Canada’s top doctor says there is some good news on the horizon despite an unsettling new wave of COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country.

Dr. Theresa Tam says there is “still a long road ahead” in the battle to contain the virus, but says an initial vaccine supply is expected in early 2021.

Tam’s comments come as some provinces are reporting new single-day highs of new COVID-19 cases and related deaths.

Quebec saw its daily report in total new cases climb above 2,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, though the figure was inflated by some diagnoses that weren’t captured in Friday’s tally.

The province recorded 2,031 cases and 48 deaths.

Ontario also broke its record with 1,859 new COVID-19 cases, coming above the 1,855 case-high reached last month, as well as 20 new deaths.

Manitoba set a single-day peak for virus-related deaths in the province, reporting 19 alongside 354 new COVID-19 infections.

Figures were lower in Atlantic Canada, but all of the country's eastern-most provinces continued to see their regional infection rates creep upward.

New Brunswick reported two new cases, bringing the provincial total of active diagnoses to 98.

Prince Edward Island logged three new cases, saying the new patients are all women working in Charlottetown restaurants.

Nova Scotia recorded six new infections, while officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported four.

Tam said the prospect of an imminent vaccine should be encouraging, but said recent troubling numbers reinforce the need for ongoing adherence to public health protocols meant to stem the spread of the virus.

“We don’t have a COVID-19 vaccine just yet and we must be prepared to address a range of logistical and operational challenges,” Tam said in a statement released Saturday.

“Canada must continue with the collective effort of individuals and public health authorities to sustain the response, while balancing the health, social and economic consequences.”

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