OTTAWA, ON, July 27, 2021 /CNW/ -
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are continuing to track key epidemiological indicators to monitor trends and quickly detect emerging issues of concern, including to better understand the impact of circulating virus variants. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) provides regular updates on COVID-19 vaccines administered, vaccination coverage and ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety across the country. Below is the latest summary on national numbers and trends.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,427,342 cases of COVID-19 and 26,553 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date. Variants of concern (VOCs) represent the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases, including four VOCs (B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta)) that have been detected in most provinces and territories. Regardless of which viruses are predominating in an area, we know that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual measures, continue to work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As public health restrictions are eased, some increase in cases, particularly among unvaccinated populations, is not unexpected. We have been closely monitoring increased disease activity in several jurisdictions, which is reflected in national case counts. Today's 7-day moving average of 539 new cases reported daily (July 20-26), shows an increase of 36% over the previous week. Severe illness trends continue to decline, with the latest provincial and territorial data showing that an average of 503 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (July 20-26), which is 13% fewer than last week. This includes, on average 236 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), 10% fewer than last week and an average of 7 deaths were reported daily (July 20-26).
Administration of first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines is continuing across the country, with the aim of achieving widespread, stronger and longer lasting immunity by fully vaccinating a high proportion of eligible people across Canada. The Government of Canada via the Immunization Partnership Fund supports initiatives to improve access to vaccines and encourage vaccine uptake. Several projects focus on addressing barriers that can delay or discourage people from getting vaccinated, including the Regina Urban Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy, which includes community-based COVID-19 education, promotion, prevention and outreach strategies for urban Indigenous populations of Regina and surrounding communities. Another example is an effort by the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre to deliver weekly community COVID-19 testing and vaccine pop-up clinics at single room occupancy dwellings and homeless shelters for underserved individuals in Vancouver and New Westminster, who are under housed or experiencing homelessness. Through projects like these, we are working to build confidence and make COVID-19 vaccines accessible for everyone in Canada. For more information regarding the risks and benefits of vaccination, reach out to your local public health authorities, healthcare provider, or other trusted and credible sources, such as Canada.ca and Immunize.ca.
Canadians can access information on Canada.ca to understand the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19, find guidance on life after vaccination and utilise free interactive risk assessment tools to aid in informed decision-making and understanding COVID-wise precautions to lower the risks in different settings. However, as jurisdictions begin to ease restrictions, risks and circumstances are not the same everywhere and following local public health advice continues to be important, regardless of your vaccination status. While COVID-19 is still circulating in Canada and internationally, core public health measures and individual protective practices can help us to reduce the spread: stay home/self-isolate if you have symptoms; be aware of risks associated with different settings; avoid non-essential travel outside Canada; and maintain individual protective practices such as physical distancing and wearing a well-fitted and properly worn face mask, as appropriate.
Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities. Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 Information and Resources on ways to reduce the risks and protect yourself and others, including information on COVID-19 vaccination.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2021/27/c6165.html