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

The Lion’s Fountain sprayed serenely in the middle of Cranna Lake in Lacombe on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Zachary Cormier/Lacombe Express)
City of Lacombe updates stormwater pond policy from 2012

The approved policy outlines the monitoring of three publicly managed ponds

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read