Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes an announcement at the Ornamental Gardens in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes an announcement at the Ornamental Gardens in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Nix non-essential travel, stay home as much as possible as COVID 2nd wave surges: Trudeau

Trudeau was back outfront Rideau Cottage amid concerning COVID-19 projections from Dr. Theresa Tam

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to stay home as much as possible and avoid all non-essential travel as latest COVID-19 projections show a grim possibility of more than 60,000 cases a day if measures are not taken to curb transmission rates.

In a news conference out front of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday (Nov. 20) Trudeau also called on employers to arrange for their employees to work from home.

We all know someone who’s not respecting the rules and the consequences are taking a toll on health care workers across the country, he said.

ALSO READ: 6 things you need to know about B.C.’s latest COVID-19 health orders

“We need to help them, we need to give them a break,” he said. “We need to stop this spike in cases.”

The latest comments from the prime minister come just hours after Canada’s chief public health officer issued a sobering warning Friday: If contacts increase above current levels, we’ll be hurdling toward a worst-case scenario.

“Absolutely do not go above what we have now,” Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters. “Otherwise, we’re really in trouble.”

Tam emphasized the “urgency” to decrease infections as officials released dire new forecasts indicating that COVID-19 case counts have far surpassed levels seen during the first wave.

If Canadians increase their contact rates going into the holiday season, COVID-19 cases could skyrocket to 60,000 per day by the end of the year, according to the modelling.

That would be a twelvefold increase from the current level of around 5,000 cases per day, which is already straining the health-care system in some regions.

Tam warned “the time is now” for Canadians to do everything to do reduce their contacts, saying it will take a combined effort on the part of individuals and public health authorities to bring infection rates down to manageable levels.

Tam said at current rates of contact, Canada is careening toward a surge of more than 20,000 cases per day by the end of December, with a commensurate increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

“We have a long winter ahead,” Trudeau told reporters, reiterating for Canadians to follow safe hygiene rules, social distance and wear masks.

He advised Canadians to avoid gatherings of all sizes.

More to come.

– with files from The Canadian Press

CoronavirusFederal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

(Photo submitted)
Ermineskin citizen graduates vet school, is part of busy practice

Dr. Justin Hodgson is rolling up his sleeves in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Jeffery Kraft. Photo submitted
Family of Jeffery Kraft feels ‘robbed’ after one accused discharged

Family of victim responds to preliminary hearing in homicide case

Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett is trying to enlist support from other municipalities for more equitable provincial funding for small and rural municipalities.
Photo from Town of Ponoka
Ponoka arena closing, Santa Claus Parade officially cancelled

Town of Ponoka announces new COVID-19 restrictions

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Ridge Meadows RCMP are developing a new strategic plan for the detachment. (Phil McLachlan)
UPDATED: Male wanted for Montana First Nation shooting arrested

Darcy Cattleman located in Conklin, Alta.

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Most Read