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

These three orbs in a triangular formation were spotted in the skies above Abbotsford/Aldergrove on Dec. 1. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Alleged UFO sighting in Abbotsford/Aldergrove

Footage from Dec. 1 shows three orbs in triangle formation in the skies

The recipients of the 2019 Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards held in Abbotsford. (Jason Brown/Revival Arts Studio)
Nominations open for 2021 Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards

Awards open to Abbotsford, Mission, Langley and Chilliwack

Shandhar Hut Indian Cuisine reopened Dec. 1, 2020 in Chilliwack after closing Nov. 19 as a precautionary move to keep everyone safe. (Shandhar Hut/Facebook)
Chilliwack restaurant reopens after closing temporarily as a precautionary step

‘We are so grateful to everyone for their kindness,’ says Shandhar Hut manager

Students sign to pledge their support of ending use of the 'R' word. (Contributed photo)
LETTER: Autistic woman says use of the R-word is a degrading reminder of how cruel the world can be

‘I am a person with autism and I know how it feels to be ridiculed, laughed and even feared’

Construction is expected to start in March of 2021 on 23 new rental homes funded by the provincial government’s Community Housing Fund. (Metro Creative photo)
Province announces rental home project in Chilliwack paid for by Community Housing Fund

Twenty three homes for Indigenous families are planned in partnership with Tzeachten First Nation

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

Most Read