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

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Snowmaking is continuing at full blast on Apex Mountain on Nov. 20. (Apex Mountain Resort Facebook - Jeff Plant)
No mask? Lose your pass at Apex

The ski resort has implemented a strict mask policy for the upcoming ski season

The Wrong Turn Tavern in Keremeos is trying to lighten the mood during this pandemic. (Facebook photo)
Keremeos Tavern has fun with some not-so-fun restrictions

Sign posted at the Tavern warns if you don’t wear a mask you must strip naked

grapes.
Morning Start: Grapes light on fire in the microwave

Your morning start for Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

Christmas Lights
This nativity scene at the home of Paul Biro, organizer of the Summerland Drive-By Light Up, was just one of many parts of his elaborate display. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
VIDEO: Summerland holiday lights on display

Drive-by light-up on Nov. 27 showed some of the many festive season decorations

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Brent Ross poses with his dog Jack who died over the weekend after asphyxiating on a ball. Ross hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale to other dog owners. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm man warns others after dog dies from choking on a ball

Brent Ross grieving the sudden loss of Jack, a healthy, seven-year-old chocolate lab

This year’s Candlelight Vigil, United Against Violence Against Women, on Dec. 6, 2020 will not be in person at the campuses of Okanagan College due to COVID-19, but people will be able to gather online to watch a video presentation and light a candle in remembrance. (Image contributed)
Violence against women in North Okanagan-Shuswap to be remembered online

Participants in virtual vigil Dec. 6 asked to light a candle and post photo on social media

Mayor Colin Basran at the announcement of the 2021 Tim Horton’s Brier to be hosted in Kelowna on Nov. 21. (Contributed)
Tim Hortons Brier not coming to Kelowna

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Curling Canada to move to hub model, similar to the NHL playoffs

An Enderby restaurant and pub has been shut down since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub shuts down after guest reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

The Howard Johnson hotel, restaurant and pub has been closed since Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29

Robert Gibson, born November 24, 2020 is in BC Children’s Hospital. Photo contributed
Princeton baby fights for his life, with parents at his side

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to help family with expenses

Grapevine Optical was the victim of an early morning break and enter Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Crime Stoppers Okanagan / Facebook)
Collection of designer sunglasses stolen from South Okanagan eye-wear shop

Crime Stoppers is seeking the identity of two male suspects

Most Read