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Ontario and Quebec have more than 80 per cent of Canada's COVID-19 cases, officials say
A medical assistant prepares to take a swab from a patient at a new drive-thru and walk-up coronavirus testing site in Seattle, Saturday, April 25, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/The Canadian Press/AP)
TORONTO -- Federal health officials have reported that Ontario and Quebec represent more than 80 per cent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, made the remark during a news conference Tuesday on updated projections regarding the number of potential cases and deaths in Canada from COVID-19.
Tam told reporters that the new modelling information suggests that COVID-19 caseload growth is slowing down and the curve is flattening in regions across Canada.
While Ontario and Quebec have the heaviest caseload, Alberta and British Columbia are also dealing with a large number of cases in Canada, 14 per cent, Tam said.
“Outbreaks in long-term care homes and seniors’ homes are driving epidemic growth in Quebec, Ontario and Nova scotia currently,” Tam said.
She said the majority of deaths in Canada, 79 per cent, are the result of outbreaks in long-term care homes and senior homes in those three provinces.
Health officials said epidemic growth is also caused by shelters serving people experiencing homelessness in Toronto.
Tam said it is also driven by outbreaks in correctional facilities and congregate living settings for workers, including those working in the food and agriculture industry.
Tam said that Canada’s epidemic growth has been slower than some other countries.
At the time the initial projections were made, COVID-19 cases in Canada were doubling between every three to five days, but now it’s every 16 days, Tam said.
As of Tuesday morning there are 49,040 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 2,769 people have died from the novel coronavirus to date.
In Ontario, health officials said on Tuesday that the province now has 15,381 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 951 deaths and 8,964 recoveries.