Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor says could be months to see effects of distancing
OTTAWA — Canada’s top doctor says it might be months until we know whether social distancing measures being employed across the country are slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Canada has seen a “concerning” daily in the number of cases of COVID-19 across the country. The latest federal count is 800 cases and 10 deaths, and Alberta recorded an additional death after that tally.
But the numbers of newly confirmed cases released daily reflect people who were tested days ago, and they would have spent several days with the virus that causes COVID-19 before developing symptoms.
“I always tell people it’s a bit like the light from a star,” said chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in a Thursday news conference.
“What you’re seeing reported today is something that actually happened a while back.”
Across the country people have taken drastic measures to limit their contact with others and keep the virus from spreading.
Some provinces have even mandated the closure of certain businesses to make sure people don’t gather in large groups.
It’s all in an effort to make sure there isn’t a sudden sharp increase in the number of cases, so that the spread of the virus is slowed over time. Public health experts call it “flattening the curve.”
“What I would like to see, and I’ll be watching very closely in the next two weeks or so, what actually happens to that curve,” Tam said.
Most cases of the virus in Canada have been mild, and found in people of working age. But it can be far more serious for older people or people with underlying health conditions.
So far the demographics of people who have contracted COVID-19 matches what other countries are seeing as well.