Risk to Canadians
COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk will vary between and within communities, but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.
This does not mean that all Canadians will get the disease. It means that there is already a significant impact on our health care system. If we do not flatten the epidemic curve now, the increase of COVID-19 cases could impact health care resources available to Canadians.
We continue to reassess the public health risk based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.
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Who is most at risk
While COVID-19 can make anyone sick, some Canadians with specific health circumstances are at an increased risk of more severe outcomes, including individuals:
- aged 65 and over
- with compromised immune systems
- with underlying medical conditions
In addition, social and economic circumstances may also be a factor in identifying someone who is vulnerable to COVID-19. This includes anyone who has:
- economic barriers
- difficulty accessing transportation
- difficulty accessing medical care or health advice
- unstable employment or inflexible working conditions
- insecure, inadequate, or nonexistent housing conditions
- ongoing specialized medical care or needs specific medical supplies
- social or geographic isolation, like in remote and isolated communities
- difficulty reading, speaking, understanding or communicating
- ongoing supervision needs or support for maintaining independence
- difficulty doing preventive activities, like frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes
How Canada is monitoring COVID-19
The health and safety of all Canadians is our top priority.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with provinces, territories and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation. Global efforts are focused on containment of the outbreak and the prevention of further spread.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is in close contact with provincial and territorial Chief Medical Officers of Health to ensure that any cases of COVID-19 occurring in Canada continue to be rapidly identified and managed in order to protect the health of Canadians.
Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory is performing diagnostic testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. The laboratory is working in close collaboration with provincial and territorial public health laboratories, which are now able to test for COVID-19. A summary of people tested in Canada is available and updated each week day.
This testing summary represents information collected by the laboratory and not the total reported cases in Canada. The remainder of tests not reported here are still being resolved.
Should there be any differences with the national case count compared with testing numbers reported by provincial and territorial public health officials, provincial data should be considered the most up-to-date.