justin trudeau covid-19 projections

Canada projects COVID-19 death toll and social distancing time frame

“This will be our new reality until we find a vaccine.”

In his daily press briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about Dr. Theresa Tam’s projections for COVID-19 in Canada. This comes at a time when 4.5 million claims for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) have already been processed after Canada lost one million jobs since the start of the pandemic. With the current measures being followed, Dr. Tam projects between 4,000 and 44,000 deaths related to COVID-19 in the coming months. The worst case scenarios project between 100,000 and 350,000 deaths before a vaccine becomes available in six months to a year and a half.

“Modelling shows that COVID-19 arrived in Canada later than in other countries, which means we’re in an earlier stage of the outbreak,” Trudeau said. “That means that we have the chance to determine what our country looks like in the weeks and months to come. It depends on what each of us does right now. It will take months of continued determined efforts. We will need to continue practising physical distancing, staying home and washing our hands. It will help. It will help get the number Dr. Tam was talking about — between 4,000 and 44,000 deaths — as low as possible.”

Trudeau also spoke about the time frame for social distancing in Canada.

“We could reach the peak [of COVID-19 cases] at the end of the spring and the first wave could end in the summer. But as Dr. Tam explained, we will probably see other smaller outbreaks for a certain number of months. This will be our new reality until we find a vaccine. Continue to stay home, continue to do your groceries only once a week or even less often than that, and if you must go out, do keep a two-metre distance between you and other people. Things will get better, and once they do, you can be sure that our country will come roaring back.”

The Prime Minister closed by referencing the heroes of Vimy Ridge, on its 103rd year anniversary.

“Over 100 years ago today, Canadians showed what we are made of. I know each of us will rise to be worthy of the legacy of the heroes that built this country. We can do this, together.” ■

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