Health officials reported 400 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday as people across Canada celebrated the Labour Day long weekend.
And as schools and post-secondary institutions prepare to reopen over the coming days and weeks, the country’s top doctor said that younger adults make up the majority of cases.
“In terms of age, the trend of increased disease activity among younger individuals has continued for many weeks, with people under 40 years of age accounting for over 62 per cent of cases in the latest data reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada,” Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement.
People between the ages of 20 and 29 have the highest rates of COVID-19 infection of all age groups, Tam said, with roughly 11 cases per 100,000 people.
“Likewise, during the month of August we saw outbreak settings include food, drink and retail venues that tend to draw in this younger age demographic.”
Sunday’s figures represent only a partial update since B.C., Alberta, P.E.I. and the territories do not release new numbers on the weekends.
But the number of new coronavirus cases Canada is seeing daily is on the rise.
The 400 diagnoses announced Sunday bring the national total to 131,810 cases. Health officials in Ontario announced that two additional deaths occurred, bringing the national total to 9,145.
About 88 per cent of the country’s coronavirus patients are considered recovered.
In addition to the two deaths, Ontario reported 158 new coronavirus cases Sunday. Total cases topped 43,100 and 38,958 people are considered recovered — over 90 per cent of all confirmed cases. As of Sunday, 2,813 coronavirus patients in Ontario have succumbed to the illness.
Meanwhile, public health officials advised Sunday that 23 people who attended a series of wedding events in the Greater Toronto Area tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick reported no new cases Sunday — there have been fewer than 1,600 coronavirus cases diagnosed in Atlantic Canada overall.
Quebec added 205 new cases and no new deaths. In total, 63,497 Quebecers have been diagnosed — the most by far of any province — and 5,769 people in the province have lost their lives to the viral illness.
Manitoba added 29 cases Sunday, for a cumulative total of 1,323, while 46 more people in that province are considered recovered. Saskatchewan added eight cases and no additional deaths. There are 1,651 cases in the province overall.
B.C. and Alberta reported more than 100 new coronavirus cases each during their most recent updates on Friday.
In Alberta, 242 COVID-19 patients have died since the start of the pandemic, and 14,474 cases have been diagnosed overall.
In B.C., there have been 6,077 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, plus an additional 85 considered “epi-linked.” The provincial death toll is 211.
Currently, there are no active cases in Canada’s North. Yukon has had 15 cases in total, while five have been diagnosed in the Northwest Territories.
While it’s still warm enough to enjoy the sunshine now, there are concerns that as the seasons change, an added struggle could emerge in the pandemic.
“There’s a real concern about the amplification of loneliness,” Roger McIntyre, a psychiatrist and professor at the University of Toronto, told Global News recently.
“An epidemic of loneliness long preceded this pandemic. And just by the nature of winter, people are less likely to come in contact with others. It’s a realistic concern.”
—With files from James Armstrong and Rachael D’Amore