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Canada is not in a second wave, but coronavirus cases increasing sharply: Tam

Click to play video 'Will a second COVID-19 wave resemble the first wave?' Will a second COVID-19 wave resemble the first wave?
WATCH: For months, public health officials have warned of a resurgence of COVID-19 in Canada. More people are returning to work and school, and the colder weather means more people will be indoors. Eric Sorensen explains why a second surge won't resemble the first one.

Rapid increases in new COVID-19 cases could quickly spiral out of control, public health officials said Friday as some provinces continued to impose new and tougher public health measures.

Read more: Canada’s coronavirus cases are surging, but experts reject it’s a ‘second wave’

Canada’s top public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, said it’s too soon to declare a second wave of the pandemic across Canada, but daily case counts are increasing at an alarming rate.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canadians should ‘redouble their efforts’ at preventing COVID-19 spread as national case count rises, Tam says' Coronavirus: Canadians should ‘redouble their efforts’ at preventing COVID-19 spread as national case count rises, Tam says
Coronavirus: Canadians should ‘redouble their efforts’ at preventing COVID-19 spread as national case count rises, Tam says

“This situation increases the likelihood that we could lose the ability to keep COVID-19 cases at manageable levels,” she said. “Now is the time for Canadians to redouble their efforts with personal precautions that will slow the spread of the virus.”

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Read more: Bloc Québécois leader tests positive for coronavirus

The provinces also have a role to play, Tam noted, ideally by taking a targeted approach to stem outbreaks on a regional basis.

Click to play video 'Renewed fears of outbreaks in long-term care homes' Renewed fears of outbreaks in long-term care homes
Renewed fears of outbreaks in long-term care homes

To that end, Quebec announced Friday it would send police officers to 1,000 bars across the province over the weekend, with particular focus on eight regions that have seen a marked rise in cases and could face further restrictions if the trend isn’t reversed.

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“The goal behind this operation is to help our regions to go back to green and remain green for those that are already green,” Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault said in Quebec City, referring to the province’s colour-coded reopening framework.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Dr. Tam explains what ‘manageable levels’ of COVID-19 in Canada might mean' Coronavirus: Dr. Tam explains what ‘manageable levels’ of COVID-19 in Canada might mean
Coronavirus: Dr. Tam explains what ‘manageable levels’ of COVID-19 in Canada might mean

The province, which has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus, announced 297 new cases on Friday.

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Ontario, meanwhile, reported 401 new cases — a daily increase not seen since June — a day after it hiked fines for those organizing large social gatherings to $10,000 and cut down the maximum size of gatherings in three hot spot regions.

In Toronto, Ottawa and Peel region, only 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors _ down from the current limit of 25 _ while the number for outdoor gatherings will drop to 25 from 100.

But soaring case numbers are not limited to the two provinces that have been hardest hit by the virus.

Read more: Retail sales up 0.6% in July, below economists’ expectations

British Columbia, for instance, reported 165 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday — an all-time daily high for the province where case counts started cresting in August in spite of a previously flattened curve.

By early afternoon, Canada was reporting 141,565 cases of COVID-19.

Among them is Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, who announced that he has gone into self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.