Canada hit yet another grim milestone Tuesday as the country’s death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000.
The milestone, which has only been reached by 20 other nations according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, comes amid a second wave of the virus that has shattered new case records across parts of the country.
Ontario in particular reported back-to-back days of record breaking case increases over the weekend after adding more than 1,000 new for the first time on Sunday, followed by Saturday’s record of 978.
Over the past two weeks, daily reported case records have also been broken in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has since warned that the number of serious virus-related hospitalizations and deaths could increase even more in the coming weeks due to the uptick in new cases.
“As hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” wrote Tam in a statement Saturday.
“As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the Fall and Winter, placing increased demands on hospitals.”
According to Tam, an average of 1,010 people diagnosed with the disease were being treated in hospital each day from Oct. 16 to 22, of which 209 were admitted to intensive care. During the same period an average of 23 deaths were being reported daily — an increase of 18 from just six weeks ago.
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s latest data on fatalities showed that seniors still retained the highest proportion of coronavirus deaths in Canada, with those aged 70 and above accounting for 89 per cent of all deaths.
The majority of deaths were also situated in two provinces, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for more than 9,000.
The latest data on hospitalizations — which was based on the 126,941 cases for which data was available to PHAC — showed that a total of 13,815 cases have since been hospitalized, of which 24.1 per cent were admitted to ICU and 3.4 per cent required ventilation.
Though younger people are less likely to be hospitalized by the virus, the data showed that at least 600 out 3,332 people PHAC said were admitted to ICU were under the age of 49.
Youths between 20 and 29 now make up the single largest age group that have contracted the coronavirus, accounting for over 18 per cent of Canada’s total infections. The total jumps to more than 46 per cent after being combined with the under 19 and 30 to 39 age groups.
At a press conference in August, Tam said that young people were accounting for the majority of new cases over the last several weeks in comparison to the first peak of the epidemic in Canada.
“The most concerning issue is that, as COVID-19 continues to circulate in any age group — as it has for weeks in young adults — it builds a reservoir of the virus that can spill over affecting others young and old,” said Tam during her daily coronavirus update on Aug. 25. “That includes older adults that are high risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions.”
New cases on Tuesday
Ontario reported 827 new cases on Tuesday, and health officials said four more people had died.
The new infections bring the province’s total case count to 72,051 and death toll to 3,103.
Since the pandemic began, 61,530 people have recovered from COVID-19 infections in Ontario, and 4,961,368 tests have been administered.
Meanwhile, in Quebec, 933 new cases were detected and 19 more people have died.
The province, which has reported 101,885 confirmed cases of the virus, has now seen 6,172 fatalities.
A total of 3,004,863 people have been tested for the virus and 86,786 have recovered after falling ill.
In Saskatchewan, 58 new cases were reported, but officials said no more deaths had occurred.
The province has seen a total of 2,841 cases since the pandemic began, however, 2,164 are considered to be recovered.
So far, 253,675 tests have been administered in Saskatchewan.
Manitoba saw 183 new infections on Tuesday, and health authorities said another three people had died, bringing the province’s case and death counts to 4,532 and 58 respectively.
To date, 2,236 have recovered after contracting the respiratory illness, while 244,606 people have been tested.
In Alberta, 422 new cases were detected and officials said two more deaths had occurred, bringing the province’s death toll to 309.
Of the 26,155 confirmed cases in Alberta, 21,108 are considered recovered.
The province has conducted 1,753,379 tests for the coronavirus to date.
British Columbia added 215 new infections, but no new deaths.
The new cases bring B.C’s total case count to 13,355 while the death toll remained at 259.
The province has also seen 233 epidemiologically-linked cases, meaning they have not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.
To date, 797,381 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus in the province, while 10,954 have recovered after contracting the illness.
Three new COVID-19 cases were reported in New Brunswick, bringing the province’s total number of infections to 334.
So far, 273 people in New Brunswick have recovered after contracting the virus, while six have died.
The province has tested 99,756 for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Nova Scotia reported one new case of the virus, but no new deaths on Tuesday.
The province has now seen 1,102 confirmed cases, 1,031 of which have recovered.
Thus far, 110,564 tests have been administered in Nova Scotia.
Newfoundland and Labrador did not report any new infections or deaths associated with COVID-19, meaning the province’s case and death counts remained at 291 and four respectively.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, 283 people have recovered after contracting the novel coronavirus while 50,871 have been tested.
British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut and the Yukon have not yet released new coronavirus data.
The number of confirmed cases in the Northwest Territories remained at nine on Tuesday.
So far, eight people in the territory have recovered.
Northwest Territories has not yet seen a death related to COVID-19, and has conducted 6,292 tests for the virus.
Yukon did not report any new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday either.
Fifteen of the 22 confirmed cases in the territory are considered to be recovered.
A total of 3,946 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus in the Yukon.
Prince Edward Island, and Nunavut have not yet released new coronavirus data.