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In a statement released Monday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the number of people across the country who are experiencing “severe illness continues to increase.”
“This situation is putting pressure on local healthcare resources and forcing hospitals to make the difficult decision to cancel elective surgeries and procedures in several areas of the country,” she wrote.
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Tam said the country needs a “collective effort” from individuals and health authorities to “support and sustain the response through to the end of the pandemic, while balancing the health, social and economic consequences.”
“Given the recent developments, there is an urgent need for everyone to take individual actions to not only protect ourselves but also our populations and communities at high risk,” the statement reads.
In order to do this, Tam said Canadians need to limit their close contacts to those in their immediate households and reduce in-person interactions to “essential errands and activities.”
She said the public must also consistently maintain key public health practices including practicing physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing.
Ontario saw 1,589 new cases and 19 new deaths, pushing the provincial case count and death toll to 105,501 and 3,505, respectively.
Meanwhile, in Quebec — the province hit hardest by the pandemic — 1,164 new infections were reported, along with 13 new deaths.
A total of 778 new COVID-19 infections were reported between Manitoba and Saskatchewan on Monday.
Manitoba saw 543 new infections and seven deaths, while Saskatchewan health officials detected 235 new cases of the respiratory illness and four more fatalities.
Further west in Alberta, 1,549 new infections and five new deaths were reported.
Health authorities in British Columbia said 594 new infections were detected.
Officials said another 17 people have died after contracting the virus, bringing the provincial death toll to 348.
In Atlantic Canada, 19 new cases were reported.
Nova Scotia added 11 new cases, New Brunswick saw five new infections, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island saw one new infection and two new deaths.
New Brunswick health authorities also said one more person had died, bringing the province’s death toll to seven.
Canada’s territories continue to post new cases as well.
In Nunavut, four new infections were reported, bringing the territory’s total case count to 134.
Six new cases were detected in the Yukon, pushing the regions total number of infections to 38.
The Northwest Territories did not see any new cases on Monday. Thirteen of the territory’s 15 confirmed cases are considered to be recovered.
Global cases top 59 million
Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide topped 59 million.
By 7 p.m. ET, the total number of confirmed cases world wide had reached 59,070,488, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
Since the virus was first detected late last year, it has claimed1,394,694 lives.
The United States remains the epicentre of the virus, with more than 12.3 million infections and 257,549 fatalities to date.