Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes an announcement at the Ornamental Gardens in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes an announcement at the Ornamental Gardens in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Nix non-essential travel, stay home as much as possible as COVID 2nd wave surges: Trudeau

Trudeau was back outfront Rideau Cottage amid concerning COVID-19 projections from Dr. Theresa Tam

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to stay home as much as possible and avoid all non-essential travel as latest COVID-19 projections show a grim possibility of more than 60,000 cases a day if measures are not taken to curb transmission rates.

In a news conference out front of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday (Nov. 20) Trudeau also called on employers to arrange for their employees to work from home.

We all know someone who’s not respecting the rules and the consequences are taking a toll on health care workers across the country, he said.

ALSO READ: 6 things you need to know about B.C.’s latest COVID-19 health orders

“We need to help them, we need to give them a break,” he said. “We need to stop this spike in cases.”

The latest comments from the prime minister come just hours after Canada’s chief public health officer issued a sobering warning Friday: If contacts increase above current levels, we’ll be hurdling toward a worst-case scenario.

“Absolutely do not go above what we have now,” Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters. “Otherwise, we’re really in trouble.”

Tam emphasized the “urgency” to decrease infections as officials released dire new forecasts indicating that COVID-19 case counts have far surpassed levels seen during the first wave.

If Canadians increase their contact rates going into the holiday season, COVID-19 cases could skyrocket to 60,000 per day by the end of the year, according to the modelling.

That would be a twelvefold increase from the current level of around 5,000 cases per day, which is already straining the health-care system in some regions.

Tam warned “the time is now” for Canadians to do everything to do reduce their contacts, saying it will take a combined effort on the part of individuals and public health authorities to bring infection rates down to manageable levels.

Tam said at current rates of contact, Canada is careening toward a surge of more than 20,000 cases per day by the end of December, with a commensurate increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

“We have a long winter ahead,” Trudeau told reporters, reiterating for Canadians to follow safe hygiene rules, social distance and wear masks.

He advised Canadians to avoid gatherings of all sizes.

More to come.

– with files from The Canadian Press

Coronavirusfederal government

Just Posted

Police and fire crews were in the 18500-block of 18 Avenue around 9 p.m. Thursday (May 13, 2021). (Curtis Kreklau photo)
PHOTOS: Police investigating South Surrey vehicle fire

Unclear if blaze in the 18500-block of 18 Avenue related to Burnaby shootings: RCMP

Surrey teacher Derek Duke gets vaccinated for COVID-19 at the North Surrey clinic on Wednesday, March 24. (submitted photo: Fraser Health)
COVID-19 cases among staff drop 60% after vaccinations: Surrey school district

School-based staff first eligible for vaccine March 24

Darlene Bennett, right, speaking about her murdered husband Paul at a press conference in 2018. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Widow of Surrey murder victim seeking referendum vote on policing transition

Darlene Bennett files application with Elections BC seeking binding referendum vote

On Thursday at South Surrey Athletic Park, the White Rock Muslim Association hosted an outdoor prayer service to celebrate Eid – the end of Ramadan. (Contributed photo)
PHOTOS: White Rock Muslim Association celebrates end of Ramadan outdoors

Semiahmoo Peninsula Muslims took part in socially-distanced prayers to mark Eid

Shane Ertmoed’s application for Escorted Temporary Absences was granted following a hearing May 4, 2021. (File photo)
Surrey child-killer an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Police are asking the public for help identifying a suspect who allegedly hurled anti-Asian slurs at a family in a Richmond drive-through on May 1. (Benjamin Wong/Screen grab)
Suspect at large in racist tirade at Richmond drive-thru, says RCMP

The Caucasian man was recorded May 1 yelling anti-Asian slurs at a Richmond family in the lineup

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Then-minister Rich Coleman, escorted by Victoria Police, makes his way to the east wing amid a protest blocking the legislature entrances before the throne speech in Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. money laundering inquiry testimony ends today with reappearance of Rich Coleman

Responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, Coleman been recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month

Colin Dowler rests in hospital recuperating from wounds suffered from a grizzly bear attack north of Campbell River. He was able to end the struggle by stabbing the bear in the neck with a knife like the one he is holding. Photo submitted
‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 B.C. attack bring him down

Campbell River’s Colin Dowler gets on with his life as his rehabilitation continues

Most Read