‘The time is now to act’: COVID-19 spreading in Canada with no known link to travel, previous cases

Widespread community transmission of COVID-19 is likely underway in Canada, experts say, warning that Canadians need to heed advice from public health officials and do their part to prevent it from getting out of control.

Community transmission is the spread of an illness with no known link to travel or previously confirmed cases, which can signal a growing number of cases going unreported across the country.

Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital who worked on the front lines of the SARS epidemic in 2003, believes there is no doubt it is already happening in Canada. 

Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam said Sunday that 25,000 COVID-19 tests have been done across the country to date and there has been a “rapidly increasing” number of cases, particularly in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta.

“Our window to flatten the curve of the epidemic is narrow,” Tam said. “We all need to act now. COVID-19 is a serious public health threat.”

Tam urged Canadians to embrace social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the outbreak, but did not say whether she believed there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Canada.

Social distancing is an approach to limiting the spread of an illness in the population by creating physical space between people and reducing the size of large gatherings, or avoiding them altogether.

More of this story on CBC NEWS: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-community-transmission-canada-1.5498804

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