The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, especially those who do not have easy access to their usual support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and addiction supports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
OTTAWA, ON, June 6, 2021 / CNW / – June is Pride Month and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first gay rights protests that took place in Vancouver and Ottawa in 1971, a turning point for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2 +) movement in our country. Pride Month is an opportunity to look back on all the voices that fought for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today, and to celebrate diversity and inclusion. However, we must also recognize that the fight for fairness is not over. Research indicates that LGBTQ2 + people continue to face health disparities linked to stigma, discrimination, exposure to violence, food insecurity and barriers to accessing care. As noted in my report Tackling Stigma: Towards a More Inclusive Health System 2019, many people experience multiple and intersecting stigma based on race, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, language, language, culture, gender and gender identity. age, substance use, abilities, social class and health conditions that can prevent them from reaching the resources they need to achieve optimal health. As long as discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or other persistent forms, including racism and sexism, still exists, we must fight it.
I would like to take this moment to recognize the continued work of Pride and community organizations across the country who have found innovative and creative ways to safely host Pride celebrations during this pandemic. For example, thanks to the many virtual pride celebrations taking place across the country this month, including at Toronto and Saskatoon. Amid the ongoing pandemic, virtual celebrations like these are an important opportunity to promote community and support mental health and wellness. I encourage all Canadians to find a safe way to show their support and respect for LGBTQ2 + communities and wish everyone a happy and safe Pride Season.
As COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we track a range of epidemiological indicators to monitor where the disease is most active, where it is spreading and how it is affecting the health of Canadians and public health, laboratory and healthcare capacity. At the same time, the Public Health Agency of Canada provides Canadians with regular updates on COVID-19 vaccines administered, immunization coverage and ongoing vaccine safety monitoring across the country. What follows is the latest summary on national numbers and trends, and the actions we all need to take to reduce infection rates, as immunization programs grow to protect all Canadians.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,391,174 cases of COVID-19 and 25,712 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 disease to date. They also tell us, along with the results of serological studies, that a large majority of Canadians remain susceptible to COVID-19. However, as vaccination programs develop at an accelerated rate, there is growing optimism that widespread and lasting immunity will be achieved through COVID-19 vaccination over the weeks and weeks. months to come.
As immunity continues to build in the population, public health measures and personal precautions are crucial for controlling COVID-19. Thanks to the measures put in place in the heavily affected areas, the strong and constant decline in disease trends continues. The latest nationwide data shows a continuing downward trend in disease activity with an average of 2,339 cases reported daily during the last 7-day period (May 28-June 3), down 31% from the previous week. For the week of May 23-29, there was an average of 78,089 tests performed daily in Canada, of which 3.8% were positive for COVID-19, up from 4.7% the previous week. Until vaccine coverage is high enough to have a wider impact on disease transmission in the community, we need to be very careful to reduce infection rates to a low and manageable level, and not relax restrictions too early or too quickly when infection rates are high. .
With the nationwide infection rates dropping dramatically, the total number of people with serious and critical illnesses is also dropping. Provincial and territorial data indicates that an average of 2,344 people with COVID-19 were treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (May 28-June 3), or 19% less than last week. This includes, on average, 1,006 people who were treated in intensive care units (ICUs), down 14% from last week. Likewise, the latest 7-day average of 34 deaths reported daily (May 28-June 3) is down, down 21% from the previous week.
Canada continues to monitor and assess genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including impacts in the Canadian context. Overall, Variants of Concern (COVs) account for the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases across the country. The World Health Organization has implemented new, simplified labels for variants of concern using letters of the Greek alphabet. Four VOCs (B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617, which includes B.1.617.2 (Delta)) were detected in most provinces and territories, however, the Alpha variant continues to represent the majority of genetically sequenced variants in Canada. Evidence shows that Alpha and Delta variants are at least 50% more transmissible. Additionally, the Gamma, Beta, and Delta variants each have certain mutations, which may impact the effectiveness of the vaccine, although the evidence is still limited. Nonetheless, we know that vaccination, combined with public and individual health measures, helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As vaccine eligibility expands, Canadians are encouraged to get vaccinated and help others get vaccinated as vaccines become available. However, regardless of our vaccination status, it is important to remain vigilant, to continue to follow local public health advice, and to consistently maintain individual practices that protect us and our families, even as we begin to see the impacts. positive for COVID-19. vaccines: stay home / self-isolate if you have symptoms, think about the risks and minimize non-essential activities and outings, avoid all non-essential travel, and maintain personal protective practices of physical distancing, hand , coughing and surface hygiene and wearing a properly fitted and properly worn face mask, if applicable (including in shared spaces, indoors or outdoors, with people outside your home immediate).
For more information on the risks and benefits of vaccination, I encourage Canadians to contact their local public health authority, health care provider, or other reliable and credible sources, such as Canada.ca and Immunize.ca. Working together, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, from Canada Chief medical officers of health and other health professionals across the country are closely monitoring the safety, efficacy and optimal use of vaccines to adapt approaches. As science and the situation evolve, we are committed to providing clear, evidence-based guidelines to keep everyone in the know. Canada safe and healthy.
Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on the risks of COVID-19 and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities. Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 information and resources on ways to reduce risk and protect yourself and others, including information on COVID-19 vaccination.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
See original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2021/06/c6975.html