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            Society

            Canadians urged to cut contacts to stem COVID-19 spread

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            2020-10-31 05:57:20Xinhua Editor : Wang Fan ECNS App Download
            Personal protective equipment for customers are placed at the entrance of a clothing store in Toronto, Canada, on Oct. 27, 2020. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

            Personal protective equipment for customers are placed at the entrance of a clothing store in Toronto, Canada, on Oct. 27, 2020. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

            Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

            Canadians are urged to decrease their contacts to stem the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on Friday.

            Despite additional restrictions being re-imposed in regions where the COVID-19 spread has ramped up in past months, after surpassing the previous round of projected maximum cases and deaths, new cases continue to increase.

            Canada is on track to see thousands of new cases and hundreds of new deaths by Nov. 8, the PHAC said in "Update on COVID-19 in Canada: Epidemiology and Modelling" on Friday.

            As of Friday noon, Canada reported a total of 230,547 COVID-19 cases and 10,100 deaths.

            By the end of next week, the case count is on track to increase to between 251,800 and 262,000 cases and deaths between 10,285 and 10,400, according to the modelling.

            "We need to keep our contacts as limited as possible. This is what it will take to slow the spread of the virus," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the press conference.

            "When you're thinking of seeing people outside your household, ask yourself: 'is this absolutely necessary?' I know the situation is frustrating. I know it's hard, but it is temporary. If we work together, cases will go down again," Trudeau said.

            "If we maintain our current rate of contacts, the epidemic is forecast to resurge, and a decrease of 25 percent would mean that the spread would come under control in most locations," said Canadian Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam on Friday.

            Tam appealed to people to avoid gatherings with people outside of their "consistent, trusted contacts" and to take all other social interactions virtual.

            Over the last two weeks, higher rates of infection are being reported, COVID-19 patients are being hospitalized at a higher rate than was seen over the summer, and deaths are gradually increasing.

            Rates of Canadians under the age of 40 contracting the virus remain the highest, but an increase in new cases is occurring across age groups. Outbreaks are also continuing to be reported in the highest rates at long-term care and retirement residences; at schools and child-care centers; and as a result of social gatherings, said the PHAC.

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