‘We’re not out of the woods yet’: Trudeau says new projections show curve has flattened, but still too soon to lift restrictions

'We're not out of the woods yet': Trudeau says new projections show curve has flattened, but still too soon to lift restrictions
The Canadian Press
PM Justin Trudeau says distancing measures meant to cut the spread of COVID-19 are working, but Canada isn’t out of the woods yet.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that the latest projections from Canadian health officials show that distancing measures have been working to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Outside of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau told Canadians that the “bottom line” of the latest models show that the efforts of Canadians have significantly limited the virus, but that we’re still not ready to return to normal.

“The measures we’ve taken so far are working. In fact in many parts of the country the curve has flattened, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Trudeau during his daily national address.

“We’re in the middle of the most serious public health emergency Canada has ever seen and if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made.”

The federal government has new national models and projections on the spread of the novel coronavirus to update figures presented nearly three weeks ago.

The details will be revealed from Health Minister Patty Hajdu in a virtual meeting of the House of Commons and by public health doctor Theresa Tam in a technical briefing later on Tuesday.

Trudeau pointed to the release of the last projections earlier this month and said that although the numbers may have improved, the course over the following months continues to rely on the actions of Canadians.

“How many new cases there are, how many losses we have to mourn, whether our hospitals can continue to cope, it’s all up to all of us,” said Trudeau.

He added the country also needs more time to prepare workplaces, schools and places like nursing homes for flare-ups.

The prime minister also outlined that essential baseline principles will need to be met in order to start safely and gradually reopening the economy.

“We need common guidelines to make sure that the decisions being made across the country are grounded in a shared understanding and appreciation for what science and experts are telling us.”

These shared principles, agreed upon by the provinces and territories, will be revealed Tuesday as well. Trudeau pointed out this framework is what needs to happen before we take the next steps towards a return to ‘normal’ and said that restarting our economy will be “guided by science.”

The prime minister said that these guidelines will be things like the ability to show controlled transmission as well as having enough testing capacity to trace and manage any new spread of COVID-19.

“That means knowing you’ll be safe at work when you go back,” added Trudeau. “You’ll see lots more testing and if someone around you does test positive, you’ll be notified quickly so you can isolate.”

Along with discussing the new projections, Trudeau provided an update on personal protective equipment, saying that over 6 million surgical masks will be shipped out to provinces that need them this week. In addition, over 100,000 face shields ordered from Bauer and Toronto Stamp are ready and will be shipped out soon.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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