Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a press conference last year. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a press conference last year. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Key measure suggests Canada’s COVID-19 surge could be slowing down: Tam

The virus’ reproduction rate has fallen below the key threshold of one for the first time in weeks

Canada’s top public health doctor says there’s been an increase of more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases since last month, but there are signs the epidemic is easing.

Dr. Theresa Tam says average case counts have more than doubled over the past month, with upwards of 8,400 infections reported daily over the last week.

But Tam says there’s reason for hope due to Canada’s declining reproduction rate, which represents how many people are infected by each new case.

She says this measure has fallen below the key threshold of one for the first time in weeks, meaning the rate of transmission is trending downwards.

Tam credits this progress to the restrictions hard-hit provinces have implemented in recent weeks to contain the spread of more contagious variants of the virus.

The data suggest these variants of concern make up more than half of recently reported infections.

Meanwhile, vaccination campaign continues apace, with nearly 30 per cent of Canadian adults having received at least one dose.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Friday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau were set to receive their first shots later in the day.

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Coronavirus