Facing record high COVID-19 cases, ministers update on Canada’s response

As Canada faces more active COVID-19 cases than at any other point in the pandemic, federal officials are set to provide an update on national response efforts this morning.

According to CTVNews.ca’s COVID-19 tracker, on Thursday Canada had the highest ever number of active cases, with more than 375,700 active COVID-19 infections. 

That’s eight times as many active cases as there were three weeks ago, and four times as many as the peak seen last spring. The latest surge is being driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Dominic LeBlanc will be holding a news conference on Friday, at 11 a.m. EST. CTVNews.ca will carry it live.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led a federal COVID-19 update on Wednesday in which he announced a quadrupling of rapid test deliveries to the provinces and territories.

His government faced criticism Thursday from Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole for not doing more to get Omicron’s spread under control earlier, leading to the latest tightening of public health restrictions across the country.

While Canada has a high vaccination rate, the rate of people in hospital with COVID-19 is increasing, prompting concerns that the health-care system could be overwhelmed if the virus continues to rapidly spread.

The surge has led to access to COVID-19 testing becoming “a luxury,” as Ontario Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore put it on Thursday. Many Canadians are being told that if they have COVID-19 symptoms, they should presume they are infected and self-isolate.

With a file from CTV News’ Ryan Flanagan 

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