Ottawa raising concern over COVID-19 outbreaks on Hutterite colonies in Saskatchewan and Alberta

Canada’s chief medical health officer has updated the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Federal health officials say over 8,900 people have died from COVID-19 so far, while 87% of people who have contracted the virus have recovered.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says federal health authorities are working in conjunction with officials in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, where outbreaks in Hutterite colonies have been reported.

“What we are providing support for as needed is the epidemiological support, and right now we haven’t been asked to, for example, provide surge laboratory capacity, contact tracing in the context of these communities.”

Dr. Tam says the Hutterite outbreaks are causing an uptick in the national curve, something she believes is worrisome.

“Provinces and local jurisdictions will tailor their public health response — tighten or loosen measures — by looking at the activity in their environment,” Dr. Tam said. “They will try as hard as they can to not go backwards, but if they are seeing things going in the wrong direction, they’re going to course correct.”

She also says work continues on coming up with a vaccine, and making sure there’s enough for all Canadians.


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