Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

COVID-19 cases declining across Canada, but not as quickly as before

Tam: ‘Now is not the time to let our guard down; we could still be in for a challenging winter’

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the country is bending the curve on the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but progress has recently slowed and Canada could still see some “bumps” over the next few months.

“Now is not the time to let our guard down. We could still be in for a challenging winter,” chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said at a briefing Friday.

Tam welcomed the high level of vaccine coverage across Canada, and said some regions are seeing very low COVID-19 activity.

But she warned regional differences in vaccine coverage could still create surges in months to come, even if the upswings could be less dramatic and wide-spread.

Tam said the virus has proven time and again that it is adaptable, and Canada must remain vigilant against new variants.

For the first time, reported cases nationally are now most commonly children under the age of 12 who do not qualify to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, Tam said outbreaks in school and daycares have been smaller this wave, suggesting they are being closely monitored.

Less than one per cent of children who have been infected by COVID-19 have developed serious illness, Tam said.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Alberta judge convicts man of assault for coughing on server in Calgary bar

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