The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the United States appears to have backed off on its plan to send soldiers to the Canada-U.S. border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the United States appears to have backed off on its plan to send soldiers to the Canada-U.S. border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canadians must still wait weeks to see if COVID-19 rules can be loosened: Trudeau

Re-opening too soon would mean all sacrifices being made now could be for nothing

Canadians will have to wait weeks before social distancing rules and other COVID-19 restrictions begin to be loosened, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during his daily update from the steps of Rideau Cottage on Wednesday (April 15).

Trudeau said Canada needs to get through the first COVID-19 wave before the government considers reopening the country and its economy.

“One size fits all will not work,” he said. “It will be weeks more before we can seriously consider loosening the requirements.”

Opening it too early, the prime minister said, would be “terrible” if it plunges Canada back into new cases and deaths due to the novel coronavirus. “Massive, rapid testing… and very aggressive contact tracing” will be essential as people head back to work.

“Until there is a vaccine, we are going to have to remain extremely vigilant as a world as a country for resurgences,” Trudeau said.

At a later press conference, Dr. Theresa Tam said current measures to contain the pandemic appear to be working but that the country still has a long way to go.

“The epidemic growth rate has slowed but the main message for all Canadians is not to let go. You’re doing a great job, let’s continue this until we get to the bottom of the hill,” she said. Near the end of March, Tam said, COVID-19 cases were doubling every three days, while now that has slowed to more than every 10 days.

She said officials were “cautiously optimistic,” but warned it was not a sprint to the finish line.

“It will be a marathon and there are no rewards for stopping early.”

Tam said the rate of healthcare workers who have tested positive for the virus ranges from seven to 11 per cent.

As of Wednesday morning, Canada had 27,557 cases and 954 deaths due to COVID-19. More than 462,000 people have been tested and six per cent have been positive for the virus.

READ MORE: Trudeau announces pay top-up for essential workers, expands emergency benefit


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP stock photo. (Black Press)
Missing Maple Ridge teen safely located

14-year-old girl went missing on Thursday evening

Kai Chand and his four-legged companion, Rosie, walk through the mall with Kai’s mother, Tara. (Special to The News)
Invaluable canine companion motivates teen to give back

Maple Ridge’s Kai and Rosie recently took part in a challenge to raise money for service dogs

If you have a letter you’d like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at <a href="mailto:editor@mapleridgenews.com"><strong>editor@mapleridgenews.com</strong></a>. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
LETTER: Shame on local businesses not enforcing mask wearing

Maybe a list should be published saying where not to do business because it’s unsafe

If you have a letter you’d like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at <a href="mailto:editor@mapleridgenews.com"><strong>editor@mapleridgenews.com</strong></a>. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
LETTER: There’s good reason for councillor’s actions

Councillor Kiersten Duncan has given much to this community, and deserves some understanding

The City of Maple Ridge is developing a concept plan for the new park area at 241A St. and 112 Ave. (City of Maple Ridge mock-up screenshot/ mapleridge.ca)
City of Maple Ridge hears back from public on new park

The Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation & Culture department engaged with the community… Continue reading

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Reverend Patrick John (PJ) O’Maoil Mheana, ordained as Father Luke, has been named the new rector for the Church of the Holy Trinity in White Rock. (Contributed photo)
From chaos to love, White Rock’s newest priest to spread message of hope

Rev. Patrick John O’Maoil Mheana to start work at Church of the Holy Trinity Nov. 30

Most Read