As Canadians make plans for Thanksgiving, the nation’s chief medical health officer says it’s now clear that certain events, such as large private gatherings, indoors or outdoors, result in a high number of COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Theresa Tam says even a single event of this nature can have far reaching effects, including taking a community off the slow burn track into an accelerated growth situation. Dr. Tam says these types of spreading events are “entirely preventable.” She says there is still reason to be optimistic that we can get things back to the slow burn because high transmission events can easily be stopped before they spread COVID-19 through the community. She says even if people are part of your extended family the risk of COVID-19 is not reduced in any way because of the difficulty knowing whether they are infected.

Dr. Tam says that with fall celebrations ahead, such as the Thanksgiving long weekend and Halloween, it’s “time to take stock of all that we have learned about how to live with COVID-19 and be grateful for how we have adapted and built up our resilience.”

In her Saturday update, Dr. Tam says an average of 1,175 cases were being reported daily across Canada over a seven-day period. There have been 150,456 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,255 deaths. The percentage of recovered cases is currently at 86 percent.

Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 98 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday afternoon, for a total of 8,641 cases in British Columbia. There are presently 1,349 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 3,533 people are under active public health monitoring following exposure to known cases. More than seven-thousand people in the province who tested positive have since recovered.

Dr. Henry says that now that the cooler weather is here, it’s the time “for all of us take a step back from connecting in person to staying connected in other, safer ways. She says stepping back from social interactions does not mean losing touch, instead reach out to friends near and far by connecting virtually.

This weekend, do your part by making safe choices, using our COVID-19 safety basics and doing all we can to keep our friends, family and communities safe.”