Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

An international map and data are available.

Globally, efforts have focused on taking measures to contain the outbreak and prevent further spread.

An official global travel advisory and pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice are in effect: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

Risk to Canadians
COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk varies between and within communities, but given the number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.

We continue to reassess the public health risk based on the best available evidence as the situation evolves.

For more information, refer to our risk section.

How Canada is monitoring COVID-19
The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with provinces, territories and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation. Global efforts are focused on containment of the outbreak and the prevention of further spread.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is in close contact with provincial and territorial Chief Medical Officers of Health to ensure that any cases of COVID-19 occurring in Canada continue to be rapidly identified and managed in order to protect the health of Canadians.

Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory is performing diagnostic testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. The laboratory is working in close collaboration with provincial and territorial public health laboratories, which are now able to test for COVID-19.

For more information, visit the COVID-19 daily epidemiology update.

COVID-19 variants
Genetic variations of viruses, such as the one that causes COVID-19, are common and expected.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will naturally develop mutations, which are changes to the genetic material in the virus over time.

When there have been several significant mutations to the virus then it’s called a variant. A variant is of concern when it affects:

disease spread
disease severity
tests used to detect the virus
vaccines and treatments
Monitoring the variants
The Public Health Agency of Canada works with the provinces and territories, and other partners to monitor and identify variants of concern in Canada.

Monitoring for genetic changes in the virus allows us to better understand the potential impact of the mutations. Overall, variants of concern represent the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases across the country.

Current variants of concern in Canada include:

B.1.1.7 (Alpha)
B.1.351 (Beta)
P.1 (Gamma)
B.1.617.2 (Delta)
Evidence demonstrates that the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants are at least 50% easier to spread. As well, the P.1 (Gamma), B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants each have certain mutations that may have an impact on vaccine effectiveness. However, the evidence is still limited.

Variants of concern reported publicly in Canada

About the new variants
These new variants of concern include mutations that seem to make the virus more infectious, allowing it to spread more easily. They may also affect the severity of the disease.

At this time, there’s evidence that some variants may have an impact on certain drugs and vaccines. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

The variants don’t currently affect diagnosis through authorized laboratory tests.

Given the limited data on the new variants, more research is needed to confirm these early findings. The Canadian and global medical, public health and research communities are actively evaluating these variants and other significant mutations.

Travel restrictions
We’ve put in place additional emergency measures to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Restrictions may change with little notice as the situation evolves. Refer to the latest travel restrictions in Canada.

For Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports click –>

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