Canada could see 60K daily COVID-19 cases by year-end, modelling predicts

COVID-19: Oxford vaccine produces strong immune response in older adults, early results show

Trudeau will address Canadians Friday about the worsening situation at 11 a.m. ET from outside Rideau Cottage, returning to the doorstop press conferences that characterized the early days of the pandemic.

CBC reported Thursday that COVID-19 could reach 60,000 cases a day by the end of December if Canadians increase their current level of contact with other people, according to modelling charts prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada and seen by CBC News.

The prime minister acknowledged the growing fatigue Canadians face as the pandemic drags on, but says actions now could determine the country's fate for generations to come.

"Going into lockdown and supporting a better way of ensuring their success in a few months, in a few years, than trying to tough (it out) through a virus that is running around unchecked".

The severity of the second wave of COVID-19 is becoming clearer from Canada's Chief Public Health officer.

"So we need to do everything we can, right now, to slow the spread of COVID-19", he told reporters, stressing the need to curb personal contacts as much as possible. Even if current restrictions on gatherings are maintained, new daily cases will jump to over 20,000 by Dec 31.

"Absolutely do not go above what we have now (in terms of daily cases) otherwise we are really in trouble", she said.

Tam said the worst case scenario, a spike to 60,000 daily cases, would occur if people became more sociable.

Some hospitals have postponed important medical procedures, said Tam, and some intensive care units are near or at capacity.

There are about 52,000 active cases in Canada, with a cumulative tally of more than 315,000 cases.