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Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada - Statistics & Facts

The world is currently experiencing a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease, which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has now been confirmed in over 210 countries and territories with almost 116 million total cases worldwide as of March 4, 2021. Although Canada reported its first case of COVID-19 related to travel in Wuhan in late January 2020, it was not until the first week of March that cases in Canada began to rapidly rise. In the first couple weeks of March, Canada, much like the United States and many European countries, began announcing increasingly strict measures to combat the pandemic, including banning all foreign nationals from entering the country, advising travelers to self-isolate for 14 days, and closing schools and entertainment venues.

Cases and deaths

As of March 4, 2021, there had been almost 25 million people in Canada tested for COVID-19, with 875,559 confirmed cases. People aged 50 to 59 years have accounted for around 13.4 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Canada, with those aged 20 to 29 accounting for almost 19 percent. The disease has been confirmed in every Canadian province or territory, with Quebec and Ontario reporting the highest number of cases. Unsurprisingly, these are also the provinces that have reported the highest number of deaths from COVID-19. As of March 3, 2021, there had been a total of 22,105 deaths from the disease in Canada.

Public perceptions

Survey results show that, at the beginning of February, most Canadians were not very concerned about COVID-19 and did not perceive it as a threat to Canada. However, views have changed as the pandemic has developed. While only 5 percent of Canadians aged 35 to 54 years stated they were very concerned about personally becoming sick from COVID-19 in February, this number rose to 29 percent at the beginning of April, and was 21 percent as of the end of September. Furthermore, in March only 30 percent of Canadians believed it would take longer than 6 months for things to return 'back to normal', while 72 percent stated they believed it would take longer than six months when surveyed in June. The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions that have been put in place to stop the disease's spread have left many Canadians more stressed than before, with many believing the worst is yet to come.

The economic impact

Aside from the obvious fears of becoming sick or having a friend or loved one become sick, the economic impacts of the pandemic are an added stress for many Canadians. At the beginning of April, over a quarter of surveyed adults stated their personal financial situation was in bad shape or terrible shape, with around 28 percent of Canadians reporting they had lost work or been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of June. However, the Government of Canada has taken actions to help Canadians who have been financially hurt by the pandemic. For example, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is offering select individuals up to 2,000 dollars a month for up to four months. Those eligible for the benefit include, but are not limited to, workers who had to stop working due to COVID-19, workers who are sick or quarantined, and working parents who must stay home because of school closures. Many countries are now offering or considering such benefits as the global economic impact of the pandemic continues to develop. As in many other countries, the tourism industry in Canada has been one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic with 263,000 jobs forecasted to be lost in 2020 if the virus is contained and up to 450,000 lost if the virus is not contained. The pandemic has also caused significant changes in the retail landscape of Canada.
For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada

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