In the Cabinet Committee’s daily update Monday (May 25), Dr. Theresa Tam was asked how ready the country is for a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Tam says the second wave could be worse than the first which warrants extreme caution.

She says with the collective efforts of all Canadians, the nation successfully avoided overwhelming its health system when coping with the first wave. Tam notes even with no reports of shortages in intensive care units or ventilator capacities, provinces are continuing to ramp up supplies of ventilators, personal protective equipment as well as other non-PPE supplies.

Tam says the key feature of the current pandemic is long-term care and seniors, highlighting the work that needs to be done in that area as some are still dealing with an active outbreak.

She says one of the main areas of improvement will be the capacities for infection prevention control in some of these higher-risk settings, including shelters and correctional facilities.

Health Canada’s latest reports show a total of 85,100 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, with the death toll exceeding 6,400 deaths.

More than 44,000 Canadians or 52% of the country’s cases have now recovered.