Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to deliver his daily address about the coronavirus pandemic to Canadians outside his Rideau Cottage home in Ottawa, one day after he boosted support for small and medium-sized businesses in Canada.
The federal government announced more help for business owners Friday in an effort to prevent further layoffs resulting from the effects of COVID-19, including a 75 per cent wage subsidy and guaranteed interest-free loans.
The prime minister’s remarks come after his own 14-day period of self-isolation concluded this week, though Trudeau said that, on the advice of medical professionals, he plans to continue working from home.
“The doctors continue to tell me to stay, to tell us to stay in self-isolation. But at the same time, we’re asking Canadians to work from home, wherever possible,” Trudeau said Friday. “We’re asking people to stay self-isolated as much as possible, to not go out if not necessary. And I am happy to continue to do this.”
His wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, received a positive COVID-19 test result earlier this month following a visit to London, England.
The prime minister’s message to Canadians marks his 13th consecutive address to the country.
Caseload grows across the country
The number of cases in Canada grew to 4,757 on Friday, though there is some evidence that Canadians staying at home and practising safe distancing is working to contain the spread.
British Columbia’s health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said yesterday that according to modelling in the province, physical distancing restrictions are starting to slow the spread of new COVID-19 cases.
“I’m trying not to over-call it, but I do believe we’ve seen a flattening, a falling-off of that curve,” Henry said.
As of Friday, Quebec had the highest caseload in the country at just over 2,000 cases — more than double Ontario’s 993 cases.
Nunavut remains the only region in the country without a reported case of COVID-19.