ST. CATHARINES, Ontario (WIVB) – Daily coronavirus cases increased by about 200% in the month following Canadian Thanksgiving in the Niagara Region of Ontario, according to data released by the region’s public health authorities.
Across the border, the holiday was celebrated on October 12th. On that day, there were about 10 new daily COVID-19 cases in the region on a 7-day rolling average. By early November, there were roughly 30 new daily cases.
“There were definitely some groups of people we found and traced back to gatherings they had over the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, the Acting Medical Officer of Health in the Niagara Region. “There’s some people who maybe didn’t have a large gathering. But nonetheless that meant infection spread to that small group of people.”
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving in the United States, which is Thursday, public officials have been urging people not to get together for celebrations. Instead, they are being urged to celebrate with only their immediate household.
“We don’t want to see the same here,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said of the Canadian numbers. “We want people to take it seriously. Just have Thanksgiving with your immediate family and no one else.”
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.