how long is social distancing going to last

Justin Trudeau says some level of social distancing in Canada will last until vaccine is ready

Many Canadian residents have been anxiously wondering how long social distancing and shutdown measures will be in place in Canada, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a less-than-hopeful answer today. 

Speaking outside Rideau Cottage Thursday morning, Trudeau said some level of social distancing will have to be in place until a vaccine is developed — which could take up to a year and a half. 

He said we could we could reach our peak of cases around the end of spring and the first wave could end in early summer, but that likely won't be the end of it.

"There will likely be smaller outbreaks for a number of months after that," he said. "This will be the new normal, until a vaccine is developed."

Still, Trudeau continued to emphasize that the end result depends on how we act now.

He said Canadians have the power to avoid thousands of deaths and reduce the number of cases by remaining disciplined over the next few months, including by staying home and washing our hands often. 

The PM also spoke about new federal modelling released by health officials today, which suggests that between 11,000 and 22,000 people could die from COVID-19 in Canada by the end of the pandemic. 

It also indicates that we could see between 934,000 and 1.88 million cases in the country, and this is not even close to the worst case scenario.

Without any measures at all in place, the modelling says up to 80 per cent of the population would become infected and more than 300,000 people would die. 

Trudeau acknowledged today that creating the best possible outcome in Canada won't be easy, but it is possible as long as residents do everything they can to stop from spreading the virus. 

"We have the chance to determine what our country looks like in the weeks and months to come. Our healthcare systems across the country are coping for the time being, but we’re at a fork in the road, between the best and the worst possible outcomes," he said.

"The best possible outcome is no easy path for any of us."

Lead photo by

Justin Trudeau

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