Colder weather and holidays bring new COVID-19 concerns

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Dr. Theresa Tam says the fall will bring new risks in the COVID-19 pandemic along with its colder weather and holidays that usually bring families together.

Canada's chief public health officer says Canadians need to consider their own risk factors and the details of the plans for any gathering before deciding to go mark an occasion in person with friends and family.

She says knowing the people you're with does not protect you from catching the virus that causes the respiratory illness.

Tam says government agencies, employers and individuals understand the virus better now, so the situation we're facing is different from the one in the spring when COVID-19 first spread.

But an average of 525 COVID-19 cases a day have been reported in Canada the past week, a noticeable uptick from earlier in the summer, and schools are reopening across the country.

Tam says downloading the government's COVID Alert app is one way to mitigate the risks of catching and spreading the illness unknowingly although it is currently only operational in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.