Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said COVID-19 is still out there and it will be with us for the foreseeable future.

In the Federal Cabinet’s daily update on Friday, Dr. Theresa Tam said as local authorities continue to slowly re-open recreational, social, and economic spaces, the safest way to go out is to, “go out smart.” Tam said that means not dropping the vital layers of protection that Canadians used to plank the curve. It means, keeping a physical distance from others wherever and whenever possible and avoiding touching common surfaces as well as cleaning frequently. She said depending on COVID-19 activity in your area, it may be recommended to use non-medical masks or facial coverings as an added layer of protection when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance.

Echoing her words, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland reminded Canadians that even with the long weekend ahead of us, everyone needs to continue practicing physical distancing.

“Let’s be very careful not to squander Canadians’ hard-won gains,” said Freeland.

As the end date for the extension of the United States and Canada border closure to non-essential travel approaches on May 21st, Freeland said active discussions are ongoing regarding possibly extending it longer. Freeland noted that both governments agree the current restrictions are working very well.

Meanwhile, this week another 2.4-million Canadians applied to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The Canada Revenue Agency, along with Service Canada, reports a total of 13.76-million CERB applications have been processed since the program started. Out of the announced $151.7-billion for the support, $35.88-billion has been sent to Canadians in CERB payments.

Following the extension of the Wage Subsidy announced by the Prime Minister Friday morning, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the program is now available for journalism and athletic associations, and non-public colleges and schools such as driving schools and art schools.

Furthermore, Dr. Tam was asked about U.S. studies published on the link between obesity and severe COVID-19 outcomes. She answered that obesity is one of the conditions for which Health Canada is aiming to collect more information through clinical trials currently still in the planning stage.