PHAC to hold next in-person COVID-19 briefing on Sept. 3, before election date


The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is set to hold its first in-person briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic since the federal election was called on Aug. 15, according to statements from the agency and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

News of the upcoming in-person briefing — slated for Friday, Sept. 3 — comes days after sources told Global News on Wednesday that the agency doesn’t plan to hold any more in-person health updates until at least the election was over.

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In her weekly statement sent on Friday, Tam said that she would be personally providing an update of the latest COVID-19 epidemiological modelling at a briefing the following week.

Shortly before the election was called, PHAC had turned to churning out news releases once a week instead of their usual live briefings. Sources told Global News then that there was a possibility that the agency’s position on the briefings could change.

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When previously asked about the next in-person update, PHAC told Global News that the agency would continue “to closely monitor COVID-19 activity in Canada,” and that it would including an update on the pandemic’s modelling in Tam’s “written statement on September 3, 2021.”

Experts told Global news earlier this week that the decision to not hold any in-person updates left them concerned and disappointed over the politics of the decision.

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“Daily in-person updates are really important,” said Jessica Mudry, chair of Ryerson University’s School of Professional Communication.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada shouldn’t be talking about politics. They should be talking about public health.”

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More to come…

— With files from Twinkle Ghosh

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.