Tracking the coronavirus

Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data.

While the numbers can tell you a lot about the coronavirus, the case numbers only tell part of the story.

Areas that test a high number of people will ultimately detect more cases than those that are not doing as much testing. There may also be surges in the number of cases when there are a high number of tests done in a short time frame.

The same is true for Canada's provinces and territories. Different rates in testing and changes in how regions are recording results can result in higher numbers for some regions over others.

Canada
Total confirmed cases
Global
Total confirmed cases

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Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada by region

Province/Territory Cases Deaths

Daily new cases

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CANADA
AB
BC
MB
NB
NL
NS
ON
PE
QC
SK
NT
NU
YT

Daily numbers give a sense of whether the number of new infections is growing and how quickly. When experts talk about using physical distancing to "flatten the curve" and keep the strain on the health-care system manageable, this is the curve they’re talking about.

However, there are a few days between each of the following: infection, the onset of symptoms, testing, and test results, meaning that the numbers typically reflect new infections a couple of weeks earlier.

A sudden jump in numbers may reflect a change in who’s allowed to be tested, how many people are tested, and how they’re reported. For example, in Quebec, the government started reporting cases after one positive test instead of requiring further verification, resulting in a big jump in cases on March 23.

Daily deaths

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CANADA
AB
BC
MB
NB
NL
NS
ON
PE
QC
SK
NT
NU
YT

Cumulative cases

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CANADA
AB
BC
MB
NB
NL
NS
ON
PE
QC
SK
NT
NU
YT

Cumulative numbers show the total number of people that have tested positive for COVID-19 and give a sense of how far the epidemic has progressed. The chart excludes people who are infected but have not been tested (many provinces don’t allow all people with symptoms to be tested, and some infected people are asymptomatic) and those who are still awaiting test results, which can take days. That means the actual number of infections may be much larger.

The chart does include people who have recovered and are no longer infected. Here, too, sudden changes may reflect a change in the amount of testing or reporting rather than a change in the actual number of cases.

Cumulative deaths

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CANADA
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BC
MB
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QC
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NU
YT

Because the number of reported cases depends on how much testing is done and how targeted or widespread it is, epidemiologists consider deaths to be a better gauge of the actual number of infections and the progress of the epidemic. While it takes a couple of weeks for an infected person to be reported as a positive case, death occurs, on average, more than three weeks after a person has been infected.

That means while deaths represent information that may be more accurate and precise, the figures are also more out of date than reported cases.

Regional testing rates

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Type of regional COVID testing data

The number of nasal swab tests conducted in a province determines the number of novel coronavirus infections that can be detected. Per capita testing takes into account the population. It gives an idea of the relative proportion of cases in the province being detected: low per capita testing may mean a higher number of undetected cases.

However, provinces have different criteria for who can get tested. More targeted criteria may detect a greater number of cases with fewer tests.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide

Country Cases Deaths