New modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic from the Public Health Agency of Canada says the country is still on a “rapid growth trajectory” as cases of the illness increase.

CTVNews – Canada could hit 577,000 COVID-19 cases by Christmas: modelling

New federal forecasts say all large provinces need to strengthen their COVID-19 response “now,” with data suggesting the death toll could hit nearly 15,000 on Christmas Day.

Updated modelling indicates that Canada remains on a “rapid growth trajectory,” with daily cases expected to cross the 10,000 mark later this month.

The projections released today anticipate at least 90,000 more diagnoses by Christmas Day, and potentially as many as 135,000, to a total of 577,000 cases across the country.

The projections also indicate that the total number of deaths related to the outbreak could reach between 14,410 to 14,920 by Christmas Day.

The data says infections continue to climb in the six provinces west of the Atlantic region, with rates rising precipitously Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Canada’s chief public health officer says the national positivity rate is 6.5 per cent, with 49 of 99 health regions reporting more than 100 cases per 100,000 population.

Dr. Theresa Tam says there’s been a troubling rise in infections among older Canadians who face a higher risk of COVID-19 complications, with long-term care homes sees a growing number of outbreaks.

“We have yet to see the kind of sustained daily decline that would indicate we have the pandemic under control,” Tam said.