Canada's COVID-19 cases: Quebec reports 698 infections; Manitoba sees its second largest spike

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Ontario and Quebec continued their worrisome COVID-19 case trends, but this time there was a particular impact in hospitals.

Both provinces are seeing their highest amount of hospitalizations and ICU virus patients in months. In addition, the 698 cases that were reported by Quebec is the most in a 24-hour stretch since May 21.

In Manitoba, 65 new cases were announced. It’s the second largest spike throughout the pandemic for the province, which now has a record-high 545 active cases.

For more on Saturday’s top stories, and on how the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, please refer to our live updates below on Yahoo News Canada.

12,081 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 151,671 diagnoses, 9,262 deaths and 130,328 recoveries (as of Sept. 26, 4:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta - 1,497 active cases (17,343 total cases, including 261 deaths, 15,585 resolved)

  • British Columbia - 1,349 active cases (8,641 total cases, 230 deaths, 7,036 resolved)

  • Manitoba - 545 active cases (1,829 total cases, 19 deaths, 1,265 resolved)

  • New Brunswick - 7 active cases (200 cases, 2 deaths, 191 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador - 1 active case (272 total cases, 3 deaths, 268 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories - 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia - 1 active cases (1,087 total cases, 65 deaths 1,021 resolved)

  • Ontario - 3,996 active cases (49,340 total cases, 2,837 deaths, 42,507 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island - 1 active case (58 total cases, 57 resolved)

  • Quebec - 4,524 active cases (71,005 total cases, 5,821 deaths, 60,660 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan - 134 active cases (1,863 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,705 resolved)

  • Yukon - 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut - 0 active cases (4 false positive cases)

  • CFB Trenton - 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Manitoba reports its second ever largest increase in infections, most ever active cases

Health officials in Manitoba have announced 65 new cases of COVID-19, the second most in a 24-hour stretch since the start of the pandemic.

Throughout the province, there are now a record-high 545 active cases. It’s the first time that Manitoba has surpassed the 500-mark.

Of the recent group of 65 cases, 56 are in Winnipeg and three each in the Prairie Mountain, Interlake-Eastern and Southern health regions.

Officials did not hold a press conference on Saturday to discuss the spike in cases, but the province has seen a concerning rise over the past few weeks, particularly in the Winnipeg area. Of the province’s 545 active cases, Winnipeg is home to 456 of them.

Earlier this week, Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said the province is seeing a concerning trend, in which half of its recent cases in Winnipeg are linked to bars, pubs and restaurants. In some cases, people have been visiting more than one venue in a night while symptomatic.

“We know that we should be decreasing our time in enclosed spaces, crowded places and reducing prolonged contact,” said Roussin on Wednesday. “We certainly shouldn't be out and about when we’re symptomatic.”

Health officials have moved the Winnipeg metropolitan region to “Orange,” the second highest level under its pandemic response system. Starting Monday, masks will be mandatory in the region’s indoor public spaces, while all gatherings will be limited to 10 people.

In August, Prairie Mountain Health region was placed in Orange, when it was the epicentre of the province. Throughout that stretch, a record-high 96 new cases were identified in Manitoba on Aug. 23. Prairie Mountain Health has since gone back to “Yellow” as the virus has been controlled in the region. The province was able to bring down its curb, until a spike in cases in Winnipeg over the last few weeks.

What makes the situation different is that Prairie Mountain Health had a few main outbreaks that were leading the rise in cases. In Winnipeg, health officials don’t have the same benefit, with the virus spreading throughout the community in various settings.

As part of Saturday’s press release, health officials have declared an outbreak at the Heritage Lodge Personal Care Home in Winnipeg. Possible exposure warnings have also been listed for four schools, two of them in the capital.

The province’s largest school outbreak is also in its largest city, with there being 28 cases linked to John Pritchard School as of Friday. According to Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun, there have been at least19 schools in the province with a COVID-19 case, with 15 of them in Winnipeg.

Quebec reports its largest spike in cases since May, hospitalizations on the rise

A paramedic wipes down the door of an ambulance outside a hospital in Montreal (Credit: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
A paramedic wipes down the door of an ambulance outside a hospital in Montreal (Credit: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Quebec reported 698 new cases on Saturday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since May 21.

It’s now the eighth straight day that the province has recorded at least 400 cases. Before the recent stretch, it had not hit that mark since May 31. Since then it has enjoyed multiple stretches where it consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19 within the province.

No one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but seven more fatalities that occurred between Sept. 19-24 were added to its death toll of 5,821. The province also noted that 404 more patients have recovered, so there are now 4,524 currently infected patients in Quebec.

Eighteen more people are in hospital since Friday for a total of 217, which is the most there has been in the province since July 24. That includes 45 patients in intensive care, the most since June 27.

Of the most recent 698 cases in Quebec, 272 were identified in Montreal, 106 in Quebec City, 99 in Montérégie, 50 in Laval, 45 in Chaudière-Appalaches, 31 in Laurentides and 21 in Outaouais. Of the 18 regions, seven of them reported fewer than 10 cases, while three reported no new patients at all.

At the moment, Montreal, Laval and Outaouais are in the Orange stage (the second highest) on the province’s colour-coded scale, which indicates the severity of the virus within its region. Certain sub regions in Quebec City are also in Orange, while the majority of the province is among the two lowest: Yellow and Green.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 30,437 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity.

No update was provided Saturday morning for the situation in schools, but as of the last report there are 632 currently infected students and 90 staff in the province. So far, at least 427 class bubbles have been sent home and asked to learn remotely. Of the province’s 3,089 schools, 489 of them have had a case of COVID-19, so far.

On Saturday, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced that the Quebec school system will receive $85 million to help adjust to the pandemic. The amount has already drawn criticism from a teacher’s union, who says the funding will only provide each school with $8.000.

With another spike, Ontario sees concerning trend for active cases, hospitalizations

Ontario announced 435 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, as its worrisome stretch continues.

It’s now the seventh time over the past nine days that it has surpassed the 400 daily cases mark. Before the recent stretch, Ontario had not recorded more than 400 cases in a 24-hour stretch since June 2.

No new deaths were announced by the Ministry of Health, instead 338 more patients have recovered. Throughout the province, there are now 3,996 active cases of COVID-19, the most since May 29.

Of the 435 new cases, 131 were identified in Toronto, 110 in Peel, 45 in Ottawa, 43 in York, 14 in Hamilton and 12 in Halton. The remaining 28 public health units reported 10 or fewer cases, with eight reporting no new patients at all.

The province also announced that there are 13 more people in hospital since Friday’s update. The 100 total patients now in hospitals across Ontario is the most since July 24. Among those patients, 28 are in intensive care (the most since Aug. 8) and 15 who require a ventilator (the most since Aug. 5).

There are 212 new infections among those 20-39 years old, the most of any age group. There are also 98 cases among those 40-59, and 66 among those 19 and under. Two new cases were identified among long-term care residents.

The latest cases were identified after a record-high 43,238 tests for COVID-19. The one per cent positivity rate is among one of its highest since June.

No update was provided on the situation within schools around the province. As of Friday’s update, there have been 238 total cases throughout 198 schools in Ontario.

On Saturday, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Cobblestone Elementary School in Paris, Ont. Officials part of Brant County Public Health believe that the school’s two cases among students are linked to one another, meaning that transmission occurred within the school.

Updates from the rest of Canada

In Yukon, one non-resident has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized, according to Dr. Brendan Hanley, the territory’s chief medical officer. It marks the first time someone has been hospitalized in Yukon in relation to the virus. The individual is a Canadian resident, but Hanley would not disclose which jurisdiction they’re from. Since they are not a Yukon resident, the case won’t be counted toward its tally. It is believed that the patient contracted the virus outside of the territory, while risk of further spread is considered low.

At the moment, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have no active cases among their permanent residents.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador or New Brunswick, as those provinces continue to have one, one, and seven active cases, respectively. As of Prince Edward Island’s last update on Wednesday, there also remains one active case in the jurisdiction.

Saskatchewan reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 throughout the Saskatoon (15), Central East (two) and Regina (two) zones. Of the cases today in Saskatoon, 13 are linked to known patients or events. Five more people have recovered, which leaves 134 active cases throughout the province. Eighty-three of those currently infected patients are in Saskatchewan’s epicentre, Saskatoon. The latest patients were identified after labs completed a record-high 2,984 tests.

Timelines of cases prior to today: