The latest on COVID-19 developments in Canada on Jan. 5, 2021

·9 min read

OTTAWA — The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):

7:45 p.m.

British Columbia has again extended its state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic nearly 10 months after it was first declared.

Premier John Horgan says in the statement there's hope with the provincial immunization program getting underway, but it's too early to ease restrictions in the pandemic that has claimed 954 lives in B.C.

A joint statement from Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday says there have been eight more deaths along with 428 new cases of COVID-19 across the province.

It says more than 28,000 people in B.C. have so far been vaccinated against the illness.

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5:55 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 843 new cases of COVID-19.

The province’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, says there have also been 26 additional deaths due to the virus.

One of those is of a continuing care home worker in the Edmonton area.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the woman is the second health-care worker to die of COVID-19 in the province.

There are currently 919 people in hospital with the virus, and 140 of them are in intensive care.

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5:50 p.m.

The Northwest Territories says 130 people have received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

The territory started vaccinating elders and front-line health-care workers on Dec. 31.

Chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola says the territory aims to vaccinate 75 per cent of the population 18 years and older by the end of March.

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4:40 p.m.

Manitoba health officials announced seven more deaths from COVID-19 and 130 new infections Tuesday.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, says fewer people went to get tested over the holiday season but that wasn’t unexpected.

The five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.7 per cent provincially.

Atwal says while the numbers of infections and hospitalizations are going down, people must continue to take precautions.

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4:20 p.m.

Manitoba’s vaccination super site immunized 850 people on its first day open Monday.

The province says a total of 4,292 people have received a vaccination since doses arrived in the province last month.

The province is targeting eligible health-care workers to receive the shots.

Manitoba also received its first shipment of 7,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which will largely be used to address priority First Nations populations.

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3:35 p.m.

New Brunswick is returning to a series of tighter restrictions on public and family gatherings after reporting 27 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day count since the pandemic began.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, says the common thread in the recent outbreak is citizens attending holiday gatherings and going back to work carrying the virus.

Russell says she fears the double-digit infection rates could continue as the fallout from New Year's Eve gatherings emerges, and she predicts the situation may worsen in the days ahead.

Premier Blaine Higgs said during today's briefing that citizens must reduce social gatherings and seek testing for even mild symptoms.

There are now 89 active cases in the province.

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3:10 p.m.

Saskatchewan has administered its first shots of Moderna's vaccine.

Health officials says the doses went to two residents in northern Saskatchewan — a nurse and her grandfather who lives in long-term care.

The man, Jimmy Favel, is the first long-term care resident in the province to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The province plans to roll out Moderna's shot in long-term care facilities and remote communities.

So far, it reports that around 4,200 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been given to health workers in Regina and Saskatoon.

Today, officials reported 153 new COVID-19 infections and say five more residents, all 80 and older, have died.

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3 p.m.

Nunavut's chief public health officer says first doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 are to be given tomorrow to residents at Iqaluit's elders home.

Dr. Michael Patterson says the shots will be rolled out through focused inoculations and community clinics.

The territory has received 6,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and expects a second shipment before the end of the month.

There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in the territory and 265 people have recovered.

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1:40 p.m.

Health authorities in Nova Scotia reported three new cases of COVID-19 today as they rolled out the province's immunization plan.

With 2,720 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered between Dec. 16 and Jan. 2, the province said it plans to make the vaccine available to 75 per cent of the eligible population by the end of September.

Over the next four months, the province plans to give the vaccine to health-care workers, long-term care residents and their caregivers, and all adults over the age of 75.

Nova Scotia is now dealing with 19 active cases of COVID-19.

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12:50 p.m.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the federal government will look at just about any measure to discourage people from travelling internationally.

But he says Canada doesn't want to join the short list of countries that require government approval for travel, with measures such as exit visas.

He says the federal government has been crystal clear since early last year that travelling abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic is a bad idea.

Starting Thursday, Canada is requiring incoming air travellers to present evidence of a recent negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to board a plane, though questions remain about how that will work in places where such tests aren't readily available.

LeBlanc says the government hasn't ruled out applying such a rule to non-essential travellers arriving at land borders.

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12:40 p.m.

Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Authorities say the case involves a man between 20 and 39 years old and his infection is related to international travel.

Officials say there are now 11 reported active COVID-19 infections in the province, with one person in hospital due to the virus.

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12:20 p.m.

With cases of COVID-19 soaring and more seriously ill patients in hospitals, Dr. Theresa Tam says Canadians have to stick together and follow public health orders and advice.

The federal government's chief public health officer says those instructions are only useful if they're followed.

More than 16,000 people have died of COVID-19 and the Public Health Agency of Canada says more than 77,000 people are actively sick with it.

Canadian authorities have detected nine cases of a variant of the virus that was first detected in the United Kingdom and seems to spread more easily.

The agency says no cases of a different variant, from South Africa, have yet been found in Canada.

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12:15 p.m.

Ontario plans to vaccinate all long-term care residents, workers and essential caregivers in COVID-19 hot spots by Jan. 21.

The province says those living and working in nursing homes in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and Windsor-Essex will be immunized by then.

The province also says it will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations in Ontario's Indigenous communities later this week.

The Ontario government has faced criticism for its vaccine rollout in recent weeks, with some saying the province isn't doling out doses fast enough.

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12 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's disappointed in two Liberal MPs who travelled to the United States recently.

He says fighting the COVID-19 pandemic depends on a sense that everyone is in it together and that people are sacrificing for the common good.

So when politicians travel against public health advice, it harms the joint effort.

One Liberal MP lost her position as a parliamentary secretary after going to a family memorial service in the U.S. and another is giving up his committee assignments after visiting a sick relative there.

Two Conservative MPs and a senator and an NDP MP have also travelled outside the country in the last month, and several provincial ministers have resigned over such trips.

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11:45 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's unhappy to see vaccines against COVID-19 sitting in freezers instead of being administered to patients.

He says he'll take it up with provincial premiers in a regular conference with them on Thursday.

COVID-19 does disproportionate harm to older people and those with other illnesses and Trudeau says it's urgent to give inoculations to as many of them as possible, as quickly as possible.

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11:30 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians who have travelled abroad should not expect to collect a benefit for people who have to isolate themselves.

He says the program is for workers who have to quarantine because they are sick or have had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Trudeau says the point was never to subsidize vacations and he's frustrated and angry that non-essential travellers might have claimed the benefit.

The government will revise the rules to make it clear they're not eligible but Trudeau hasn't said when that will be done.

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11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 2,508 new cases of COVID-19 today and 62 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by 23, to 1,317, and 194 people were in intensive care, a rise of six.

The province says 2,529 doses of vaccine were administered yesterday, for a total of 32,763.

Quebec has reported 215,358 cases of COVID-19 and 8,441 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

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11 a.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Health officials said today the new case involves a female below the age of 19 who had travelled outside the province.

The province has four active reported cases of COVID-19.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says that although some restrictions will be lifted on the Island tomorrow, the province will not re-enter the Atlantic bubble until at least Jan. 25.

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10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 3,128 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 51 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 778 new cases in Toronto, 614 in Peel Region, 213 in York Region, 172 in Durham, 151 in London-Middlesex and 151 in Hamilton.

The province says it has conducted 35,152 tests since the last daily report.

Ontario has administered 7,607 doses of vaccines since its last daily update, with 50,030 shots given in total.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2021

The Canadian Press