The latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada (all times eastern):
Manitoba is planning to open two large vaccination super sites in the first week of March.
One is in the Winkler area and the other is in Selkirk.
That will mean one such site in each of the province's five health regions.
Manitoba health officials say they will also be using doctors' offices and pharmacists to distribute vaccines once supplies ramp up in the spring.
New COVID-19 modelling in Quebec suggests a more contagious mutation of the novel coronavirus could be the dominant strain circulating in Montreal by March.
But researchers say the spread of variants depends on how many cases are imported and how strongly people adhere to health orders.
The researchers based their modelling on a variant that is between 1.2 and 1.8 times more contagious than the current strain, corresponding roughly to the U.K. variant B.1.1.7.
Marc Brisson of Universite Laval says Quebec’s choice to relax health orders on Feb. 8 could result in a sharp rise in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths if a variant takes hold.
But he says that could be mitigated if people strictly follow rules around limiting contacts, mask-wearing and physical distancing.
Quebec health officials say there weren't any COVID-19-related deaths reported across the province in the past 24 hours.
They are reporting 14 new deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus that they say occurred at earlier dates, mostly between Feb. 10 and Feb. 15.
Officials are also reporting 800 new COVID-19 cases, but a drop of five patients in hospital, for a total of 766.
They say there were 130 people in intensive care, a drop of four.
The province says it administered 1,714 doses of vaccine on Tuesday, for a total of 299,673.
Ontario is reporting 847 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 10 more deaths related to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 257 of those new cases are in Toronto, 170 are in Peel Region, and 131 are in York Region.
Ontario reports that nearly 1,500 cases of the novel coronavirus have been resolved since Tuesday's update.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2021
The Canadian Press