The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada on Feb. 17, 2021

·7 min read

The latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada (all times eastern):

6:45 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 427 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total recorded since the pandemic began to 74,710.

Health officials say three more people have died and the death toll now sits at 1,317.

To date, 176,015 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, 26,030 of which are second doses.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry say in a joint statement that chains of transmission are broken not just by individual efforts, but when everyone works together.

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6:20 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 277 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths due to the virus.

It says there are 370 people in hospital with COVID-19, and 60 of those are in intensive care.

Four additional cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom have also been detected in Alberta.

The total number of variant cases in the province is 225.

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3:50 p.m.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government is getting a good price for prospective COVID-19 vaccines from a Calgary-based company.

Pallister says his deal with Providence Therapeutics, announced last week, would see Manitoba pay $18 per dose.

Providence has only recently started clinical trials of its vaccine and is hoping for federal approval in the fall.

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3:20 p.m.

Nunavut is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

There are 21 active cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

The new case is in Arviat, a community of about 2,800 and the only place in Nunavut with active COVID cases.

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says all infected individuals are isolating and doing well.

To date, 6,645 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in Nunavut.

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2:45 p.m.

Health officials in Saskatchewan are reporting 124 new infections of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health says five more residents have died from virus-related complications.

There are 178 people in hospital, with 23 people in intensive care.

The province says the seven-day average of new daily cases sits at 160.

To date, around 50,300 vaccine doses have been administered.

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2:35 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 and has a total of 14 active infections.

Health officials say all three of the new cases were identified in the Halifax area.

One case is related to travel to New Brunswick and the other two are under investigation.

As of Tuesday, the province has administered 24,049 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 8,830 people having received their second dose as required.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 75 additional COVID-19 cases and one death.

The province is also reporting that 27 tickets were issued last week to people accused of breaking public health orders.

More than half of the tickets were for not wearing a mask in an indoor public place.

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1:10 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador health officials are reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 presumptive positive cases.

Officials say 42 of the confirmed cases and all of the presumptive cases are in the eastern region of the province, which includes the St. John's metro area.

The entire province is under lockdown measures as public health officials battle an outbreak in the capital region that first appeared early last week.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says there are 338 reported active cases in the province, and thousands of people are coming forward for testing.

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1:05 p.m.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the new National Advisory Committee on Immunization guidance reaffirms the standard set for provinces to prioritize Indigenous Peoples in their vaccination programs.

Miller says his department is working with Indigenous leaders and provincial and territorial health authorities to prepare mass immunization programs in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

He says vaccination has started in 400 Indigenous communities, with more than 83,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered as of yesterday.

Miller says vaccines have been injected into the arms of approximately 25 per cent of the adult population in First Nations, Inuit and territorial communities, a rate six times higher than that of the general population in Canada.

The new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization prioritize racialized adults from groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic ahead of some older, non-racialized people.

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1 p.m.

The Northwest Territories is reporting six new cases of COVID-19.

Five of the cases are at the Gahcho Kué Mine, 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

One new case is in Yellowknife, related to out-of-territory travel from Edmonton.

According to chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola, the infected individual flew into the territory on Feb. 12.

Kandola says all passengers in rows three through nine on Canadian North Flight 238 on Feb. 12 may have been exposed to infection.

Public health will contact all potentially affected passengers.

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12:20 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

Health official say one case is located in the Saint John region and two are in the Edmundston region.

The province says it has 118 active reported cases and six patients in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.

New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,407 infections and 24 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

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11:50 a.m.

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.

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11:15 a.m.

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.

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11:15 a.m.

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.

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10:30 a.m.

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.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press