The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Friday, May 21, 2021

·8 min read

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

6:15 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 420 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths for a total of 1,667 fatalities since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations are gradually falling with 319 people in hospital and of those, 107 are in intensive care.

More than 2.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered.

Health officials warned people to stay local this long holiday weekend, saying details of the restart plan will be announced Tuesday.

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5:50 p.m.

Alberta health officials are reporting 732 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.

The province says 266 of those new cases have been identified as the more contagious variants of concern.

They say 638 people across the province are in hospital because of the virus and, of those, 177 are in intensive care.

The province says there are 16,577 active cases and 4,264 of those involve variants of concern.

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5:45 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he spoke with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister to discuss the third wave and rising number of COVID-19 cases.

A readout of the prime minister's conversation says Trudeau confirmed receiving Manitoba’s request for additional federal assistance, and committed to working with the province to provide additional supports to keep people safe.

The readout says the two leaders also discussed how both governments can continue working co-operatively to quickly deliver safe and effective vaccines to Manitoba residents.

It says Trudeau and Pallister agreed to keep working together and noted that a continued close partnership will help to manage the impacts of the third wave in the province, and to move forward on a path to economic recovery.

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4:15 p.m.

Canada's plans to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will remain on hold until an American investigation into the facility manufacturing those doses is completed.

Health Canada has quarantined 300,000 doses of the vaccine that were delivered in late April, pending a review to determine they aren't tainted.

They were partly made at a Maryland production facility owned by Emergent BioSolutions, which has been cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for numerous safety violations.

The plant had to toss 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine after workers mixed up the formula for it with the one for Oxford-AstraZeneca, which was also being made there.

The U.S. is sitting on more than 100 million doses of J&J's vaccine pending further inquiries into the plant's processes.

Bill Matthews, the deputy minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, says Canada isn't going to receive any more doses from J&J until after the U.S. investigations are complete.

Canada pre-purchased 10 million doses of J&J's vaccine, which is the only single-dose vaccine currently authorized for use against COVID-19.

In the U.S. it has been potentially linked to the same vaccine-induced blood-clotting disorder that is causing concerns for AstraZeneca.

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3:35 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 173 new cases of COVID-19 today, and two new deaths due to the virus.

One of the people who died was in their 70s from the far northeast zone, and one was in the over-80 age group in the northwest zone.

The Saskatoon zone has the highest number of active cases – 523 – of any region in the province.

The province also reported 132 people in the hospital, 25 of whom are in intensive care.

The province says over 60 per cent of all Saskatchewan adults have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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3:15 p.m.

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

Health officials say the case involves a person in their 20s who had recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

Prince Edward Island has 15 active reported cases of COVID-19.

The Island has reported a total of 200 infections and no deaths linked to the virus.

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1:50 p.m.

There were three more deaths and 594 new cases of COVID-19 as Manitoba continues to grapple with surging infections and hospitalizations.

The five-day test positivity rate is 14.1 per cent provincially and 16.1 per cent in Winnipeg.

Health officials say the increase in hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care has meant five COVID-19 patients were transferred to hospitals in Ontario this week.

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1:20 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting two more COVID-19-related deaths and 84 new virus cases today.

Health officials say two men in their 70s have died in hospital in the Halifax area.

They have identified 66 new cases in the Halifax area, 11 in the province's eastern zone, six in the northern zone and one in the western region.

The province has 1,028 active cases of COVID-19, with 84 people in hospital, including 21 in intensive care.

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1:20 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting a second death related to a rare blood-clotting event from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says a person in their 50s received a first dose on April 11 and developed blood clot symptoms 17 days later before recently dying.

Health officials are reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19 today.

New Brunswick has 127 active reported COVID-19 cases and seven people in hospital with the disease, including three in intensive care.

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12:53 p.m.

Nunavut's top doctor says it's safe to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Baffin region communities, except for Iqaluit and Kinngait where there are active cases.

The territory reported 45 active cases Friday, with 44 in Iqaluit and one in Kinngait.

The capital city is still under a strict lockdown heading into the long weekend.

Starting Monday, all other communities can reopen schools and gather indoors with up to 15 people.

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12:30 p.m.

Manitoba is asking the federal government for dozens of health care workers to help fight COVID-19.

Premier Brian Pallister says he has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for up to 50 critical care nurses and 20 respiratory therapists.

He is also seeking up to 50 contact tracers from Statistics Canada.

Manitoba is seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases and people in intensive care during the third wave of the pandemic.

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12 p.m.

Canada's deputy chief medical officer says the country's COVID-19 vaccination efforts have doubled in five weeks.

Nearly 20 million doses have been administered to date.

Dr. Howard Njoo says daily COVID-19 cases have declined by 25 per cent over the last week.

Hospitalizations, deaths and critical-care admissions are also dropping.

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11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 752 new COVID-19 cases today and nine more deaths from the virus, but none in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 23 to 437 people, and 106 people were in intensive care.

The province says 107,261 COVID-19 vaccines doses were administered in the past 24 hours, for a total of more than 4.7 million.

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10:51 a.m.

Transport Canada is extending the ban on incoming flights from India and Pakistan for another month.

The flight ban that began April 22 was set to expire on Saturday.

A notice posted on the Nav Canada website says the extension is ordered by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

It says the ministry believes barring flights from those two countries for another month is necessary to protect the public.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario says a record-high number of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given out in a single day.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says more than 158,000 shots were administered since Thursday's report.

More than 7.7 million doses have been administered in Ontario overall.

The province is reporting 1,890 new COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths from the virus today.

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10:28 a.m.

All Indigenous people in Manitoba can book a second COVID-19 vaccine shot on May 24.

The public health lead for First Nations says First Nations people have made up 40 to 60 per cent of intensive care admissions during the second and third waves of the pandemic.

Dr. Marcia Anderson says more work must be done to get more Indigenous people booked for their first doses, too.

She says 67 per cent of people on reserves have received at least one dose, but only 30 per cent of those living off reserve have received shots.

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10:23 a.m.

Ontario is resuming use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, but only as a second dose.

The province's top doctor says risks posed by the vaccine are low.

Several provinces have stopped using the vaccine that's been associated with rare but serious blood clots.

Ontario says new data indicate the benefits far outweigh the risk on second doses.

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8 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada supports the Rome Declaration to fight COVID-19 globally.

Trudeau made the remarks this morning at the Global Health Summit, co-hosted by the European Union and Italy.

The declaration is a series of commitments to ensure access to vaccines, expand drug-manufacturing capacity and invest in health systems.

Trudeau noted that Canada has already contributed $1.3 billion to the World Health Organization's access to COVID-19 tools accelerator.

The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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