The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Thursday, April 29, 2021

·7 min read

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

7:40 p.m.

Alberta is targeting COVID-19 hot spots with tighter restrictions that include at-home learning for junior and senior high school students and a ban on indoor fitness and sports.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also says curfews will be considered if numbers go higher.

The restrictions apply to areas with more than 350 cases per 100,000 population and will be in place for a minimum of two weeks.

Those areas include the cities of Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Airdrie and the county of Strathcona.

There are 632 people in hospital with COVID-19, 151 of them receiving intensive care.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw reports another 2,048 cases and three more deaths.

The total number of active cases sits at 21,385, a number that is inching closer to a record set in mid-December.

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4:15 p.m.

B.C. is reporting 853 new cases of COVID-19 today.

There are 503 people in hospital, including 178 in intensive care, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says hospitals in hard-hit regions are feeling the strain.

One more person has died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 1,577.

More than 1.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far and Henry says B.C.’s vaccine supply is set to increase in the coming weeks.

Henry says details are expected early next week on how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be integrated into the province’s immunization program.

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3:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting another 205 cases of COVID-19 and one new death.

Officials say the person who died was in their 80s and lived in the northwest part of the province.

A total of 2,408 cases are considered active.

There are 186 people in hospital and 38 of those patients are in intensive care.

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2:05 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions each have two new cases, the Edmundston area has three new cases and the Bathurst region has one.

Officials say four people are hospitalized with the disease, including two in intensive care.

New Brunswick has 118 active reported infections.

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1:45 p.m.

The Manitoba government has added four more areas to its list of higher-risk COVID-19 zones where all adult residents can be vaccinated.

Anyone 18 or over who lives in the Brandon East End and Powerview-Pine Falls health districts, as well as the Inkster West and Fort Garry South neighbourhoods of Winnipeg, can now book a vaccine appointment.

Adults who don't live in those areas but who work there in certain public-facing jobs, such as teachers and grocery store employees, are also eligible.

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1:40 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 230 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths.

Two earlier cases have been removed due to data correction, for a net increase of 228.

The five-day test positivity rate is 7.2 per cent provincially and 8.3 per cent in Winnipeg.

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1:25 p.m.

The Manitoba government says teachers and other education workers will soon have a chance to get a COVID-19 vaccine by driving to the United States border.

Premier Brian Pallister says he is finalizing a deal with North Dakota to build on a recently announced vaccine program for truckers.

Pallister says the aim is to allow teachers to drive to the U.S. border, get a shot on the North Dakota side — where vaccines are plentiful — and drive back.

The premier says one location will be on the highway from Winnipeg and another one will hopefully be set up on the highway south of Brandon.

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1:15 p.m.

Quebec is opening vaccinations to the general public.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says Quebecers 50 to 59 years old can start booking appointments on Friday.

He says appointments will then open to people in descending age brackets every two days.

Dube says Quebecers 18 to 24, in the final age bracket, will be able to start booking appointments by May 14.

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1:10 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting two new cases of COVID-19.

Public health says one case is related to international travel, and the other is related to travel within Canada.

There are now 27 active reported COVID-19 infections across the province, and two people are in hospital due to the disease.

As of Thursday afternoon, 34 per cent of people in the province over 16 years old had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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1 p.m.

Ontario will send half its available COVID-19 vaccines to hot spots in the first two weeks of May to help fight the virus in those hard-hit regions.

That will be an increase from the current 25 per cent allocation for hot spots and follows a recommendation from the province's science advisers to allocate shots based on transmission rate rather than age group.

The government says it will return to a per capita distribution for vaccines across the province on the week of May 17.

Officials say Ontario will also lower the age eligibility for mass vaccination clinics to 55 and older starting tomorrow.

Ontario expects to lower age eligibility for the vaccine throughout May, with access for ages 18 and older forecast to start on the week of May 24.

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12:55 p.m.

Indigenous Services Canada says there are currently 723 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations across the country.

In addition, an outbreak of the virus in Nunavut has resulted in 50 active cases in Iqaluit, Kinngait and Rankin Inlet.

There is also one active case in Nunavik, Que.

As of April 27, more than 366,000 vaccine doses have been administered in 661 First Nations, Inuit and Northern communities.

That accounts for over 59 per cent of adults living in First Nations and over 72 per cent of adults living in the territories who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Members of the Canadian military also continue to assist vaccination teams in a number of on-reserve Indigenous communities.

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11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,042 new cases of COVID-19 today and 10 more deaths attributed to the virus, including three in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 20 to 623, while the number of patients in intensive care rose by four to 165.

The province says 69,501 doses of vaccine were administered on Wednesday, for a total of 3,039,512.

Quebec has reported a total of 348,732 COVID-19 infections and 10,913 deaths linked to the virus since the onset of the pandemic.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario has surpassed 8,000 total deaths related to COVID-19 with 41 new fatalities today.

The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 8,029.

Ontario is also reporting 3,871 new cases of the virus today.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 1,172 new cases in Toronto, 901 in Peel Region, and 392 in York Region.

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10:10 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 today

There are 10 new cases in Iqaluit, where about 8,000 people live, and two new cases in Kinngait, where about 1,500 people live.

There are now 55 active cases in Iqaluit, four in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet for a total of 61 cases in the territory.

Both Iqaluit and Kinngait are under strict lock downs, with schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces closed.

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says the B117 variant first identified in the U.K. is the only strain of coronavirus in the territory.

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9:05 a.m.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia has dropped for the second straight day with health officials reporting 70 new cases.

Fifty-nine of the new infections have been identified in the health region including Halifax, nine are in the eastern region and two are in the northern region.

On Tuesday, Nova Scotia hit its highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began, with 96, and the government announced a provincewide lockdown.

Officials say the province now has 548 active cases of the disease

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said 505 people are in hospital in B.C. and that there were 874 new cases. In fact, there are 503 people in hospital and 853 new cases in B.C.