The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Wednesday, May 26

·8 min read

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

7 p.m.

COVID-19 case counts in B.C. continue to fall with a report of 250 new cases on Wednesday, the lowest number since late October.

There are 296 people in hospital and 97 of those are in intensive care.

B.C. has recorded three more deaths for a total of 1,683.

Almost three million doses of vaccine have been administered to adults over 18, with 152,010 of those second doses.

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5:45 p.m.

Alberta health officials are reporting 390 new cases of COVID-19 and six new deaths.

The province says there are 10,953 active cases, of which 3,460 involve more contagious variants of concern.

Officials say 548 people are in hospital due to the virus and, of those, 157 are in intensive care.

Since the pandemic started last year, 2,198 people in Alberta have died of COVID-19.

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4:20 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 312 new COVID-19 cases today and one new death.

The number new daily cases has dropped sharply from a peak of 603 last week, but the percentage of people testing positive remains high and intensive care units are under strain.

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4:15 p.m.

A Manitoba COVID-19 patient who was being transferred to a hospital in Ontario has died.

Shared Health, the body that co-ordinates clinical care in Manitoba, says the patient became unstable prior to takeoff earlier this week and was immediately returned to the health facility from where they came.

Shared Health says the patient died the following day.

Manitoba has had to start sending some of its COVID-19 patients in intensive care to other provinces to free up bed space.

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3:35 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 151 new cases of COVID-19 today, and one new death due to the virus.

The person who died was in their 40s and living in Saskatoon.

Another 189 people recovered, leaving the province with 1,442 active cases.

The province also reported 133 people in hospital, 27 of whom are in intensive care.

As of Tuesday, over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 variants of concern had been identified in Saskatchewan.

All but two regions in the province – the far northeast and northeast regions – have now had over 100 cases involving variants of concern.

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2:10 p.m.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province will soon start lifting some public health restrictions and most will be gone by early July.

He says the government's "open for summer" plan is possible because Albertans have "crushed" a spike in COVID-19 cases and are getting vaccinated.

The capacity for places of worship is to be increased to 15 per cent on Friday, and hair salons and restaurant patios can open on Tuesday.

Kenney says movie theatres, libraries and gyms will be allowed to open and indoor dining restaurants will be able to offer indoor dining as of mid-June.

The third phase would see most all public health orders lifted.

The three-stage plan is tied to the percentage of residents 12 and older who have received a first shot of vaccine and to hospitalization numbers.

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2:10 p.m.

New Brunswick health authorities say they’ve identified a case of COVID-19 contracted through community transmission.

Officials say the infection involves a person in the Fredericton health region and they believe it to be a different strain of the virus currently present in the area.

Public health reported 10 new infections Wednesday, with six cases in the Moncton region and the remaining four in the Fredericton region.

There are now 134 active reported infections across the province, including five people in hospital due to the disease.

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1:30 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 37 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials have identified 22 new cases in the Halifax area, 11 in the province's eastern zone and four in the northern zone.

The province currently has 787 known active cases, with 72 people in hospital, including 19 in intensive care.

As of Tuesday, 521,053 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 42,205 people having received their required second dose.

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12:45 p.m.

Health authorities say the B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India is behind a growing outbreak in central Newfoundland and Labrador.

Officials reported four new cases today, two of which are connected to the outbreak, which now involves 46 confirmed infections.

A 170-kilometre-wide area of central Newfoundland remains under heightened public health restrictions as authorities try to contain community spread.

There are now 93 active reported infections across the province, including six people in hospital due to the disease.

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12:10 p.m.

The Manitoba government says 102 tickets were issued last week for violations of COVID-19 public health orders.

Most were fines for unauthorized gatherings in private homes or outdoors.

Twenty-two of the tickets were issued in relation to anti-restriction rallies in Winnipeg earlier in the month, and follow dozens of tickets issued in the previous two weeks stemming from those same rallies.

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11:15 a.m.

Manitoba is expanding its eligibility for second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Anyone who received their first dose on or before March 29 can now book an appointment for a second dose.

Until now, second doses have been limited to Indigenous people and people with certain high-risk medical conditions.

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11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 308 new cases of COVID-19 today and four more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 16 to 399, while the number of people in intensive care was unchanged at 101.

The province says it administered 58,764 doses of vaccine Tuesday, for a total of more than 5.1 million about 56.2 per cent of people in the province have received at least one dose.

The Montreal region is reporting 96 new cases today; no other region in Quebec is reporting more than 40 new infections.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,095 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 257 new cases in Toronto and 215 in Peel Region.

She says there are also 123 new cases in Durham Region and 101 in York Region.

The Ministry of Health says 1,073 people are in hospital because of COVID-19 — 672 are in intensive care and 469 are on a ventilator.

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10:30 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 today.

Premier Joe Savikataaq says due to a mistake in reporting recoveries earlier this week, four additional cases have been added to the territory's total today.

There are now 22 active cases in the territory, all in the capital city of Iqaluit where 8,000 people live.

There have been 230 recoveries since the first case was declared in Iqaluit April 14.

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10:25 a.m.

Canada's vaccine milestones continue today, with the country surpassing 20 million people getting at least their first dose.

Ontario reports that 135,308 people got vaccinated yesterday, 81 per cent of them receiving their first dose.

Those vaccinations put Canada up to 20.05 million people vaccinated.

That is about 63 per cent of eligible Canadians over the age of 12, and almost 53 per cent of everyone, including children under the age of 12 who won't become eligible to be vaccinated for several more months.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has set a marker of 75 per cent of eligible people getting one dose, and 20 per cent with both doses, as a safe place to start lifting many restrictions on outdoor activities, and 75 per cent of everyone fully vaccinated to lift most restrictions overall.

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9:45 a.m.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says more than 75 per cent of Indigenous adults have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Miller says there are about 741 active cases in First Nations communities.

He says Indigenous people living in Manitoba, which has the highest rate of new coronavirus infections in the country, can now book their second vaccine shot.

Miller says the Canadian Armed Forces continues to support vaccine rollout in 11 Indigenous communities across the country.

Dr. Tom Wong, chief medical officer of public health at Indigenous Services, says active case counts have dropped drastically over the past couple months.

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9:35 a.m.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says there are about 741 active COVID-19 cases on First Nations.

Miller says Indigenous people living in Manitoba, hard hit by a third wave of COVID-19, can now book their second shot of vaccine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said no new deaths were reported in Manitoba.

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