The latest news on COVID 19 developments in Canada on Dec. 29

·8 min read

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

6:15 p.m.

Another 2,206 people in B.C. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 over the last five days.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there have been 74 additional deaths, bringing the total number of people who have died since the pandemic began to 882.

Henry says most of those who died are from long-term or assisted living facilities and there have been another eight outbreaks in them since Christmas.

Almost 12,000 people have been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, while Henry says some doses of the Moderna vaccine have also arrived in the province.

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5:40 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 879 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 additional deaths.

There are 890 people in hospital with the virus, and 153 of them are in intensive care.

Premier Jason Kenney says 16,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine have now arrived in Alberta.

They are to be given to high-risk residents in long-term care and designated supportive living facilities.

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3:30 p.m.

The Correctional Service of Canada says it has 222 active COVID-19 cases in federal prisons.

The latest figures provided by the federal agency show 815 inmates who have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus have since recovered.

Saskatchewan Penitentiary has the most active cases at 88, followed by 74 at Stony Mountain Institution in Manitoba.

On Sunday, an inmate at Stony Mountain died at an outside hospital from what the correctional service describes as natural causes following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

It was the third death in federal prisons during the pandemic.

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3:20 p.m.

The Northwest Territories says vaccinations against COVID-19 will start the week of Jan. 11.

Health minister Julie Green says elders will receive the vaccine first.

The NWT received 7,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday nnight.

Green says the NWT is hiring staff and working on logistics to deliver the vaccine to its 33 communities.

Green also says the territory's vaccine rollout plan will be released in early January.

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2:55 p.m.

Health officials announced another 208 new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.

The province says 94 of the infections were found Monday, but were not reported until today when another 114 cases were recorded.

There are 175 people in hospital for COVID-19.

Officials also reported 10 more people had died from the virus, bringing the province's pandemic death toll to 151.

The Ministry of Health says so far more than 2,000 health-care workers have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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2:05 p.m.

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut today.

Nunavut has a total of six active cases, four in Arviat and two in Whale Cove.

Arviat and Whale Cove remain under lockdown, with non-essential businesses closed in both communities and travel restricted.

To date, 259 Nunavut residents have recovered from COVID-19.

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2 p.m.

There is one new case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Authorities say the case affects a man in his 40s and the source of his infection is under investigation by public health.

The province has 19 active cases of COVID-19 with one person in hospital.

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1:45 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 133 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths.

Acting deputy chief provincial public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal says the province is headed in the right direction, but urged residents not to let up on following public health advice.

In particular, he says people shouldn’t gather for New Year’s Eve parties.

Atwal says Manitoba’s test positivity rate is still too high and the vaccine rollout is in the early stages.

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1:40 p.m.

Quebec’s health minister is calling on the federal government to take stronger action to ensure returning international travellers respect quarantine rules.

Christian Dube is also asking Ottawa to require that returning travellers be tested before getting on a plane home, and for officials to administer more rapid COVID-19 tests in Canadian airports.

Dube says he was shocked and worried by reports of Quebecers partying in southern destinations and says he is concerned by rising case numbers and hospitalizations in Quebec.

He says Ottawa has agreed to implement the changes beginning in January, but he wants the federal government to move more quickly.

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1:15 p.m.

Federal officials say they have issued eight charges to travellers who have failed to heed warnings about mandatory quarantine rules.

Most people entering the country from abroad are required to quarantine for 14 days.

In a statement today, the federal government says 98.8 per cent of instances where local law enforcement officers had to get involved have resulted in the rules being followed.

But a few of the over 41,100 incidents have resulted in something more.

The government says officers have issued 185 verbal warnings, 20 written warnings, 130 tickets and eight charges.

The statement comes in the wake of criticism that the federal quarantine rules aren't being strictly followed.

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12:35 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting two new travel-related cases of COVID-19 today.

The new cases are not related to each other and involve a woman in her 30s and a male in his late teens.

Both individuals had travelled outside Atlantic Canada and have been isolating since their arrival in the province.

Prince Edward Island has six active reported cases of COVID-19 and has reported a total of 96 infections since the start of the pandemic.

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12:15 p.m.

Ontario expects to receive its first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow.

Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, who is leading the province's vaccine program, says roughly 50,000 doses are set to be delivered to four sites, then redistributed to long-term care and retirement homes.

He says immunizations should begin at those sites within 48 to 72 hours after the vaccine is received.

Vaccinations in Ontario were also expected to return to full operations today after being scaled down over the holidays.

Hillier said the call to close clinics over Christmas Day and Boxing Day was the "wrong decision."

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12:15 p.m.

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

The new cases involve a person in their 20s in the Edmundston region and someone in their 50s in the Bathurst area.

Both cases are isolating and under investigation.

The number of active reported infections in the province is 31, and three patients are hospitalized with the disease, with two in intensive care.

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11:15 a.m.

Ontario is reporting nearly 4,500 new cases of COVID-19 over two days.

The province says 2,553 new infections were recorded today and 1,939 on Monday.

Provincial COVID-19 data was not released yesterday due to the holiday.

Of today's tally, 895 cases are in Toronto, 496 are in Peel Region, 147 are in Windsor-Essex, 144 are in Hamilton and 142 are in York Region.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 34,112 tests were completed on Monday and 39,565 the previous day.

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11:15 a.m.

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

There are now 30 active reported infections in the province.

One new case is in central zone and linked to a close contact of a previously reported case, and one is in northern zone, linked to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

One person is currently in hospital with the disease.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 2,381 new cases of COVID-19 and 64 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 17 that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Health officials said today hospitalizations rose by seven, to 1,131, and 148 people were in intensive care, a drop of two.

The province says it administered 2,857 vaccinations Monday, for a total of 22,500.

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10:40 a.m.

Quebec's health minister is confirming the province's first case of a more contagious COVID-19 variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom.

Christian Dube said today the person who tested positive is a family member of someone who returned from the U.K. on Dec. 11.

The Health Department says the traveller and three members of their family all tested positive, but only one of them has been confirmed to be carrying what's know as the "S" variant.

The variant was first identified in the U.K. but has since spread to several other countries and has been confirmed by health authorities in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

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8:50 a.m.

Yukon's Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost says the territory has received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine and the arrival marks a turning point in Yukon's fight against COVID-19.

Frost says 7,200 doses of vaccine arrived Monday and more shipments are expected in early January.

She says teams are being trained on safe storage, handling and delivery of the vaccine before vaccinations start next week, immunizing vulnerable groups first, such as high-risk long-term care residents and staff.

The territory has had 60 total cases of COVID-19 but none are currently active and 11 test results are still pending.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press