The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Tuesday, May 18, 2021

·9 min read

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

7:30 p.m.

Yukon will start vaccinating children aged 12 to 17 on May 31.

The government says in a statement that clinics in most communities will be held in schools, while those in Whitehorse can get their shot at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre.

They'll be getting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the territory says because of limited supply and stricter handling requirements, the vaccine will only be available for a short time.

It says second doses for those 12 to 17 will start on June 23 and medical travel will be supported for youth who aren't able to make the clinic date in their community.

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6:35 p.m.

B.C. is reporting 411 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 140,075 infections.

Of the active cases, 360 people are hospitalized, and 127 are in intensive care.

It also recorded two new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,650.

More than 2.5 million vaccine shots have been given, with 131,837 being second doses.

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5:35 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 877 new COVID-19 cases and four new deaths.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, says the number of new cases is declining but that the positivity rate remains high.

She says there are 691 people in hospital, with 187 of those patients in intensive care.

A total of 2,152 Albertans have now died from COVID-19.

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5:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan says it will be reducing COVID-19 vaccine appointments to make room for school immunizations.

The province says it wants to make sure students can be immunized before the end of the school year.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it will start delivering COVID-19 vaccines in elementary and high schools in early June, though no dates have been finalized.

The province has promised more than 90,000 vaccines in total for children 12 and older.

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5:25 p.m.

Quebec Premier François Legault says that on May 28, his government will lift the COVID-19 curfew that has been in place across much of the province for more than four months.

The measure is part of the government's gradual reopening plan, under which restaurant patios can reopen for dining on May 28.

The premier adds that if 75 per cent of Quebecers over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated by the end of August, masks will no longer be required in most public places.

Legault is also reopening junior colleges and universities across the province for in-person learning in the fall.

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3:40 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 129 new cases of COVID-19 today.

That marks the lowest daily number of new cases reported in the province in two months.

Three more people have died, one in the far northeast and two in Saskatoon, and all in their 70s.

The province is now dealing with 1,825 active cases.

The province reported 142 people in the hospital, 27 of whom are in intensive care.

As of Monday, 9,467 cases of COVID-19 variants of concern had been identified in Saskatchewan.

Starting Wednesday, the province will allow residents to receive notifications about negative COVID-19 test results on their phone.

Individuals who have a positive COVID-19 test will still receive a call from public health.

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2:05 p.m.

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

Health officials say all six cases are linked to travel or to previously identified infections.

Public health says there are now 83 active reported cases of COVID-19 in the province, including three linked to a small school in the western part of Newfoundland.

As of this afternoon, 47 per cent of residents aged 12 and over had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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2 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick have announced the 42nd COVID-19 death in the province.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says the person in their 70s was a resident of the Pavillon Beau-Lieu special care home in Grand Falls and died in hospital in Edmundston.

Officials reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the province today -- nine in the Fredericton region and one in the Bathurst area.

New Brunswickers aged 18 and over can now book to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 335 new COVID-19 cases and one death.

The five-day test positivity rate is 13 per cent provincially and 14.4 per cent in Winnipeg.

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1:35 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 90 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials have identified 64 cases in the Halifax area, 17 in the province's eastern zone, seven in the northern zone and two in western region.

The province has 1,345 known active cases of COVID-19, with 103 people in hospital, including 25 in intensive care.

As of Monday, 436,054 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 39,561 people having received their booster shot.

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12:30 p.m.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is confirming they believe it is safe and effective to offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to adolescents.

Health Canada authorized Pfizer for kids between 12 and 15 years old on May 5, after the company completed a clinical trial which found it was safe and 100 per cent effective at preventing kids in that age group from getting COVID-19.

NACI's advice comes after most provinces have already added the age group to their vaccination plans.

Manitoba began allowing kids that age to book appointments this week and Ontario plans to open up vaccinations to youth under 18 by the end of the month.

Most other provinces are working on expanding to that age group as well.

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12:20 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he learned weeks ago that the military officer overseeing Canada's vaccination campaign was under investigation.

Trudeau says he did not know the details of the investigation into Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who was abruptly sidelined from his role on Friday with little explanation.

The prime minister sought to reassure Canadians that the vaccination campaign, which is now being overseen by Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, will not be negatively affected by Fortin's departure.

A source granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly told The Canadian Press the investigation relates to an allegation of sexual misconduct, and Fortin's lawyer says he categorically denies any wrongdoing.

Trudeau says his first thought is with the complainant, but that he expects a fair, complete and rigorous investigation.

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12:05 p.m.

Canada's chief public health officer says COVID-19 disease activity continues to decline but there are areas of the country experiencing very high infection rates.

Dr. Theresa Tam says over the past seven days, an average of 5,700 cases were reported daily and 3,600 people were treated in hospital each day, including over 1,300 in intensive care.

She says there were an average of 43 deaths reported daily.

But nevertheless, she says Canada is making steady progress with a 25 per cent decrease in reported active cases since the peak of the third wave in April.

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12 p.m.

Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says the federal government will invest $199 million to help the Resilience Biotechnologies expand its manufacturing capacity.

The Mississauga company will be able to make up to 640 million doses of mRNA vaccines, the technology used in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

The federal funding is about half of the total needed to expand and modernize the facilities.

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11:55 a.m.

The Manitoba government says it issued 70 tickets for COVID-19 public health order infractions last week.

Most were given to individuals for exceeding gathering limits outdoors or in private homes.

The province says 22 of the tickets were related to anti-lockdown rallies in early May in Winkler and Winnipeg, in addition to tickets issued the previous week after those rallies.

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11:50 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is receiving 4.5 million vaccine doses this week, including a shipment from Pfizer-BioNTech that has been moved up ahead of the holiday weekend.

He says it is the largest weekly shipment to date, and it will help keep Canada within the top of the G20 on daily vaccinations, where he says it has been for over two weeks.

Trudeau also says Canada will receive 9 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in July.

That means that between now and at least the end of July, Canada will continue to get over two million Pfizer doses a week.

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11:30 a.m.

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

Health officials say the two cases are travel related and involve a person in their 20s and someone in their 40s.

The province has 10 active reported cases of COVID-19.

Prince Edward Island has reported a total of 194 infections and no deaths linked to the virus.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 549 new cases of COVID-19 today and nine more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including four within the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 17 to 484, and 118 people were in intensive care, a rise of two.

Officials say 70,122 doses of vaccine were administered within the past 24 hours, for a total of 4,469,055.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says 75 per cent of adults in the province have received at least one dose of vaccine or have a vaccination appointment.

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10:40 a.m.

Ontario reports there are 1,616 new cases of COVID-19.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 472 of those new cases are in Toronto, 360 are in Peel Region, and 116 are in York Region.

The Ministry of Health says over 109,000 people received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine since yesterday, for a total of over 7.2 million.

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10:35 a.m.

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

There are 64 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, 63 in Iqaluit and one in Kinngait.

An outbreak was declared in Iqaluit on April 15 and has swelled to 235 cases to date.

Iqaluit remains under a strict lockdown, with all non-essential businesses, schools and workplaces closed.

On Monday, Nunavut's chief public health officer said the territory had requested enough doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to vaccinate all of the territory's population aged 12 to 17, about 4,300 people.

Two Iqaluit residents with COVID-19 are in an Ottawa hospital.

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10:25 a.m.

Ontario has reported 17 new COVID-19 fatalities.

This brings the country's death toll to 25,000.

The first person died of COVID-19 in Canada on March 9, 2020.

Canada surpassed 20,000 deaths at the end of January.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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