The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Thursday, May 27

·6 min read

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

5:50 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 513 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death.

Health officials say 538 people are in hospital with the virus and, of those, 150 are in intensive care.

There are 10,017 active cases and 3,409 of them involve the more contagious variants of concern.

Since the pandemic began, a total of 2,199 Albertans have died of COVID-19.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says the positivity rate is at 6.1 per cent.

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5:10 p.m.

British Columbia's provincial health officer says many people will receive COVID-19 vaccines earlier than anticipated due to there being a "steady" supply to do so.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says the interval between receiving a first and second dose will drop from a maximum of 16 weeks to eight weeks for the province's age-based distribution plan.

B.C. reported 378 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 143,264 since the pandemic began, along with seven new deaths.

Henry says indoor faith services are also eligible to be restarted, with up to 50 people allowed inside provided there is proper physical distancing.

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4:25 p.m.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says Canada now has 27 confirmed cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia and another 14 cases are under investigation.

A week ago, Njoo reported 21 confirmed cases and 13 under investigation.

Five people have died from the rare blood-clotting disorder, which is potentially linked to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

About 2.19 million Canadians received a dose of AstraZeneca before the provinces mostly halted its use for first doses two weeks ago.

If all suspected cases are confirmed, it would mean one person in about 50,000 people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine developed the blood clot disorder.

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3:40 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 118 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Six more people have died due to the virus – five in Saskatoon, and one in the northwest region of the province.

A total of 534 people in the province have died due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

There have been 216 recoveries, leaving the province with 1,382 active cases.

The province also reported 127 people in hospital, 27 of whom are in intensive care.

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2:50 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 33 new cases of COVID-19 today and 182 more recoveries.

Health officials say 18 new cases are in the eastern region of the province, which includes Cape Breton.

One of the new cases involves a staff member at Harbourstone Enhanced Care, a long-term care facility in Sydney, N.S.

Nova Scotia has 638 active reported infections.

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2:25 p.m.

Manitoba is extending its COVID-19 restrictions as case numbers and hospitalization rates remain high.

A ban on social gatherings, both indoors and out, that was due to expire Saturday will now run until June 12.

The same goes for a rule that requires only one person per household to enter a store or other business.

Public schools in Winnipeg, Brandon and some other areas that have switched to remote learning will have to continue until the week of June 7.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 297 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths.

The percentage of people testing positive, averaged over five days, remains high at 12.6 per cent provincially and 14 per cent in Winnipeg.

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1:30 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting six new cases of COVID-19, three of which are linked to a growing outbreak in the central part of the province.

Health officials say there are now 49 cases confirmed in connection to the cluster in central Newfoundland.

Officials confirmed Wednesday that the B.1.617.2 variant first discovered in India was driving the spread.

The Department of Health says there are now 89 active reported COVID-19 infections in the province, including five people in hospital due to the disease.

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1:15 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he supports the call by the United States and others to better understand the origins of COVID-19.

He says these efforts will not only ensure accountability but also full understanding of how to protect the world from any future pandemics.

Trudeau says he knows there are “a lot of theories out there,” but a full and complete airing of the facts is necessary to actually understand what happened and prevent it from happening again.

President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence officials to "redouble" their efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.

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11:30 a.m.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Moderna has confirmed it will ship 500,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine next week, and another 1.5 million doses the week of June 14.

The Massachusetts-based company has been struggling with its production lines and deliveries this spring have been lagging.

Initially, Moderna intended to send 12.3 million doses between April and June but has shipped less than one-third of those to date.

Its confirmed shipments will get it close to half the way there.

Anand says the company is still promising to send "millions more doses" in June but there is no clarity on how many or when.

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11:00 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 436 new cases of COVID-19 today and 10 more deaths attributed to the virus, including one within the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations have dropped by five, to 394, and 96 people are in intensive care, a drop of five.

The province says it administered 86,453 doses of vaccine yesterday, bringing the total to just over 5.2 million doses.

That means about 57 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.

Quebec also says it will shorten the delay between first and second doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks from 16 weeks.

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10:50 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,135 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 19 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 316 new cases in Toronto, 271 in Peel Region and 75 in York Region.

Over 143,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since yesterday's report, for a total of more than 8.5 million doses.

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10:45 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today.

There are now 21 active cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all in the capital of Iqaluit.

The city of about 8,000 people has been under a strict lockdown since April 15, with all schools, workplaces and non-essential businesses closed.

To date, 17,104 adults in the territory of about 40,000 people have received one shot of the Moderna vaccine and 14,611 have had the required two doses.

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10:30 a.m.

Members of the military are set to start working tomorrow in Manitoba to help address a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The personnel include critical care nurses and lab technicians, and their presence is expected to run for four weeks.

Premier Brian Pallister requested the help last week as the province posted the highest daily case numbers, per capita, in the country.

The province's intensive care units are so full, 23 critical patients have been transferred to Ontario.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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