The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Monday, May 31, 2021

·7 min read

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

7:50 p.m.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says it’s “unfortunate” that a dozen youth recently received the wrong COVID-19 vaccine, though it’s not believed they will suffer any clinical harm.

The Vancouver Coastal Health authority has confirmed 12 youth mistakenly received doses of Moderna rather than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in those between 12 and 17 in Canada.

Henry says she expects the Moderna vaccine will soon be approved for youth between 12 and 17, but that does not excuse the fact the errors should not have happened.

There have been 11 more deaths linked to COVID-19 in B.C. and 708 new infections diagnosed between Friday and Monday.

More than 3.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have so far been administered in the province.


6:45 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 263 cases of COVID-19 today and eight new deaths.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, says there are 439 people in hospital, including 133 in intensive care.

She says Stage 1 of the province's Open for Summer plan starts tomorrow.

Hinshaw says it will only succeed if everyone does their part to keep hospitalizations down and vaccination numbers up.

A total of 2,781,430 vaccine doses have been administered in Alberta as of May 30.


4:55 p.m.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's office says she will travel to a meeting this week of G7 finance ministers in the U.K.

Freeland's office says in a release that the two-day meeting in London starting June 4 is an "in-person-only" event.

The release says Freeland and the delegation with her "will follow strict public health protocols" while travelling to and from the meeting, as well as while at the summit itself.

It adds that Freeland and her team will quarantine as required upon their return to Canada, including staying in a government-authorized hotel.

The G7 meeting is expected to focus on building an economic recovery from COVID-19, and a U.S. proposal for a global, minimum corporate tax rate.


3:55 p.m.

Workers who have returned to Ontario from the Mary River mine in Nunavut are being asked to isolate and seek testing for COVID-19.

The mine is dealing with an outbreak driven by a variant of the virus.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, associate medical officer of health for Ontario, says approximately 300 workers live in Ontario and all are considered high-risk.

She says workers have returned to 33 of the 34 health units in the province and the local health units are following up with them.


3:45 p.m.

Quebec's higher education minister, Danielle McCann, is calling for universities and junior colleges in the province to prepare for a return to in-person classes in the fall.

McCann says physical distancing measures will not apply in universities and colleges come the fall semester, although she says other measures, such as mask-wearing, may still be required.

She says a full return to in-person classes will depend on whether 75 per cent of Quebec residents 16 to 29 years old are fully vaccinated and on the epidemiological situation at the time.

McCann says extracurricular activities and sports for students will remain subject to the same rules as the general public.


3:35 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 113 new cases of COVID-19 today.

A person in the 80+ age group living in Saskatoon has died.

There were 174 more recoveries, leaving the province with 1,368 active cases.

The province also reported 108 people in hospital, the lowest number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the province since Nov. 28, 2020.

Twenty-five of those patients are in intensive care.

Saskatchewan began the first step in its reopening road map on Sunday.

This step lifts some restrictions on gathering sizes, outdoor sports and restaurants and bars.


2:55 p.m.

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

The territory's chief public health officer says Iqaluit, where a COVID-19 outbreak has been ongoing since mid-April, can start to reopen on Thursday.

Starting then, all schools can reopen for part-time in-class learning and people can gather indoors in groups of five.

Workplaces can also reopen with mandatory mask-wearing.

Nunavut also announced Monday that it would start offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to youth ages 12 to 17 on June 15.

The territory will receive over 9,000 doses of Pfizer from Ontario in exchange for doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Vaccination clinics for teens will roll out across the territory throughout June.


2:45 p.m.

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

Health officials say the new cases involve a person in their 40s and another in their 50s, both of whom recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

Prince Edward Island has 10 active reported cases of COVID-19.

The province has reported a total of 204 infections and no deaths linked to the virus.


2:05 p.m.

Manitoba health officials say there are 303 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death.

The province has continued to see a significant surge of infections and Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says there are too many people landing in intensive care.

There are 308 people in hospital and 71 intensive-care patients in Manitoba, as well as 36 more who have been transferred out of province for care.


1:20 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 17 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say all of the new cases have been identified in the Halifax area, where there is limited community spread of the virus.

The province has 448 known active infections, with 40 people in hospital, including 16 in intensive care.

As of Sunday, 583,873 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 43,463 people having received their booster shot.


1:20 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the new cases involve five people in the Moncton region, five in the Fredericton area and two in the Bathurst region.

New Brunswick has 146 active reported cases of COVID-19 and six patients in hospital with the disease.

One New Brunswicker is hospitalized with COVID-19 outside the province.


1:05 p.m.

People who got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Manitoba can now get a second dose of a different vaccine.

The province has approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for a second dose for people who meet eligibility criteria.

The province says anyone who got a first dose on or before April 8 can begin booking for the second shot today.

That will be expanded again Tuesday to those who received a first dose on or before April 13.

All Indigenous people and those with specific health conditions are also eligible to get a second dose.


1 p.m.

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

One case involves a woman in her 50s in the central health region who is a contact of a previous case.

The second case involves a woman in her 50s in the western region and is linked to international travel.

The province has 101 known active cases of the infection and two people are currently in hospital.


11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 276 new cases of COVID-19 today and one more death attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by two, to 362, and 89 people were in intensive care, a drop of one.

The province says 77,495 doses of vaccine were administered Sunday, for a total of 5,583,075; about 60.8 per cent of Quebecers have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Restrictions were eased today in eight Quebec regions that had been at the province’s highest pandemic-alert level.

The cities of Montreal and Laval are now the only regions at the red alert level.


10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 916 new cases of COVID-19 today, its lowest daily total since February.

The province last reported a lower single-day tally on Feb. 17, when Ontario had 847 new cases.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 226 new cases in Toronto, 165 in Peel Region, and 85 in York Region.

Ontario is also reporting 13 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said there are 14 active COVID-19 cases in Prince Edward Island. In fact, there are 10.

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