The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Friday, May 28

·9 min read

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

6:40 p.m.

British Columbia health officials reported 317 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 143,581 in the province.

They also reported two more deaths for a total of 1,692 fatalities.

Officials say there has been a COVID-19 outbreak at a long-term care facility in Surrey, Brookside Lodge, where one resident and staff member tested positive.

They say about 63 per cent of those eligible have got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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6 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 512 new cases of COVID-19 and seven new deaths.

Health officials say of the new cases, 331 involve the more contagious variants of concern.

They say there are 8,760 active cases in the province and, of those, 3,180 involve variants of concern.

The province says there are 517 people in hospital, with 147 of them in intensive care.

A total of 2,206 people have died in Alberta due to the virus.

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3:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 122 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Two more people have died due to the virus – one in their 70s in Saskatoon, and one in the 80+ age group in the northwest region of the province.

There have been 131 recoveries, leaving the province with 1,371 active cases.

The province is also reporting 113 people in hospital, 26 of whom are in intensive care.

Nearly 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in Saskatchewan, and 64 per cent of adults have received their first dose.

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2:15 p.m.

Public health in New Brunswick is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19.

This includes one travel-related case of a New Brunswicker who is isolating outside the province.

Since yesterday, three people have recovered, for a total of 1,998 recoveries.

There have been 43 deaths, and the number of active cases is 139.

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2 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting a woman in her 50s has died as a result of COVID-19.

There have now been 80 COVID-19-related deaths in the province.

It is also reporting 40 new cases of COVID-19 and 92 recoveries.

As of today, Nova Scotia has 585 active cases of COVID-19, with 53 people in hospital, including 18 in intensive care.

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1:55 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 497 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths.

Four cases were removed due to data correction, for a net increase of 493.

Slightly tightened public health orders that encourage employers to have people work from home and require malls to enforce capacity come into effect at midnight.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, says the health system is facing critical pressures that are not sustainable.

There are 312 hospitalizations and 69 patients in intensive care.

Another 26 Manitobans are in intensive care in other provinces.

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1:50 p.m.

Prince Edward Island has two new positive cases of COVID-19.

Both individuals are in their 30s and recently travelled outside of Atlantic Canada.

There is a flight exposure notification related to one of the cases.

The province currently has 12 active cases.

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1:05 p.m.

Health officials say they will consider the recommendations of an expert report that called for Canada to drop a requirement for air travellers to quarantine for three days in a government-approved hotel.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says it's a topic of "active discussion" and officials will lay a path forward in the near future.

Tam says global vaccination coverage is not very high at the moment, but many countries are making significant progress.

She says officials will also consider how Canada is doing, because it is still in the middle of a third wave and it hasn’t yet attained a good level of immunity in the population.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the issue of international travel is a delicate and contentious one and officials want to make sure that they protect Canadians at risk of importation of the virus.

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12:50 p.m.

New COVID-19 modelling unveiled by public health officials today predicts a slowing rate of growth for cumulative cases and a low, steady rate of growth for cumulative deaths.

That means up to 1.4 million cases and 26,310 deaths are expected by June 10.

A longer-range forecast shows the epidemic is projected to decline nationally as long as public health measures are maintained.

Officials say high vaccine uptake is needed across all age groups to prevent a strong resurgence, but there is good progress, with those over 80 surpassing the 20 per cent-mark for second doses.

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12:35 p.m.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the COVID-19 situation has taken a turn for the better in the country over the past month.

She says more than 22 million doses of vaccines have been administered across the country and Canada’s efforts have gotten it over the peak of the third wave nationally.

Tam says average case counts are now less than half of what they were during the peak of the third wave in mid-April, with under 3,400 cases being reported daily over the past seven days.

Tam says the number of people experiencing severe or critical illness is also decreasing, though at a slower pace.

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12:25 p.m.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada has confirmed shipments of 15 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines from three suppliers.

She says every eligible Canadian will have access to a second dose by the end of the summer.

She says 2.4 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech will arrive each week over five weeks in June and nine million more will arrive in July.

As announced yesterday, she says Moderna has provided an updated delivery schedule for the first part of June, with 500,000 doses in two shipments starting next week.

She also says 1.5 million doses of Moderna are arriving the week of June 14.

As for AstraZeneca, she says two million supplementary doses will arrive in Canada by the end of June.

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12:15 a.m.

Canada’s expert advisory panel on vaccines now recommends people be offered second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, now that supplies are increasing.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says priority for second doses should be given to those who are the highest risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19, either after or alongside first doses for anyone else who is eligible for a vaccine.

Since the novel coronavirus is still circulating in Canada, NACI is still recommending that the second dose be received up to four months after the first dose, in order to maximize the number of people who get at least one shot.

The committee says stretching the dose intervals means many more people can receive a good level of protection from COVID-19 earlier.

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11:57 a.m.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says all provinces are on board with a call to get more COVID-19 vaccines directly from states south of the border.

Pallister says the premiers asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a conference call yesterday to push United States President Joe Biden to let states ship vaccines directly to provinces.

The U.S. has sent vaccines to Canada on a country-to-country basis, and Pallister says the prime minister was noncommittal on the call to let provinces deal directly with states.

The idea was first raised earlier this month by premiers and governors in Eastern Canada and the U.S. as a way to ensure excess doses south of the border can get used in Canada.

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11:45 a.m.

Health officials in Manitoba say disruptions in the supply chain of COVID-19 vaccines means that there will be a delay in hitting a major milestone.

Johanu Botha, who is on the team organizing vaccine distribution, says they expect 70 per cent of Manitobans aged 12 and older to get a dose by the end of June.

Previously, the province predicted to hit that benchmark on June 9.

Botha says the province is getting significantly less of the Moderna vaccine than expected and deliveries have been delayed.

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11:20 a.m.

Canada’s expert advisory panel on vaccines now recommends people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an autoimmune condition be vaccinated against COVID-19 like anyone else.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization had previously said that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to people in these groups in some circumstances, when the benefits outweighed the risks.

That was because clinical trials either excluded these groups or involved them in small numbers.

NACI says new data on the use of vaccines from around the world shows they are safe.

The panel also says messenger RNA vaccines – such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – are preferred for pregnant people, as recently published data shows they are safe.

It also says that treating the rare blood-clotting disorder associated, but not definitively linked, to viral-vector vaccines made by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, can be complicated.

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11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 419 new cases of COVID-19 today and four more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by nine, to 385, and 91 people were in intensive care, a drop of five.

The province says it administered over 101,000 doses of vaccine on Thursday, for a total of more than 5.3 million; about 58.1 per cent of Quebecers have received at least one dose.

The curfew will be lifted tonight and restaurant patios in regions under the province’s two highest pandemic-alert levels are allowed to reopen today.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario reports there are 1,273 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 14 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 269 new cases in Toronto, 268 in Peel Region, and 101 in Ottawa.

The Ministry of Health says 1,023 people are in hospital — 645 in intensive care and 458 on a ventilator.

Ontario says nearly 160,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Thursday's report for a total of more than 8.6 million.

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10 a.m.

Ontarians will have the option to shorten the interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Most people are being scheduled for doses four months apart, but officials say the new interval could be as short as 28 days.

The plan will start with seniors aged 80 and older next week and the province will later offer second shots based on when people received their first.

People will keep their original appointments if they don’t re-book.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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