The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

·5 min read

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

7:15 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 498 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths, pushing the death toll in the province to 1,411.

Among 89,427 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed to date, 4,851 remain active, including 281 people hospitalized with the illness.

A joint statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix says no data about variant cases is available Wednesday due to a lab sequencing issue.

More than 444,000 doses of three approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C. and appointment bookings are now open for people aged 82 and older, along with Indigenous people over the age of 65.

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5:30 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 479 new cases of COVID 19 in the past day, 50 of which involved more contagious variants.

Chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw also reported four additional deaths in her latest update.

Hinshaw says 4.7 per cent of tests came back positive, a lower rate than in recent days.

She says shipments of the Moderna vaccine were delayed to some pharmacies after an airplane was grounded outside the province due to mechanical issues.

So far, Alberta has administered 397,500 vaccine doses.

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4:30 p.m.

Health officials say there are 264 presumed cases of more infectious COVID-19 variants in the Regina area.

The Ministry of Health says there are already 135 confirmed cases of these strains, most of them found in and around the capital city.

Officials announced 87 new cases of COVID-19 provincewide.

There are 139 people in hospital, with 31 receiving intensive care.

To date, officials have done around 112,000 vaccinations.

A drive-thru clinic in Regina continues to vaccinate people aged 60 to 64 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot.

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3:45 p.m.

Nunavut will now count 12 additional cases of COVID-19, including three deaths, in the territory's total case count.

The new numbers come from Nunavut residents who caught COVID-19 or died from the virus while in Manitoba.

Nunavut chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson said it's been unclear since the start of the pandemic which jurisdiction these numbers would fall under.

The cases and deaths occurred between December 2020 and January 2021.

Patterson said attribution of cases of COVID-19 acquired outside the territory will continue to occur on a case-by-case basis.

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2:50 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

The case involves a person in their 40s in the Edmundston region that has been linked to a previous case.

Meanwhile, a second positive case has been confirmed at Ecole Notre-Dame in Edmundston, which has been closed for the next three days to allow for contract tracing and cleaning of the school.

The province currently has 42 active cases of novel coronavirus.

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2:50 p.m.

Health Canada's updated vaccine delivery website says Canada will get more than 2.5 times the number of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech in the next eight weeks, than were delivered in the last 14 weeks.

The site, updated today, confirms more than 8.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are to be shipped to Canada between March 22 and May 16.

That includes almost 1.2 million doses in each of the next two weeks, and just over one million doses a week, for the next six weeks after that.

Moderna has not confirmed shipments past the end of March, and there is no date yet for the first shipments expected directly from AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson.

The Serum Institute of India is to ship another million doses of its AstraZeneca vaccine in April, and 500,000 in May, but there is not a specific date yet for when those will arrive.

Canada is also now supposed to get 1.6 million of AstraZeneca produced in South Korea before the end of May, but there isn't a more specific timeline available yet for those either.

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1:50 p.m.

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

Health officials say one case is in the region including Halifax and involves a close contact of a previously reported infection. They say the other case is in the western part of the province and related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia has 15 active reported cases of the disease.

The province says it had administered more than 52,000 COVID-19 vaccines as of Tuesday, more than 17,000 of which were booster shots.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting no new COVID-19 deaths and 96 new cases.

Three cases from unspecified dates have been removed due to data correction, for a net increase of 93.

Health officials have also confirmed nine cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

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12:45 p.m.

The Manitoba government has reduced the minimum age for COVID-19 vaccines by two years -- to 53 and up for First Nations people and 73 and up for others.

Those numbers do not include younger age groups with underlying health conditions that are already eligible for vaccination.

The government has also launched a new web page so that people can book appointments online, in addition to the existing telephone call centre.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 703 new cases of COVID-19 today and 13 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials are also reporting a sharp rise in the number intensive care patients, up 16 compared with the prior day, for a total of 107. Total hospitalizations dropped by one, to 532.

The province says it administered 28,812 doses of vaccine yesterday, for a total of 804,806.

Quebec has reported 299,450 COVID-19 infections and 10,570 deaths linked to the virus; it has 6,833 active reported cases.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,508 new cases of COVID-19 today.

The province says 14 more people have died from the virus.

Today's numbers are based on 49,128 tests.

More than 58,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered since yesterday’s update.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press