The latest news on COVID 19 developments in Canada for March 26, 2021

·6 min read

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

6:35 p.m.

COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in British Columbia with 908 new cases reported today.

Some 140 of those are variants of concern and the province is also reporting three new deaths.

Health officials say while vaccines are increasing protection, the province is facing a sustained increase in clusters of new cases and outbreaks, including those caused by variants of concern.

They say B.C. has slowly turned the dial on some restrictions, but there are some activities that simply aren't safe -- including socializing indoors.

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6:25 p.m.

Alberta health officials are reporting 717 new COVID-19 cases including 325 new cases of the more contagious variant first reported in the United Kingdom.

There were two new deaths.

The province says there are 7,077 active cases, with 284 people in hospital with the illness.

Of those in hospital, 59 are in intensive care.

To date, 1,979 people in the province have died due to the illness.

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4 p.m.

Saskatchewan health officials are reporting 213 new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths.

There are 155 people in hospital, with 24 in intensive care.

Around 162,000 vaccinations have been given to date.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says its next shipment of 21,300 Moderna vaccine doses is going to be delayed up to six days.

It says the delay is because of an issue with the manufacturer.

The health authority says people whose vaccine appointments have to be rescheduled will be contacted.

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2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting three new travel-related cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the new cases involve two men in their 20s and one man in his 40s.

P.E.I. has 12 active reported cases of COVID-19.

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2 p.m.

Hair salons will be able to reopen and outdoor fitness classes can resume in Ontario virus hot spots soon.

The government announced the changes to its pandemic response framework today, allowing more activities under the strictest level.

It says personal care services like hair and nail salons can open with limits in regions under lockdown as of April 12, and outdoor fitness classes can start on Monday.

The government also says it will allow the province’s top doctor to advise an immediate shutdown of most in-person services and retail if COVID-19 is threatening to overwhelm a region.

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1:45 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 114 additional COVID-19 cases and three new deaths.

The deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Jazz Atwal, says 32 per cent of current cases involve variants of concern.

Atwal says the rising number of cases overall is to be expected as the province has relaxed some of its public health orders.

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1:30 p.m.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada is seeing a surge in COVID-19 vaccine supply, and she expects that to continue despite recent export restrictions from the European Union.

Anand says six million more doses of approved vaccines are expected to flow into Canada over the next three weeks.

That would match the six million doses Canada has received since the approval of the first COVID vaccine in December.

Anand says Canada is "closely monitoring the global environment, including export restrictions in a number of jurisdictions."

She added Canadian officials are working to ensure that vaccines continue to arrive in the country.

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1:15 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say all 13 cases are in the health zone that includes Edmundston, which is under a four-day lockdown because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

There are 99 active reported cases in the province and four patients are hospitalized with the disease.

New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,559 COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths linked to the virus.

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12.41 p.m.

For the sixth day in a row, there are no active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says starting Monday, travel restrictions in Arviat will be lifted.

That means there will be no travel restrictions within the territory.

However, residents who leave Nunavut must still complete 14 days of isolation in a government-run isolation hotel in southern Canada.

As of today, 52 per cent of Nunavut's eligible adult population has received at least one dose of the Moderna vaccine.

To date, 12,884 first doses have been administered in Nunavut and 6,785 second doses.

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12.20 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today, as well as a probable case connected to a Halifax area junior high school.

The new infections are in the Halifax area, with two under investigation.

The other three are close contacts of previously reported cases — one of which was identified Thursday at Millwood High School in Middle Sackville.

Health officials say the probable case has been identified at Sackville Heights Junior High School in Lower Sackville.

Nova Scotia is reporting 27 known active cases of COVID-19, and no one is currently in hospital.

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11:35 a.m.

Trade Minister Mary Ng's office says she discussed the European Union's vaccine exports to Canada with the EU's Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.

Ng underscored the importance of the collaboration with the EU on the continued supply of contracted deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to Canada in light of the amendments to the EU's rules on vaccine exports.

Dombrovskis said the EU’s measures are focused on ensuring transparency and a balanced approach to vaccination rollout, and are not meant to target Canada.

He didn't say they won't affect Canada.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 950 new COVID-19 cases today and seven more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health authorities say hospitalizations dropped by 15, to 481, and 115 people were in intensive care, a drop of two.

Today is the second consecutive day officials reported more than 900 new infections.

The news comes as the government’s public health institute says the B.1.1.7 variant will become dominant in the province by the first week of April.

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11 a.m.

New federal modelling data shows severity indicators and daily cases of COVID-19 are back on the rise, with incidents highest among young adults.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says daily cases have increased more than 30 per cent over the past two weeks, with an average of 29 deaths reported daily.

Tam says that indicates Canada is in a "very tight race" between vaccines and variants of concern, which make up an increasingly high proportion of new cases in several provinces.

The data released today by the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that while the number of cases have declined in Canadians aged 80 and older, incidence rates are highest among young adults aged 20 to 39.

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10:40 a.m.

Ontario reports 2,169 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 682 new cases in Toronto.

There are also 397 new cases in Peel Region, 254 in York Region, 129 in Ottawa, 123 in Durham Region and 122 in Hamilton.

The province says nearly 83,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Thursday's daily update.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press