The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

·6 min read

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

11 p.m.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has lowered the minimum age for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

He says those aged 40 and over will be able to book appointments for the shot starting on Tuesday.

As it stands, only those 55 and older can receive the AstraZeneca shot.

The Sunday night announcement came in a tweet, hours after Ontario made a similar move.

Kenney says more information will be released in the morning.

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7:05 p.m.

Ontario is expanding the number of residents eligible to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

A spokeswoman for the province's health minister says those 40 and older can start receiving the shot as of Tuesday.

The previous cut-off age was 55.

Alexandra Hilkene says AstraZeneca shots will be available through pharmacies and primary care providers.

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6 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,516 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

There have also been three additional virus-related deaths.

The province's chief medical health officer says in a series of tweets that 800 of the new cases reported today are variants of concern.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says out of 15,343 tests completed in the past day, 9.8 per cent of them have been positive for COVID-19.

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4:30 p.m.

The federal government says it has reached out to numerous provinces to see whether they can provide health-care workers to help with the surge in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

Yet it isn't clear whether the Ontario government has agreed to take the assistance, which was announced by four federal ministers during a news conference this afternoon.

Ontario on Friday rejected an offer from Ottawa for mobile vaccination clinics, saying what it really needs is more vaccines, even as the province said it was short nurses.

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3:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 289 new cases of COVID-19, as well as one additional death.

The person who died was in their 50s and lived in the province's North Central zone.

Health officials report there have been 11,063 new doses of vaccine administered in the past day, bringing the provincial total to 345,126.

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3 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal health-care workers will be sent to Ontario to help manage the worsening COVID-19 crisis.

Trudeau says in a video update that workers from departments such as National Defence and Immigration will be reassigned to help in the Greater Toronto Area in particular.

He says he’s also working with provinces such as Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island to see what human resources and equipment they can spare.

He says the federal government will also work with Ontario cities to deploy rapid tests to hard-hit locations and will cover the costs of relocating personnel and resources from other provinces.

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2:30 p.m.

British Columbia says ready to expand its vaccine effort to residents as young as 18.

Authorities say those 18 and older will be invited to register for an immunization appointment over the course of the week.

Registration will be open to those 40 and above starting Monday, with the lower age limit decreasing every following day.

Those as young as 18 will be able to sign up by Friday.

The government says those who register for a vaccine will be contacted about booking an actual appointment after they've signed up.

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2:15 p.m.

Nunavut is reporting three new COVID-19 cases, all of which are in Iqaluit where the territory's only current outbreak is located.

Today's new cases in the capital raise the total number of active infections to 22.

The city of approximately 8,000 went into lockdown Thursday when it identified its first case.

Health authorities identified 12 additional cases on Friday and six more on Saturday.

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1:50 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 170 new COVID-19 cases today and one additional death.

The province's daily pandemic update says three cases have been removed due to data correction, bringing Manitoba's total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 36,159.

The person who died was a man in his 70s from the Prairie Mountain Health Region in southwestern Manitoba.

The province's five day test-positivity rate is 5.6 per cent.

There are 132 people in hospital in Manitoba with COVID-19, with 33 of those in intensive care.

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12:45 p.m.

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

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the new cases include a child under 10 years old who has been hospitalized, an individual in their 30s and a person in their 50s.

All three cases are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

The Island currently has 10 active cases.

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12:40 p.m.

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

Four of the cases are in the Halifax area, with two close contacts of previously reported cases, one related to international travel and the other under investigation.

The three other infections are in the eastern health zone and are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia has 49 active cases of COVID-19.

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12:25 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Nine of the cases are in the Edmundston region with six confirmed as contacts of previously confirmed patients and the other three under investigation.

The remaining case is in the Saint John area and is related to travel.

The province has a total of 153 active infections.

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11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,344 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with nine new deaths related to the virus.

The province says two of the most recent deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while the other seven took place between April 11 and 16.

Hospitalizations in the province declined slightly, falling by nine to 683.

The number of patients in intensive care units remained stable at 175.

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11 a.m.

Hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units continue to reach record heights in Ontario.

The province says 2,107 patients are currently in hospital, with 741 in an ICU and more than 500 on a ventilator.

Provincial figures show hospital admissions are currently outpacing recoveries from COVID-19.

Ontario is also reporting 4,250 new infections over the last 24 hour and 18 virus-related deaths.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press