The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for March 22, 2021

·5 min read

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

7:05 p.m.

British Columbia recorded 556 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, 598 new cases on Sunday and 631 new cases on Monday, for a total of 1,785 new cases in the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced 16 new deaths linked to the virus, including one that happened earlier in the pandemic and was recently reclassified.

One-hundred sixty-six new cases are variants of concern, primarily the more transmissible strain associated with the United Kingdom, but Henry says the variants are not causing an increased risk of hospitalization or death.

Henry says rising case numbers are keeping her up at night, but she avoided declaring a third wave, saying the province has come down from the peak of the second wave and is seeing a "slow and steady increase" of cases.

She says concerningly, more young people are requiring hospitalization and intensive care, partly because as older people become vaccinated, there is more transmission among younger people.

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6:15 p.m.

Alberta’s health minister says it’s not the right time to further ease public-health restrictions in the province.

Tyler Shandro says COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are not trending downward.

The province is reporting 456 new infections – 110 of them variants of concern.

There are currently 280 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 48 in intensive care.

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3:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 205 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.

Health officials report that 141 of the 156 confirmed cases of a variant of concern were in Regina as of Sunday.

There are 1,447 active cases in the province and, since the pandemic began, there have been 418 deaths.

Concerns about a growing number of the more infectious COVID-19 cases in the Regina area have prompted some school divisions to restart online learning.

The provincial government says schools across Saskatchewan are being shipped 100,000 rapid antigen tests to help prevent COVID-19 transmission.

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2:30 p.m.

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

Health officials say the cases are in the Halifax area and each is a close contact of previously reported cases.

The province currently has 20 active infections.

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 1,315 COVID-19 tests on Sunday and have carried out 280,360 tests since Oct. 1.

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2:30 p.m.

Health officials on Prince Edward Island are reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today.

One individual is a man in his 20s who travelled from outside Atlantic Canada.

The other individual is a female under the age of 19 who is a close contact of the cases announced on March 19.

P.E.I. currently has eight active cases of COVID-19 and has had 150 positive cases since the onset of the pandemic.

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2:25 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 today.

They include three cases each in the Moncton and Edmundston regions, while the Fredericton and Saint John regions each have one new case.

The number of active cases in the province is 55 and two patients are hospitalized.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 1,498 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and 30 COVID-19-related deaths.

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1:40 p.m.

Manitoba health officials are reporting 66 new COVID-19 cases.

However, one earlier case has been removed due to data correction, so the net increase is 65.

The province is also reporting one additional death.

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1:30 p.m.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says she plans to publicly receive an Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to combat hesitancy about that COVID-19 vaccine.

Reports of blood clots among recipients in Europe have sparked concern about the shot.

Elliott says hesitancy around the life-saving vaccine is unfortunate and she is happy to take the dose on camera if it can convince others to do so.

Quebec’s health minister was publicly vaccinated with the AstraZeneca shot last week.

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1:20 p.m.

Manitoba has again lowered the minimum age for its vaccination program for the general public.

The minimum age has dropped by two years, to 45 and up for First Nations people and 65 and up for others.

The province also has vaccines for younger people if they work in health care or have certain underlying health conditions.

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11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 712 new COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, including three in the previous 24 hours.

Health authorities are also reporting increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care cases today, with a dozen more patients in each category for a total of 513 in hospital and 114 requiring intensive care.

Authorities say an additional 21,180 vaccine doses have been administered for a total 966,566, representing about 11.4 per cent of the population.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has had 303,051 confirmed cases, 10,614 deaths and 285,682 recoveries.

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10:40 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,699 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths linked to the virus today.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 500 of those new cases are in Toronto.

She says there are 318 new cases in Peel Region, 155 in York Region and 114 in Hamilton.

More than 31,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario since Sunday's update.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Saskatchewan reported 178 new cases today. In fact, there were 205 new cases reported.