The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Friday, March 12, 2021

·5 min read

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

5:30 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 425 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths.

There are 257 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 38 in intensive care.

The province completed 9,913 tests over the past day.

So far, 333,379 vaccine doses have been administered in Alberta.

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3:20 p.m.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the federal government doesn't believe there is a need to use the Emergencies Act to establish COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Speaking to the parliamentary health committee, Hajdu says some provinces and territories have wanted Ottawa to use the Emergencies Act to deliver COVID-19 vaccine, but the federal government chose to collaborate and support the provinces and territories and felt that has been the best way forward.

She says Ottawa has been preparing to backfill any kinds of needs provinces and territories may have regarding vaccination against COVID-19.

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2 p.m.

New Brunswick says it plans to give all its residents at least one dose of vaccine before Canada Day.

More than 200 pharmacies are a part of the province’s vaccination rollout, which opens to people aged 85 and over next week.

Health officials say they expect all residents in long-term care facilities will have received at least one dose by Wednesday.

Officials are also reporting the province’s 30th COVID-19-related death today as well as three new cases in the Moncton region.

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2 p.m.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says although there was a decline in COVID-19 cases between mid-January and mid-February, daily case counts have levelled off since then.

Speaking to the parliamentary health committee, Hajdu said COVID-19 variants could threaten the progress Canada has made in fighting COVID-19, if public health measures are relaxed too soon.

She says the pandemic has evolved and the federal response has evolved as well by requiring travellers to have a negative COVID-19 test before and after they arrive and another one on Day 10 of their quarantine.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting one COVID-19 death and 104 new cases.

However, six cases from unspecified dates have been removed due to data correction, for a net increase of 98.

With numbers remaining much lower than the fall, the province is easing a restriction for outdoor restaurant patios and will no longer require that only people from the same household sit together.

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1:10 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

The case involves a woman in his 40s in the eastern region of the province, where officials beat back an outbreak last month in the metro area of St. John’s.

As of Saturday, lockdown restrictions are lifting in the eastern region, and retail businesses will be able to open at half capacity.

Restrictions are also lifting in the rest of the province and households will be allowed to socialize with 10 consistent outside contacts.

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12:35 p.m.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says Canada is part of international conversations about the rollout of so-called "vaccine passports."

She says it is important for Canada to be at the table as nations decide whether those entering their countries will require a COVID-19 vaccine.

Hajdu says, however, she shares concerns about the rollout of a domestic version of that program that would see Canadians have to show proof of vaccination before engaging in certain activities.

Among the issues that have been raised are fairness, given the amount of time it will take for every Canadian to get a vaccine, as well as questions around civil liberties.

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11:45 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says at least one million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will arrive weekly beginning March 22 and until May 10.

Trudeau says he's shared the updated delivery schedule with the provinces and all are working on ensuring they can get those doses into arms as fast as possible.

Trudeau says the government's priority is to ensure no one misses out on the vaccine.

He says that includes Indigenous communities, which are particularly vulnerable.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 753 new COVID-19 cases and nine more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 13, to 550, and 106 people were in intensive care, a drop of five.

The province administered nearly 29,000 vaccine doses on Thursday, for a total of 648,663.

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10:50 a.m.

Ontario reports 1,371 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 371 of those new cases are in Toronto.

She also says there are also 225 new cases in Peel Region, 111 in York Region and 109 in Hamilton.

Ontario says that 43,503 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since the last daily report.

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10:40 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Health officials say the case is in the eastern region of the province.

They are also reporting two more recoveries from COVID-19, bringing the active reported case count to 17.

Nova Scotia says as of March 11, it had administered roughly 47,000 doses of vaccine, of which over 15,600 were booster shots.

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10:35 a.m.

Health officials in Prince Edward Island are easing COVID-19 restrictions across the province.

Officials say starting tomorrow and until mid-April, limits on household gatherings will increase from six people to 10 people.

They say restaurants will be able to seat groups of up to 10 people and must close at 12 a.m.

Concerts, movie theatres and places of worship will be able to operate with a maximum of 200 people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said in the 1:10 p.m. item that the new case in Newfoundland and Labrador was a man. In fact, it is a woman.