The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for December 24

·5 min read

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

7 p.m.

British Columbia has surpassed another grim COVID-19 milestone, reaching 808 deaths in the province.

Twelve more people died to lift the death toll over the 800 mark.

There were 582 new cases diagnosed, bringing the total case count to 48,609.

More than 9,700 people are under active public health monitoring over Christmas Day because they've been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case.

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3:50 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the first doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine have landed in Canada.

He tweeted the news with a photo of border agents watching workers preparing to unload a Federal Express cargo plane.

Health Canada authorized the use of the vaccine just yesterday, making it the second vaccine to receive the regulator's approval after the Pfizer-BioNtech offering was approved on Dec. 9.

Moderna is expected to deliver 168,000 doses by the end of next week.

The federal government has ordered 40 million doses overall from Moderna, enough to vaccinate 20 million Canadians.

While the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is being distributed in different cities across Canada, officials say the Moderna version will be distributed to more remote communities.

That is because it does not need the same extreme-cold storage as the Pfizer-BioNTech version.

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2:45 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 154 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and four new deaths.

It's the lowest daily case count since mid-November and the third day in a row that number has been under 200.

The four people who died were all over the age of 70.

Saskatchewan has seen 14,255 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and 134 people have died.

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2 p.m.

Manitoba public health officials are reporting 244 new infections and 12 additional deaths.

That means 617 people in the province have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Some 4,489 cases are active and 254 people are in hospital, 35 in intensive care.

The current five-day test positivity rate is 10.6 per cent provincially and 10.6 per cent in Winnipeg.

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1:35 p.m.

Public health officials in Prince Edward Island are reporting three new cases of COVID-19 Thursday and all three are travel-related.

The individuals are two women — one is in her 30s and the other in her 50s — as well as a man in his 50s.

They all arrived in the province following travel outside Atlantic Canada and the cases are not related to each other.

P.E.I. currently has five active cases of COVID-19 and has had a total of 94 positive cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.

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1 p.m.

Yukon is reporting another new case of COVID-19.

That brings the total number of cases in the territory to 60.

A statement from the Yukon government says the resident contracted COVID-19 outside the territory and has since recovered.

It says public exposure notices aren't required as the person was outside Yukon during the infectious period.

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12:50 p.m.

Alberta's chief medical officer of health says the province had an estimated 1,100 positive tests for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the positivity rate is estimated to be seven per cent and that hospitalizations are increasing.

She says the intensive-care unit numbers are stable.

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12 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 today and now has 36 active cases.

Six of the cases are in the Halifax area and one is in the western health zone.

Health officials say two of the cases in Halifax and the one in the western zone are related to close contacts of previously reported cases.

One case in Halifax is related to travel and the other three cases are under investigation.

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11:15 a.m.

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

The new cases include a person in their 20s in the Moncton region and a person in their 50s in the Bathurst region.

Both cases are self-isolating and under investigation.

There have been eight deaths in the province, and the number of active cases is 44 with one patient hospitalized in intensive care.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 2,349 COVID-19 infections today — another record.

Health officials are also reporting 46 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, 13 of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations decreased by 15 compared with the prior day, to 1,052, and 146 people were in intensive case, a rise of four.

The latest numbers come as Quebec is set to close non-essential businesses on Christmas Day until at least Jan. 11.

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10:45 a.m.

Ontario has hit a new daily high of COVID-19 cases, reporting 2,447 new infections in the province.

Ontario's previous daily high was 2,432 infections, reported a week ago.

The province is also reporting 49 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 646 new cases in Toronto, 502 in Peel Region, 263 in York Region and 173 in Windsor-Essex County.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press