The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Nov. 16, 2020

·6 min read

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

6:40 p.m.

Alberta has reported its deadliest day with 20 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing its total fatalities to 427 since the pandemic began. 

The province reported 860 new daily infections on Monday and a test positivity rate of seven per cent.

There are 264 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 57 in intensive care. 

The province has seen a sharp upswing in cases, recording more than 1,000 new cases for the first time on Saturday.

---

6:15 p.m.

Canada's total COVID-19 caseload has surpassed 300,000.

The country reached the grim milestone when British Columbia added almost 2,000 new infections that had been detected since Friday.

The new cases bring the total number of those infected in B.C. since the pandemic started to 22,994.

Another nine deaths were also reported in that province and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says many of those were elderly or had underlying health conditions.

The number of outbreaks in health-care facilities has jumped by 11, with 52 active outbreaks in long-term care or acute-care facilities around the province.

Almost 11,000 B.C. residents are under active health monitoring because they've been exposed to someone who tested positive.

---

5:20 p.m.

Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos says Canada is in a strong position to secure COVID-19 vaccines.

Duclos says the government is ready to mobilize all the needed resources to ensure successful storage, transportation and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.

He says the government's efforts include co-ordinating with the Canadian Armed Forces, Public Safety Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

"The procurement people in the government are also working very strongly and actively together," he says.

---

4:30 p.m.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says those who attended a rally to protest COVID-19 restrictions will be getting fines in their mailboxes.

Pallister says people who engaged in what he called "stupidity" will face the consequences via the mail.

He says more details are to come, but hints tickets could be based on the licence plates of vehicles seen at the rally that was held Saturday in Steinbach, southeast of Winnipeg.

Well over 100 people attended the event to protest mandatory masks and other restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

The rally was held as Steinbach's hospital was near capacity and Manitoba's COVID-19 numbers continued to rise.

---

3:40 p.m.

Nunavut is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19.

That brings the total number of infections in the territory to 26.

Nunavut's first case was announced at the beginning of November.

The territory is to go into a two-week shutdown starting Wednesday.

---

2 p.m.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says today's positive news about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is "a light at the end of the tunnel" but cautions Canadians not to let down the guard against the novel coronavirus just yet.

Hajdu says Canada is still "a number of months away" from having a national vaccine program underway and that the vaccine from Moderna and another from Pfizer, which have both released positive news in the past week, must still be approved by Health Canada.

However, she said it does provide hope and is thankful that Canada's vaccine task force recommended both these vaccines and that Canada has deals to buy millions of doses of both if they are approved.

---

1:45 p.m.

Manitoba's chief public health officer says some people are still not getting the message about the need to stay home and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Dr. Brent Roussin says some stores are exceeding the 25 per cent capacity limit, parking lots are full and one COVID-19 case over the weekend had 85 contacts. 

Roussin announced 392 new cases and 10 additional deaths, and says hospitals are near capacity.

---

1:30 p.m.

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

Six of the cases were identified in the Moncton region, ranging in age from under 19 to over 40.

The other two cases were reported in the Fredericton region and are two people in their 20s.

Public health officials say all eight cases are self-isolating and currently under investigation.

---

1:15 p.m.

Nunavut is ordering a two-week shutdown of non-essential businesses and schools due to the spread of COVID-19.

The government says the mandatory restrictions are to begin Wednesday.

It says child-care centres are also to close to all children except for those of essential workers.

All health centres are also to close except for emergency services.

Premier Joe Savikataaq says everyone needs to do their part so the territory can be in a better position in December.

Nunavut recorded its first COVID-19 infection at the beginning of this month and now has 18 cases.

---

12:20 p.m.

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

They were identified yesterday and involve people in the central zone of the province.

Officials say both cases are connected to previously identified infections are are currently under investigation.

Nova Scotia now has 23 active cases of the disease, and it has reported a total of 1,146 cases and 65 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

---

11:30 a.m.

Green party Leader Annamie Paul says the federal government needs a national task force of scientists to create a Canada-wide response to COVID-19.

Paul is on Parliament Hill today where she says the piecemeal, uncoordinated response is leading to mixed messages to the public.

Paul says she does not think it requires the Emergencies Act to be invoked, rather the cooperation of provinces and Ottawa and an agreement that working together is better for the national good. 

---

11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,218 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, six of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations increased by four, to 591, and 87 people were in intensive care, a drop of two.

Officials also say 1,150 more people recovered from COVID-19, almost a total of 106-thousand.

Quebec has reported more than 125-thousand total infections and 6,651 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

---

10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,487 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 10 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 508 cases are in Toronto, 392 in Peel Region and 170 in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 33,351 tests since the last daily report.

In total, 500 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 125 in intensive care.

The Canadian Press