The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

·6 min read

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

5:45 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 582 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths due to the virus.

The province says hospitalizations continue to decline, with 517 people in hospital and 93 of those in intensive care.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 11 new infections are COVID-19 variants, bringing that total in the province to 68.

Hinshaw says seven of the new variant cases have no known link to travel.

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3:35 p.m.

Saskatchewan says it has detected its third case of a COVID-19 variant.

Officials say the individual who tested positive for the U.K. strain of the virus had travelled from southeast Asia.

The Ministry of Health says the resident is from the Saskatoon area and followed the proper quarantine measures.

Another 250 new COVID-19 cases were also announced, along with the deaths of seven more residents.

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3:10 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Health officials say the case involves a man in his 20 who had travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

There are now three active reported cases of COVID-19 on the Island.

P.E.I. has reported a total of 113 infections and zero deaths linked to the virus.

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2:55 p.m.

A report looking at how COVID-19 spread in a Winnipeg care home has found a significant loss of staff over a short period of time contributed to the rapid spread of the deadly outbreak.

The outbreak was declared on Oct. 20 and wasn’t over until Jan. 12.

In that time, 74 staff and 157 residents tested positive, and 56 residents died.

Lynn Stevenson, who conducted the external review, offered 17 recommendations, including better pandemic plans and clear communication about staffing needs.

Health Minister Heather Stefanson says the government is committed to meeting all the recommendations.

Manitoba reported 110 new infections of COVID-19 and two more deaths Thursday.

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2:05 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19.

Health officials say the province has 256 active reported cases and that five people are hospitalized with the disease, including two in intensive care.

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard says there are positive signs coming from the Moncton and Edmundston regions, which are under higher alert levels than the rest of the province.

She says restrictions on those two regions will be reassessed Monday.

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2 p.m.

Nunavut is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today.

The two new cases are in Arviat, a community of about 2,800 and the centre of Nunavut's largest outbreak.

Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says anyone who travelled from Arviat since Jan. 12 is asked to limit contacts, self-monitor for symptoms and contact their local health centre.

Arviat remains the only community in Nunavut still under a full lockdown, with non-essential businesses and schools closed.

There are 14 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, all in Arviat.

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12:55 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 that health officials say is connected to a cluster of cases whose origin is unknown.

Officials say the new case involves a female under the age of 19 in the eastern health region who is a contact of a previously reported case.

The case is part of a cluster of six cases whose origin cannot be identified by contact tracers.

The province says it has 15 active reported cases of COVID-19.

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12:35 p.m.

Manitoba is considering loosening restrictions to allow restaurants, lounges, gyms and churches to reopen at a reduced capacity.

Current public health orders expire next week and the province is seeking public feedback about changes moving forward.

Non-essential businesses were forced to close in November as COVID-19 infections and deaths surged.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin says while numbers have significantly dropped, any steps to reopen must be taken cautiously.

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12:30 p.m.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says there's been nearly a 30-per-cent drop in active COVID-19 cases across the country over the past two weeks.

The agency says there are currently 48,221 active cases in Canada, down from more than 68,400 cases two weeks ago.

National data suggest there's also been a downward trend in daily case counts, with an average of 4,061 new infections reported per day over the past week.

Authorities say the slowdown has led to a gradual decline in severe COVID-19 outcomes, as provincial and territorial data show a seven-day average of 3,711 patients being treated in hospital each day.

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11:30 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,093 new COVID-19 infections and 42 more deaths attributed to the virus, including 15 in the previous 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations have dipped by 36 to 1,070.

They say 175 people were in intensive care, a drop of two.

The province says it administered 2,300 doses of vaccine since the last update for a total of 243,955.

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11 a.m.

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

Health officials say the case was identified in the central zone and involves travel outside the Atlantic region.

Officials say one more person is recovered from COVID-19 and the province has 10 active cases.

Nova Scotia says it has administered about 16,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, more than 4,000 of which were second doses.

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10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,563 new cases of COVID-19 today and 88 more deaths linked to the virus.

Case numbers have been fluctuating sharply throughout the week, with officials attributing the swings to provincial database updates.

The pace of vaccinations in the province slowed to just over 6,724 in the past 24 hours.

More than 355,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario so far.

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10:35 a.m.

Indigenous Services Canada says the number of active COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities has declined to the lowest point since Dec. 6.

The government says there were currently 1,869 such cases active as of Wednesday.

The department issued a news release saying COVID-19 recoveries have now outpaced new infections for two weeks in a row.

The department says more than 64,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered as of Wednesday.

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10:15 a.m.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is calling for more transparency in Canada’s procurement of vaccines because he says the Liberals didn’t do enough to guard against shortfalls in vaccine deliveries.

O’Toole says deliveries to Canada have been cut to only 15 per cent of what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised weeks ago.

Canada is facing shortfalls in the deliveries of promised doses from global pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna, and O'Toole says the government should have kickstarted domestic vaccine production last year.

O’Toole says the Liberals should have foreseen the “vaccine nationalism” that has taken hold given the fact that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said last spring that buying personal protective equipment in the global marketplace as like the “wild west.”

O’Toole says the fact Canada is accepting vaccines from the COVAX Facility, which is primarily aimed at helping developing countries, is evidence of more poor planning by the Liberals.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press