The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:15 p.m. B.C. is reporting 840 new cases of COVID-19 on the first day of tightened regulations to limit an infection spike.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
B.C. is reporting 840 new cases of COVID-19 on the first day of tightened regulations to limit an infection spike.
There are 320 new confirmed cases of variants of concern, 313 of which are active.
There have been no new deaths, for a total of 1,455 total fatalities since the pandemic began.
A joint statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix says they’re taking the necessary steps to stop the upward trend in infections.
The B.C. government is making the Oxford-AstraZeneca available to people aged 55 to 65 years old starting Wednesday.
It comes just a day after the government put vaccinations on hold for those under aged 55 because it may be linked to rare blood clots.
The shots will be rolled out in a partnership with Immunize BC and provincial pharmacists.
The government says in a statement that people between 55 and 65 can call their local pharmacy to book, and drop-in services may be an option for 150 participating pharmacies.
Alberta is reporting 576 new COVID-19 infections and four additional deaths in its latest update.
There were 332 new cases involving more transmissible virus variants, which now make up nearly 30 per cent of the province’s active cases.
Hospitalizations have risen to 301 from 288 a day earlier and there are 58 people in intensive care.
Alberta Health Services says 49 members of the public who attended vaccination appointments on March 23 and 25 at the South Calgary Health Centre may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should get tested.
The agency says the risk is low because of strict safety protocols at the site.
Officials are reporting 164 new COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan.
The province says 91 of these infections are from in and around Regina, which is battling a spread of more infectious variants.
There are 160 people in hospital, with 22 of the patients in intensive care.
The Ministry of Health also says stricter public health rules for Regina and surrounding communities will be in place for at least another week.
A ban on household visits and restriction for restaurants to serve takeout or delivery only will now be reviewed April 12.
Canada has signed on to a joint declaration with 13 other countries voicing concerns with an international report on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement outlines the nations’ unease after World Health Organization experts went to study the original outbreak of the virus in China’s Wuhan province.
The countries decry what they call the significant delays and lack of access to complete, original data and samples that the international study team faced in China.
The statement goes on to say that the international community must understand how COVID-19 began circulating in the local population to improve future pandemic responses.
Such a response can only happen if experts can study the origins of COVID-19 free from interference and undue influence, the statement adds.
Aside from Canada, other signatories include the United States, Australia, Israel, Japan, Denmark and the U.K.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his government is considering additional restrictions to combat a surge in COVID-19 and is urging people not to gather over the Easter weekend.
Ford says he is “extremely concerned” about rising infections and stressed that residents must follow public health rules.
He would not specify what measures are being considered but says he will consult the province’s top doctor before making a decision.
The province has seen rising COVID-19 rates for weeks, fuelled by the spread of more transmissible variants of the virus.
Manitoba is reporting no new deaths and 77 additional cases of COVID-19 today.
The majority – 43 – are in Winnipeg and 27 are in the northern health region.
Screening has also identified 11 additional cases involving variants of concern.
The province says 150 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 31 are in intensive care.
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting two new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Officials say both cases involve men in their 40s and are related to domestic travel.
There are now four active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and no one is in hospital due to the disease
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Newfoundland and Labrador has had 1,018 confirmed cases and six deaths.
Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand says delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will begin at the end of April.
The New Jersey-based company has been plagued with production issues that have slowed all deliveries, including in the United States.
Canada has bought 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson, with the option of securing up to 28 million more.
Anand says the government is still finalizing the delivery schedule, but she confirmed in correspondence with the company last night that shipments will start to arrive in Canada within a month.
New Brunswick is reporting 14 new cases of COVID-19 today.
Health officials say eight of the new cases are in the Edmundston region and involve contacts of previously reported infections.
Officials say the six other cases are travel-related: four are located in the Moncton region while the Fredericton and Saint John areas each have one new case.
New Brunswick has 126 active reported COVID-19 infections and five people in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.
Canada’s chief public health officer says COVID-19 variants are driving a weeks-long spike in new cases and hospitalizations as the third wave of the pandemic continues to surge.
Dr. Theresa Tam says an average of more than 2,200 COVID-19 patients were in hospital last week, with more than 660 in intensive care, representing week-over-week increases of six per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
She says a 64 per cent increase in the number of COVID-19 variant cases over the past week marks the “most concerning” development.
Tam says the country has logged more than 9,000 cases of variants in the past week, with the B.1.1.7 mutation accounting for more than 90 per cent.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Pfizer-BioNTech has confirmed it will move up delivery of five million vaccine doses to June from later in the summer.
The earlier shipment period will boost the number of Pfizer doses received by the end of that month to 18 million doses.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the accelerated schedule means Canada will receive about 44 million vaccine doses in total by the end of June, more than enough for every Canadian to receive at least one shot.
By the end of this week, Canada will have received about 9.5 million vaccine doses from three manufacturers, with 3.2 million doses arriving this week alone.
Quebec is reporting 864 new cases of COVID-19 today and seven additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, including one within the past 24 hours.
The Health Department says the number of hospitalizations rose by 10 to 487, while the number of people in intensive care rose by six to reach 126.
Health authorities say 38,801 doses of vaccine were administered yesterday for a total of 1,261,855.
Quebec has reported 310,066 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10,658 deaths linked to the disease.
Ontario reports 2,336 new cases of COVID-19 today and 14 more deaths linked to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says that there are 727 new cases in Toronto, 434 in Peel Region and 229 in York Region.
She also says there are 194 new cases in Durham Region, 144 in Ottawa and 123 in Hamilton.
Ontario says that 1,090 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, 387 are in intensive care, and 249 people are on a ventilator.
Health officials in Prince Edward Island are reporting three new cases of COVID-19 today.
They involve two people under 19 and one person in their 40s who are all close contacts of previous cases.
There are now 14 active cases in P.E.I. and 94 close contacts are in isolation.
There have been 159 positive cases of COVID-19 in the province since the onset of the pandemic.
Nova Scotia health officials are reporting three new cases of COVID-19.
They say one case is in the health zone including Halifax and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
The second case is in the northern part of the province and is under investigation, while the third was identified in the eastern region and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.
Officials say Nova Scotia now has 24 active infections.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2021.
The Canadian Press