The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada
Posted Mar 23, 2020 02:56:17 AM.
The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):
A local public health unit is reporting Ontario’s sixth COVID-19-related death.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit says a man in his 80s died this afternoon.
The unit says he had no recent travel history, suggesting there is community transmission in the region.
The man’s death was the third reported in Ontario on Sunday alone.
Yukon’s chief medical health officer says the territory has its first two cases of COVID-19.
Dr. Brendan Hanley says a couple from Whitehorse who attended a conference in the U.S. were tested upon their return.
He says they had both been self-isolating since they returned.
Hanley says the cases do not change the risk of becoming ill with the virus in the territory.
Canada won’t be at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
The Canadian Olympic Committee has sent out a statement saying it won’t send a team to Tokyo unless the Games, which are scheduled to start on July 24, are pushed back by a year.
The COC’s statement comes amid a chorus of criticism aimed at the International Olympic Committee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government is starting a $30-million national ad campaign to advise Canadians about the steps each person can take to help prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
The ads – two in English and two in French – feature Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, urging Canadians to keep their distance from one another and to practice good personal hygiene.
The 15-second ads are to begin airing Monday on television, radio and in print and will run until at least the end of April.
The Manitoba government says a Winnipeg man in his 40s likely has COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 20.
Nine of those cases are presumptive, 11 are confirmed.
The province says the public health investigation indicates the case is related to travel.
Ontario’s education minister says he’s working to keep coursework going should the COVID-19 pandemic mean schools can’t reopen on April 6 as planned.
Stephen Lecce made the announcement in an open letter to parents.
He says no student’s graduation will be affected by the pandemic.
Ontario is closing its drive test centres due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province says the closures take effect tomorrow and will continue until further notice.
It says those who currently have a driver’s license will not lose it, and those with pending tests won’t lose their test fees or have to pay a penalty.
Alberta says it has 33 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Saturday, bringing its provincial total to 259.
Of these cases, 18 are currently hospitalized, up seven people from Saturday, and one additional patient is in intensive care for a total of seven.
The province says there have been no further deaths since it announced on Thursday that a man his 60s and with underlying health conditions had died of COVID-19.
Ontario is reporting a fifth death related to COVID-19.
The province says a woman her 70s in York Region, north of Toronto, who had recently travelled, has died.
Earlier in the day, Toronto Public Health announced the fourth patient to die in the province was a man in his 70s who was diagnosed with the virus after returning from the U.K.
The public health unit says he died on Saturday.
Labatt Breweries says it’s about to start making something with a far higher proof: hand sanitizer.
The beermaker says it’s shifting its production in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.
It says the hand sanitizer will be donated to support Food Banks Canada and front-line workers in the restaurant and bar industry who are still offering take-out and delivery.
Essential supplies such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer have been in short supply amid the pandemic, so governments are calling on the private sector to shift gears and ramp up their production.
Prince Edward Island has a third confirmed case of COVID-19 — a woman in her 20s who had travelled to Spain.
The woman flew into Toronto on March 14 and self-isolated at a hotel.
She then flew to Moncton, N.B., on WestJet flight 3456 on March 16, and drove back to P.E.I.
Passengers on that flight are asked to self-isolate for 14 days, and if they become ill, they should call 811.
P.E.I. chief medical officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the woman has just mild symptoms.
She says public health officials are following up on the case and are in contact with Ontario and New Brunswick.
Saskatchewan is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 52 reported cases.
Thirty-three of those cases are confirmed and 19 cases are presumptive positive.
The government explained on Saturday that since it now has the ability to do confirmatory testing within the province, all new cases it announces are confirmed.
Toronto Public Health says a man in his 70s has died of COVID-19.
The agency says the man had travelled to the United Kingdom and died in hospital on Saturday.
Toronto Public Health says he had been in hospital since March 14 after he earlier tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Two medical associations in Ontario are calling on health staff to start using a provincial supply of expired masks due to fears over a shortage.
The Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario said there is a large stockpile of the masks which have expired but should still be used in lower-risk areas.
The associations are also calling on anyone with masks not currently being used to hand them over so they can be used by health workers.
They specifically called on education institutions and dental workers to re-purpose their supplies.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault says all shopping malls, restaurant dining rooms and salons in the province must close until May 1 in an effort to keep people from gathering.
Legault says the measure does not apply to grocery stores, pharmacies and liquor stores located in shopping centres.
Legault also says the province’s schools and daycares will remain closed until at least May 1.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the province has jumped to 219 from 181, however the number of deaths declined to four from five after a person who died ended up not being infected.
The New Brunswick government is setting up a phone line for people who have concerns about others not complying with provincial state of emergency orders.
The line is to be up and running Monday.
There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Brunswick today.
The total in that province still sits at 17 — eight confirmed and nine presumptive.
There are three new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, bringing the province’s total to nine.
Three cases are confirmed and six are presumptive.
The three new cases are all women. Two of the cases are due to travel and the third is under investigation.
Premier Dwight Ball says people need to follow the directives about self-isolation and social distancing.
Ontario says it will allow some child-care centres in the province to stay open to care for the children of health workers and first responders.
The province says the centres will be required to follow existing health and safety requirements and have plans in place should any staff, children or parents be exposed to COVID-19.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the centres will also be required to limit the number of children they have at one time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is not at the point where the federal government needs to take emergency measures to force people to stay at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Trudeau says provinces and local governments continue to take steps to restrict people’s movements and the federal government stepping in is a last resort.
Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole is calling for the race to be suspended.
O’Toole is the latest contender to suggest the party needs to delay the June 27 vote.
He says he wants his volunteers and organizers to be able to focused on the COVID-19 response.
He says he’s not dropping out of the race, but he says the needs of fellow Canadians must come first.
The House of Commons will reconvene Tuesday to vote on measures to ease the burden of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses.
Government officials say they’ve been working behind the scenes with opposition parties to make sure the legislation can be debated and passed as quickly as possible.
On March 13, Parliament decided to follow its own advice about social distancing and shut down the house to allow government officials to focus their efforts on fighting the virus.
The proposed measures announced last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau include changes that would make it easier for people to take time off if they fall ill with COVID-19.
Ontario is reporting 47 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total in the province to 424.
The total includes eight resolved cases and three deaths.
No information is listed for the majority of the new cases, but two women in their 20s are among the newest positive tests.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is declaring a provincial state of emergency due to COVID-19.
He says people are blatantly ignoring the need for social distancing.
As of 6 a.m. Monday morning, anyone who enters the province will have to self-isolate for 14 days. There are exceptions for people who provide essential services.
McNeil says it’s OK to go outside, but walks should be for exercise, not to socialize.
Groups are limited to a maximum of five people.
Police are being given the power to enforce social distancing with $1,000 fines for individuals and $7,500 fines for businesses.
Nova Scotia has seven new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 28.
Quebec health authorities are opening a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in the heart of Montreal’s entertainment district on Monday.
The outdoor site includes heated tents and 125 staff members who will be able to take up to 2,000 tests each day.
Appointments aren’t needed, however tests will be limited to people who have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, who present symptoms, or who have been in contact with confirmed cases.
People who wish to be tested at the site at Place des Festivals are asked to arrive by car or on foot, not public transit.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version, based on figures from the New Brunswick government, said that province had nine confirmed cases and eight presumptive.