The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada
Posted May 15, 2020 11:06:02 PM.
The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):
The B.C. government has announced five more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 140.
The province has also announced 15 new cases, for a total of 2,407.
There are 359 active cases in B.C. and 1,908 people have recovered.
In a statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry say there has been one new acute-care outbreak at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
There are 15 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and five acute-care units with active cases.
Alberta is reporting 58 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths — all at continuing-care homes in the Calgary region.
That brings the total number of cases in the province to 6,515.
So far 5,317 people have recovered from the illness; 125 have died.
The province’s chief medical health officer says that overall numbers are showing a reduced rate of infections.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw says that in anticipation of the long weekend, the limit will be increased from 15 to 50 for outdoor gatherings.
Checkpoints set up to slow the spread of COVID-19 are coming down on Monday in various parts of Quebec, including between Gatineau and Ottawa.
The Quebec government says that although the barriers will be removed, people should continue to avoid any unnecessary travel.
Police erected the checkpoints on April 1 amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the province, which has more than half of all the cases in Canada.
In addition to the checkpoints that have blocked non-essential travel between Ottawa and Gatineau, barriers will also come down in the Gaspe, Lower Saint-Lawrence, and Quebec City regions, the government says.
Yukon has entered the first phase of its restart plan.
The territory’s government is requiring businesses to complete an operational plan.
Physical distancing rules will also be loosened, allowing up to two households to spend time together.
The territory’s border will remain closed but restrictions on travel within the territory will be eased.
Premier Sandy Silver warned stricter measures may be reintroduced if COVID-19 cases begin to rise.
The Manitoba government has extended a province-wide state of emergency put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The current state of emergency is in place until Sunday, when the extension will take effect and last for 30 days.
The state of emergency was first declared on March 20 and was also extended in April.
Saskatchewan is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 — all of them in the far north region where the province is trying to control infections.
Five of the cases are in La Loche and three are in Beauval.
The province now has a total of 590 cases.
So far, 408 people have recovered and six have died. Nine people are currently in hospital.
WorkSafe BC has released new industry-specific guidance for employers reopening across the province.
The guidelines cover sectors ranging from restaurants to office space, including guidelines on how many people should be allowed in a business as well as controlling entry and exit points.
Specific guidelines for sports and recreation as well as child care will be released later.
The provincial safety agency says it will continue developing industry-specific guidelines as more businesses across B.C. begin reopening over the coming months.
Correctional Service Canada reports 356 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 13.
All the new cases have been in the hard hit Federal Training Centre in Laval, Que., which now has 161 cases.
To date, two prisoners have died.
Almost all infected inmates are incarcerated at the training centre, the Mission Medium Institution in B.C., which has seen 120 cases of coronavirus disease, or Joliette Institution in Quebec.
In addition, at least 88 guards have been infected.
Manitoba health officials are reporting no new COVID-19 cases for the third day in a row.
There have been 289 cases and three people remain in hospital with one in intensive care.
Officials are reminding people to be “COVID careful” over the long weekend.
They say everyone should be aware of travel limitations and those who feel ill should not go to their cabins.
New Brunswick is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today.
There have been 120 cases in the province, and 119 of those patients have recovered.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, says people need to continue to follow health guidelines during the holiday long weekend.
Parents in British Columbia will be given the choice of allowing their children to return to class on a part-time basis in June.
The government says its goal is for the return of full-time classes in September, if it is safe.
Under the part-time plan, the number of students allowed in schools will be reduced.
For kindergarten to Grade 5, most students will go to school half time, such as alternating days, while grades 6 to 12 will go to school about one day a week.
The province says there are already about 5,000 students in classrooms, including children of essential workers and those needing extra support.
Quebec is reporting an additional 50 deaths today linked to COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 3,401.
Provincial health authorities also reported 41,420 confirmed cases, an increase of 696 in the past 24 hours.
Premier Francois Legault noted it has been some time since those numbers have been that low as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Montreal, the epicentre of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the province.
Legault says the province will give Montreal one million masks to distribute and provide $6 million to transit agencies in the Montreal area to make masks more widely available.
Prince Edward Island is accelerating its Renew PEI Together plan by planning to reinstate some services sooner.
Phase two of the plan will still begin May 22 as scheduled, but the third phase will now begin June 1 instead of June 12.
Premier Dennis King says the decision was based on several factors, including the lack of new cases of COVID-19 on the Island in the last 17 days.
Phase three would allow gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors, organized recreational activities and the opening of child care centres and in-room dining.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says provinces looking to reopen their economies will need to significantly boost and co-ordinate testing and contact tracing to contain future outbreaks of COVID-19.
Trudeau says testing and tracing that transcends provincial boundaries will be essential as restrictions begin to be eased and people travel more.
He says a national approach will require the provinces to work with Ottawa on a collective effort.
Prince Edward Island is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 Friday.
There have been 27 cases on the Island and all have recovered.
There have been no new cases in 17 days.
Almost 4,600 tests have been conducted.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new COVID-19 cases for the eighth consecutive day today.
The province also adjusted its total count of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 260, down from 261.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says one case that was previously reported as positive is now being recorded as inconclusive.
Three people are in the hospital due to the virus and 248 people have recovered.
Nova Scotia is reporting four more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the province’s total to 55.
All of the latest deaths occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax.
There have now been 1,034 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province after eight additional cases were reported today.
Health officials say the Northwood home has 25 residents and 15 staff with active cases, while another care home has one infected staff member and a third facility has one infected resident.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a federal wage subsidy intended to help employees of businesses hit hard by COVID-19 will be extended until the end of August.
Trudeau is urging employers to take advantage of the subsidy, which was set to expire in the first week of June, and bring their workers back.
Ontario is reporting 341 new COVID-19 cases today and 27 more deaths.
The province also says that due to a glitch, Thursday’s numbers were under-reported, so there were actually 345 new cases that day, instead of the reported 258.
The new total of cases in the province is 21,922, including 1,825 deaths and 16,641 cases that have been resolved.
The adjusted numbers mean that the growth rate of new cases has been a steady 1.6 per cent over the past three days.
Schools in Newfoundland and Labrador will be closed for the rest of the school year, the province’s education minister confirmed today.
Brian Warr says in-school instruction has been cancelled for the year and a plan for September will cover various scenarios depending on the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic at the time.
Warr says parents and students in the province’s English and French school districts are encouraged to continue their studies with teachers through Google Classroom and other online tools.
The department says 2,500 students in the English School District have received devices like laptops and tablets out of 4,000 identified as in need, and more devices are being sourced.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is again calling for a return of Parliament.
The House of Commons stands adjourned until May 25, though has returned several times in a modified form to pass emergency aid legislation.
Committees are also still meeting virtually, and a special one dealing solely with response to the COVID-19 pandemic meets twice a week virtually and once in person.
But Scheer says as restrictions begin to lift across the country and a slow economic recovery begins, it is even more important to be able to keep the Liberal government accountable for the billions in aid they’ve spent.
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver is expected to announce what he says will be a comprehensive reopening plan as the territory copes with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a social media message posted earlier this week Silver says the announcement will come today but he also says his government is not ready to declare the risk has ended in Yukon.
The last case of the new coronavirus was reported in the territory on April 20 and health officials say all 11 cases recorded since the start of the pandemic have now recovered.
Entry into Yukon is still banned to all but residents, non-resident family members, deliveries or anyone transiting the territory to a neighbouring jurisdiction, but those people must stay on prescribed routes and complete their trip within 24 hours.
The Canadian Press