The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

·9 min read

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

7 p.m.

Following Ontario's announcement today of checkpoints to prevent non-essential entry from neighbouring provinces, the Quebec government has announced it will close the border with Ontario on its side as of Monday.

Quebec deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault tweeted that the province would institute a "tight control" on travel between the provinces to limit the spread of variants.

She called it "a question of safety" and said Quebec is discussing the details with Ontario.

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6:15 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 1,005 new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations continue to rise.

The latest numbers bring B.C.'s total to 117,080.

The province says 425 people are currently hospitalized as a result of the virus, surpassing a record broken earlier this week.

There have also been six new deaths from the virus, for a total of 1,530.

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5:55 p.m.

British Columbia's health minister says news about Moderna delaying shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine is "disappointing."

Adrian Dix says the sooner people are able to receive vaccines, the better.

He says B.C. appreciates the federal government's offer to send more of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in May and June to compensate, but increased deliveries this month would be more helpful.

More than 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C.

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5:45 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,616 new cases of COVID-19.

The province says 898 variant cases have also been detected in the last 24 hours.

There are no new deaths from the virus.

Health officials say there are 423 people in hospital because of COVID-19, and 93 are in intensive care.

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4:30 p.m.

Ontario's solicitor general says the province is giving police sweeping new powers to enforce public health orders.

Sylvia Jones says officers will have the authority to ask anyone why they are out of the house, and ask for their home address.

She says police will also be able to pull over vehicles to check that occupants are only out for essential purposes.

Jones says the new authority will last for the duration of the stay-at-home order.

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4:15 p.m.

Ontario is imposing stricter public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

Premier Doug Ford says a state of emergency is being extended for an extra two weeks, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to only members of the same household.

The province is also setting up checkpoints to restrict interprovincial travel.

Big-box stores will also have their capacity capped at 25 per cent, down from the current 50 per cent.

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4:15 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 221 new cases of COVID-19.

There have also been two additional deaths linked to the virus.

The province says there are 190 people in hospital due to COVID-19, and 44 are in intensive care.

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3:30 p.m.

Health officials on Prince Edward Island are reporting the province's first hospitalization related to COVID-19.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison did not disclose the age of the patient, who recently travelled domestically outside of Atlantic Canada.

The province reported no new cases today and has seven active cases of COVID-19.

It has had 167 positive cases since the onset of the pandemic.

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2:35 p.m.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says a COVID-19 outbreak in Iqaluit and other areas demonstrates why public-health measures need to stay in place.

Nunavut's capital of 8,000 people is reporting 13 active cases.

Miller says Indigenous communities are crushing the curve of COVID-19, but the spread of more infectious mutations of the virus is concerning.

He says as of yesterday, nearly 300,000 vaccine doses have gone into the arms of people living in around 600 Indigenous communities.

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2 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 today.

Two of the cases are in the Moncton region, one is in the Saint John area and six of the cases are in the Edmundston region in the northwest of the province, where part of the region is under a lockdown.

Officials say two previously reported cases in the Edmundston region were actually false positives and have been removed from the list of confirmed cases.

There are now 141 active cases in the province and 20 patients are hospitalized, including 12 in intensive care.

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1:40 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey says he’s happy to offer Ontario personnel and extra equipment, but not offering vaccines.

In a statement Friday, Furey says it’s only fair for the country’s vaccine distribution to continue with the per capita model, as things could change in any province at any time.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19, all related to travel within Canada.

There are now 18 active reported COVID-19 infections in the province, and one person is in hospital because of the disease.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 127 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths.

Health officials say they are seeing more cases involving variants of concern and more cases involving younger people from their teens to their 40s.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, the deputy chief public health officer, says he is seeing more large gatherings and new restrictions could be imposed in the coming days.

He says the third wave has arrived in Manitoba and could become severe.

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1 p.m.

Ontario's science advisers are calling for the stay-at-home order to last six weeks.

The COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says the extended shutdown combined with a vaccination rate of at least 100,000 doses per day is the only way to flatten the curve of new infections.

They say that without stronger measures, the province could see 20,000 new daily cases by the end of May.

The province is seeing record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations, and has requested that other provinces send any health-care workers they can spare.

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12:55 p.m.

Manitoba is expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines among the general public.

The minimum age has dropped by two years -- to 37 and up for First Nations persons and 57 and up for others.

Health officials are also finalizing a plan announced earlier to start prioritizing firefighters, police officers and some front-line workers.

They say details will come next week.

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12:30 p.m.

The federal government has secured eight million additional doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, to be delivered by mid-summer.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the first additional four million shots will arrive in May, followed by two million in June and another two million in July.

Anand said the company will also move another 400,000 doses from the third quarter into June.

Canada's initial shipment of approximately 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will arrive during the week of April 27, Anand said, to be delivered to the provinces at the beginning of May.

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11:11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,527 new COVID-19 cases today and seven more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by three, to 664, and 167 people were in intensive care, a rise of eight.

The province says it administered 74,927 vaccine doses on Thursday, a single-day record.

Quebec has reported a total of 334,071 COVID-19 infections and 10,785 deaths linked to the virus.

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11:05 a.m.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada's incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will be slashed in half through the rest of April.

Anand says in a statement that Moderna will ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million.

Moderna said the limited supply is due to a "slower than anticipated ramp up" of its production capacity.

Anand says the company also told Canada that one to two million doses of the 12.3 million scheduled for delivery in the second quarter may be delayed until the third quarter.

Anand adds the federal government will continue to press Moderna to fulfill its commitments.

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10:50 a.m.

Police in a city east of Montreal say they are investigating an alleged attempt to illegally gain access to COVID-19 vaccines at a pharmacy.

Repentigny, Que., police say they were told of an incident at a Jean Coutu pharmacy that took place on April 11 where someone allegedly impersonated a vaccine inspector.

Several media reports cite an internal Jean Coutu memo saying a man presented himself to one of the company’s pharmacies pretending to be a security firm representative and asking to inspect the vaccines. His attempt was rebuffed by staff.

A spokeswoman for Groupe Jean Coutu declined to comment and Repentigny police say they took statements and are reviewing surveillance footage.

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10:40 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 4,812 new cases of COVID-19 today, reaching a new peak for a second day in a row.

It's also reporting 25 more deaths related to the virus.

The province could announce more public health measures today in an effort to rein in surging infections.

Yesterday's tally also marked a new record, at 4,736 cases.

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10:05 a.m.

Nunavut is announcing 12 new cases of COVID-19 today, all in Iqaluit.

On April 14, the city of about 8,000 people announced its first case since the pandemic began.

The city is under a strict lockdown, with all non-essential businesses, government offices and schools closed.

There are 13 active cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all in Iqaluit.

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9:30 a.m

The Canadian Medical Association is calling for "extraordinary" measures to address the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in several provinces.

The CMA says it wants the federal government to consider re-prioritizing its vaccine distribution strategy to focus on urgent areas instead of distributing to provinces on a per-capita basis.

The organization also says provinces should be sharing their health-care resources with areas that are especially hard-hit, including Ontario and Quebec, where intensive care capacity is overwhelmed.

The CMA says further restrictions "must also be considered" in provinces experiencing rapid rates of COVID-19 transmission.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press