The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

·8 min read

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

5:55 p.m.

Alberta health officials are reporting 1,558 new COVID-19 cases and nine new deaths.

Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, a total of 2,132 people have died from the virus.

The province says 24,586 cases are active.

There are 722 people in hospital in the province, with 177 in intensive care.

---

5:15 p.m.

B.C.’s top doctor says health officials are monitoring the province’s second case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, also known as VITT.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the man in his 40s is now in stable condition.

B.C. has diagnosed 587 new cases of COVID-19 in the last day as the infection rate continues to trend downward, with 5,691 active cases on Thursday.

Five more people have died, pushing B.C.’s death toll to 1,632.

More than 2.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far and more than half of all eligible adults in B.C. have received at least one dose.

---

4:35 p.m.

Ontario aims to have all willing adults in the province fully immunized against COVID-19 by Sept. 22.

The province extended a stay-at-home order to June 2 today to help bring the number of infections down and offer some relief to hospitals.

Premier Doug Ford announced the decision as he pledged to ramp up vaccinations to achieve a "two-dose summer," contingent on supply.

The comment appeared to be a dig at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his recent remarks about a "one-dose summer."

In an interview with Toronto TV station CP24, Trudeau said he was "frustrated" and "disappointed" with Ford.

---

4:20 p.m.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says he and his team are working on advice to cabinet related to whether Canada should continue to receive additional doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

He would not divulge what that advice will be.

He says there is still time to use some of the doses that will expire next, but that there is also the ability for provinces who have doses that might expire, to ask for help redeploying those doses to other provinces that can and want to use them.

He says the COVAX doses that arrived Thursday don't expire until the end of August.

---

4:15 p.m.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says the 655,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the global vaccine sharing alliance known as COVAX arrived in Canada this morning but are not immediately being distributed to provinces.

Fortin says the doses will be held at the Innomar Strategies facility near Toronto awaiting specific orders for the doses from provincial governments.

Until now, vaccine shipments have been repackaged and shipped to provinces on a per capita basis, but Fortin says provinces are in the midst of determining how they intend to use AstraZeneca going forward, so discussions are happening to decide how best to handle the new arrivals.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization on second doses of AstraZeneca is expected shortly, but that they need to make an evidence-based recommendation, and can't do that without the results of the United Kingdom study on mixing and matching vaccines.

---

3:40 p.m.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says Canada has confirmed 18 cases of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and another 10 cases are under investigation.

More than two million people have received the vaccine so far, and chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the Public Health Agency of Canada has estimated the current rate of VITT as one case in 83,000 doses administered, but that could rise as high as one in 55,000 depending on the results of ongoing investigations.

The vast majority of people received the vaccine prior to May 1, but the syndrome can appear four to 28 days after vaccination, meaning many people are still in the post-vaccination risk period and more cases could still be discovered.

Most provinces are no longer using it for first doses at the moment, due to a combination of supply limitations and concerns about the risk of blood clots.

Njoo says for now, people who received a first dose should wait 12 weeks to get a second dose, and the current advice is to get AstraZeneca again for the second dose.

A United Kingdom study looking at giving a different second dose is still underway.

---

3:40 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 223 new cases of COVID-19.

The province says there have also been five additional deaths linked to the virus.

There are 161 people in hospital due to the illness, and 35 of them are in intensive care.

Officials say 53 per cent of adults in the province have received a first dose of vaccine.

---

2:35 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 110 new cases of COVID-19 and 155 recoveries.

Officials have identified 83 new cases in the Halifax area, along with 12 in the province's eastern zone, nine in the western zone and six in Northern region.

The province has 1,572 known active cases of COVID-19 with 85 people in hospital, including 15 in intensive care.

Officials say eight patients in a non-COVID unit at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax have been identified as positive for novel coronavirus and have been transferred to a COVID-19 unit.

---

2 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting two more cases of a rare blood-clotting event in people who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says both people who were diagnosed with vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) received their vaccines in mid-April; one has recovered and the other is in hospital.

New Brunswick has reported a total of four VITT cases, including one death.

The province is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 today and 10 people in hospital with the disease, including three in intensive care.

---

1:45 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 560 new COVID-19 cases, a record for a single-day increase.

The previous high was 546 during the pandemic's second wave in November.

The province is also reporting three deaths -- one in Winnipeg and two in the Prairie Mountain health region.

---

1:10 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting seven new cases of COVID-19.

Public health says all seven cases have been linked to travel or to previously known infections.

Officials say there are now 82 active reported cases across the province, and nobody is in hospital due to the disease.

People in the province aged 40 and older are now able to book an appointment for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

---

12:25 p.m.

Ontario is extending its stay-at-home order until June 2.

Premier Doug Ford says it's not yet safe to lift the emergency order, which was due to expire a week from today.

The province's top doctor has said he would like to see "well below" 1,000 daily cases before it's lifted.

---

12:15 p.m.

Nova Scotia says it has administered 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials say that as of yesterday about 37 per cent of the provincial population has had one or more doses.

The new milestone comes less than a month after the province reported that it had hit 200,000 doses on April 16.

Since then, the province has lowered its age groups for vaccine eligibility five times, making more than 558,000 people eligible to book an appointment.

---

11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward Island has announced one new case of COVID-19 connected to a daycare centre in Charlottetown.

Chief medical officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the case involves an individual in their 20s who works at Leaps and Bounds Childcare Centre.

She says the centre takes care of between 38 and 40 children and has eight people on staff.

Morrison says the centre will be closed and the children, staff and their close contacts will be tested and asked to isolate as they wait for results.

---

11:15 a.m.

Quebec says it will no longer administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a first dose because of concerns it is tied to rare cases of blood clots.

Health officials say people who have already received one dose of that vaccine will have the choice to get a second or to receive another available vaccine.

Quebec is reporting 781 new cases of COVID-19 today and five more deaths attributed to the virus.

Hospitalizations have dropped by 10, to 520, and 121 people are in intensive care, a drop of five.

---

10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 2,759 new COVID-19 cases.

The province also says there are 31 more deaths from the virus.

There are 1,632 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, including 776 patients in intensive care and 568 on ventilators.

---

10:15 a.m.

Nunavut is announcing 12 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the territory's active total to 74.

All the cases are in Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital city of about 8,000 people.

Iqaluit remains under a strict lockdown, with schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces closed.

Four people have been also been hospitalized in Ottawa, with one person in the intensive care unit, as Iqaluit's hospital, the only in the territory, does not have an ICU.

There have been 137 recoveries since the city's first case was declared on April 14.

---

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2021.

The Canadian Press