The latest developments (to date) on COVID-19 in Canada
The latest news on the COVID−19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):
Ontario says it will allow cannabis delivery and curbside pick up from authorized retail stores during the COVID−19 pandemic after they were taken off the essential businesses list.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says this temporary measure is the result of an emergency order introduced Tuesday and will continue for the next 14 days, with the possibility of an extension.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced stringent measures to avert thousands of potential fatalities due to COVID−19 by shuttering several businesses including cannabis shops, with only the province’s online sales portal remaining open.
Cannabis retailers across the province welcomed the emergency order saying curbside pick up and delivery affords many smaller retailers the ability to generate much−needed revenue.
Canada’s deputy minister of foreign affairs has tested positive for COVID−19.
Marta Morgan has been the top official in the department for just under a year, after leading the Immigration Department, and is the first woman to hold the job.
Minister Francois−Philippe Champagne shared the diagnosis on Twitter.
He wished Morgan a full and speedy recovery and called her an invaluable part of the foreign−affairs team.
Premier Jason Kenney says forecast models for the COVID−19 crisis in Alberta predict anywhere from 400 to 6,600 deaths in the months to come.
The premier spoke to the province in a televised address tonight.
Kenney says where the numbers go depends largely on the behaviour of Albertans.
Alberta is under strict public health orders that clamp down on non−essential businesses and restrict public gatherings to no more than 15 people.
Kenney says those orders will be in place at least until the end of the month, with social distancing rules likely in place until the end of May.
The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency says nearly 400 calls have come in about potential COVID−19 violations.
Complaints have come in through a toll−free phone line launched by the province to handle pandemic−related questions.
Since about March 28, the same week as the line officially launched, the agency says it has received 397 calls about potential violations.
Police in Regina confirmed Tuesday that a 23−year−old woman was ticketed nearly $3,000 for violating a health order was positive with COVID−19.
Four more people have died as a result of COVID−19 in British Columbia, bringing the total number of deaths to 43 in the province.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, says 25 new cases have been diagnosed.
A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in B.C., with 805 people having fully recovered from the disease.
There are 138 people being treated in hospital for COVID−19 and 66 of them are in intensive or critical care.
Alberta is reporting 25 new cases of COVID−19.
That brings the total number of cases in the province to 1,373.
The government’s website also says there has been two additional deaths, bringing that total to 26.
It says 447 people have so far recovered from the virus.
Quebec public health officials are projecting that COVID−19 will cause 1,263 deaths in the province by the end of April under the most optimistic scenario and 8,860 deaths under the most pessimistic.
They say the reality will likely fall in between the two, and much closer to the optimistic forecast than the pessimistic one.
The modelling projects the pandemic will peak in Quebec on around April 18.
The optimistic scenario is based on the experience of Portugal in combating the novel coronavirus while the pessimistic one is based on Italy.
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health has confirmed seven new cases of COVID−19 to bring the province’s total to 260.
The ministry says 88 of the people infected have recovered and two are in intensive care.
There are no new cases of COVID−19 being reported again today on Prince Edward Island, leaving the provincial total at 22.
It has been five days since the most recent case was announced.
P.E.I.’s chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison had not received new results today from the laboratory by the time of the afternoon briefing.
The city of Toronto is recalling $200,000 worth of surgical masks that were distributed to long−term care homes.
In a press release, the city says it got reports of ripping and tearing, and discovered the masks don’t meet its specifications for such equipment.
More than 62,000 masks — out of an order of 200,000 — were distributed to the city’s long−term care homes on March 28.
The city is trying to figure out how many long−term care home staff were caring for patients while wearing the masks and if there was any exposure to COVID−19.
The Canadian Grand Prix has been postponed due to the COVID−19 pandemic.
The Montreal−based Formula One race was scheduled to take place June 12−14.
Race organizers said in a statement that they were "saddened" to postpone the race and that the decision was made in consultation with Formula One and representatives from the city of Montreal, Tourism Montreal and provincial and federal governments.
The announcement comes after F1 said it was working with promoters on a revised 2020 schedule.
Organizers say purchased tickets will remain valid and spectators will be informed of their options once the race is rescheduled.
Manitoba is reporting 13 news cases of COVID−19 and one additional death.
Twelve people are in hospital, six of whom are in intensive care.
The province has recorded totals so far of 217 cases − 203 confirmed and 14 probable − three deaths and 21 people recovered.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault says he has added someone new to the province’s list of essential services – the tooth fairy.
Legault played a short video during his daily briefing in Quebec City of a girl named Raphaelle asking whether the tooth fairy is allowed out and about during the pandemic.
He said the tooth fairy will continue working, and he assured parents the fairy has immunity against the novel coronavirus.
There are two new cases of COVID−19 in New Brunswick today, increasing the provincial total to 105.
Chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell says the latest cases are a person between the age of 10 and 19 and someone between the age of 70 and 79, which shows the virus can affect people of any age.
Russell is now recommending the use of non−medical face coverings when people go out in public.
The largest and most popular park in Vancouver will become car−free by noon Wednesday as park officials move to ensure physical distancing.
Vancouver Park Board general manager Malcolm Bromley says cars will be banned from most roads in Stanley Park, allowing cyclists to use the routes.
Cyclists will be moved off the park’s picturesque, 10−kilometre seawall, giving more room to walkers and joggers.
The goal is to keep all Vancouver parks open while permitting physical distancing but if the Stanley Park experiment fails, Bromley says the whole park could be closed, although he doubts that will be required.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault says Quebec has recorded 29 additional COVID−19 deaths, bringing the total to 150.
There are now 9,340 confirmed cases of the disease in the province, an increase of 760 from Monday.
For the second straight day, the premier pointed to the low number of new cases requiring hospitalization as an encouraging sign.
The province is reporting 583 COVID−19 patients in hospital, an increase of 50, and 164 requiring intensive care, the same number as the previous day.
A long−term care home north of Montreal is reporting that 105 people at its facility have tested positive for COVID−19 and eight have died.
A spokeswoman for the regional health authority says the facility in Laval decided to test all its residents last Friday to learn the size of the outbreak.
Judith Goudreau says the testing revealed 69 new cases among the 174 tested, in addition to the several dozen cases previously reported among residents and staff.
Goudreau says 87 health−care employees are affected across Laval, however it’s unclear how many of those were associated with the care home.
Newfoundland and Labrador has confirmed two more cases of COVID−19, bringing the provincial total to 228.
The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, says the new cases are in the Central and Eastern health authorities.
Seven people are in hospital from the virus and two are in intensive care.
The province has tested 3,958 people.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada received eight million surgical masks from China yesterday, and orders made directly by Nova Scotia and Quebec were on board.
She says Canada expects more deliveries from China in the days to come.
She says Canada has sourced more than 230 million surgical masks, and over 60 million have been delivered to date.
Canada has also ordered 113,000 litres of hand sanitizer, most of which is expected to be delivered this month.
Roughly 20,000 litres of hand sanitizer have been received in the last 24 hours and officials are expecting another 20,000 litres this week.
Another resident at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., has died, bringing the total number of COVID−19 related deaths at the seniors’ residence to 27.
The wife of a resident also died from the disease in what is considered one of the worst outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in Canada.
Nearly half of the residents at the 65−bed nursing home have died, while at least 24 staff members have tested positive for COVID−19.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is working with a number of Canadian companies to produce up to 30,000 ventilators.
Trudeau says he hopes that many ventilators won’t be needed to treat COVID−19 patients in Canada, but health officials want to be as prepared as possible.
In addition to working with Canadian companies to manufacture critical equipment, Trudeau says Canada is also working with suppliers around the world.
He says the country is expecting a shipment of 500,000 surgical−grade masks from Minnesota−based 3M by tomorrow.
The Canadian Football League is postponing the start of its 2020 season until the beginning of July due to the COVID−19 pandemic.
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie announced the postponement in a release, noting that some CFL cities have indicated they won’t allow sporting events through the end of June.
Ambrosie said the league will try to play a full season, though significant changes will have to be made.
The CFL season was scheduled to start June 11 and finish with the Grey Cup game in Regina on Nov. 22.
Nova Scotia has identified 17 new cases of COVID−19, for a total of 310 confirmed cases.
The province also recorded its first death from the virus earlier today.
Heath officials say the microbiology lab at the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed more than 530 tests yesterday and is now operating 24 hours a day.
Health officials say 11 people are currently in hospital, while 66 people have now recovered and their cases of COVID−19 are considered resolved.
Ontario is reporting 379 new cases of COVID−19 today, including 21 more deaths.
That brings the totals in the province to 4,726 confirmed cases, including 153 deaths and 1,802 cases that have been resolved.
There are now 614 people in Ontario hospitalized with COVID−19, with 233 of them in intensive care and 187 of those people on ventilators.
The Canada Revenue Agency says 788,510 people successfully applied yesterday for pandemic−related emergency relief.
About 572,500 of the applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit were made online, while almost 215,800 applied by calling in.
The agency’s figures capture from the time applications opened at 6 a.m. Monday until midnight.
Hundreds of thousands more are expected to apply today and tomorrow for the $2,000−a−month benefit that is available for up to 16 weeks.
Anyone already receiving employment insurance benefits is to be automatically transferred over to the CERB.
Nova Scotia has recorded its first death related to COVID−19.
Health officials say a woman in her 70s with underlying medical conditions died Monday in a hospital in eastern Nova Scotia.
Premier Stephen McNeil issued a brief statement saying he had hoped this day would never come, and he expressed his condolences to the woman’s grieving family and friends.
The Canadian Press