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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Thursday, April 1

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 6:10 p.m. British Columbia is reporting 832 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C.

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

6:10 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 832 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C.'s total number of deaths has now reached 1,463 people. 

She says 296 people are in hospital being treated for COVID-19, with 79 people in intensive care. 

Henry started her update today answering questions she says she has received from members of the public, including questions about B.C.'s vaccine strategy.


4 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 199 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, 115 of which are in the capital city, which has become a hot spot for variants of concern. 

Health officials warned that the number of faster-spreading variants is also beginning to rise elsewhere in southern Saskatchewan, particularly Moose Jaw and Weyburn. 

The province is expanding vaccine eligibility to people 58 and older as of Friday. 

So far, 200,633 doses have been administered.


3:05 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the case involves someone under 19 who is a contact of a previously reported infection.

Prince Edward Island has 13 active reported cases of COVID-19.

The province has reported a total of 160 infections and no deaths linked to the virus.


2:15 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the province today.

One case is in the Moncton region, and the other nine are in the Edmundston region.

There are now 141 active cases, and four patients are hospitalized, including three in intensive care.

Following a recent confirmed case of COVID-19, health officials have declared an outbreak at Foyer St-Jacques, a special care home in Edmundston.


2:05 p.m.

Ontario is imposing a four-week “shutdown” to combat rising COVID-19 infections.

Premier Doug Ford says the measures will take effect Saturday and remain in place across the province for at least four weeks.

Retail stores will see limits on capacity while restaurants will be restricted to takeout, delivery and drive-thru service.

Ford made the announcement hours after his government’s science advisers said a stay-at-home order is needed to control the third wave driven by deadlier and more infectious variants.


1:55 p.m.

Two women in their 40s in Manitoba have died from COVID-19 and there are 52 more cases of the virus. 

Screening has also identified three more cases that are variants of concern for a total of 270. 

There are 148 people in hospital due to COVID-19 and 30 are in intensive care.


1:05 p.m.

Health Canada says almost three in four Canadians over the age of 80 have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as have one in three people between 70 and 79.

Overall, almost one in six Canadians have now been given at least one dose, with 5.1 million people vaccinated as of Thursday morning. 

About 690,000 of those have received both doses.

Health Canada also issued new data by province today, showing Quebec ahead of the rest of the country in vaccinations, with 17.5 per cent of the adult population in Quebec vaccinated with at least one dose, followed by Saskatchewan at 14.9 per cent, Alberta at 14.6 per cent and Ontario at 13.9 per cent. 

Nova Scotia trails way behind at 5.6 per cent, with Manitoba second-to-last at 11 per cent.


1 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Officials say the case involves a man between 20 and 39 years old and his infection is related to travel within the country.

Public health says contact tracers are still trying to chase down the source of another infection announced Wednesday.

Newfoundland and Labrador hasn’t reported a case of COVID-19 whose source wasn’t quickly traced to travel or an existing infection since an outbreak swept through the St. John’s region in February.


1 p.m.

Ontario is now offering Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to residents aged 55 and older.

It’s also expanding the roster of pharmacies offering shots to include locations in every public health unit.

The province is expecting 583,400 shots of the vaccine to arrive today.

It says pharmacies could start offering the vaccine as early as Saturday.


12:20 p.m.

Canada's first deliveries of vaccine from the international vaccine sharing program known as COVAX will begin in the next few days.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander overseeing Health Canada's vaccine delivery logistics, says Canada is preparing to pick up 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming days and they will be delivered to provinces next week.

Canada is to get 1.9 million doses through COVAX by the end of June.


11:10 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

Two of the cases are in the Halifax area, with one related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and the other being a close contact of a previously reported case.

Health officials say the third case is in the western health zone and is also related to travel outside of the Atlantic region.

The province is reporting a total of 24 active cases of novel coronavirus.


11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,271 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by two, to 487, and 119 people were in intensive care, a drop of one.

The province says it administered 41,406 doses of vaccine Wednesday, for a total of 1,391,649, representing 16.4 per cent of the population.

Quebec has reported a total of 312,362 COVID-19 infections and 10,676 deaths linked to the virus; it has 9,038 active reported cases.


10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 2,557 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 743 new cases in Toronto, 484 in Peel Region, and 311 in York Region.

She also says there are 131 new cases in Ottawa, 119 in Hamilton and 107 in Durham Region

Ontario says 84,060 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Wednesday's update.


10 a.m.

Ontario's science advisers say stay-at-home orders will control the third wave of COVID-19, which is being driven by rising rates of the more deadly variants of concern.

The Ontario Science Advisory Table makes the findings in its latest pandemic modelling data.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the group, says short-term case projections will depend entirely on the public health measures implemented by the government and vaccination rates.

He says the province's vaccine rollout is not reaching the highest risk communities, which is delaying its impact as an effective strategy to fight the pandemic.


7:15 a.m.

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is expected to announce a 28-day provincewide "shutdown" today to stop the spread of COVID-19.

A source with knowledge of the restrictions says the final details of the new measures are still being worked out.

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the announcement, says schools will remain open after the Easter weekend.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect number of active cases in Quebec.