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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 6:25 p.m. British Columbia is reporting 531 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death, for a total of 1,394 people who have died from complications of the virus in the province.

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

6:25 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 531 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death, for a total of 1,394 people who have died from complications of the virus in the province.

There have been 51 new confirmed cases that are variants of concern.

Of the 627 variant cases, 580 are the strain identified in the United Kingdom, 33 are the variant detected in South Africa and 14 are the strain linked to Brazil.

The province confirmed it has started to receive supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which will assist with outbreak response in communities and high-risk industries.


5:30 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 399 new COVID-19 infections and two additional deaths.

The percentage of tests that came back positive was 3.7 per cent.

Chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 47 new cases involving variants of the virus were found in the last day, bringing the total to 734 since the first was identified in mid-December.

The proportion of variants of concern has grown from three per cent of active cases in late January to nine per cent currently.

Hinshaw says elsewhere in the world, that percentage grew to more than 50 per cent in that time period.

There are 254 COVID-19 patients in Alberta hospitals, including 37 in intensive care.


4:10 p.m.

Canada's vaccination program passed a new milestone Wednesday, when the two-millionth person was given a first dose of vaccine.

About 580,000 people have now received both doses, and 860,000 others one dose. 

Most provinces are now delaying that second dose by up to four months, to get a first dose into more people sooner.

Ottawa Public Health, for example, is now booking second-dose appointments in June, for people who received their first dose this week.


3:50 p.m.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says Canada's vaccine program is moving into a significant "ramp up" phase.

About 3.8 million doses have been distributed to provinces and territories in the last 13 weeks, while 4.2 million will be distributed in the next three weeks.

"We're stepping into Phase 2 today," Fortin said.

Fortin says a virtual training exercise took place this week for everyone to make sure they are prepared for such a large increase in deliveries, including everything from booking appointments, to having enough people in place to do the actual injections.


2:40 p.m.

For the first time since an outbreak swept through the capital, Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting no new cases of COVID-19.

The last time the province reported no new cases was Feb. 2, before the outbreak hit.

Since then, 603 new cases have been reported, which means there were more new cases in the last five weeks than in the previous 11 months combined.

As the province cautiously emerges from the outbreak, officials are gradually loosening public health restrictions and more relaxed rules allowing residents more close contacts come into effect on Saturday.


2:40 p.m.

Saskatchewan health officials say a provincial lab has found another 26 cases of a variant of concern in the Regina area.

The Ministry of Health says the samples were from last month and confirmed to be from the B.1.1.7 strain, first detected in the United Kingdom.

To date, Saskatchewan has reported 70 cases of variants of concern.

Although most were the B.1.1.7 mutation, six were from the strain first found in South Africa.

Another 111 new COVID-19 cases were reported, many of them from the Regina area.


2:05 p.m.

The Manitoba government has released a list of underlying health conditions that will qualify people to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks. 

Because the AstraZeneca vaccine is not recommended for people over 65, it will be made available to people aged 50 to 64 -- or 30 to 64 for First Nations people -- with certain health conditions. 

The list includes people with heart failure, end-stage renal disease, people receiving home care four times a week, and pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes.


1:45 p.m.

Ontario says family doctors in six regions will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations to patients aged 60-64 this weekend. 

Premier Doug Ford says the initiative will start in Toronto, Peel Region, Hamilton, Guelph, Peterborough and Simcoe-Muskoka, with doctors starting to contact patients to book appointments today.

Ford says the primary care physicians will be administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot. 

The province also says 325 pharmacies in three regions will begin administering the AstraZeneca vaccine Friday to residents aged 60 to 64.


1:30 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting one additional COVID-19 death and 77 new cases. 

However, six cases from unspecified dates have been removed due to data correction, so the net increase is 71. 

On a per capita basis, new cases continue to be concentrated primarily in northern communities.


1:05 p.m.

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says, with no new cases of COVID-19 in his territory for another week, his government is ready to revise some of the restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

Speaking at a news conference this morning, Silver says full-time, in-class learning will begin next month for Grades 10 to 12, while universities are expected to return to face-to-face learning by September.

Decisions about increasing the number of social contacts are also expected this spring or summer, although exact details will depend on immunization levels that health officials hope will soon reach 75 per cent in the territory.

To date, more than 24,000 doses of Moderna vaccine have been administered in Yukon, a rate Silver says leads the country, and the government website says 8,840 of those shots are second doses.


12:20 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the case is located in the western region of the province and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

Nova Scotia has 24 active reported infections.

The province has administered more than 42,500 vaccinations, about 15,000 of which were booster shots.


11:40 a.m.

The Manitoba government is launching temporary pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites next week, in order to reach communities far from its existing so-called super centres. 

The half-day or one-day clinics will start in communities including Flin Flon, Portage la Prairie, Dauphin and Gimli. 

Appointments must be booked in advance through the provincial call centre.


11:35 a.m.

New Brunswick is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say there are 34 active reported cases in the province and three people are in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.

New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,460 COVID-19 infections and 29 deaths linked to the virus.


11:25 a.m.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says starting Thursday residents will be able to book their vaccination against COVID-19 by phone or online.

He says his health minister and the Saskatchewan Health Authority will provide more details about the appointment system later today.

Speaking at a virtual convention for rural leaders, Moe says the province is in the final stretch of the pandemic.

He says a larger vaccine supply means by early April officials can start vaccinating members of the general public, beginning with residents aged 60 to 69.


11:23 a.m.

Health Canada expects more than two million doses of vaccine to be delivered from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in two weeks.

Pfizer alone will ship more than a million doses a week itself between March 22 and April 18.

Pfizer recently said it would increase its planned shipments to Canada by 1.5 million doses before the end of March, and send an extra million doses in both April and May.

The company has now confirmed its delivery schedule through mid-April, shipping 1.2 million doses the weeks of March 22 and March 29, and one million doses the weeks of April 5 and April 18.


11:10 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 792 new COVID-19 infections and 10 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by five today, to 581, and 112 people were in intensive care, a rise of two.

The province says it administered more than 18,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.


10:40 a.m.

The Ontario government says there are 1,316 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 16 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 428 of those new cases are in Toronto, 244 are in Peel Region, and 149 are in York Region. 

More than 35,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since Tuesday's report.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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