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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada on Dec. 21, 2020

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (All times Eastern): 6:15 p.m. British Columbia provincial health officer Dr.

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

6:15 p.m.

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says they're starting to see a levelling off of the COVID-19 curve, but the infection rate is still very high.

There are 1,667 new cases diagnosed over the last three days, for a total of 47,067 positive cases since the pandemic began in the province.

Henry says the spread of COVID-19 through long-term and assisted living facilities is apparent with 41 deaths over three days.

There were 3,644 people vaccinated last week and Henry says there have been COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to every health authority in the province.


5:40 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,240 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths.

Chief public health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 795 people are in hospital with the virus.

Of those, 151 are in intensive care.

There are currently just over 19,000 active cases in the province.


3 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 206 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths.

Officials say those who died were from in and around Regina and were 50 and older.

So far, 122 people in the province have died since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the spring.

There are 131 people in hospital, with 20 people receiving intensive care.

The Ministry of Health says about 1,200 health-care workers in Regina have been vaccinated against COVID-19.


1:50 p.m.

Manitoba health officials are announcing 167 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths. 

Those numbers, as well as the province's test positivity rate, have been trending downward in recent weeks after the province imposed sweeping restrictions on public gatherings and store openings. 

Health officials warn the numbers could rise again if people do not take precautions over the holidays.


1:35 p.m.

Nunavut is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 19 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, all in the community of Arviat.

Two Nunavut residents died from COVID-19 in southern hospitals over the weekend.

Arviat, the only community with cases, is still under a full lockdown, with all non-essential businesses closed.

To date, 243 people in Nunavut have recovered from COVID-19.


1:30 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today.

The cases include a person in their 20s and two people in their 50s from the Fredericton area and one person in their 20s in the Edmundston region.

Health officials say the three Fredericton cases are travel-related while the Edmundston case is a contact of a known case.

The province now has 48 active cases of the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, health officials say a total of 1,871 people received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the clinic held at the Miramichi Regional Hospital over the weekend.


1:25 p.m.

Ontario will begin a provincewide lockdown on Boxing Day.

It will remain in place for southern Ontario until Jan. 23, but will lift for northern Ontario on Jan. 9.

Premier Doug Ford says the virus is spreading rapidly from areas with a high number of cases to areas with fewer cases.

He says the province needs to preserve capacity in its hospitals and ICUs.

The measures mean schools across the province will move to online learning from Jan. 4 to 8, after which students will return to in-person learning depending on their location and grade level. 

Child-care centres across the province will remain open during the lockdown.

The measures also mean all non-essential businesses must close, and essential businesses that remain open will have strict capacity limits in place.


12:55 p.m.

Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador say they’ve traced the source of a cluster of COVID-19 cases in the town of Harbour Breton.

The tiny town of about 1,600 people sits at the end of a long, lonely highway that cuts vertically across the vast emptiness of central Newfoundland.

Two cases first turned up in the town in early December, and health officials couldn’t figure out where they came from.

On Monday, during the province’s regular public health briefing, chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said the cases have finally been traced back to travel, which Fitzgerald says is a big relief.


11:40 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting two new cases of COVID-19, while its number of active cases has fallen to 38.

Health officials say one new case is in the Halifax area and the other is in the western health zone.

Both cases are close contacts of previously reported cases.

Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 1,389 tests on Sunday.

No one is currently in hospital.


11:05 a.m.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Ontario and the province's ability to control the spread of the virus is “precarious.”

Those are the findings from new projections released today that conclude "hard" lockdowns lasting four to six weeks could cut daily case counts to less than 1,000.

The new projections show that under all scenarios the province will see 300 intensive-care unit beds filled within 10 days — double the 150-bed threshold where surgeries must be cancelled.

Under a worst-case-scenario, ICU occupancy could hit 1,500 beds by mid-January. 

The data also shows that deaths due to COVID-19 will continue to increase, especially in long-term care where there have been 633 resident deaths since Sept. 1, and 100 over the past week.


11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting a third straight day of more than 2,000 COVID-19 infections as well as a sharp rise in hospitalizations.

Health officials reported 2,108 new cases and 30 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, two of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

The province says hospitalizations increased by 38, to 1,048, and 146 people were in intensive care, the same number as the prior day.

Quebec administered 115 doses of COVID-19 vaccine Sunday for a total of 4,831 since the province’s vaccination campaign began last week.


10:40 a.m.

There are 2,123 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario today and 17 more deaths related to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 611 new cases in Toronto, 480 in Peel Region, and 192 in York Region.

Hamilton is joining those regions, along with Windsor-Essex, in the province's "grey" lockdown zone today. It has 36 new cases.


9:55 a.m.

New measures meant to prevent any possible surge of COVID-19 over the holiday period have entered into effect across Nova Scotia.

Starting today and until Jan. 10, in-person dining at restaurants in the Halifax area will remain closed, while restaurants and licensed establishments in the rest of the province will have to stop service by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.

Indoor gatherings provincewide are capped at 10 people and retail stores across Nova Scotia are required to limit the number of shoppers to 25 per cent of legal capacity.

Long-term care residents are allowed two designated caregivers while seniors facilities can permit limited visits by family members.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press