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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada


The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):


9:15 p.m.

B.C. Premier John Horgan made a direct address to the province tonight, reassuring people that the government has a plan to weather the COVID-19 crisis.

Horgan says the province will announce a plan on Wednesday to make sure health-care workers have the equipment and supplies they need to stay safe, including getting them reuseable medical garments.

In the five-minute address, he asked people to stick with the advice of public health officials by staying at home as much as possible and to continue keeping a physical distance from others.

He says the province will get through the crisis as he announced he is extending the state of emergency through the end of April 14.


7:40 p.m.

A hospital in Mississauga, Ont., says it has an outbreak of COVID-19.

Credit Valley Hospital says four patients in an inpatient unit have tested positive.

The four patients are being relocated to a unit exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

All other patients in the unit are being monitored for symptoms.


6:10 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting five more deaths related to COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, says 24 people in total have now died in B.C.

She says another 43 people have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 1,013.

Henry says 507 people have recovered.


6 p.m.

Toronto's ban on city-led events through June 30 does not prohibit sporting events at private facilities.

That means the Maple Leafs and Raptors could still play games at Scotiabank Arena, and the Blue Jays could play at the Rogers Centre.

The same could hold true for the Queen's Plate at Woodbine Racetrack on June 27 and the RBC Canadian Open June 11-14 at St. George's Golf and Country Club after Toronto's ban was announced today.

However, almost all major sports leagues and events around the world have been suspended, cancelled or postponed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Also, Ontario has extended its state of emergency through April 14. It prohibits events or gatherings of more than five people.

There also is an international travel ban in place, prohibiting anyone deemed non-essential from entering Canada.

Almost all major sports events in Toronto include athletes from outside Canada.


5:30 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 64 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 754.

The province's chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, says another resident has also died at Calgary's McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre.

She says up to 75 of the total number of cases appear to have been caused by community transmission, and that is concerning.


4:45 p.m.

The Ontario union representing provincial correctional staff say guards refused to work their shift at an Ottawa jail Tuesday over the lack of screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

Ryan Graham of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says the entire morning shift of correctional workers at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre refused to enter the institution.

He says the union has been pushing the Ministry of the Solicitor General to implement screening measures for signs of COVID-19 for anyone going into the province's jails.


4:30 p.m.

The city of Toronto says it's cancelling all public events for the next three months to try and halt the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor John Tory says all festivals, conferences and cultural events scheduled until June 30 are suspended in a bid to comply with public health advice.

The cancellation includes major city events including the annual Pride festival.

The city says the cancellation date will be reviewed every two weeks and extended further into the summer if needed.


3:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan has eight new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 184.

Health officials say one person is in intensive care, while 21 other people have now recovered from the virus.

On Monday, the province announced its first two deaths from COVID-19.

Both people who died were in their 70s.


3:10 p.m.

The Northwest Territories has added $8.3 million in aid for residents suffering economic stress from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money is available to families, businesses, Indigenous governments and communities.

The territory has now announced a total of $21.6 million in COVID-19 support to date.


2:35 p.m.

Five members of the Toronto police have tested positive for COVID-19.

Spokeswoman Meaghan Gray says four officers have the disease, as well as one civilian who works at police headquarters.

She says there are other officers off duty in self-isolation, but declined to say how many for operational reasons.


2:27 p.m.

The Manitoba government is reporting seven new probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 103.

Public health officials also say a staff member at Selkirk Regional Health Centre has tested positive for COVID-19.

They say the person worked in the hospital's emergency department and medicine ward from March 19 to 23.

Officials are investigating this case and following up with close contacts among staff and patients.


1:50 p.m.

There are two new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, bringing the provincial total to 70.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Jennifer Russell says one case is travel related, and the other is a contact of a previous case.

She says there are three cases of community transmission so far in the province, and nine people who were positive have recovered.

Russell warns against people becoming complacent.


1:25 p.m.

Ontario says it will extend school closures until May 4 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford confirmed the decision at a press conference today saying he is following the advice of medical experts.

Earlier this month, Education Minister Stephen Lecce ordered schools closed for two weeks following March break, and the premier said last week schools will not be reopening April 6.

School boards across the province have been working on plans to help children learn from home.


1:21 p.m.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is warning the province could run out of some kinds of medical supplies in three to seven days.

He made the announcement as the total number of cases in Quebec rose to 4,162, which is an increase of 732 from yesterday.

There were also six more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the province's death toll to 31.

Legault said he hopes new shipments of medical supplies will arrive in coming days, and thanked Ontario Premier Doug Ford for agreeing to send Quebec some equipment.


12:56 p.m.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the government is monitoring closely the spread of COVID-19 among health professionals who live in Canada but work in the U.S.

Reports suggest many of the cases in Windsor, Ont., are a result of cross-border travel for essential work.

That's the only reason people are currently allowed to cross the border.

Freeland says stepped up measures have been put in place at the hospitals on the U.S. and Canadian side of the border.


12:44 p.m.

There are three new cases of COVID-19 on Prince Edward Island, bringing the provincial total to 21.

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says all three new cases are people who had travelled internationally and are self-isolating.

She says a man in Summerside has been fined $1,000 for failing to self-isolate.


12:43 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador has announced four more positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 152.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the chief medical officers of health, says all the cases are in the Eastern Health authority.

She says 11 people have been hospitalized due to the virus and two are in intensive care.

Municipal and privately-owned parks and campgrounds have been ordered to close but Fitzgerald says people should still exercise outside while keeping their distance from others.


12:27 p.m.

The federal government has purchased 157 million surgical masks and more than 60 million N95 masks, used by health-care professional to stop the spread of COVID-19.

There are also 1,570 ventilators on order, with officials looking to secure 4,000 more.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand laid out the state of the government's bulk buy efforts today.


12:24 p.m.

Canada's chief public health officer says there have now been 236,000 tests in Canada for COVID-19.

Dr. Theresa Tam says 3.5 per cent are confirmed positive, and more than 93 per cent confirmed negative.

She says adults under 40 represent about 10 per cent of hospitalizations.

Tam says the greatest concern at the moment is the introduction and spread of the virus in places where high-risk populations reside, including long-term care homes, remote First Nations and prisons.


12:20 p.m.

The Manitoba government is closing elementary, junior high and high schools indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province originally planned a three-week shutdown that was to end Monday, April 13th.

But the education minister now says schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year unless health officials say they can be reopened.

Kelvin Goertzen (GURT'-zihn) says assignments and learning will continue as teachers conduct their work remotely.


12:09 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 20 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 147 confirmed cases in the province.

Health officials say most cases are connected to travel or a known case, with one case the result of transmission within the community.

The affected individuals range in age from under 10 to over 80.

Public Heath officials say four people are currently in hospital, while 10 have now recovered.


11:40 a.m.

The prime minister says the government is preparing for worst-case scenarios when it comes to the purchase and distribution of crucial medical equipment to treat and prevent COVID-19.

Justin Trudeau says however that Canadians do have some control over how much equipment will be required.

He says the more people choose to stay home to curb the spread of the virus, the less urgent the demand will be on the health-care system.


11:23 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is moving forward with the private sector on agreements to purchase equipment for the response to COVID-19.

He says production of ventilators, masks and test kits is now underway.

One company, Thornhill Medical, says it is making 500 ventilators and hopes to have them ready within weeks.

Trudeau says the government has signed letters of intent with five other firms to bolster the national stockpiles of badly needed equipment.

The government is also allocating $2 billion to purchase personal protective equipment for health care professionals.


10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 260 more COVID-19 cases today, for a total of nearly 2,000 in the province.

The 1,966 cases Ontario has seen includes 33 deaths and 534 that are resolved.

The number of people awaiting test results continues to drop — to 4,280 today — as Ontario adds more testing capacity and clears a backlog that was once nearly 11,000.


10:15 a.m.

The federal government is waiving the monthly rent paid by airport authorities to Ottawa for the rest of the year as revenues plummet amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the measure will provide support worth up to $331.4 million in ground lease rents from March through December.

The move applies to 21 airport authorities as well as PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop airport and pays a charge to the federal government.

Morneau says the air transportation sector has "suffered tremendously," as airlines cancel the vast majority of their flights and lay off thousands of staff.


8:45 a.m.

Officials in Florida are meeting later today to decide whether to let the infection-plagued cruise ship MS Zaandam dock after more than two weeks at sea.

The Zaandam and its sister ship the MS Rotterdam have about 2,700 passengers and crew on board, including 248 Canadians.

The two ships were stranded off the coast of Panama after the novel coronavirus made its way on board.

On Monday they passed through the Panama Canal after being anchored on the west side of the canal with four dead and nearly 200 passengers and crew exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the state's health care resources are stretched too thin to allow the ship to dock.


8:10 a.m.

Ontario's education minister is expected to announce an e-learning plan for the province's students during COVID-19 school closures.

Earlier this month, Stephen Lecce ordered schools closed for two weeks following March break, but as the end of that draws closer, the premier has said schools will not be re-opening April 6.

Lecce and Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano are set to join Premier Doug Ford for an announcement today.

The Canadian Press

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