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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada


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

6:45 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting five more deaths due to COVID-19, along with 40 new cases.

That brings the provincial death toll to 55 among 1,410 confirmed cases in total.

The province says 128 people are hospitalized, including 65 in intensive care.

It says there have been no new outbreaks at long-term care facilities since the last update on Thursday.


5:40 p.m.

Alberta is reporting seven new deaths related to COVID-19 today, its highest single-day death toll to date.

They include four new deaths at the McKenzie Town continuing care centre in Calgary, bringing that facility's total to 17.

Alberta's chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says new mandatory mask requirements are being put in place for health workers at long-term care sites, and staff at continuing care homes will be prevented from moving from facility to facility starting next week.

The province reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 today for a total of 1,500.


4:45 p.m.

The Quebec government is asking for festivals, sporting and cultural events scheduled for this summer to be cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19.

The request announced today is in order to respect physical distance measures expected to be in place for an extended period.

The government says it is exploring ways to help festivals and events financially.

Major events in Montreal like the International Jazz Festival and a festival of Francophone music, both scheduled for June, have been cancelled, as has Quebec City's popular July summer music festival. Montreal's Just for Laughs Comedy Festival has been put off until September.


3:50 p.m.

The executive director of a group home for adults with disabilities in Markham, Ont., says an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility led numerous personal support workers to walk off the job yesterday.

Shelley Brillinger says 10 residents and two staff members at the Butternut Lane site of Participation House have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

She says that when she told staff members yesterday afternoon, all but four left the facility.

Brillinger says the home cares for 42 residents between the ages of 20 and 86 with physical and developmental disabilities that affect every aspect of their lives.

She says it typically takes 35 people to care for the residents over a 24-hour span, so she's looking for help finding more people to do the work.


2:45 p.m.

Ontario's education minister says the province is preventing child-care centres from collecting payments while they're closed due to COVID-19.

Stephen Lecce says nobody will lose their child-care space as a result of not paying.

A spokeswoman says the emergency order is effective for payments made starting on April 9, meaning those who paid at the beginning of the month won't get their money back.

Some child-care centres that are looking after the kids of health-care and other front-line workers have remained open, but the rest were shuttered due to the pandemic.


2:15 p.m.

A Winnipeg man in his 70s has died from COVID-19, bringing Manitoba's number of deaths to four.

The province has recorded six additional positive tests, making the province's total 230.

Ten people are in hospital, with five in intensive care.


1:25 p.m.

The Quebec government says 25 more people have died from COVID-19, bringing the number of deaths to 241.

Premier Francois Legault says he's cautiously optimistic that despite reporting 11,677 confirmed cases and 733 people hospitalized, the numbers are beginning to stabilize. The cases in intensive care actually went down today to 186.

Legault says provincial health authorities are confident that physical distancing measures imposed by the province are working.

The premier repeated today that in the coming weeks, the province will begin to resume some actiivites and a gradual restart to the economy.

Legault's main message to Quebecers is that better days are ahead.


1:25 p.m.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province will quadruple its testing capacity over the course of a month.

He says the province will increase its capacity from 4,000 daily tests today to 16,000 on May 6.

Ford says the focus will be on testing vulnerable groups, including those in long-term care homes and health-care workers.

Provincial officials say testing resources will be concentrated on people exhibiting symptoms, because those who are asymptomatic could get false negative results.


1:20 p.m.

Nova Scotia has identified 34 new cases of COVID-19.

The province has confirmed 407 cases of the virus.

Eight people are in the hospital and four in the ICU, while 93 people have recovered.

The province expanded its screening process, advising people with two or more symptoms, including fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose or headache, to call 8-1-1 or go online for further assessment.


1:15 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador has confirmed three more cases of COVID-19, all in the Eastern Health region.

The province has now confirmed 239 cases of the illness.

Seven people are currently in the hospital due to the virus and two are in intensive care.

In total, 103 people have recovered.


12:45 p.m.

The RCMP says its officers could visit homes to ensure any person entering Canada is self-isolating for 14 days.

The police force says it has been asked to help enforce the Quarantine Act in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Police can also now arrest people for violating the Act, though the RCMP says that will be a last resort.

Previously they could only issue a court appearance notice or summons.

Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act could lead to a fine of up to $750,000 and imprisonment for six months.


12:30 p.m.

New Brunswick confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total in the province to 112.

Five people remain in hospital due to the virus and three are in intensive care.

Sixty people have recovered.

In a statement, chief medical officer of health Jennifer Russell urged people to stay home over the holiday weekend to contain the spread of the virus.


12 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's schedule is about to change as the federal government continues to avoid invoking the Emergencies Act.

Trudeau will be at the House of Commons on Saturday as the government attempts to pass the wage subsidy bill.

The prime minister primarily has been working from home since March 12 when his wife tested positive for COVID-19. He says he will conduct his daily televised address to the country from parliament on Sunday.

Trudeau calls the wage subsidy bill the largest economic measures Canada has seen since the Second World War.


10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 478 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total in the province to 6,237.

The province is also reporting 22 new deaths for a total of 222.

It says 73 long-term care homes are experiencing outbreaks, accounting for 931 cases and 98 deaths.


10 a.m.

Figures from the federal government this morning show that 5.08 million people are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The figure includes about two million workers who previously qualified for employment insurance benefits after March 15, but were moved to the new benefit when it became available on Monday.

So far this week, 3.08 million people have filed claims for the benefit, including just over 615,000 claims alone on Thursday.

The $2,000-a-month benefit is available for up to 16 weeks for eligible workers affected by COVID-19.

The Canadian Press

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