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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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

7:10 p.m.

More than 1.7 million first doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed in B.C., and almost 90,000 of those are second shots.

A joint statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix says five people have died of COVID-related causes, while 841 more people were diagnosed with the disease.

The number of people in hospital has reached a new peak at 515 and 171 of those are in intensive care.

Those 58 years and older can book their vaccine appointment starting Thursday.


6:40 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,839 new cases of COVID-19.

It also has 20,938 active cases.

The province says 1,058 variant cases have been detected.

There are 643 people in hospital because of the virus and 145 are in intensive care.


5:30 p.m.

More than 70 per cent of Yukon residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials say that means they can reduce the hours of operation at the Whitehorse vaccine clinic.

A statement from the territory says at the peak of the process, hundreds of people a day were coming into the Whitehorse clinic.

Deputy health minister Stephen Samis says they'll scale down operations and focus some efforts on other vaccinations, including pre-kindergarten and routine childhood vaccines.


4:50 p.m.

Quebec's public health director says the government is studying the possibility of vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 16 over the summer.

Dr. Horacio Arruda said today he was following the ongoing studies involving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and said the province could move quickly if the shot is authorized for those under 16.

He also says the government is leaning against requiring people to use so-called vaccine passports.

Arruda says there are “enormous ethical issues” with forcing people to show proof of vaccination if they want to access certain public services.


3:55 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 213 new cases of COVID-19 today and four additional deaths.

Three of the deaths were in the Saskatoon area and the fourth was in the Regina area.

There are 184 people in hospital, including 42 in intensive care.


3:40 p.m.

Ontario says it will give all workers three paid sick days to help them take time off during the pandemic.

It announced the measure today after months of intense pressure from experts and advocates who've said sick leave would help reduce workplace outbreaks.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the province will reimburse employers up to $200 a day for what they pay out through the program.

The program will be retroactive to April 19 and will end on Sept. 25.


2:45 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting two new travel-related cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the cases involve a person in their 20s and someone in their 40s who recently travelled outside the Atlantic region.

The province has 11 active reported infections.


2:15 p.m.

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

Four of the cases are in the Fredericton region, while there are two in the Moncton area and two in the Edmundston region.

Eight cases have now been linked to an outbreak at a residence at the Fredericton campus of the University of New Brunswick.

The number of active cases in New Brunswick is now 122 and four patients are hospitalized, including two in intensive care.


1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 189 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths.

However, three earlier cases have been removed due to data correction, for a net increase of 186. 

New limits on household social visits, retail store capacity and attendance at religious services, announced on Monday, took effect today.


12:55 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its first case of the P.1 COVID-19 variant of concern, which was first identified in Brazil.

The province has confirmed 46 cases in April so far, and chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says the majority of those have now been linked to variants.

That includes the province’s first confirmed case of the B.1.167 variant of interest, which first emerged in India, as well as several cases of the B.1.351 variant, first detected in South Africa.

Fitzgerald reported four new cases Wednesday, all linked to travel, and said there are now 27 active reported infections across the province.


12:05 p.m.

Canada Border Services Agency says it has processed the arrival of 650,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine at Toronto's Pearson Airport. 

The shipment was delayed from last week, and only half of what was initially expected as the company continues to face some issues with production in Europe.

The doses will first go to an Innomar Strategies warehouse, the logistics company contracted by Canada to receive all vaccines but Pfizer-BioNTech. 

Innomar will repackage the doses and then redistribute them to provincial and territorial governments within the next few days. 


11:15 a.m.

The Quebec government is reporting 1,094 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 12 additional deaths due to the pandemic.

Two deaths were removed from the province’s total after they were found to be unrelated to the virus.

Hospitalizations declined by 24 to 643, while the number of people in intensive care dropped by nine to 161.

The province administered 50,312 doses of vaccine since the last update and is nearing the three-million vaccine mark with a total of 2,967,209 doses.


11 a.m.

Manitoba is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine program into more neighbourhoods deemed to be at high risk of transmission. 

Anyone 18 or older who lives in downtown Brandon, as well as the Point Douglas North and the downtown west areas of Winnipeg, can now book an appointment. 

Adults who don't live in this areas but who work there in certain public-facing jobs, such as teachers and grocery store employees, can book as well. 

Northern Manitoba and some other Winnipeg neighbourhoods have already been eligible for priority vaccines.


10:40 a.m.

Ontario reports 3,480 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 961 new cases in Toronto, 589 in Peel Region, 341 in Niagara Region, and 290 in York Region. 

The ministry of health says the case counts for some health units, including Hamilton and Niagara, may be higher due to a data catch-up process.

Over 116,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since Tuesday's report.


10:35 a.m.

Ontario says hospitals will be able to transfer patients waiting for a long-term care bed to any nursing home without their consent in an effort to free up space.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government has issued a new emergency order to allow for such transfers in a bid to free up hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients in need of urgent care.

Elliott says hundreds of patients currently in hospital are waiting to be discharged to a long-term care home. 

She says transfers without consent will only be done in the most urgent situations.


10:30 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the territory's active total to 50.

Earlier this week, chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson said samples of tests from Nunavut came back positive for the B117 variant first identified in the U.K.

There are 46 active cases in Iqaluit, two in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet.

Iqaluit and Kinngait are under strict lock downs, with all schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces closed. (edited) 


10 a.m.

Canada's first 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are arriving today, a federal official tells The Canadian Press. 

The official, granted anonymity to discuss matters not made public yet, said that where the doses are coming from is not being disclosed because the government needs to "protect this new vaccine supply chain."

J&J has struggled with production problems and has been able to deliver very few doses, even in the United States.

Canada purchased 10 million doses, and has the option to buy 28 million more.

The doses are expected to be distributed to provinces next week.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has not yet provided guidance on how the vaccine should be used alongside the other three in use already. 

This week's delivery of just over one million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech is already in Canada.

A delayed shipment of about 650,000 doses from Moderna is also en route to Canada now.


9:15 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 75 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Officials have identified 67 infections in the Halifax area, six in the eastern zone, and one each in the western and northern health zones.

The province entered a full shutdown today that is scheduled to run for the next two weeks in an effort to curb the recent surge in cases.

Nova Scotia has a total of 489 active cases.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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