A man wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle past a face mask mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on November 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A man wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle past a face mask mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on November 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19 counts continue to rise as Canada approaches 300,000 cases

The national case count stood just shy of 296,000

Canada’s COVID-19 hot spots reported minor declines in daily infections on Sunday, but health officials urged people to remain cautious as the country rapidly approaches the 300,000-case mark and overall trends remain worrisome.

The national case count stood just shy of 296,000 after daily tallies in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec declined from Saturday’s record-setting levels.

Alberta reported 991 new cases of COVID-19 and six deaths, while Ontario reported 1,248 new cases and 29 deaths. Health authorities in Quebec, meanwhile, logged 1,211 new cases and 15 additional deaths.

Those figures declined from 1,026, 1,585 and 1,448 cases, respectively, a day earlier.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said the slight decline was “encouraging,” but said ongoing vigilance around public health protocols will be critical if residents want to contain the spread of the virus.

“I think it’s encouraging to see that we can have a good day, but it’s going to take several good days,” Dube told reporters during a Sunday morning news conference in Montreal.

“I’m going to let the next days bring us more good news, but in the meantime, we need to continue to follow safety measures,” he said.

The virulence of the novel coronavirus was dramatically demonstrated in Nunavut over the weekend, where territory-wide case counts more than doubled over the past 48 hours.

The 10 new cases reported on Sunday, all linked to an outbreak in the community of Arviat, took the overall total to 18. Arviat’s first positive diagnosis was only confirmed on Friday.

“Due to the number of cases of COVID-19 in Arviat, anyone … who left the community on or after Nov. 2 is being asked to immediately isolate for 14 days wherever they are,” territorial Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said in a statement.

Canada’s top doctor also urged residents not to let their guard down in indoor settings as winter approaches.

Dr. Theresa Tam has exhorted Canadians to be more proactive in their efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed in the weeks ahead.

Despite the modest decline in several infection hot spots, numbers continued to soar in much of the country.

In Manitoba, new COVID-19 cases surged to 494 on Sunday compared to 237 the day before. The province reported 10 new deaths, seven of which were linked to an outbreak at a Winnipeg care home where dozens of residents have died.

Shortly after the province reported the spike in infections, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen criticized Manitobans who attended a rally on Saturday to protest against mandatory masks and other lockdown measures.

The event in Steinbach, Man., about 60 kilometres south of Winnipeg, was “incredibly unfortunate, dangerous and wrong,” Cullen said in a statement.

He urged residents to follow public health guidelines and warned that law enforcement officers would ticket anyone found breaking the rules.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan reported 181 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths on Sunday. The numbers bring the provincial total to 31 deaths since the pandemic began.

Premier Scott Moe said Sunday that more measures could be coming to fight COVID-19 in the province in addition to those already slated to take effect this week.

Effective Monday and for the next 28 days, masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces in any community with more than 5,000 residents. Restaurants and bars must also stop selling alcohol by 10 p.m. and make sure everyone has finished their drinks by 11.

After the new measures were announced on Friday, hundreds of doctors who signed a letter earlier in the week urging stronger action penned a new missive saying the new rules don’t go far enough.

In Atlantic Canada, two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Nova Scotia on Sunday, and three new infections were reported in New Brunswick.

Newfoundland and Labrador also recorded two new cases, including an overseas contract worker for the province’s Crown-owned energy corporation.

-with files from Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton and Shawn Jeffords in Toronto.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
New outbreak at Chilliwack care home, while Agassiz care home outbreak over

‘Critically important’ for residents to get tested immediately if symptoms develop, says Fraser Health

The Abbotsford Pilots and all other junior teams in B.C. have been paused from competition after new restrictions put in place to battle the spread of COVID-19.
Chilliwack Jets, PJHL grounded after new restrictions

Games in the junior B league won’t played until after Dec. 7 at the earliest

Kelli Paddon, on screen in centre, is sworn in as the Chilliwack-Kent MLA by Premier John Horgan on Nov. 24, 2020. (Screenshot)
Coulter and Paddon sworn in as newly minted MLAs for Chilliwack, Chilliwack-Kent

NDP Premier John Horgan swears in 57 new MLAs, a majority of which are women

The seats in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre’s theatre will be empty for the time being with provincial health orders in effect. (chilliwackculturalcentre.ca)
Chilliwack Cultural Centre shuts doors to observe provincial health orders

While the 2021 schedule is unaffected so far, refunds are being offered for 2020 events

Volunteers (from left) Leanne Herrick, Chris Gadsden, and Ross Aikenhead clean up trash by the Vedder Canal underneath Highway 1 on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The group is calling for cameras to be installed in the area to help catch people who dump trash. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Volunteers tackled trash pile dumped by the Vedder Canal in Chilliwack

‘Hotspot’ effort saw 260 kilograms of carelessly tossed garbage removed from riparian zone

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Most Read