People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Saturday, November 7, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Saturday, November 7, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

COVID-19 continues to surge in parts of Canada, new daily high reported in Ontario

Multiple spikes raised the national tally of confirmed cases to 259,136

The number of COVID-19 cases continued to soar in parts of Canada on Saturday, with Alberta and Ontario reaching new daily highs and British Columbia imposing significant new restrictions in the most populous part of the province.

Multiple spikes raised the national tally of confirmed cases to 259,136. That was largely driven by a record daily number of 1,132 new cases in Ontario, where officials also announced 11 new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

Alberta, too, saw a single-day high on Saturday, recording 919 new cases of the virus.

The government’s website noted that due to technical issues, the numbers were preliminary and subject to reconciliation.

B.C. recorded 567 cases on Saturday. That figure, along with the 589 diagnoses documented on Friday, represent the highest case counts seen in the province to date.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said linear case growth turned exponential in the past two weeks in the Lower Mainland. She introduced new rules covering a two-week period for residents in two Metro Vancouver health regions.

The new restrictions prohibit residents from making social visits to other homes, halt indoor group fitness activities like yoga and spin classes, and “strongly discourage” non-essential travel to and from the region.

“This will give us a chance to stop the transmission, to have a break in that rising transmission rate we are seeing,” Henry said during a rare Saturday briefing.

READ MORE: Lower Mainland residents face new restrictions after another 567 new COVID-19 cases reported in B.C.

Manitoba, meanwhile, recorded 271 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday as officials reported that seven residents of Maples Personal Care Home who had the virus died over the course of just two days.

That brings the death toll at the Winnipeg long-term care facility to 22.

Winnipeg moved into the province’s red zone earlier this week and the southern health region is set to go red on Monday.

In Quebec, 1,234 new cases and 29 more deaths were linked to the virus, with the Health Department saying 11 of those deaths came in the past 24 hours.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam noted Saturday that several regions are “experiencing accelerated growth” and urged Canadians to step up containment efforts.

She pointed to a growing number of people suffering severe COVID-19 illness as a worrisome trend that could further burden hospitals in the coming weeks, and warned that could be especially problematic as flu season intensifies.

“We need to retake the lead on COVID-19, by each reducing our close contacts to the best of our ability and employing key public health practices consistently and with precision,” Tam said in a statement.

A new colour-coded assessment system launched in Ontario, where hot spots included Toronto, with 336 new infections, and Peel Region, with 258 new cases. Ottawa reported 78 new cases while Hamilton reported 55.

Only Peel Region, which has seen rising cases in recent weeks, was deemed a red zone, while other hot spots such as York Region and Ottawa were labelled orange.

But that region rejected the restrictions as too lax, instead imposing far stricter guidelines that include a prohibition on interacting with people outside one’s own household.

Saturday’s daily case count surpassed the previous provincial daily high of 1,050 cases reported on Tuesday.

In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault urged residents Saturday to maintain efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay this winter. In an open letter, Legault thanked Quebecers for showing solidarity and expressed hope that grandparents will be able to see their grandchildren at Christmas.

Quebec officials have said they are especially concerned about Saguenay, north of Quebec City, and Lanaudiere, north of Montreal — regions Legault has dubbed “the worst” in the province on a per-capita basis.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

CanadaCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
Fraud scam, car in ditch among weekly Kitimat RCMP report

Kitimat RCMP report from Dec. 18 to 24

(Mountainview Lodge photo)
Santa and Mrs. Claus payed a special visit to the residents at Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat back in December to help raise their spirits during the difficult Christmas season.
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Black Press file photo
Clare’s Corner: Baking the day away

My grandmother was a fantastic baker, and it’s a hobby she’s passed down through generations

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

Most Read