Editor’s note: These numbers will continue to be updated as they are confirmed by Global News. Graphics can take up to 10 minutes to update following number changes. For the latest vaccination rates province by province, check out our Coronavirus vaccine tracker.
This chart includes confirmed, presumptive and epidemiologically-linked cases in all provincial totals as of Jan. 14, 2021. Breakdowns of cases and testing can be found on provincial websites.
As several Canadian provinces flirt with partial reopenings after extended lockdowns through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, variants of concerns that spread more easily and may be more deadly are starting to account for more of the country’s overall case numbers.
As of mid-March, there was over 3,000 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first found in the United Kingdom.
Experts have previously told Global News that all viruses mutate over time, but how quickly the variants are spreading is “very concerning.”
“We are starting a variant-driven third wave now,” said Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, recently told Global News.
Health Canada has approved four vaccines so far – the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer and BioNTech as well as shots from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
The regulator emphasized there have been no serious safety concerns for any of the vaccines.
Pharmacies were given short notice about Wednesday’s rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the Lower Mainland for those aged 55 to 65, says the president of the British Columbia Pharmacy Association.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province had to act quickly after concerns about rare blood clots prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization on Monday to pause the use of the vaccine for anyone under 55.
Annette Robinson said pharmacists had anticipated being asked to participate in the government’s vaccination program, but were told about Wednesday’s launch the day before.
The province had 13,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and it needed to find a way to use them, quickly and safely, Dix said at a news conference.
Dix said B.C. is expecting to receive 43,000 more AstraZeneca doses on Friday from the federal government.
Robinson said the current supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine will likely be administered within a few days.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says rising cases of more contagious COVID-19 variants should be a “wake-up call” but his government won’t impose harsh measures such as curfews or stay-at-home orders.
Kenney said he would discuss the situation Thursday, ahead of the Easter long weekend, with chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
“We think a lot of the spread that is happening now is because people have become tired of all of this. They’ve either kind of forgotten about the guidelines or they just wished them away,” he said.
“We would ask people, especially with Easter and the spring holidays coming up, to … stay at home. Please don’t socialize outside of your family group or your close contact cohort. The vast majority of transmission happens at home.”
Kenney said Alberta won’t aim to drive COVID-19 infections to zero with curfews, stay-at-home orders or widespread business closures.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says vaccines are the answer to a rise of COVID-19 variant cases in Moose Jaw, not imposing tougher public-health rules heading into the Easter weekend.
Moe said bringing in tightened restrictions should be a last resort and he believes residents will do the right thing and follow public-health advice to stem the spread of the virus.
“The way through this is vaccines. The way through this is not to increase public-health measures,” Moe told a briefing Tuesday.
The Ministry of Health warned that variants were on the rise south of Regina, including in and around Moose Jaw, which has a population of 35,000.
Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said the rise in cases is concerning and asked residents, particularly those in Moose Jaw, to stick to existing public-health rules and stay home.
Manitoba has brought in age restrictions for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in line with new federal guidance, while health officials closely watch the rise in variants of concern.
Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province’s vaccine committee, says the AstraZeneca vaccine will be limited to people between the ages of 55 and 64.
Reimer says Manitoba has given out about 14,000 of 18,000 AstraZeneca doses, which are available through medical clinics and pharmacies.
People under 55 who have booked an appointment to get the AstraZeneca shot will be contacted and asked to cancel.
Reimer said the change is not expected to have a significant effect on the timeline for vaccine distribution at this time.
Ontario will announce measures on Thursday aimed at fighting the pandemic’s third wave, the government said, as the number of COVID-19 patients in the province’s intensive care units hit a new high.
Premier Doug Ford told residents on Wednesday to “stay tuned” and urged them to refrain from gathering over the Easter weekend.
“You’ll hear an announcement tomorrow,” he said, without providing further details. “I’m very, very concerned to see the cases go up.”
Multiple sources tell Global News the government is moving to activate an “emergency brake” for four weeks across the entire province.
Many of the logistical details were still being sorted out Wednesday evening. However, government and political party sources said the emergency measure would take effect sometime before the Easter weekend.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault is moving three cities, including the provincial capital, into lockdown Thursday following a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections.
Schools and non-essential businesses are to close and the curfew will move ahead to 8 p.m. from 9:30 p.m. in Quebec City, Levis and Gatineau for at least 10 days, Legault said in Quebec City Wednesday.
Legault said the increase is being driven by new coronavirus variants and that his government expects hospitalizations to rise rapidly in the three cities in the near future.
All three cities had been in the orange zone, the second-highest level in Quebec’s pandemic-alert system.
The premier also announced that four regions are moving from the orange to the red alert level: Quebec City; Outaouais, across the Ottawa River from Ontario; Chaudiere-Appalaches, south of the provincial capital; and Bas-St-Laurent, northeast of Quebec City.
Health Minister Christian Dube said Quebec was also talking with Ontario to limit “communication” between Gatineau and Ottawa but said he could not be more specific.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, urged people to resist the temptation to gather over the Easter weekend.
“We have come so far through this pandemic and we now have vaccinations taking place,” she said in a news release. “Let’s not risk falling backwards through laxness in safety protocols.”
Health officials said high schools at which staff were vaccinated last week will resume full-time, in-person learning on April 12. In other areas of the province, vaccination clinics for teachers have been rescheduled and the full resumption of classes has been delayed until later in the month.
Many of the unused AstraZeneca doses in New Brunswick were set to expire Friday, so the government set up several clinics to avoid having them go to waste.
“We want to make sure everyone gets their vaccine,” Premier Blaine Higgs said after receiving his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. “We don’t want any lost or unused. Turnout today has been good.”
Higgs said if he was going to advise people to get the vaccine, he had to be comfortable getting a shot himself.
Nova Scotia reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
One of the cases is located in the central zone and the other is in the western zone. Both are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.
As of Wednesday, there are 23 active cases in the province.
Also, one new B.1.1.7 variant case has been identified in the central zone, but is unrelated to the cases reported Wednesday. The variant positive case is related to international travel.
The head of nursing in Prince Edward Island says some residents cancelled their vaccination appointments Tuesday after the province suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine because of safety concerns.
Marion Dowling says residents should know only Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are being administered in the province and that they are safe.
The Island had been administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 18-29 but stopped because of advice from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the province has an adequate supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to support the vaccine rollout. She says officials will review studies on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is linked to rare cases of blood clots.
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its first case of COVID-19 involving the variant first identified in South Africa.
Chief medical officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald told reporters Wednesday the previously reported case is travel-related, but the individual involved was able to quickly isolate, mitigating the risk of viral spread.
“We’re confident there was no onward transmission and no danger to public safety,” she said.
The South African variant is the second mutation of the novel coronavirus that’s been identified in the province. The first involved the variant originally identified in the United Kingdom, which officials have said led to a COVID-19 outbreak in the St. John’s area in February.
On the vaccine front, Fitzgerald said just under 63,000 shots have been administered, 10,000 of which were second doses.
Officials previously said the goal was to administer a total of 80,000 doses by the end of the upcoming Easter weekend.
Students in grades 10 to 12 in Whitehorse will soon return to classes as Yukon’s top doctor says progress has been made with vaccinations.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says there has been an uptick in the number of younger people getting vaccinated, and roughly 67 per cent of all eligible people in Yukon have received their first shot.
Students in Whitehorse will return to classes on April 19.
On Monday in the Legislative Assembly, Health Minister Julie Green said the territory may need to change its target of having 75 per cent of eligible adults vaccinated.
Green said the target may change based on development of variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 and uncertainty over how the virus can be transmitted despite vaccination.
The territory is under pressure to clarify its guidance on when COVID-19 restrictions will change. The N.W.T. has not moved from phase two of its reopening plan since last summer. A revision of that plan is expected next month.
According to numbers from the GNWT, 23,722 people in the N.W.T. have had one dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and close to 14,000 have received both doses.
The Northwest Territories government once again extended its public health emergency on Tuesday, ensuring the emergency will last until at least April 13.
Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says starting Monday, travel restrictions in Arviat will be lifted.
That means there will be no travel restrictions within the territory.
However, residents who leave Nunavut must still complete 14 days of isolation in a government-run isolation hotel in southern Canada.
As of Friday, 52 per cent of Nunavut’s eligible adult population has received at least one dose of the Moderna vaccine.
To date, 12,884 first doses have been administered in Nunavut and 6,785 second doses.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
— With files from Global News’ Sean Boynton, Kerri Breen, Graeme Benjamin, Brittany Henriques, Kalina Laframboise, Alexander Quon, Alessia Simona Maratta, Shane Gibson, Aya Al-Hakim, Hannah Jackson, Simon Little, Shane Gibson, Heide Pearson, Gabby Rodrigues, Ryan Rocca, Travis Dhanraj, Mickey Djuric, Thomas Piller, Karla Renic and the Canadian Press
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