4 provinces see record increases in COVID-19; Nunavut reports new diagnoses

Nunavut reported four new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, moving the territory’s total to eight.

Territorial health authorities said in an online statement that “all individuals are in isolation and doing well.”

The news comes as Canada added 4,617 more cases to its nationwide tally, bringing the country’s overall number to 291,648.

Provincial health authorities said 43 more people had died from the virus, bringing the country’s death toll to 10,871. Since the pandemic began, 12.8 million tests have been administered for the virus while nearly 233,000 people have recovered after falling ill.

However, Saturday’s numbers only represent a partial update on the pandemic as British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Yukon only provide new figures on weekdays.

As cases continue to soar across certain parts of the country, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam advised caution coming into the winter months, expressing concerns that “we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity.”

“Canada needs a collective effort to support and sustain the public health response through to the end of the pandemic, while balancing the health, social and economic consequences,” she said in an online statement.

“To do this, 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.”

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Tam added that the number of people experiencing more severe symptoms was increasing, with an average of 1,438 people diagnosed with COVID-19 being treated in Canadian hospitals per day during the most recent seven-day period, 280 of whom were being treated in intensive care units.

More than 5.8 per cent of people tested were diagnosed with the virus, she said, and many outbreaks were reported in a “range of settings,” including long-term care and assisted living facilities, schools, congregate living settings, industrial work settings and social gatherings.

A majority of the country’s confirmed cases come from Ontario and Quebec, which have restricted activities to try to curb the spread of the virus.

In Quebec, Canada’s COVID-19 epicentre, officials reported 1,448 more cases of the virus on Saturday, setting a new one-day record for the highest number of infections recorded in a single day.

Provincial health officials said 25 more people had died, moving Quebec’s death toll to 6,611. More than 3.4 million COVID-19 tests have been administered while 103,668 people residing in the province have recovered from the virus.

Ontario also set a new record on Saturday after 1,581 more cases of the virus were detected, pushing the province to 92,761 known infections.

Overall, 3,312 people in Ontario have died from the virus. More than 5.6 million tests for the virus have been conducted in Ontario while 77,241 of the province’s confirmed cases are considered resolved.

There was also a new daily case record set in Alberta. Provincial officials reported 1,026 more COVID-19 diagnoses on Saturday and three deaths. In total, 38,338 people in the province have been diagnosed with the virus and 401 people have died.

In Saskatchewan, 308 more people were diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the province’s cumulative number to 4,820 — the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

Twenty-nine people in the province have died from the virus, while 3,100 have recovered after testing positive. So far, 294,737 tests have been administered.

“Today’s record high case numbers are a reminder that the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan is higher now than it has even been throughout Saskatchewan including urban, rural, Northern and First Nations areas and that we all need to redouble our efforts to protect ourselves and others,” chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.

He advised Canadians to “wear a mask, limit your number of personal contacts, limit your number of visitors from outside your household, don’t leave home if you are feeling sick, and make sure you’re always physically distancing and washing your hands often.”

Manitoba recorded its highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day. Health officials detected 237 more cases of COVID-19, adding that 15 more people had died from the virus. Of those, officials said 11 were linked to a Winnipeg long-term facility called Maples Personal Care Home.

Since the pandemic began, the province has reported 10,453 cases and 152 deaths.

Of those, 3,891 of the province’s cases are considered resolved while officials have conducted 307,056 tests.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick rose by six on Saturday, moving the provincial tally to 364.

To date, six people in the province have died from the virus. Of those who tested positive, 339 have recovered, while health officials have administered 110,038 tests.

Nova Scotia also recorded six more cases of the virus on Saturday, for a total of 1,142. Health officials said 1,056 people have recovered while 122,673 tests have been doled out across the province. So far, 65 people have died from the virus.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, health officials reported two more COVID-19 cases. So far, 301 people have been diagnosed with the virus and four people have died. Health authorities have conducted 56,476 tests while 289 people have recovered from the virus after falling ill.

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