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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Monday, May 3, 2021

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern): 7:30 p.m. Yukon is reporting another COVID-19 infection, bringing the territory's total case count to 82. Chief medical officer of health Dr.

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

7:30 p.m.

Yukon is reporting another COVID-19 infection, bringing the territory's total case count to 82.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says the case is in Whitehorse and is related to travel.

He says in a statement that the person tested positive for the variant of concern first detected in the United Kingdom.

There were no public exposures and the person is recovering at home.


7:05 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 2,012 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says there are 23,608 active cases in Alberta.

She says 658 people are in hospital because of the illness, including 154 in intensive care.

Another 1,900 cases of variants of concern have been identified.

Hinshaw says variants of concern make up 64 per cent of active cases in the province.


6:45 p.m.

B.C.’s top doctor says the province is starting to consider how it would reduce the 16-week interval between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine with supply increasing in the coming weeks.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. expects to receive a million doses of vaccine this month and the immunization program will ramp up accordingly.

B.C. has administered more than 1.87 million doses of vaccine, which amounts to about 41 per cent of eligible adults who have now received their first shot.

Henry says new COVID-19 infections are slowly but surely decreasing, though transmission remains high in hot spots, including Surrey.

B.C. has diagnosed 2,174 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more people died between Friday and Monday.


6:35 p.m.

Alberta teachers, child-care workers and support staff will soon be allowed to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Premier Jason Kenney says, starting Tuesday, the vaccine rollout will be expanded to include the three groups.

Kenney had previously resisted calls from the Alberta Teachers’ Association to give front-line staffers the vaccine, saying the government will follow priorities tied to scientific evidence rather than "arbitrary pressure.”

In recent weeks, thousands of students in grades 7 to 12 in Calgary and Edmonton were sent home to learn online due to COVID-related school staffing pressures, including a lack of teachers.


4:45 p.m.

Health officials in Saskatchewan are reporting 207 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and three new deaths.

The province says 174 people in hospital due to the illness, including 39 in intensive care.

It says 2,397 cases are considered active.

The province also says that starting Tuesday, residents aged 37 and up will be allowed to book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, only people in the general population aged 40 and up can book appointments.


4:30 p.m.

Nunavut is suspending its common travel area with the Northwest Territories due to concerns over COVID-19.

Nunavut's chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, says anyone travelling to Nunavut from the Northwest Territories must first isolate in Yellowknife for 14 days.

Travellers who came into Nunavut from Yellowknife on or after last Wednesday must also immediately isolate for 14 days from the day they arrived.

There are exceptions for critical workers or anyone travelling for medical reasons.

Patterson says the decision was made because of the COVID-19 situation in Yellowknife.

The Northwest Territories announced earlier today that all schools in Yellowknife have been closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak at one of its schools.


4 p.m.

The Saskatchewan government says it is sending 100 ventilators to India to assist the country as it deals with the highest active COVID-19 case count in the world since the pandemic began.

The province says it has an excess supply of ventilators, which includes more than 700 critical care, subacute and non-invasive ventilators.

It says the ones being sent to India include 30 critical care and 70 subacute ventilators. 

Saskatchewan says it will work with its trade officials and the Indian Embassy in Canada to ship the ventilators to India “in a timely and secure manner.”


3:45 p.m.

All schools in Yellowknife have been closed after eight cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at an elementary school over the weekend.

The chief public health officer for the Northwest Territories, Dr. Kami Kandola, says there are also 12 probable cases connected to N.J. Macpherson School.

She says most of those infected are children.

She says health officials are still investigating how COVID-19 entered the school and are determining whether the cases are related to an earlier cluster in the city in April.

The territory also says it's working to finalize a deal with British Columbia to get doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine so teens can be vaccinated.

Only the Moderna vaccine is available in the Northwest Territories, and it is not yet approved for use in people under the age of 18.


3 p.m.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be limited to people over the age of 30 who don't want to wait for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

NACI vice-chair Dr. Shelley Deeks says the vaccine is safe and effective but, like the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, has the potential risk of causing a rare and new blood-clotting disease known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT.

She says the risk of VITT is very low, but the syndrome can be fatal.

Canada has had seven confirmed cases, one of them fatal, in about 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca given.

Canada hasn't given out any J&J doses yet, but in the U.S., they have confirmed 17 cases of VITT in eight million doses of J&J injected.

The mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have no such risk, says Deeks.


2:25 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting its 38th COVID-19-related death.

Health officials said today a resident in their 90s at special-care home Pavillon Beau-Lieu, in Grand Falls, has died.

Officials are reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19 today.

New Brunswick has 142 active reported COVID-19 cases and six patients in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.


2:10 p.m.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says testing for immunity to COVID-19 will now be able to distinguish between people who have antibodies because they were infected with COVID-19, and those who have antibodies due to a vaccine.

Canadian Blood Services has been testing the blood of donors, looking for COVID-19, for almost a year. 

Tam says they will now shift to a test that will be able to tell whether antibodies are from infection or vaccination.


1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 251 new COVID-19 cases and one death. 

The province's chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, says Manitobans must help bend the curve by abiding by public heath orders.


1:05 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting four new cases of COVID-19.

Officials say three cases are linked to a previously known case, and the remaining infection is connected to travel within Canada.

Public health says there are now 13 confirmed cases on the MV Federal Montreal, a ship anchored in Conception Bay along the north coast of the Avalon Peninsula.

The ship’s crew have all been tested and one crew member is in hospital.


1 p.m.

The executive director of Canada's immunity task force says he thinks Canada may be able to start seriously looking at relaxing some public health restrictions when 50 to 60 per cent of the population is vaccinated.

Dr. Timothy Evans also says he believes Canada's strategy to delay second vaccine doses so more people can get one dose faster, is backed up by evidence in the United Kingdom, which also delayed the second dose.

Evans, who is also the director of the school of population and global health at McGill University's medical school, says there is a lot of work being done to better determine, using vaccination rates, when public health limitations can be relaxed. 

He says given the situation in the U.K., it is likely that will be around 50 to 60 per cent in Canada. 

But he notes because Canada had fewer people infected with COVID-19 than the U.K. did, it may take a bit more vaccination here, between 60 and 65 per cent.

Currently, about 33 per cent of all Canadians are vaccinated with at least one dose.


12:15 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 146 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say 130 cases are in the Halifax area, nine are in the province's eastern health zone, four are in the northern zone and three are in the western zone.

Nova Scotia has 943 active reported cases of COVID-19.

Officials say 40 people are in hospital with the disease, including six in intensive care.


11:15 a.m.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says as of April 26, 2,274 people had been diagnosed with COVID-19 at least two weeks after getting their first dose of vaccine. 

Data suggests about 7.1 million people were 14 days past being vaccinated with at least one dose by that date, meaning there were breakthrough infections in about 0.03 per cent of people vaccinated.

Vaccinated individuals accounted for about 1.3 per cent of COVID-19 infections since vaccinations began in Canada in December.

PHAC says the "percentage of breakthrough cases is small" and that data is not yet available in detail to fully understand the reasons behind those cases.


11 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 798 new cases of COVID-19 today and two more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by 14, to 588, and 151 people were in intensive care, a drop of six.

The province says 37,490 doses of vaccine were administered Sunday, for a total of 3,256,401.

Quebec has reported a total of 352,678 cases of COVID-19 and 10,944 deaths linked to the virus.


10:45 a.m.

Manitoba is expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines to all Indigenous people 18 and over, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit. 

Vaccines had only been available in the province to First Nations people over the age of 30.

Health officials say more vaccines are arriving in the province and case numbers have been higher among Indigenous people.


10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 3,436 new cases of COVID-19 today and 16 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 985 new cases in Toronto, 714 in Peel Region, and 351 in York Region.

The Health Department says 1,925 people are in hospital with the disease, but notes that more than 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data over the weekend.

More than 53,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Ontario since Sunday's report, for a total of more than 5.3 million doses.


10:15 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 today, all in Iqaluit.

There are 85 active reported cases in the territory involving the B.1.1.7 novel coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom: 81 in Iqaluit, two in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet.

Iqaluit and Kinngait are under strict lockdowns, with all schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces closed.

As of last week, one person had been flown to southern Canada because of complications related to COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press