COVID-19 cases in Canada near 200,000

Edmonton Journal - - CANADA - AD­INA BRESGE

On­tario, Man­i­toba and parts of Que­bec are look­ing to ramp up COVID-19 re­stric­tions as Canada’s caseload inches closer to the 200,000 mark.

Canada’s chief pub­lic health of­fi­cer says the na­tional count has climbed by an av­er­age of 2,300 cases per day over the past seven days, while an av­er­age of 20 peo­ple per day die from the ill­ness.

As of Fri­day af­ter­noon, there were 193,575 con­firmed cases in Canada.

On­tario tight­ened re­stric­tions on long-term care homes in three hot spots Fri­day, as the pre­mier also made the re­luc­tant de­ci­sion to re­in­state stricter rules on a fourth re­gion north of Toronto.

Pre­mier Doug Ford said the York Re­gion will re­vert to a mod­i­fied stage 2 of the prov­ince’s pan­demic plan Mon­day in an ef­fort to curb an “alarm­ing” surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We’re see­ing a rapid in­crease in the rate of in­fec­tion, with the pos­i­tiv­ity rate of 2.77 per cent, above the high-alert thresh­old of 2.5 per cent,” Ford said of York.

“Most con­cern­ing of all, crit­i­cal-care ad­mis­sions are reach­ing alarm­ing lev­els.”

The new mea­sures for the re­gion, which will be in place for 28 days, pro­hibit in­door ser­vice at restau­rants and close gyms, among other ser­vices.

The ma­jor­ity of On­tario’s cases are con­cen­trated in Toronto, Peel Re­gion and Ot­tawa. As of Fri­day, res­i­dents of long- term care homes in those re­gions are not al­lowed to leave for so­cial or per­sonal rea­sons.

Mean­while, Que­bec’s pub­lic health in­sti­tute urged Que­be­cers to shrink their so­cial cir­cles even fur­ther as the prov­ince re­ported an in­crease of 1,055 new COVID-19 cases and one new virus- re­lated death in the past 24 hours.

The Lis­tuguj First Na­tion, which is near the prov­ince’s New Brunswick bor­der, also an­nounced it was shut­ting down most gov­ern­ment oper­a­tions af­ter re­port­ing its first COVID-19 case.

Man­i­toba re­ported 75 new cases Fri­day, and saw a record-high 173 cases a day ear­lier. The gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to un­veil stricter mea­sures in the Win­nipeg area, as the prov­ince’s per-capita num­ber of ac­tive cases is higher than any other prov­ince ex­cept Que­bec.

Nova Sco­tia is re­port­ing one new case of COVID-19, while the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries says three peo­ple have re­ceived pre­sump­tive pos­i­tive test re­sults for the virus.

As hos­pi­tals ad­mit a weekly av­er­age of 870 pa­tients per day, Dr. Theresa Tam urged Cana­di­ans to do their part to re­duce the bur­den on the health-care sys­tem by get­ting their flu shot as the sea­sonal virus con­verges with the sec­ond wave of the pan­demic.

While the flu shot doesn’t pro­tect against the virus that causes COVID-19, Tam said get­ting vac­ci­nated re­duces one’s risk of back- to- back or si­mul­ta­ne­ous in­fec­tions that can lead to more se­vere health out­comes.

RYAN REMIORZ / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

A sign di­rects peo­ple to a COVID-19 test­ing clinic in Mon­treal, where Que­bec ci­ti­zens were asked Fri­day to shrink their so­cial cir­cles.

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