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

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read