A man wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle past a face mask mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on November 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A man wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle past a face mask mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on November 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19 counts continue to rise as Canada approaches 300,000 cases

The national case count stood just shy of 296,000

Canada’s COVID-19 hot spots reported minor declines in daily infections on Sunday, but health officials urged people to remain cautious as the country rapidly approaches the 300,000-case mark and overall trends remain worrisome.

The national case count stood just shy of 296,000 after daily tallies in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec declined from Saturday’s record-setting levels.

Alberta reported 991 new cases of COVID-19 and six deaths, while Ontario reported 1,248 new cases and 29 deaths. Health authorities in Quebec, meanwhile, logged 1,211 new cases and 15 additional deaths.

Those figures declined from 1,026, 1,585 and 1,448 cases, respectively, a day earlier.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said the slight decline was “encouraging,” but said ongoing vigilance around public health protocols will be critical if residents want to contain the spread of the virus.

“I think it’s encouraging to see that we can have a good day, but it’s going to take several good days,” Dube told reporters during a Sunday morning news conference in Montreal.

“I’m going to let the next days bring us more good news, but in the meantime, we need to continue to follow safety measures,” he said.

The virulence of the novel coronavirus was dramatically demonstrated in Nunavut over the weekend, where territory-wide case counts more than doubled over the past 48 hours.

The 10 new cases reported on Sunday, all linked to an outbreak in the community of Arviat, took the overall total to 18. Arviat’s first positive diagnosis was only confirmed on Friday.

“Due to the number of cases of COVID-19 in Arviat, anyone … who left the community on or after Nov. 2 is being asked to immediately isolate for 14 days wherever they are,” territorial Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said in a statement.

Canada’s top doctor also urged residents not to let their guard down in indoor settings as winter approaches.

Dr. Theresa Tam has exhorted Canadians to be more proactive in their efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed in the weeks ahead.

Despite the modest decline in several infection hot spots, numbers continued to soar in much of the country.

In Manitoba, new COVID-19 cases surged to 494 on Sunday compared to 237 the day before. The province reported 10 new deaths, seven of which were linked to an outbreak at a Winnipeg care home where dozens of residents have died.

Shortly after the province reported the spike in infections, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen criticized Manitobans who attended a rally on Saturday to protest against mandatory masks and other lockdown measures.

The event in Steinbach, Man., about 60 kilometres south of Winnipeg, was “incredibly unfortunate, dangerous and wrong,” Cullen said in a statement.

He urged residents to follow public health guidelines and warned that law enforcement officers would ticket anyone found breaking the rules.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan reported 181 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths on Sunday. The numbers bring the provincial total to 31 deaths since the pandemic began.

Premier Scott Moe said Sunday that more measures could be coming to fight COVID-19 in the province in addition to those already slated to take effect this week.

Effective Monday and for the next 28 days, masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces in any community with more than 5,000 residents. Restaurants and bars must also stop selling alcohol by 10 p.m. and make sure everyone has finished their drinks by 11.

After the new measures were announced on Friday, hundreds of doctors who signed a letter earlier in the week urging stronger action penned a new missive saying the new rules don’t go far enough.

In Atlantic Canada, two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Nova Scotia on Sunday, and three new infections were reported in New Brunswick.

Newfoundland and Labrador also recorded two new cases, including an overseas contract worker for the province’s Crown-owned energy corporation.

-with files from Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton and Shawn Jeffords in Toronto.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

The president and chief executive officer of BC Ferries promises additional reviews to help sustain BC Ferries. (Black Press Media File)
BC Ferries to review expenditures following 43 per cent passenger drop in 2020

Promise from CEO follows new figures showing significant decline in passengers

Local MLA Adam Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip Nation, here seen before the 2020 provincial election, said a new report finding “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system does not surprise Indigenous people. (Hansard TV)
Island MLA: ‘You cannot address systemic racism one silo at a time’

Adam Olsen calls for comprehensive approach in the wake of damning report of racism in health care

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
A few weeks in the life of the wellness of a community

Nanaimo RCMP find heart-breaks and smiles during a sampling of recent wellness checks

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning, offering coffee, tea, hot soup, meals and warmth. Cots were available for overnight stays. The centre had a generator, so people were able to charge their devices. Approximately 75 residents passed through during the three-day outage. (Debra Lynn photo)
Three days in the cold: remote Port Alice survives the power outage

The Port Alice Community Centre opened its doors to the public Wednesday through Friday morning.

Christmas tree file photo
EDITORIAL: An ongoing need for generosity

Food banks need community support throughout the year

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Patricia Kent, 25, was reported missing over the weekend, as her family has been unable to reach her, say police. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: RCMP say missing Nanaimo woman found

Patricia Kent, 25, has not been seen nor heard from since Saturday, say police

(Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Second driver facing impaired charges after View Royal traffic stop leads to loaded firearms

West Shore RCMP stop swerving motorist and Saanich woman who came to pick her up

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Most Read