Canada adds nearly 6,000 new coronavirus infections as deaths near 13K

Canadian health officials detected 5,977 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing the country’s total to 428,675. 

Health authorities also said another 90 people have died from the virus, bringing the country’s death toll to 12,867.

The new numbers come as Canada prepares to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, which are expected to be delivered this month.

Health officials say if the vaccine is approved by Health Canada, vaccinations could begin next week.

Read more: Hospitals, not LTC homes, among 1st sites to give Canada’s coronavirus vaccines

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Pfizer was set to provide Canada with up to 249,000 early doses of the vaccine in December, “but it is important to stress that as welcome as this news is, it does not mean that control of COVID-19 will be quick.”

“Initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines will be limited, but supply will gradually increase until there is enough to provide access for all Canadians,” she said.

“During these initial stages of vaccine rollout, it is crucial that we all continue with public health measures to protect ourselves and others,” she continued.

She said the response to the pandemic is “the biggest collective effort of our lifetimes.”

“It has relied on the efforts of all Canadians from individuals, institutions, all levels of government and across all sectors,” Tam said.

Major General Dany Fortin, commander of military pandemic response, said there will be 14 distribution sites for the Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine, which were selected by the provinces based on conditions laid out by Pfizer.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: 14 initial Canadian locations to receive Pfizer vaccine, says vaccine distribution head' 1:17 Coronavirus: 14 initial Canadian locations to receive Pfizer vaccine, says vaccine distribution head

Coronavirus: 14 initial Canadian locations to receive Pfizer vaccine, says vaccine distribution head

“Some will be in hospitals, also taking into account there will be enough competent medical professionals to carry out everything that needs to be done from the moment the vaccine is received in the thermal box,” he said.

Cases by province

In Quebec, the country’s viral epicentre, health officials reported 1,564 new infections and said 36 more people had died after falling ill.

So far, the province has seen a total of 154,740 COVID-19 cases and 7,313 related deaths.

Ontario recorded 1,676 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the provincial tally to 130,910. Provincial authorities said there were 10 new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 3,808.

There were 245 new infections detected in Manitoba and 13 new deaths. To date, the province has reported 19,376 cases of the virus and 420 people have died.

In Saskatchewan, provincial health authorities detected 185 new cases of the virus and six new deaths. As of Tuesday, the provincial tally sat at 10,597 confirmed infections and 66 people had died.

Read more: Alberta’s new COVID-19 measures ban in-person dining, outdoor gatherings; retail to remain open

Alberta saw 1,727 new cases on Tuesday, and nine new deaths.

The province has now seen 72,028 infections and 640 deaths related to the virus.

The new cases and fatalities come as officials in the province announced sweeping new measures banning dine-in service at restaurants and bars.

The new restrictions also ban all indoor and outdoor social gatherings, and will see all hair salons and gyms close. The province is also imposing mandatory work-from-home measures.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Tam says priority list for first COVID-19 vaccinations being refined' 1:32 Coronavirus: Tam says priority list for first COVID-19 vaccinations being refined

Coronavirus: Tam says priority list for first COVID-19 vaccinations being refined

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, 565 new cases were detected, bringing the province’s case load to 38,358.

Health officials also reported one epidemiologically-linked case, meaning it has not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.

Another 16 people have died after testing positive for the virus, bringing B.C.’s death toll to 543.

Five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick for a total of 541 confirmed infections. The death toll remained at seven.

Nova Scotia detected seven new cases of COVID-19, moving the province’s total to 1,383 confirmed infections. So far, 65 people have died from the virus.

One new case was detected in Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday, bringing the province’s total case load to 352. Health officials said the region’s death toll remained at four.

Prince Edward Island did not report any new cases on Tuesday.

Health officials said 71 of the island’s 84 confirmed cases are considered to be recovered.

Two new cases in the territories

Two new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Canada’s territories on Tuesday.

Health officials in the Yukon and Nunavut each reported one new case of the virus.

The Yukon has now seen 58 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 220 people have been infected in Nunavut.

Read more: Your employer can’t force you to get vaccinated, but experts warn of challenges ahead

Health authorities in the Northwest Territories did not report any new cases. All 15 confirmed cases in the territory have been resolved.

No additional deaths were reported in any of the country’s territories on Tuesday.

Global cases top 68 million

Since the virus was first detected in China late last year, it has infected a total of 68,131,040 people, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

As of 7:30 p.m. ET, 1,554,768 people had died after testing positive for the virus.

The United States has seen the most cases of the virus, with over 15.1 million confirmed infections.

To date, more than 285,800 people have died in the U.S. after contracting the respiratory illness.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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