Canada added another 6,261 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday as health officials in P.E.I. announced sweeping health restrictions to combat the spread of a new outbreak.
A total of 414,833 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Canada after Sunday’s update, of whom at least 326,800 have since recovered. The country’s death toll now stands at 12,665 after 76 more deaths were reported on Sunday.
To date, over 15,368,700 tests have been administered in Canada, while a total of 2,883 people are currently hospitalized from the virus.
The lingering second wave has prompted more provinces to tighten rules in an effort to get it under control.
In P.E.I., officials announced a two-week “circuit breaker” in order to limit the spread of a small but growing outbreak in the Atlantic province.
According to the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Heather Morrison, the restrictions will go into effect on Monday and include the banning of all in-restaurant dining as well as the closure of bingo halls and libraries.
“If we do not … take a hard approach dealing with this situation head-on, it will take us much longer to recover and we will have more devastating impacts,” Morrison said in a press conference Sunday.
With increased community caseloads, hospitalizations and fatalities, the country’s top doctor continued to ask Canadians to keep following public health advice, despite positive news about a potential vaccine.
“Although the road to widespread and lasting immunity to COVID-19 won’t be as sudden or as soon as we’d like, let’s stay grounded and not lose our footing,” said Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam in a statement Sunday.
“This is especially important as we plan for the upcoming holidays.”
Tam said the spread of COVID-19 continues to occur in both high-risk populations including hospitals and long-term care homes across the country, as well as in Indigenous and remote areas.
“This continued impact on high-risk individuals, settings and populations is deeply concerning, putting countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, causing significant disruption to health services, and presenting ongoing challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies,” said Tam, who again noted the high susceptibility of those age 80 and older to the virus.
Ontario reported the highest number of new cases Sunday, with a record-breaking 1,924 more cases of COVID-19 in the province. Sunday’s data, which pushes the total caseload to 127,309, marks the second day in a row that the province broke a record in daily reported infections.
Fifteen more deaths were also reported, with a total of 3,772 people succumbing to the virus in Ontario. Another 107,990 cases there have since recovered, however.
Quebec added another 1,691 cases of the virus, as well as 24 additional deaths. The province is considered the hardest hit by the virus in Canada. It now has its total cases and fatalities standing at 151,599.
Cases in Saskatchewan surpassed the 10,000-mark on Sunday after another 409 cases were announced by health officials. The province’s death toll from COVID-19 also stands at 59 after four more deaths were reported.
Manitoba announced 14 more deaths on Sunday, raising its provincial death toll to 395. The province’s total cases were also raised to 18,806 after another 383 infections were identified.
All of the provinces in Atlantic Canada each reported four additional cases on Sunday, with New Brunswick’s total infections standing at 534, Nova Scotia’s at 1,386, P.E.I.’s at 80, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s at 351.
Other restrictions in the province also included limiting organized gatherings to no more than 10 people, as well as limiting retail stories to a max capacity of 50 per cent.
Nunavut also reported two additional cases on Sunday as well, with the territory’s caseload standing at 216.
Worldwide cases of the virus have since surpassed 66.9 million as of Sunday evening, according to a running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll now stands at over 1,534,000, with the United States, Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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