Canada recorded 872 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, marking a continued downward trend after finally falling below 1,000 new infections a day earlier.
Yet 126 more people have died over the past 24 hours due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — the highest daily death toll in nearly two weeks.
To date, 87,508 lab-confirmed positive cases have been reported nationwide, 46,177 of which have since recovered. Over 800 of those recoveries were reported Wednesday.
The country’s death toll now stands at 6,765 people.
While the number of deaths is starting to tick upward, Wednesday’s new cases have brought the daily case count back to levels last seen in late March, sparking hope for health officials that Canada’s curve is starting to flatten.
Quebec and Ontario once again represented a majority of the new cases, and are the two provinces with the most cases by far.
Quebec announced 541 new cases and 89 more deaths, while Ontario added 292 cases and 32 deaths to its total.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia reported one new case each. For the latter, it was the lowest new case count in weeks, while it was the third day in a row that New Brunswick has seen a new case.
In the Prairies, Saskatchewan saw three new cases and two more deaths, and Alberta announced 25 additional cases and another two deaths. Manitoba saw no new cases.
British Columbia reported nine more cases and another fatality.
Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and the three northern territories continued their weeks-long trend without any new cases or deaths.
While provinces and territories are continuing with their reopening plans, many are urging caution as new cases continue to be reported, particularly with the weather starting to warm.
Long-term care homes across the country, but particularly in Ontario and Quebec, also remain under scrutiny with reports of poor conditions and low staffing levels. The vast majority of deaths and cases related to COVID-19 are linked to nursing home residents and workers, according to government data.
A military report that contained disturbing allegations against certain Ontario facilities was followed Wednesday by a similar report out of Quebec, where military members described poor sanitation practices and equipment shortages.
Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that he’s “not taking anything off the table” when it comes to addressing the long-term care system’s shortcomings. But he said the federal government’s focus remains on the immediate response to the pandemic.
“I think right now, while we’re in this crisis, our responsibility is to respond to this crisis as best we can and to ensure that we’re improving, in the [COVID-19] context, care as best we can,” the prime minister said, adding the country “absolutely” needs to have “conversations about how we care for our elders” in the long-term.
Trudeau said those conversations will “be held at the appropriate time.”
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