Canada added 1,778 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with the majority coming from Ontario and Quebec.
The country’s COVID-19 death toll increased by 161 for a total of 2,302, putting it further above the 2,000 mark surpassed Thursday.
Quebec reported the greatest increase in cases in the country, adding 778 new cases to bring its total to 22,616.
The province also recorded 97 more deaths for a total of 1,340.
The majority of Quebec’s deaths have been in nursing homes, prompting the province’s premier, François Legault, to say Friday the province is “experiencing two different worlds.”
Ontario was not far behind Quebec with 640 new cases, the highest single-day increase in positive cases for the province, breaking the previous day’s record of 634 new cases. Ontario now has 13,519 total cases, and 763 total deaths after reporting 50 more on Friday.
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, 573 of the total deaths have been in long-term care homes across the province.
Testing in the province has dramatically increased, though, with 207,040 tests completed so far for the novel coronavirus, up from 12,295 tests from the previous day. Ontario has significantly increased testing capacity since mid-April.
Meanwhile, 7,087 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 52.4 per cent of the province’s cases.
In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia was the only province to announce new cases, adding 23 to give it a total of 850. Elsewhere, plans to lift restrictions are beginning to take shape.
New Brunswick began its phased plan by allowing outdoor activities Friday after a sixth-straight day of no confirmed new cases, while P.E.I. has announced a plan to ease restrictions in mid-May.
Newfoundland and Labrador has reported one full week of no new positive cases of COVID-19.
Out west, Manitoba recorded one new case, while B.C. added 29 new cases and four new deaths. The number of B.C. patients hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped below 100 Friday for the first time since late March.
Alberta had the third most new cases nationally with 297 reported, making a total of 4,017 cases in the province.
Ten new coronavirus cases were reported in Saskatchewan on Friday, bringing its overall total to 341, the province’s biggest one-day jump in new cases in over two weeks. Most of the new cases were in the northern region of the province, particularly La Loche, where premier Scott Moe said there was an outbreak.
Non-critical travel to northern Saskatchewan has now been restricted.
Nevertheless, the province revealed a five-phase plan on Thursday for reopening its economy in mid-May.
No new cases were reported in Canada’s North.
— With files from Alexander Quon, Abby Rodrigues, Kalina Lafamboise, The Canadian Press, Simon Little
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