People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Saturday, November 7, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Saturday, November 7, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

COVID-19 continues to surge in parts of Canada, new daily high reported in Ontario

Multiple spikes raised the national tally of confirmed cases to 259,136

The number of COVID-19 cases continued to soar in parts of Canada on Saturday, with Alberta and Ontario reaching new daily highs and British Columbia imposing significant new restrictions in the most populous part of the province.

Multiple spikes raised the national tally of confirmed cases to 259,136. That was largely driven by a record daily number of 1,132 new cases in Ontario, where officials also announced 11 new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

Alberta, too, saw a single-day high on Saturday, recording 919 new cases of the virus.

The government’s website noted that due to technical issues, the numbers were preliminary and subject to reconciliation.

B.C. recorded 567 cases on Saturday. That figure, along with the 589 diagnoses documented on Friday, represent the highest case counts seen in the province to date.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said linear case growth turned exponential in the past two weeks in the Lower Mainland. She introduced new rules covering a two-week period for residents in two Metro Vancouver health regions.

The new restrictions prohibit residents from making social visits to other homes, halt indoor group fitness activities like yoga and spin classes, and “strongly discourage” non-essential travel to and from the region.

“This will give us a chance to stop the transmission, to have a break in that rising transmission rate we are seeing,” Henry said during a rare Saturday briefing.

READ MORE: Lower Mainland residents face new restrictions after another 567 new COVID-19 cases reported in B.C.

Manitoba, meanwhile, recorded 271 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday as officials reported that seven residents of Maples Personal Care Home who had the virus died over the course of just two days.

That brings the death toll at the Winnipeg long-term care facility to 22.

Winnipeg moved into the province’s red zone earlier this week and the southern health region is set to go red on Monday.

In Quebec, 1,234 new cases and 29 more deaths were linked to the virus, with the Health Department saying 11 of those deaths came in the past 24 hours.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam noted Saturday that several regions are “experiencing accelerated growth” and urged Canadians to step up containment efforts.

She pointed to a growing number of people suffering severe COVID-19 illness as a worrisome trend that could further burden hospitals in the coming weeks, and warned that could be especially problematic as flu season intensifies.

“We need to retake the lead on COVID-19, by each reducing our close contacts to the best of our ability and employing key public health practices consistently and with precision,” Tam said in a statement.

A new colour-coded assessment system launched in Ontario, where hot spots included Toronto, with 336 new infections, and Peel Region, with 258 new cases. Ottawa reported 78 new cases while Hamilton reported 55.

Only Peel Region, which has seen rising cases in recent weeks, was deemed a red zone, while other hot spots such as York Region and Ottawa were labelled orange.

But that region rejected the restrictions as too lax, instead imposing far stricter guidelines that include a prohibition on interacting with people outside one’s own household.

Saturday’s daily case count surpassed the previous provincial daily high of 1,050 cases reported on Tuesday.

In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault urged residents Saturday to maintain efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay this winter. In an open letter, Legault thanked Quebecers for showing solidarity and expressed hope that grandparents will be able to see their grandchildren at Christmas.

Quebec officials have said they are especially concerned about Saguenay, north of Quebec City, and Lanaudiere, north of Montreal — regions Legault has dubbed “the worst” in the province on a per-capita basis.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

CanadaCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

Black Press file photo
Leduc RCMP arrest male for multiple break and enters and theft

34-year-old Michael Gilchrist has been arrested for his involvement in the thefts.

25-year-old Rachelle Okrusko has been missing since Jan. 12, 2021. Photo provided by Wetaskiwin RCMP.
Update: Wetaskiwin RCMP looking for missing woman; Rachelle Okrusko is no longer missing.

25-year-old Rachelle Okrusko has been missing since Jan. 12, 2021.

Chelsey Rain. Photo provided by Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Missing Wetaskiwin woman found

23-year-old Chelsey Rain has been missing since New Years Day.

Metro Creative Connection
Pigeon Lake Santa’s Elves celebrates 21 years of donated food hampers

Community donations from 4-H groups, Mulhurst Fire and local businesses key to this years success.

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

Catherine Hay. Photo Submitted
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Monday that11 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,447. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

Most Read