Coronavirus cases in Canada: Quebec in 'second wave,' Alberta reports six more school outbreaks

Bryan Meler
·Associate Editor, Yahoo News Canada
·114-min read

10,473 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 145,415 diagnoses, 9,228 deaths and 125,714 recoveries (as of Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta - 1,459 active cases (16,739 total cases, including 256 deaths, 15,024 resolved)

  • British Columbia - 1,987 active cases (8,208 total cases, 227 deaths, 5,972 resolved)

  • Manitoba - 363 active cases (1,608 total cases, 18 deaths, 1,227 resolved)

  • New Brunswick - 3 active cases (196 cases, 2 deaths, 191 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador - 1 active case (272 total cases, 3 deaths, 268 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories - 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia - 0 active cases (1,086 total cases, 65 deaths 1,021 resolved)

  • Ontario - 3,299 active cases (47,274 total cases, 2,829 deaths, 41,146 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island - 1 active case (57 total cases, 56 resolved)

  • Quebec - 3,193 active cases (68,128 total cases, 5,804 deaths, 59,131 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan - 145 active cases (1,814 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,645 resolved)

  • Yukon - 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut - 0 active cases (4 false positive cases)

  • CFB Trenton - 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Authorities have been working to contain the spread of COVID-19, with Canadians having contracted the virus from travel to other countries, human-to-human transmission, as well as community spread.

Of the over 145,000 cases that been diagnosed nationwide, at least 125,000 of them have been resolved, meaning those people are no longer considered infectious. As daily cases of COVID-19 start to increase across the country, Yahoo News Canada will focus on reporting “active cases” to put into context our current situation.

Timeline of coronavirus cases in Canada September 2020

Sept. 21

Quebec in ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 as it reports its most new cases since May

Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, said on Monday that he is “very, very, very concerned” about the rise in cases in the province, after 586 new patients were identified.

Due to the rise in cases over recent weeks, Arruda believes Quebec is now in the next stage of its COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are in the second wave, at the beginning” said Arruda in French on Monday. “The situation is serious. The situation is serious everywhere in Quebec.”

The 586 cases are the most in a 24-hour stretch since 641 cases were announced May 27. It’s also now the 10th straight day that it has reported more than 200. The last time Quebec had a similar stretch was in late-May to early-June; since then it has enjoyed multiple stretches where it consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19 within the province.

On Monday, Montreal, Quebec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region were moved to the province’s orange stage, the second highest on its COVID-19 alert system. Restrictions, such as gathering limits, are affected depending on where a region is on the colour-coded scale. Arruda said it’s “highly probable” that regions will move from orange to red (the highest alert level) but there is still time to flatten the curve and move back to yellow and green.

“If we want to have a Christmas that is a bit normal, people have to cooperate,” said Arruda. “It’s major.”

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has been Canada’s worst-hit province. Along with owning the biggest death toll (5,804) of any jurisdiction, it has the most active cases per 100,000 residents. Ontario is the only province with more active cases, after it announced 425 new patients on Monday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 2.

Of the most recent group of 586 cases in Quebec, Montreal reported the most with 219, followed by the Quebec City (92), Montérégie (76), Outaouais (31), Estrie (21) Chaudière-Appalaches (50), Laurentides (39) and Laval (20) health regions.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 23,484 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity.

In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, no one has died, but the province added three fatalities and retracted one from previous dates, setting its death toll at 5,804. Three-hundred and thirty-five patients have also recently recovered, which means there are now 3,193 active cases in the province.

Over the weekend, the province’s police investigation into bars and restaurants resulted in them checking 2,206 establishments. Ninety fines were distributed and 1,500 warnings, for matters such as not respecting physical distancing requirements or consuming alcohol after the legal hours.

Throughout Quebec schools, there are 392 active cases among students across public and private schools and 93 among staff, as of its most current information from Friday evening. One-hundred and nine students have recovered as well as 38 staff members. So far, at least 235 class bubbles have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 46 since the last report. Of the province’s 3,089 schools, 334 of them have had a case of COVID-19, up by 62.

Two more cases of transmission within Alberta schools, six more outbreaks

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced on Monday that health officials have identified two more schools where transmission likely occurred within the learning institution.

The first case of transmission within a school setting was announced on Friday by Hinshaw, meaning that one individual’s reason for infection is believed to be linked to another member of the school. The two most recent schools where transmission likely occurred are Vimy Ridge School in Edmonton and Springfield Elementary School in Peace River.

“As I stressed on Friday, this is not unexpected, and is not a cause for alarm,” said Hinshaw. “As we have seen transmission in other settings, we will see some cases where this happens in classrooms.”

Six new school outbreaks have also been identified since Hinshaw’s update on Friday, for a total of 19. An outbreak is declared when there are two or or more confirmed cases in individuals who were at the school within a 14-day time period.

“That is a very low number to reach and is not an indication of uncontrolled spread,” said Hinshaw.

Two schools have at least five cases and have been placed on “Watch”: St. Wilfrid Elementary School and Vimy Ridge School.

So far, 81 schools in Alberta have had at least one COVID-19 patient among students and staff, with 126 total cases between them. Whenerver, there’s a case, all teachers and classmates of the patient are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Hinshaw said that five school alerts have already ended, allowing students and staff to return to school. In each case, there was no sign of transmission that resulted from the potential exposure.

Hinshaw said that only three per cent of schools in the province have had a COVID-19 exposure within the first three weeks of the fall semester. Of those schools, in school transmission has only been identified in about three per cent of them.

“We will continue to monitor closely as always, but this is a positive start,” said Hinshaw.

The province’s chief medical officer continued to note that it’s expected that the province will see cases in schools as long as there’s transmission in the community. In mid-April, the province saw its general COVID-19 peak, but also the most cases among school aged children, despite everyone being under lockdown.

“What's really critical for schools is that they don't become a place where transmission happens and spread happens quite broadly,” said Hinshaw. “Our kids are best served by education in person. And that has an overall benefit to their health much bigger than just the benefit of maintaining protection from COVID-19.”

On Monday, Hinshaw also announced that the province’s labs identified 119 new cases between Friday and Saturday, 102 between Saturday and Sunday and 137 between Sunday leading to Monday.

One more person has also died. The victim was a patient at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, where an outbreak has been declared. So far, 14 patients and four staff members across three different units have now tested positive for the virus in connection to the outbreak.

Three-hundred and twenty-two more patients have also recovered throughout Alberta, which now has 1,459 active cases. Of those currently infected individuals, 747 of them are in the Edmonton zone and 462 are in the Calgary zone.

Ontario once again reports its most new daily cases since early June

Ontario reported 425 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 2.

It’s now the third time over the past four days that it has reported more than 400 cases. It’s also the 11th straight day Ontario has exceeded the 200-case mark; before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29.

Of the most recent cases, which were identified after 31,753 completed tests, 175 of them are in Toronto, 84 in Peel, 60 in Ottawa, 20 in York, 14 in Durham, 13 in Waterloo and 12 in Halton. The remaining 27 public health units reported fewer than 10, while 15 of them reported no new cases at all.

Eighteen new cases were identified in Ontario schools, for a total of 90. Of the recent group of cases, eight involve students, four involve teachers, while the other six have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. In total, there are now 75 schools that have had a case of COVID-19.

Two more people have died and 178 have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. There are now 3,299 active cases throughout the province, the most in all Canadian jurisdictions, and the most in Ontario since June 10.

Toronto leads the way with 1,054 currently infected patients, followed by 709 in Peel, 505 in Ottawa and 288 in York. None of the other 31 public health units have more than 110.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Nova Scotia reported no new cases on Monday, as it remains the only province with no currently infected patients. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island continue to have one active case each.

New Brunswick reported two new cases on Monday. Both involve individuals between 20-29 years old in the Moncton region. They are both related to travel and linked to previously identified patients. There are now three active cases in New Brunswick.

Two more people have died in WInnipeg, increasing Manitoba’s COVID-19-related death toll to 18. The recent victims include a man in his 80s in the Southern health region and a woman in her 80s in the Prairie Mountain health region. Twenty-two new cases were also identified in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, in the Winnipeg (16), Southern (three), Prairie Mountain (two), and Interlake-Eastern (one) health regions. On Monday, Manitoba's chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin expressed concern over the rise in cases in Winnipeg. He said that some people have been going to many different locations while symptomatic. Of the province’s 363 active cases, 284 of them are in Winnipeg.

Seven new cases were identified in Saskatchewan throughout the Saskatoon (five), Regina (one) and South East (one) zones. Three of the cases in Saskatoon are associated with the Brandt Industries workplace outbreak, which has seen a total of 17 linked cases. Two more people have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, which leaves 145 active cases throughout Saskatchewan. Of those currently infected individuals, 27 are in communal living settings, while 76 are in its epicentre of Saskatoon.

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported that over the weekend labs identified 121 new cases between Friday and Saturday, 117 between Saturday and Sunday and 128 between Sunday leading to Monday, for a total of 366. Over the same stretch, 175 more people have recovered and four have died. It means there are now a record-high 1,987 active cases in the province. There are 3,233 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by B.C. public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.

Henry said there have been a number of exposures in the school setting, but they are mostly “very low risk.” For example, an infected patient was in the learning institution for a short period of time; Henry said these exposure situations have usually been among adults, such as staff members. At the moment, there have been no clusters, outbreaks or transmission events in the school setting that have been identified by health officials. All of British Columbia’s health regions are expected to provide a full list of exposures, but Vancouver Coastal Health has recently come under fire for not providing their complete info. As a result, it’s not possible to paint a full picture of the situation in B.C. schools.

Sept. 20

First elementary school in Ontario shuts down due to COVID-19 infections

An elementary school in Ottawa has closed down after two students and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19, forcing it to temporarily shut down, according to CBC.

Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School, in Ottawa's Barrhaven neighbourhood, is the first elementary school in Ontario to close due to the virus.

On Sept. 16, Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont., was the first Ontario learning institution in general to shut down, after three staff members tested positive for the virus. The third case was linked to the first two.

"Please know that we take our direction from Ottawa Public Health," Mark Kennedy, principal of Monsignor Paul Baxter, said in a letter to parents and guardians, which was obtained by CBC. "We have been working closely with OPH since we learned of our first confirmed positive test result of COVID-19."

Parents with children at Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School in Ottawa’s Barrhaven neighbourhood were notified on Saturday about the closure. (Credit: Patrick Louiseize/Radio-Canada)
Parents with children at Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School in Ottawa’s Barrhaven neighbourhood were notified on Saturday about the closure. (Credit: Patrick Louiseize/Radio-Canada)

Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School is expected to stay closed for about 14 days, according to the respective school board, while students are being encouraged learn online while at home.

As of Ontario’s latest update on Friday morning, there have been 60 schools so far that have reported a case of COVID-19 among staff or students. There are 72 total cases, with 25 among students and 22 among staff. The remaining 25 have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. Updated statistics are expected on Monday.

Quebec once again records its largest increase in daily cases since May

Quebec health officials announced 462 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since 530 cases were announced May 30.

It comes a day after Canada’s worst-hit province announced 427 new cases, while it’s now the ninth straight day that it has reported more than 200. The last time Quebec had a similar stretch was in early late-May to early-June; since then it has enjoyed multiple stretches where it consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19.

Of the most recent group of 462 cases, Montreal reported the most with 160, followed by the Quebec City (92), Montérégie (58), Laval (31), Outaouais (22), Estrie (21) and Chaudière-Appalaches (19) regions.

According to Radio-Canada, the Quebec government on Sunday is expected to reduce the size of private gatherings and impose new restrictions on restaurants and bars in its two biggest cities, due to their concerning case trends.

Montreal, Quebec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region, which is south of Quebec City, will reportedly be placed on “moderate alert.” It means they’ll be moved to the “orange” level (the second-highest) on its new colour-coded alert system, which categorizes the danger posed by COVID-19 in a respective region.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed a record-high 29,006 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity.

In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, one more person has died, while the province also added four fatalities to its death toll (5,802), involving victims who passed away between Sept. 13-18. Three-hundred and six patients have also recently recovered, which means there are now 2,944 active cases in the province.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Ontario reported 365 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, which breaks its two-day streak of reporting more than 400 cases. However, it’s now the 10th straight day Ontario has exceeded the 200-case mark; before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29.

The most recent cases were identified after officials completed a record-high 40,127 tests for the virus, leading to a 0.9 per cent positivity rate (one of the highest since June). One-hundred and thirty cases were identified in Toronto, 108 in Peel, 38 in York, 24 in Halton, 20 in Waterloo, 19 in Durham and 14 in Ottawa. The remaining 27 public health units reported fewer than 10, while 13 reported no new cases at all.

In Ontario’s most recent 24-hour stretch, a health-care worker has died, while 191 patients have recovered. There are now 3,054 active cases in the province, the most of any jurisdiction in Canada, and the most in Ontario since June 11.

Nova Scotia reported no new cases on Sunday, as it remains the only province with no currently infected patients. One more person has recovered in Newfoundland and Labrador, which now has one active case. There also still remains one currently infected patient in both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Twenty-nine new cases were identified in Manitoba throughout the Winnipeg (23), Prairie Mountain (three), Interlake-Eastern (two) and and Southern (one) health regions. Five additional patients have recovered, which means there are now 354 active cases in the province. Winnipeg is home to 275 of the province’s currently infected patients, as its worrisome case trend continues.

In a press release, Manitoba health officials said that they’ve notified parents “about a possible exposure to COVID-19 at the Munroe Early Childhood Education Centre Preschool at 505 Chalmers Ave. in Winnipeg on Sept. 14 in the morning and afternoon.” All close contacts have been identified, while the centre has closed off areas that were used by the infected patient. Public Health has also released a list of four other recent potential exposure warnings in the public, which are all in Winnipeg.

In the latest 24-hour stretch in Saskatchewan, 20 new cases were identified in the Regina (10), Saskatoon (seven) and South East (one) zones, while the location of the final case is pending. The cases in Saskatoon are linked to the outbreak at Brandt Industries, which has had 14 cases so far, according to a press release by officials. Since one more person has recovered since Saturday, there are now 140 active cases in Saskatchewan; 27 of them are in communal living settings and 70 are in its epicentre Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan Health Authority is also notifying the public about a list of potential COVID-19 exposures at various Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Waskesiu businesses between Sept. 10-18.

Sept. 19

Ontario extends gathering restrictions for the entire province following another 400+ cases

Premier Doug Ford announced on Saturday that the entire province of Ontario will now have to abide by new restrictions, which limit informal gatherings.

Previously, gathering limits were set at 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, but have now been brought down to 10 and 25, respectively, for the next 28 days.

The restrictions were first put in place for hotspots Toronto, Peel and Ottawa on Friday, but have now been extended after the province recorded 407 new cases on Saturday — the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 2. It also comes a day after Ontario recorded 401 cases on Friday,

“We’ve seen alarming growth in the number of COVID cases in Ontario,” said Ford on Saturday. “Folks, the alarm bells are ringing.”

Ontario now has the most active cases throughout Canada with 2,881, followed by 2,793 currently infected patients in Quebec, which recorded 427 new cases on Saturday — the most in a 24-hour stretch since May 30.

Ontario’s active case count continues to rise at an alarming rate, considering there were 1,345 infected patients throughout the province two weeks ago (Sept. 5). Saturday marks the ninth straight day that Ontario has exceeded the 200-case mark. Before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29.

“Too much of it is being tied to people who aren’t following the rules, people who think it's OK to hold parties, carrying on as if things are back to normal. They aren't. ... We can't have these wild parties right now. It's just way, way too risky.”

For those who organize a gathering that exceeds the new limit, they can face a minimum fine of $10,000 under the current emergency orders. If you're caught going to one of these parties, “you can get slapped with a $750 fine,” said Ford.

These new restrictions do not apply to events held in facilities such as movie theatres, restaurants, banquet halls, places of worship, gyms, or convention centres.

However, Ford cautions against people who are currently joining “political protests” across the country. Over the past four months, Canadians have joined protests to demand racial equality and to shed light on police brutality against marginalized communities. Others have also protested against COVID-19 restrictions that have been put in place by various levels of government.

“Everyone has to follow the same rules, there can't be exceptions. You can't be going out there guys, let's use common sense,” said Ford. “We have to make sure we get our arms around this and everyone else to pitch in, so do not go out there to these massive protests. That would be dangerous for the community.”

The most recent 407 cases were identified after the province’s labs completed a record-high 38,940 tests for COVID-19. The one per cent positivity rate is still one of the highest Ontario has recorded in months.

Of the most recent patients, 218 of them are among those 20-39 years old, the most of any age group. There were also 72 cases among those 40-59, and 72 involving people 19 years old or younger.

One-hundred and twenty-nine were identified in Toronto, followed by 94 in Peel, 55 in Ottawa, 28 in York, 18 in Halton, 14 each in Waterloo and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, 12 in Hamilton, 11 in Simcoe-Muskoka and 10 in Middlesex-London. The other 24 public health units reported fewer than 10 cases, while 15 of them reported no new cases at all.

“I think the recommendation to go province wide was really precautionary,” said associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe on Saturday. “The increases are happening, particularly in certain dense urban areas, but there have been indications of small increases elsewhere. And we are trying to avert a further increase as much as possible.”

Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health said that you can get as close you’d like to the people who are in your social circle of 10. But if you’re with people who are not in that circle, you need to maintain a six-foot distance or wear a mask, such as now at gatherings of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.

Along with the most recent 407 new cases on Saturday, one more person has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, which increases the death toll to 2,826.

Quebec records its largest increase in daily cases since May

Quebec health officials have identified 427 new cases of COVID-19, the most in a 24-hour stretch since 530 cases were announced May 30.

It’s now the eighth straight day that it has reported more than 200 cases. The last time Canada’s worst-hit province had a similar stretch was in early June, and since then it has also enjoyed stretches where it consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases.

“The rapid growth in cases in some areas is worrying,” said health minister Christian Dubé in a tweet on Saturday.

Of the most recent group of 427 cases, Montreal reported the most with 128, followed by Quebec City (60), the Chaudière-Appalaches region (36), Laval (34) and the Lower Saint Lawrence region (15).

According to The Canadian Press, a major COVID-19 testing operation is underway in Quebec’s Bas-Saint-Laurent region, following positive cases that were identified at a pork factory. Four-hundred and fifty employees at a slaughterhouse, Aliments Asta, are now being tested.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed a record-high 28,442 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity.

In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, two more people have died, while the province also added three fatalities to its death toll (5,797), involving victims who passed away between Sept. 11-17. Two-hundred and seventy-two patients have also recovered, which means there are now 2,793 active cases in the province.

Exposure alert for popular Toronto nightclub after 4 patrons test positive

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is warning of a potential COVID-19 exposure for patrons and staff who visited a popular nightclub venue in the city.

Four patrons who were at NOIR inside REBEL Entertainment Complex on Sept. 11, between 10:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., have tested positive. Anyone who was at the venue at the same time may have been exposed to the virus.

Based on the information provided in the venue’s contact tracing logs for staff and patrons, TPH is following up with all known close contacts, who will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days and to go for testing. Everyone who was at the venue during Sept. 11 between 10:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. is being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms until Sept. 25.

“These individuals should make a particular effort to keep a six-foot distance from other people, wear a mask in public spaces, and wash their hands frequently,” said a press release by TPH. “They should also limit contact with others, especially those in health care settings, seniors, and/or other vulnerable populations.”

Upon inspection on Sept. 18, TPH found REBEL Entertainment Complex to be in compliance with all reopening protocols for nightclubs.

Canada’s Conservative leader tests positive for COVID-19, prompting Quebec premier to get tested

Federal Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, left, and Quebec Premier François Legault get set to start their meeting in Montreal on Sept. 14, 2020. (Credit: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)
Federal Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, left, and Quebec Premier François Legault get set to start their meeting in Montreal on Sept. 14, 2020. (Credit: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has been diagnosed with COVID-19, after he and his family were tested for the virus.

"He is very relieved that his wife and children have tested negative. O'Toole remains in self-isolation and is feeling well," said a statement from the Conservative party.

O’Toole has been in isolation since Wednesday, after one of his staff members tested positive for the virus. They had travelled together in Quebec.

Quebec Premier François, who met with O’Toole on Monday, decided to get tested as a precaution. His result has since come back negative, but he will stay in isolation until Sept. 28, in accordance with public health guidelines.

O’Toole made a public outcry after he and his family waited hours at a Ottawa testing site on Wednesday, before they were turned away due to the capacity limitations. They were eventually tested on Thursday in Gatineau, Que., at a site that offers priority testing for members of parliament and their families.

On Friday, Bloc Québécois announced that leader Yves-François Blanchet and his wife Nancy Déziel tested COVID-19 positive. They will remain in isolation until Sept. 26 at his residence in Shawinigan, Que.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Two cases of COVID-19 were identified in Nunavut at the Hope Bay mine, which is 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay. Health officials believe that both patients were exposed in their home jurisdictions prior to travelling to Nunavut. Since the cases didn’t original in Nunavut, they’ll instead be counted in other jurisdictions, but at the moment it’s not clear where exactly. Nunavut remains the only Canadian jurisdiction to not have a confirmed case as part of its tally, while the Northwest Territories and Yukon currently have no active cases.

Nova Scotia continues to be the only province with no active cases, after its remaining patient was marked resolved on Friday. No new cases were identified in Newfoundland and Labrador or New Brunswick, as those provinces continue to have two and one active cases, respectively. As of Prince Edward Island’s latest update on Tuesday, it also has one currently infected patient.

Eighteen new cases were identified in Manitoba throughout Winnipeg (13), Prairie Mountain (three) and Southern (two) health regions. Twelve additional patients have recovered, which means there are now 331 active cases in the province. Winnipeg is home to 252 of the province’s currently infected patients, as its worrisome case trend continues.

In the latest 24-hour stretch in Saskatchewan, labs completed a record-high 2,873 tests. Officials were able to identify 11 new cases in the Regina (five), Saskatoon (two), South Central (two), Central West (one) and Central East (one) zones. The two cases in Saskatoon are linked to the outbreak at Brandt Industries, according to a press release by officials. Since three more people have recovered since Friday, there are now 121 active cases in Saskatchewan; 25 of them are in communal living settings and 63 are in its epicentre Saskatoon.

It was also recently reported that the president of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Glen McCallum, has tested positive for COVID-19. A Facebook post by Métis Nation-Saskatchewan advises everyone who’s been in close contact with McCallum to monitor for symptoms and to get tested if they experience any signs of the illness.

Sept. 18

Alberta sees first likely case of COVID-19 transmission within a school setting

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced on Friday that the province has seen its “first case of COVID-19 likely transmitted within a school.”

“This is not unexpected, and is not a cause for alarm,” said Hinshaw. “Even with the cautious approach we have been taking, we expected that we would eventually see some examples of transmission in schools. ... Let me repeat that it was inevitable.”

The transmission was likely to have occurred at Edmonton's Waverley School, a public elementary school in the Kenilworth neighbourhood. One student is believed to have been the “source” of infection for another.

“At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that the school will need to transition to a different learning model, or that other staff and students are at risk,” said Hinshaw.

According to CBC, who received confirmation from the respective school board, about 12 students from a combined Grade 1/2 class and seven staff members will now isolate for 14 days at home, monitor for symptoms and be tested. Throughout Edmonton, at least 1000 students are in self-isolation because they were in the same class as a patient while they were considered infectious.

As of Friday, there are 78 individuals who attended school while infectious among students and staff. Fifty-seven of the province’s 2,415 schools have reported an infectious case. Of those cases, none of them have been hospitalized, said Hinshaw.

A week earlier (Sept. 11), there were 29 schools across the province where an individual attended while infectious, with 32 cases linked to these schools, leading to three outbreaks.

There are now 13 school outbreaks across Alberta, which means a school has had at least two cases. One of the schools, St. Wilfrid Elementary School, has had at least five cases.

On Friday, Alberta Health Services announced 107 new cases of COVID-19. In that same stretch, one more person has died, while 165 patients have recovered. Of the province’s now 1,424 active cases, 711 of them are in the Edmonton zone and 450 in the Calgary zone. There are 44 people in hospital, which includes seven in intensive care.

Nova Scotia is the only province to be COVID-19 free

Health officials in Nova Scotia have announced that its final COVID-19 patient has recovered, meaning they are now no active cases in the jurisdiction.

It’s the only province with no active cases of COVID-19. There are also no currently infected patients in all three of Canada’s territories.

The latest patient to be identified in Nova Scotia was on Sept. 7. Throughout the pandemic, the province has had 1,086 cases; that includes 65 fatalities and now 1,021 people who have recovered.

Nova Scotia was previously declared COVID-19 free on Aug. 10. But since Aug. 14, health officials have discovered 15 new patients, all of whom have since recovered.

Despite the positive news on Friday, Nova Scotia’s provincial government has decided to renew its state of emergency until Oct. 4.

Ontario reports its most new cases since June, takes over Quebec’s spot for most currently infected patients

The province announced 401 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, which marks the largest one-day spike it has seen since June 2.

It’s now the eighth straight day that Ontario has exceeded the 200-case mark. Before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29.

The most recent patients were identified after Ontario labs completed a record-high 35,826 tests for COVID-19. Ontario has now posted a 1.1 per cent positivity rate on three of the last six occasions — the highest percentage since June 23.

Of the most recent group of cases, 130 were identified in Toronto, 82 in Peel and 61 in Ottawa — the three regions that will now face increased gathering restrictions starting Friday. Nineteen cases were also identified in Halton and 12 in Middlesex-London, as the region continues to deal with an outbreak in relation to Western University. All the other 29 public health units reported 10 or fewer cases of COVID-19, with 15 reporting no new cases at all.

Since Thursday’s report, 176 more people have recovered, but no else has died in relation to the virus. Throughout Ontario, there are now 2,652 active cases of COVID-19, the most since June 14.

With Quebec announcing on Friday that they have 2,643 active cases, it means Ontario now has the most currently infected patients of any jurisdiction in Canada, a title Quebec has held for the majority of the pandemic in Canada. Quebec still has the most cases per 100,000 people.

Of the currently infected patients in Ontario, Toronto leads the way with 806 active cases, followed by Peel (566), Ottawa (437) and York (247). All of the other 30 public health units have fewer than 85.

Eleven new cases were identified in schools for a total of 72, but one was also removed from the tally. The cases are spread throughout 60 of the province’s 4,828 learning institutions, up by nine since Thursday. Of the latest cases, five involve students, while the other six have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. Four new cases were also reported in child care centres and private home daycares (one child, three staff) for a total of 76.

There are two new cases among residents of long-term care homes and five new cases that involve health-care workers. Two-hundred of the cases are among those 20-39 years old, the most of any age group. There were also 99 cases among those 40-59, and 67 involving people 19 years old or younger.

Of the province’s currently infected patients, there are 58 in hospital, which includes 20 in intensive care and 10 who require a ventilator.

More than 400 students in Quebec contract COVID-19 since reopening

Quebec announced on Friday that 44 more students and 10 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

There are now 272 schools (out of 2,685) that have had a reported case, up by 25 compared to the previous day. Throughout those institutions, there are now 401 students and 106 staff members that have contracted the virus since schools reopened Aug. 27. At least 189 class bubbles so far have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 16 since Thursday’s report.

Quebec health officials announced 297 new cases of COVID-19, which marks the eighth straight day that it has reported more than 200 cases. The last time it had a similar stretch was in early June.

In the same 24-hour stretch, no one has died, but officials added one more death to its death toll (5,792), which occurred on an unknown date, according a press release. Two-hundred and six more cases have been marked resolved, meaning there are now 2,643 active cases in the province.

Bloc Québécois leader tests positive for virus

Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet's wife, Nancy Déziel, and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. (Credit: AP)
Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet's wife, Nancy Déziel, and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. (Credit: AP)

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

In a statement from his office, Blanchet said that he is doing “perfectly well,” but he will stay in isolation at his home in Shawinigan, Que., until Sept. 26. in accordance with Quebec public health rules.

“The leader of the Bloc Québécois underlines the importance of distancing measures, the wearing of masks and of hand washing and invites Quebeckers to follow the instructions of the Government of Quebec if they show symptoms or if they have been in close contact with an affected person,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, Blanchet's wife Nancy Déziel was also diagnosed with COVID-19, which led to the Bloc leader deciding to also get tested as a precaution.

According to The Canadian Press, Blanchet was already in self-isolation; one of his staff members had tested positive, resulting in multiple members of his caucus and other aides to also isolate.

Blanchet is the first federal party leader to test positive for COVID-19. Earlier in the pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also self-isolated after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau was diagnosed with the respiratory virus.

Updates from the rest of Canada

British Columbia announced 139 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. It ties its output from Sept. 10 for the second largest spike in cases since the start of the pandemic. The province announced a record-high 165 new patients on Sept. 17. Forty more cases have also been added to its total case count (7,842) that were identified between Aug. 11- Sept. 16 by Vancouver Coastal Health. In the most recent 24-hour stretch, 78 more people have recovered and three have died. It means there are now a record-high 1,803 active cases throughout British Columbia.

Newfoundland and Labrador has identified its first new case since Sept. 12, this time involving a male in the Central Health region between 20-39 years of age. The individual recently returned from traveling in the United States. According to a press release, he was asymptomatic while travelling back to Newfoundland and Labrador. There are now two active cases throughout the province.

One more person has recovered in New Brunswick, meaning there is now only one active case in the province. As of Prince Edward Island’s latest update on Tuesday, it also has one currently infected patient.

“There has been a concerning increase in the number of cases in Winnipeg,” read a press release by Manitoba health officials, with the city being home to 29 of the province’s most recent 40 cases. The remaining cases are in the Interlake-Eastern (four), Prairie Mountain (four) and Southern Health (three) health regions. Eight more people have also recently recovered, which means there are now 325 active cases in Manitoba; Winnipeg is home to 239 of them. Prairie Mountain only has 38, after it was the province’s epicentre in August. “Recent success in Prairie Mountain Health shows that focusing on the fundamentals can reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” read the press release, with the region on Friday moving back to the yellow caution level under Manitoba's colour-coded pandemic response system.

Saskatchewan health officials have identified 19 new cases throughout the Saskatoon (12), Regina (four) and Central West (three) zones. Of the latest cases in Saskatoon, six of them have been identified in the workplace at Brandt Industries, according to a press release. Fifteen more people have also recently recovered, which leaves the province’s active case count at 113. Of those currently infected patients, 24 are in communal living settings, while 61 are in its epicentre of Saskatoon.

Sept. 17

‘Super-spreader event’ leads to 21 infections in Saskatchewan

At least 21 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a gathering at a Saskatoon home, after 47 people attended the event.

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said the party gathering serves as a “cautionary tale,” since it’s now being looked at as a “super-spreader.”

Gathering limits are capped at 30-people when physical distancing can be maintained between individuals who are not from the same household. The organizer of the event has since been fined $2,000, but no details on the nature of the gathering have been shared.

"Things like this can snowball very quickly, and that's what we need to avoid as we move forward. Because you can start multiple chains of transmission that can cause secondary infections," said Shahab.

There have been at least 160 people who have since been identified as close contacts of those who attended, which includes some cases that may be connected to schools. Health officials expect more cases to be identified in the upcoming days, before the chain of transmission is resolved.

“The best way we can keep COVID-19 away from our schools is to keep it at a low infection in our communities, and events like this don’t help,” said Premier Scott Moe.

On Thursday, health officials said there are currently 14 cases among students in schools across the province. No transmission within the school setting has been reported.

Health officials also announced that they’ve identified seven new cases throughout Saskatchewan’s latest 24-hour stretch in the Saskatoon (four), South East (two) and South West (one) zones.

Four more people have also recovered, which means there are now 109 active cases in the province. The Saskatoon region is home to 50 of those currently infected individuals; the zone’s active cases consist of those linked to the large gathering and interprovincial travel, said Shabab.

British Columbia reports its largest one-day spike in cases

British Columbia health officials have identified 165 new cases of COVID-19, the most in a 24-hour stretch since the start of the pandemic.

The most recent group of patients were identified after a record-high 7,674 tests. However, the update is still part of a concerning trend for the province, since there are now also a record-high 1,705 active cases throughout B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the rise in cases is linked to an increase in testing, but that health officials continue to see cases linked to exposure events, such as private gatherings.

With Ontario imposing new restrictions on gathering limits on Thursday, Henry said B.C. will not do the same. A maximum of 50 people is still the number they’ll look to have in place for gathering limits, but Henry reminded people that “just because you can fit 50 people into your small back garden does not make it safe.”

Henry said that the province is now seeing the virus spread to other, more vulnerable sectors.

“We're now seeing a spillover into hospitals,” said Henry. “We're seeing our elders, our grandparents, our seniors, the people in our lives who are most susceptible to ending up in hospital or dying from this virus, are getting it. Sometimes they're getting it because we are not being careful enough as young people, and we're bringing it home unintentionally and spreading it to those we love.”

Exposures due to gatherings have been a key concern for B.C. ever since two hotel parties around Canada Day in Kelowna led to dozens of cases around the province, as well as possible exposure warnings for a variety of businesses.

Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. As of Thursday, there are 2,949 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by B.C. public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.

One more person has also died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, involving a resident of a long-term care home. It increases the death toll to 220. Seventy-three people have also recently recovered from the respiratory virus. Of the province’s 1,705 active cases, there are 57 people in hospital, which includes 22 in intensive care.

Worrisome stretch continues in Ontario, 21 more cases in schools

Ontario reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which marks the seventh straight day that the province has exceeded the 200-case mark. Before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29.

The most recent patients were identified after Ontario labs completed 35,134 tests for COVID-19, the second highest amount in a 24-hour stretch since the start of the pandemic.

Of those cases, 85 were identified in Toronto, 63 in Peel, 39 in Ottawa, 37 in York and 12 in Halton. All the other 29 public health units reported 10 of fewer cases, while 14 reported no new patients at all. On Thursday, Doug Ford’s provincial government announced new gathering restrictions for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa, which have been deemed Ontario’s hotspots.

Twenty-one new cases were identified in schools for a total of 62, which are spread throughout 51 of the province’s 4,828 learning institutions. Of the latest cases, five involve students, four involve teachers, while the other 12 have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. Two new cases were also reported in child care centres and homes (one child, one staff) for a total of 72.

There were no new cases among residents of long-term care homes, but there are six new patients that involve health-care workers. One-hundred sixty-nine of the cases are among those 20-39 years old, the most of any age group. There were also 66 cases among those 40-59, and 37 involving people 19 years old or younger.

Since Wednesday’s report, 179 more people have recovered and three have died in relation to the virus. Throughout Ontario, there are now 2,427 active cases of COVID-19, the most since June 16. Toronto leads the way with 725 currently infected patients, followed by Peel (528), Ottawa (407) and York (216). All of the other 30 public health units have fewer than 80.

Of those currently infected patients, there are 53 in hospital, which includes 21 in intensive care and 12 who require a ventilator.

Montreal reports significant backlog, creating an even larger daily spike from earlier this week

Quebec health officials announced 251 new cases of COVID-19, which marks the seventh straight day that it has reported more than 200 cases. The last time it had a similar stretch was in early June.

On Thursday, Montreal health officials announced 248 cases that should have been reported to the public between Sept. 10-15. Due to the update, it means between Sept. 13-15, the province should have announced more than 300 cases each day, a mark it had not passed since June 1. That includes an extra 90 cases for Sept. 15, which brings that day’s spike to 382 — the most cases in 24-hour stretch since June 1.

On Thursday, the province announced that 208 more people have recovered. Two more have died in its latest 24-hour stretch, but the province also added one more fatality that occurred between Sept. 10-15, increasing the death toll to 5,791. There are now 2,553 active cases throughout Quebec, the most of any jurisdiction in Canada.

The province also announced that 35 more students and eight staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. There are now 247 schools (out of 2,685) that have had a reported case, up by 10 compared to the previous day. Throughout those institutions, there are now 357 students and 96 staff members that have contracted the virus. At least 173 class bubbles so far have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 32 since Wednesday’s report.

The Quebec government on Thursday decided to ban restaurants and microbreweries from selling alcohol after midnight, a rule that came into effect early this month for bars. The province also decided to provide more info on its colour-coded alert system, which was introduced Sept. 8. One of the factors that determines whether a region will change alert levels is based on its number of daily cases compared to its population size. Different enforcement measures are put in place based on the colour’s alert, such as for gatherings.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador both continue to have one active case; they have not identified a new patient since Sept. 7 and Sept. 12, respectively. As of Prince Edward Island’s last update on Tuesday, there remains one active case in that province as well.

One more person has recovered in New Brunswick, which now has two active cases of COVID-19.

Eleven new cases were identified in Manitoba throughout the Winnipeg (eight), Southern Health (two) and Prairie Mountain (one) health regions. One more person has also recovered, meaning there are now 293 active cases throughout the province. Of those currently infected patients, 209 of them are in Winnipeg, while all the other four regions have fewer than 40.

Alberta health officials have identified 146 new cases of COVID-19, but no new deaths were recorded in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. Instead, 158 more people have recovered, which drops the province’s active case count to 1,483. Of those currently infected individuals, 751 of them are in the Edmonton zone and 470 in the Calgary zone. One new COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in a school — for a total of 10 — meaning there are at least two cases among individuals who were considered infectious while at the learning institution.

Sept. 15

There are 251 new cases of COVID-19 that have been reported in Ontario on Tuesday, continuing the recent trend of more than 200 new cases each day. Less than half that amount, 117, were reported as newly recovered in the same time period. Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott said that the hotspots for new cases continue to be Toronto, Ottawa and Peel public health regions, with 73, 51, and 42 new cases reported respectively. Four additional deaths related to the virus were also reported.

In Quebec, there were 292 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24-hour reporting period, as well as five more deaths related to the virus. One of the deaths was in the last 24 hours, while the others were between September 8-13. The province also published an update to how COVID-19 has impacted schools; 283 infections have been reported in 172 schools, and 144 classrooms have been closed due to the virus, including 130 in the public school system. Students account for 217 of the in-school infections, while a further 66 are staff members. 249 of the cases are in the public school system.

Prince Edward Island was the only province to see new cases in Atlantic Canada on Tuesday. There were two cases, one a man in his 50s who is a non-healthcare essential worker, the other a child related to a known case. The child is now considered recovered. There were no new cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick.

There were 17 new cases of COVID-19 identified in Manitoba on Tuesday. One of the cases is a healthcare worker, and is related to the outbreak at Bethesda Place. There are now eight staff and six resident who have contracted COVID-19 at that long-term care facility. Public health is also warning of possible exposure at St. Aidan’s Christian School in Winnipeg of Thursday, Sept. 10 and Friday, Sept. 11. Records show the patient was asymptomatic, and the case was not acquired at school.

Sept. 14

‘It’s not surprising’: Three new outbreaks declared at Alberta schools

There are now six school outbreaks across Alberta, after health officials were notified of three more schools that have reported at least two cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

The most recent schools with outbreaks include Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, Lester B. Pearson High School in Calgary and Auburn Bay School, a K-4 school in Calgary. The three schools that first declared outbreaks last week include Henry Wise Wood High School and St. Wilfrid Elementary School in Calgary, as well as Chinook High School in Lethbridge.

“With community transmission levels higher in the past few weeks, it’s not surprising to see some cases in staff and students at schools,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

There are now 42 cases among 35 Alberta schools that have a case of COVID-19, up from the 32 cases among 29 schools that the province reported on Friday. However, Hinshaw said that Alberta Health Services have yet to see transmission within the school setting, instead transmission is believed to have occured in the community.

Hinshaw said they’re using the term “outbreak” out of an abundance of caution when there are at least two cases among individuals who were in the school setting while considered infectious.

When there is a case among students in a classroom, all the others are sent home to self-isolate for two weeks. Hinshaw apologized for the inconvenience this has caused families, and noted that this approach is being used to gather information about who is most at risk of getting COVID-19 from a school exposure. It’s expected that the province’s approach will change over time.

“Even with a cautious approach, it is likely that as the school year continues, we will eventually see some examples of transmission in schools,” said Hinshaw. “Our goal is to keep transmission as low as possible.”

Alberta’s Minister of Education Andre Corbould, said there are 2,380 schools that are open and operating without any cases, which represents approximately 98 per cent of schools in the province.

On Monday, Hinshaw also provided an update on the province’s COVID-19 case count. Between Friday and Saturday, 105 new cases were identified, followed by 173 cases identified after a record-high number of testing), and then 140 new cases leading into Monday. One more person has also passed away — increasing the province’s death toll to 254 — while 323 people have recovered.

Of Alberta’s 1,538 active cases throughout the province, 654 of them are in the Edmonton zone and 557 of them are in the Calgary zone. The North zone has 232, while the Central and South zones have fewer than 50.

‘Today's numbers are a cause for concern for all of us’: Ontario records over 300 cases for the first time since early June

Ontario Premier Doug Ford pleaded with residents to avoid large gatherings, shortly after the Ministry of Health reported 313 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 6.

Of the recent cases, 112 were identified in Toronto, 71 in Peel, and 60 in Ottawa, which are the three regions Ford has described as “hot spots.” Thirteen cases were also identified in York, which is in consideration as a hotspot, considering all the other 31 public health units reported fewer than 10 new cases, while 15 of them reported no new cases at all on Monday.

“Today's numbers are a cause for concern for all of us,” said Ford. “Let me be crystal clear, every option is on the table. We will take every step necessary, including further shutdowns.”

Monday’s update marks the fourth day in a row that Ontario has reported at least 200 cases. Before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29. Throughout Ontario, there are now 2,027 active cases of COVID-19, the most since June 30. Toronto leads the way with 625 currently infected patients, followed by Peel (517), Ottawa (318) and York (159). All of the other 30 public health units have fewer than 70.

Ford said that the chief public health officers in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa have all credited large gatherings for the spikes in cases. They’ve been private gatherings, and not ones at bars or restaurants. The premier noted that the majority of the population has been following guidelines and protocols, but the actions of just five per cent of those not in compliance can result in the virus spreading like “wildfire.”

“It drives me crazy. I'm up here like a preacher, telling people every single day, ‘Don't let your guard down Don't let your guard down,’” said Ford. “Folks, these [gatherings] have to stop. ... I'll be Premier Dad, Premier Granddad, premier anyone. I just want these folks not to have reckless parties. That's what it comes down to.”

The most recent patients were identified after 29,540 tests for COVID-19 were completed, the fewest over the past four days. It leads to a positivity rate of 1.1 per cent, the highest since June 23.

Of the recent group of patients, 167 of them were among those 20-39 year old, the most of any age group, followed by 71 cases among those 40-59 years old. One of the cases is a long-term care resident, and one is a health-care worker. A community outbreak at Western University was also recently declared by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, which reported six cases on Monday.

Starting on Monday, Ford’s government will return to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, where they will discuss what further steps they can take to slow the spread. Ford said the province is not yet in a “full blown” second wave, so there’s time to curb the case trend like in earlier in the summer.

Minister of Health Christine Elliott said the province is hoping to not have to roll any of its regions back to Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan, considering the amount of work regions have put in to reopen.

Instead, Elliott noted how a second wave will be much more difficult on the province compared to the first. Along with flu season, there’s a reduced capacity in hospitals, since long-term care homes have had to reduce their capacities to limit the spread of COVID-19 as part of their protocols. Hospitals are also still working on a backlog of surgeries from the first lockdown.

In the latest 24-hour stretch, the province also reported one more fatality, which increases the death toll to 2,816. One-hundred and thirty-three more patients have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

Of the currently infected individuals, there are 47 in hospital, which includes 17 in intensive care and eight who require a ventilator. The Ministry of Health did note that about 35 hospitals did not provide data over the weekend.

Concerning trend continues to gain pace in Quebec

Quebec health officials have identified 276 new cases of COVID-19 in their latest 24-hour stretch. Aside from the 279 cases that were announced on Sunday, Monday’s announcement marks the largest spike the province has recorded since June 3.

It’s also the fourth straight day that the province has announced over 200 cases. The last time it had a similar stretch was June 4-7. Officials have now reported over 100 cases in 17 straight reporting periods; before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

In recent weeks, the virus has spread all throughout the province in various settings, such as in schools and bars. Of the most recent 276 cases, 60 were identified in Quebec City, 39 in Montreal, 32 in Chaudière-Appalaches, 31 in Montérégie, 27 in Lanaudière, 20 in Outaouais and 18 in Laval.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 20,173 tests for COVID-19. It’s the fourth straight time that labs have completed at least 20,000 tests — a mark it had never hit before.

No one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, and 160 patients have recently recovered. It means there are now 2,054 active cases in the province, the most of any jurisdiction in Canada. According to Steve Faguy of the Montreal Gazette, it’s the first time that the province has had more than 2,000 active cases since Aug. 5.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has been Canada’s worst-hit province. It currently has the most total cases (64,262), active cases and deaths (5,780) of all of the nation’s jurisdictions.

Updates from the rest of Canada

British Columbia health officials provided their update for their last three reporting periods. In the first, from Friday to Saturday, health officials identified 137 new cases of COVID-19, which marks the second most cases the province has had in a 24-hour stretch throughout the pandemic. The following day, 119 cases were identified, followed by 61 leading into Monday. There are now a record-high 1,594 active cases in British Columbia, as its worrisome COVID-19 trend continues. In the same three-day stretch, 173 people have recovered, but six people also passed away. That includes five people in long-term care homes and the first victim in the Northern Health area.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador, as those provinces continue to have one and two active cases, respectively.

One new patient was identified in New Brunswick, which marks the first since Sept. 10. The latest individual who was diagnosed is in their 20s and resides in the Moncton region. The case is travel related, according to a press release. There are now three active cases throughout New Brunswick.

As of Prince Edward Island’s latest update on Sept. 11, it has eight currently infected patients. Health officials are expected to provide their weekly scheduled update on Tuesday.

Twenty-one new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Manitoba.The Winnipeg health region is home is 17 of them, while the others are in Southern Health (three) and Interlake-Eastern (one). Three more patients have also recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, which means there are now 257 active cases in the province. Winnipeg has 171 of those currently infected patients, while Prairie Mountain Health has the second most with 43.

Saskatchewan health officials have identified eight new cases of COVID-19 in the Saskatoon (six), South West (one) and South Central (one) zones. Three cases have also been removed from the province’s total, since one was a false positive and the other two involved people who were not residents of Saskatchewan. One more person has also recovered in the province, which brings the number of active cases to 103. The Saskatoon zone has the most currently infected patients with 43, followed by Central East. All the other 11 zones have fewer than 10 cases.

Sept. 13

Seven cases linked to Toronto strip club prompts COVID-19 exposure alert

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is warning of a potential exposure to COVID-19 at a strip club, after seven people who were at the venue tested positive.

Six employees and one patron have been diagnosed with the virus after being at Club Paradise, located at 1313 Bloor St. W., between Aug. 29-Sept. 10. Cases started to emerge Sept. 4, according to a press release by TPH.

Anyone who was at Club Paradise between those dates is being asked to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after their last visit. They should also make a particular effort to keep a six-foot distance from other people, wear a mask in public spaces and wash their hands.

The risk to patrons is currently considered “low,” while Club Paradise has taken the voluntary decision to close for a two-week period.

“Investigations by TPH inspectors on Aug. 20 and Sept. 5 found the establishment to be in compliance with all reopening protocols,” via the press release.

Toronto Public Health has released a list of guidelines for adult entertainment venues. Among them is that lap dances are prohibited, while establishments must maintain a customer log to help with contact tracing efforts.

Based on the information provided in Club Paradise’s contact tracing logs for staff and patrons, TPH has followed up with all known close contacts Those individuals have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days and to go for testing.

In August, more than 500 people were asked to self-isolate for 14 days after a Toronto strip club employee at the Brass Rail Tavern tested positive for COVID-19. An initial investigation found that the venue was not in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. A patron also later tested positive.

Quebec reports its most new cases since early June

Some demonstrators in Montreal on Saturday carried signs and wore T-shirts and hats denouncing what they called fear campaigns by the Quebec government, suggesting that the danger of COVID-19 has been overstated. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)
Some demonstrators in Montreal on Saturday carried signs and wore T-shirts and hats denouncing what they called fear campaigns by the Quebec government, suggesting that the danger of COVID-19 has been overstated. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Quebec health officials have identified 279 new cases of COVID-19, the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 3.

It’s also the third straight day that the province has recorded over 200 cases. The last time it had a similar stretch was June 5-7. Officials have now reported over 100 cases in 16 straight reporting periods; before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

In recent weeks, the virus has spread all throughout the province in various settings. Of the most recent 279 cases, 57 were identified in Montreal, 42 in Quebec City, 38 in Montérégie, 27 in Laval, 26 in the Laurentides, 21 in Bas-Saint-Laurent, 20 in Chaudière-Appalaches, 17 in Estrie and 15 in Outaouais.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 20,479 tests for COVID-19. It’s the third straight time that labs have completed at least 20,000 tests — a mark it had never hit before.

“All Quebecers have a responsibility and that is to prevent a second wave. ... We’re not in a second wave but the trend is not good,” said Quebec Premier François Legault on Friday.

"I don't plan and I don't hope to have to go into each house, so I'm asking the population, please look at the number of cases, look at the virus. It's serious, so please don't do big parties without respecting the directives.”

One more person has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. However, the death toll remains at 5,780, since an investigation has determined that a previously announced fatality was in fact not due to COVID-19.

Two-hundred and fourteen patients have also recently recovered. Throughout the province, there are 1,938 active cases, up by 65 since Saturday. Of those currently infected patients, 124 of them are in hospital, which includes 19 in intensive care.

On Saturday, several thousands of people gathered in downtown Montreal to protest against the Quebec’s government’s most recent mask mandate; it allows police to fine anyone who isn’t wearing a mask when required to, such as in enclosed public places.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has been Canada’s worst-hit province. It currently has the most total cases (64,986), active cases (1,938) and deaths (5,780) of all of the nation’s jurisdictions.

Worrisome stretch continues in Ontario as it reports over 200 daily cases for third straight day

On Sunday, Ontario announced that they recorded 204 new cases of COVID-19 in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

It’s now the third day in a row that it has reported at least 200 cases, with officials announcing 232 on Saturday, and 213 on Friday. Before the recent stretch, the province had not posted over 200 cases since June 29. The last time it had three consecutive days above 200 was during its June 4-6 stretch.

Of the most recent 204 new cases, 63 were identified in Toronto, 47 in Ottawa, 35 in Peel, and 13 in Windsor-Essex. Twenty-seven of the 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 16 reported no new patients at all.

“It’s not the City of Toronto or Peel Region’s fault,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday. “This is happening, we’ve got to work together. All I’ve been asking is, please try to avoid these big gatherings. Just follow the guidelines and everyone will be OK.”

Of the recent group of 204, 106 of them were among those 20-39 year old, the most of any age group, followed by 38 cases among those 40-59 years old. Seven are among long-term care residents, and two are health-care workers.

The cases were identified after the province completed 31,143 tests for COVID-19, which marks the third straight day that it has completed over 30,000. The positive test rate over the past three days has been 0.7 per cent. Aside from a three-day stretch earlier this month, the 0.7 rate is the highest the province has seen since July.

In the latest 24-hour stretch, the province also reported one more fatality, involving a LTC resident, which increases the death toll to 2,815. One-hundred and twenty-four more patients have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

Throughout Ontario, there are now 1,848 active cases of COVID-19, the most since July 4. Toronto leads the way with 545 currently infected patients, followed by Peel (486), Ottawa (280) and York (156). All the other 30 public health units have fewer than 60.

Of those currently infected individuals, there are 39 in hospital, which includes 14 in intensive care and nine who require a ventilator. The Ministry of Health did note that about 35 hospitals did not provide data over the weekend.

Updates from the rest of Canada

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, as those provinces continue to have one and two active cases, respectively. As of Prince Edward Island’s latest update on Friday, there are eight active cases in the province.

No new cases were also identified in Newfoundland and Labrador. In a press release, officials said that a presumptive case identified at the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) mine in Labrador has turned out to be negative. On Saturday, the province announced its first case since Sept. 5, involving an individual who recently returned from Newfoundland and Labrador. There are now two active cases in N.L.

Eighteen new cases were identified in Manitoba, with 11 in Winnipeg, three in Southern Health, two in Interlake-Eastern and one each in the Northern and Prairie Mountain regions. Seventeen more people have also recovered, which means there are now 239 active cases in the province. Of those currently infected patients, 154 of them are in Winnipeg and 44 in Prairie Mountain, which used to be the province’s epicentre.

There are 17 new cases in Saskatchewan throughout the Saskatoon (14), Central West (one) and Central East (one) zones. The location of the 17th case is still pending. According to a press release, at least six of the 14 cases in the Saskatoon zone are connected to a private gathering. One more person has recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, which leaves 99 active cases in the province. Of those currently infected residents, 38 are in the Saskatoon zone, while 26 are in the Central East zone. All the other 11 zones have fewer than 10 active cases.

Nunavut remains the only jurisdiction to not have had a confirmed positive case throughout the pandemic. The Northwest Territories have zero active cases, and so does Yukon after its two remaining cases were marked resolved on Aug. 13.

Sept. 11

Ontario reports its largest case spike since June

Ontario reported 213 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, which is the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 29.

It’s the first time that the province has eclipsed at least 200 daily cases since July 21, and the 16th straight day that it has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, Ontario was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases.

Of the most recent 213 cases, 71 were identified in Toronto, 38 in Peel, 37 in Ottawa, 15 in Waterloo and 14 in York. Of Ontario’s 34 public health units, 26 of them reported five of fewer cases, while 18 reported no new cases at all. Of all the recently identified patients, 143 of them are under the age of 40 (67 per cent of the cases).

“It’s not the City of Toronto or Peel Region’s fault,” said Ford on Friday. “This is happening, we’ve got to work together. All I’ve been asking is, please try to avoid these big gatherings. Just follow the guidelines and everyone will be OK.”

In the latest 24-hour stretch, 124 more people have recovered, while the province subtracted one fatality from its death toll of 2,813. There are now 1,657 currently infected patients in Ontario, the most since July 9.

To end the work-week, the province also launched a public website that will track the number of COVID-19 cases in schools. As of Friday morning, there are 13 cases at schools in Ontario, including nine staff members. All four student cases are at French Catholic schools in Ottawa.

Quebec reports its most new cases since June

Health officials in Quebec have identified 219 new cases of COVID-19, which is the most they have announced since June 7.

Of the most recent cases, 42 are in Quebec City, 40 in Montreal, 20 in Montérégie, 19 in Bas-Saint-Laurent, and 18 each in both the Outaouais and Chaudière-Appalaches regions, according to the Montreal Gazette.

It’s now the third time in the past six days the province has recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19. Officials have also reported over 100 cases in 14 straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

“All Quebecers have a responsibility and that is to prevent a second wave. ... We’re not in a second wave but the trend is not good,” said Premier François Legault on Friday.

"I don't plan and I don't hope to have to go into each house, so I'm asking the population, please look at the number of cases, look at the virus. It's serious, so please don't do big parties without respecting the directives.”

In recent weeks, the virus has spread all throughout the province in various settings. On Friday, officials announced that they will ban karaoke, while ordering bars to keep customer logs from now on. It comes after a karaoke night held at a Quebec City bar on Aug. 23 has been linked to more than 80 cases, with secondary cases identified in at least three schools.

On Friday, the province withdrew data on its COVID-19 situation within schools. Legault said it was because the information was incomplete and unreliable.

Throughout Quebec, there are now 1,846 active cases of COVID-19, since 219 more patients have recovered. No one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but officials added three more fatalities to its death toll from previous dates. Two deaths were also removed since investigations have shown that the causes of death are not attributable to COVID-19. The death toll now stands at 5,774.

Updates from the rest of Canada

One-hundred thirty-two new cases were recorded in British Columbia, which marks the province’s second largest daily increase to its total case count. It’s only behind Thursday’s increase of 139. Eighty-three more patients have recovered, but the province’s active case count still reached another record-high of 1,461.

Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. As of Thursday, there are 3,198 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by B.C. public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador, as their active case counts remain at two and one, respectively. A patient has recovered in New Brunswick, dropping its active case count to two, while three cases have been resolved in Prince Edward Island, where there are eight currently infected patients.

For the second straight day, health officials in Manitoba have identified 15 new cases of COVID-19; eight of them were identified in Winnipeg, four in Prairie Mountain and three in Southern Health. Eighty-eight more people have recovered, which drops its active case to 287. It’s the fewest number of active cases the province has had in weeks.

Thirteen new cases were identified in Saskatchewan’s Central East (seven), Saskatoon (four), Far North East (one), and Regina (one) zones. Five more patients have also recovered, which brings the province’s active case count to 66; 20 of those infected patients are in the Saskatoon zone, the most of any zone. Health officials are also warning of a potential COVID-19 exposure at Regina International Airport, involving a trip arriving from Toronto.

A resident of Edmonton’s Good Samaritan Care Centre has passed away, which marks the latest fatality in Alberta. However, the death toll remains at 253, since one previously recorded death has turned out not to be related to the virus. Health officials also identified 111 new cases of COVID-19 in the same stretch that 161 patients have recorded; it drops the active case count to 1,444.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said there are 29 schools across the province where an individual attended while infectious, with 32 cases linked to these schools. Three school outbreaks remain active.

Sept. 10

Three COVID-19 outbreaks declared among schools in Alberta

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said there are three schools that have at least two infected individuals, but there is currently no evidence of broader transmission.

"While we are calling these outbreaks, this is a very cautious use of the term," said Hinshaw on Thursday. "We are acting out of an abundance of caution by treating two cases who are in a school while infectious within a 14-day span as an outbreak, even when the cases are within one family.”

Two of the schools are in Calgary: Henry Wise Wood high school and St. Wilfrid elementary school. The third is Chinook High School in Lethbridge.

On Thursday, 113 new cases, five fatalities and 199 recoveries were recorded, as Alberta’s active case count dropped to 1,494. Throughout the province, there are 24 cases at 21 schools, said Hinshaw.

For more on how Alberta Health Services is planning on dealing with the three outbreaks, please read here.

Manitoba records its first case in a school since reopening

Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Thursday that the province has identified its first case in a school setting.

The unidentified Grade 7 student at Churchill High School in Winnipeg had been tested for COVID-19 before the first day of school Tuesday, even though they had no symptoms. Classes have continued, and students are being asked to self-monitor for symptoms, but not to self-isolate.

"This individual did everything that they were supposed to do and that resulted in no close contacts being identified in this area," said Roussin.

The Winnipeg School Division said to The Canadian Press that the student wore a mask while in school and they they also maintained physical distancing the entire time.

On Thursday, Roussin announced 15 new cases in Manitoba’s latest 24-hour stretch, with nine of them in Winnipeg. However, with 57 recently resolved cases, its active case count dropped to 360 — the lowest it’s been in weeks.

For more on the situation involving Manitoba’s first case in a school setting, please read here.

British Columbia records its most ever new daily cases

On the same day that schools reopened across British Columbia, health officials announced a record-high 139 new daily cases of COVID-19.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said moving forward we can expect cases in schools — which has happened in other provinces across the country — but a system-wide closure would only happen under severe circumstances.

"That would mean that we were in dire straits in many other aspects of our community and that's what we're trying absolutely to avoid," said Henry on Thursday.

With the latest update, there are now 1,412 currently infected patients in the province, the most ever throughout the pandemic. Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. As of Thursday, there are 3,109 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by B.C. public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.

For more on how B.C. will balance its school reopening plan and its worrisome COVID-19 trend, please read here.

Updates from the rest of Canada

In Ontario, there were 170 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Thursday. The province also reported one additional death. The majority of new cases were in the Toronto area with 55, while York Region and Peel Region saw 28 and 22 new cases, respectively. Out of Ontario’s 34 public health regions, 28 reported five or fewer new cases, with 14 of them reporting no new cases at all. There are now 1,567 active cases throughout the province, since 142 more patients have recovered.

There were 188 new cases reported in Quebec, as well as two additional deaths linked to the virus, one of which occured in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. With 224 patients having recently recovered, there are now 1,847 active cases in Quebec. In an effort to curb the steadily-rising number of infections in the province, Quebec will be issuing fines starting Saturday for those who refuse to wear masks.

On Wednesday, all in-person activities and courses were suspended at two Cégep schools in Quebec's Bas-Saint-Laurent region after several students tested positive for COVID-19. According to health officials, the cases are likely connected to a party held in the region at the end of August, where more than 100 people were in attendance.

A resident of New Brunswick tested positive for COVID-19 in Quebec yesterday, bringing the province’s total number of active cases to three. The individual will stay in Quebec until they recover.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia’s active case count fell to two; Newfoundland and Labrador saw no new cases for the fifth day in a row, as its active case count stands at one. Prince Edward Island announced no new cases on Thursday after several were identified earlier in the week, related to international travel. There are still 11 active cases on the island.

Saskatchewan health officials have identified six new cases in the same 24-hour stretch that six more people have recovered. It means there are still 59 active cases throughout the province, with 16 of those in Saskatoon (the most of any of its zones).

Sept. 9

Ontario reported 149 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, down from what it had reported earlier in the week. Overall, the province saw a slight increase in the number of cases when compared to recoveries. The latest update comes as Premier Doug Ford meets with Quebec Premier François Legault to identify key areas of cooperation in the midst of the virus.

Meanwhile in Quebec, 180 new cases of COVID-19 were identified, slightly elevated above the threshold at which authorities hope to keep new cases. Montrealers in particular are being advised not to gather with family and friends in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Across Atlantic Canada, cases remained largely flat. In Nova Scotia, there was a possible reinfection of an individual in a long-term care facility; authorities are in the process of confirming the case, which was announced on Monday. New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases. Prince Edward Island identified two new cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 11.

Manitoba reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. There are currently 404 cases active in the province. The update comes as the governing Progressive Conservative party says it aims to resume legislature next month with nearly normal operating procedures.

In Saskatchewan, there was one new case of COVID-19 identified, bringing the total number of active cases to 59. One person remains in intensive care with the virus in Saskatoon.

Alberta saw 98 new cases reported on Wednesday, with the majority of active cases in the Calgary and Edmonton areas. The province has also launched an online map for tracking COVID-19 cases in schools, as the province has confirmed that there are 16 cases at 16 of its schools. All of the cases were contracted from outside the school.

In British Columbia, 100 new cases of COVID-19 were identified. With 37 patients currently in hospital with the virus, including 13 in intensive care, the province is currently seeing its highest number of hospitalizations since May 27. More than 3,000 people are currently being monitored due to exposure to known cases.

Sept. 8

On Tuesday, Ontario reported 375 new cases of COVID-19 over the last two days, as no reporting was done on Labour Day. There were 180 new cases on Tuesday and 195 new cases on Monday, making these the highest increases the province has seen since July. The regions with the most new cases on Tuesday were Toronto (48), Peel (42) and Ottawa (37) health regions. Toronto Mayor John Tory stressed during a press conference on Tuesday that many of these new cases are young people, with 65 per cent of new cases in Toronto over the last month under the age of 40. Out of Ontario’s 32 public health units, 28 reported five or fewer cases, with 18 reporting no new cases at all.

In Quebec, 163 new cases were identified on Tuesday. The previous two days saw new cases exceed 200 daily. Some of the people who have been identified as having COVID-19 include the mayor of Longueuil and six possible cases that rode French Catholic school board buses in Ottawa. There are now 1,944 active cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, including 105 in hospital.

Across Atlantic Canada, the most dramatic increase in COVID-19 occurred in Prince Edward Island. Two new cases were identified, in addition to four new cases reported on Labour day, brining the total number of active cases in the province to nine. All of the active cases are related to international travel, and all were detected while people were self isolating after arriving in P.E.I., as per government guidelines. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador saw no new cases identified.

Sept. 7

Canada’s top doctor concerned over Canada’s rising case count

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, expressed “concern” over the country’s rising case trend.

Instead of holding a press conference Monday, Tam released a statement to warn Canadians of their COVID-19 situation. Over the last week (Aug. 30- Sept. 6), Canada reported an average of 545 cases a day, up by 25 per cent compared to the week before when 435 cases were reported daily. Two weeks prior, there was an average of 390 daily cases.

“The average daily case count has been increasing in recent weeks,” said Tam in her press release. “This is a concern and a reminder that we all need to maintain public health measures to keep COVID-19 on the slow-burn path that we need.”

With the fall months approaching, Tam is warning Canadians to be more mindful of events they attend, especially as the colder weather shifts activities indoors.

“While I know we are all eager to gather with our extended family and friends for the holidays, indoor gatherings may not be right for every Canadian or every family,” said Tam in a press release that includes a list of questions you should ask yourself before attending an event.

In the last week, some of Canada’s biggest provinces have seen their concerning case trends continue to grow. Some health officials have linked the rise in cases to an increase in gatherings, primarily among young people.

In British Columbia’s final update of the week, it announced its second largest ever case increase since the start of the pandemic. The 121 new cases on Friday were only behind the 124 cases it had reported a week prior, but the update still led to a record-high active case count of 1,233. Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts.

Alberta finished the week with 1,433 active cases. According to Alberta Health Services, it marks the highest number of currently infected patients the province has had since May 10.

Ontario recorded a triple-digit case increase each day of the last week. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases. On Sept. 5, health officials also announced 169 new cases, which marked the largest spike in daily cases the province has recorded since July 24.

In Quebec, health officials recorded over 100 cases on each occasion throughout the past week, as part of a 10-day stretch of recording a triple-digit increase. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions. On Sept. 6, Quebec reported 205 new cases of COVID-19, which marked its largest single day spike since June 7. On Friday, the province also announced that 46 of its schools had at least one case of COVID-19 within the first week of classes.

Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces have seen their COVID-19 case trends remain stable. But in the last week, Prince Edward Island did record three cases, after all of its other patients had recovered by Aug. 31.

In Manitoba, the province’s active case count is no longer hitting record-highs, which was common throughout the second-half of August. On July 14, the province came very close to having no active cases. That day, after all of its initial patients had recovered, health officials diagnosed five other people. Since then, Manitoba has seen its curb trend upwards. On Aug. 12, for the first time, the province surpassed 200 active cases. On Aug. 26, it hit the 400-mark, which it hasn't been able to fall under since.

Montréal, Québec City lead the province’s largest case spike in 3 months

Health officials in Québec have identified 216 new cases of COVID-19 in their latest 24-hour stretch, the most since June 7.

It comes a day after the province recorded 205 cases. It’s now the 10th straight reporting period that the province has recorded over 100 cases. Before the recent stretch, it had stayed below that mark on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

Of the most recent cases, 63 were identified in the Montréal region, 51 in the Québec City region, 34 in the Montérégie region, and 18 each in the Laval and Lanaudière regions.

The recent amount of daily cases by Montréal and Québec City are more than what Saskatchewan (34), Prince Edward Island (three), Nova Scotia (two), Newfoundland and Labrador (one) and New Brunswick (one) combined to report all of last week (41).

Québec health minister Christian Dubé said on Aug. 25 that Quebec should not go beyond 160 cases per day, which works out to about 20 cases per one million residents. It’s now eclipsed that mark on five straight occasions.

The recent update is part of a concerning trend for the province, considering it’s now navigating the COVID-19 pandemic at the same time as its school reopening plan.

On Friday, Québec health officials released a list of 46 schools that have had a case of COVID-19 among either students or staff members throughout the first week of reopening. However, Dubé said there have been no outbreaks, and instead in most instances the school has had an isolated case involving an individual who was infected outside of the school setting.

For example, on Wednesday, health officials announced that a karaoke bar outbreak in Québec City resulted in 40 infected patrons, leading to secondary spread among three students in three different schools.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has led the way with 63,713 total cases of COVID-19. Eighty-nine more patients have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. No one has died, but officials added one more fatality to its death toll of 5,770, which occurred between Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

There are now 1,983 active cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, the most of any province in Canada. According to Steve Faguy of the Montreal Gazette, it’s now the ninth straight day that the province’s active case count has risen — most recently by 126.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Ontario health officials said that they won’t provide a statistical update on the province’s COVID-19 situation on Labour Day. The province will have an update on Tuesday for its two latest 24-hour reporting periods.

One new case has been identified in Nova Scotia, the first since Aug. 31. The most recent patient is in the Central Zone and is currently under investigation by health officials. There are now four active cases in Nova Scotia.

No new cases were identified in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island, as they continue to have two, three, and three active cases respectively.

Fifteen new cases were identified in Manitoba. That includes seven in Winnipeg, six in Prairie Mountain and one each in the Interlake-Eastern and Southern regions. Five of the cases are close contacts of previously identified cases. Twelve more patients have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, which leaves Manitoba with 412 currently infected citizens.

Eleven more people were diagnosed in Saskatchewan. There were two cases each in the Far North West Saskatoon and Central West zones, and one each in the Central East, South West, South Central and South East zones. The location of the 11th case is still pending. One more person has also recovered, which leaves the province with 58 active cases.

Sept. 6

Quebec reports its most new cases in almost 3 months

Quebec reported 205 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, which marks its largest single day spike since June 7.

The province has now reported over 100 cases in nine straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

On Aug. 25, health minister Christian Dubé said that Quebec should not go beyond 160 cases per day, which works out to about 20 cases per one million residents. It’s now eclipsed that mark on four straight occasions.

Premier François Legault on Thursday said Dubé’s statistics are “an objective,” but it doesn’t mean that the province will make an “automatic” return to lockdowns if the target is missed. If restrictions do need to be put in place, they will be imposed on sub-regions, and not the entire province.

Of the latest 205 cases, 57 were identified in Montreal, 48 in Monteregie, 32 in Quebec City and 14 in Laval.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has been Canada’s worst hit province with a record-high 63,497 total cases. That includes 55,871 recovered patients (up by 61 since Saturday) and 5,769 fatalities, which leaves the province with 1,857 currently infected patients — the most of any province.

Since reopening schools on Aug. 27, the province has made national headlines. On Friday, Quebec health officials released a list of 46 schools that have had a case of COVID-19 among either students or staff members throughout the first week of reopening. However, Dubé said there have been no outbreaks, and instead in most instances the school has had an isolated case involving an individual who was infected outside of the school setting.

For example, on Wednesday, health officials announced that a karaoke bar outbreak in Quebec City resulted in 40 infected patrons, leading to secondary spread among three students in three different schools.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Ontario reported 158 new cases on Sunday, which marks the 11th straight day that the province has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases. Of the most recently identified patients, 49 are in Toronto, 44 in Peel, 21 in Ottawa and 16 in York. Twenty-nine of the 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 20 reported no new cases at all. After going five straight days without a fatality, the province recorded two on Sunday, increasing the death toll to 2,813. There are now 1,390 active cases in the province (the most since July 30), since 111 more patients have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

Two more patients have recovered in Nova Scotia, which leaves three active cases in the province. One more case has also been resolved in New Brunswick, leaving three active cases within that jurisdiction as well. No new cases were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador or Prince Edward Island, as they have two and three active cases, respectively.

Twenty-nine new cases have been identified in Manitoba, scattered throughout the Winnipeg (17), Southern (seven), Prairie Mountain (three) and Interlake-Eastern (one) regions. Seven of the cases are close contacts of a previously identified case, while one is travel related. There is also one patient that is linked to an assisted living facility located next to the Donwood Manor personal care home. Donwood Manor has initiated outbreak protocols, even though the risk of further spread is considered low. Forty-six more people have also recovered, which drops Manitoba’s active case count to 409.

Saskatchewan health officials have identified eight new cases. The Saskatoon zone has three, the Central East zone has two, and the North West, Regina and South East zones all have one new patient each. No has recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, meaning there are now 48 active cases in the province.

Nunavut remains the only jurisdiction to not have had a confirmed positive case throughout the pandemic. The Northwest Territories have zero active cases, and so does Yukon after its two remaining cases were marked resolved on Aug. 13.

Alberta and British Columbia don’t provide case updates over the weekend, but as of Friday, those provinces have 1,433 and 1,233 active cases, respectively. Over the weekend, a high school in Calgary has notified parents of a case at its institution, after it opened for the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday.

Sept. 5

Ontario reports its largest spike in cases since July

Ontario health officials announced 169 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, which marks the largest spike in daily cases the province has recorded since July 24.

The latest patients, which were identified after labs completed 28,672 tests, are primarily located in Peel (46), Toronto (42), Ottawa (30), and York (19). Twenty-eight of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 19 reported no new patients at all.

Peel, Toronto and Ottawa all individually recorded more new cases on Saturday than Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the four Atlantic provinces combined (27).

The update comes a day after Peel recorded 72 cases, which caught Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s attention. The region consists of Caledon, Mississauga and Brampton, which has been its epicentre.

“I am really concerned about what is happening in Brampton,” said Ford on Friday. “Anyone who is thinking of having a big shindig this weekend: forget about it, cancel it, or we won’t hesitate to shut it down. ... People of Brampton, you cannot be holding parties in your backyards, I can’t stress that enough.”

Over the course of the summer, Brampton has been in the spotlight for a few parties, particularly one that drew about 200 people in late-July. The premier said that even though outdoor gathering limits are capped at 100 in Ontario, people shouldn’t have more than 10 people in their backyards because it’s tough to maintain social distancing precautions.

The recent update is now the 10th straight day that the province has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases.

Of the province’s 1,345 active cases (the most since July 31), Peel leads the way with 390. Toronto has 374 currently infected patients, while Ottawa has 198, and York has 105. All the other 30 regions have fewer than 75.

On a positive note, Ontario did not record a new fatality for a fifth straight day, as its death toll remains at 2,811. One-hundred and six more patients have also recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

Nearly 50 schools in Quebec have had COVID-19 cases since school reopening

Quebec health officials have released a list of 46 schools that have had a case of COVID-19 among either students or staff members throughout the first week of reopening.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé described it as “very good news,” since health officials have not seen outbreaks, meaning there hasn’t been spread within the school setting. Instead, it’s mostly been a single case among a student or staff who had COVID-19 and came to one of the province’s 3,100 schools.

“We knew that we would have some cases when we were opening schools. It’s not surprising,” said Dubé on Friday in French. “We are capable of containing these bonfires. We just need to give the chance to health officials to work in these situations to limit the chance of an outbreak and to protect our children.”

Starting next week, the province will start to release daily data that shares information on the number of cases in schools around the province. Dubé said in a press release, which accompanied the initial list, that the Quebec government has “always made it a point of honour, since the start of the pandemic, to be transparent and to disclose relevant information.”

The province made it mandatory for students to attend in-person classes starting on Aug. 27, unless they have a medical exception. It’s a move that has drawn criticism from parents and teachers.

Throughout the first week, the province made headlines for multiple COVID-19 situations in schools. On Montreal’s South Shore, Collège Français sent home an entire class on the first day after the father of one of its students tested positive for the virus.

On its second day, more than 20 teachers from a high school in the Lower Laurentians had to self-isolate after two of them tested positive for COVID-19. It resulted in 500 students in Grade 10 and 11 having to go home because there was no one to teach them.

On Wednesday, a karaoke bar outbreak in Quebec City resulted in secondary spread among three students in three different schools.

This is the second time that Quebec has welcomed students back to classrooms since the start of the pandemic. Elementary schools around Quebec first reopened May 11 (with the exception of those in the Montreal area), which was a first in Canada. High schools, CEGEPs and post-secondary institutions around Quebec were instead forced to stay closed.

During its first reopening stint, which featured optional attendance, the province had 78 cases among students and staff within the first three weeks. In some cases, schools had to close for several days, while a school in Trois-Rivières almost had an entire classroom of about 12 students contract the virus.

Updates from the rest of the province

Quebec reported 175 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The province has now reported over 100 cases in eight straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions. No has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but officials added two fatalities that occurred between Aug. 29-Sept. 3 to its death toll of 5,769. With 86 more people having recovered since Friday, it leaves 1,713 currently infected patients in the province.

Nova Scotia reported no new cases for the fifth straight day, while there remain five active cases in the province. There also remain four active cases in New Brunswick, and three in Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported its first case since Aug. 28. The latest patient involves a female, between 20-39 years old, who recently travelled from the United States. She has been in self-isolation since her return. There are now two active cases in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Health officials in Manitoba have identified 21 new cases of COVID-19, which includes 10 in Winnipeg, four each in the Southern Health and Prairie Mountain Health regions, and three in the Interlake-Eastern region. Eight of the cases are closed contacts of previously identified cases, and one is a health-care worker at the Concordia Place personal care home in Winnipeg. Seventeen more people have recovered in the province, which brings the active case count to 426.

Five new cases were identified Saskatchewan’s Saskatoon (three) and South Central (two) zones. One more patient has also recovered in the same stretch, which leaves 40 active cases in the province. On Saturday, Saskatchewan Health Authority released a list of locations where people may have been in contact with an infectious patient; the areas are scattered around Saskatoon, Coronach and Moose Jaw.

Sept. 4

British Columbia records its second highest increase in cases, most ever active cases

British Columbia health officials have identified 121 new cases of COVID-19, which marks its second highest increase to its total case count since the start of the pandemic.

On Aug. 28, a week ago today, the province recorded 124 cases.

The most recent update increases the province’s active case count to 1,233, which is the most it’s ever had throughout the pandemic. British Columbia has seen its active cases rise on an upward trajectory as of late, considering there were 319 active cases in the province on Aug. 4, and 162 on July 4.

Health officials did not hold a press conference on Friday to discuss the most recent spike, but over the past month they’ve attributed the rise to an increase in private gatherings, such as indoor parties that continue to be a problem, especially among young people who are indulging in alcohol.

“We still have it in our hands, in our actions to bend our curve back down,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday. “And that is what we need to focus on now. We're at that limit. We're at that precipice, if you will, where we need to take the actions to ensure that we can move forward into the fall and keep our curve low.”

Exposures due to gatherings have been a key concern for B.C. ever since two hotel parties around Canada Day in Kelowna led to dozens of cases around the province, as well as possible exposure warnings for a variety of businesses.

Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. Currently in B.C., there are 2,792 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.

"This weekend in particular, choose to go small. Choose to spend time with your household bubble instead of a group of strangers," said Henry.

"Let's make sure this Labour Day long weekend, we are united in a singular focus to continue to stop those chains of transmission and bring our curve back down. And of course, let's continue to do this by being kind, being calm and being safe."

Along with the most recent cases, officials said there has been one additional fatality, increasing the death toll to 211. There has also been one new assisted-living facility outbreak at KinVillage in the Fraser Health region. In total, 10 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

‘I am really concerned’: Ontario records one of its largest case spikes since July, majority of new cases from Brampton, Peel

With Peel reporting 72 of Ontario’s 148 cases on Friday, Premier Doug Ford expressed concern over the situation as the region starts to see a surge in patients, primarily in Brampton.

Ford said he’s tried to get in touch with Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown about the situation, since the city represents three per cent of the province’s population, but represented 40 per cent of the recent cases.

“I am really concerned about what is happening in Brampton,” said Ford. “I gave the mayor three calls this morning. Patrick if you’re listening, I need to talk to you, find out what’s happening out there.”

Ontario health officials announced 148 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. It ties its increase on Aug. 29 for the largest spike the province has recorded since July 24.

Of the recently identified cases, 72 were in Peel, 41 in Toronto and 13 in Ottawa. All the other 31 public health units reported five or fewer cases, with 12 of them reporting no new cases at all.

The 72 cases by Peel are more than what Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the four Atlantic provinces combined to report (48) throughout Thursday and Friday.

“Anyone who is thinking of having a big shindig this weekend: forget about it, cancel it, or we won’t hesitate to shut it down. ... People of Brampton, you cannot be holding parties in your backyards, I can’t stress that enough.”

The premier said that even though outdoor gathering limits are capped at 100 in Ontario, people shouldn’t have more than 10 people in their backyards because it’s tough to maintain social distancing precautions. Ford also warned of sharing substances.

“You shouldn’t be sharing anything. I don't care if it’s those doobies, joints, or [...] drinks— just don’t share. Simple.”

Over the course of the summer, Brampton has been in the spotlight for a few parties, particularly one that drew about 200 people in late-July.

On Friday, Peel District School Board (PDSB) also confirmed that they identified a case in a Brampton elementary school, Ross Drive Public School, involving a staff member who was in the building Aug. 27. One PDSB employee also recently tested positive at the board’s North Field Office, after being at the location Aug. 28. Both areas will remain open.

In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, 116 more patients have recovered. However, throughout Ontario, there are 1,282 currently infected patients, the most since Aug. 2.

Of those patients, there are 66 in hospital, which includes 13 in intensive care and eight who require a ventilator.

For the fourth straight day, the province did not record a COVID-19-related fatality. Instead, officials removed one death, to bring the death toll down to 2,811.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Quebec reported 184 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Aside from the 187 new cases the province recorded a day earlier, it marks the highest increase to its total case count since June 8. The province has now reported over 100 cases in seven straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions. One more person has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but officials have also removed one fatality from its death toll of 5,767. With 109 more people having recovered since Thursday, it leaves 1,626 currently infected patients in the province.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia; instead one more person has recovered, meaning there are now five active cases in the province. Newfoundland and Labrador continues to have one currently infected patient, while New Brunswick has four.

Prince Edward Island has identified one new case, involving a male in his late teens who arrived to the province following international travel. He has self-isolated since his return on Aug. 29. The news come after P.E.I. recorded two cases on Thursday, which were its first new patients since Aug. 18. The three most recent patients are the province’s only active cases.

Manitoba reported nine new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with six of them in Winnipeg, two in the Southern Health region and one in its epicentre, Prairie Mountain region. In that same stretch, 44 more people have recovered, dropping the province’s active case count to 422. According to a press release by health officials, the two cases in Southern Health are not related to the Bethesda Place personal care home in Steinbach, which recorded two fatalities among its residents on Thursday.

Saskatchewan health officials have identified four new cases in the same 24-hour stretch that four patients have recovered from the respiratory virus. The most recent cases were scattered throughout the North Central, Central West, South West and South Central zones. There remain 36 active cases in the province.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health announced 164 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, but noted that one person has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. Hinshaw confirmed that there’s a case at a school in Edmonton, but did not provide any additional info. Earlier in the day, the respective school board confirmed that the case is at École Sainte-Jeanne-d´Arc, but a spokesperson would not say if the case involves a student or adult, after schools opened up this week in Alberta. With the most recent update, there are 1,433 confirmed cases in the province, with 638 of them in the Calgary zone and 544 in the Edmonton zone.

Sept. 3

‘We’re approaching a possibly critical threshold’: Quebec reports its largest spike in cases since June

Quebec announced 187 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which marks the largest daily increase to its total case count since June 8.

The province has now reported over 100 cases on six straight occasions. Before the recent stretch, it had not recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

“We’re approaching a possibly critical threshold,” said Quebec Premier François Legault on Thursday.

On Aug. 25, health minister Christian Dubé said that Quebec should not go beyond 160 cases per day, which works out to about 20 cases per one million residents.

Legault on Thursday said Dubé’s statistics are “an objective,” but it doesn’t mean that the province will make an “automatic” return to lockdowns if the target is missed. Instead, he reminded the public that “there are plenty of other factors to consider. ... If the major part of the cases were in bars, the decision would be easy to take.”

Legault said that he is not planning on changing the province’s COVID-19 restrictions at the moment. If restrictions do need to be put in place, they will be imposed on sub-regions, and not the entire province.

As of late, Canada’s worst-hit province has seen spikes in the Quebec City region, the Eastern Townships and the greater Montreal region, said Legault.

Outbreaks have been reported throughout the province; that includes schools ever since they opened a week ago Thursday.

Most recently, a karaoke bar outbreak in Quebec City has led to 40 patrons testing positive, which has resulted in secondary spread to students at three schools. On Thursday, TVA Nouvelles also reported that two small groups of Montreal elementary school students are in self-isolation at home, because they were in contact with COVID-19 patients.

Legault said that the province’s back-to-school plan is going as planned. Outbreaks were expected, but the province has not had to close an entire school due to an outbreak, thanks to its “classroom bubble” concept.

On Thursday, a group of Quebec parents went to court to compel the Education Department to grant an online learning option for all families. At the moment, in-class learning is mandatory, except for those with a medical exception.

The province has yet to release statistics on the amount of cases in schools among staff and students, but the premier said that the public can expect some in the upcoming days.

“So far it’s under control, but we have to be careful,” said Legault.

In the past, Legault has said that he won’t rule out closing barrs or banning activities such as karaoke if the spread of COVID-19 continues at an alarming rate.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has had the most cases (62,933) and deaths (5,767) of all the Canadian jurisdictions. On Thursday, the province announced three more fatalities, but that they all occurred before Aug. 27.

Quebec also has the most currently infected patients with 1,551. According to data by B.C.’s Ministry of Health, Quebec has the highest infection rate per one million people of all the provinces.

B.C. at ‘precipice’ as modelling data shows ‘dramatic increase’ in cases among young populations

For the eighth time throughout the pandemic, B.C. health officials provided their latest data that they’ve gathered to understand how COVID-19 has been spreading in the province.

As of late, officials have seen a “dramatic increase” in cases among those between 20-39 years old, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Ever since mid-July, health officials have warned against large gatherings, especially where alcohol is involved; it has resulted in a spike in cases and COVID-19 exposure warnings throughout the province.

As of Thursday, the province has a record-high 1,175 active cases of COVID-19.

“We still have it in our hands, in our actions to bend our curve back down,” said Henry. “And that is what we need to focus on now. We're at that limit. We're at that precipice, if you will, where we need to take the actions to ensure that we can move forward into the fall and keep our curve low.”

Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health

Henry noted there has also been a small increase in cases among slightly older populations, but the median age of a COVID-19 patient in the province is now 41, compared to it being in the mid-50s in the earlier stages of the pandemic.

Household transmission continues to be relevant throughout all stages of the pandemic, but in the latest stage, officials have seen a significant increase in transmission at restaurants, bars and lounges as well as private parties and events. Those settings have been particularly associated with the younger demographics.

“This should come as no surprise,” said Henry. “We’ve been reporting on the Kelowna cluster, for example, which has been associated with a variety of these settings.”

Henry said that there has also been transmission in workplace settings. However, there hasn’t been many instances where COVID-19 has spread from the workplace to the public.

Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health

In comparison to other provinces, Henry showed that B.C. has done well, while its reproduction number has fluctuated around one; officials have seen it usually rise in tandem with well-known exposure events.

"This weekend in particular, choose to go small. Choose to spend time with your household bubble instead of a group of strangers," Henry said.

"Let's make sure this Labour Day long weekend, we are united in a singular focus to continue to stop those chains of transmission and bring our curve back down. And of course, let's continue to do this by being kind, being calm and being safe."

Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health

Exposures due to gatherings have been a key concern for B.C. ever since two hotel parties around Canada Day in Kelowna led to dozens of cases around the province, as well as possible exposure warnings for a variety of businesses.

Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. Currently in B.C., there are 2,801 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.

On Thursday, officials announced 89 new cases of COVID-19. There are now 1,175 active cases, since 39 more people have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

One more person has also died in a long-term care home, increasing the death toll to 210.

Two new long-term care facility outbreaks have been declared at Cherington Place in the Fraser Health region and at Point Grey Private Hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. However, the outbreak at the Maple Ridge Seniors Village has been declared over, which means there are now nine long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities that have active outbreaks.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Two women in Manitoba, one in her 80s and the other in her 90s, are the province’s most recent COVID-19 victims. They were both part of the ongoing outbreak at the Bethesda Place personal care home in Steinbach. Four people have died as part of the outbreak, while the province’s death toll now stands at 16. Health officials believe that the initial positive case at the Bethesda Place was a health-care worker who caught the virus in the community. On Thursday, Manitoba also announced 20 new cases of the virus, with 13 of them in Winnipeg and six in its epicentre, Prairie Mountain Health region. Fifteen more people have also recovered, which leaves 457 active cases in the province.

Ontario reported 132 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. It’s the eighth straight day that the province has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases. Of the most recent patients, 45 were identified in Peel, 31 in Toronto and 22 in Ottawa. All the other 31 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 18 reported no new patients at all. In the same stretch, Ontario recorded no new deaths, instead 119 more people have recovered. There are now 1,249 active cases in the province, the most since Aug. 3.

No new cases were identified in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, as those provinces continue to have one, four and six active cases, respectively.

Prince Edward Island is no longer COVID-19 free, with health officials announcing two new cases on Thursday. They both involve essential workers who are not part of the health-care industry. They’ve been in self-isolation since arriving to P.E.I. on Aug. 24. The province used to be the only one without any active cases, after all of its patients had recovered by Sept. 1. The last time it had announced a new case was on Aug. 18.

Ten new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Saskatchewan’s latest 24-hour stretch. The latest patients were diagnosed in the Saskatoon (six), Central West (two), North Central (one) and South Central (one) zones. According to a press release, “all of Saskatoon’s current active cases and several of the active cases in the rest of the province are directly related to out of province travel.” Three more people have also recovered in the province, meaning there are now 36 active cases in the province; 17 of those are in Saskatoon.

One-hundred and thirty people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Alberta, but no one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. There are now 1,415 active cases in the province, since 118 more people have also recovered. Of those currently infected patients, there are 639 in the Calgary zone and 537 in the Edmonton zone, which has 22 of the province’s 46 hospitalizations.

Sept. 2

Quebec City karaoke bar outbreak leads to secondary infections among students

A karaoke bar in Quebec City, which has produced 40 cases among attendees, has now resulted in secondary infections among school students.

There are three cases that have been identified among students across three of the six schools in the city that are currently dealing with COVID-19. Those three patients are linked to the 40 cases that have been identified among patrons who visited Bar Kirouac for a karaoke night on Aug. 23, said Dr. Jacques Girard, who heads the Quebec City public health authority.

Girard expects there to be more cases in the upcoming days, since some of the original 40 patrons visited at least six other bars in the city that same night. One of the patrons “did the grand tour" and "went everywhere," said Girard.

There are also reports that some of the patients visited other bars while waiting for their COVID-19 tests, after they were asked to self-isolate over the weekend, when cases first emerged. Some of those patrons later tested positive, but there are currently no other links to bars as of Wednesday.

"We now have evidence that those people who were COVID-positive, who maybe hadn't had the results of their tests but who were contagious, went to other places," said Girard. "It's there when our alarm signal went off."

Girard is now asking anyone who’s been to a bar in Quebec City over this past week to get tested for COVID-19. Bar Kirouac has closed its venue till Sept. 9.

Christian Dubé, Quebec's health minister, singled out Bar Kirouac on Tuesday, when noting that he was looking into fines for customers and staff after social media videos showed patrons in close contact and sharing microphones.

According to The Globe and Mail, who spoke with Bar Kirouac owner Lucien Simard, there were approximately 35-40 patrons and one staff member at the venue on Aug. 23. The establishment has a 100-person capacity.

“The rate of attack, the proportion of positives is significant,” said Dr. Girard, noting that the situation in the venue was an “explosive cocktail.”

The province previously dealt with outbreaks in relation to bars in July, which prompted health officials to insert new rules, such as not permitting dancing. However, karaoke and singing is still allowed, but Quebec’s director of public health Horacio Arruda said the province is now considering a karaoke bar.

Arruda and Girard have both described it as a dangerous activity, since “people get excited, swap microphones, start singing with their friends who want to help them out. Next thing, the droplets are in the air and you are contaminated.”

Schools around the province have also been dealing with cases of COVID-19 ever since the province reopened institutions Aug. 27. No official provincial data has been released as of Wednesday as to how many cases there are among children and staff.

As a preventative measure, school administrators in Quebec City have sent home at least 100 classmates of infected children, according to The Globe and Mail.

Updates from the rest of Canada

British Columbia health officials announced 104 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. It’s now the sixth time since Aug. 15 that the province has recorded at least 100 daily cases; before the recent stretch, it had never recorded a triple-digit increase. The recent update increases the province’s active case count to a record-high 1,127, even though 100 more patients have recovered since Tuesday. According to a press release by health officials, there is one new health-care facility outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital, but the outbreak at Langley Memorial Hospital has been declared over.

Ontario reported 133 new cases of COVID-19, which is its second highest increase to its total case count since July 31. Of those patients, 43 were identified in Toronto, 34 in Peel, 15 in York Region and 12 in Ottawa. Twenty-nine of the province’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 21 of them reported no new patients at all. No one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but instead 137 patients have recovered. There are now 1,236 active cases in the province.

Health officials in Quebec announced that they’ve identified 132 new cases of COVID-19. Two more fatalities have been added to the province’s death toll of 5,764, but neither of them occurred in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. With 77 recently recovered patients, it means there are now 1,467 active cases in the province.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador, as those provinces have one and six active cases, respectively. New Brunswick has identified one new patient, involving a temporary foreign worker in the Moncton region. There are now four active cases in the province. Prince Edward Island remains the only province with no active cases, after health officials announced that their final patient recovered by Tuesday.

Twelve new cases were identified in Manitoba, with eight of them in its epicentre Prairie Mountain Health. There are now 454 active cases in the province, since twenty more people have recovered; it marks the second straight day that Manitoba has seen its number of currently infected patients decrease.

Saskatchewan health officials announced two new cases, with one each in the North West and South Central zones. However, four more people have recovered in the same 24-hour stretch. There are now 29 active cases in the province, the fewest since June 14.

A woman in her 60s in Alberta’s South zone has passed away, increasing the province’s death toll to 242. Health officials have also identified 114 new cases of COVID-19. One-hundred and eight patients have also recovered, meaning there are now 1,403 active cases in the province. Of those currently infected patients, 632 of them are in the Calgary zone and 538 in the Edmonton zone.

Sept. 1

Ontario reported 112 newly-identified cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hour reporting period on Tuesday. It also reported one death and 92 recoveries, increasing the number of active cases in the province to 1,240. Of Ontario’s 34 public health units, 27 reported five or fewer new cases, while 18 of those reported no new cases at all.

In Quebec, there were 122 new cases of the virus reported, as well as two deaths linked to COVID-19. Both deaths occurred between August 25-30. Hospitalizations fell by two, however the number of people in intensive care went up by two.

Across Atlantic Canada, only Nova Scotia saw one new case of COVID-19. The province also said that one of the active cases, a student at Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, N.S., did not properly self-isolate, and authorities are now trying to determine who may have come in contact with her. There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island.

Stricter mask rules are being put in place after a recent spike in cases in Manitoba. Health authorities reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, as well as several recoveries, brining the total number of active cases to 459.

Alberta announced 164 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing its active cases tally to the second-highest nationally —1,398 — just trailing Quebec’s 1,414. Two more patients died, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s who was a resident of a continuing care centre with an active outbreak.

British Columbia reported 58 new cases in the province and one death. B.C. currently has 1,124 active cases: 31 are in hospital, including 10 in intensive care. In a statement, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix wrote: “We must prepare for the challenges that may lie ahead in fall with renewed commitment, new routines and proven safety precautions.”

Timelines of cases prior to August: