Five provinces break COVID-19 records as new measures take effect

TORONTO — As new COVID-19 infections continue to soar in Canada, more provinces are seeing record-breaking numbers of infections and deaths.

Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta all broke their single-day case counts on Saturday, while Manitoba logged its deadliest day of the pandemic.

Canada’s top doctor Theresa Tam said at this rate, Canada could potentially see 10,000 new daily-cases by mid-December. Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said Canada isn’t prepared for those kinds of numbers. 

“Ten thousand new cases in Canada per day is too much to sustain over any period of time,” Bogoch told CTV News Channel on Saturday. “We need to do everything we can to prevent that from happening.”

ONTARIO

Ontario broke another single-day caseload record Saturday with 1,581 reported cases and 20 new deaths, which is also the highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic’s second wave. Health Minister Christine Elliott said 497 of those cases were found in Peel Region, 456 in Toronto, 130 in York Region and 77 in Ottawa.

More than 44,800 tests were completed, she said.

Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area are all currently in the red zone, a colour-coded system designed to help curb the spread of the virus.

MANITOBA

Manitoba recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic while reporting a record-breaking 15 new deaths. Eleven of the deaths are related to an outbreak at the Maples Personal Care Home. 

The province also reported 239 new cases of the virus. 

On Thursday, the Manitoba government issued the entire province under the critical or red level on the pandemic response system. The province’s restrictions include closures of all non-essential business while restricting travel within the province.

QUEBEC

Quebec health authorities reported 1,448 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, a record-breaking single day increase. The province also reported 25 new deaths linked to the virus for a total of 6,611.

Montreal recorded the most cases of any Quebec region, with 341 infections. Montreal is followed by 183 new cases in Lanaudiere, 138 in Monteregie and 122 in Quebec City.

Quebec maintains the highest number of cases per capita out of all provinces since the pandemic began.

SASKATCHEWAN

Saskatchewan reported 308 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, topping its previous single-day increase record.

The spike in cases pushes the total number of active COVID-19 cases to 1,691.

The province blamed snowstorms for the rise in numbers claiming fewer people would have gone to get tested, despite possibly showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Saskatoon is reporting the highest concentrated number of positive cases in the province at 123, while in Regina, 20 new cases are reported. The other 165 cases are shown to come from more rural zones of the province.

ALBERTA

Alberta broke its single-day record of COVID-19 cases on Saturday as the province reported 1,026 new cases.

It is the first time Alberta has reported more than 1,000 new daily cases since the pandemic began.

Three new deaths were also reported, bringing the province’s total death toll to 401.

“Infection rates in Alberta are much higher than what were seeing in the east where more severe restrictions are in place,“ infectious diseases specialist Dr. Craig Jenne told CTV News Channel.

“It’s important to recognize to that the virus is not behaving the same in every jurisdictions.”

Jenne said one of the best ways to get control of the pandemic is for everyone to wear a mask in public spaces, even if they’re not in a jurisdiction that requires one.  

“The faster we get these numbers under control the faster these restrictions will be lifted,” he said.

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