Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on June 8
Manitoba to bring in immunization card for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- Manitoba will waive quarantine rules for those fully vaccinated under new immunization card system.
- Canada eyeing multi-stage approach to reopening the border to travellers.
- Ontario faces pressure to shift vaccine 2nd doses to hot-spot communities.
- Months after launch of Quebec's vaccine campaign, hardest-hit areas still struggle with access.
- Alberta premier apologizes for controversial Sky Palace dinner.
- Sask. Opposition proposes $25K lottery for fully vaccinated residents.
- Tour operators press for timeline for reopening land border.
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COVID-19 cases in Canada are hitting their lowest levels so far in 2021.
The average number of new daily cases of COVID-19 in Canada is below 2,000 for the first time since early October and the number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 is the lowest it has been since November.
The daily average over the past week is 1,798 new cases, the lowest average since Oct. 2, 2020. It fell slightly below 2,000 on Sunday, at 1,962 new cases on average over the previous seven days.
The last time the average number nationally was below 2,000 was Oct. 12, 2020.
-From The Canadian Press, last updated at 1:15 p.m. ET
What's happening across Canada
WATCH | Ontario reopening on Friday 'clearly the right move,' expert says:
As of 8:30 p.m. ET, Canada had reported 1,395,410 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 21,539 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,791. More than 26.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered so far across the country, according to CBC's vaccine tracker.
Ontario on Tuesday reported 18 deaths and 469 new cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations stood at 621, the province reported, with 481 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19.
Top Ontario health officials said this week that the delta COVID-19 variant has been detected across the province and it will likely become the dominant strain, as has been the case earlier in the pandemic with more aggressive variants. However, they say vaccinations appear to have protected people infected with the variant from becoming severely ill, especially those who have received two doses.
Ontario sees 469 new COVID-19 cases, 18 more deaths <a href="https://t.co/h87nPMsMvx">https://t.co/h87nPMsMvx</a> <a href="https://t.co/DDQXnJGsGE">pic.twitter.com/DDQXnJGsGE</a>—@CBCToronto
In Quebec, health officials on Tuesday reported four additional deaths and 150 new cases of COVID-19. Premier François Legault said the province will allow graduating high school students to hold proms this year, as of July 8 — as long as they are outdoors and host a maximum of 250 people. Legault said most teenagers will have received a first vaccine dose by next month.
Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Nunavut on Tuesday, Premier Joe Savikataaq said on Twitter. Northwest Territories and Yukon had also reported no new cases for the day.
In Atlantic Canada on Tuesday, Newfoundland and Labrador reported one additional death and three new cases of COVID-19, while New Brunswick reported one new case of COVID-19.
Health officials in Nova Scotia reported 17 new cases, while Prince Edward Island had none.
In the Prairie provinces, Manitobans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be able to travel within Canada without having to self-isolate upon returning to Manitoba.
Premier Brian Pallister said Tuesday that new secure vaccination cards will be available to people who have received both doses. It will exempt cardholders from the current rule that requires people to self-isolate for 14 days. The card will also let people visit loved ones in hospitals and personal care homes.
WATCH | Pallister explains what the immunization card will permit:
Manitoba reported two additional deaths and 237 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Saskatchewan, meanwhile, reported 90 new cases of on Tuesday while two more people died. Some Saskatoon hospitals will ease visitor restrictions, given the dropping case numbers, officials said.
- StatsCan paints full picture of pandemic death toll, but Manitoba image remains fuzzy
- Saskatchewan reports 3rd COVID-19 death of person 19 or younger
In Alberta, health officials reported three deaths from COVID-19 and 139 new cases. The test positivity rate is 4.2 per cent.
Medical officials in Calgary and Edmonton are asking the province's two biggest cities to maintain their mask mandates until 70 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated — rather than the 70 per cent with a single dose required by the province's reopening plan.
British Columbia on Tuesday reported 165 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths. Just under three quarters of adults in B.C. have now received at least one vaccine dose, while 71.9 per cent of kids over 12 have had one shot.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 6:15 p.m. ET
What's happening around the world
WATCH | The challenges of vaccinating the world:
As of Tuesday evening, more than 173.7 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, a tracking tool from Johns Hopkins University said. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.7 million.
In the Americas, the U.S. is on pace to fall short of President Joe Biden's aim to have 70 per cent of Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4.
The White House has launched a month-long blitz to combat vaccine hesitancy and a lack of urgency to get shots, particularly in the South and Midwest. But it is increasingly resigned to missing the president's target.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday that he still hopes the goal will be met "and if we don't, we're going to continue to keep pushing."
So far 14 states have reached 70 per cent coverage among adults, with about a dozen more on pace to reach the milestone by July 4. But the state-to-state variation is stark.
In Africa, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hopes African COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing sites will be identified and some even close to producing by the end of 2021, in the race to deliver more shots to the continent.
Meantime, the Toronto-based Mastercard Foundation said will spend $1.3 billion US over the next three years to acquire and deliver coronavirus vaccines for more than 50 million people in Africa. It plans to purchase single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the discounted rate negotiated by the African Union during its 220 million-dose deal with the company, with doses becoming available in August.
In the Asia-Pacific region, India's daily coronavirus infections have dipped below 100,000 for the first time in more than two months as an overall downturn prompts some states to ease restrictions.
The 86,498 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India's total past 29 million on Tuesday, second only to the United States, which has more than 33 million.
Windsor Mayor <a href="https://twitter.com/drewdilkens?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@drewdilkens</a> says he has “very little hope” the feds will get behind his plan for a vaccination clinic in the Canada-US tunnel. “I get that they are procuring doses... At the same time, I know 2km away from me, they threw 35,000 doses in the garbage.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZARtmYgKVM">pic.twitter.com/ZARtmYgKVM</a>—@PnPCBC
Meantime, Pakistan on Tuesday reported a single-day coronavirus positivity rate of less than three per cent, indicating the third wave of the pandemic in the impoverished Islamic nation had peaked.
In the Middle East, Kuwait has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, the state news agency KUNA reported.
In Europe, Denmark researchers are using virtual reality to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations, through a game of manoeuvring through a virus-infected crowd in a city square.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 6:40 p.m. ET
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With files from CBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters