Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on June 13

As outbreaks of coronavirus variants of concern pop up across the country, Canada's chief public health officer is again touting COVID-19 vaccines as the main weapon to battle them.

Sask., N.B. close in on COVID-19 vaccination thresholds for reopening

Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

As outbreaks of coronavirus variants of concern pop up across the country, Canada's chief public health officer is again touting COVID-19 vaccines as the main weapon to battle them.

"Though #VariantsOfConcern (VOC) give us less margin for error, shooting for the stars in vaccine coverage will give us the edge," Dr. Theresa Tam tweeted on Sunday.

"The winning strategy against VOCs  — that can be more transmissible, cause more severe illness (so greater impact on healthcare capacity) or evade vaccine immunity — is to reach the highest vaccine coverage we can."

Variants, especially the delta variant, are to blame for a growing number of outbreaks across the country.

WATCH | Some provinces move to have different guidelines for the fully vaccinated:

Some provinces move to have different guidelines for the fully-vaccinated

1 year ago
Duration 1:57
Fully vaccinated Canadians appear to be well-protected even from COVID-19 variants. But they're still subject to the same public health rules. With federal guidelines still in the works, some provinces are moving to change that.

For instance, the delta variant accounts for the majority of new cases in Alberta — which logged 165 new infections and an additional death on Sunday —and is blamed for an outbreak at a Calgary hospital.

Meanwhile, Canada is gearing up to receive millions more COVID-19 vaccines this coming week, and individual provinces are taking steps to boost their vaccination drives. 

Alberta is offering millions in cash to encourage more people to get inoculated and Ontario is poised to accelerate second dose eligibility for some residents in delta variant hot spot areas on Monday.

What's happening across Canada

As of 5:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 1,402,125 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 16,954 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,931. More than 28.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered so far across the country, according to CBC's vaccine tracker.

Manitoba recorded 194 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths on Sunday.

Saskatchewan reported 65 cases and no deaths.

In the province, 69 per cent of eligible residents have been administered at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — just shy of the 70 per cent threshold set by the government to trigger its third and final step of the reopening plan.

Also, starting Monday, residents aged 50 or over will be eligible to receive their second dose. All residents age 12 and over will be eligible for their second shot starting June 24.

Ontario registered 530 new cases and seven additional deaths. The seven-day average of daily cases, which smooths out peaks and valleys in the data, fell to 514, its lowest point in more than eight months. 

The province marked the first weekend out of lockdown by announcing that in-vehicle driving tests will resume on Monday after a pause of more than two months.

People line up at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Toronto on Sunday. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

Quebec confirmed 151 new cases and two new deaths.

Starting Monday, several areas of the province — including Montreal and Laval — are scheduled to be reclassified as yellow zones, which allow for indoor gatherings of two different households, though masks and physical distancing will be required. It also means masks are no longer required at larger outdoor outdoor gatherings, which remain capped at a maximum of 12 people.

    In the Atlantic provinces, New Brunswick tallied seven new cases, as the province — where 74.6 per cent of the eligible population have had at least one vaccine shot — creeps closer to its 75 per cent vaccination target for triggering reopening; Nova Scotia saw eight new infections; and Newfoundland and Labrador added just one new case, the fewest new cases in a single day since April 27.

    In the North, a Nunavut school will partially open on Monday after two students tested positive.

    What's happening around the world

    As of Sunday, the COVID-19 case tracking tool from Johns Hopkins University showed a total of more than 175.7 million cases reported worldwide.The global death toll stood at more than 3.7 million.

    In Africa, only 0.1 per cent of Nigeria — the continent's biggest country with more than 200 million people — have been fully vaccinated.

    WATCH | Canada commits 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries:

    Canada commits 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries at G7 summit

    1 year ago
    Duration 1:52
    Canada says it will contribute up to 100 million doses to the global effort to vaccinate those in the developing world, putting them ahead of other G7 countries. But doses aren't the only problem.

    In Europe, the tally of new coronavirus infections in the Russian capital rose more than 1,000 from the previous day as Moscow heads into a week in which many businesses will be closed under a mayoral order.

    In Asia, Japanese airline All Nippon Airways has begun vaccinating its pilots and cabin attendants on international flights. That makes it one of the first companies to launch workplace vaccinations in Japan, one of the world's least-vaccinated nations.

    In the Americas, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration said Johnson & Johnson must throw away millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were manufactured at a problem-plagued Baltimore factory.

    With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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