Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday
Alberta, Nova Scotia both report single-day records for new COVID-19 cases
- Ottawa says it will come up with COVID 'certification' to allow Canadians to travel.
- Que. confirms 3rd blood clot case in someone administered AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Canada to start receiving Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments from the U.S.
- Health Canada holding off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution.
- Why your 1st COVID-19 shot is more protective than you might think.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: Covid@cbc.ca
Provinces across Canada are reporting single-day records for new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, as Alberta logged 2,433 new COVID-19 infections and an additional death, while Nova Scotia reported 148 new cases.
It's the third day in a row that Alberta has topped 2,000 infections, and the first time ever that the province's test positivity rate has topped 12 per cent.
"That's truly alarming," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at University of Alberta Hospital.
"I think that's a very bad sign of the direction things are going right now."
Here is a summary of today’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19AB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19AB</a> numbers: over the last 24 hours we have identified 2,433 new cases and completed 20,457 tests. Our positivity rate is 12%. We have identified 1,743 new VoC cases, and variants currently make up 62.1% of active cases in AB. (1/3)—@CMOH_Alberta
In Nova Scotia, Premier Iain Rankin had warned residents of an impending spike as provincial laboratories work their way through a testing backlog. Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said the province had a backlog of 45,000 tests because of increased testing.
Both provinces have tightened restrictions and increased efforts to stem the surge of cases amid the pandemic's third wave.
Nova Scotia last week imposed a two-week lockdown and called in the military for assistance. The province has also ramped up testing and increased fines for those breaking public health orders on gatherings.
Alberta implemented new public health measures in hot spots across the province, including moving schools online and closing gyms.
WATCH | Alberta adopts targeted COVID-19 measures:
Meanwhile, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, repeated calls to follow public health measures even if you have received a COVID-19 shot.
"Regardless of vaccination status, as infection rates remain high, it is essential that we all continue to follow public health advice and keep up with individual precautions to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our communities," she said in a tweet.
What's happening across Canada
As of 6 p.m. ET Saturday, Canada had reported 1,227,041 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 83,540 considered active. A CBC tally of deaths stood at 24,261.
Saskatchewan logged 262 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths on Saturday.
Starting on Monday, daycares, physician offices, congregate workplaces and correctional facilities can apply to get antigen testing training. On May 10, the training also opens up to businesses, municipalities and other government departments.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority says rapid testing — which is already being used by places such as group homes, detox centres, pharmacies and schools throughout the province — can assist businesses with outbreak prevention and help people know who needs further investigation and should stay home.
WATCH | Millions of rapid COVID-19 tests unused across Canada:
Manitoba reported 273 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths on Saturday.
Ontario registered 3,369 new cases and 29 more deaths as overall admissions to intensive care units climbed to 900 for the first time. Some 2,152 people in the province remain in hospital because of the infectious disease, a figure that has consistently been trending upward since the start of the third wave of the pandemic.
As hospitals continue to move critically ill patients around the province and bring in health-care personnel from other provinces, Ontario's Health Ministry said on Saturday that it hasn't yet activated an ICU triage protocol.
Activating a triage would mean that the hardest decisions health-care providers ever face will have to be made. These decisions include who gets potentially life-saving care and who doesn't.
WATCH | Ontario Hospital Association president on potential triage:
Quebec confirmed 1,101 new cases and seven more deaths on Saturday.
The province also identified a third case of a rare blood clot in someone who was administered the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. The Health Department says the unidentified person remains hospitalized but is in stable condition.
Late last month, 54-year-old Francine Boyer died of a cerebral thrombosis in a Montreal hospital after receiving the AstraZeneca shot on April 9.
Thrombosis is a possible complication of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but is reported in about one per 100,000 vaccines administered. As of Friday, Quebec has administered more than 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
WATCH | Quebec confirms death related to rare AstraZeneca-linked blood clots:
Northwest Territories MLAs will meet Tuesday to discuss the case of an MLA who identified himself as a positive COVID-19 case and was later reported to have broken isolation requirements.
Nunavut recorded eight more cases. According to the latest government data, the new cases are all in Iqaluit, bringing the city's active case total to 69. There are currently two active cases in Kinngait and two in Rankin Inlet, according to the data.
What's happening around the world
As of Saturday, more than 151.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a coronavirus tracking database maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.1 million.
In Europe, thousands in Warsaw lined up for hours on Saturday to get immunized with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in hopes of engaging in activities and travel. Polish authorities decided to use the long national holiday weekend to make shots more widely available.
PHOTOS | Thousands line up for COVID-19 vaccine shots in Poland:
In Asia, Pakistan's COVID-19 death toll is nearing 18,000 as the country continues to suffer through its third infection wave of the pandemic. Pakistan has deployed troops in high-risk cities to stop people from violating physical-distancing rules and to close businesses in the early evening.
In Africa, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta loosened infection-control measures on Saturday after the number of coronavirus cases in the country dropped from an early spring surge. Nightly curfews will be pushed back from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and some travel restrictions within the country have been lifted.
In the Americas, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium will close by the end of May, as cases in the most populous county in the U.S. have plunged. The Dodger Stadium site became one of the most prominent sites for coronavirus response in the U.S., first for testing and then delivery of vaccine doses to people waiting in long lines of cars.
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press