Ontario sees lowest daily COVID-19 case increase in weeks as Canada inches towards 68K cases

Canada reported 1,266 novel coronavirus cases and 124 deaths on Saturday, with all but four of those fatalities from Quebec and Ontario alone.

The country is growing closer to the 68,000-cases mark. As of Saturday evening, 4,693 people have died of COVID-19 in Canada, and 67,691 cases have been reported across the country.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned on Saturday that any hasty reopening of provincial economies could trigger a second wave of infections and send Canadians back into “confinement” over the summer.

While health officials have noted a flattening rate of daily cases in several provinces, Trudeau said Canada was “not in the recovery phase yet.”

“We are still in the emergency phase. … The vast majority of Canadians will continue to need to be very careful.”

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Tallied daily using figures reported by provincial and federal authorities, the latest numbers also include more than 31,000 recoveries and more than 1.1 million tests conducted in Canada.

Quebec reported 61 deaths and 836 new cases on Saturday, raising its totals to 36,986 cases and 2,786 deaths. The second most populous province in Canada, Quebec continues to account for a majority of deaths and cases nationally.

2:22 Coronavirus outbreak: A look inside a COVID-19 testing clinic on Montreal’s West Island

Coronavirus outbreak: A look inside a COVID-19 testing clinic on Montreal’s West Island

Montreal is the epicentre of the outbreak there, with new projections over the weekend showing that coronavirus-related deaths will increase if social distancing measures are lifted in the city. More than 9,000 people have recovered from the virus so far.

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Ontario marked its lowest increase in more than a month, reporting 346 new cases and 59 new deaths on Saturday. With a cumulative total of 19,944 cases and 1,599 deaths, the province is moving towards opening provincial parks for day use almost three weeks early — with access limited to walking, hiking, biking and bird watching. More than 14,000 have recovered from COVID-19.

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B.C. reported two new deaths and 15 new cases on Saturday, with the provincial medical officer of health urging people to maintain physical distancing on Mother’s Day. The province has 2,330 cases in total and 129 deaths, with more than 1,500 recoveries.

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Alberta announced 59 new cases and one death on Saturday. The province now has 6,157 cases with more than 4,200 recoveries and 116 deaths. More than 1,200 cases are considered active in the Calgary zone.

2:11 Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario hardware stores resume in-store sales as parks prepare to reopen

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario hardware stores resume in-store sales as parks prepare to reopen

Saskatchewan reported nine new cases and zero new deaths on Saturday. The province has 553 cases in total, with a curve that continues to climb, and 207 of these cases are considered active. Six people have died so far, and 340 have recovered. Most of the new cases are concentrated in the far north.

Manitoba had no new cases to report on Saturday. The province has a cumulative total of 273 cases, with 30 of them considered active, and 247 people are considered recovered. Seven people have died so far. Manitoba kicked off its first phase of gradually emerging from under COVID-19 restrictions in early May.

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Nova Scotia was the only Atlantic province to report new cases and one new death on Saturday. The province announced three new cases, bringing its total number of cases to 1,011. One person died at a long-term care home in Halifax that has seen an extended outbreak among residents and staff, raising the provincial death toll to 47. More than 740 people have recovered.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases, leaving its case count at 261 with 244 recoveries and 14 active cases. Three people have died in the province since the pandemic began.

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2:47 Coronavirus outbreak: Some New Brunswick businesses unhappy with abrupt transition to new recovery phase

Coronavirus outbreak: Some New Brunswick businesses unhappy with abrupt transition to new recovery phase

Prince Edward Island did not have an update on Saturday but its designated coronavirus page indicates all 27 cases of COVID-19 in the province are considered recovered as of Friday.

New Brunswick reported no new cases on Saturday, leaving it with 120 cases in total and zero deaths. Most people have recovered since there are only two active cases remaining. The province announced on Friday that it will be moving into its next phase of recovery, allowing offices, retail stores, restaurants and cultural institutions like libraries, galleries and museums to open. Social distancing and face masks still play a role in New Brunswick’s reopening plans.

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Nunavut remains untouched by COVID-19 so far, after a false positive was reported recently. All cases in the Northwest Territories and Yukon are considered resolved.

The global count for COVID-19 cases reached the four million mark on Saturday. More than 279,000 people around the world have died so far, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.

— With files by Reuters

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