Coronavirus Canada update: B.C. death toll rises, Quebec forbids gatherings

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Coronavirus Canada update: B.C. death toll rises, Quebec forbids gatherings
Coronavirus Canada update: B.C. death toll rises, Quebec forbids gatherings

B.C. orders spas, salons, massage and tattoo parlours to close

British Columbia’s provincial health officer says there are 74 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing the total to 424.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are 27 people in hospital, 12 of whom are in intensive care. Six people have recovered.

She says there has also been another death associated with the Lynn Valley long-term care home in North Vancouver.

Henry says the province is ordering all personal service establishments to close, including salons, spas, and massage and tattoo parlours.

Quebec forbids indoor and outdoor gatherings
The Quebec government is forbidding most indoor and outdoor gatherings in its effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A cabinet decree adopted today extending the province’s public health emergency until March 29 says the measure is necessary because of the serious threat the pandemic poses to the public.

The only exceptions for indoor gatherings are at workplaces not closed by government order, at stores and government offices to receive services, in public transit and for people who reside under the same roof or are providing a service or support in a home.

The decree says outdoor gatherings are permitted if the people gathered stay at least two metres apart or if they are members of the same household.

Business Council of Canada calls for strict self-isolation: Every day we delay will cost lives
The Business Council of Canada has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enforce a strict self-isolation policy across the country to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Goldy Hyder, the organization’s president and CEO, says “all Canadians should be told, not asked or advised,” to stay home.

Hyder allowed that Canadians should be able to leave their homes if their jobs are essential or to purchase food and other necessities.

The letter warns Trudeau that “every day we delay will cost lives.”

Six virus victims in intensive care in Alberta
Health officials in Alberta believe 16 of the province’s COVID-19 cases could be the result of community transmission.

Alberta is reporting 31 new cases of the disease, bringing the province’s total to 226.

Of those cases, 11 people are in hospital and six are in intensive care.

Saskatchewan now can test for virus
The Saskatchewan government says it now has the capability to perform COVID-19 testing within the province.

The government says the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory in Regina now has the ability to do confirmatory testing, which will speed up obtaining results.

It says the tensing also means that 17 new cases reported in Saskatchewan today have already been confirmed and that officials will no longer be reporting presumptive cases.

It says the lab is processing about 456 COVID-19 tests a day.

Saskatchewan now has 44 cases of COVID-19 in total — 25 cases which are confirmed and 19 cases that are presumptive

Novia Scotia cases now at 6
Nova Scotia has six new presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 21.

All are travel-related.

The 21 individuals affected range in age from late-teens to mid-70’s.

Dentists can no longer practise in the province unless it’s an emergency.

Ontaria death toll rises to three people
A third person has died in Ontario because of COVID-19.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed the death of the man who was in his 70s today.

The man had been in close contact with another man who was the province’s first COVID-19 related death on March 11.

Six cases in New Brunswick
New Brunswick has six new presumptive cases of COVID-19.

Four of the people had been on a cruise ship, while the other two were close contacts to travel-related cases.

There are now seven confirmed cases and 10 presumptive cases in New Brunswick for a total of 17.

Residents of New Brunswick’s Campobello Island must travel through part of Maine to get to the New Brunswick mainland.

With the border closed, Premier Blaine Higgs says he has been assured that anyone who needs to travel between the island and the mainland for essential services will be allowed to do so.

B.C. bans evictions for non-payment of rent in BC Housing buildings
British Columbia’s housing minister says help is on the way to ensure renters are not evicted as the province cracks down on the spread of the new coronavirus.

Selina Robinson says the B.C. government is banning evictions for non-payment of rent in buildings funded by BC Housing.

Ontario limits prescription re-fills
Ontario’s health minister says the province is asking the doctors and pharmacists not to re-fill prescriptions for more than 30 days to prevent drug shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christine Elliott says pharmacists have told the government some patients have been requesting refills of up to six months.

The government says doctors and pharmacists will be allowed to use their own discretion if they believe a patient requires more than a 30 day supply.

Ontario premier calls on industry to produce key medical supplies
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is appealing to the province’s manufacturing sector to help produce key medical supplies.

Ford says there are shortages of many items needed by health workers because of global demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The premier says any company that can produce items like ventilators, face masks, surgical gowns, protective eye-wear and hand sanitizers should reach out to the government.

The province has established a dedicated website to help manufacturers communicate what they can provide.

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