Coronavirus Canada updates: The latest developments on COVID-19

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Coronavirus Canada updates: The latest developments on COVID-19
Coronavirus Canada updates: The latest developments on COVID-19

The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

7:15 p.m.

B.C. is reporting 52 new cases of COVID-19 since Saturday, including five more deaths.

This brings the death total to 86 and the total number of cases to 1,699.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the testing strategy is now being expanded to determine how and when some of restrictions can be gradually lifted.

However, she says that won’t begin until mid-May.

Henry also says the province is broadening tests to better track community spread of the virus.

6:30 p.m.

Yukon has two more cases of COVID-19, for a total of 11.

Yukon’s chief medical officer Dr. Brendan Hanley says the latest cases are related to a cluster in Whitehorse that is connected to international travel.

Hanley says eight of the 11 people who have contracted the virus have recovered and are doing well.

He says each case has been traced to its origin and there has been no known community transmission in the territory.

6 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 105 new cases and four additional deaths related to COVID-19.

That brings the total to 2,908 cases and 59 deaths in the province.

So far, 1,230 people have recovered from the illness.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says cases in care homes remain a concern and the government will be releasing a plan this week to help the facilities and workers.

5 p.m.

The Cargill meat-packing plant in southern Alberta is temporarily shutting down as the result of COVID-19.

The High River plant, which employs more than 2,000 workers, has been linked to more than 350 cases of the novel coronavirus — both at the plant and in the community.

A company spokesman says it was a difficult decision to make as the plant is considered an essential service.

He is encouraging all employees to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

4:57 p.m.

Toronto medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa says 74 people at a refugee shelter have tested positive for COVID-19.

The city says everyone at the shelter has been tested for the new coronavirus and many results are pending.

Doctors Without Borders is now in Toronto setting up a recovery centre to help deal with COVID-19 cases among the homeless.

4:55 p.m.

Ryan Meili, the leader of Saskatchewan’s NDP, says to help fight COVID-19 the doctor-turned-politician has renewed his medial licence.

He says it felt right to step up and help at a testing and assessment facility in Saskatoon.

4:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

That brings the total number of cases in the province to 316, with health officials saying that 238 people have recovered from the illness.

The number of fatalities remains at four.

4:20 p.m.

The B.C. government is moving to get faster access to care for those living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steps to improve health-care services include bringing in 55 new ambulances, five more fixed-wing planes or helicopters and housing options that will help people self-isolate in their home communities.

The government says its also bringing in new and faster virus testing technology — taking less than 45 minutes to complete — in an attempt to quickly stop the spread of the virus.

Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser says Indigenous communities have been hit hard in past pandemics and elders, in particular, as keepers of knowledge and language, must be protected.

3:45 p.m

The Conservatives have lost their bid to have Parliament sit in person several times a week throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Liberal government motion calling for once-a-week in-person sittings, to be supplemented eventually by virtual sittings, passed in the House of Commons today with a vote of 22 to 15.

A Conservative motion to add more in-person sittings each week was defeated by the same margin, with the Liberals, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrat and Green MPs voting against it.

The motion was proposed after the Conservatives refused during a week of negotiations to give unanimous consent to the government’s proposal, triggering the return of the House of Commons with a small contingent of MPs today.

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