New COVID-19 restrictions took effect in Manitoba on Saturday as the province reported 357 new cases and three additional deaths.
A ban on social gatherings that was due to expire on Saturday will now continue for another two weeks, and hundreds of Manitoba schools will remain in remote learning until at least June 7.
In addition, a new public health order compels businesses in the province to allow employees to work from home, whenever possible.
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Despite high infection rates in Manitoba, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said at a briefing on Friday that the country’s third wave is being beat back as vaccination numbers increase.
She noted “strong and steady” declines in disease trends, with average case counts at less than half of what they were at the peak of the third wave in mid-April.
However, Tam said now is not the time to loosen public health measures. She also pointed out that hospitalizations due to the illness are still too high in Manitoba.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had reported 1,376,734 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 37,808 considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 25,478.
Alberta could move to Stage 2 of its reopening plan as early as June 10 after it was announced more than 60 per cent of eligible Albertans had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The relaxation of public health orders would see theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries reopen at one-third of their capacity, with restaurants permitted to seat up to six people indoors from different households. Outdoor social gatherings of up to 20 people would be permitted while concerts and festivals could go ahead with up to 150 people under Stage 2.
The move on June 10 is conditional on the province being below 500 hospitalizations and declining.
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In Saskatchewan, anyone 70 years of age or older is eligible for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting Saturday. People are also eligible if they received their first dose before March 15, or if they have cancer or received an organ transplant.
Ontario registered 1,057 new COVID-19 cases and 15 additional deaths on Saturday.
Quebec confirmed 410 new cases and seven more deaths on Saturday.
In Montreal, 2,500 fans will get to the Montreal Canadiens face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in person, as the Bell Centre welcomes back fans for the first time this year.
New Brunswick recorded 10 cases on Saturday. Health officials also announced that more than 60 per cent of residents in the province have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Nova Scotia‘s death toll rose by four to 84 on Saturday — the highest number of daily deaths since May 15, 2020, when four deaths were also reported.
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Newfoundland and Labrador logged nine new cases, but none of them are connected to the cluster in central Newfoundland. The number of confirmed cases in the cluster remains at 60.
In the Northwest Territories, a second case has been confirmed at the Ekati Diamond Mine, about 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. Officials say the person in question did not become infected at the mine site, and have not declared an outbreak at the facility.
What’s happening around the world
As of Saturday, more than 169.5 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a database from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.5 million.
In the Americas, Mexico expects to have 12.5 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses bottled within its borders by June, the foreign minister said, as the country seeks to ramp up its inoculation program.
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In Asia, Vietnam has discovered a new coronavirus variant that’s a hybrid of strains first found in India and the U.K., the health minister said, noting that the new variant has spread to 30 of Vietnam’s 63 municipalities and provinces — and could be responsible for a recent surge in confirmed cases.
In Europe, Denmark has begun incinerating four million mink that had been culled to curb COVID-19 mutations but whose carcasses began to resurface from mass burial sites, prompting renewed health concerns.
In Africa, 32 members of parliament in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or about five per cent of the total, have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, the vice-president of the National Assembly said.