People line up at a COVID-19 testing clinic Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

People line up at a COVID-19 testing clinic Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada’s total COVID-19 case count surpasses one million

Some provinces have introduced stricter public health measures in a bid to contain the spread of variants

Canada soared past its one millionth diagnosis of COVID-19 on Saturday, reaching the grim milestone the same day it administered its six millionth dose of vaccine to protect against the virus.

British Columbia pushed the nation over the threshold on Saturday afternoon when it reported 2,090 infections over the course of two days, bringing the national number to roughly 1,001,650.

Canada has been recording about 100,000 new cases every three to four weeks, surging past the 900,000 mark on March 13.

The nation had also administered six million doses of vaccine as of Saturday evening, provincial data show. The federal government had set that number as the goal for how many vaccine doses should arrive in Canada by the end of the first quarter of 2021 — a target it met last week.

The two milestones are emblematic of where the nation stands with COVID-19, ramping up its vaccination drive as more contagious variants of the virus fuel the pandemic’s third wave.

Alberta, for instance, is investigating what the province’s chief medical officer of health described as a “significant” outbreak of the P. 1 variant of concern, which first emerged in Brazil.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a tweet that the outbreak can be traced back to a returning traveller.

“Health officials are working hard to limit future spread and reaching out directly to those at risk of exposure,” she said. “AHS will ensure that anyone at risk is isolated, offered testing twice and connected with supports if needed.”

Hinshaw said officials will provide an update on the investigation on Monday.

That province logged an estimated 1,100 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, roughly half of which are variants of concern.

Hinshaw said 35 per cent of the province’s active COVID-19 cases are due to those variants, which are more contagious and can cause more serious illness.

Some provinces have introduced stricter public health measures in a bid to contain the spread of such variants, with Ontario entering a “shutdown” on Saturday.

The new restrictions force gyms and personal care services across the province to close, but allow essential and non-essential retailers to remain open, with their capacities limited to 50 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Schools in the province will also remain open for in-person learning following the delayed spring break, which ends on April 9.

Classrooms were shuttered throughout the province after the winter break in January and gradually reopened based on the local prevalence of COVID-19. The boards in hardest-hit hot spots opened classrooms in mid-February.

But the province has said it doesn’t want to take that step again, calling it disastrous for children’s mental health.

Ontario recorded 3,009 new infections on Saturday and 3,089 a day earlier, when the government didn’t share data because of the Good Friday holiday.

Quebec, meanwhile, has seen daily cases back up over the 1,000 mark in the last few days after weeks of logging new infection rates in the triple digits, recording 1,282 cases on Saturday.

And B.C., whose high numbers tipped Canada over the edge of one million, broke its own record two days in a row, reporting 1,072 diagnoses on Saturday and 1,018 on Friday.

The province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix said people should stay in their own community or health authority while vacationing and consider limiting their travel to day trips or overnight stays in a local campground or hotel.

“We have seen too many cases of people travelling outside their health authority region and not using their layers of protection, leading to outbreaks and clusters in their home community,” they said in a written statement.

“These outbreaks are avoidable, and right now we must stay within our local region for the safety of your community and for others.”

Saskatchewan, meanwhile, counted 280 new cases on Saturday and Manitoba reported 181 over two days.

Farther east, New Brunswick recorded nine new cases and Nova Scotia counted four.

READ MORE: B.C. sets two new daily records with latest COVID-19 cases

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read