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The latest news on COVID-19 in Canada

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

6:10 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting 564 new cases of COVID-19 today, for a total of 62,976.

There are 4,450 actives cases and 15 new deaths.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say in a joint statement that despite the number of COVID-19 cases trending downwards, the province is continuing to see new community outbreaks and clusters.

They say residents need to work to break the chains of transmission.

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5:55 p.m.

Sixteen new deaths reported in Alberta today mean 1,500 people have now died in the province from COVID-19.

There are 678 new infections and a total of 10,256 active cases.

Some 726 people are in hospital, 119 of them in intensive care.

The positivity rate of tests done sits at 4.8 per cent.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says case numbers, active cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, but it's too early to further ease public health orders.

She points out that there are just as many hospitalizations today as there were on Dec. 8, when stricter restrictions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus were brought in.

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4:55 p.m.

A Newfoundland and Labrador ferry company has confirmed a second case of COVID-19 among the crew of one of its ferries.

Both Marine Atlantic and Newfoundland and Labrador health officials say the affected person is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway.

Marine Atlantic first announced on Wednesday that a COVID-19 infection had been confirmed among the crew of the MV Blue Puttees, which travels between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

The company says it will use another ferry for the route until the Blue Puttees is back in service.

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2:55 p.m.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the province has reached a turning point in its battle against COVID-19 as health officials reported 32 new cases today.

Higgs says officials are seeing signs of improvement, but the future direction will depend on whether people follow the rules in place.

New infections were reported in five of the province's seven health zones, bringing the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick to 1,057, of which 719 have recovered, 324 remain active and 13 have died.

Three patients are in hospital, with two in intensive care.

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2:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan says 13 more residents have died from COVID-19 complications.

Health officials announced 227 new infections for a seven-day average of new daily cases of 286.

There are 197 people in hospital and 31 people in intensive care.

The province says it's given more than 29,000 vaccine shots, but that the pace will slow down as there are no deliveries coming next week.

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2:35 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total number of active reported cases to 22.

The new cases were recorded in northern Nova Scotia.

One of the cases is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada, and the other is a case connected to a school in Truro.

The school will close to allow for deep cleaning, testing and contact tracing, and is expected to reopen next Wednesday.

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2:30 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 196 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths. 

Half of the cases are in the north, driven by outbreaks in remote communities. 

The Manitoba government is easing some COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and public gatherings in southern and central areas, starting Saturday, but maintaining them in the north.

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2 p.m.

The Manitoba government says it is easing some of its COVID-19 restrictions in all areas except the northern health region.

Starting Saturday, non-essential retail stores will be allowed to open at 25 per cent capacity.

Barber shops, hair salons, reflexologists and some other personal services will also be able to open.

A ban on social visits in homes is also being eased.

Households will be allowed to designate two people who will be allowed to visit them in their homes.

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12:00 p.m.

Federal health officials say that although the number of daily cases of COVID-19 in Canada has declined lately, infection rates are still highest among the people most vulnerable to severe illness.

In a daily update, Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada has averaged 6,309 new diagnoses a day over the past week, and 148 deaths from the illness each day.

She says most cases of COVID-19 take several days to get bad enough for sufferers to be hospitalized, so cases of severe illness are still on the rise and Tam expects that to continue.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,624 new cases of COVID-19 and 66 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 22 that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Heath officials say hospitalizations dropped by 14, to 1,453, and 216 people are in intensive care, unchanged since Wednesday.

Premier Francois Legault is scheduled to hold a news conference about the pandemic alongside his health minister and director of public health.

Quebec has reported a total of 248,860 infections and 9,273 deaths linked to the virus.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario says there are 2,632 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 46 more deaths linked to the virus.

A technical issue from Tuesday has been resolved, adding 102 cases from Toronto Public Health to the provincial total.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 897 new cases in Toronto, 412 in Peel Region and 245 in York Region.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press