Ontario reported a record single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as the nation’s chief public health officer said outbreaks across Canada are pushing the coronavirus resurgence in the country.
Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement on Saturday that cumulative cases are high and continue to rise.
“Outbreaks continue to contribute to COVID-19 spread in Canada,” Tam said. “These vary in size from just a few cases to larger clusters occurring in a range of settings, including long-term care and assisted living facilities, schools, congregate living settings, industrial work settings and large social gatherings.
“Larger clusters tell us that closed and crowded settings and/or not sufficiently maintaining public health practices, such as physical distancing and mask wearing, can amplify spread of the virus.”
Ontario reported 978 new cases on Saturday, a single-day high since the pandemic began. The province’s seven-day average of new daily cases has also broken a new record. As of Saturday, it sits at 803 — higher than any other day so far this year.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said the majority of Saturday’s new cases are concentrated in Toronto, which once again led the way with 348. Another 170 cases were reported in Peel Region, followed by 141 in York Region and 89 in Ottawa.
Tam on Saturday again urged Canadians to be vigilant with following public health guidelines, especially as the country heads into colder weather.
“Influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the fall and winter, placing increased demands on hospitals,” she said.
What’s happening elsewhere in Canada
As of 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 213,881 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 179,621 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting rose to 9,922.
In Alberta, a lawyer is calling for action after an outbreak at a Calgary jail leapt to 55 cases, a notable increase after the outbreak was initially reported Thursday.
In Saskatchewan, three more cases have been recorded at two Regina schools, including one that is experiencing an outbreak.
Manitoba announced 153 new cases and two more deaths on Saturday.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new confirmed case, a man from the Eastern Health region in his 50s who had returned home to the province after working in Alberta.
Nova Scotia reported three new cases, all related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.
New Brunswick announced two new cases in the province, both in the Campbellton region.
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 42.2 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 28.5 million have recovered.
In Europe, Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, his spokesperson says. Duda’s diagnosis comes amid a huge surge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths in Poland, pushing the country’s strained health system to the breaking point. The government is preparing to open field hospitals, but it is not sure where it will find the doctors and nurses to staff them.
In the Americas, the U.S. hit a daily record of coronavirus cases on Friday with more than 84,000 reported infections, thousands more than the previous peak in July. The numbers are an ominous sign the disease still has a firm grip on the nation that has more confirmed virus-related deaths and infections than any other in the world. Many states are reporting a surge of cases and say hospitals are running out of space in areas where the pandemic seemed remote only months ago.
In Asia, authorities in Sri Lanka closed at least two fishery harbours and many stalls after a surge of 609 cases linked to the country’s main fish market. Authorities say the outbreak is related to a cluster in a garment factory early this month, which has grown to 3,426 cases, almost half the country’s total of 6,287. Several thousand people have been asked to quarantine at home.
In Africa, the Ethiopian attorney general’s office said authorities can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate restrictions amid concerns that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted. The country has seen more than 91,000 cases and more than 1,300 deaths.
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