Canada sets new single-day record with 9,561 COVID-19 infections
TORONTO -- Canada reported 9,561 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, setting a new record for daily cases since the start of the pandemic.
The previous daily record was set less than a week ago on April 9, when the country logged a total of 9,244 new cases, according to data collected by CTVNews.ca.
The new record marks a grim milestone as hospitalizations increase across the country, and vaccine rollouts stall.
Ontario set its own record for daily infections on Thursday, reporting 4,736 new cases. The province currently has 1,932 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 659 in intensive care -- record highs as well.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate medical officer of health, said during a press briefing that the situation in the province is "dire."
"At some of the previous press conferences I have referred to the situation as worrisome, and even scary. What is truly scary is that when I used those words before, our rates and our trends were nowhere near where we find ourselves today," Yaffe said.
The situation is also growing more concerning in Quebec where health officials reported 1,513 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 15 additional deaths due to the pandemic.
New projections released by the province's public health institute suggest that hospitals in some regions outside the Montreal area could reach their designated capacity of COVID-19 patients within three weeks if current trends don’t change.
Alberta, which has Canada's highest seven-day rate of cases, recorded 1,646 new infections on Thursday, including 1,020 variants of concern.
B.C. reached a new record for hospitalizations at 409 and had 1,205 new cases while Manitoba confirmed its first case of the P.1 variant first found in Brazil.
The increasing numbers come a few weeks into what the federal government has billed as the ramp-up phase of Canada's mass vaccination effort.
However, the rollout is still being plagued by delays in Moderna shipments and lingering uncertainty about when and how many doses of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s shots will land.
The supply concerns have caused some vaccinations sites to pause bookings and even cancel appointments in certain regions.
Despite the delays, the federal government expects to have received more than 44 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by June, enough that every eligible person should be able to receive their first shot by Canada Day.
According to CTVNews.ca's vaccine tracker, Canada has administered a total of 9,200,859 doses as of Thursday evening, with nearly 22 per cent of the population having received at least one dose.
With files from CTVNews.ca's Rachel Aiello and The Canadian Press