Four provinces break COVID-19 records as Canada reports 5,000 new cases
TORONTO -- Four provinces reported single-day highs for new COVID-19 infections on Saturday as public health officials and the prime minister urge Canadians to stay home to get spiralling numbers under control.
Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta all broke their single-day case counts while Nova Scotia reported its biggest one-day jump in months, with eight new cases. In total, 5,000 new cases were reported across Canada.
The federal government released new modelling earlier this week that suggests up to 20,000 new cases could be reported daily in December if Canadians do not take greater care in following public health measures.
Ontario broke another single-day caseload record Saturday with 1,588 cases and 21 new deaths. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the Greater Toronto Area logged the majority of new infections.
The majority of new cases were reported in Peel Region, with 522 cases, York Region, with 153 cases, and Toronto, with 450 new cases.
More than 46,700 tests were completed, Elliott said.
Toronto and Peel Region are headed into a lockdown as of Monday, which will shutter most non-essential businesses such as sit-down service restaurants, gyms and hair salons.
For the third consecutive day, Alberta broke its record of new COVID-19 cases as the province logged 1,336 infections – almost 200 more cases than on Friday.
The province announced nine more deaths in connection with the pandemic in Alberta, including a woman in her 20s.
Eight other people, including three from the Calgary zone, four from the Edmonton zone and another person from the South zone have also died.
New Brunswick is reporting its highest case count so far with 23 new COVID-19 infections. Of the new cases, 16 were reported in Saint John, six in Moncton while Fredericton reported one new case.
There are now 71 active cases in the province.
Currently, Moncton and Saint John regions are both under “orange level” where individuals can only gather within their household bubbles. Businesses are allowed to stay open.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs warned residents that the entire province could see tighter restrictions if people are not diligent.
Saskatchewan hit a record high of 439 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. Hospitalizations hit a record high of 93, with 21 patients in the intensive care unit.
The spike in cases brought the province past the 6,000 infections mark, with 6,237 cases to date.
The province partially blamed weather-related issues and logistical delays for the large spike in infections. The number reflects a record high in testing Friday including a backlog, according to health officials.
Saskatoon is reporting the highest concentrated number of positive cases in the province at 170, while both Regina and the northwest zone reported 56 new cases. The remaining cases come from more rural regions.