The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Thursday, April 22, 2021

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

9:30 p.m.

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Yukon is reporting two new cases of COVID-19.

This brings the total number of infections in the territory to 80.

The territory says both adults are in Whitehorse and in the same household.

It says the source of infection is currently under investigation.

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6 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,857 new cases of COVID-19.

The province says there have been six additional deaths due to the virus.

There are 518 people in hospital and, of those, 116 are in intensive care.

Officials say there are 19,182 active cases in the province.

A total of 1,275,287 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta.

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5:10 p.m.

The Saskatchewan government says families of residents in long-term care and personal care homes will soon be able to visit their loved ones.

Seniors Minister Everett Hindley says the change will take effect on April 29.

He says the homes will be able to welcome an unlimited number of family and friends, two at a time, to visit fully vaccinated residents -- if at least 90 per cent of the residents are fully vaccinated and three weeks have passed since that second dose.

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4:15 p.m.

B.C. is reporting 1,006 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths, pushing the death toll to 1,550.

A record-high 502 people are hospitalized with the illness, including more than 160 in intensive care.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says pressure on B.C.’s health-care system is "immense" right now.

She's urging people to take care of health workers by staying local and sticking to safety measures.

Henry adds that coming restrictions on non-essential travel will keep people from visiting COVID-19 hot spots.

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3:40 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting 254 new cases of COVID-19.

The province says there has also been one additional death due to the virus.

There are 177 people in hospital because of the novel coronavirus and, of those, 48 are in intensive care.

About 53 per cent of residents 40 and older have received a first dose of vaccine.

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3:05 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reinstating "circuit breaker" restrictions for the Halifax Regional Municipality amid a rise of COVID-19 cases.

Health officials say starting tomorrow at 8 a.m., outdoor and indoor gatherings will be limited to five people.

Large gatherings such as festivals and wedding receptions are prohibited.

Officials say the restrictions will remain in place until at least May 20.

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2:20 p.m.

Ontario has issued two new emergency orders that will help bring more health-care workers into hospitals overburdened by COVID-19.

One order allows workers to provide patient care outside their regular scope of practice, consistent with duties assigned by a hospital.

The other allows out-of-province health-care workers to practise in an Ontario hospital without registering with regulatory colleges in the province.

The government says the orders will allow staff from Ontario health facilities to be redeployed to hospitals and will also pave the way for out-of-province health workers to practise there.

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1:55 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19 today.

Eleven of new cases are in the Edmundston region, part of which has been under lockdown for the last 12 days.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says the lockdown will be reassessed next Monday.

New Brunswick has 146 active reported cases and 15 patients in hospital with the disease, including five in intensive care.

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1:45 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 261 new cases of COVID-19.

Three earlier cases have been removed due to data correction, for a net increase of 258.

The province is also reporting one death -- a man in his 70s in the northern health region.

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1:20 p.m.

Quebec is expanding its vaccination program to people with chronic illnesses who don't require regular hospital care as well as to those with intellectual or physical disabilities.

Health Minister Christian Dube says it will be up to people with chronic illnesses -- a category that includes diabetes, obesity and respiratory problems -- to decide whether they qualify.

Dube says he's counting on the good faith of Quebecers and says he hopes people won’t take advantage of the system to get vaccinated early.

Caregivers of eligible people are also able to book a vaccine appointment.

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12:50 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

The first case involves a man in his 60s in the eastern health region and is related to travel inside Canada.

The other two are in the western health region — a woman between 20 and 39 years old and a male under 20 — and both are close contacts of previous cases.

The province currently has 26 active infections.

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12:35 p.m.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says Canada will be making adjustments at the border for incoming flights "very soon."

Njoo says the prime minister and the government are looking at COVID-19 data and a decision to do more at the border is imminent.

Opposition Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says the Liberal government needs to immediately stop admitting flights from COVID-19 "hot spot" countries like India and Brazil.

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12:25 p.m.

More than 10 million Canadians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The milestone was passed this morning.

There are, however, still fewer than one million people who have received both required doses of vaccine.

Second doses are being delayed up to four months so more people can get their first dose earlier.

Canada is vaccinating people more than twice as fast as it was a month ago, but the number of doses given each day slowed this week due to supply issues.

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12:15 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the case involves someone who travelled to P.E.I. from outside Atlantic Canada.

There are 12 active reported cases in the province.

P.E.I. has a total of 175 COVID-19 infections and no deaths linked to the virus.

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11:35 a.m.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet says he supports the federal Conservatives’ call to immediately block flights from "hot spot" countries like India and Brazil to cut down on the flow of COVID-19 variants into Canada.

Blanchet says barring those flights from touching down is the "responsible thing to do," and should happen "rapidly and severely."

He says exceptions could be made for essential services, particularly those involving Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines produced in India.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, who proposed the restriction this morning, did not lay out specifics on how to beef up border protections beyond disallowing planes from certain countries from landing.

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11:20 a.m.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says the federal government needs to immediately stop admitting flights from COVID-19 "hot spot" countries like India and Brazil.

He says the move would buy time to figure out a better plan for stopping variants of concern from getting into Canada.O'Toole doesn't have specifics for what he thinks should happen to beef up border protections beyond not allowing flights to land from certain countries.

Health Canada says about one per cent of arriving passengers are testing positive but can't say how many have tested positive after 10 days.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,248 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including two in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations have dropped by five, to 711, and 174 people are in intensive care, a drop of four.

The province says 84,837 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the past 24 hours.

Health Minister Christian Dube is holding a news conference later today to provide an update on the province’s vaccine rollout.

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10:55 a.m.

Nunavut is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the territory's active case count to 36.

There are 34 cases in Iqaluit and two in Kinngait, which have been linked to the outbreak in Iqaluit.

Both communities are under strict lockdowns, with all schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces closed.

To date, 14,742 adults in the territory of 40,000 have had one dose of the Moderna vaccine and 11,830 people have had the required two doses.

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10:45 a.m.

Quebec's premier says a number of premiers are writing to the prime minister, urging the federal government to tighten COVID-19 restrictions for people arriving on international flights and across Canada’s land border.

Francois Legault says there are real concerns about overseas flights, notably those coming from countries such as India and Brazil, which are struggling with more transmissible variants.

He says Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are among the provinces that are behind the letter.

Legault says the provincial leaders are also in agreement that everything must be done to reduce travel between provinces.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 3,682 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 1,131 new cases in Toronto, 507 in Peel Region and 436 in York Region.

She also says there are 279 new cases in Ottawa and 200 in Durham Region.

Nearly 135,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario since yesterday's daily report.

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10:20 a.m.

Premier Doug Ford is promising a paid sick-leave program for Ontario workers after months of saying a provincial policy wasn't needed.

He says people forced into quarantine should not have to worry about their jobs or income.

Ford says the province is now working on a solution because the federal government hasn't expanded its own policy.

The emotional premier also apologized for increasing police enforcement powers and closing playgrounds last Friday.

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10:15 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 38 new cases of COVID-19 today and now has a total of 111 active infections.

Thirty-three cases have been identified in the Halifax area, three in the eastern zone, and one each in the northern and western zones.

Nineteen of the Halifax cases are close contacts of previously reported cases, 10 are under investigation and four are related to foreign and domestic travel.

All of the remaining cases in other parts of the province are related to travel, with four linked to international travel and one to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2021.

Note to readers: This is a corrected report. A previous version referred to Njoo as deputy chief public health minister.

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