COVID-19 case numbers are continuing their slow but steady rise across most of Atlantic Canada.
Health officials in New Brunswick reported 14 new cases on Sunday, with the bulk of the new cases in the Saint John Region. In Nova Scotia, all 10 of the province’s new cases are in the central zone, which includes Halifax.
While the overall numbers are far lower than what health officials are seeing in Central and Western Canada, the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in several Atlantic provinces sparked enough concern that both Newfoundland and Labrador and P.E.I. decided to temporarily withdraw from the bubble that allowed free movement between the provinces.
Newfoundland Premier Andrew Furey told CBC’s Rosemary Barton that his province’s decision to temporarily leave the Atlantic travel bubble was a “tough decision — but it was one that we based on evidence.”
What’s happening across Canada
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 370,278, with 63,835 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 12,032.
In Quebec, a Montreal long-term care home transferred 20 residents to local hospitals on Sunday after COVID-19 took hold in the last week, concerning officials and terrifying families.
Francine Dupuis, associate president and director general of the local health agency, said 18 residents of Maimonides Geriatric Centre who tested positive for COVID-19 were sent to Hotel Dieu Hospital.
Two other residents were sent to Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, while 10 residents were sent back to their rooms at the facility after being checked by a physician.
“What we want is the safety of our residents, which is why we made this decision,” Dupuis said in an interview.
Quebec long-term care homes were hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic last spring. Many facilities were under-staffed and in some cases, personnel moved between centres — allowing the virus to spread more easily.
Public health measures are ramping up in five regions across Ontario on Monday. Windsor-Essex is entering the red alert level of the province’s tiered pandemic response plan. Haldimand-Norfolk enters the orange level, while Hastings Prince Edward, Lambton and Northwestern enter the yellow zone.
The province said the regions will stay in their new categories for at least 28 days, or two COVID-19 incubation periods, before a change is considered.
Ontario reported 1,708 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 24 additional deaths, bringing the provincial death toll to 3,648. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 stood at 586, with 156 in intensive care.
Manitoba reported 365 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 11 new deaths — almost all of which were linked to outbreaks in care homes. Health officials said nine of the 11 deaths were people in their 80s and 90s, one was a man in his 60s and one was a man in his 70s.
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In Saskatchewan, the number of cases of COVID-19 at a Saskatoon correctional centre increased to 128, with 106 cases reported among inmates and 22 in staff. Health officials reported 351 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 3,605.
Alberta reported 1,608 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the second highest daily total in the province since the pandemic began. The province, which has reported a total 533 deaths, said Sunday that there were 435 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Ninety-five of those people were being treated in intensive care units.
In British Columbia, which doesn’t provide COVID-19 data on weekends, a church in Langley was hit with a $2,300 fine for holding an in-person religious service, which is currently prohibited.
Across the North, Nunavut reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. There were no new cases reported in Yukon or the Northwest Territories.
Have questions about COVID-19 in Canada? Join Adrienne Arsenault and Andrew Chang of The National for a virtual town hall.
What’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 8:40 a.m. ET
As of early Monday morning, more than 62.7 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 40.1 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.4 million.
Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus rampage worsens.
Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the pandemic, which has been on the upswing in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. hospitals have been stretched to the limit as the nation has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 daily deaths.
Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. Across the Atlantic, British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Vietnam confirmed on Monday its first locally transmitted case of the coronavirus in nearly three months, after the infection of a man related to a flight attendant who had tested positive after returning from Japan two weeks ago.
The country’s health minister ordered provinces and state agencies to tighten screening and controls and contact tracing efforts were launched after the 32-year-old man was confirmed as the first reported domestic infection in 89 days.
With its strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam has managed to quickly contain its coronavirus outbreaks, allowing it to resume its economic activities earlier than much of Asia.
Vietnam crushed its first wave of coronavirus infections in April and went nearly 100 days without local transmission until the virus re-emerged and was quickly contained in the central city of Danang in July.
Cambodia’s Education Ministry has ordered all state schools to close until the start of the next school year in January after a rare local outbreak of the coronavirus.
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron issued a statement late Sunday saying that all schools will be shut to prevent students from being infected. Public schools will remain closed until Jan. 11, the start of the next school year, while private schools must close for two weeks, he said. Students in private schools will be permitted to study online.
Cambodia has reported only 323 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, most of them acquired abroad, with no confirmed deaths.
Indonesia reported a record daily rise in coronavirus infections on Sunday with 6,267 cases, bringing the total to 534,266, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
In the Americas, U.S. health authorities will hold an emergency meeting this week to recommend that a coronavirus vaccine awaiting approval be given first to health-care professionals and people in long-term care facilities.
Counties across California, meanwhile, are imposing stricter COVID-19 restrictions on Monday as cases surge statewide and Thanksgiving travellers return home.
Health officials are preparing for a wave of cases in the next two or three weeks that could be tied to holiday gatherings.
Los Angeles County, for example, will impose a lockdown calling for its 10 million residents to stay home beginning Monday.
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The state reported 7,415 coronavirus hospitalizations on Sunday, citing the most recently available data from the previous day. More than 1,700 of those patients were in intensive care units. California’s previous record was 7,170 in July.
As of Sunday, California has had nearly 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 19,000 deaths since the pandemic began. The state reported around 15,600 new cases on Saturday.
Mexico reported 6,388 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 196 additional deaths on Sunday, health ministry data showed.
In Africa, mass vaccination against COVID-19 is unlikely to start in Africa until midway through next year and keeping vaccines cold could be a big challenge, the continent’s disease control group said.
Kenya’s central bank has cut its forecast for 2020 economic growth by more than half, joining the Treasury in realizing that the coronavirus had inflicted more damage to the economy than previously thought.
In Europe, Belgium will let shops reopen from Tuesday, but keep other curbs over the festive period, while Italy will ease anti-COVID-19 restrictions in five regions from Sunday. Ireland will allow shops, restaurants, gyms and pubs serving food to reopen next week, and permit travel between counties from Dec. 18.
Italy reported 541 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, against 686 the day before, and 20,648 new infections, down from 26,323 on Saturday, the health ministry said.
While Italy’s daily death tolls have been among the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy is slowing, suggesting the latest wave of infections was receding.
The hardest-hit country in the Middle East, Iran, had more than 948,000 reported cases of COVID-19 and more than 47,000 recorded deaths.