Two miners who were exposed to COVID-19 in their home jurisdictions before travelling are being monitored in Nunavut.
Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, announced the cases at the Hope Bay gold mine in a news release Saturday issued by the territorial government.
These are the first cases of the infection to be reported in Nunavut since the pandemic began, but since they didn’t originate in the territory they’ll instead be counted in other jurisdictions, said Cate Macleod, spokesperson for Premier Joe Savikataaq.
“Both miners are asymptomatic and were immediately isolated and swabbed for the virus,” Patterson said.
No residents from the territory itself work at the site, 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay, so it’s believed the risk of community spread remains low.
In Quebec, Premier François Legault said he has tested negative for COVID-19.
Legault and his wife were tested after meeting with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole last Monday. O’Toole tested positive for the virus Friday.
In a message posted Saturday to social media, Legault said he will remain in isolation until Sept. 28.
As cases of infection continue to surge in the province, the Quebec government is expected to announce later Sunday that it is reducing the size of private gatherings in Montreal, Quebec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region, south of Quebec City.
All three regions will move into the “moderate” orange level in its alert system. That’s up from yellow, or “early warning.”
The province is looking at reducing the maximum number of people allowed at a private gathering from 10 to six in these regions, Radio-Canada reports. In addition, the maximum number of people allowed per restaurant table would be lowered from 10 to six, and bars would have to stop serving alcohol earlier than midnight.
Quebec reported 462 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and one new death, for a provincial total of 67,542 cases and 5,802 deaths. On Saturday, 427 new cases were reported, the highest number for new cases in a single day since late May and a jump from 297 newly reported infections on Friday.
WATCH | Ontario Premier Doug Ford limits social gatherings provincewide:
Ontario saw its caseload jump by 365 on Sunday for a total of 46,849, after reporting 407 new cases on Saturday and 401 on Friday.
Premier Doug Ford announced a tightening of restrictions on private social gatherings on Saturday, effective immediately. People in every region of the province can only gather in groups of 10 people indoors, and 25 outdoors under orders continuing until Oct. 22.
Police in Hamilton, Ont., dispersed a crowd on Saturday night that they say was well over the new allowable limits for outdoor social gatherings.
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Officers from nearby Peel and York regions, along with Ontario Provincial Police, joined efforts to shut down what police called an “impromptu car show” in a parking lot.
People had brought about 500 cars to the parking lot at Cineplex Cinemas Ancaster for the event, said Staff Sgt. Richard Vanderboom of Hamilton Police Mountain Station. He declined to estimate how many people were there.
As of 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 143,603 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 124,378 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,256.
What’s happening around the rest of Canada
In downtown Calgary, a restaurant owner says he’s near the point of having to hire security because staff are facing harassment from customers who do not want to wear face coverings.
Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak, says the level of disrespect from patrons refusing to wear a mask has been escalating in recent days.
“We’re in a democracy, and I believe you have the right to have your opinion and you have the right to protest,” Deere said. “But when you’re taking it out on the front-line workers and retail and hospitality, and they’re feeling threatened up to the point that violence could occur, it’s time to ring the alarm.”
Calgary council voted earlier this month to keep masks mandatory in indoor public spaces, including restaurants, and on public transit, with the next update on masks coming in December.
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 30.8 million. More than 957,000 people have died, while 21 million have recovered.
In London, England, hundreds of people gathered on Saturday to protest the latest COVID-19 restrictions. There were scuffles between demonstrators and police who moved in to disperse the crowd in Trafalgar Square.
Many held placards calling for “freedom” from the restrictions, while some called the pandemic a hoax.
The U.K. reported more than 4,400 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, its highest single-day spike since May.
In Spain, people protested in Madrid on Sunday against the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the city’s regional head, who has placed new restrictions on neighbourhoods with the highest contagion rates.
Wearing face masks and trying to maintain distancing, protesters clapped in unison while shouting for regional President Isabel Diaz Ayuso to step down.
The restrictions affect around 860,000 people who won’t be able to leave their neighbourhoods except for essential activities, including work or a medical appointment. Parks in the area are closed and shops and restaurants have to limit occupancy to 50 per cent.
Spain is struggling to contain a second wave of the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 30,400 people, according to the Spanish health ministry. Madrid’s rate of transmission is more than double the national average, which already leads European contagion charts.