People in British Columbia and Alberta’s two largest cities are facing tighter restrictions around some social gatherings after an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday that while she has often spoken about the need to “balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions,” the province is now “losing the balance we have been seeking.”
The temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.
Alberta has reported a total of 25,733 cases since the pandemic began, with 4,477 of those listed as active cases. As of Sunday, health officials reported 118 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals, with 16 of those patients in ICU beds.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer in British Columbia, also placed restrictions on gatherings on Monday, with a focus on events in people’s homes. Henry said gatherings are now limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six” guests.
WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry said mask-wearing is expected in public in B.C.:
“This is a bit of a sobering weekend for us,” she said after provincial health officials reported 817 new cases since Friday.
B.C. has reported a total of 13,371 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 2,325 of the cases considered active. The most recent information from health officials said 77 people were in hospital with 26 in intensive care.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 11:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 222,004 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 184,997 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 9,977.
Manitoba’s provincial public health officer also urged people to avoid gathering in large groups, saying many of the 100 new cases reported in the province on Monday linked back to social gatherings — including Thanksgiving.
Dr. Brent Roussin said if the province’s trajectory continues, health officials expect to have a total of more than 5,000 cases by the end of the week. The province had 4,349 cases as of Monday, with 2,117 considered active. There were 80 people in hospital, with 15 in intensive care.
WATCH | Manitoba frustrated by rise in COVID-19 cases:
Roussin wasn’t the only Manitoba official with words of warning. Premier Brian Pallister expressed frustration on Monday at people with too many close contacts as cases increase.
“Grow up and stop going out there and giving people COVID,” the premier said.
Saskatchewan reported 54 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the province to 2,783, with 650 of those considered active cases.
In Ontario, a region west of Toronto is waiting for word on whether tougher measures will be imposed by the province as part of the effort to fight COVID-19. Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer, said while neither he nor Halton Region’s local medical officer are ready to make a decision on tighter measures for the area, they will be watching case counts and other metrics closely in the coming days.
Ontario reported 827 new cases on Tuesday, with four new deaths. As of 10:30 a.m. ET, health officials said there were 312 people hospitalized in the province, with 75 in ICU.
Ontario is reporting 827 cases of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>. Locally, there are 355 new cases in Toronto, 169 in Peel, 89 in York Region and 58 in Ottawa. There are 691 more resolved cases and over 23,900 tests completed.
Quebec Premier François Legault moved Monday to extend restrictions on people living in so-called red zones until Nov. 23, saying daily COVID-19 case numbers and deaths are still too high to allow an easing of limits in places like Montreal and Quebec City. The province reported 963 new cases on Tuesday and 19 new deaths, for a total of 6,172 deaths. Of the 19 deaths, four occurred in the last 24 hours.
According to provincial data, there were 527 people in hospital and 91 in ICU.
WATCH | How health authorities are trying to balance restrictions and COVID-19 caseloads:
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported three new cases on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 60. Health officials in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland reported one new case, while there were no new cases reported in Prince Edward Island.
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief public health officer, said Tuesday the province has so far been spared the “devastating impacts” of COVID-19, but she noted that one super-spreader event could “tax our capacity to conduct contact tracing and provide the necessary critical care for Islanders with COVID-19 and those with non-COVID related critical care needs.”
There were two new cases reported in Yukon on Monday, and a mine in Nunavut reported that two workers who had been reported as presumptive cases were confirmed as positive for COVID-19. The workers were flown to their home province of Quebec and instructed to self-isolate.
What’s happening around the world
A case count maintained by Johns Hopkins University put the number of COVID-19 cases around the world at over 43.6 million as of Tuesday morning with over 29.2 million cases considered recovered. The Baltimore, Md.-based institution’s count of deaths stood at more than 1.1 million.
In the Americas, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States is at a two-month high, straining health-care systems in some states.
The White House said on Tuesday it saw a potential deal on COVID-19 stimulus funding in “coming weeks,” casting doubt on whether a deal could be struck with Congress before the Nov. 3 election. A spokesperson for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she was hopeful an agreement could be reached ahead of the election, but noted that there were still major issues that needed to be addressed.
In the Asia-Pacific region, China reported the highest number of asymptomatic infections in nearly seven months. China detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Sunday in Kashgar in the northwestern region of Xinjiang after one person was found to have the virus the previous day — the first local new cases in 10 days in mainland China.
Hong Kong announced it would reopen public beaches and increase the number of people allowed to sit together in bars and restaurants starting Friday as the city continues to unwind strict COVID-19 rules put in place in July.
In India, authorities reported 36,470 newly confirmed coronavirus infections. That’s the lowest one-day tally in more than three months in a continuing downward trend. In its report Tuesday, the country’s health ministry also listed 488 new fatalities from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 119,502.
The case number reported Tuesday is the lowest since India had 35,065 newly confirmed infections on July 17. Last month, the country hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but daily infections have been decreasing since then.
In Europe, nightly curfews have been implemented in French cities and in Spain, and restaurants and bars in Italy must close at 6 p.m. Schools have been closed in Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic. German officials have ordered de-facto lockdowns in some areas near the Austrian border and new mask-wearing requirements are popping up weekly across the continent, including a nationwide requirement in Russia.
Italy braced Tuesday for more protests in cities nationwide against virus-fighting measures like regional curfews, evening shutdowns for restaurants and bars and the closures of gyms, pools and theatres — a sign of the growing discontent across Europe with renewed coronavirus restrictions.
South Africa remained the hardest hit country in Africa, with more than 716,000 recorded COVID-19 cases and more than 19,000 deaths according to the Africa CDC.
People in Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, faced new daily records of infections and deaths. Authorities have ordered residents in Tehran to wear masks in public, and many public sector workers in the capital have been told to stay home every second day.