The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada

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

7:50 p.m.

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British Columbia is reporting 656 new cases of COVID-19 today, with 8,796 active cases across the province.

There have been 16 additional deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 457 since the pandemic began.

In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say 336 people are being treated in hospital for COVID-19, and 76 of them are in intensive care.

Another 10,123 people are being monitored after they were exposed to a known case of the novel coronavirus.

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2 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19.

Public health officials say all the new cases were found in the central zone, bringing the province's total active case count to 142.

Rapid testing was administered at pop-up sites Monday in both Wolfville and Halifax and no cases were found at either site.

A total of 4,138 COVID-19 tests were administered in the province Monday.

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1:50 p.m.

Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 in the province Tuesday.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says there are four new cases in the Saint John zone and three new cases in the Fredericton zone.

There are currently 116 active cases in the province, and there have been 508 cases in New Brunswick since the pandemic began.

There have been seven deaths and no one is in hospital.

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1:35 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 282 new COVID-19 cases and a record 16 deaths.

The test positivity rate remains high at 13 per cent, and Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on business openings and public gatherings may have to remain in place for some time.

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1:10 p.m.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his government will decide in 10 days whether the province's COVID-19 situation will allow for multi-household gatherings at Christmas.

He says an increase in hospitalizations is straining the health-care network, and some hospitals are nearing the limit of how many COVID-19 patients they can treat.

The premier says the situation in hospitals and the toll on health-care workers will be the most important factors in determining the plan for Christmas, adding that things are not headed in the right direction.

Legault had announced last month that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed between Dec. 24 and 27.

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1 p.m.

Another measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 took effect in Yukon today, as masks are now mandatory in all indoor, public spaces.

Yukon's chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says everyone over the age of five who does not have a medical exemption will be required to wear a mask.

The order imposed under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act carries a fine of up to $500 but Hanley says Yukon residents will first be given a chance to adapt before any enforcement begins.

Premier Sandy Silver reports eight new cases of COVID-19 in the territory since the briefing last Tuesday, bringing the total number to 47 since the start of the pandemic.

Seventeen cases are still considered active, but none related to community transmission.

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12:55 p.m.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says when looking at people experiencing the most severe illness, older Canadians are more at risk than younger Canadians with pre-existing conditions.

She says that suggests after the initial round of vaccines goes to people in high-risk living or work situations, like long-term care centres and hospital staff, the next round of immunizations should be done by age, with the oldest Canadians at the front of the line.

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12:52 p.m.

Manitoba handed out 100 tickets to people not following public health orders last week.

The provincial government brought in restrictions three weeks ago to deal with surging COVID-19 case numbers that set strict limits on public gatherings and require non-essential businesses to close.

Two churches that held services recently are among the establishments that have been ticketed.

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12:50 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

The case affects a man in his 50s who returned to the province from work in British Columbia.

Health officials say the man is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway.

Newfoundland and Labrador has 33 active COVID-19 cases, with 339 cases confirmed since the onset of the pandemic.

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12:35 p.m.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on public gatherings and business openings could continue into the winter.

Pallister says with cold weather ahead, there's a risk of greater COVID-19 transmission as more people stay, and perhaps gather, indoors.

Manitoba's daily rise in cases has levelled off somewhat after spiking last month, but health officials say it is still straining the health-care system.

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12:25 p.m.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada was one of the first countries to sign a deal to get doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna.

She says it was also the fourth to sign a deal with Pfizer, and the first country without the ability to mass produce the vaccine domestically to sign with AstraZeneca.

Anand says there has been "significant misinformation" about the doses procured and when they will arrive.

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11:50 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is taking on billions of dollars in more debt to protect Canadians from having to do the same thing.

Trudeau says the average credit card interest rate is more than 19 per cent, and that it makes more sense for Ottawa to shoulder more of the burden through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn because it can borrow at rates now close to zero.

The prime minister also says his government has no intention to start cutting spending at this time, saying now is not the time for austerity.

The fall economic update released Monday proposed $25 billion in new spending to help Canadian businesses and workers make it through a COVID-19 winter promised tens of billions more to help the country recover once the pandemic passes.

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11:40 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is launching efforts to support two more northern communities that are struggling with COVID-19.

The Canadian Red Cross is sending specialists to the predominantly Inuit community of Arviat in Nunavut, which has seen dozens of cases.

The Canadian Rangers are also being deployed to Hatchet Lake First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, where Trudeau says they will provide health services and support elders.

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11:35 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says 80 per cent of the money spent to support and protect Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic has come from the federal government.

The prime minister says that includes tens of millions of rapid tests that are starting to be distributed across the country, as well as billions of doses of yet-to-be-delivered COVID-19 vaccines.

Trudeau says Canada is guaranteed to receive some of the first doses of the vaccine produced by U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna once it has been approved by Health Canada.

The Moderna vaccine candidate is one of four currently being reviewed by the department.

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11:30 a.m.

Prince Edward Island's chief health officer says she expects the COVID-19 vaccine to begin arriving in her province in January 2021.

Dr. Heather Morrison says discussions are continuing between the federal and provincial governments around vaccine allocation, distribution, procurement and logistics.

She says P.E.I. will be following the national recommendations for priority groups to be immunized, but all Islanders who want the vaccine will receive it over time.

Morrison says it will take many months for all Islanders to be immunized.

She said the arrival date and the actual number of doses will be made public once the details are known.

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11:05 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,177 new cases of COVID-19 today and 28 additional deaths associated with the novel coronavirus.

According to public health authorities, three of those deaths took place during the past 24 hours and the rest occurred earlier.

The Health Department says 719 people are currently in hospital, an increase of 26 from the previous day. Of those, 98 people are in intensive care, an increase of four from the previous day.

Quebec has reported 143,548 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 7,084 deaths associated with the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.

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