The latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada

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

6:49 p.m.

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The Tim Hortons restaurant in Merritt, B.C., is the site of the latest community COVID-19 outbreak.

The information comes in a statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that says another 155 people have tested positive for the virus.

There has also been another death, bringing the death toll to 251 people.

There are just over 1,513 active cases in the province, 3,713 people are under public health monitoring because they were exposed to a known case and 9,387 people who tested positive have recovered.

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4:19 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases to 12.

All three cases involve men who returned to the province after working at the Canadian Natural Resources Horizon Oil Sands site in Alberta.

One man is in his 60s and the other two are in their 40s.

All have been in isolation since returning to the province.

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1:02 p.m.

The chief public health officer for the Northwest Territories says three people have received presumptive positive test results for COVID-19.

A release says one of the presumed cases is in Inuvik and the other two are in Yellowknife.

The person in Inuvik travelled there by road from Alberta, arrived last Saturday and immediately isolated.

The release says the risk of transmission is very low and there are no concerns about exposure along the travel route.

The Yellowknife tests are from the same household and one of the people had recently travelled. The tests must be confirmed at a lab in Edmonton.

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12:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says long-term care homes have not done a good enough job of protecting seniors in the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal government has a responsibility to step in.

He says health is an area of provincial responsibility but the pandemic has revealed numerous cracks in the system that need to be fixed, with different levels of care in different parts of the country.

If all the politicians don't get together to address the problems, Trudeau says that would be a mass failure.

He says public officials need to be able to look seniors and their families in the eye and say they've been properly cared for.

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12:10 p.m.

Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada has about 20,500 active COVID-19 cases now and the numbers are continuing to rise.

Over the last week, the country's top public health officer says an average of 20 people a day have died from the illness. She's urging everyone to work harder to limit their contacts with other people.

And Tam says as many people as possible should be vaccinated against influenza, which is a bad enough sickness in itself, can complicate COVID-19 cases and can add strain to the health system.

She says everyone should layer on as many levels of protection from COVID-19 as they can.

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12:05 p.m.

A First Nation in Quebec that is just north of the New Brunswick border is reporting its first case of COVID-19.

The Listuguj First Nation issued a statement saying it was shutting down its government operations, except for critical services.

The Indigenous band says it received word from Quebec health officials late Thursday that a community member had tested positive for the virus and was placed in isolation.

The community is linked by a bridge to Campbellton, N.B., which has experienced a recent outbreak, including five new cases reported today.

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12 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a special message for children whose lives have been restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says it's his son Xavier's 13th birthday this weekend and that has him thinking about all the things Canadian children have missed out on since March.

No birthday parties, limited time with friends, not seeing family, and missing activities and school.

Trudeau says it's important that everybody keep doing what they have to to protect vulnerable people, like older grandparents.

But he adds it's also important that kids who have been suffering lean on their parents and other loved ones for help when they feel sad or frustrated.

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12 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Health officials say the new case is in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, and is related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

The province now has four active cases of the novel coronavirus.

In total, Nova Scotia has had 1,093 positive cases of COVID-19, while 1,024 cases have been resolved and there have been 65 deaths.

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11:50 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal contact tracers are ready to help chase down people who might have been exposed to COVID-19.

He says they can make up to 14,000 calls a day, at the request of the provinces and territories.

Quickly following up with people who have been close to someone who tests positive for the illness is seen as essential to containing its spread.

Some jurisdictions, including Toronto, have limited the number of people they will try to reach as new cases have cropped up faster than contact tracers can work.

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11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 1,055 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death attributed to the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say an additional 13 deaths from earlier dates have now been linked to the virus, while one death previously thought to have been caused by COVID-19 has been removed from the total.

The province has now had 91,018 COVID-19 cases and 6,018 deaths.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 14 from the previous day, reaching 507, with 87 patients in intensive care.

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10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 712 new COVID-19 cases today, as well as nine new deaths linked to the virus.

The majority of the cases are in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

As of today, residents of long-term care homes in those three regions - where cases have been surging - are not allowed to go out for social or personal reasons.

Short-term and temporary absences for medical or compassionate reasons are still allowed.

Ontario now has a total of 62,908 cases of COVID-19, including 54,004 that are considered resolved and 3,031 deaths.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2020.

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