- Canada reported at least 515 new cases, 6 new deaths on Saturday.
- 2nd outbreak declared at Markham, Ont., group home that has seen 6 deaths.
- 2nd case this week of COVID-19 at a Manitoba school identified.
- India, Czech Republic, France and Hungary report record increases.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says it’s concerned about the steady rise in the number of daily coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
An average of 630-plus cases were reported daily across Canada over the past week, PHAC said in a statement on Saturday. That’s more than 20 per cent higher than the previous week, and it’s more than 65 per cent higher compared with four weeks ago when an average of just over 380 cases were reported daily.
The four most-affected provinces, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, are each reporting between 100 to more than 200 new cases per day, the agency said.
“Increasing daily case counts signify heightened disease activity that pose a risk for accelerated or ‘exponential’ epidemic growth to occur,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in the statement. “This rate of growth, which we experienced during the first wave of COVID-19 in Canada, is difficult to control and would take us off the slow-burn path.”
1/2 To date, labs across 🇨🇦 have tested 6,046,330 people for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>, w an average ~2.1% positive overall, for a rate of 160,853 people tested per million population in Canada. <a href=”https://t.co/jrZH3tHRUo”>https://t.co/jrZH3tHRUo</a>
Tam urged the public to keep up with public health practices, limiting in-person close contacts to “our small, consistent bubble and taking appropriate precautions and/or limiting time spent in settings and situations that have not implemented measures … to reduce the risk of exposure.”
As of 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 136,141 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 120,075 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 9,211. There were at least 515 new cases and six new deaths on Saturday.
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In Manitoba,the province announced 17 new cases on Saturday. The update brings Manitoba’s active caseload to 238. The province said eight of the new cases are close contacts of a known case of COVID-19.
In Brandon, a case of COVID-19 was confirmed at a school — the second case in a Manitoba school identified during the first week of classes. The new case is connected to a Grade 5-6 classroom in École New Era School, Brandon School Division superintendent Marc Casavant said in a news release on Saturday.
The person who later tested positive for the illness was at the K-8 school on Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the province said in a news release.
Six months into a global pandemic, where does Canada really stand? We show you why today’s numbers tell a different story than they did in the spring.
Starting today, Quebec police will begin handing out fines to anyone who isn’t wearing a mask when required under public health regulations, Premier François Legault said.
Legault said Friday people need to show discipline and avoid large private gatherings to ward off a second wave of COVID-19.
People will be fined if they do not wear a mask in indoor public spaces where distancing is not possible. Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said the penalties will range from $400 to $6,000.
Also Saturday, demonstrators marched through downtown Montreal in another sizable protest primarily against Quebec’s mandatory mask rules and public health restrictions — even as the province reported more new COVID-19 cases than on any day in the last three months.
The health agency confirmed that a caregiver from Participation House, a facility for adults with developmental and physical disabilities, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
As of Saturday morning, the agency’s website lists the outbreak as active. The first outbreak was declared over in June.
The province’s investigation so far has found that 15 of the 21 new cases reported Saturday are in communal living settings, a term the province typically uses in reference to Hutterite colonies.
The province said 33 of the 83 active cases are in communal living settings.
Manitoba continues to experience an uptick in COVID-19 with one third of its active cases in Hutterite colonies. One woman shares her story from inside the community.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case on Saturday, with a presumed positive case related to a worker travelling to a mine site in Labrador City.
In a media release, the provincial Department of Health said the new case is travel-related and the person is a resident of the province. The department said they were returning to the province from Alberta.
The province had gone six days without a new case of the virus.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
According to the tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases is now more than 28.5 million. More than 917,000 people have died.
In Africa, the World Health Organization says confirmed cases on the continent is at more than 1.3 million. South Africa accounts for the majority of the infections, with more than 644,000.
Over 1.3 million confirmed <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> cases on the African continent – with more than 1 million recoveries & 32,000 deaths cumulatively.<br><br>View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: <a href=”https://t.co/V0fkK8dYTg”>https://t.co/V0fkK8dYTg</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MNoJGc9dlj”>pic.twitter.com/MNoJGc9dlj</a>
In Europe, a number of countries reported record daily increases on Saturday.
France recorded 10,561, the first time new cases topped 10,000; Hungary registered 916 cases, more than 25 per cent higher than the previous record of 716 reached Friday; and the Czech Republic marked 1,447 cases, the third time the country has topped a previously set high mark this week.
India’s confirmed coronavirus tally has crossed 4.6 million after a record surge of 97,570 new cases in 24 hours. India on Saturday also reported another 1,201 deaths, taking total fatalities to 77,472. Infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world and it is the second worst-hit country behind the United States. Experts say India’s limited and restrictive testing has masked the actual toll even as daily tests have been ramped up to more than 1 million.
Infections in North Dakota and South Dakota are the fastest growing in the U.S., with 470.2 and 408.1 new cases per 100,000 people, respectively, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Infections were likely spurred by schools and universities reopening and mass gatherings like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which drew hundreds of thousands of people from across the country.
Reopening of colleges are fueling spikes in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in the United States.
With files from CBC News, Reuters and The Associated Press