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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

COVID-19: the latest

The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

1:30 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador chief medical officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald confirmed 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon.

This brings the total number of cases to 82.

Fitzgerald says all of those cases are recovering at home.

The majority of cases have come from the province's Eastern health region. Minister John Haggie added that nine of the cases are health workers from the region.

1:10 p.m.

A 91-year-old man from Quebec's Laurentians region is the eighth person to succumb to COVID-19 in the province.

Regional health authorities confirmed the man, who lived in a seniors' home, died Wednesday.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the province now has 1,629 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 290 from the day before.

Provincial health authorities had confirmed two additional deaths Wednesday, and Montreal's public health department announced later in the day the city's first COVID-19 death.

12:50 p.m.

Prince Edward Island's top medical official said one person is considered to have recovered from COVID-19 and that there were no new cases of the virus on Thursday.

Five people have contracted the illness in the province.

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says she expects the number of cases and hospitalizations to grow.

12:45 p.m.

Canada's chief public health officer says random checks will be done to ensure Canadians returning to Canada from abroad are following the new mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Dr. Theresa Tam says contact information about travellers will be collected when they arrive at the border to allow for follow-up, which could include visits to their homes.

She says federal health officials will be working closely with local public health agencies to enforce the mandatory quarantine, which could lead to fines or prison time if breached.

Tam also said recent data on COVID-19 cases in Canada show one per cent of cases have been fatal, which means Canada's health system is not yet overwhelmed.

12:30 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for an overall total of 73 confirmed cases in the province.

The province says most of the cases are travel-related or connected to earlier cases, although one of the new cases can't currently be linked to travel or an earlier case.

At this point, public health says it can't confirm the case is linked to community spread of the virus.

The 73 individuals affected range in age from under 10 to mid-70's and two patients are currently in hospital.

12:20 p.m.

The Manitoba government is reporting another probable case of COVID-19, bringing the total of probable and confirmed cases to 36.

The latest case is a Winnipeg man in his 20s who is believed to be linked to a previously known patient.

The provincial lab has been able to ramp up testing, and ran 734 tests on Wednesday.

Health officials are expanding testing to include people with respiratory symptoms who work in health care, who live in remote communities, or who live in group settings such as nursing homes and shelters.

11:20 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 170 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the provincial total to 858.

That's the largest single-day spike in cases by far.

At least 12 people of the new cases are hospitalized, including two people in their 20s.

5:10 a.m.

The City of Pitt Meadows, B.C., is asking for tax deferrals and financial supports from the province.

Mayor Bill Dingwall, along with 19 other mayors in the region have requested, in writing on March 23, an expansion of the Provincial Property Tax Deferment Program to include residential, business and non-profit organizations.

Dingwall says the pandemic has caused a financial strain on everyone, particularly families and small business.

The province, under the Community Charter, has the authority to defer property taxes for municipalities, which are due on the first regular business day after Canada Day.

4 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will confer today with leaders of the world's biggest economies about the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He'll be taking part in a video conference with leaders of the G20.

They are expected to talk about co-ordination of international efforts to contain the deadly virus and cushion the devastating blow to the world's economy.

He's also expected to use his daily news conference outside his residence to highlight the billions worth of direct financial aid the federal government is providing to help Canadians and businesses weather the crisis.

Legislation enacting $52 billion worth of financial aid and another $55 billion worth of tax deferrals was approved yesterday by Parliament but the money won't actually start flowing for another few weeks.

4 a.m.

Advocates and front-line workers say the COVID-19 pandemic could explode within Toronto's homeless population.

They say government actions to curb the spread of the illness may have the opposite effect on those who live without housing.

A number of drop-in and respite sites have closed, while others must limit their numbers inside.

Many feel people cannot practise safe social distancing inside those sites, nor can they easily go the bathroom or wash their hands because many food banks, restaurants and coffee shops have shut.

4 a.m.

Canada's cattle industry has stabilized after seeing a sharp drop in prices when the coronavirus pandemic was declared.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association's executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft says the industry has been working with Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure meat-packing plants remain open.

He says the association wants to make sure that market isn't affected and is relieved that borders are still open to beef as an essential good.

But first and foremost, he says there must be recognition of efforts to keep an adequate supply of food available to Canadians.



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