The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

COVID-19: the latest

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

1:50 p.m.

New Brunswick chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell says there are two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing the provincial total to 68.

So far in the province, one person has been hospitalized and two people have recovered.

Russell says a positive case in the province involves an employee of Shoppers Drug Mart in Saint John.

She says people who visited the Shoppers Drug Mart on the Old Hampton Road in Quispamsis, N.B. on March 18, 19 and 23 and the Shoppers Drug Mart on Landsdowne Avenue in Saint John on March 20, should take precautions.

1:20 p.m.

The first reported death related to COVID-19 in Atlantic Canada has been linked to a cluster that originated at Caul’s Funeral Home in St. John's earlier this month and has since been traced to 111 known cases of the illness.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health, says the 78-year-old man had underlying health conditions.

Fitzgerald announced 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 148.

She also ordered a ban on all funerals, wakes and visitations and said weddings and burials are limited to five people including officiants.

1:10 p.m.

Quebec is reporting another spike in the number of cases in the province to 3,430 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

In addition to 590 positive cases compared to Sunday, the province says three more people have died as a result of the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 25.

Legault says the brightest stat of the day was that 78 people were in intensive care, an increase of just six cases.

The premier says today that to give retail employees a break, stores will be closing on Sundays in April, with only pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and takeout restaurants remaining open on those days.

12:55 p.m.

The federal government appears to be setting aside — for now — the use of powerful legislation to declare a national state of emergency.

Pablo Rodriguez, leader of the government in the House of Commons, says invoking the Emergencies Act is not currently on the table.

He says daily discussions with the provinces and territories provide confidence they have the tools they need.

The act can only be used in emergency situations where the federal government feels the need to override the provinces.

12:55 p.m.

The federal government is warning people not to stockpile their prescriptions to avoid local shortages of medications.

While the government had encouraged people to make sure they were supplied with their usual medications, it now says people shouldn't be hoarding more than they typically need.

The government has advised pharmacies not to dispense more than necessary, and is monitoring the supply of drugs.

12:45 p.m.

Prince Edward Island's chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says there are seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Island on Monday, bringing the provincial total up to 18.

Morrison says all seven of the new cases are related to international travel.

She stressed the need for people returning to PEI to self-isolate immediately, and not stop to shop at store on their way home.

12:40 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 127 confirmed cases in the province.

Health officials say while most of the province's cases have been connected to travel or a known case, public health now believes that one of its investigated cases is due to community spread of the virus.

Officials have been warning of eventual community transmission of COVID-19 for the past week.

The individuals affected range in age from under 10 to mid-70's with four patients currently in hospital

Ten people have now recovered in Nova Scotia and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved.

12:15 p.m.

Canada's chief public health officer says 220,000 people have been tested for COVID-19.

Dr. Theresa Tam says three per cent have been confirmed positive, and 93 per cent confirmed negative.

She says of the over 6,000 cases diagnosed so far, seven per cent have required hospitalization, three per cent are critical, and one per cent have been fatal.

11:35 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says so far, the federal government has received no request from the provinces or territories to call in the military to aid with COVID-19 response efforts.

But Trudeau says if that were to change, the Canadian Armed Forces are ready.

He says senior military officials will provide more details later today.

11:30 a.m.

The CFL has postponed the start of training camps due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

League commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the spread of the pandemic has made it unsafe for players and coaches to gather together as scheduled.

The league has not given an indication of when camps might open.

Postponing training camps increases the likelihood of the CFL delaying the start of its 2020 regular season.

11:25 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is revealing the details of a previously announced wage subsidy this morning.

Trudeau says the program will cover all businesses whose revenue has dropped by at least 30 per cent because of COVID-19.

There is no restriction on the number of employees a company must have in order to qualify.

Trudeau says the program will apply to non-profits and charities as well.

He says the government will cover 75 per cent of salary on the first $58,700 a person earns.

11:25 a.m.

Two cruise ships carrying nearly 250 Canadians are on the move after being stranded off the coast of Panama after the novel coronavirus made its way on board.

The MS Zaandam has passed through the Panama Canal after being anchored on the west side of the canal with four dead and nearly 200 passengers and crew exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

Holland America says several people on its ship have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ottawa's Catherine McLeod says she and her husband are among several hundred passengers who have been transferred to the Zaandam's sister ship, the MS Rotterdam.

11:15 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 351 new COVID-19 cases today, the largest single-day increase by far.

Health officials say the jump is at least partly due to clearing a large backlog of pending test results.

The new total of cases in the province is 1,706 — including 431 resolved cases and 23 deaths.

The latest data for resolved cases had been stuck at eight for many days, and health officials had said to expect a large jump once the data caught up to a new definition for resolved.

The huge increase in the number of resolved cases also means there are actually fewer active COVID-19 cases in Ontario than Sunday's data had indicated.

9:25 a.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its first death from COVID-19.

The Department of Health and Community Services says further details will be provided at a news conference this afternoon.

9:20 a.m.

The Canadian Ferry Association is flagging concerns that Canadians displaying symptoms of COVID-19 have not been banned from boarding ferries as they have been barred from planes and inter-city trains.

Association president Serge Buy says people with COVID-19 should be banned from ferries except in emergency situations such as going to the hospital.

Buy says the respiratory illness has already worsened already severe work shortages in the ferry sector.

9 a.m.

Statistics Canada is providing a detailed view of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this country.

The data posted online this morning shows information such as whether the source was travel or community exposure, the person’s hospitalization status and health outcome status.

The information is available by age and sex for cases between January 15 and March 27, but the agency says it will be updated with help from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The agency has spent the last 10 days setting up the infrastructure necessary for employees to remotely collect vital data on the economy and society.

Chief Statistician Anil Arora says that the national statistics office is also launching an online survey to see how Canadians are coping through the pandemic by asking questions around child care, elder care, stress and mental health.

8 a.m.

A loud and beloved Vancouver tradition is being altered for the first time in its 164-year history to show the city's appreciation for health care workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

The Vancouver Park Board says starting tonight and continuing for the month of April, the Nine O'Clock Gun -- a 12-pound cannon in Stanley Park fired every night at 9 p.m. -- will be fired two hours earlier, at 7 p.m.

That matches the time each evening when residents across the city stand on porches, balconies and street corners to honk horns, cheer, clap and bang pots in a show of support for health care workers.

The park board says the Nine O'Clock Gun has been silent just a handful of times since it was given to the city in 1856 and the firing schedule has never been altered, but the change reflects widespread public appeals.

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