Canada now has more than 61,000 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, but as numbers continue to climb in some provinces, parts of Atlantic Canada have gone several days without any new cases.
Prince Edward Island — where 25 of the province’s 27 confirmed cases have recovered — extended its run with no new infections reported, while Newfoundland and Labrador has now gone four days without any new cases. New Brunswick on Tuesday reported its first case in more than two weeks.
Federal health officials and politicians have stressed that the reopening process will vary depending on where people live, noting that while there are shared guidelines, provincial leaders and health officials will make their own decisions based on the reality in their region.
As of 2 p.m. ET, Canada had 61,961 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Provinces and territories listed 26,671 of those as either recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting put the COVID-19-related death toll in Canada at 4,122, plus two known deaths of Canadians abroad.
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Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the daily increase of cases in Canada has slowed to about three per cent.
Tam says that trend, coupled with statistics showing the percentage of tests coming back positive is going down, even as the number of tests goes up, signifies that the epidemic in Canada is slowing down.
To date, labs across 🇨🇦 have tested >940,000 people for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>, w\ an average ~6% positive overall. In the past 7 days, an average of >25,000 people have been tested daily as <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/publichealth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#publichealth</a> continues to ↑ capacity to <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TestandTrace?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TestandTrace</a>.
Meanwhile, Tam says the pediatric network in Canada is monitoring children for signs of the inflammatory syndrome known as Kawasaki disease, which some countries have found in some children with COVID-19.
But Tam says there are no firm conclusions in Canada about the links between COVID-19 and inflammatory diseases.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday unveiled a $252-million support plan for the agri-food industry.
Speaking outside Rideau Cottage, the prime minister announced a range of initiatives, including support for food producers, funding for processors and a program to purchase surplus supply.
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The prime minister said $77 million of the funding will go to measures to keep workers in food processing safe with protective equipment and by supporting physical distancing in workplaces.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture had asked for $2.6 billion in assistance, saying it was needed to “to help maintain food security in Canada in response to COVID-19.”
Tuesday’s announcement was an “initial” pledge of support, Trudeau said, and the government will continue working with farmers, food producers and provinces.
“We know that there is more to do,” Trudeau said. “We will be there for our agricultural producers because they are so important to all Canadians.”
Public health measures put in place to try and slow the spread of the virus — including lockdowns, mandated business closures and travel restrictions — have caused massive economic disruption in Canada and abroad, including in the food and agriculture sectors.
The novel coronavirus, which causes an illness called COVID-19, first emerged in China in late 2019 before spreading around the world. There are no proven treatments or vaccines for the virus, which causes mild to moderate symptoms in most but can cause serious illness and death.
What’s happening in the provinces and territories
British Columbia’s top doctor, Bonnie Henry, says the time is coming when people in the province will be able to see more people. “Our challenge, and our work together, is to find that sweet spot — somewhere around increasing our contacts by twice as many as we have now, but without allowing those opportunities for rapid exponential growth in our communities.” Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
In Alberta, a third meat-processing plant is seeing a spike in cases, prompting the federal food inspectors’ union to call for the plant to be closed. Alberta Health has connected 34 coronavirus cases to Harmony Beef in Balzac, just north of Calgary, as of Tuesday.
More than a month ago, the first case in the plant prompted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to withdraw its inspectors from Harmony Beef over safety concerns. The union representing those inspectors is calling for Harmony Beef — and all other meat-processing facilities with infected employees — to be closed immediately. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
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Saskatchewan’s Health Authority is set to release its plan for the phased resumption of health-care services at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Some services, such as elective surgeries, have been put on hold for weeks. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan, which lifted some COVID-19 restrictions on Monday.
Travel to other cabins within SK for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sask?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Sask</a> residents is permissible but it’s recommended you limit any contact w/in the local community & stay at your property. COVID-19 remains in our province so follow all public health orders including maintaining physical distancing.
Manitoba on Tuesday reported a seventh death from COVID-19. The deceased was a man in his 70s from the Southern Health Region, said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
One new case of COVID-19 was also reported by health officials on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases seen in the province to 282.
Meanwhile, Premier Brian Pallister said a $200 tax credit will be sent to anyone over 65 who filed a 2018 tax return. The one-time benefit is not limited to low-income earners, and will not be treated as taxable income. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
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Ontario reported 387 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 18,310. On Monday, Premier Doug Ford said the province may be “getting close” to opening public parks and more curbside pickup in retail — but David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, had a cautious message, saying: “We’re in the range of the possible, but we’re not in the range of the probable at this stage.” Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Quebec Premier François Legault is lifting some of the restrictions on private seniors’ homes that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Since March 23, regular visits have been banned in the province’s 1,800 seniors’ homes, known as RPAs, and the 130,000 residents who live there have been unable to leave, unless they are accompanied. Quebec will now ease these rules in certain parts of the province, allowing residents to go for unaccompanied walks.
“Autonomous people have been isolated for two months now,” Legault said. “It’s bad for mental health.” Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
New Brunswick on Tuesday announced its first case in more than two weeks. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the individual is in the Fredericton region and is between the ages of 30 and 39. She said the case is under investigation. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
N.B. Premier <a href=”https://twitter.com/BlaineHiggs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BlaineHiggs</a> says he’s looking to keep provincial border measures in place for at least a few more months. “Our biggest risk will be in relation to borders… we have concerns about the different levels of the covid and the virus in different provinces or states.” <a href=”https://t.co/BUDOYtO3iS”>pic.twitter.com/BUDOYtO3iS</a>
In Nova Scotia, three more resident have died, all at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, which has been dealing with the province’s most significant outbreak of the disease. Of the province’s 41 total deaths, 35 have been residents of Northwood. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.
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Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King is receiving some backlash from students and opposition parties for comments he made suggesting some federal emergency benefit programs could act as a disincentive to going back to work. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 for the fourth straight day on Tuesday. The total number of cases remains at 259, with 241 people having recovered from the virus. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
Nunavut is once again the only jurisdiction in Canada to have zero confirmed coronavirus cases after the territory’s top doctor said the first reported case was actually a false positive. Read more about what’s happening across the North.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 3 p.m. ET
The number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surged past 70,000 on Tuesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 — more than the combined total of the next largest outbreaks in Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
On Monday, a University of Washington research model often cited by White House officials nearly doubled its projected U.S. death toll to more than 134,000 by Aug. 4.
The revision reflects “rising mobility in most U.S. states,” with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said.
The revised projection coincided with the disclosure of an internal Trump administration forecast predicting a surge in fatalities to 3,000 a day by the end of May.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump headed for Arizona to visit a Honeywell factory that makes respirator masks, in what could be a return to more regular travel for the president.
“The people of our country should think of themselves as warriors. Our country has to open,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One.
Meanwhile, some states took continued steps to lift the restrictions that have thrown millions out of work, while others extended their measures.
In Delaware, Democratic Gov. John Carney said Tuesday he will allow small businesses to resume limited operations starting Friday.
The announcement is aimed at gradually lifting restrictions that Carney imposed on individuals and businesses more than seven weeks ago in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Retailers such as department stores, tobacco shops, book stores and thrift stores will be allowed to do business using curbside pickup as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Jewelry stores will be allowed to conduct business by appointment only.
But in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont ordered in-person classes at all K-12 public schools in the state to remain cancelled for the rest of the current school year, requiring districts to continue distance learning.
The Democrat says schools must continue providing to-go meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs. Lamont says he’s working with state and local education officials to determine whether summer school programs should be held.
Lamont says he was hoping high school seniors could complete the final few weeks, but it wasn’t possible given the virus and the need to “protect everyone’s safety.”
The state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association, praised Lamont’s decision.
In hard-hit New York state, officials reported more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities.
At least 4,813 people have died in the state’s nursing homes since March 1, according to a tally released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office late Monday. It includes, for the first time, people believed to have died from the coronavirus before it could be confirmed by a lab test.
Exactly how many nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 remains uncertain despite the state’s latest disclosure. The list doesn’t include nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals before dying.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 10:45 a.m. ET
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising,” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
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Britain’s death toll from the pandemic appears to have surpassed Italy, making it Europe’s hardest-hit nation. The government said 28,734 people with COVID-19 had died in U.K. hospitals, nursing homes and other settings. But official U.K. statistics released Tuesday that take into account people who died with suspected, rather than confirmed, COVID-19, put Britain’s toll at more than 30,000 dead. Those figures also suggested the true toll could be a third higher than the government virus figure. Italy has reported 29,079 fatalities.
Tallies from both nations are likely to be underestimates because they only include people who tested positive and testing was not widespread in Italian and British nursing homes until recently.
The British government’s chief scientific adviser has acknowledged that the country should have been testing more people for the novel coronavirus early in the country’s outbreak. Patrick Vallance told Parliament’s health committee that “if we’d managed to ramp up testing capacity quicker it would have been beneficial, and for all sorts of reasons that didn’t happen.”
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed plans to gradually reopen schools next week amid concerns from mayors, teachers and parents about the timing. Macron, wearing a mask, visited a primary school in a suburb west of Paris on Tuesday that has remained open for children of health workers.
More than 300 mayors in the capital region, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, urged Macron in an open letter to delay the reopening of primary schools, which is scheduled for next week.
They denounced an “untenable and unrealistic timetable” to meet the sanitary and safety conditions required by the state, including class sizes capped at a maximum of 15. The majority of French children attend public schools.
Dutch riot police have arrested some demonstrators who gathered in The Hague to call for an end to the partial coronavirus lockdown. Authorities in the city allowed the unannounced demonstration by a few hundred people near the city’s central railway station on condition that the protesters maintained physical distancing.
However, the mayor withdrew permission when demonstrators refused to follow police instructions and officers, supported by police on horseback, began detaining people. Police didn’t immediately say how many people were arrested.
In Russia, the number of infections rose sharply again, with Moscow reporting more than 10,000 new cases for three days in a row.
At the same time, many European countries that have relaxed strict lockdowns after new infections tapered off were watching their virus numbers warily.
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“We know with great certainty that there will be a second wave — the majority of scientists [are] sure of that. And many also assume that there will be a third wave,” Lothar Wieler, the head of Germany’s national disease control centre, said Tuesday.
The death toll in Iran rose by 74 in the past 24 hours to 6,277.
Widely seen as a success story, South Korea reported only three new cases of the virus, its lowest total since Feb. 18. Schools will be reopened in phased steps, starting with high school seniors on May 13, but the highlight Tuesday was the baseball season.
Cheerleaders danced beneath rows of empty seats and umpires wore protective masks as one of the world’s first major professional sports returned to action in games broadcast to starved sports fans around the world.
The Korea Baseball Organization employed other protective measures, including fever screenings for players and coaches before they entered the stadiums.
Other places in the Asia-Pacific region have also suppressed their outbreaks, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, which has had zero new cases for two days. But experts say India, a nation of 1.3 billion people, has yet to see the peak of its outbreak.
India has discovered two viral clusters since it partly lifted the nationwide lockdown on Monday, contributing to the largest single-day spike in cases and deaths in 24 hours. There’s been a total of 3,900 infection cases and 195 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking India’s total to more than 46,000 cases and more than 1,500 dead.
Uganda began to loosen one of Africa’s strictest anti-coronavirus lockdowns on Tuesday after President Yoweri Museveni declared the infection “tamed.” The country of 42 million reported 97 confirmed cases and no deaths in 45 days of restrictions, and Museveni said it was now better equipped to trace and detect new infections faster.
“We have somehow tamed the virus,” Museveni said in a televised address late on Monday. “It is high time we … start slowly and carefully to open up, but without undoing our achievements.”
Schools and international borders were to remain shut, Museveni said.
There have been 4,075 new cases in Brazil and 263 deaths over the last 24 hours and Indigenous leaders in the country have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to set up an emergency fund to help protect their communities.
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