More pandemic restrictions lift as Ontario expected to announce fate of school year

The latest:

Restaurant owners in B.C. are allowed to open their dining rooms starting Tuesday as the province lifts more coronavirus restrictions, but customers and workers are in for a different experience, with restaurants cutting back capacity and following stepped-up public health guidelines.

The protocols include moving to disposable or big board menus, limiting the number of people at a table and keeping space between customers at different tables.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she understands there will be anxiety as B.C. moves to its next phase of reopening, in which a range of businesses open their doors for potentially the first time in several months. 

“I would say, ‘Take it slow,”‘ she said Monday. People are still learning about safer ways of having social interactions and “doing things we’ve never had to do before.” 

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B.C. isn’t the only province moving ahead with further reopening. In Saskatchewan, stores, hairstylists and massage therapists are allowed to open their doors, also with restrictions on how many people can be in a space and guidelines around hygiene. Hairstylists operating in Saskatchewan, for example, will need to wear a face mask, a face shield and an apron.

Hard-hit Ontario is also lifting some restrictions on Tuesday as it allows retail stores with street-facing entrances to reopen. Provincial officials are expected to make an announcement about the rest of the school year in the afternoon.

The province announced Tuesday that it will launch an independent commission into the province’s long-term care system in the fall. Long-term care facilities have been the site of several devastating, deadly outbreaks in Ontario and several other provinces, including Quebec, B.C., Alberta and Nova Scotia.

As of 8:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 78,072 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, with 39,251 cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of coronavirus deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 5,943. 

The novel coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk associated with the coronavirus varies between communities, “but given the increasing number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.”

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia enters Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Tuesday, which allows a range of businesses including restaurants, retail, medically related services, hair salons and offices to reopen. Organizations like museums, art galleries and libraries are also listed in the province’s Phase 2 plan, as are parks, beaches and child care. Though the businesses are allowed to open, the plan provided by the province still calls on people to stay close to home. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.

Alberta reported 39 new coronavirus cases and one additional death on Monday, bringing the province’s total caseload to 6,683 cases and 128 deaths. The province lists 5,519 cases as recovered or resolved. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.

Saskatchewan had no new coronavirus cases on Monday, something Premier Scott Moe said hadn’t happened in the province since March 15. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan as more businesses are allowed to reopen.

Manitoba reported one new case of COVID-19 on Monday, ending a six-day stretch of no new cases. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

Some Ontario businesses will be allowed to open their doors Tuesday after being closed for two months in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The province is giving the green light to retailers, some sports centres, vehicle dealerships and other businesses to resume. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.

In Quebec, Premier François Legault said Monday that the situation in the Greater Montreal area has stabilized enough to allow retail stores to open on May 25 as planned. Daycares will open on June 1, with a limited number of spaces in order to meet distancing requirements, he said. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

New Brunswick has no active COVID-19 cases and as of Monday, had gone 12 days straight with no new cases. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.

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Nova Scotia announced three new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, adding that there were no further fatalities to report. The province has seen a total of 1,043 reported cases, with 946 of those considered recovered or resolved and 55 deaths. Read more about what’s happening in Nova Scotia.

On Prince Edward Island, which has no active COVID-19 cases, people who have had the virus are being asked to donate plasma for a clinical trial. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.

Newfoundland and Labrador marked 11 days with no new reported coronavirus cases on Monday. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

A Nunavut resident who is currently out of the territory getting medical treatment has tested positive for COVID-19“We are confident this poses minimal risk of bringing the virus to Nunavut, as any travellers who might have come into contact with the patient have to isolate for 14 days prior to their return to Nunavut,” Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer, said in a news release. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

WATCH | Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure:

U.S. President Donald Trump has revealed he is preventatively taking hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that is not proven to be effective in fighting COVID-19. 1:58

WATCH | Infectious disease specialist tackles key topics related to COVID-19:

Dr. Isaac Bogoch says a small, new vaccine trial by a U.S. company has passed some preliminary hurdles, but notes ‘it’s very, very early’ on the path to finding a safe vaccine. 7:17

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