Paramedics bring a person into a hospital in Montreal, Sunday, April 11, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Paramedics bring a person into a hospital in Montreal, Sunday, April 11, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Canada nearing peak of next wave of COVID-19, Tam says as Ontario sets case record

The percentage of patients in intensive care who were aged 18 to 39 also doubled from January to March

Canada is nearing the peak of the current wave of COVID-19, the country’s chief public health officer said Sunday as Ontario reported a new single-day record for new infections and provinces brought in new restrictions to contain the virus’ spread.

Dr. Theresa Tam described the current rash of nationwide infections as the pandemic’s second wave, though public health officials in several provinces are describing their recent daily case surges as a third wave.

“With the current acceleration of COVID-19 activity, approaching the peak of the second wave, and a concerning rise in the proportion of cases that involve more contagious variants of concern, strong public health measures and individual precautions must be sustained where COVID-19 is circulating,” Tam said in a statement.

Tam said intensive care admissions across the country increased by 23 per cent over the last seven days compared to the week before, noting the spike is straining the country’s health-care system.

She said COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are increasingly affecting younger people, adding figures show a jump in the number of hospitalizations among those 40 to 59 years old.

“These data also show that an increased number of adults in this age group were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) and received mechanical ventilation in March 2021,” her statement said.

The percentage of patients in intensive care who were aged 18 to 39 also doubled from January to March, from 7.4 per cent to 15 per cent of the total.

Tam’s statement came as Ontario reported a record 4,456 cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period.

The latest figures showed 21 additional deaths associated with the virus and a sharp rise of new cases in Toronto, which jumped by nearly 400 to 1,353.

Hospitalization rates in the province have been climbing steadily, prompting the province to order facilities to scale back elective surgeries starting on Monday.

A hospital at the centre of an outbreak in northwestern New Brunswick is also feeling pandemic-related strain, with seven of its nine intensive care beds filled with patients fighting COVID-19.

Local health authorities said the Edmundston Regional Hospital had 13 patients sick with the virus, with seven in intensive care and five on respirators.

Parts of the northwest were placed in lockdown as of Sunday following a recent rise in cases. In the afternoon, health authorities announced that municipal elections would be suspended in regions under lockdown, which include Edmundston, Upper-Madawaska, Lac Baker, Riviere-Verte, Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Saint Leonard.

Rules are also being tightened in Quebec, where a nighttime curfew is being moved to 8 p.m. from 9:30 as of Sunday evening in Montreal and neighbouring Laval to stave off a rise in cases.

The province reported 1,535 new infections on Sunday, as well as a 25-person jump in hospitalizations — numbers the province’s health minister described as “worrisome.”

Premier Francois Legault already imposed the 8 p.m. curfew in some other hot spots including Quebec City and Gatineau, which are currently under special lockdown measures.

In British Columbia, health authorities announced they will offer vaccines to all adults living in the ski community of Whistler beginning Monday. Whistler residents account for the majority of cases in Howe Sound, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province.

Saskatchewan said it continues to set new records for the number of vaccines administered in a single day with 13,170 on Saturday.

Authorities said half of Saskatchewan residents who are 50 and older have now received their first dose, after recently expanding the provincial booking system eligibility to everyone 55 and up.

That province reported 321 new cases on Sunday, while Manitoba logged 112.

Atlantic provinces continued to record comparatively low infection rates, with New Brunswick reporting nine new cases and Nova Scotia adding five to its tally.

ALSO READ: The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Paul Chung is working as an early childhood educator at Cornerstone Children’s Centre in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Immigration pilot targets hard-to-fill jobs in West Kootenay

Program helps newcomers get permanent residency status in rural areas

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Most Read