A woman dresses mannequins in a storefront window in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A woman dresses mannequins in a storefront window in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta begin relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

In Alberta, restaurants also reopened for in-person dining Monday

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that his province’s state of emergency will not be extended, while authorities in Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia began lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Ford told reporters that while he’s concerned about new coronavirus variants, he was ready to “gradually and safely” return to the colour-coded system of regional restrictions that was in place before the lockdown order. He said restaurants and non-essential businesses in three regions where COVID-19 cases are low will be allowed to open on Wednesday.

A stay-at-home order, however, will remain in effect across most of the province, he said, adding that it will be lifted on a region-by-region basis over the coming weeks. Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters that all positive COVID-19 tests are being screened for known variants, adding that “variants of concern” have been found in several parts of the province.

Ontario reported 1,265 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 33 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. Health officials said 901 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 335 in intensive care.

ALSO READ: B.C. extends COVID-19 gathering restrictions as infections slow down

In Quebec, where 853 new cases and 17 more COVID-19-related deaths were reported Monday, non-essential stores, personal-care salons and museums reopened across the province. In six, less populated regions, gyms were allowed to reopen and in-person restaurant dining could resume.

In Alberta, restaurants also reopened for in-person dining Monday, while gyms could offer one-on-one training.

Restrictions on organized gatherings were eased in Nova Scotia Monday, as authorities reported one, travel-related case of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada released a report Monday noting a rise in excess mortality among younger men in Western Canada between the spring and fall. The agency said the increase may be linked to “indirect consequences of the pandemic, which could include increases in mortality due to overdose.”

Excess mortality — when more deaths than expected are reported during a specific period — among Canadians under 45 rose from four per cent between March and June to 16 per cent between mid-September and November, the federal statistics agency said.

Men accounted for 77 per cent of those excess deaths, and only British Columbia and Alberta saw “significant excess mortality” among men under 45.

Roughly 50 people under 45 in Canada have died from COVID-19, well below the 440 excess deaths among people under 45 reported from September to November alone, StatCan said.

Among all age groups, there were 12,067 excess deaths between January and November 2020, the study said, which is five per cent more deaths than would have been expected if there were no COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

Shayna Jones. Photo: Louis Bockner
Kaslo performer collects stories of Black rural experience

Shayna Jones will create a performance piece about Black people ‘tucked away in the countryside’

Motorists encountered a delay on Hwy. 3B in Trail Thursday morning. Environment Canada expects up to 20 cm of snow to fall on communities between the Paulson Summit and Kootenay Pass. Photo: Jim Bailey
Snow causes early morning traffic delays in Trail

Environment Canada is calling for up to 20 cm of snow to fall in the West Kootenay region Thursday

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Most Read