• Philip Smith

Covid-19 Across Canada

A little over two months ago, there was a titanic shift in Canada's attitude toward COVID-19.

Almost overnight, what had been thought of as primarily a problem for other parts of the world was suddenly understood to be the greatest public health threat the country had seen in generations.

Many Canadians found themselves caught off-guard, surprised to find out that schools and workplaces were being shut down. Only in the following weeks, as new daily case counts climbed from a couple hundred to more than 1,000, did it become clear how high the toll would have been had life gone on as normal.

Here is what is happening in Canada province by province at the end of May 2020:

BC - Last week, for the first time in Canada, the edges of an end began to emerge from the clouds. In B.C., the government announced concrete details of a reopening plan. Barring an unexpected spike in new cases, British Columbians will soon be allowed to expand their social circles beyond the people in their homes. As of mid-May, they’ll be allowed to see friends, in groups of two to six.

AB - Several businesses in Calgary are making final preparations ahead of reopening on Monday (May 25) as part of the first phase of the provincial relaunch strategy. The province was given the green light to reopen on May 14, except for Calgary and Brooks, where the number of active COVID-19 cases remained high.

SK -This was a huge week ( ending May22) for Saskatchewan, as retail stores and hairdressers were able to open their doors and welcome customers for the first time since March. It looked a lot different though, with workers wearing masks and waiting rooms being left empty to increase physical distancing.

MB - No new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Manitoba on Sunday. The number of cases identified in the province is still 292, including 17 which are active. The province made the announcement in a news release on Sunday afternoon. No one is in hospital with the illness caused by the new coronavirus in Manitoba.

ON - Ontario’s regional health units reported their first day below 400 new COVID-19 cases in nearly a week on Sunday as Toronto’s average rate of new infections has hit a new high, surpassing a previous April peak, according to latest count. As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the health units had reported a total of 27,072 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,164 deaths.

The total of 339 new confirmed and probable cases reported since Saturday evening was well down from a recent string of above-average case reports this week, which had seen five straight days at above 400 new cases.

A recent upturn in infections across Ontario has not been felt equally across the province. The daily count of new cases has been relatively flat outside of Toronto over the last two weeks.

QB - Is the worst over?

Some Quebecers might be tempted to ask that question after a slew of government announcements this week aimed at reopening the province following 10 weeks of strict confinement in the COVID-19 pandemic. Premier François Legault and Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s chief public health officer, have conveyed a reassuring message all week that the crisis has stabilized amid a drop in the number of hospitalizations.

NS - A total of 1,049 positive cases have been confirmed in Nova Scotia. Of those cases, 969 people have recovered, and 58 people have died – this leaves 22 active cases in the province.

Of the 22 active cases, 16 are at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax, which currently has 12 residents and four staff members with active cases of COVID-19. One other facility has one resident with an active case.

As of Thursday, 52 of the 58 COVID-19-related deaths in Nova Scotia have been at Northwood.

PEI - Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said the province is coming out of the first wave of the pandemic. The province is moving ahead with Phase 2 of its reopening, though Premier, Dennis King, warned easing back restrictions was "never a process to go back to normal," because he doesn't know what the new normal will be.

"In this province, by following a careful, health-based plan, we have done very, very well," King said.

P.E.I., which has reported 27 coronavirus cases in all, hasn't reported a new case in the province for nearly four weeks. All confirmed cases have recovered.

NB - New Brunswick is expected to lift more restrictions by the end of the week.

The province’s health officials reported no new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. Only one of the 121 confirmed cases remain active, the other 120 have recovered.

More than 22,000 people have been tested to date. Premier Blaine Higgs is expected to lift more restrictions this Friday as we take another step in the economic recovery plan.

NL - Newfoundland and Labrador is now permitting outdoor games of tennis to resume, though players must bring their own equipment, and not share it. Pet grooming services can also begin operating again today (May 25). Pet grooming companies will have to ensure their employees have personal protective equipment. The province is in "alert level four" in its five-level reopening plan, allowing some businesses such as law firms and other professional services to reopen along with regulated child-care centres, with some restrictions.

Small gatherings for funerals, burials and weddings are also permitted with a limit of 10 people following physical distancing rules.


©2019 by Ravenhill Smith Search Inc.