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Canada's COVID-19 cases: British Columbia, Manitoba report record-high spikes; Quebec sees 315 new school infections

Bryan Meler
·Associate Editor, Yahoo News Canada
·9-min read

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, British Columbia and Manitoba both reported their largest single-day case spikes since the start of the pandemic.

In Manitoba, health officials continue to see symptomatic patients who are visiting restaurants and bars, which is having a severe impact on contact tracing efforts.

In Quebec, Premier François Legault said the virus seems to be “stabilizing” but there are still worrisome trends to consider. Earlier in the day, its ministry of health reported 315 new cases among students and staff.

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

19,741 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 186,881 diagnoses, 9,654 deaths and 157,486 recoveries (as of Oct. 13, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta - 2,615 active cases (20,956 total cases, including 286 deaths, 18,055 resolved)

  • British Columbia - 1,476 active cases (10,734 total cases, 250 deaths, 8,974 resolved)

  • Manitoba - 1,248 active cases (2,779 total cases, 35 deaths, 1,496 resolved)

  • New Brunswick - 82 active cases (284 cases, 2 deaths, 200 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador - 8 active case (283 total cases, 4 deaths, 271 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories - 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia - 4 active cases (1,092 total cases, 65 deaths 1,023 resolved)

  • Ontario - 5,946 active cases (60,692 total cases, 3,017 deaths, 51,729 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island - 3 active case (63 total cases, 60 resolved)

  • Quebec - 8,087 active cases (87,791 total cases, 5,970 deaths, 73,734 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan - 238 active cases (2,174 total cases, 25 deaths, 1,911 resolved)

  • Yukon - 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut - 0 active cases (no resident cases)

  • CFB Trenton - 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Quebec sees an improving trend, but 315 new school cases

Quebec reported 815 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, which marks the fourth straight occasion that the province has seen its daily case count decrease.

“We need to remain prudent before celebrating, but the spread of the virus seems to be stabilizing,” said Quebec Premier François Legault in French, as he announced more restrictions for certain regions.

The majority of the latest cases were found in Montreal (268), Quebec City (125) and Montérégie (106).

Three more people have died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but officials also added two more victims from previous dates to its death toll. In addition, 877 have more have recovered. It brings down the province’s active case count to 8,087 — which is still the highest in Canada. Of those currently infected patients, there are 468 in hospital and 85 in intensive, up by 11 and 10, respectively.

In schools around the province, there are 315 new cases that were reported by the province since the last update, which now reflects the situation as of Friday evening. The latest 315 cases includes 273 among students and 42 among staff. An additional 54 schools have reported their first infections, while 67 more class bubbles have been temporarily shut down.

Since schools reopened, Quebec has had 3,650 cases among students and staff across 1,063 schools. As of Friday evening, there are 1,988 cases that are considered active, since 126 more people have recovered in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

Manitoba reports its largest ever case increase, sees more symptomatic patients socialize

Manitoba health officials announced 124 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as concerning trends continue to develop.

The latest spike is the most the province has announced in a day. However, some of them are due to a backlog. Twenty-six were identified in the latest 24-hour stretch, while 83 were identified on Sunday, and 15 on Saturday.

Regardless, if we were to add the 83 cases would have been part of Monday’s update, it would lead to a record-high 160 cases.

Of the most recent groups of 124 patients, 95 of them were identified in the Winnipeg health region, which continues to be the province’s epicentre. Of its now record-high 1,248 active cases throughout the province, at least 1,100 of them are in the Winnipeg area.

Two weeks ago, the province imposed further restrictions in the city and surrounding communities, such as mask use in indoor public places and a 10-person limit for gatherings. Last week, licensed restaurants, bars, pubs in the region were forced to start closing earlier, while alcohol sales have been prohibited after 10 p.m.

Despite the additional restrictions, health officials are still seeing concerning trends — ones that they’ve mentioned even in September.

"We see right now, especially in Winnipeg, very complex investigations — people with multiple venues that they've attended, sometimes multiple venues they attended while symptomatic,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer.

"We just cannot succeed in this pandemic if people are out and about when they're symptomatic."

In addition on Thursday, the province reported that a male in his 70s from the Southern Health region has passed away, which increases Manitoba’s death toll to 35. Of the province’s record-high 1,248 active cases, there are 28 people in hospital and five in intensive care.

B.C. reports record high for a single day spike

On Tuesday, British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provided a COVID-19 update for a four-day stretch, which includes a record-high increase for one of those 24-hour periods.

Between Friday and Saturday, there were a record-high 170 new cases that were identified among people in B.C. Between Saturday and Sunday, there were an additional 159 new cases; from Sunday to Monday there were 119 cases; and on Monday leading to today, there were 101 newly identified patients.

“The numbers are higher than what we would like to see,” said Henry.

The province’s top doctor noted that the increase in cases, compared to weeks past, is in part due to labs processing a backlog. Labs processed about 6,000 more tests, which equates to basically an extra day’s worth of tests.

Henry noted that the positivity rate has remained stable. Over the past long-weekend, it was at 1.39 per cent, which is below its benchmark of two per cent.

Henry said the backlog has now been cleared and health officials are working to make sure it stays that way. It’s a concern, because she doesn’t want residents to be discouraged from getting tested due to the long wait times to receive results.

In the same four-day stretch, five more people have died. Two of the victims were in the Fraser Health region and three in Vancouver Coastal Health region, increasing the death toll to 250. In addition, 472 patients have recovered in that four-day period..

Currently, there are 1,476 active cases in the province. At least 3,618 people are currently in self-isolation and being actively monitored by public health officials since they were in contact with a patient. Of the 1,476 active cases, there are 77 people in hospital and 24 in intensive care.

Ontario keeping up with disturbing cases streak

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Ontario reported 1,553 new cases of COVID-19 over a two-day stretch.

That includes 807 cases that should have been announced on Thanksgiving Monday, and 746 cases as part of Tuesday’s update.

The province has now gone 16 straight days of exceeding the 500-case mark. Before the recent stretch, the province had not reported more than 500 cases since May 2.

Over the course of the most recent two-day stretch, Ontario recorded an additional 12 fatalities related to the virus, while 1,292 more patients have recovered. It means there are now 5,946 active cases province-wide.

Of the most recent 1,553 patients, 614 were identified in Toronto, 294 in Peel, 235 in Ottawa, and 98 in York. In Hamilton, there are now at least 60 cases that are tied to a spin studio.

In K-12 schools around the province, there are 72 new school cases since the last update on Oct. 9. Forty-nine are among students, eight are among staff, while the other 15 have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. Eleven more schools have also reported their first infections.

Since schools opened in September, there have been 948 total cases throughout 436 of its 4,828 schools.

Of the province’s 5,946 active cases, there are 230 people in hospital, which includes 60 who are in ICU and 34 who require a ventilator.

Updates from the rest of Canada

No new cases were reported in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead, one more person has recovered in each of those jurisdictions, which brings their active case counts to four and eight, respectively. In Prince Edward Island, the active case count remains at three.

Six new patients were identified in New Brunswick, which includes five in the Campbellton region and one in Moncton. Health officials also declared an outbreak at Manoir de la Sagesse, a special-care home in Campbellton after a case was identified. In a press release, officials said that four schools were also recently notified of possible COVID-19 exposures. Throughout the province, there are now a record-high 82 active cases, which includes five people in hospital and one in intensive care.

Thirty-four new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Saskatchewan throughout the Regina (11), North Central (nine), Saskatoon (eight) and Central West (four) zones. The locations of the remaining two cases are still pandemic. In addition, 11 more people have recovered, which brings the province’s active case count to 238. Nine people are in hospital, which includes two in intensive care.

On Tuesday, Saskatchewan Health Authority advised the public about 14 different possible COVID-19 exposures at businesses around the province. Due to a rise in cases linked to gatherings, health officials are limiting the maximum allowable size for private gatherings in the home to 15 people.

Alberta announced 961 new cases over a four-day reporting period that included the most recent Thanksgiving long weekend. On all four of those days, labs identified at least 220 cases, and fewer than 260. Throughout that four-day stretch, 567 patients have recovered while four more people have died. It leaves 2,615 active cases in the province, with the Edmonton zone being home to 1,444 of them. There are currently 97 people in hospital, which includes 13 in intensive care.

In schools around the province, there are 464 active cases across 209 schools, which represents about nine per cent of all K-12 schools in Alberta. Eighty-eight of those schools have an outbreak — meaning there’s been at least two cases. In 53 of them, there’s been likely transmission that’s occurred in the school setting, while for 33 of them it’s only resulted in one case, said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

For a timeline of all cases before today, please visit this page.