Quebec reports its largest spike since June with 205; Four Ontario regions make up majority of 158 new cases

Quebec reports its largest spike since June with 205; Four Ontario regions make up majority of 158 new cases

  • September 6, 2020
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Yahoo News Canada is committed to providing our readers with the most accurate and recent information on all things coronavirus. We know things change quickly, including some possible information in this story. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage our readers to consult online resources like Canada’s public health website, World Health Organization, as well as our own Yahoo Canada homepage.

6,258 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 131,653 diagnoses, 9,145 deaths and 116,250 recoveries (as of Sept. 6, 1:00 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta – 1,433 active cases (14,474 total cases, including 242 deaths, 12,799 resolved)

  • British Columbia – 1,233 active cases (6,162 total cases, 211 deaths, 4,706 resolved)

  • Manitoba – 426 active cases (1,294 total cases, 16 deaths, 852 resolved)

  • New Brunswick – 3 active cases (192 cases, 2 deaths, 187 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 2 active cases (270 total cases, 3 deaths, 265 resolved)

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

  • Nova Scotia – 3 active cases (1,085 total cases, 65 deaths 1,017 resolved)

  • Ontario – 1,390 active cases (43,161 total cases, 2,813 deaths, 38,958 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island – 3 active cases (47 total cases, 44 resolved)

  • Quebec –  1,713 active cases (63,292 total cases, 5,769 deaths, 55,810 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan – 40 active cases (1,643 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,579 resolved)

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

  • Nunavut – 0 active cases (4 false positive cases)

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

Authorities have been working to contain the spread of COVID-19, with Canadians having contracted the virus from travel to other countries, human-to-human transmission, as well as community spread.

Of the over 131,000 cases that been diagnosed nationwide, at least 116,000 of them have been resolved, meaning those people are no longer considered infectious. As daily cases of COVID-19 decline across the country, Yahoo News Canada will focus on reporting “active cases” to put into context our current situation.

Timeline of coronavirus cases in Canada September 2020

Sept. 6

Quebec reports its most new cases in almost 3 months

Quebec reported 205 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, which marks its largest single day spike since June 7.

The province has now reported over 100 cases in nine straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions.

On Aug. 25, health minister Christian Dubé said that Quebec should not go beyond 160 cases per day, which works out to about 20 cases per one million residents. It’s now eclipsed that mark on four straight occasions.

Premier François Legault on Thursday said Dubé’s statistics are “an objective,” but it doesn’t mean that the province will make an “automatic” return to lockdowns if the target is missed. If restrictions do need to be put in place, they will be imposed on sub-regions, and not the entire province.

Of the latest 205 cases, 57 were identified in Montreal, 48 in Monteregie, 32 in Quebec City and 14 in Laval.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has been Canada’s worst hit province with a record-high 63,497 total cases. That includes 55,871 recovered patients (up by 61 since Saturday) and 5,769 fatalities, which leaves the province with 1,857 currently infected patients — the most of any province.

Since reopening schools on Aug. 27, the province has made national headlines. On Friday, Quebec health officials released a list of 46 schools that have had a case of COVID-19 among either students or staff members throughout the first week of reopening. However, Dubé said there have been no outbreaks, and instead in most instances the school has had an isolated case involving an individual who was infected outside of the school setting.

For example, on Wednesday, health officials announced that a karaoke bar outbreak in Quebec City resulted in 40 infected patrons, leading to secondary spread among three students in three different schools. 

Updates from the rest of Canada

Ontario reported 158 new cases on Sunday, which marks the 11th straight day that the province has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases. Of the most recently identified patients, 49 are in Toronto, 44 in Peel, 21 in Ottawa and 16 in York. Twenty-nine of the 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 20 reported no new cases at all. After going five straight days without a fatality, the province recorded two on Sunday, increasing the death toll to 2,813. There are now 1,390 active cases in the province (the most since July 30), since 111 more patients have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

Two more patients have recovered in Nova Scotia, which leaves three active cases in the province. One more case has also been resolved in New Brunswick, leaving three active cases within that jurisdiction as well. No new cases were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, which has two active cases.

Sept. 5

Ontario reports its largest spike in cases since July

Ontario health officials announced 169 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, which marks the largest spike in daily cases the province has recorded since July 24.

The latest patients, which were identified after labs completed 28,672 tests, are primarily located in Peel (46), Toronto (42), Ottawa (30), and York (19). Twenty-eight of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 19 reported no new patients at all.

Peel, Toronto and Ottawa all individually recorded more new cases on Saturday than Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the four Atlantic provinces combined (27).

The update comes a day after Peel recorded 72 cases, which caught Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s attention. The region consists of Caledon, Mississauga and Brampton, which has been its epicentre.

“I am really concerned about what is happening in Brampton,” said Ford on Friday. “Anyone who is thinking of having a big shindig this weekend: forget about it, cancel it, or we won’t hesitate to shut it down. … People of Brampton, you cannot be holding parties in your backyards, I can’t stress that enough.”

Over the course of the summer, Brampton has been in the spotlight for a few parties, particularly one that drew about 200 people in late-July. The premier said that even though outdoor gathering limits are capped at 100 in Ontario, people shouldn’t have more than 10 people in their backyards because it’s tough to maintain social distancing precautions.

The recent update is now the 10th straight day that the province has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases.

Of the province’s 1,345 active cases (the most since July 31), Peel leads the way with 390. Toronto has 374 currently infected patients, while Ottawa has 198, and York has 105. All the other 30 regions have fewer than 75.

On a positive note, Ontario did not record a new fatality for a fifth straight day, as its death toll remains at 2,811. One-hundred and six more patients have also recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

Nearly 50 schools in Quebec have had COVID-19 cases since school reopening

Quebec health officials have released a list of 46 schools that have had a case of COVID-19 among either students or staff members throughout the first week of reopening.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé described it as “very good news,” since health officials have not seen outbreaks, meaning there hasn’t been spread within the school setting. Instead, it’s mostly been a single case among a student or staff who had COVID-19 and came to one of the province’s 3,100 schools.

“We knew that we would have some cases when we were opening schools. It’s not surprising,” said Dubé on Friday in French. “We are capable of containing these bonfires. We just need to give the chance to health officials to work in these situations to limit the chance of an outbreak and to protect our children.”

Starting next week, the province will start to release daily data that shares information on the number of cases in schools around the province. Dubé said in a press release, which accompanied the initial list, that the Quebec government has “always made it a point of honour, since the start of the pandemic, to be transparent and to disclose relevant information.”

The province made it mandatory for students to attend in-person classes starting on Aug. 27, unless they have a medical exception. It’s a move that has drawn criticism from parents and teachers.

Throughout the first week, the province made headlines for multiple COVID-19 situations in schools. On Montreal’s South Shore, Collège Français sent home an entire class on the first day after the father of one of its students tested positive for the virus. 

On its second day, more than 20 teachers from a high school in the Lower Laurentians had to self-isolate after two of them tested positive for COVID-19. It resulted in 500 students in Grade 10 and 11 having to go home because there was no one to teach them.

On Wednesday, a karaoke bar outbreak in Quebec City resulted in secondary spread among three students in three different schools.

This is the second time that Quebec has welcomed students back to classrooms since the start of the pandemic. Elementary schools around Quebec first reopened May 11 (with the exception of those in the Montreal area), which was a first in Canada. High schools, CEGEPs and post-secondary institutions around Quebec were instead forced to stay closed. 

During its first reopening stint, which featured optional attendance, the province had 78 cases among students and staff within the first three weeks. In some cases, schools had to close for several days, while a school in Trois-Rivières almost had an entire classroom of about 12 students contract the virus.

Updates from the rest of the province

Quebec reported 175 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The province has now reported over 100 cases in eight straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions. No has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but officials added two fatalities that occurred between Aug. 29-Sept. 3 to its death toll of 5,769. With 86 more people having recovered since Friday, it leaves 1,713 currently infected patients in the province.

Nova Scotia reported no new cases for the fifth straight day, while there remain five active cases in the province. There also remain four active cases in New Brunswick, and three in Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported its first case since Aug. 28. The latest patient involves a female, between 20-39 years old, who recently travelled from the United States. She has been in self-isolation since her return. There are now two active cases in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Health officials in Manitoba have identified 21 new cases of COVID-19, which includes 10 in Winnipeg, four each in the Southern Health and Prairie Mountain Health regions, and three in the Interlake-Eastern region. Eight of the cases are closed contacts of previously identified cases, and one is a health-care worker at the Concordia Place personal care home in Winnipeg. Seventeen more people have recovered in the province, which brings the active case count to 426.

Five new cases were identified Saskatchewan’s Saskatoon (three) and South Central (two) zones. One more patient has also recovered in the same stretch, which leaves 40 active cases in the province. On Saturday, Saskatchewan Health Authority released a list of locations where people may have been in contact with an infectious patient; the areas are scattered around Saskatoon, Coronach and Moose Jaw.

Sept. 4

British Columbia records its second highest increase in cases, most ever active cases

British Columbia health officials have identified 121 new cases of COVID-19, which marks its second highest increase to its total case count since the start of the pandemic. 

On Aug. 28, a week ago today, the province recorded 124 cases. 

The most recent update increases the province’s active case count to 1,233, which is the most it’s ever had throughout the pandemic. British Columbia has seen its active cases rise on an upward trajectory as of late, considering there were 319 active cases in the province on Aug. 4, and 162 on July 4. 

Health officials did not hold a press conference on Friday to discuss the most recent spike, but over the past month they’ve attributed the rise to an increase in private gatherings, such as indoor parties that continue to be a problem, especially among young people who are indulging in alcohol. 

“We still have it in our hands, in our actions to bend our curve back down,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday. “And that is what we need to focus on now. We’re at that limit. We’re at that precipice, if you will, where we need to take the actions to ensure that we can move forward into the fall and keep our curve low.”

Exposures due to gatherings have been a key concern for B.C. ever since two hotel parties around Canada Day in Kelowna led to dozens of cases around the province, as well as possible exposure warnings for a variety of businesses.

Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. Currently in B.C., there are 2,792 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient. 

“This weekend in particular, choose to go small. Choose to spend time with your household bubble instead of a group of strangers,” said Henry.

“Let’s make sure this Labour Day long weekend, we are united in a singular focus to continue to stop those chains of transmission and bring our curve back down. And of course, let’s continue to do this by being kind, being calm and being safe.”

Along with the most recent cases, officials said there has been one additional fatality, increasing the death toll to 211. There has also been one new assisted-living facility outbreak at KinVillage in the Fraser Health region. In total, 10 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

‘I am really concerned’: Ontario records one of its largest case spikes since July, majority of new cases from Brampton, Peel

With Peel reporting 72 of Ontario’s 148 cases on Friday, Premier Doug Ford expressed concern over the situation as the region starts to see a surge in patients, primarily in Brampton.

Ford said he’s tried to get in touch with Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown about the situation, since the city represents three per cent of the province’s population, but represented 40 per cent of the recent cases.

“I am really concerned about what is happening in Brampton,” said Ford. “I gave the mayor three calls this morning. Patrick if you’re listening, I need to talk to you, find out what’s happening out there.”

Ontario health officials announced 148 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. It ties its increase on Aug. 29 for the largest spike the province has recorded since July 24.

Of the recently identified cases, 72 were in Peel, 41 in Toronto and 13 in Ottawa. All the other 31 public health units reported five or fewer cases, with 12 of them reporting no new cases at all.

The 72 cases by Peel are more than what Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the four Atlantic provinces combined to report (48) throughout Thursday and Friday.

“Anyone who is thinking of having a big shindig this weekend: forget about it, cancel it, or we won’t hesitate to shut it down. … People of Brampton, you cannot be holding parties in your backyards, I can’t stress that enough.”

The premier said that even though outdoor gathering limits are capped at 100 in Ontario, people shouldn’t have more than 10 people in their backyards because it’s tough to maintain social distancing precautions. Ford also warned of sharing substances.

“You shouldn’t be sharing anything. I don’t care if it’s those doobies, joints, or […] drinks— just don’t share. Simple.”

Over the course of the summer, Brampton has been in the spotlight for a few parties, particularly one that drew about 200 people in late-July. 

On Friday, Peel District School Board (PDSB) also confirmed that they identified a case in a Brampton elementary school, Ross Drive Public School, involving a staff member who was in the building Aug. 27. One PDSB employee also recently tested positive at the board’s North Field Office, after being at the location Aug. 28. Both areas will remain open.

In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, 116 more patients have recovered. However, throughout Ontario, there are 1,282 currently infected patients, the most since Aug. 2.

Of those patients, there are 66 in hospital, which includes 13 in intensive care and eight who require a ventilator.

For the fourth straight day, the province did not record a COVID-19-related fatality. Instead, officials removed one death, to bring the death toll down to 2,811.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Quebec reported 184 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Aside from the 187 new cases the province recorded a day earlier, it marks the highest increase to its total case count since June 8. The province has now reported over 100 cases in seven straight reporting periods. Before the recent stretch, it had recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions. One more person has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but officials have also removed one fatality from its death toll of 5,767. With 109 more people having recovered since Thursday, it leaves 1,626 currently infected patients in the province.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia; instead one more person has recovered, meaning there are now five active cases in the province. Newfoundland and Labrador continues to have one currently infected patient, while New Brunswick has four.

Prince Edward Island has identified one new case, involving a male in his late teens who arrived to the province following international travel. He has self-isolated since his return on Aug. 29. The news come after P.E.I. recorded two cases on Thursday, which were its first new patients since Aug. 18. The three most recent patients are the province’s only active cases.

Manitoba reported nine new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with six of them in Winnipeg, two in the Southern Health region and one in its epicentre, Prairie Mountain region. In that same stretch, 44 more people have recovered, dropping the province’s active case count to 422. According to a press release by health officials, the two cases in Southern Health are not related to the Bethesda Place personal care home in Steinbach, which recorded two fatalities among its residents on Thursday.

Saskatchewan health officials have identified four new cases in the same 24-hour stretch that four patients have recovered from the respiratory virus. The most recent cases were scattered throughout the North Central, Central West, South West and South Central zones. There remain 36 active cases in the province.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health announced 164 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, but noted that one person has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. Hinshaw confirmed that there’s a case at a school in Edmonton, but did not provide any additional info. Earlier in the day, the respective school board confirmed that the case is at École Sainte-Jeanne-d´Arc, but a spokesperson would not say if the case involves a student or adult, after schools opened up this week in Alberta. With the most recent update, there are 1,433 confirmed cases in the province, with 638 of them in the Calgary zone and 544 in the Edmonton zone.

Sept. 3

‘We’re approaching a possibly critical threshold’: Quebec reports its largest spike in cases since June

Quebec announced 187 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which marks the largest daily increase to its total case count since June 8. 

The province has now reported over 100 cases on six straight occasions. Before the recent stretch, it had not recorded fewer than 100 cases on 14 of its last 18 occasions. 

“We’re approaching a possibly critical threshold,” said Quebec Premier François Legault on Thursday. 

On Aug. 25, health minister Christian Dubé said that Quebec should not go beyond 160 cases per day, which works out to about 20 cases per one million residents.

Legault on Thursday said Dubé’s statistics are “an objective,” but it doesn’t mean that the province will make an “automatic” return to lockdowns if the target is missed. Instead, he reminded the public that “there are plenty of other factors to consider. … If the major part of the cases were in bars, the decision would be easy to take.”

Legault said that he is not planning on changing the province’s COVID-19 restrictions at the moment. If restrictions do need to be put in place, they will be imposed on sub-regions, and not the entire province.

As of late, Canada’s worst-hit province has seen spikes in the Quebec City region, the Eastern Townships and the greater Montreal region, said Legault.

Outbreaks have been reported throughout the province; that includes schools ever since they opened a week ago Thursday.

Most recently, a karaoke bar outbreak in Quebec City has led to 40 patrons testing positive, which has resulted in secondary spread to students at three schools. On Thursday, TVA Nouvelles also reported that two small groups of Montreal elementary school students are in self-isolation at home, because they were in contact with COVID-19 patients. 

Legault said that the province’s back-to-school plan is going as planned. Outbreaks were expected, but the province has not had to close an entire school due to an outbreak, thanks to its “classroom bubble” concept.

On Thursday, a group of Quebec parents went to court to compel the Education Department to grant an online learning option for all families. At the moment, in-class learning is mandatory, except for those with a medical exception.

The province has yet to release statistics on the amount of cases in schools among staff and students, but the premier said that the public can expect some in the upcoming days. 

“So far it’s under control, but we have to be careful,” said Legault. 

In the past, Legault has said that he won’t rule out closing barrs or banning activities such as karaoke if the spread of COVID-19 continues at an alarming rate.

Throughout the pandemic, Quebec has had the most cases (62,933) and deaths (5,767) of all the Canadian jurisdictions. On Thursday, the province announced three more fatalities, but that they all occurred before Aug. 27.

Quebec also has the most currently infected patients with 1,551. According to data by B.C.’s Ministry of Health, Quebec has the highest infection rate per one million people of all the provinces.

B.C. at ‘precipice’ as modelling data shows ‘dramatic increase’ in cases among young populations

For the eighth time throughout the pandemic, B.C. health officials provided their latest data that they’ve gathered to understand how COVID-19 has been spreading in the province.

As of late, officials have seen a “dramatic increase” in cases among those between 20-39 years old, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Ever since mid-July, health officials have warned against large gatherings, especially where alcohol is involved; it has resulted in a spike in cases and COVID-19 exposure warnings throughout the province.

As of Thursday, the province has a record-high 1,175 active cases of COVID-19.

“We still have it in our hands, in our actions to bend our curve back down,” said Henry. “And that is what we need to focus on now. We’re at that limit. We’re at that precipice, if you will, where we need to take the actions to ensure that we can move forward into the fall and keep our curve low.”

Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health

Henry noted there has also been a small increase in cases among slightly older populations, but the median age of a COVID-19 patient in the province is now 41, compared to it being in the mid-50s in the earlier stages of the pandemic.

Household transmission continues to be relevant throughout all stages of the pandemic, but in the latest stage, officials have seen a significant increase in transmission at restaurants, bars and lounges as well as private parties and events. Those settings have been particularly associated with the younger demographics.

“This should come as no surprise,” said Henry. “We’ve been reporting on the Kelowna cluster, for example, which has been associated with a variety of these settings.”

Henry said that there has also been transmission in workplace settings. However, there hasn’t been many instances where COVID-19 has spread from the workplace to the public.

Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health

In comparison to other provinces, Henry showed that B.C. has done well, while its reproduction number has fluctuated around one; officials have seen it usually rise in tandem with well-known exposure events.

“This weekend in particular, choose to go small. Choose to spend time with your household bubble instead of a group of strangers,” Henry said.

“Let’s make sure this Labour Day long weekend, we are united in a singular focus to continue to stop those chains of transmission and bring our curve back down. And of course, let’s continue to do this by being kind, being calm and being safe.”

Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health
Credit: B.C. Ministry of Health

Exposures due to gatherings have been a key concern for B.C. ever since two hotel parties around Canada Day in Kelowna led to dozens of cases around the province, as well as possible exposure warnings for a variety of businesses.

Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts. Currently in B.C., there are 2,801 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient. 

On Thursday, officials announced 89 new cases of COVID-19. There are now 1,175 active cases, since 39 more people have recovered in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch.

One more person has also died in a long-term care home, increasing the death toll to 210.

Two new long-term care facility outbreaks have been declared at Cherington Place in the Fraser Health region and at Point Grey Private Hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. However, the outbreak at the Maple Ridge Seniors Village has been declared over, which means there are now nine long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities that have active outbreaks.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Two women in Manitoba, one in her 80s and the other in her 90s, are the province’s most recent COVID-19 victims. They were both part of the ongoing outbreak at the Bethesda Place personal care home in Steinbach. Four people have died as part of the outbreak, while the province’s death toll now stands at 16. Health officials believe that the initial positive case at the Bethesda Place was a health-care worker who caught the virus in the community. On Thursday, Manitoba also announced 20 new cases of the virus, with 13 of them in Winnipeg and six in its epicentre, Prairie Mountain Health region. Fifteen more people have also recovered, which leaves 457 active cases in the province.

Ontario reported 132 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. It’s the eighth straight day that the province has recorded over 100 cases of COVID-19. In early August, the province was able to stay under triple-digits on seven-straight occasions, as it made a habit of reporting fewer than 100 cases. Of the most recent patients, 45 were identified in Peel, 31 in Toronto and 22 in Ottawa. All the other 31 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 18 reported no new patients at all. In the same stretch, Ontario recorded no new deaths, instead 119 more people have recovered. There are now 1,249 active cases in the province, the most since Aug. 3.

No new cases were identified in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, as those provinces continue to have one, four and six active cases, respectively.

Prince Edward Island is no longer COVID-19 free, with health officials announcing two new cases on Thursday. They both involve essential workers who are not part of the health-care industry. They’ve been in self-isolation since arriving to P.E.I. on Aug. 24. The province used to be the only one without any active cases, after all of its patients had recovered by Sept. 1. The last time it had announced a new case was on Aug. 18.

Ten new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Saskatchewan’s latest 24-hour stretch. The latest patients were diagnosed in the Saskatoon (six), Central West (two), North Central (one) and South Central (one) zones. According to a press release, “all of Saskatoon’s current active cases and several of the active cases in the rest of the province are directly related to out of province travel.” Three more people have also recovered in the province, meaning there are now 36 active cases in the province; 17 of those are in Saskatoon.

One-hundred and thirty people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Alberta, but no one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. There are now 1,415 active cases in the province, since 118 more people have also recovered. Of those currently infected patients, there are 639 in the Calgary zone and 537 in the Edmonton zone, which has 22 of the province’s 46 hospitalizations.

Sept. 2

Quebec City karaoke bar outbreak leads to secondary infections among students

A karaoke bar in Quebec City, which has produced 40 cases among attendees, has now resulted in secondary infections among school students. 

There are three cases that have been identified among students across three of the six schools in the city that are currently dealing with COVID-19. Those three patients are linked to the 40 cases that have been identified among patrons who visited Bar Kirouac for a karaoke night on Aug. 23, said Dr. Jacques Girard, who heads the Quebec City public health authority.

Girard expects there to be more cases in the upcoming days, since some of the original 40 patrons visited at least six other bars in the city that same night. One of the patrons “did the grand tour” and “went everywhere,” said Girard.

There are also reports that some of the patients visited other bars while waiting for their COVID-19 tests, after they were asked to self-isolate over the weekend, when cases first emerged. Some of those patrons later tested positive, but there are currently no other links to bars as of Wednesday.

“We now have evidence that those people who were COVID-positive, who maybe hadn’t had the results of their tests but who were contagious, went to other places,” said Girard. “It’s there when our alarm signal went off.”

Girard is now asking anyone who’s been to a bar in Quebec City over this past week to get tested for COVID-19. Bar Kirouac has closed its venue till Sept. 9.

Christian Dubé, Quebec’s health minister, singled out Bar Kirouac on Tuesday, when noting that he was looking into fines for customers and staff after social media videos showed patrons in close contact and sharing microphones.

According to The Globe and Mail, who spoke with Bar Kirouac owner Lucien Simard, there were approximately 35-40 patrons and one staff member at the venue on Aug. 23. The establishment has a 100-person capacity.

“The rate of attack, the proportion of positives is significant,” said Dr. Girard, noting that the situation in the venue was an “explosive cocktail.”

The province previously dealt with outbreaks in relation to bars in July, which prompted health officials to insert new rules, such as not permitting dancing. However, karaoke and singing is still allowed, but Quebec’s director of public health Horacio Arruda said the province is now considering a karaoke bar.

Arruda and Girard have both described it as a dangerous activity, since “people get excited, swap microphones, start singing with their friends who want to help them out. Next thing, the droplets are in the air and you are contaminated.”

Schools around the province have also been dealing with cases of COVID-19 ever since the province reopened institutions Aug. 27. No official provincial data has been released as of Wednesday as to how many cases there are among children and staff. 

As a preventative measure, school administrators in Quebec City have sent home at least 100 classmates of infected children, according to The Globe and Mail.

Updates from the rest of Canada

British Columbia health officials announced 104 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. It’s now the sixth time since Aug. 15 that the province has recorded at least 100 daily cases; before the recent stretch, it had never recorded a triple-digit increase. The recent update increases the province’s active case count to a record-high 1,127, even though 100 more patients have recovered since Tuesday. According to a press release by health officials, there is one new health-care facility outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital, but the outbreak at Langley Memorial Hospital has been declared over.

Ontario reported 133 new cases of COVID-19, which is its second highest increase to its total case count since July 31. Of those patients, 43 were identified in Toronto, 34 in Peel, 15 in York Region and 12 in Ottawa. Twenty-nine of the province’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 21 of them reported no new patients at all. No one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but instead 137 patients have recovered. There are now 1,236 active cases in the province.

Health officials in Quebec announced that they’ve identified 132 new cases of COVID-19. Two more fatalities have been added to the province’s death toll of 5,764, but neither of them occurred in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. With 77 recently recovered patients, it means there are now 1,467 active cases in the province.

No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador, as those provinces have one and six active cases, respectively. New Brunswick has identified one new patient, involving a temporary foreign worker in the Moncton region. There are now four active cases in the province. Prince Edward Island remains the only province with no active cases, after health officials announced that their final patient recovered by Tuesday.

Twelve new cases were identified in Manitoba, with eight of them in its epicentre Prairie Mountain Health. There are now 454 active cases in the province, since twenty more people have recovered; it marks the second straight day that Manitoba has seen its number of currently infected patients decrease.

Saskatchewan health officials announced two new cases, with one each in the North West and South Central zones. However, four more people have recovered in the same 24-hour stretch. There are now 29 active cases in the province, the fewest since June 14.

A woman in her 60s in Alberta’s South zone has passed away, increasing the province’s death toll to 242. Health officials have also identified 114 new cases of COVID-19. One-hundred and eight patients have also recovered, meaning there are now 1,403 active cases in the province. Of those currently infected patients, 632 of them are in the Calgary zone and 538 in the Edmonton zone.

Sept. 1

Ontario reported 112 newly-identified cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hour reporting period on Tuesday. It also reported one death and 92 recoveries, increasing the number of active cases in the province to 1,240. Of Ontario’s 34 public health units, 27 reported five or fewer new cases, while 18 of those reported no new cases at all.

In Quebec, there were 122 new cases of the virus reported, as well as two deaths linked to COVID-19. Both deaths occurred between August 25-30. Hospitalizations fell by two, however the number of people in intensive care went up by two.

Across Atlantic Canada, only Nova Scotia saw one new case of COVID-19. The province also said that one of the active cases, a student at Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point, N.S., did not properly self-isolate, and authorities are now trying to determine who may have come in contact with her. There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island.

Stricter mask rules are being put in place after a recent spike in cases in Manitoba. Health authorities reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, as well as several recoveries, brining the total number of active cases to 459.

Alberta announced 164 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing its active cases tally to the second-highest nationally —1,398 — just trailing Quebec’s 1,414. Two more patients died, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s who was a resident of a continuing care centre with an active outbreak.

British Columbia reported 58 new cases in the province and one death. B.C. currently has 1,124 active cases: 31 are in hospital, including 10 in intensive care. In a statement, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix wrote: “We must prepare for the challenges that may lie ahead in fall with renewed commitment, new routines and proven safety precautions.”

Timelines of cases prior to August:

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