Canadian coronavirus death toll rises by 53 as provinces add over 3,600 cases

The national coronavirus death toll has risen by 53, provincial health authorities announced Saturday, and 3,679 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported.

The total number of cases diagnosed in Canada now stands at over 259,000 but more than 213,000 coronavirus patients are considered recovered. Across the country, 10,489 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

While most provinces release new coronavirus statistics on weekends, British Columbia, P.E.I. and the territories do not, so Saturday’s numbers represent a partial update on the pandemic in Canada.

In B.C., however, there were new restrictions announced as the province copes with a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a two-week ban on indoor gatherings in two Lower Mainland health regions.

“Provincial health orders are always a last resort, but right now these additional measures are needed,” Henry said at a press conference Saturday.

In Alberta — where Premier Jason Kenney is asking (but not ordering) residents to avoid hosting guests  — 919 new cases were reported.

That province’s death toll rose to 357 after the deaths of five people were announced Saturday.

While case counts are rising rapidly in many areas of the country, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, stressed that a large portion of the population has not been exposed to the virus and remains vulnerable to infection.

“This is why it is important for everyone to continue with individual precautions that will keep ourselves, our families and our communities safer,” she said in a statement.

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Ontario posted a record 1,132 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with 11 new deaths.

Quebec added 1,234 cases and reported 29 fatalities connected to the virus — 11 of which occurred on the previous day. The province also removed one previously announced death from its statistics because it was later found to be non-COVID-related.

Overall, the pandemic has been the deadliest by far in Quebec, with 6,431 lives lost to COVID-19.

The province also has the most residents in hospital currently, at 523.

Two deaths were reported in Saskatchewan, which also saw its case total grow by 116 Saturday.

“A sad reminder that COVID-19 is a deadly disease that continues to spread throughout (Saskatchewan),” Premier Scott Moe tweeted.

Manitoba suffered its worst day for coronavirus fatalities since the pandemic broke out, with seven deaths. Officials also reported 270 new cases of the illness.

In Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador added two cases, bringing the active case total to six.

New Brunswick saw three new cases, while Nova Scotia posted four.

—With files from Allison Bench and Simon Little, Global News

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