Canada now has more than 61,000 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, but as numbers continue to climb in some provinces, parts of Atlantic Canada have gone several days without any new cases.
New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have had extended runs with no new cases reported, while Newfoundland and Labrador has now gone three days without any new cases.
Federal health officials and politicians have stressed that the reopening process will vary depending on where people live, noting that while there are shared guidelines, provincial leaders and health officials will make their own decisions based on the reality in their region.
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As of 10:45 a.m. ET, Canada had 61,159 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Provinces and territories listed 26,304 of those as either recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting put the COVID-19-related death toll in Canada at 3,981, plus two known deaths of Canadians abroad.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said no matter where they are, all Canadians will need to reconcile living with COVID-19. That means continued physical distancing, frequent handwashing and covering coughs with elbows.
“And, although we’ll be getting out of our homes more and more, it will be vitally important that at the slightest sign of symptoms, we stay home to save lives,” Tam said.
Millions for agriculture, food industries
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday unveiled a $252-million support plan for the agri-food industry.
Speaking outside Rideau Cottage, the prime minister announced a range of initiatives, including support for food producers, funding for processors and a program to purchase surplus supply.
The prime minister said $77 million of the funding will go to measures to keep workers in food processing safe with protective equipment and by supporting physical distancing in workplaces.
The Canadian Federation of Agricultlure had asked for $2.6 billion in assistance, saying it was needed to “to help maintain food security in Canada in response to COVID-19.”
Tuesday’s announcement was an “initial” pledge of support, Trudeau said, and the government will continue working with farmers, food producers and provinces.
“We know that there is more to do,” Trudeau said. “We will be there for our agricultural producers because they are so important to all Canadians.”
Public health measures put in place to try and slow the spread of the virus — including lockdowns, mandated business closures and travel restrictions — have caused massive economic disruption in Canada and abroad, including in the food and agriculture sectors.
The novel coronavirus, which causes an illness called COVID-19, first emerged in China in late 2019 before spreading around the world. There are no proven treatments or vaccines for the virus, which causes mild to moderate symptoms in most but can cause serious illness and death.
What’s happening in the provinces and territories
British Columbia’s top doctor, Bonnie Henry, says the time is coming when people in the province will be able to see more people. “Our challenge, and our work together, is to find that sweet spot — somewhere around increasing our contacts by twice as many as we have now, but without allowing those opportunities for rapid exponential growth in our communities.” Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
In Alberta, elective surgeries were allowed to resume as of Monday as the province lifted some of the restrictions imposed to deal with the novel coronavirus. Alberta reported nine more COVID-19-related deaths on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 104. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
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Saskatchewan reported its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases yet on Monday, when health officials reported another 34 cases. The province said 29 of the new cases were in the far north region, four were in the north, and one was in the Saskatoon area. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan, which lifted some COVID-19 restrictions on Monday.
People who get tested for COVID-19 in Manitoba can now go online to see if they have a negative result. Those who test positive will still get a phone call from public health officials. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba, which also lifted some restrictions on Monday.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the province may be “getting close” to opening public parks and more curbside pickup in retail on Monday. But David Williams, the province’s top doctor, had a cautious message, saying: “We’re in the range of the possible, but we’re not in the range of the probable at this stage.” Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Montreal won’t reopen its retail stores until May 18 amid concern about the coronavirus. Stores with doors that open onto the street had been set to reopen on May 11. Dr. Mylène Drouin, public health director in Montreal, said the city is “not lowering the epidemic curve.” Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
A person who passed through the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport in New Brunswick late last month tested positive for COVID-19, the airport announced on Monday. The person was travelling from Toronto and arrived in Moncton at 1:52 p.m. on April 27, an airport spokesperson said. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
N.B. Premier <a href=”https://twitter.com/BlaineHiggs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BlaineHiggs</a> says he’s looking to keep provincial border measures in place for at least a few more months. “Our biggest risk will be in relation to borders… we have concerns about the different levels of the covid and the virus in different provinces or states.” <a href=”https://t.co/BUDOYtO3iS”>pic.twitter.com/BUDOYtO3iS</a>
In Nova Scotia, drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites are allowing health workers to conserve personal protective gear. Raj Makkar, health services manager at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre, said “you could see 30 patients and still use the one gown, for example.” Read more about what’s happening in N.S.
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Prince Edward Island reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Health officials report that 25 out of the 27 reported coronavirus cases in the province have recovered from the illness. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 for the third straight day on Monday. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
Nunavut is once again the only jurisdiction in Canada to have zero confirmed coronavirus cases after the territory’s top doctor said the first reported case was actually a false positive. Read more about what’s happening across the North.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 10:20 a.m. ET
In the U.S., states are taking halting steps to lift some restrictions even as thousands of new cases continue to be reported each day.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, one of the first governors to impose a statewide stay-home order, announced that some businesses can reopen as early as Friday, with restrictions.
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In Louisiana, state lawmakers were restarting their legislature — but feuded over whether they should return at all. Political battles have become increasingly embedded in U.S. coronavirus policy.
Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana are among those newly allowing restaurants to reopen. Malls, movie theatres and other venues are reopening in several states. Some states have outlined phased reopenings — North Carolina’s governor said he hopes to start such a process after this week if virus trends allow.
A New York City MTA transit worker cleans a subway car during the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York City on Monday. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Some states, including the U.S. epicentre New York, are moving more slowly, with restrictions in place at least until May 15.
President Donald Trump is going back on the road Tuesday, as he is scheduled to visit a Honeywell facility in Arizona that makes N95 masks, which are a critical piece of protective gear for health workers.
According to the coronavirus case tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has more than 1.1 million reported coronavirus cases, with almost 69,000 known COVID-19-related deaths.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 10:45 a.m. ET
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising,” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
Britain’s death toll from the pandemic appears to have surpassed Italy, making it Europe’s hardest-hit nation. The government said 28,734 people with COVID-19 had died in U.K. hospitals, nursing homes and other settings. But official U.K. statistics released Tuesday that take into account people who died with suspected, rather than confirmed, COVID-19, put Britain’s toll at more than 30,000 dead. Those figures also suggested the true toll could be a third higher than the government virus figure. Italy has reported 29,079 fatalities.
Tallies from both nations are likely to be underestimates because they only include people who tested positive and testing was not widespread in Italian and British nursing homes until recently.
The British government’s chief scientific adviser has acknowledged that the country should have been testing more people for the novel coronavirus early in the country’s outbreak. Patrick Vallance told Parliament’s health committee that “if we’d managed to ramp up testing capacity quicker it would have been beneficial, and for all sorts of reasons that didn’t happen.”
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed plans to gradually reopen schools next week amid concerns from mayors, teachers and parents about the timing. Macron, wearing a mask, visited a primary school in a suburb west of Paris on Tuesday that has remained open for children of health workers.
More than 300 mayors in the capital region, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, urged Macron in an open letter to delay the reopening of primary schools, which is scheduled for next week.
A specialized helper disinfects a corridor of the Anatole France preschool in Cenon on Tuesday as schools in France are to gradually reopen from May 11, when a partial lifting of restrictions due to the pandemic come into effect. (Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images)
They denounced an “untenable and unrealistic timetable” to meet the sanitary and safety conditions required by the state, including class sizes capped at a maximum of 15. The majority of French children attend public schools.
Dutch riot police have arrested some demonstrators who gathered in The Hague to call for an end to the partial coronavirus lockdown. Authorities in the city allowed the unannounced demonstration by a few hundred people near the city’s central railway station on condition that the protesters maintained physical distancing.
However, the mayor withdrew permission when demonstrators refused to follow police instructions and officers, supported by police on horseback, began detaining people. Police didn’t immediately say how many people were arrested.
In Russia, the number of infections rose sharply again, with Moscow reporting more than 10,000 new cases for three days in a row.
At the same time, many European countries that have relaxed strict lockdowns after new infections tapered off were watching their virus numbers warily.
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“We know with great certainty that there will be a second wave — the majority of scientists [are] sure of that. And many also assume that there will be a third wave,” Lothar Wieler, the head of Germany’s national disease control centre, said Tuesday.
The death toll in Iran rose by 74 in the past 24 hours to 6,277.
Widely seen as a success story, South Korea reported only three new cases of the virus, its lowest total since Feb. 18. Schools will be reopened in phased steps, starting with high school seniors on May 13, but the highlight Tuesday was the baseball season.
Members of the media are seen standing near an image of an audience before a baseball game in South Korea. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)
Cheerleaders danced beneath rows of empty seats and umpires wore protective masks as one of the world’s first major professional sports returned to action in games broadcast to starved sports fans around the world.
The Korea Baseball Organization employed other protective measures, including fever screenings for players and coaches before they entered the stadiums.
Other places in the Asia-Pacific region have also suppressed their outbreaks, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, which has had zero new cases for two days. But experts say India, a nation of 1.3 billion people, has yet to see the peak of its outbreak.
Students wearing face masks stand in a line to get their temperatures checked at the Marie Curie school in Hanoi on Monday as schools reopened after an extended closure to combat the spread of COVID-19. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)
India has discovered two viral clusters since it partly lifted the nationwide lockdown on Monday, contributing to the largest single-day spike in cases and deaths in 24 hours. There’s been a total of 3,900 infection cases and 195 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking India’s total to more than 46,000 cases and more than 1,500 dead.
Uganda began to loosen one of Africa’s strictest anti-coronavirus lockdowns on Tuesday after President Yoweri Museveni declared the infection “tamed.” The country of 42 million reported 97 confirmed cases and no deaths in 45 days of restrictions, and Museveni said it was now better equipped to trace and detect new infections faster.
“We have somehow tamed the virus,” Museveni said in a televised address late on Monday. “It is high time we … start slowly and carefully to open up, but without undoing our achievements.”
Schools and international borders were to remain shut, Museveni said.
There have been 4,075 new cases in Brazil and 263 deaths over the last 24 hours and Indigenous leaders in the country have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to set up an emergency fund to help protect their communities.
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