Paramedics bring a person into a hospital in Montreal, Sunday, April 11, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Paramedics bring a person into a hospital in Montreal, Sunday, April 11, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Canada nearing peak of next wave of COVID-19, Tam says as Ontario sets case record

The percentage of patients in intensive care who were aged 18 to 39 also doubled from January to March

Canada is nearing the peak of the current wave of COVID-19, the country’s chief public health officer said Sunday as Ontario reported a new single-day record for new infections and provinces brought in new restrictions to contain the virus’ spread.

Dr. Theresa Tam described the current rash of nationwide infections as the pandemic’s second wave, though public health officials in several provinces are describing their recent daily case surges as a third wave.

“With the current acceleration of COVID-19 activity, approaching the peak of the second wave, and a concerning rise in the proportion of cases that involve more contagious variants of concern, strong public health measures and individual precautions must be sustained where COVID-19 is circulating,” Tam said in a statement.

Tam said intensive care admissions across the country increased by 23 per cent over the last seven days compared to the week before, noting the spike is straining the country’s health-care system.

She said COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are increasingly affecting younger people, adding figures show a jump in the number of hospitalizations among those 40 to 59 years old.

“These data also show that an increased number of adults in this age group were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) and received mechanical ventilation in March 2021,” her statement said.

The percentage of patients in intensive care who were aged 18 to 39 also doubled from January to March, from 7.4 per cent to 15 per cent of the total.

Tam’s statement came as Ontario reported a record 4,456 cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period.

The latest figures showed 21 additional deaths associated with the virus and a sharp rise of new cases in Toronto, which jumped by nearly 400 to 1,353.

Hospitalization rates in the province have been climbing steadily, prompting the province to order facilities to scale back elective surgeries starting on Monday.

A hospital at the centre of an outbreak in northwestern New Brunswick is also feeling pandemic-related strain, with seven of its nine intensive care beds filled with patients fighting COVID-19.

Local health authorities said the Edmundston Regional Hospital had 13 patients sick with the virus, with seven in intensive care and five on respirators.

Parts of the northwest were placed in lockdown as of Sunday following a recent rise in cases. In the afternoon, health authorities announced that municipal elections would be suspended in regions under lockdown, which include Edmundston, Upper-Madawaska, Lac Baker, Riviere-Verte, Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Saint Leonard.

Rules are also being tightened in Quebec, where a nighttime curfew is being moved to 8 p.m. from 9:30 as of Sunday evening in Montreal and neighbouring Laval to stave off a rise in cases.

The province reported 1,535 new infections on Sunday, as well as a 25-person jump in hospitalizations — numbers the province’s health minister described as “worrisome.”

Premier Francois Legault already imposed the 8 p.m. curfew in some other hot spots including Quebec City and Gatineau, which are currently under special lockdown measures.

In British Columbia, health authorities announced they will offer vaccines to all adults living in the ski community of Whistler beginning Monday. Whistler residents account for the majority of cases in Howe Sound, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province.

Saskatchewan said it continues to set new records for the number of vaccines administered in a single day with 13,170 on Saturday.

Authorities said half of Saskatchewan residents who are 50 and older have now received their first dose, after recently expanding the provincial booking system eligibility to everyone 55 and up.

That province reported 321 new cases on Sunday, while Manitoba logged 112.

Atlantic provinces continued to record comparatively low infection rates, with New Brunswick reporting nine new cases and Nova Scotia adding five to its tally.

ALSO READ: The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The red rock garden in Williams Lake was filled with new rocks in recognition of the National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Red rocks left as reminder of missing and murdered local women in Williams Lake

May 5 marked the National Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Kari, a 12-year-old Belted Galloway, produced triplets Wednesday, April 27. Mother and babies are doing fine. (Kelly Sinoski photo -100 Mile Free Press).
Holy cow: triplets born in 100 Mile House

Linda and Don Savjord witnessed a rare experience last week at Bridge Creek Ranch.

Fireman’s Fairways between Chimney and Felker lakes is slated to open soon, following a clean up work bee this Sunday, May 9 starting at 10 a.m. (Photo submitted)
Cleanup slated for Sunday, May 9 at Fireman’s Fairways Golf Course

Fireman’s Fairway is an 11-hole, par 3 course, opened in 1994

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The White House says it is making plans to share up to 60 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 11,075 since the pandemic began

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read