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COVID-19 Resource Centre: Adapt. Reboot. Thrive
COVID-19 Resource Centre: Adapt. Reboot. Thrive

Blakes is carefully monitoring government decision-making related to COVID-19 across Canada and the United States. We will update this page twice daily with the announcements, news and legislation that impact our clients and communities.

April 12, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The federal government has reached an agreement with Air Canada to provide financial support in exchange for refunds for customers who had their flights cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic (CBC via Yahoo).

  • Government of Canada invests in StaySafe™ Rapid Screening Program in Waterloo Region (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • Bill 66 Public Health Amendment Act, 2021 was tabled today. The proposed amendments would modernize the act by reinforcing the province’s work to prevent chronic disease, updating outdated provisions and implementing lessons learned from public health responses, including the COVID-19 response. Some examples include:

    • Updating provisions on absence from employment to reflect the possibility of working remotely.

    • Outlining how personal health information is collected or disclosed under the act.

    • Establishing the qualifications of the chief medical officer of Health in legislation.

    • News Release

  • Vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers; More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting April 12 (News Release).

  • With more than 1,300 pharmacies and 103 immunization sites now administering the vaccine, and more coming on board in the coming weeks, the province is now on pace to distribute more than 300,000 doses a week (News Release).

  • 160,902 cases, an increase of 1,183 since Saturday, eight deaths.

British Columbia

  • People aged 60 and over can now register for COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

    • There are three ways to register for vaccinations:

      • Online through the "Get Vaccinated" portal.

      • By phone through the provincial phone line at 1-833-838-2323.

      • In person at any Service B.C. location.

  • On Sunday, Vancouver Coastal Health announced that all adults who live and work in Whistler, B.C., will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting today (CBC).

  • 109,540 cases, an increase of 1,262 on Friday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario moves schools to remote learning following spring break (News Release).

    • Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Monday alongside Education Minister Stephen Lecce at Queen's Park following a cabinet meeting earlier in the day.

    • Child-care for non-school aged children will remain open, before and after school programs will be closed and free emergency child-care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided.

  • Toronto on track to see 2,500 new daily COVID-19 cases by end of April, new report says (CBC).

    • Stark projection is one of many in the report from Dr. Eileen de Villa, which was presented at the city's board of health meeting today. 

  • Public health units reported provincewide test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent (CBC).

  • COVID-19 Rapid Screening Pilot Program launching in Waterloo Region (News Release).

  • Ontario expands COVID-19 vaccination locations to more pharmacies; Over 700 additional locations across the province to begin offering AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals aged 55 and over (News Release).

  • The following regulations were added to e-laws Friday evening (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

    • O.Reg. 272/21 Transfer of Hospital Patients

    • O.Reg. 271/21 Work Redeployment for Local Health Integration Networks and Ontario Health

  • 391,009 cases, an increase of 12,670 since Friday, 55 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced on Saturday that throughout Quebec, all workers in the health and social services sector who until now had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are invited to register (News Release).

    • This is phase 2 of the vaccination of health and social service workers, and it only concerns people who have direct contact with patients in the course of their professional activities. This includes in particular:

      • network staff, as well as interns, as well as those in charge of intermediate and family-type resources who were not targeted by phase 1;

      • health and social services workers, including interns, employed by a private clinic;

      • community workers in direct contact with high-risk patients, such as street workers in mental health, homelessness and addiction.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-025 related to recreational or sports activity.

  • 326, 383 cases, an increase of 3,289 since Friday, seven deaths.

April 13, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced financial support for Air Canada yesterday evening (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • Negotiations continue with other Canadian carriers on financial support and any agreement reached in those negotiations will include a requirement that the airline also refund pandemic related-cancelations. In the event that an airline does not need liquidity support from the government, the government remains open to helping all airlines provide voucher refunds to their customers.

    • This financial support announced today, in the form of repayable loans and an equity investment, will help Air Canada weather the current economic downturn and will protect thousands of Canadian jobs.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada 'closely monitoring' Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause in the U.S (CBC).

    • Trudeau said Canada's immunization campaign can continue at its current pace even if there are significant delays in deploying the J&J shot because deliveries of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca products are more consistent now and 44 million doses of those three vaccines will be on hand by the end of June.

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. pauses use of J&J vaccine over rare blood clots, rollout delayed in Europe (Reuters).

  • Department of Health and Human Services: New legal guidance and resources to ensure -- and expand -- Access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities and older adults (News Release).

Alberta

  • More COVID recovery aid for Alberta’s small businesses (News Release).

    • The Alberta government is offering small businesses affected by the most recent public health orders another payment of up to C$10,000 from the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant.

    • Alberta businesses affected by the latest public health orders will be eligible to apply for another payment in the second half of April. This additional payment will also be available to new businesses that began operating between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, as well as hotels, taxis and ride-sharing services.

  • 162,038 cases, an increase of 1,136 since yesterday, five deaths.

British Columbia

  • People aged 55 and up invited to register for COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

    • A new schedule for age cohorts to register ensures people know when it is their turn:

      • Monday, April 12 – registration opens for people aged 55 and up

      • Wednesday, April 14 – registration opens for people aged 50 and up

      • Friday, April 16 – registration opens for people aged 45 and up

      • Monday, April 19 – registration opens for people aged 40 and up

  • Applications for circuit breaker business grant open (News Release).

    • Eligible bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres can apply for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant to help support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Businesses affected by the March 30, 2021, provincial health orders will be eligible to receive between C$1,000 and C$10,000 in grant funding.

  • Updated Order effective April 12, 2021: Delegation: Workplace Closures – related to: the Public Health Inspections and Orders Regulation, to serve notice of a Workplace COVID-19 Cases, Cluster and Outbreak Closure Order made by a medical health officer.

  • 112,829 cases, an increase of 3,289 since April 9, 18 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination strategy targets high-risk neighbourhoods; Approach will protect communities with the highest rates of transmission (News Release).

    • Individuals aged 18 and over in designated hot spots, as identified by postal code, are eligible for vaccination through mobile teams and pop-up clinics in targeted settings. Starting in Peel and Toronto, the province will be providing additional resources to support more mobile vaccination teams, expanding to hot spots in other public health units in the future.

  • Ontario releases more details on how people in COVID-19 hot spots can get the vaccine (CTV).

    • The government’s revised COVID-19 vaccine timeline for Phase 2, which was updated as of April 9, shows that COVID-19 hot spots are being further divided into two groupings—highest-risk communities and remaining hot spot communities.

    • Those living in the highest-risk communities in Toronto and Peel Region are scheduled to get their shot in April while remaining neighbourhoods will be vaccinated in May.

  • 394,679 cases, an increase of 3,600 since yesterday, 15 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec extends lockdown orders (Globe and Mail).

    • Schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed and the nighttime curfew will be at 8 p.m. until at least April 25 in Quebec City; the Chaudiere-Appalaches region, south of the provincial capital; and in Outaouais, in western Quebec.

    • The restrictions, which had previously applied only in parts of Chaudiere-Appalaches and Outaouais, will be expanded to cover the entirety of those two regions starting Wednesday, the premier added.

  • Montreal schools, non-essential businesses may close 'in coming weeks' in Montreal and Laval – Premier François Legault (Montreal Gazette).

  • 329,472 cases, an increase of 1,490 since yesterday, 12 deaths.
April 14, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's supportive of provinces and territories closing their borders in order to protect their residents from the spread of COVID-19 (CBC).

  • MPs call on Ottawa to make face masks, work-related PPE tax-deductible (CBC).

  • Government of Canada investing an additional C$150-million in better ventilation for schools, hospitals, and other public buildings (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • Health Canada provides update on safety review of AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines (News Release).

    • There is enough evidence to say the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine may cause very rare blood clots but the shot is still extremely safe, very effective and will remain on the Canadian market, Health Canada said Wednesday (CTV).

  • Government of Canada establishes Critical Drug Reserve to bolster Canada’s supply of drugs used to treat COVID-19 (News Release).

  • S.O.R./2021-56 Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 — Wage and Rent Subsidies Periods 14 to 16) was published in the April 14th Canada Gazette Part II.

U.S. - Federal

  • Department of Transportation announces initial steps toward Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) Program, encourages businesses, especially small businesses, to begin preparing for the application process (News Release).

    • The AMJP program, created under the American Rescue Plan, will provide funding to eligible businesses to pay up to half of their compensation costs for certain categories of employees, for up to six months.  In return, the business is required to make several commitments, including a commitment that it will not involuntarily furlough or lay off employees within that group during the same period. The maximum amount available for this program is US$3-billion, one percent of which will be applied to program administration. 

  • Treasury, IRS disburse 2 million more Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan; VA beneficiaries bring total to approximately 159 million as payments continue (News Release).

Alberta

  • Physician clinics to begin offering COVID-19 vaccines starting April 19 (News Release).

    • This pilot will test the most effective ways to transport, book and administer the vaccine through community physician clinics. There will be two participating clinics in each AHS zone during the pilot phase.

  • 163,119 cases, an increase of 1,081 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Premier John Horgan said his cabinet will discuss travel restrictions as province grapples with 3rd wave (CBC).

    • The premier said Henry will provide any update of possible new restrictions Thursday, during a briefing in which the province's latest COVID-19 modelling data will be presented.

  • The state of emergency has been extended until April 27, 2021 (News Release and Order).

  • 113,702 cases, an increase of 873 since yesterday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto Public Health said it is aware of the vaccine shortages being reported due to issues with procuring the Moderna vaccine. City-run clinics are not experiencing the same shortages, TPH said, as they are administering Pfizer (CBC).

  • News Release and Backgrounder: Canada and Ontario invest in school infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

  • 398,835 cases, an increase of 4,156 since yesterday, 28 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec premier clarifies mask wearing requirement outdoors (CTV).

    • On Wednesday afternoon, the premier posted a statement to his Facebook page to explain the new measure:

      • “I therefore asked to specify the decree so that this obligation only applies to situations where it can be difficult to respect the two metres distance at all times with people who do not live with us,” the statement read.

  • Vaccination will be extended throughout Quebec to certain people with a chronic disease and to essential workers in environments at significant risk of an outbreak (News Release).

    • Starting April 14, adults under the age of 60 who provide essential services and who work in environments with a high risk of outbreaks will be able to go to the page www.Québec.ca / vaccinCOVID to make their appointment.

  • Draft Regulation published in the April 14 Gazette officielle du Québec:

    • Temporary use of a lot for a purpose other than agriculture due to the COVID-19 pandemic for certain acericultural operations without the authorization of the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (made under the Act respecting the preservation of agricultural land and agricultural activities).

  • 331,031 cases, an increase of 1,559 since yesterday, seven deaths.

April 15, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Canada's procurement minister says she is in the midst of negotiating new vaccine contracts to nail down supplies of vaccine booster shots if they're needed next year (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • The United States is preparing for the possibility that a booster shot will be needed between nine to 12 months after people are initially vaccinated against COVID-19 (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Students in Grades 7 to 12 in the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District will shift to at-home learning starting April 19 for two weeks (News Release).

  • 164,531 cases, an increase of 1,412 since yesterday, eight deaths.

British Columbia

  • A group of B.C.'s top infectious disease modellers is warning the province's hospitals could be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases as early as next month if infections continue to increase at their current rate (CTV).

  • 114,870 cases, an increase of 1,168 since yesterday, six deaths.

Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford is meeting with cabinet to discuss potential new measures for Ontario as COVID-19 cases soar (CTV).

    • Ontario is also expected to unveil further COVID-19 modelling data on Friday as the third wave continues to worsen.

  • Ontario supporting business investment and prosperity during COVID-19 (News Release).

    • Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario's Spring Red Tape Reduction Package and introduced Bill 276 Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act. Proposed legislative changes and package reforms include:

      • Helping consumers save money on electricity by making it easier for them to track their energy usage

      • Helping to ensure Ontario remains a global leader in the connected and automated vehicle industry by supporting innovative pilot programs

      • Modernizing Ontario by bringing more processes and services online

      • Enhancing protections for workers by strengthening policies that keep them safe 

      • Supporting the not-for-profit sector and other corporations by allowing them to continue to hold virtual meetings during the pandemic

  • Ontario announces emergency child-care for critical frontline workers (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • The Ontario government is providing eligible health care and other frontline workers with free emergency child-care for school-aged children, starting Monday, April 19, 2021.

  • Targeted Health and Safety Blitz focuses on keeping workers safe in hot-spot regions (News Release).

    • The Ontario government will begin targeted provincewide inspections of construction sites, big box stores, food processors, manufacturers and warehouses, in Ottawa, Toronto and York Region, which have been identified as hot spots for COVID-19.

  • Ontario supporting the non-profit sector during COVID-19 (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is providing more than C$42-million to help 559 non-profit organizations across the province to support staff and volunteers, reimagine programing and renovate facilities as they deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The following Orders / Regulations were added to e-laws yesterday evening:

    • Made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020

    • Made under Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act:

  • 403,571 cases, an increase of 4,736 since yesterday, 29 deaths.

Quebec

  • Adjustments to instructions regarding the wearing of masks or face coverings (News Release).

    • Face coverings mandatory for indoor & outdoor leisure/sports activities in red & orange zones except:

      • If people (from different residences) never approach two meters from each other during the whole activity

      • Outside, when people (from different residences) remain seated two meters from each other

      • For swimming activities or water sports

      • Face coverings not required for people from the same residence

    • Face coverings mandatory in gyms in orange zone for everyone, regardless of residency

  • C$1.17-million for women-owned business recovery projects (News Release).

    • Subsidies of C$10,000 to C$20,000 were awarded to 67 women-owned businesses as part of a measure of the Action Plan to counter the impacts on women in the context of a pandemic

  • Ministerial Order 2021-026 – amends face covering requirements; restricts entry to Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord Health Regions.

  • Order in Council 555-2021 - public health emergency renewed until 23 April 2021.

  • 332,544 cases, an increase of 1,513 since yesterday, four deaths.

April 16, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The federal government has secured an additional eight million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine coming over the next few months as Moderna revealed coming shipments will be smaller than promised (CTV).

  • More than 200 travellers fined for refusing to quarantine in hotels after landing in Canada (CBC).

    • Some travellers concerned about lax safety protocols by shuttle and hotel staff and chose to quarantine at home.

  • The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are investing over C$99.4-million in 95 projects to improve long-term care homes across Ontario. The funding will go towards infrastructure upgrades including HVAC to make long-term care homes safer for those most vulnerable to Covid-19 (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • Minister of Health, announced the signature of a bilateral agreement with Ontario to enhance the province’s virtual health services.  Through this agreement, Ontario is receiving C$46-million to expand its efforts on virtual health care and the province will develop an action plan over the coming weeks (News Release).

  • The Minister of Health announced funding for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency to operate a number of safe, voluntary isolation sites across Saskatchewan. The sites will have up to 300 spaces to accommodate identified individuals in Saskatchewan who are unable to self-isolate safely at home (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • The Biden administration on Friday said it will invest US$1.7-billion to help states and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fight COVID-19 variants that are rapidly spreading across the United States (Reuters).

    • The investment, which will be part of President Joe Biden's US$1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan, will improve detection, monitoring, and mitigation of these variants by scaling up genomic sequencing efforts.

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel will meet on April 23 to discuss whether the pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine should continue after delaying a vote on the matter earlier this week (Reuters).

Alberta

  • In a letter sent to a wide range of industry stakeholders dated April 9, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, outlined a potential timeline for audiences to return to live events over the summer months (CBC).

    • While contingent on hospitalizations, case numbers, pressure on the health-care system and the vaccination rollout, the potential timeline outlines:

      • No in-person events in April and early May.

      • By late May, anticipated allowance of 15 per cent of fixed seating capacity, to a maximum of 100 people outdoors.

      • By late June, increase to 50 per cent of fixed seating capacity to a maximum of 500 people outdoors, and 15 per cent of fixed seating capacity indoors, to a maximum of 100 people.

      • By late July, the complete removal of capacity restrictions.

  • Starting April 17, Alberta Health Services will accept walk-ins for eligible Albertans (aged 55+) wanting the AstraZeneca vaccine at the existing rapid flow clinic at the Edmonton EXPO Centre and at the Southport clinic in Calgary (News Release).

  • 166,177 cases, an increase of 1,646 since yesterday, five deaths.

British Columbia

  • 116,075 cases, an increase of 1,205 since yesterday, three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ford announces new restrictions as COVID-19 cases threaten to remain high all summer (CBC).

    • Extension of stay-at-home order to a minimum of six weeks.

    • All non-essential construction and recreational facilities such as tennis courts and playgrounds will be closed.

    • Outdoor gatherings with people outside a person's household will be prohibited, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

    • Effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, capacity at religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be limited to 10 people.

    • Manitoba and Quebec border checks will be effective as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

    • Incoming travellers not meeting a list of prescribed exceptions will be turned back.

    • Police will have the authority to ask anyone outside their residence to indicate their purpose for leaving home and provide their address. That includes stopping vehicles and potentially issuing tickets up to C$750. 

    • Inspectors will also visit law offices, accounting firms and other such locations to check that only essential workers are in the building.

  • Premier Doug Ford's government is reaching out to every single province and territory asking for help with health-care resources as the third wave of COVID-19 inundates Ontario's intensive care units (ICU) and overwhelms physicians and nurses (CTV).

    • Request asks for nurses, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, and anesthesia assistants. Government is willing to pay temporary relocation expenses.

  • O. Reg. 288/21 prohibits recreational camping on public lands effective April 16, 2021.

  •  408,383 cases, an increase of 4,812 since yesterday, 25 deaths.

Quebec

  • Ministerial Order 2021-27 amends previous orders on students/degree holders within the medical, health, and science fields providing vaccine preparation support.

  • 334 071 cases, an increase of 1 527 since yesterday, seven deaths.

April 19, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The 2021 Federal Budget has been published: Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience (News Release).

    • Part I: Finishing the Fight Against COVID-19.

      • Chapter 1: Keeping Canadians Healthy and Safe

      • Chapter 2: Seeing Canadians and Businesses Through to Recovery

        • Highlights:

          • Budget 2021 proposes to extend the wage subsidy until September 25, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021.

          • Budget 2021 proposes to require that any publicly listed corporation receiving the wage subsidy and found to be paying its top executives more in 2021 than in 2019 will need to repay the equivalent in wage subsidy amounts received for any qualifying period starting after June 5, 2021 and until the end of the wage subsidy program.

          • Budget 2021 proposes to extend the rent subsidy and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the rate of the rent subsidy, beginning July 4, 2021.

          • Budget 2021 proposes to extend the application deadline for similar support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021.

          • Support for Small Business

  • Yesterday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government is working to provide additional, emergency support to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario (News Release). This includes:

    • Sending federal health care staff and equipment to the front lines in Ontario to care for people across the province, particularly in areas that are most impacted.

    • Boosting rapid testing to help stop the spread of the virus, and working with municipalities and businesses to deploy them to hot spots across Ontario, support contact tracing and isolation, and make workplaces safer.

    • Investing C$84.2-million to support voluntary safe isolation sites, including across Ontario. These sites have already helped 3,900 Ontarians isolate safely to prevent the spread of the virus.

    • Signing a bilateral agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to enhance virtual health services in the province. This agreement comes with C$46-million in funding to expand Ontario’s efforts on virtual health care during the pandemic.

    • Providing an additional supply of tocilizumab and other needed drugs for Ontario through reallocation from other provinces and territories. Tocilizumab is used to treat severe pneumonia in COVID-19 patients.

  • Government of Canada assists Ontario with COVID-19 response through extension of Mobile Health Units (News Release).

  • Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has updated guidelines on at-home ventilation during the pandemic, encouraging the use of high-efficiency central air filters and opening windows while urging caution when it comes to ceiling fans and portable air purifiers (CTV).

  • Interim Order respecting certain requirements for Civil Aviation due to COVID-19, No. 25 published in the April 17th Canada Gazette Part I (made under the Aeronautics Act).

  • Federal government expecting 1M vaccine doses this week after Moderna delays delivery (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • National Credit Union Administration: Temporary Regulatory Relief in Response to COVID-19-Prompt Corrective Action (Rule).

Alberta

  • AstraZeneca vaccine eligibility drops to age 40 (News Release).

    • Starting April 20, Albertans aged 40 or over will be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    • Participating pharmacies and Alberta Health Services will begin booking appointments for AstraZeneca vaccinations for Albertans born in 1981 or earlier. Walk-in vaccinations will be available at the walk-in clinics in Edmonton and Calgary, as well as specific pharmacies across the province.

  • 170,795 cases, an increase of 1,516 on April 17, 2021, six deaths.

British Columbia

  • Paid leave for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

    • The B.C. government has introduced amendments (Bill 3 Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2021) to the Employment Standards Act that, if passed, will provide workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

  • The province has extended pandemic restrictions on indoor dining at restaurants and bars until the end of the long weekend in May. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the measures, which also restrict adult activities at gyms, will continue beyond the initial three-week deadline because the province is in "a very challenging situation: (CBC).

  • New vaccine schedule invites those 18 and over to register this week (News Release).

  • 117,080 cases, an increase of 1,005 on Friday, six deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario safely expands age eligibility for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to 40 and over (Statement).

    • Starting Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Ontario will offer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 40 and over at pharmacy and primary care settings across the province.

  • Legislative Activity:

    • Bill 276, Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act received second reading today.

    • S.O. 2021, c. 4 (Bill 245), Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021 received Royal Assent today. The Act builds on modernization initiatives, see previously published News Release and Backgrounder.

  • The following Orders / Regulations were added to e-laws this weekend:

  • 421,442 cases, an increase of 13,059 since Friday, 71 deaths.

Quebec

  • Measures relating to the closure of the border with Ontario starting April 19 (Ministerial Order 2021-029 and News Release).

    • Anyone coming from Ontario will be prohibited from entering or being in Quebec, unless they demonstrate in particular:

      • have their main residence or a secondary residence there and, in the latter case, have to ensure their maintenance;

      • travel there for humanitarian purposes;

      • travel there to obtain care or services required by their state of health or to provide such care or services to a person who requires them;

      • to work there, to practice his profession or to attend an educational establishment;

      • travel there to comply with a judgment rendered by a court, to respond to a subpoena to appear in court or to allow the exercise of parental custody or access rights;

      • be an employee of the federal public service whose place of work is in Quebec and that his presence is required by the employer at that place of work;

      • ensure the transport of goods in Quebec or in transit in Quebec;

      • cross it in order to get to his principal residence located outside Quebec;

      • enter or cross it as part of an international trip or to another province, by bus, train, ferry or plane.

    • Sporadic checks will be carried out to limit travel between the two provinces.

    • People entering Quebec from Ontario to return to their main residence must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, with some exceptions.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-028 related to a variety of amendments affecting persons authorized to administer a flu or COVID-19 vaccine and educational services.

  • The Minister for Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Ms. Isabelle Charest, is pleased to announce the allocation of an additional C$5-million to help local and regional sports organizations (News Release).

  • 338,044 cases, an increase of 3,973 since Friday, 26 deaths.

April 20, 2021

Canada - Federal

  • As some provinces begin expanding eligibility for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is set to release updated guidance about the usage of the two-dose viral vector injection (CTV).

  • Canada and the United States on Tuesday extended a land-border closure for non-essential travelers until May 21, and air passengers arriving in Canada will continue to be tested for COVID-19 ahead of a hotel quarantine period (Reuters).

U.S. - Federal

  • The U.S. State Department will boost its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80 per cent of countries worldwide, citing “unprecedented risk to travelers” from the COVID-19 pandemic (Reuters and Media Note).

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a broad range of flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions across the country to return to serving healthy meals in fall 2021 as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reopen schools safely. Several meal service flexibilities that enable social distancing are now extended through June 30, 2022 (News Release).

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is announcing the availability of nearly US$150-million to community-based health care providers serving  to aid their response to COVID-19 (News Release).

Alberta

  • CMOH Order 12-2021 is the most recent version of the emergency health orders previously made by the Chief Medical Health Officer and is effective April 19, 2021.

  • 172,186 cases, an increase of 1,391 on April 18, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • BC’s 2021 Budget was released today.

    • ​Allocates C$900-million in 2021/22 to support the Province’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic including vaccination programs, testing and contact tracing, and Covid-19 screening for staff at long-term care facilities.

    • Continues to fund the BC Recovery Benefit. People can apply until June 30, 2021.

    • Funds ongoing business supports initiated through the StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan to help B.C. businesses through the pandemic and help them prepare for recovery.

      • C$150-million for the StrongerBC Increased Employment Incentive tax credit.

      • C$35-million to help B.C. farmers keep the temporary foreign workers supporting B.C.’s crop harvesting safe from COVID-19.

      • C$10-million to expand the Grow BC, Feed BC, Buy BC strategy to strengthen and expand the domestic market for B.C. products.

      • C$100-million to support tourism recovery, including support for major anchor attractions that help make British Columbia such a unique destination.

      • An additional C$20-million for community destination development grants that will help communities prepare for future visitors through new tourism infrastructure like trails and airport improvements.

  • B.C. Premier John Horgan announced new travel restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. A formal order is expected to come at the end of this week, and the restrictions will be in place until May 24, 2021 (CBC).

    • B.C. residents will not be able to book accommodations or a camping site outside of their local health authority. Private operators will cancel existing bookings and BC Parks will ensure existing public site bookings are refunded.  BC Ferries will stop accepting bookings for recreational vehicles such as campers and trailers at the end of this week. The ferry service will also contact passengers who have already made reservations to ensure they are essential travellers.

    • Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth will be issuing orders on Friday under the Emergency Program Act to restrict a person's ability to leave their health-care authority. The order will be enforced through a roadside checkpoint program.  Fines will be issued for travellers outside their area without a valid reason.

    • The provincial government says it will be erecting new border signs along the B.C.-Alberta border, reminding people to stay within their own province if travel isn't essential. At this point, there will be no checkpoints.

  • Province shifts vaccine strategy to include high-transmission communities (News Release).

    • People born in 1981 or before (40+) living in the following communities will be invited to book their vaccine appointments at additional community clinics starting this week (April 19-23), following a change in the use of AstraZeneca:

      • Dawson Creek

      • East and West Newton

      • Fleetwood

      • Kensington

      • North Delta

      • North Surrey

      • Panorama

      • Port Coquitlam

      • South Langley Township

      • Squamish

      • West Abbotsford

      • Whalley

    • People living in high-transmission communities must register for their vaccine appointments using the Province’s Get Vaccinated registration and booking tool and will be invited to book an appointment on the same day they register.

    • People will confirm whether they live in a high-transmission neighbourhood prioritized for immunization by entering their postal code here: gov.bc.ca/neighbourhoodplan. Only those with eligible postal codes will be able to receive a vaccine through this program.

  • Order in Council 247-2021 creates the COVID-19 (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act) Regulation

  • 120,040 cases, an increase of 2,960 since yesterday, eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto Public Health will issue a Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act  by Friday, April 23, 2021 to close workplaces to manage COVID-19 outbreaks (News Release).

    • The Order is planned to require the closure of certain workplaces, or portions of workplaces, where five or more confirmed cases are identified within a 14-day period and where cases could reasonably have been acquired through infection in the workplace.

    • The workplace closure will be in effect for a minimum period of 10 calendar days.

    • During this time, workers at the affected workplace will be required to self-isolate.

    • Certain workplaces, such as health care facilities, schools, child-care centres, and workplaces providing critical services may be exempt from full closure requirements.

  • City of Toronto update on City services and enforcement of COVID-19 regulations (News Release).

    • Toronto remains in the Shutdown Zone of the province’s COVID-19 response framework and subject to a provincial stay-at-home order that has been extended until Wednesday, May 5.

    • Indoor and outdoor gatherings are now limited to the members of a single household. A person living alone is permitted to socialize in-person with one other household.

    • Indoor and outdoor religious services, rites, wedding and funeral ceremonies are limited to 10 people or fewer.

    • Beginning April 20th, City staff are closing affected park and outdoor recreation amenities.

      • Amenities that will remain open subject to social distancing and mask wearing guidelines: parks and beaches, playgrounds, washrooms, dog off-leash areas, benches in parks or recreational areas, and community and allotment gardens.

      • All other outdoor and recreational amenities are closed including picnic tables and shelters, golf courses, sports courts and fields (i.e. basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, lawn bowling greens), BMX and skate parks, outdoor fitness equipment, and dry pads.

    • City garbage, recycling, and organics collection remains in place and construction projects will continue.

    • St. Lawrence Market continues to operate with the extensive COVID-19 precautions in place.

  • The Ontario government, in collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart, will begin offering 24/7 AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccinations for individuals aged 40 and at 20 pharmacy locations, with 16 located in hot spot communities such as Toronto, Peel and York Region beginning April 21, 2021 (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • 424,911 cases, an increase of 3,469 since yesterday, 22 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec’s special emergency measures will be extended until May 2 in the Metropolitan Community of Quebec as well as throughout the territory of the Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais regions.  The AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to people 45 years of age and over starting April 21 with or without an appointment.  The access criterion is the age of the person and not their year of birth (News Release).

  • The Minister of Culture and Communications announced that a C$60-million bonus is planned to support the broadcasting of Québec shows in the context of health measures in force (News Release).

  • 339,180 cases, an increase of 1,136 since yesterday, 17 deaths.

April 8, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Canada receives first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines through global vaccine initiative (CBC).

U.S. – Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • Alberta will vaccinate 2,000 employees at Cargill meat packing plant (Globe & Mail).

  • Curing disease and creating vaccines (News Release).

    • Alberta’s government is providing C$20-million in funding to support research and development in vaccines and curing disease.

  • New vaccine clinic to open at EXPO Centre (News Release).

    • A new rapid flow vaccine clinic will open in Edmonton to help local residents quickly access the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • 155,476 cases, an increase of 1,351 since yesterday, one death (numbers as of April 7th).

British Columbia

  • Priority COVID-19 vaccines roll out in B.C. for some frontline workers, but approval is unclear (Globe & Mail).

  • 106,985 cases, an increase of 997 since yesterday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • Additional protections for schools to keep students and staff safe (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is introducing new measures to protect schools against COVID-19 which include refresher training, enhanced cleaning and asymptomatic testing. As these new measures are being introduced, the government will begin offering registration for vaccinations to education workers during the spring break.

  • Ontario helps farmers and agri-food operators keep workers safe during COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Workplace inspection campaign launching In COVID-19 hotspots (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is launching a series of zero-tolerance workplace safety inspections in sectors and regions hardest hit by COVID-19, beginning tomorrow with warehouses, food processors and manufacturers in Peel and Halton Regions.

  • Peel Region to lower age range to get a COVID-19 vaccine each week as it seeks to accelerate rollout (Globe & Mail).

  • 374,112 cases, an increase of 3,295 since yesterday, 19 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec City region sees large jump in COVID-19 cases, fuelled by more transmissible variants (Globe & Mail).

  • Quebecers now need to wear masks during outdoor activities and at work (CTV).

  • COVID-19 - Limited presence in yellow and green areas (News Release).

    • The Minister of Public Safety is informing the public that, as of April 8, 2021, it is now prohibited for a person whose main residence is located in the areas of alert levels red and orange to be in a yellow or green area.

  • Order in Council 525-2021, declaring Renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act.

  • Ministerial Order No. 2021-022, on professional qualifications for administration of COVID tests & vaccines.

  • Ministerial Order No. 2021-023, on physical distancing in public places.

  • 321,411 cases, an increase of 1,609 since yesterday, nine deaths.

April 9, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says Ottawa is looking at expanding the categories of essential workers allowed to travel across the Canada-U.S. border (CTV).

    • He told a parliamentary committee Thursday that could mean allowing technicians in the integrated auto industry to be considered essential workers for cross-border purposes.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said stricter measures are needed in several parts of the country to curb the third wave of COVID-19 (CBC).

    • Trudeau also gave an update on vaccine rollout; he said by the end of June, Canada expects to have received at least 44 million vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford.

  • Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that building a nationwide early learning and child-care system will be at the centre of the Liberal government's COVID-19 recovery plan (CBC).

U.S. - Federal

  • Proposed Rule: Protections for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

  • Pfizer, BioNTech seek U.S. emergency nod for COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents (CTV).

    • The companies said that they requested an expansion of the authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to include the younger age group.

  • White House says J&J COVID-19 shot shipments to be low until U.S. vaccine plant cleared by regulators (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Effective immediately, the province will strongly encourage all new COVID-19 cases to isolate away from other household members, in hotels or other separate accommodations, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday (CBC).

    • Also, as of Thursday, the province will begin offering testing twice to close contacts of all confirmed cases, Hinshaw said, regardless of what strain they may have been exposed to.

  • 156,905 cases, an increase of 1,429 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Starting Monday, when the public health investigation determines that transmission has occurred at the workplace, an order may be issued closing the workplace for 10 days or longer to stop the transmission. In the case of complex workplaces (e.g., large construction sites), the closure may be restricted to those parts of the workplace where transmission has occurred (News Release).

  • Relief funding coming for hard-hit businesses (News Release).

    • B.C. government will provide more than C$50-million to help the 14,000 restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms and fitness centres affected by the March 30, 2021, provincial health orders. 

    • The new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant will provide affected businesses with up to $10,000 in one-time funding to help with expenses like rent, insurance, employee wages, maintenance and utilities. The grant can also help cover unexpected costs that resulted from the restrictions, such as the purchase of perishable goods.

    • Applications are expected to open the week of April 12, 2021, and will close on June 4, 2021, or until the funds are dispersed.

    • To register to receive an email notification when applications open, businesses can visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/business-relief

  • PST rebate for capital investments opens to support business recovery (News Release).

    • Online applications are open. The first window is open until Sept. 20, 2021, followed by a second window after the eligible rebate period (Oct. 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022). Rebate eligibility is based on the Canada Revenue Agency’s Capital Cost Allowance classes.

  • 108,278 cases, an increase of 1,293 since yesterday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • City of Toronto providing emergency child care for school-aged children of essential workers (News Release).

  • The following regulation was added to e-laws on Wednesday evening:

    • O.Reg. 267/21 Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

  • Ontario offering COVID-19 vaccines to migrant farm workers at Toronto airport in pilot run (Globe and Mail).

  • 378, 339 cases, an increase of 4,227 since yesterday, 18 deaths.

    • Starting Monday, most Ontario hospitals are expected to “ramp down” all elective surgeries and non-emergent/non-urgent activities in order to deal with the record number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (CTV).

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault announced the extension of special emergency measures until April 18, inclusive, for an additional week (News Release).

    • Special emergency measures are thus extended in the Metropolitan Community of Quebec, the city of Gatineau as well as in the MRCs of Collines-de-l'Outaouais, Beauce-Sartigan, Bellechasse, Etchemins, La Nouvelle-Beauce. and Robert-Cliche.

    • In addition, from Sunday April 11, until further notice, the curfew will be moved up to 8 p.m. in the Montreal and Laval regions. The curfew is currently in effect between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.

    • Travel in yellow and green zones prohibited.

  • The Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, announced additional enhanced measures to Aid for businesses in regions on maximum alert (News Release).

    • Here are some of the adjustments that now come into effect for businesses subject to a closure order:

      • extension of the moratorium until September 1, 2021 for the reimbursement of capital and interest linked to the financial assistance granted;

      • maximum additional amount of C$10,000 to compensate for the cost of closing a restaurant or gym. This additional support applies to companies qualifying for the AERAM and aims to support establishments that had recently resumed their activities, but had to cease them following a re-closure order in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;

      • additional support corresponding to a non-refundable contribution equivalent to a maximum amount of C$45,000 for establishments that were closed for more than 180 days, i.e. C$15,000 per month, for fixed costs disbursed the three months following the last month of eligibility under closure.

      • addition of companies offering a catering service in the restaurant category, with feedback possible until January 1, 2021.

  • Regulation amending certain municipal provisions to facilitate the conduct of the municipal general election of November 7, 2021, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has been published in the April 9 Gazette officielle du Québec.

  • 323,094 cases, an increase of 1,683 since yesterday, eight deaths.

April 5, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Canada to receive nearly 2.2 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses this week as cases spike (Globe & Mail, April 5, 2021)

  • Canada’s COVID-19 death toll from first months of pandemic higher than thought, data show (Globe & Mail, April 5, 2021)

  • Canada surpasses 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since start of pandemic (CTV, April 1, 2021)

U.S. - Federal

  • Temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (CDC Order)

    • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed a declaration determining that the evictions of tenants could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Alberta

  • Phase 2B vaccine appointments available through AHS (News Release)

  • 153,194 cases, an increase of 3,987 since last digest, eight deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • Schools in Peel Region ordered closed for two weeks due to surging COVID-19 cases (Globe & Mail, April 5, 2021)

  • City of Toronto opens The Hangar COVID-19 immunization clinic for residents age 60 years and older (News Release)

  • Ontario extends COVID-19 vaccination booking to more age groups (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is extending booking for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to more age groups through its provincial booking system in 10 public health units on Friday, April 2, 2021.

  • Torontonians age 60 or older can now book their COVID-19 shot at City-operated immunization clinics (News Release)

  • Regulations filed Thursday April 1:

  • 364,537 cases, an increase of 12,077 since last digest, 38 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec reports 1,252 new COVID-19 cases as five more municipalities set to enter lockdown (Globe & Mail, April 5, 2021)

  • What's behind Quebec's targeted approach to the 3rd wave, and could it work? (CBC, April 2, 2021)

  • Order No. 2021-020, detailing new curfew and lockdown measures, in force as of 8:00 pm, April 1, 2021

  • 317,364 cases, an increase of 5,002 since last digest, 12 deaths.

April 6, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding front-line workers that a federal sick leave benefit is available, and is offering premiers more help to speed up their vaccine rollouts, saying now is not the time to debate who should be paying for what (CTV).

  • Support for testing and contact tracing through the Safe Restart Agreement (News Release).

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the final instalment of the over C$19-billion Safe Restart Agreement, to help provinces and territories safely restart the economy, and provide continued support to Canadians.

  • Government of Canada marks major milestone in personal protective equipment manufacturing (News Release).

  • Young, healthy people are ending up in intensive care units more often as the more contagious and deadlier variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 take over said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, earlier today (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • The White House ruled out imposing any form of a coronavirus vaccine passport in the United States, but said private businesses were free to explore the idea (CTV).

  • The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is rescinding the Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Electronic Credit Card Disclosures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic - Rescission of Statement of Policy.

Alberta

  • COVID-19 cases have not been updated yet.

British Columbia

  • 104,920 cases, an increase of 1,889 since April 4, 23 deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto schools have been ordered to close as of Wednesday April 7, forcing students to make the switch from in-person classes to virtual learning (CTV and City of Toronto News Release).

    • Students will move to online learning from April 7 through to April 18 after Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa used her discretionary powers under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act on Tuesday to close schools.

    • School-aged children will not be permitted to attend daycares located inside TDSB schools during the closure, however, pre-school-aged children will continue to be permitted to attend.

    • Licensed child care programs will not be permitted to offer care to children whose schools are required to be closed, with the exception of emergency child care for those who qualify. 

  • The Ontario government is moving into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, with a focus on reaching individuals in "hot spot" communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain neighbourhoods (News Release).

    • In addition, starting as early as April 6, 2021, individuals with the highest-risk health conditions will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario.

    • Appendix of the Hot Spot Communities Postal Codes can be found here.

    • Many of those who will be eligible under the initiative are essential workers, officials said, though they did not say exactly when it will begin (CBC).

      • The 13 public health units included in the plan are: Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, Simcoe-Muskoka, Southwestern, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Windsor-Essex, and York Region.

  • Premier Doug Ford also signalled that further restrictions are coming for the province, but he did not offer any specifics (CBC).

  • 367,602 cases, an increase of 3,065 since yesterday, eight deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec urges regional authorities to act quickly against operations breaking COVID-19 health rules (Globe and Mail).

  • S.Q. 2021 c. 8 (Bill 85) An Act to facilitate the conduct of the 7 November 2021 municipal general election in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in force March 25, 2021 except section 4, which comes into force on the date of coming into force of the first regulation made under section 3.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-021 the measures set out in the second paragraph of Ministerial Order 2021-020 dated 1 April 2021 also apply to the territories of the regional county municipalities of Beauce-Sartigan, Bellechasse, Les Etchemins, La Nouvelle-Beauce and Robert-Cliche in the Chaudière-Appalaches Health Region.

  • The Health and Welfare Commissioner  published a report setting out its findings following the call for testimonies carried out as part of its mandate on the evaluation of care and services for the elderly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • 318,532 cases, an increase of 1,168 since yesterday, four deaths.

April 7, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Vaccine committee says extending dose interval would allow more essential workers to receive 1st shot (CBC).

    • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) published updated guidelines on the recommended interval between doses after members reviewed updated research that aligns with the "rapid" response recommendations the committee made last month.

U.S. - Federal

  •  All American adults (18+) to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by April 19: President Joe Biden (Reuters).
  • Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announces expansion of COVID-19 vaccine program to all community health centers across the country (News Release).

  • UK variant of COVID-19 is now most common strain in United States: CDC (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Moving back into Step 1 of COVID-19 restrictions (News Release).

    • Effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 6, updated mandatory health measures go into effect for retail, fitness and performance activities.

    • Effective at noon on Friday, April 9, restaurants will be restricted to providing only takeout, delivery and patio service.

    • Alberta will remain in Step 1 with restaurant restrictions until further notice.

  • Alberta’s government will bring in new measures starting immediately to ramp-up the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as infections and hospitalizations rise (News Release).

    • Starting April 7 at 8 a.m., anyone born in 2005 or earlier with eligible underlying health conditions can book appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine at participating pharmacies or with Alberta Health Services (AHS) online or by calling 811.

    • Albertans aged 55 to 64 who do not have a chronic health condition can now make an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    • Effective immediately, anyone born between 1957 and 1966 can book appointments at participating pharmacies across the province. AHS will also begin booking appointments starting on Monday, April 12.

    • Bookings for rapid flow clinics in Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat will open on Friday, April 9. More clinics will open in Edmonton and Calgary next week.

    • Alberta will soon expand its vaccine rollout at participating pharmacies to allow walk-in bookings, rather than those by appointment only. Additional information will be shared when pharmacy walk-ins become available next week.

  • Funding not-for-profits to support Alberta’s recovery; Twenty-one civil society organizations will benefit from C$7-million in provincial funding to support community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • 154,125 cases, an increase of 931 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • New mental health resources for sectors hit hard by pandemic (News Release).

  • 105,988 cases, an increase of 1,068 since yesterday, three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario enacts provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m and will last 28 days (News Release).

    • The government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

    • Schools and childcare will remain open in public health regions that permit them to be open. 

    • All non-essential retailers will close to in-person shopping, in-person dining will be prohibited and gyms and personal care services will be shuttered. Retailers will be able to offer curbside pickup and delivery services between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

    • Big box stores will be allowed to remain open only to sell essential goods. Shopping malls will be limited to curbside pickup via appointment and delivery.

    • A select group of stores will be allowed to remain open by appointment only with a 25 per cent capacity limit.

      • This includes safety supply stores, businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, rental and leasing services including automobiles and equipment, optical stores that sell prescription eyewear, businesses that sell motor vehicles and boats, vehicle and equipment repair and retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or services (CTV).

  • City of Toronto working with healthcare and community partners to launch Phase 2 vaccine rollout in priority neighbourhoods (News Release).

  • Made-in-Ontario N95 Respirators begin rolling off the production line at the 3M Brockville Plant; Provincial and federal investment helps secure domestic supply chain for vital PPE (News Release).

    • Ontario supports local manufacturing of disinfectant during COVID-19; Windsor manufacturer to make 12 million bottles of Clorox Pine-Sol, expanding emergency stockpile (News Release).

  • The following Orders were added to e-laws this afternoon (all made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act):

  • 370,817 cases, an increase of 3,215 since yesterday, 17 deaths.

Quebec

  • Significant quantities of vaccine doses have been received in the past few days and several deliveries are also expected shortly. More than 700,000 doses are thus available for the next week (News Release).

    • Vaccination will be open to people aged 60 and over in all regions of Quebec starting tomorrow, April 8.

  • Faced with the threat of COVID-19 variants the Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work requires continuous medical masks to be worn indoors in workplaces. This obligation applies everywhere in Quebec, starting this Thursday, April 8 (News Release).

  • Premier François Legault announced a tightening of the sanitary instructions in force for the red and orange alert levels, in the context of a rapid progression of variants in Quebec. In addition, Public Health will now conduct faster interventions to close the places of transmission of the virus as well as those where health rules are not respected (News Release).

    • The new adjustments will take effect on Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m.

  • 319,802 cases, an increase of 1,270 since yesterday, eight deaths.

April 1, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • U.S. batch of AstraZeneca vaccine gets Health Canada OK (CTV).

  • Conclusion of the request for assistance in long-term care facilities in Quebec (News Release).

  • Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on April 1, 2021 (News Release).

    • The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Published in the April 3rd Canada Gazette Part I:

    •  Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 24 (p. 1448), made under the Aeronautics Act

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. okays Abbott's rapid COVID-19 test for at-home screenings in those without symptoms (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta reach highest level since Jan. 25 (CBC).

    • Premier Jason Kenney said Alberta won't aim to drive COVID-19 infections to zero with curfews, stay-at-home orders or widespread business closures. "The broader cost to peoples' lives, to their livelihoods, to our social and economic health, would be massive if we were to pursue true lockdown policies," he said.

  • 148,332 cases, an increase of 871 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Job-protected leave for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine (News Release). 

    • The Province has made regulatory improvements under the Employment Standards Act to quickly bring in a job-protected leave. Part-time and full-time workers will be able to take the time needed to travel and receive the vaccine or to take a dependent family member to receive the vaccine. See BC OIC 216/2021.

  • Ministry of Health - Overview of visitors in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living (Public Health Guidelines).

    • This guidance supports safe, meaningful visits in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living settings while adhering to infection prevention & control requirements.

  • Updated Food and Liquor Serving Premises and Retail Establishments which Sell Liquor – March 31, 2021 (Public Health Order).

  • 100,048 cases, an increase of 1,013 since yesterday, three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario reports nearly 2,600 new COVID-19 cases for first time in months (CTV).

  • Ontario expanding pharmacy and primary care locations for COVID-19 vaccinations (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is steadily increasing capacity in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout with the addition of over 350 additional pharmacies and more primary care settings across the province. All of these locations will be offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals aged 55 and over, with some locations to begin offering the vaccine as early as Saturday, April 3, 2021.

  • Effective 12:01 am, Saturday April 3, Ontario re-entering province-wide ‘emergency brake’ lockdown, for a period of 4 weeks (CTV)

    •  Official News Release. Measures include, but are not limited to:

      • Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.

      • Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;

      • Prohibiting personal care services;

      • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;

      • Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;

      • Requiring day camps to close; and,

      • Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

  • 352,460 cases, an increase of 2,557 since yesterday, 23 deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council 489-2021, declaring Renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act.

  • 312,362 cases, an increase of 1,271 since yesterday, nine deaths.

March 31, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The following has been issued:

    • PC Number: 2021-0214 Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 — Wage and Rent Subsidies Periods 14 to 16).

  • Published in the March 31 Canada Gazette Part II:

    • S.O.R./2021-36 Canada Labour Standards Regulations (made under the Canada Labour Code).

    • S.O.R./2021-35 Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations (made under the Canada Recovery Benefits Act)

    • S.O.R./2021-47 Order Amending the Fees in Respect of Drugs and Medical Devices Order (COVID-19 Drugs) (made under the Food and Drugs Act).

U.S. - Federal

  • Temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (Agency Order).

Alberta

  • 147,461 cases, an increase of 576 since yesterday, four deaths.

British Columbia

  • The state of emergency has been extended until April 13, 2021 (News Release and Order).

  • More commercial recreation businesses get a break on rent (News Release).

    • Order in Council No. 201 Commercial Recreation Tenure (COVID-19 Emergency) Relief Order was made under the Financial Administration Act.

  • Immunize BC, pharmacists move up vaccines for ages 55 to 65 on Lower Mainland (News Release).

  • 99,035 cases, an increase of 840 since yesterday, no deaths.

Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford says his government will make an announcement on possible new COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow as the province reached a record high number of people battling the disease in intensive care units (CTV).

  • Province doubles support for parents with new Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is providing parents with C$980-million in direct support as part of the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit. Under this new round of funding, payments will be doubled to C$400 per child and C$500 for a child with special needs to help offset additional learning costs. This investment is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy.

  • Ontario expands domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and improves pandemic preparedness; the Ontario government is partnering with the federal government, the City of Toronto and Sanofi (News Release).

  • Sched. 22, s. 4 and 5 of S.O. 2020 c. 36 Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020 proclaimed in force March 15, 2021 (amends the Insurance Act).

  • 349,903 cases, an increase of 2,333 since yesterday, 15 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault has just announced that several regions will move back from orange to red zones in the province's colour-coded COVID-19 alert map (CBC).

    • Legault says Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau will be essentially shut down for 10 days starting Thursday to curb the "exponential" rise of COVID-19 cases in these three cities.

    • Schools will be closed along with gyms, theatres, hairdressers and other non-essential businesses, he said on Wednesday. Religious gatherings will be limited to 25 people and there will also be an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until at least April 12.

  • 311,091 cases, an increase of 1,025 since yesterday, nine deaths.

March 30, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The Government of Canada reminds travellers returning to Canada of COVID-19 border measures (News Release).

  • Use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in younger adults (Statement).

    • Health Canada will be issuing additional terms and conditions requiring AstraZeneca manufacturers to conduct a detailed assessment of the benefits and risks of the vaccine by age and gender in the Canadian context. This information, along with further international evidence, will be used to determine if additional regulatory actions are necessary.

      • In the interim, National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending an immediate pause in the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in all individuals less than 55 years of age in Canada. 

  • Joint statement on the WHO-Convened COVID-19 Origins Study.

    • The text of the statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

  • Pfizer moves up vaccine delivery, with 5 million more doses coming in June (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • 146,885 cases, an increase of 545 since yesterday, no deaths.

British Columbia

  • As per Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement at yesterday’s press conference: to address rising COVID-19 case counts, protect people and communities and help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, the provincial health officer is amending the provincial public health orders effective midnight tonight, March 30, 2021 (News Release).

    • New and amended orders and guidelines are in effect through April 19, 2021 and include:

      • For restaurants, bars and pubs, all food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios. People dining on patios should do so with their immediate household or core bubble.

      • Indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are also paused. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only i.e. one-on-one personal training.

      • The previously announced class variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services under the current variance may continue.

      • Travel continues to be limited to essential travel, work or medical reasons only. For those who have travelled outside their health region, if you or anyone in your family develops any signs of illness, you must stay home from work, school or daycare, and arrange to get tested immediately.

      • All workers are strongly encouraged to work from home, where possible.

      • Public health guidance for schools has also been amended to support and encourage students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school.

  • 98,195 cases, an increase of 2,518 since Friday, six deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the province plans to proceed with spring break for schools next month (Globe and Mail).

    • Stephen Lecce says the government will let families know “well in advance” if that changes following any recommendation from the province’s top doctor.

  • Premier Doug Ford warns Ontarians to 'be prepared' for possible lockdown amid surging wave of COVID-19 cases at today’s press conference (CTV).

    • Ford would not specify what new measures his government is considering.

  • 347,570 cases, an increase of 2,336 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault says five regions of the province are seeing a rise in cases of COVID-19 and the government will be watching them closely to see if tighter restrictions need to be put in place (CBC).

    • The regions are:

      • The Outaouais, particularly the city of Gatineau.

      • Quebec City.

      • Lac-St-Jean, particularly Roberval.

      • The Beauce.

      • The Lower Saint-Lawrence, particularly Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski.

    • Premier Legault also said Quebec could move curfew back to 8 p.m. (Montreal Gazette).

  • 310,066 cases, an increase of 864 since yesterday, seven deaths.

March 29, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Health Canada taking further action to confirm the benefit-risk profile of the AstraZeneca vaccine (News Release).

  • Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization will recommend pausing administration of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to those under the age of 55, a senior government source tells CTV News (CTV).

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada says Pfizer and BioNTech are scheduled to ship nearly 1.2 million doses this week, as the two companies continue pumping out shots at a rapid pace (Globe and Mail).

U.S. - Federal

  • President Joe Biden to announce 90 per cent of U.S. adults eligible for vaccine by April 19 (Reuters).

  • White House sees no federal mandate for COVID-19 vaccine verification (Reuters).

    • The White House said it expected the private sector to take the lead on verification of COVID-19 vaccines, or so-called vaccine passports, and would not issue a federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.

  • Biden-Harris Administration extends moratorium on residential evictions in USDA multifamily housing communities in accordance with CDC Guidance (News Release).

  • Department of Health & Human Services to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines for older adults and people with disabilities (News Release).

  • U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announces US$30.5-billion to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to COVID-19 (News Release).

Alberta

  • Vaccine rollout expanding to Phase 2B (News Release).

    • Starting March 30, Albertans born in or before 1963 with eligible underlying conditions will be able to book appointments through participating pharmacies that have vaccine supply in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. In the coming week, as more vaccine supply is available, other pharmacies will begin to offer bookings. 

    • Starting April 5, Alberta Health Services (AHS) will start taking bookings for people eligible in Phase 2B born in or before 1959.

  • 146,340  cases, an increase of 644 on Friday, seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. temporarily halting indoor dining at restaurants, indoor fitness activities for adults (CTV).

    • Dr. Bonnie Henry explained the province has seen a significant spike in cases in the last several days that led to the new restrictions. 

    • Henry also said all workers are encouraged to work from home, when possible and reminded British Columbians that non-essential travel isn't permitted.

  • The following Orders / Regulations were made:

    • Order in Council No. 191 Gaming Services Registration Fee (COVID-19 Emergency) Remission Regulation (made under the Financial Administration Act).

    • Order in Council No. 192 the COVID-19 (Income Tax Act) Regulation is made under the Emergency Program Act; and Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act is amended.

  • 95,677 cases, an increase of 908 on Friday, three deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is extending booking for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to individuals aged 70 and over through its online booking system and call centre in 11 additional public health units on March 29, 2021, following its expansion in Toronto that began on March 27, 2021 (News Release).

  • Ontario suspending use of AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 55 following NACI recommendations (CBC).

  • The Ontario government is providing an estimated C$100-million for a new one-time Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant and C$100-million for a new one-time recovery program (News Release).

  • Middlesex-London Public Health Region moving to Red-Control Level of COVID-19 Response Framework (News Release).

  • The following were added to e-laws Friday evening/today:

    • Made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020:

  • 345,234 cases, an increase of 6,995 since Friday, 29 deaths.

Quebec

March 26, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Statement by the Minister of National Revenue the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, on the Auditor General of Canada (OAG)’s performance audit of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (News Release).

  • Minister Mary Ng receives assurances from European Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis about vaccine exports to Canada (News Release).

  • New federal modelling data shows severity indicators and daily cases of COVID-19 are back on the rise as variants of the virus continue to spread in parts of the country, with incidents highest among young adults.

    • Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam presented data showing rising case counts, increased hospitalizations and ICU use, rising cases among young adults, and spiking numbers (Toronto Star).

  • Government of Canada invests in new research to address COVID-19 variants (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • S.A. 2021 c. 4 (Bill 53) Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act, 2021 received Royal Assent today. This Act, except section 5, has effect on August 15, 2020; section 5 in force March 26, 2021.

  • 144,311 cases, an increase of 764 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Beginning April 1, all residents in long-term care and assisted living will be able to have frequent, routine opportunities for social visitation (News Release).

  • 94,769 cases, an increase of 800 since yesterday, five deaths.

Ontario

  • Hair salons and personal care services (including but not limited to barber shops, hair and nail salons, and body art establishments) will be permitted to operate by appointment only starting April 12 in Toronto (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • Additionally, effective Monday, March 29, 2021:

      • Outdoor fitness classes will be allowed to resume with a maximum of 10 people.

      • Marinas and boating clubs permitted to operate clubhouses or any restaurant, bar and other food or drink establishment for outdoor dining, subject to public health and workplace safety measures.

      • The province is also modifying outdoor capacity limits for weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies held in regions in all levels of the Framework. 

    • Hamilton is moving into the grey-lockdown zone on Monday March 29, 2021.

  • City of Toronto COVID-19 immunization clinic appointments available to seniors age 70 and older starting tomorrow (News Release).

  • Timiskaming Public Health Region Moving to Red-Control Level of COVID-19 Response Framework (News Release and O.Reg. 220/21)

  • 338,239 cases, an increase of 2,169 since yesterday, 12 deaths.

Quebec

March 25, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Government announces additional pandemic support for vaccines, health care, and municipalities (News Release, Backgrounder and Support for Municipalities Backgrounder).

    • The proposed funding includes:

      • C$4-billion through the Canada Health Transfer to help provinces and territories address immediate health care system pressures, including addressing backlogs in access to care as the pandemic continues.

      • C$1-billion as a one-time payment to the provinces and territories to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues to accelerate and keeps pace with growing supply, and does not encounter any delays.

      • C$2.2-billion to address short-term infrastructure priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities. The funds would flow through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

      • The federal government also proposes to rename the federal Gas Tax Fund as the Canada Community-Building Fund.

    • The legislation: Bill C-25 An Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, to authorize certain payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and to amend another Act (tabled today).

      • This enactment amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to authorize additional payments to the provinces and territories. It also authorizes payments to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in relation to Canada’s COVID-19 immunization plan and infrastructure and amends the heading of Part 9 of the Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act.

  • Government of Canada welcomes the Auditor General’s report on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (News Release).

  • The dose-sharing deal with the United States has been finalized, and those 1.5 million shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine are set to arrive next week, Major General Dany Fortin announced today (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • Fact Sheet: Biden Administration announces historic US$10-billion investment to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and build vaccine confidence in hardest-hit and highest-risk communities.

Alberta

  • Expanding child care options for working parents; Alberta’s government is supporting working families across the province by allocating C$9.7-million in grants for operators to create 1,500 more spaces in day homes and daycare centres, including overnight care (News Release).

  • Bill 53 Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act, 2021 received third reading today.

  • 143,547 cases, an increase of 692 since yesterday, two deaths.

British Columbia

  • Residents in B.C. long-term care facilities allowed up to two visitors at a time starting April 1 (CBC).

  • Vital projects help workers impacted by COVID-19 (News Release).

    • Opportunities to work on more than 180 land-based projects are helping people begin their economic recovery from COVID-19, as part of the provincial response plan.

  • Province hikes fines to further enforce COVID-19 public safety (News Release).

    • Effective immediately, an amendment to the Violation Ticket Administration and Fine Regulation raises the fine for promoting and for attending a non-compliant gathering or event from C$230 to C$575. The current fine for those who organize or host a prohibited event remains the same at C$2,300.

      • Order in Council No. 85 amending the Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation (made under the Offence Act).

  • Updated Gatherings and Events Order to permit indoor worship services on four days between Sunday March 28 and Thursday May 13.

  • 93,969 cases, an increase of 716 since yesterday, three deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is considering legislation that would make remote learning a permanent part of the public-school system, according to a confidential ministry document (Globe and Mail).

  • Ontario's Action Plan doubles Ontario Small Business Support Grant (News Release).

    • Confirmed eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically receive a second payment equal to the amount of their first payment, for minimum total support of C$20,000 up to a maximum of C$40,000. 

  • 336,070 cases, an increase of 2,380 since yesterday, 17 deaths.

Quebec

  • Budget 2021-2022 - A C$15-billion investment to strengthen our health care system, support educational success and accelerate Québec's economic growth (press release 1 of 5).

    • Quebec announced it is pushing back its timeline for balancing the budget and focusing short-term spending on supporting the health-care system and the economy (CBC).

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announces that places of worship, whether they are located in regions with the red, orange or yellow alert level, may from March 26, increase their reception capacity according to their surface area, up to a maximum of 250 people per building (News Release).

  • The Coroner's Office announces the resumption of public hearings on the deaths of elderly or vulnerable people who have occurred in residential settings during the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • The Department of Health and Social Services announces that a single dose can be administered to people with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (News Release).

  • The following Orders were published in the March 25th Gazette officielle du Québec:     

    • Order in Council 291-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until 2 April 2021.

    • Order in Council 433-2021 related to a variety of COVID measures.

  • Bill 85 An Act to facilitate the conduct of the 7 November 2021 municipal general election in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic received Royal Assent today. Coming into force information is still unpublished.

  • 305,435 cases, an increase of 945 since yesterday, four deaths.

March 24, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • The federal government says it does not believe COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada would be affected by export restrictions being considered by the European Union (CBC).

U.S. - Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • Rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 screening: frequently asked questions.

  • 142,855 cases, an increase of 465 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Tourism, hospitality industry supports B.C. immunization efforts (News Release).

    • A new partnership will employ more than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers in mass vaccination clinics — creating hundreds of jobs for B.C.’s hard-hit tourism, hospitality and sport sectors.

  • People deemed clinically extremely vulnerable prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

    • People at higher risk from COVID-19 due to existing medical conditions, such as various forms of cancer, transplant recipients and severe respiratory conditions, will be able to register for their COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 29, 2021.

  • The provincial health officer’s order on gatherings and events has been amended to provide a variance for outdoor worship services (Order).

  • 93,253 cases, an increase of 628 since yesterday, one death.

Ontario

  • Adults over 50 living in COVID-19 hotspot neighbourhoods, various frontline workers, and those with a wide range of health conditions will soon qualify to receive a vaccine as Ontario prepares to roll out Phase 2 of its vaccine plan (CTV).

    • A new document released by the province Tuesday evening lays out exactly who will be eligible once Phase 2 officially begins in April. The document includes some modifications to the original plan and provides some more detail about who will be eligible.

  • Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy tabled the 2021 Ontario budget this afternoon; vaccine delivery is a ‘top priority’ in Ontario’s C$186-billion pandemic budget (News Release):

    • Highlights:

      • Ontario has made more than C$1-billion available for a provincewide vaccination plan.

        • Ontario is also making it safer to re‐engage with our workplaces, businesses and communities with C$2.3-billion for testing and contact tracing

      • To support parents with the cost of childcare and help them get back to the workforce, the government is proposing a 20 per cent enhancement of the CARE tax credit for 2021. This would increase support from C$1,250 to C$1,500, on average, providing about C$75-million in additional support for the childcare expenses of over 300,000 families.

      • To help seniors stay in the homes they love, longer, Ontario has introduced the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit for 2021.

      • Doubling the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.

      • Introducing the Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant.

      • Enhancing the Digital Main Street Program.

  • City of Toronto and partners announce Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan (News Release).

  • 333,690 cases, an increase of 1,571 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • 304,490 cases, an increase of 783 since yesterday, eight deaths.

March 23, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, will present Budget 2021 in the House of Commons on April 19, 2021, at approximately 4 p.m. (EDT). (News Release).

  • Government of Canada Announces Funding for COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites under Ontario’s High Priority Community Strategy (News Release).

  • Health Canada said Canadians should not be concerned about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine (CBC).

U.S. – Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • Alberta will not move to Step 3 of COVID-19 reopening plan. There will be no easing of restrictions at this time (CBC).  

  • Alberta’s government is offering millions of free rapid testing kits to public, private and not-for-profit employers and service providers provincewide (News Release).

  • 142,390 cases, an increase of 456 since yesterday, 5 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 92,571 cases, an increase of 1,785 over the weekend, 16 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario Helping People Get their COVID-19 Vaccination (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is investing C$3.7-million as part of the 2021 Budget to help seniors and people with disabilities get their COVID-19 vaccinations, where transportation is a barrier. 

  • 332,119 cases, an increase of 1,546 since yesterday, 9 deaths.

Quebec 

  • Premier Legault announced that secondary 3, 4 and 5 students in the red zone will return to class full time as of March 29 (News Release).

  • The Minister responsible for Seniors and Caregivers, Marguerite Blais, announced that private residences for seniors located in regions at the maximum alert level (red), of which 75 per cent of residents have been vaccinated for more than 21 days , will be authorized to reopen their dining rooms from March 24 (News Release).

  • The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ms. Andrée Laforest, announced that financial assistance of C$80-million will be granted to all the MRCs and agglomerations exercising MRC powers in order to help them (News Release).

  • 303,707 cases, an increase of 656 since yesterday, 4 deaths.

March 22, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Government announces extension of Canada Emergency Business Account to help small businesses (News Release).

    • The deadline for new Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) applications is being extended from March 31 to June 30, 2021.

  • The following Orders/ Regulations were issued:

    • Made under the Quarantine Act (related to the extension of the Orders to April 21, 2021):

      • P.C. 2021-0174 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations).

      • P.C. 2021-0173 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States).

    • Made under the Food and Drugs Act:

      • S.O.R./2021-0045 Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19)

U.S. - Federal

  • United States has administered 124.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Sunday morning – C.D.C (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Alberta government scheduled to discuss easing Alberta's COVID-19 restrictions at 3:30 p.m. MT / 5:30 p.m. ET (CBC).

  • 141,934 cases, an increase of 555 on March 20, six deaths.

British Columbia

  • 90,786 cases, an increase of 737 on Friday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario restaurant workers will get COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 2, officials now confirm (CTV).

  • On Friday evening Ontario announced moving eight regions to new levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework; province also made adjustments to public health measures for indoor and outdoor dining (News Release):

    • Effective Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.:

      • Red-Control

        • Brant County Health Unit;

        • Chatham-Kent Public Health; and

        • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

      • Orange-Restrict

        • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

      • Yellow-Protect

        • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;

        • North Bay Parry Sound District;

        • Porcupine Health Unit; and

        • Timiskaming Health Unit.

    • Effective March 19, 2021 Ottawa Public Health moved to the Red-Control level in the Framework.

    • The government adjusted dining capacity limits at restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, for regions in the Grey-Lockdown, Red-Control and Orange-Restrict levels of the Framework, effective Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. 

      • See related: City of Toronto supporting provincial decision to permit outdoor dining in Grey – Lockdown Zone (News Release).

  • The following Regulations were added to e-laws on Friday evening (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020):

  • Ontario supporting hospitals with additional funding during COVID-19; Substantial investment will help provide financial stability to hospitals across the province (News Release).

  • 330,573 cases, an increase of 5,319 since Friday, 32 deaths. 

Quebec

  • Quebec extends COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people over 60 in Montreal as pharmacies join inoculation campaign (Globe and Mail).

  • Ministerial Order 2021-016 related to educational institutions.

  • 303,051 cases, an increase of 2,135 since Friday, 29 deaths.

March 19, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Health Canada confirms that the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for use in Canada (News Release).

  • The following Orders were published in the March 20 Canada Gazette Part I:

    • Order Approving Interim Order No. 2, Respecting Drugs, Medical Devices and Foods for a Special Dietary Purpose in Relation to COVID-19 (made under the Food and Drugs Act).

    • Order Approving Interim Order No. 2, Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for Use in Relation to COVID-19 (made under the Food and Drugs Act).

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 23 (made under the Aeronautics Act).

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. government updated its COVID-19 mitigation guidance to narrow the acceptable distance between students who are wearing masks to at least three feet from at least six feet, potentially easing the path for schools that have struggled to reopen under previous recommendations (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Bill 53 Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act, 2021 received second reading yesterday.

  • Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides issued the a statement on returning to in-person learning this fall.

  • 140,127 cases, an increase of 505 since yesterday, one death.

British Columbia

  • 83,613 cases, an increase of 622 since yesterday, eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's Booking System to expand to individuals aged 75 and older as vaccine rollout accelerates; More pharmacies and primary care settings to offer AstraZeneca to those 60 and over (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is expanding appointments through its online booking system to individuals aged 75 and over, effective Monday, March 22, 2021.

    • A pilot program offering vaccines in some pharmacies is also expanding provincewide and will now offer the AstraZeneca shot to anyone aged 60 and older (CBC).

    • Related City of Toronto News Release.

  • Ontario supports colleges and universities impacted by COVID-19; Funding provides immediate relief for institutions most affected by pandemic related costs (News Release).

  • 325,254 cases, an increase of 1,745 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, announced that businesses will be called upon to help with mass vaccination (News Release).

    • The contribution of companies will be through vaccination centers. The goal is to establish between 20 to 50 in several regions of Quebec. Each pole will ensure the vaccination of employees of the company responsible for its establishment, employees of companies located nearby and their families. The population will also have access to vaccination in these centers.

  • 300,916 cases, an increase of 764 since yesterday, 11 deaths.

March 18, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Government of Canada launches consultations to ensure labour protections meet new realities of working Canadians (News Release).

  • The following Orders / Regulations were issued:

    • P.C. 2021-0152 Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations (made under the Canada Labour Code).

    • P.C. 2021-0151 Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations (made under the Canada Recovery Benefits Act).

    • P.C. 2021-0150 Interim Order No. 2 Respecting Drugs, Medical Devices and Foods for a Special Dietary Purpose in Relation to COVID-19 (made under the Food and Drugs Act).

    • P.C. 2021-0149 Interim Order No. 2 Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for Use in Relation to COVID-19 (made under the Food and Drugs Act).

  • Support to workers and families increases with the passage of Employment Insurance (EI) legislation and the coming into effect of recovery benefit regulations (News Release).

    • S.C. 2021, c.3 (Bill C-24) An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (additional regular benefits), the Canada Recovery Benefits Act (restriction on eligibility) and another Act in response to COVID-19 was passed by the Senate without amendment and received royal assent yesterday evening.

      • The act is in force on assent except sections 4 to 9 which are deemed to have come into force on October 2, 2020.

  • International Monetary Fund report validates Canada's economic response to COVID-19 (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • White House says U.S. plans to send 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to Canada (CBC).

Alberta

  • Decision on moving province into next step of reopening not yet made, premier says (CBC).

  • Working parents have until March 31 to apply to receive a one-time C$561 per child benefit to help with the cost of child care (News Release).

  • More than 250 pharmacies now offering vaccines (News Release).

  • 139,622 cases, an increase of 479 since yesterday, four deaths.

British Columbia

  • More than 300,000 frontline workers, including first responders, grocery store employees, and teachers and childcare workers, will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations over the coming weeks as the province’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan moves forward ahead of schedule (News Release).

    • Beginning in April, people in priority groups identified by public health and the COVID-19 Workplace Task Group will start to receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca/SII COVISHIELD (AZ/SII) vaccine.

    • Everyone in B.C. who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine will now be able to receive a first dose before July 1, 2021.

  • 89,427 cases, an increase of 498 since yesterday, four deaths.

Ontario

  • Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams confirmed in the clearest terms yet that the province is in fact in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (CTV).

    • Premier Doug Ford, in response, advised residents to be “very cautious,” but made no mention of further restrictions that may come as a result of the documented increase.

  • Ontario extending temporary wage enhancement for personal support workers; Supporting frontline health-care heroes across the Province (News Release).

  • Ontario investing in Wastewater Testing System to detect COVID-19; Provincial wastewater surveillance initiative expanding capacity of communities to quickly identify and manage outbreaks (News Release).

  • Ottawa Public Health is being moved from its current level in the framework to the Red-Control level effective Friday, March 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. (News Release and O.Reg. 195/21).

  • The following Regulations were added to E-laws:

    • O.Reg. 197/21 Extensions of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

    • O.Reg. 198/21 Extensions of Orders (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020)

  • 303,493 cases, an increase of 1,553 since yesterday, 15 deaths.

Quebec

  • Montréal launches COVID-19 vaccination blitz focusing on parents in neighbourhoods with high variant transmission (Globe and Mail).

  • The following Orders are in the March 18, 2021 Gazette Officielle du Québec:

    • Order in Council No. 243-2001, Renewal of the Public Health Emergency until March 26, 2021.

    • Ministerial Order 2021-13, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation

    • Ministerial Order 2021-15, Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation

  • Post-pandemic recovery - Support of C$28.5-million to promote the resumption of economic activity in downtown Montréal and Québec (News release)

  • Minister Geneviève Guilbault specified conditions for the reopening of bars in regions switching to the yellow zone on March 26, 2021 (News release).  

  • Minister Isabelle Charest specified conditions for the practice of sports and recreational activities in regions switching to the yellow zone on March 26, 2021 (News release).

  • Minister Nathalie Roy announced additional support of C$18-million for the presentation of Quebec shows (News release).

  • Update on the risks of hospitalization and projections of hospital needs (News release).

  • 300,152 confirmed cases, an increase of 702 since yesterday, seven deaths.

March 17, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

U.S. - Federal

  • President Joe Biden says news coming soon on U.S. sharing vaccines with other countries (CBC).

  • Fact Sheet: Department of Transportation details the American Rescue Plan’s Benefits for transportation.

  • Biden Administration to Invest US$150-million to expand access to COVID-19 treatments in underserved communities (News Release).

  • Biden Administration to invest more than US$12-billion to expand COVID-19 Testing (News Release).

Alberta

  • 139,143 cases, an increase of 355 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • The state of emergency has been extended until March 30, 2021 (News Release and Order).

  • Online grant program expands to support more businesses (News Release).

    • Businesses in the hard-hit tourism sector, like tour operators or hotels, and businesses in the service industry, such as massage therapists, personal trainers or hair stylists, can now access the grants to build or improve their online booking systems.

    • As part of the eligibility enhancements, 30 per cent of the grant funds will now be reserved for Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) owned businesses. 
  • Updated Agricultural Temporary Foreign Workers Order.

  • 88,929 cases, an increase of 556 since yesterday, no deaths.

Ontario

  • City of Toronto requests modified Grey Zone to open additional businesses and amenities (News Release).

    • The City is working with the Province to arrive at a public health policy solution within the Grey Zone that balances fighting the spread of COVID-19 with listening to the needs of residents and businesses.

    • No decisions have been made at this time. A decision from the Province is expected by Friday.

  • Ontario making it easier to administer rapid COVID-19 Testing in the workplace; Province also expanding the testing program to more sectors (News Release).

    • Sectors include: first responders, emergency medical services, trucking and transportation, wastewater management, and post-secondary institutions.

  • A three-week lockdown in certain regions of the province is necessary to blunt the explosive growth of the variants of concern, Ontario’s COVID-19 scientific advisory table says (CTV).

  • Ontario businesses making workplaces safer; Inspectors see increase in compliance with COVID-19 safety requirements (News Release).

  • 321,956 cases, an increase of 1,508 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • The curfew has been pushed back from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the red zone starting today and three rural regions will be upgraded from orange to yellow zones (Ministerial Order 2021-015 and News Release).

    • Premier François Legault also announced:

      • The orange level, secondary 3, 4 and 5 students will be able to resume full-time attendance classes as of March 22.

      • The loosening of several measures, including allowing theatres and show venues in red zones to reopen on March 26. Audiences of up to 250 people will be allowed but they will need to wear procedural masks and remain distanced.

    • The government plans that all Quebecers who want to be vaccinated will be able to obtain a first dose before the national holiday, on June 24.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that people with disabilities living in intermediate or family-type resources (RI-RTF), continuous assistance resources (RAC) and accommodation with an agreement under article 108 of the Act respecting health services and social services with an establishment in the health and social services network will be vaccinated as of April (News Release).

  • 299,450 cases, an increase of 703 since yesterday, 13 deaths.

March 16, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Canada's chief public health officer said today there is no evidence to suggest the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is causing adverse events — and the vaccine's benefits outweigh any risks (CBC).

    • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) today changed its guidelines on the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine and is now recommending it be given to those over the age of 65.

  • Major investments in domestic firms to rebuild Canada’s biomanufacturing sector; Government of Canada investments will help advance made-in-Canada vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Government of Canada supports recovery and growth of women-led businesses across the Prairies amid COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Bill C-24 An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (additional regular benefits), the Canada Recovery Benefits Act (restriction on eligibility) and another Act in response to COVID-19 received first reading in the Senate yesterday.

U.S. - Federal

  • States prep for COVID-19 vaccines for all adults in May if promised supplies arrive (Reuters).

  • President Joe Biden said the United States is in talks with several countries about who will get any extra doses of COVID-19 vaccines (Reuters).

  • C.D.C.: Employers with large on-site workforce can set up COVID-19 vaccine clinics: U.S. (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Community physicians will soon begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

  • 138,788 cases, an increase of 364 since yesterday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Reminder: a temporary suspension of limitation periods to commence court proceedings in British Columbia will end March 25, 2021 (News Release).

  • 88,373 cases, an increase of 1,506 since Friday, 10 deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, which provides independent advice and analysis to the Progressive Conservative government, said parts of the province are now experiencing “exponential growth” in the number of new COVID-19 infections and that the province has entered a third wave (CTV). 

  • Ontario supports tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations; New grant program will help those who are struggling during COVID-19 (News Release).

  • 320,448 cases, an increase of since 1,074 yesterday, 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault expected to revise COVID-19 health orders today at 5 p.m. ET as Quebec reports 561 new infections (CBC).

  • 298,747 cases, an increase of 561 since yesterday, eight deaths.

March 15, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is safe and Canadians should have no concerns about receiving it, after nearly a dozen European countries suspended its use over concerns about blood clots (CBC).

  • Bill C-24 An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (additional regular benefits), the Canada Recovery Benefits Act (restriction on eligibility) and another Act in response to COVID-19 received third reading Friday evening, it now moves to the Senate.

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg gave an upbeat assessment about summer travel prospects (Reuters).

  • President Joe Biden forecasts 100 million Americans to have received COVID shots in next 10 days (Reuters).

Alberta

  • 138,424 cases, an increase of 388 on Friday, 13 deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • Ontario launching provincial booking system for COVID-19 Vaccines; Individuals 80 years of age and older will be able to schedule appointments online or by phone (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • There will be 3 models of implementation.

  • Ontario provides additional protection for retirement home residents and staff; Investment will help cover costs for COVID related expenses (News Release).

  • The following Regulations were added to e-laws (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020):

    • O.Reg. 189/21: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (related to wedding, funeral or a religious service).

    • O.Reg. 190/21: Stages of Reopening

  • City of Toronto announces formation of a COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Working Group (News Release).

  • Toronto set to open three more mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics by April 5 (Globe and Mail).

  • 319,374 cases, an increase of 4,483 since Friday, 35 deaths.

Quebec

  • Ministerial Order 2021-013 related to the gradual resumption of leisure and sports activities.

  • 298, 186 cases, an increase of 2,083 since Friday, 20 deaths.

March 12, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed on Friday that he's reluctant to introduce a system of vaccine passports to show proof of immunization, though he did hint it may ultimately be necessary for international travel (CBC).

  • Government of Canada supports recovery and growth of women-led businesses across British Columbia amid COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Government of Canada invests in new COVID-19 research projects across the country (News Release).

    • COVID-19 Research – Tackling Evidence Gaps (Backgrounder).

  • The following Orders are published in the March 13 Canada Gazette Part I (both made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001):

    • Interim Order No. 3 Restricting Pleasure Craft Navigation Due to COVID-19

    • Interim Order No. 5 Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Bill C-24 An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (additional regular benefits), the Canada Recovery Benefits Act (restriction on eligibility) and another Act in response to COVID-19 received second reading yesterday evening and was referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

    • The Committee reported the Bill without amendment. It will now be debated at third reading in the House.

U.S. - Federal

  • AstraZeneca to seek U.S. authorization for COVID-19 vaccine this month or early next – sources (News Release).

Alberta

  • Alberta’s vaccination program is expanding to include 437,000 Albertans aged 65 to 74, starting March 15. (News release)

  • Nearly 1 million rapid tests distributed across Alberta (News release).

  • 137,137 confirmed cases, an increase of 364 since yesterday, seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • 86,219 confirmed cases, an increase of 569 since yesterday, three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario moving three regions to new levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework; Province also adjusting capacity limits for some events in Grey-Lockdown (News Release).

    • The following three public health regions will be moving from their current level in the Framework to the following levels effective Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

      • Grey-Lockdown

        • Lambton Public Health

      • Red-Control

        • Northwestern Health Unit

      • Yellow-Protect

        • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

  • The province is also adjusting capacity limits for weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies held in regions currently in the Grey-Lockdown level of the Framework.

    • Effective Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies will be permitted to allow for up to 15 per cent total occupancy indoors, or up to 50 people outdoors. 

  • Residents 80 years of age and older can now register online for COVID-19 vaccinations at a City of Toronto immunization clinic (News Release).

  • Ontario continues to support business owners, workers and families during COVID-19; Although jobs increased in February, impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt (Statement).

  • Ontario investing in music industry during COVID-19; Funding will support recovery and sustainability for the province’s music industry (News Release).

  • Ontario takes steps to further protect Nipissing Region businesses from COVID-19; Funding being provided through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (News Release).

  • 314,891 cases, an increase of 1,400 since yesterday, 18 deaths. 

Quebec

  • The government of Quebec today confirms a gradual resumption of leisure and sports activities for all regions of Quebec as of March 26; extracurricular activities will be permitted in stable class groups as of March 15 (News Release).

    • In the red zone, all indoor facilities will be open, including fitness centers. Training sessions performed alone, in pairs or between occupants of the same private residence will be permitted as of March 26.

    • In the orange zone, the limit of the number of people who can participate in the same outdoor sporting activity is increased to twelve. Also, a maximum of eight people can now participate in an activity organized inside.

    • The practice of any leisure activity and group sport indoors must be supervised by a person responsible for compliance with the health measures in force.

  • A maximum of 25 people allowed in places of worship in the red zone as of March 26 (News Release).

  • 296,143 cases, an increase of 753 since yesterday, nine deaths.

March 11, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s science adviser preparing a report on COVID-19 vaccine passports (Globe and Mail).

    • The federal government’s Chief Science Adviser will release a report in the coming weeks with recommendations on whether and how Canada should implement COVID-19 vaccine passports.

  • Statement by the Prime Minister to mark one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

U.S. - Federal

  • The President signed into law: H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” which provides additional relief to address the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, public health, State and local governments, individuals, and businesses (News Release).

Alberta

  • 136,773 cases, an increase of 399 since yesterday, two deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. allows outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, effective immediately (CBC – update by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health).

    • The province will also ban liquor sales at 8 p.m. on March 17 in an effort to limit gatherings on St. Patrick's Day. 

  • The Province is extending its quarantine program for temporary foreign workers coming to B.C. for seasonal agriculture work, to ensure the health and safety of the workers and the communities they will be travelling to (News Release).

  • 85,650 cases, an increase of 531 since yesterday, one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario to release 2021 Budget on March 24 - Government will outline next phase of Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan (News Release).

  • Ontario unveils plans to accelerate access to the Justice System; New strategy builds on recent breakthroughs to deliver more services remotely and online (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • Experts with the province released new modelling data on Thursday, revealing that COVID-19 variants are continuing to spread. They warned that Ontario's ability to control the spread would determine whether the province would face a third wave or not (CTV).

    • The modelling also showed that the number of hospital and admissions to intensive case units for COVID-19 are no longer decreasing and are now levelling off.

  • Ontario activates emergency brake in Sudbury Public Health Region; Immediate action required to interrupt transmission, contain community spread and save lives (News Release and O. Reg. 176/21).

  • Ontario marks One Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Pandemic (Statement).

  • 313,520 cases, an increase of 1,092 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • The National Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, issues the following statement regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • The Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, in partnership with Revenu Québec, announces that it has corrected the situation surrounding automatic electronic transfer and confirms the extension of the flexibility measures affecting social assistance programs and measures in employment, until June 30, 2021 (News Release).

  • Order in Council 204-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until March 19, 2021.

  • 295,390 cases, an increase of 738 since yesterday, 15 deaths.

March 10, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. House gives final congressional approval to President’s Joe Biden’s US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill; Biden to sign signature COVID relief bill on Friday (Globe and Mail).

    • U.S. extends US$14-billion lifeline to airlines in third government aid package (Reuters).

  • Statement by President Joe Biden on the House Passage of the American Rescue Plan.

  • U.S. to build COVID-19 vaccine supply with 100 million additional doses of Johnson & Johnson shot (Reuters).

Alberta

  • 136,374 cases, an increase of 255 on March 8, six deaths.

British Columbia

  • Health officials say an entire northwestern British Columbia city will be vaccinated over the next three weeks as the community continues to face persistent outbreaks of COVID-19 (Globe and Mail).

  • 85,119 cases, an increase of 550 since yesterday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario pharmacies and primary care settings to begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is expanding the delivery channels available to administer COVID-19 vaccines to include pharmacies and primary care settings.

    • As of Friday, March 12, over 325 pharmacies will be offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine to eligible Ontarians aged 60-64, by appointment only, as part of the vaccine delivery pilot program in specific regions.

    • Visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and can contact the pharmacy to make an appointment.

  • City of Toronto opening 133,000 online COVID-19 vaccination bookings for City-run immunization clinics for residents born in 1941 or earlier (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • Ontario takes further action to protect homeless shelters during COVID-19; Additional funding will help keep vulnerable people and shelter workers safe (News Release).

  • Ontario establishes Tourism Economic Recovery Task Force; Members will provide recommendations on rebuilding and reshaping the future of tourism (News Release).

  • 312,428 cases, an increase of 1,316 since yesterday, 16 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in past 24 hours (CTV).

  • 294,652 cases, an increase of 792 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

March 9, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has been warned of manufacturing problems plaguing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Globe and Mail).

    • Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Canada isn’t quite ready to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control with guidance for how vaccinated people can relax their public health measures.… The United States is far ahead of Canada, having now vaccinated more than one in four people. Canada has vaccinated about one in 20.

  • Ottawa is considering vaccine passports, says health minister (ipolitics).

    • Vaccine passports 'long, complex, global dialogue,' expert says (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. House to vote Wednesday on President’s Joe Biden's US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 package (Reuters).

  • Per cent of delivered first vaccine doses administered by U.S. states and territories (C.D.C. Update).

Alberta

  • Bill 53, Service Alberta Statutes (Virtual Meetings) Amendment Act, 2021 was introduced today.

    • If passed, it will amend the Business Corporations Act, Companies Act, Societies Act, Condominium Property Act, and Cooperatives Act to allow the option to conduct meetings and votes electronically instead of in person (News release).

  • Additional Step 2 restrictions have been eased; updated health measures are now in place for retail, hotels and community halls, performance groups, and youth sports, performance and recreation (News Release).

  • 136,119 confirmed cases, an increase of 582 since Friday, six deaths.

British Columbia

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry said that B.C. could begin to allow smaller gatherings and limited travel if cases do not surge in the coming weeks. The rules around sports and religious ceremonies will be the primary focus, as health authorities look to make upcoming faith celebrations possible, including Passover, Easter, and Ramadan (CBC).

  • All public colleges and universities are to prepare for a full return to on-campus education this fall (News Release).

  • 84,569 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,462 since Friday, 11 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario to begin AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination appointments at more than 300 pharmacies starting Friday (CTV).

    • Speaking during Question Period at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the province plans to unveil a list of more than 300 pharmacies that will be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine by tomorrow. She said that qualifying members of the public would then be able to book appointments to receive their shots at those pharmacies by the end of the week.

  • 311,112 cases, an increase of 1,185 since yesterday, six deaths.

Quebec

  • It might take another month before public health guidelines are eased in the greater Montréal area, Premier François Legault says (CBC).

  • Quebec will table Budget 2021-2022 on March 25 (News Release).

    • "The forthcoming Budget will enable us to pursue our efforts in recent months to manage the health crisis, offer individuals and businesses support, and revive the economy. We will also give Quebecers the facts on the state of public finances and our economy in the context of the pandemic” ― Eric Girard, Minister of Finance of Quebec.

  • Additional 2020-2021 credits in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic – Concrete measures to continue to protect and support Quebecers (News Release).

  • 293,860 cases, an increase of 650 since yesterday, 12 deaths.

March 8, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Government of Canada launches Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge to support increased vaccine confidence (News Release).

  • Public Health Agency of Canada: Canada’s Two New COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Should Know.

  • Statement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing a National Day of Observance for COVID-19.

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada says the country will receive nearly 445,000 shots from Pfizer-BioNTech for the second week running as the companies settle into a rhythm following a lengthy lull in January and much of February (CTV).

    • Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the government has now confirmed total deliveries of 36.5 million vaccine doses by Canada Day. 

U.S. - Federal

  • CDC issues first set of guidelines on how fully vaccinated people can visit safely with others (Press Release).

  • Federal Reserve Board announces it will extend its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, or PPPLF, by three months to June 30, 2021 (News Release).

  • The U.S. Senate on Saturday passed President Joe Biden’s US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief plan in a party-line vote; the final bill includes US$400-billion in one-time payments of US$1,400 to many Americans, with a phase-out starting for those with annual incomes above US$75,000 (Reuters).

    • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer predicted on Saturday that the House of Representatives will approve the Senate-passed version of a COVID-19 relief bill and President Joe Biden will sign it by March 14, when enhanced federal unemployment benefits expire (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Exploring Alberta’s vaccine capacity; Alberta’s government is accepting proposals to understand and explore opportunities related to the province’s vaccine capacity as part of a long-term strategy to enhance our vaccine manufacturing capabilities (News Release).

  • 135,537 cases, an increase of 341 on Friday, three deaths.

British Columbia

  • 83,107 cases, an increase of 634 on Friday, four deaths.

Ontario

  • City of Toronto to receive enough COVID-19 vaccine to open three of its mass immunization clinics starting March 17 (News Release).

  • Ontario completes all first dose COVID-19 vaccinations in northern remote Indigenous communities (News Release).

  • 309,927 cases, an increase of 3,920 since Friday, 31 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that it is updating its vaccination strategy to adjust to the recommendations made in the two opinions that have just been issued by the Committee on immunization of Quebec (CIQ) (News Release).

    • These opinions concern the introduction of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca as part of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign as well as the methods of using the vaccines.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-010 related to a number of amendments (places of worship, occupants of same private residence, school service centre etc.)

  • 293,210 cases, an increase of 2,035 since Friday, 16 deaths.

March 5, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Health Canada authorizes Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (from Johnson & Johnson) (News Release).

    • The Janssen vaccine is the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized in Canada and can be stored and transported at refrigerated temperatures (from 2˚ to 8˚C) for at least three months, facilitating distribution across the country. The vaccine is authorized for use in people over 18 years of age and is a viral vector-based COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Pfizer-BioNTech has agreed to move up a portion of its vaccines scheduled for the summer, with an additional 1.5 million doses arriving in March (CTV).

  • The following Order is published in the March 6 Canada Gazette Part I:

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 22 (made under the Aeronautics Act).

  • Government of Canada helps over 30,000 research staff through ongoing COVID-19 crisis (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • The Senate convened to continue debate on President Joe Biden’s US$1.9-trillion relief bill (Washington Post).

Alberta

  • Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout set to expand; within two weeks, participating pharmacies and Alberta Health Services will begin vaccinating Albertans between the ages of 65 and 74, and First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons age 50 or older, regardless of where they live (News Release).

    • Bookings for Phase 2A of the COVID-19 vaccine program will begin the week of March 15.

  • 134,785 cases, an increase of 331 since yesterday, nine deaths.

British Columbia

  • Two planned tax changes that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will go into effect on April 1, 2021 (News Release).

  • As part of the ongoing COVID-19 response, point-of-care rapid testing is being used as another tool to support public health contact tracing and outbreak response efforts: BC’s Rapid Point of Care Testing Strategy.

  • New Resource: Search the Emergency Processing Fund projects in British Columbia.

    • The Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) provides funding to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 82,473 cases, an increase of 248 since yesterday, four deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario ready to rollout Phase Two of COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan; Focus will be on older adults, those at risk of serious illness and hot spot areas (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • During Phase Two, groups that will receive the vaccine include:

      • Older adults between 60-79 years of age;

      • Individuals with specific health conditions and some primary caregivers;

      • People who live and work in congregate settings and some primary caregivers;

      • People who live in hot spots with high rates of death, hospitalizations and transmission; and,

      • Certain workers who cannot work from home.

    • Starting March 15th, the province will launch an online booking system and a provincial customer service desk to answer questions and support appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics. 

    • A list of eligible health conditions and COVID-19 hotspots can be found in the province's technical briefing slide show here.

  • Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay Parry Sound District will enter grey zone of Ontario's reopening framework effective Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., with the Stay-at-Home order no longer in effect (News Release).

    • In addition, the following seven public health regions will also be moving to the following levels in the Framework:

      • Red-Control

        • Peterborough Public Health;

        • Public Health Sudbury and Districts; and

        • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit.

      • Orange-Restrict

        • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit; and

        • Timiskaming Health Unit.

      • Yellow-Protect

        • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit; and

        • Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

  • The following Orders were added to e-laws this afternoon:

    • Made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020)

    • Made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act:

  • 306,007 cases, an increase of 1,250 since yesterday, 22 deaths.

 Quebec

  • Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations no longer dropping, report shows (CTV).

    • The report, which was written Feb. 28 but released Thursday, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic in the province is largely concentrated in Montreal and the surrounding regions.

  • 291,175 cases, an increase of 798 since yesterday, 10 deaths.
March 4, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Expect COVID-19 vaccine guidance to keep changing, say federal health officials (CTV).

    • The panel of medical experts advising the federal government on vaccination now says that the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines can be given up to four months after the first, if Canada wants to maximize the number of people being immunized (CTV).

    • National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s new guidance.

  • Government of Canada supports recovery and growth of women-led businesses across Ontario amid COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Modified COVID-19 vaccines for variants to be fast-tracked (News Release).

    • Health Canada announces new guidance issued today by the Access Consortium—a coalition of regulatory authorities from Canada, the U.K., Australia, Singapore and Switzerland. The guidance, developed by Health Canada in consultation with its Access partners, lays out what information regulators would need to approve any modifications to authorized COVID-19 vaccines, should virus mutations make them less effective at preventing COVID-19. 

  • Department of Defense announced 48 new contribution agreements, valued at approximately C$8.64-million, to support research and development efforts in the realm of COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Health Canada ‘days away’ from decision on Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine (Globe and Mail).

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Vaccinating more Albertans faster; Alberta is extending the period between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

  • 134,454 cases, an increase of 402 since yesterday, 12 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Business recovery grant program extended from March 31, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2021 (News Release).

  • 81,909 cases, an increase of 542 since yesterday, seven deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario renews calls for Ottawa to provide fair share of health care funding; Additional funding could help province increase access to critical health care services (News Release).

  • Pharmacies in three Ontario public heath units to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines next week (Globe and Mail).

    • Health Minister Christine Elliott says many of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses expected to arrive in the province will go to the pharmacies for the pilot program.

    • Elliott says the province is currently updating its vaccine rollout, based on the expected Oxford-AstraZeneca doses as well as a national panel’s recommendation that the interval between vaccine shots can be stretched to four months.

    •  She says the updated immunization plan will be shared “imminently.”
  • Ontario provides additional support for municipalities during COVID-19; Financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services and keep capital projects on track (News Release).

  • 304,757 cases, an increase of 994 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Five new regions move to orange level (News Release).

    • As of March 8, the regions of Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Estrie, Mauricie and Center-du-Québec will change their color code.

    • In these regions, the curfew will remain in effect, but will be pushed back from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  • Following a new recommendation from Public Health, Quebec will offer the second dose of vaccine against COVID-19 within 16 weeks (four months) after the administration of the first dose (News Release).

  • Order in Council No. 176-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until March 12, 2021.

  • 290,377 cases, an increase of 707 since yesterday, 20 deaths.

March 3, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, announced that the government intends to extend the current rate structures for these subsidies from March 14 to June 5, 2021 (News Release and Backgrounder), specifically:
    • the maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees would remain at 75 per cent;

    • the maximum rent subsidy rate would remain at 65 per cent; and

    • Lockdown Support would remain at 25 per cent and continue to be provided in addition to the rent subsidy, providing eligible hard hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent.

  • Health Canada allows more flexible storage and transportation conditions for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s ‘optimistic’ that timeline for COVID-19 vaccine rollout can be accelerated (Globe and Mail).

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will move to take up President Joe Biden’s US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill “as early as tonight” (Reuters).

  • Fact Sheet: Update on USDA activities to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Alberta

  • Alberta seniors living in continuing care will benefit from an increase of more than C$200-million in program funding as part of Budget 2021 (News Release).

  • 134,052 cases, an increase of 257 on March 1, two deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa implements Section 22 Class Order for workplaces as Province considers moving Toronto into Grey Zone of provincial COVID-19 response framework (News Release).

    • The Province of Ontario is considering moving Toronto into the Grey Zone of the Lockdown Regulation under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8 and has consulted with the Medical Officer of Health. 

    • City backgrounder with additional information on COVID-19 restrictions in Grey Zone of the Province’s COVID-19 response framework is available online.

  • The Ontario government is providing a one-time investment of up to C$27-million to support the continued operation, maintenance and capital needs of six major tourism and cultural institutions in the Greater Toronto Area. This funding will protect jobs while ensuring their financial stability during the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Ontario will use the AstraZeneca vaccine for people between the ages of 60 and 64 and will rely on “different pathways” such as pharmacists and health care practitioners to deliver the doses before they expire in early April (CTV).

  • 303,763 cases, an increase of 958 since yesterday, 17 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault and provincial health authorities are expected to outline new COVID-19 restrictions today at 5:00 p.m. ET (CBC).

  • 289,670 cases, an increase of 729 since yesterday, 19 deaths.

March 2, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Rollout of funding announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement supporting arts and live events workers in response to COVID-19 (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • COVID-19 cases in Canada starting to climb again after a month of decline, Dr. Theresa Tam says (Globe and Mail).

    • The “moderate increase” at the national level noted by Dr. Theresa Tam is in keeping with models forecasting a spike in cases over the next two months.

  • Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency publish clinical data used to support their authorizations of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

  • Canada's chief science adviser Mona Nemer issues warning about B.C.'s 'experiment' with vaccine timing (CBC).

U.S. - Federal

  • The United States reported a 3 per cent decline in new cases of COVID-19 last week, a much smaller drop than in the previous six weeks, and health officials warned that progress against the global pandemic was stalling (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Announced yesterday evening: targeted COVID-19 restrictions easing under Step 2 (News Release).

    • Effective immediately, updated health measures are in place for indoor fitness and libraries as pressure eases on the health system and hospitalizations remain well below 450.

    • Changes to current restrictions for retail, children’s sports, and hotels, banquets, community halls and conference centres have been delayed.

    • A decision on Step 3 will be made after at least three weeks of evaluation to assess the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Budget 2021: A historic investment in health (News Release).

    • COVID-19 one-time funding of C$1.25-billion has been allocated to respond to the pandemic. This is in addition to the C$23-billion in total expense allocated for Health, a C$900-million increase, or four per cent, from last year. 

  • 133,795 cases, an increase of 291 since yesterday, two deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Province is extending the current suspension of civil jury trials in the Supreme Court of B.C. by an additional year to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the courts (News Release).

  • Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools supported by regional COVID-19 rapid response teams (News Release).

  • 80,672 cases, an increase of 1,478 since Friday, eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Bill 245 Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021 received second reading today and was referred to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly.

  • Ontario Government is supporting the arts sector with a one-time investment of C$25-million to help artists and arts organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic, remain solvent and prepare for a time when they can fully re-open their facilities, resume full programming and welcome back their visitors and audiences (News Release).

  • The Ontario government has to-date provided more than C$1-billion through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant to help eligible business owners affected by the COVID-19 restrictions (News Release).

  • 302,805 cases, an increase of 966 since yesterday, 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé announced that the population will soon be able to also be vaccinated in community pharmacies. A first phase of deployment will be carried out in the Montreal region in approximately 350 pharmacies (News Release).

    • The first locations will be unveiled in the coming days and the appointment will begin on March 15. It is then planned that the vaccination will be offered gradually in community pharmacies in other regions of Quebec in the following weeks.

  • The Minister of Culture and Communications, Nathalie Roy, announces financial assistance of more than C$1.5-million to 56 cultural organizations whose survival was threatened in the short term due to the health crisis. The sums come from the Regional Emergency Fund for organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • 288,941 cases, an increase of 588 since yesterday, eight deaths.

March 1, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is not recommending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in individuals aged 65 years and older (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • Statement by President Joe Biden on emergency use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine.

  • Senate to debate on COVID-19 bill this week (as early as Wednesday) (Reuters).

  • Speech by Governor Lael Brainard on some preliminary financial stability lessons from the COVID-19 shock.

Alberta

  • Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, are expected to announce whether the province will ease more COVID-19 public health restrictions. Update will be at 4:30 MT.

    • Hinshaw has said if a decision is made to lift some restrictions, it is possible they could be eased the same day (Edmonton Journal).

  • 133,504 cases, an increase of 301 on Feb. 27, 12 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. moves to Phase 2 of COVID-19 immunization plan, protects seniors (News Release).

    • Those in Phase 2 receiving their first vaccine dose in March and early April include:

      • seniors and high-risk people residing in independent living and seniors’ supportive housing (including staff);

      • home-care support clients and staff;

      • Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) peoples born in or before 1956 (65 years and older); and

      • seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years and older).

    • Beginning March 8, 2021, seniors aged 80 years+ and Indigenous peoples aged 65 years+ who are not living in independent living or seniors’ supportive housing can make one call to book their appointment through their local health authority call centre according to a staggered schedule.

      • March 8, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1931 (90 years+) and Indigenous people born in or before 1956 (65 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment;

      • March 15, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1936 (85 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment; and

      • March 22, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment.

  • B.C. to extend interval between vaccine doses to up to four months (CBC).

  • Legislative changes, if passed, will build on the Province’s work to give British Columbians more security by extending the rent freeze to Dec. 31, 2021 (News Release and Bill 7 Tenancy Statutes Amendment Act, 2021).

  • Order in Council No. 104 the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation is amended by adding the following section: COVID-19 pandemic rebate.

  • 79,262 cases, an increase of 589 on Friday, seven deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario may push back the administration of second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to four months in an attempt get more shots into the arms of residents (CP24).

    • In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said that the province is “actively engaged” with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) regarding potential updated direction on second dose intervals with “the goal of pursuing a similar direction to British Columbia.”

  • The Ontario government is providing C$150-million in additional funding to help municipal transit systems address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Ontario keeping seniors safe and socially connected during COVID-19; Funding will provide seniors with additional virtual programming (News Release).

  • The following order was added to e-laws Friday evening:

    • O.Reg. 147/21 Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

  • 301,839 cases, an increase of 3,270 since yesterday, 42 deaths.

Quebec

  • 288,353 cases, an increase of 2,208 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

February 26, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Health Canada authorizes AstraZeneca and Verity Pharmaceuticals Inc./Serum Institute of India COVID-19 vaccines (Statement).
    • Related: Canada to receive 2 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (News Release).

  • The following were published in the February 27 Canada Gazette Part I:

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 21 (made under the Aeronautics Act)

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States) [Erratum]

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States) [Erratum]

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) [Errata]

  • Canada’s pharmacies say they’re primed and ready to start administering COVID-19 vaccines at their facilities across the country, as government officials prepare for the next phase of vaccine rollout (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • "Things are tenuous," U.S. CDC says as downward trend in COVID-19 cases stalls (Reuters).

  • U.S. House on verge of approving President Joe Biden's US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 aid bill (Reuters).

  • The United States will not put an arbitrary timeline on when the Canada-U.S. border should reopen because the Biden administration is going to let science do the talking, says U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (CBC).

Alberta

  • Budget 2021 - C$23-billion on health care and there's an additional C$1.25-billion specifically to fight the pandemic (Budget Speech).

    • Related news releases:

      • Preparing for recovery; Budget 2021 prepares Alberta for a strong economic recovery with investments to diversify the post-pandemic economy (News Release).

      • Historic investment in health care; Protecting Albertans from COVID-19 continues to be the government’s top priority and Budget 2021 includes C$1.25-billion specifically to fight the pandemic (News Release).

      • Maintaining support for the vulnerable; Budget 2021 continues to provide critical social supports for children, families, seniors and vulnerable Albertans to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • Alberta budget reveals pandemic’s effect on energy industry (ipolitics).

  • 132,432 cases, an increase of 399 since yesterday, eight deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Government is acting to address the challenges facing Site C from COVID-19 and other factors to ensure the project is completed safely, providing British Columbians with clean, reliable and affordable electricity for the next 100 years (News Release).

  • British Columbians can expect a slight rebound and moderate growth in the economy in 2021 with further growth in 2022, following unprecedented economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new projections from the Economic Forecast Council (News Release).

  • Tourism industry bolstered through destination development (News Release).

  • Updated Guidelines from the Ministry of Health - Overview of visitors in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living.

  • 78,673 cases, an increase of 228 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario activates emergency brake in Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit; Nine Public Health Regions moving to new levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework (News Release).

    • The following public health regions will move from their current level in the Framework to the following levels effective Monday, March 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

      • Grey-Lockdown

        • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit; and

        • Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

      • Red-Control

        • Niagara Region Public Health.

      • Orange-Restrict

        • Chatham-Kent Public Health;  

        • Middlesex-London Health Unit; and

        • Southwestern Public Health.

      • Yellow-Protect

        • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit; and

        • Huron Perth Public Health.

      • Green-Prevent

        • Grey Bruce Health Unit.

  • Ontario takes action to support working families and improve child care; Reforms will make before and after school programs more accessible (News Release).

    • The regulatory amendments, which take effect on March 8, 2021, will:

      • Exempt certain authorized recreational providers from their three-hour operating limit, improving access to select before and after school programs for families with school-age children.

      • Enhance health and safety protections in licenced child care settings, such as requirements to support contact tracing by local public health, new requirements for home-based child care and updates to the safe storage of potentially poisonous and hazardous items.

      • Reduce regulatory/administrative burden on child care operators by removing redundant and unnecessary requirements for all providers. These include the removal of duplicate requirements related to the collection of children's emergency contact information, allowing records and documents required by the regulation to be kept in digital format, and no longer requiring licensees to seek ministry approval for children 44 months and up to bring their own meals from home.

  • The following were added to e-laws this afternoon:

    • Made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act:

    • Made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020:

  • 298,569 cases, an increase of 1,258 since yesterday, 28 deaths.

Quebec

  • Ministerial Order 2021-009 related to a variety of amendments on, for example: stable groups, public auctions, sale of alcoholic beverage, movie theatres and the performing arts, procedural masks and childcare.

  • 286,145 cases, an increase of 815 since yesterday, 11 deaths.

February 25, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • The Canadian Securities Administrators published key findings of recently completed reviews of issuers’ COVID-19 disclosure (News Release).

    • Guidance and disclosure examples have been provided to assist issuers with reporting on the impacts of COVID-19 to their business and operations.

  • Bill C-24 An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (additional regular benefits), the Canada Recovery Benefits Act (restriction on eligibility) and another Act in response to COVID-19 was tabled this afternoon (News Release).

    • The proposed legislation would provide workers with up to a maximum of 50 weeks for claims that are established between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

    • In addition, self-employed workers who have opted in to the EI program to access special benefits would be able to use a 2020 earnings threshold of C$5,000, compared to the previous threshold of C$7,555. This change would be retroactive to claims established as of January 3, 2021 and would apply until September 25, 2021.

  • Yesterday evening the Department of Finance released Draft Legislation to increase accessibility of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • The draft legislative proposals would:

      • Provide applicants with more flexibility in determining the revenue decline for the wage and rent subsidies for the qualifying period from December 20, 2020 to January 16, 2021.

      • Ensure that Lockdown Support is available to an eligible property owner whose tenant is not arm’s length but has a qualifying business at the property that is subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order.

  • Responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Government of Canada proposes changes to the Criminal Code and other related laws to improve effectiveness of criminal justice system (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

Alberta

  • 132,033 cases, an increase of 430 since yesterday, 13 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. ‘not quite there’ on easing restrictions (Global News).

    • The province was “looking ahead to March” when it comes to allowing more social visits, allowing in-person worship and increasing what’s permitted in youth sport, Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

  • 78,278 cases, an increase of 456 since yesterday, two deaths.

Ontario

  • Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist who sits on the province's 10-member vaccine distribution task force, told CP24 that the timelines presented yesterday are a "worst-case scenario “ (CTV).

    • The dates for when members of the general population can be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Ontario will be significantly accelerated if additional vaccine candidates are approved for use in Canada.

  • Variants to likely make up 40% of COVID-19 cases mid-March in Ontario, modelling report predicts (CBC).

    • Data suggests that lockdowns and focused vaccination in long-term care have rapidly reduced infections and deaths in those facilities.

    • The Science Table says the next few weeks will be "critical" for understanding the impact of these variants, and there "is a period of remaining risk" before the pandemic likely hits a lull in the summer months. 

  • Ontario introduced Bill 254 Protecting Ontario Elections Act, 2021 to help modernize the voting process in a COVID-19 environment (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • 19 legislative amendments have been proposed to:

      • Make it more convenient and safer for people to vote in a COVID-19 environment by increasing advance polling days from five to ten, changes first proposed by Ontario's Chief Electoral Officer;

      • Double the amount individuals can donate to a candidate, constituency association, leadership contestant or party from C$1,650 to C$3,300 per year, protecting the essential voice of Ontarians in campaigns;

      • Extend third-party advertising spending limits from six to 12 months before an election period and introduce a definition of collusion to help protect Ontario's elections from outside influence and interference; and

      • Clarify the rules that allow Members of Provincial Parliament to maintain individual social media accounts before, during and after a writ period, as well as pave the way for the legislature to set other social media rules.

  • Ontario testing online COVID-19 vaccine portal to avoid crash when it opens, health minister says (Globe and Mail).

  • 297,311 cases, an increase of 1,138 since yesterday, 23 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec plans 'immunity passports' (CBC).

    • The health minister announced:

      • The provincial government signed an agreement in principle with the province's major pharmacy chains this morning. They will participate in the expansion of the vaccination rollout in the same way they were involved in last fall's successful flu vaccination campaign.

      • Quebec is also planning on implementing "immunity passports," likely in digital form, for vaccinated people later this year in order to facilitate things like travel.

  • Following recommendations from Public Health and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, the wearing of a pediatric intervention (procedural) mask will henceforth be compulsory at all times in schools for elementary school students attending an establishment located in the red zone (News Release).

    • This new measure is to enhance the protection of students and staff in the context of the arrival of variants.

  • Order in Council no. 141-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until March 5, 2021.

  • 285,330 cases, an increase of 858 since yesterday, 16 deaths.

February 24, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed today that Moderna will meet its contractual obligation to deliver 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March (CBC). 

  • Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership (Statement).

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden agreed to strengthen comprehensive and cross-sectoral efforts to control the pandemic, collaborate on public health responses, and build resilience against future outbreaks.

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Friday on legislation to provide US$1.9-trillion in new coronavirus relief, Representative Steny Hoyer, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said (Reuters). 

  • C.D.C. Communication Resources for COVID-19 Vaccines.

  • Notification of Enforcement Discretion regarding online or web-based scheduling applications for the scheduling of individual appointments for COVID-19 vaccination during the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency.

  • Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine closes in on U.S. approval (Reuters).

Alberta

  • COVID-19 vaccinations start for Alberta seniors 75 and older (News Release).

    • Albertans who were born in 1946 or earlier can now book their vaccine online or by calling 811. Appointment availability will be determined by vaccine supply. 

  • Expanding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout; COVID-19 vaccines will soon be offered at community pharmacies, making it easier for seniors to get their dose as quickly as possible (News Release).

  • Relief for working parents: Alberta parents who use child care will receive C$561 per child with the new Working Parents Benefit, a one-time payment to help parents with the cost of child care (News Release).

  • The Alberta legislature will reconvene this week with the tabling of Budget 2021 and a focus on strengthening the health-care system to fight COVID-19 and creating jobs for economic recovery (News Release).

  • 131,603 cases, an increase of 267 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

British Columbia

  • New infrastructure, jobs coming to communities hit hard by COVID-19 (News Release).

  • B.C. expanding vaccine workforce - dentists, midwives, pharmacy technicians and retired nurses to provide vaccinations (CBC).

  • Two new public health Orders were issued yesterday:

    • Regulated and Unregulated Health Professionals SARS-CoV-2 Immunization Order (pursuant to section 13 of the Health Professions General Regulation).

    • Emergency Medical Assistants SARS-CoV-2 Immunization Order (pursuant to section 32 of the Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation).

  • 77,822 cases, an increase of 559 since yesterday, one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario reveals more details on COVID-19 vaccination plan (CBC).

    • Online portal for booking appointments set to launch March 15.

    • When the online portal, along with a telephone booking system, launch in March, Ontarians aged 80 and over will be the next priority.

    • The proposed schedule in the following weeks (pending a steady vaccine supply):

      • April 15: vaccinations begin for people 75 years old and over.

      • May 1: vaccinations begin for people 70 years old and over.

      • June 1: vaccinations begin for people 65 years and over.

      • July 1: vaccinations begin for people 60 years and over.

    • Retired general Rick Hillier said where Ontarians can expect to get a shot will be based on their postal code. They will be delivered through a combination of mass vaccination clinics, community centre programs pharmacies.

  • Ontario invests in historic Campaign to accelerate training for personal support workers; Up to 8,200 wew PSWs will be ready to work in long-term care by Fall 2021 (News Release).

  • 296,173 cases, an increase of 1,054 since yesterday, nine deaths.

Quebec

  • 284,472 cases, an increase of 806 since yesterday, 17 deaths.

February 23, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • COVID-19 vaccinations could allow toughest restrictions to lift before September, says Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam (Globe and Mail).

    • Dr. Tam said personal protective choices like masks and limited in-person contacts could be with us longer but those will depend on how well vaccines prevent not just serious illness and death, but also the spread of the novel coronavirus. Data on transmission is still being analyzed, said Tam.

  • Correctional Service of Canada on its COVID-19 response and the Correctional Investigator’s report (Statement).

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci told CNN that he expects the C.D.C to soon relax some COVID-19 recommendations aimed at curbing its spread for people who have been vaccinated (Reuters).

  • Proposed rule by the National Credit Union Administration: Risk-Based Net Worth-COVID-19 Regulatory Relief.

Alberta

  • Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says the next round of reduced economic restrictions likely won’t happen for two more weeks (Globe and Mail).

  • 131,336 cases, an increase of 273 since yesterday, 16 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Changes to allow restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences to purchase beer, wine and spirits at the wholesale price set by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) are now in place permanently (News Release).

  • 77,263 cases, an increase of 1,428 since Friday, eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Details on how to register for a COVID-19 vaccine coming soon, Ontario health minister says (CBC).

    • During question period at Queen's Park, Elliott said all 34 public health units have submitted individual plans to the province's vaccine task force to distribute and administer doses.

    • Those who wish to receive a vaccine will have the option to set up an appointment either through an online portal, a telephone booking system or through their family doctor, depending on which public health unit they live in.

  • 295,119 cases, an increase of 975 since yesterday, 12 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault and the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, announced today that the vaccination of the general population will begin on March 1, 2021 (News Release).

    • Those born in 1936 and earlier in the general population will be able to get shots as early as next week.

    • The vaccination campaign will begin in Montreal, but Quebecers across the province can make appointments as of Thursday. Legault said it is preferable to make an appointment online at quebec.ca/vaccincovid.

  • 283,666 cases, an increase of 739 since yesterday, 13 deaths.

February 22, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • AstraZeneca vaccine review is in the 'final stages,' Health Canada says (CBC).

  • Canada to receive record 640K vaccine doses this week with Pfizer and Moderna deliveries (CBC).

  • Public Health Agency of Canada to begin COVID-19 testing at land borders today (News Release).

  • CPHO Sunday Edition: The impact of COVID-19 on racialized communities (Statement).

U.S. - Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • 131,063 cases, an increase of 328 since Feb. 20, 29 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 75,835 cases, an increase of 508 on Friday, six deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is investing more than C$4.1-million to help train 373 new Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and provide them with additional health and safety resources (News Release).

  • Added to e-laws Friday evening: O.Reg. 129/21 Extensions of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

  • 294,144 cases, an increase of 3,457 since Friday, 52 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced a relaxation of measures for single people from February 26 in the red or orange zone (News Release).

    • In private homes, a single person, with his or her children if necessary, can join people residing at a single other address, on condition of forming a stable group.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-008 related to schedule amendments to the orange and red zone territories.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services has made public certain written documents from the Public Health that have been used in decision-making by the Government of Quebec since March 2020 in response to the pandemic (News Release).

  • 282,927 cases, an increase of 2,240 since Friday, 26 deaths.

February 19, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Government of Canada proposes increase to number of weeks for recovery benefits and Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits (News Release):

    • The proposed changes would:

      • increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by 12 weeks extending the maximum duration of the benefits through regulation from 26 weeks to up to 38 weeks;

      • increase the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) through regulation from the current 2 weeks to 4 weeks; and

      • increase the number of weeks of EI regular benefits available by up to 24 weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks through legislation, for claims that are made between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

  • The federal government has released a list of hotels where air travellers arriving in Canada can complete the mandatory quarantine period.

  • Industry Advisory Roundtable on COVID-19 report: Accelerating Rapid Screening in the Workplace.

    • On January 15, 2021, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel released its first report Priority strategies to optimize testing and screening for COVID-19 in Canada. This report provided guidance to:

      • optimize testing and screening with lab-based PCR testing

      • ramp up deployment of rapid tests for screening purposes

      • ensure equity in testing and screening

      • improve communication strategies

  • The following Orders are published in the February 20th Canada Gazette Part II (all made under the Quarantine Act):

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations)

  • Prime Minister Justine Trudeau pledges another C$75-million to COVAX as G7 leaders discuss wider COVID-19 vaccine distribution (CBC).

  • As variants spread, Public Health Agency of Canada modelling shows current public health restrictions aren’t enough to stop a third wave of COVID-19 (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • President Joe Biden’s push for a US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill took a step forward on Friday as a U.S. House of Representatives committee unveiled the legislation Democrats hope to pass by late next week (Reuters / Full Text of the Bill via CNN).

Alberta

  • Phase 2 vaccinations will be offered in a staged approach and once completed, will have vaccinated anyone aged 50 to 74 years, anyone with high-risk underlying health conditions, First Nations and Métis people aged 35 and older, residents and staff in congregate living settings, and eligible caregivers (News Release).

    • Phase 2 is targeted to begin in April, depending on the supply of vaccine.

    • Detailed information on how eligible Albertans will receive the vaccine will be released prior to each step in Phase 2. 

  • Starting Feb. 19, Alberta Health Services will offer the vaccine directly to all residents in retirement centres, lodges, supportive living and other congregate living facilities with residents who are aged 75 or older (News Release).

    • Starting Feb. 24, any Albertan living in the community who was born in 1946 or earlier will be eligible to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Appointment availability will be based on vaccine supply.

  • 130,030 cases, an increase of 415 since yesterday, seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • 75,327 cases, an increase of 617 since yesterday, four deaths.

Ontario

  • Stay-at-Home Order extended to March 8, 2021 in Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions along with North Bay-Parry Sound (News Release).

    • York Region to Return to Strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework.

  • The following Orders were added to e-laws this afternoon (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020):

  • Ontario launches Education Campaign to help workplaces reopen safely (News Release).

  • Ontario administers over half a million doses of COVID-19 Vaccines; Province ramping up capacity in preparation of vaccinating Phase Two populations (News Release).

  • 290,771 cases, an increase of 1,150 since yesterday, 47 deaths.

Quebec

  • 280,687 cases, an increase of 800 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

February 18, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Canadian Bar Association Releases COVID-19 Task Force Report (News Release).

    • The task force report makes 18 recommendations for moving forward on innovative, efficient and effective modernization that put people seeking justice at the centre, to increase access to justice and confidence in the justice systems.

  • Transport Canada fines two individuals for presenting falsified COVID-19 test results (News Release).

  • Major General Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's vaccine logistics, said that deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine from the two approved suppliers — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are back on track following weeks of reduced shipments (CBC).

  • COVID-19 vaccine passports must address privacy, equity concerns, say experts (CBC).

U.S. - Federal

  • President Joe Biden discusses COVID relief and infrastructure with top labor leaders (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Premier Jason Kenney is defending his government's COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the face of criticism that virtually no details have been shared regarding its distribution plan (CBC).

    • Kenney said the province will lay out its priority lists for the next phases of the vaccine distribution program "pretty soon" after studying what other provinces are doing. 

  • Additional COVID-19 support for Alberta small business (News Release).

    • Businesses that can demonstrate a revenue reduction of 60 per cent or more will be eligible to receive 15 per cent of their monthly revenue, up to a maximum of C$10,000.

  • Resource guide for COVID-19 cases in schools (Kindergarten-Grade 12) settings: before, during, and after a COVID-19 alert or outbreak.

  • 129,615 cases, an increase of 277 since yesterday, seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • 74,710 cases, an increase of 427 since yesterday, 3 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario to announce whether it will extend strict lockdown in COVID-19 hot spots tomorrow (CTV).

    • The announcement on whether Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, and North Bay will enter into the province's colour-coded reopening system is expected to be announced on Friday afternoon.

  • Toronto Public Health (TPH) has added new data to the COVID-19: Status of Cases in Toronto dashboard to illustrate how cases of variants of concern (VOC) are spreading in Toronto (News Release).

  • Ontario investing in wearable contact tracing technology to help protect workers from COVID-19 (News Release).

    • Facedrive developed TraceSCAN's made-in-Ontario AI-powered solution, which can track staff exposure to COVID-19 without GPS information, in partnership with the University of Waterloo.

  • O. Reg. 123/21 Extensions of Orders (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

  • 289,621 cases, an increase of 1,038 since yesterday, 13 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec's bet on delaying second dose of COVID-19 vaccine is paying off, early data shows (CBC).

    • Preliminary results show strong immunity in health-care workers and long-term care residents after one dose.

  • The following were added to the February 18, 2021 Gazette officielle du Québec

    • O.C. 124-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until 26 February 2021.

    • O.C. 135-2021 related to health and social services institution contracts in particular to purchase supplies, equipment or medication or to proceed with construction work.

  • C$1.1-million government funding to develop a research clinic to study side effects in COVID-19 survivors (News Release).

  • 279,887 cases, an increase of 900 since yesterday, 10 deaths.

February 17, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • S.O.R./2021-3 Regulations amending the Employment Insurance Regulations were published in the February 17 Canada Gazette Part II.

U.S. - Federal

  • President Joe Biden announces new actions to expand and improve COVID-19 Testing (News Release).

Alberta

  • 129,338 cases, an increase of 263 since yesterday, nine deaths.

British Columbia

  • Changes to allow emailed documents between landlords and tenants (News Release and Order in Council No. 89).

    • The Province is amending the following regulations to allow email as a method of service between landlords and tenants, making it easier for people to participate in the dispute resolution process:

      • Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Regulation

      • Residential Tenancy Regulation

    • The change will take effect March 1, 2021.

  • Order in Council No. 88 the state of emergency has been extended until March 2, 2021 (News Release).

  • The government is investing C$4.5-million to help rural businesses and communities recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

  • 74,283 cases, an increase of 1,533 since Friday, 26 deaths.

Ontario

Quebec

  • In order to allow families to enjoy spring break in a safe way for all, the Premier announced certain relaxations that will be in effect from Friday, February 26 in the regions located in the red zone (News Release).

    • Curfews will remain in place but cinemas will be able to open in compliance with the measures in force.
    • Sports and recreational activities will be permitted outdoors in public places for people from the same residence or for a maximum of eight people from different residences.
    • Pools and arenas will have the option of reopening, but partially. The activities that will be allowed there will be limited to free practice of sport and individual or duo training, with an instructor.
    • Indoor gatherings still prohibited.
    • Also announced: the Outaouais region will move to the orange level on February 22.

  • 278,987 cases, an increase of 800 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

February 16, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is appealing to the Official Opposition Conservatives to hasten passage of a COVID-19 relief bill through the House of Commons (Bill C-14) (CBC).

  • S.O.R./2021-13 Regulations Amending the Contraventions Regulations (Schedule XVI) (made under the Contraventions Act).

    • From the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement:

      • The objective of these amendments is to pursue additional efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among Canadians by including meaningful and more persuasive fines in order to improve compliance with the Quarantine Act and the emergency orders made under that Act. The purpose is to ensure better deterrence of non-compliance and to send a clearer and stronger message on the severity associated to non-compliance.

      • The amendments to the Contraventions Regulations do not create new offences nor do they impose new restrictions or burdens on individuals or businesses.

  • Made under the Quarantine Act:

    • P.C. 2021-0077 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States).

    • P.C. 2021-0076 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States).

    • P.C. 2021-0075 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations).

  • International Monetary Fund praises Canada's COVID-19 economic response plan (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • President Joe Biden Administration announces extension of COVID-19 Forbearance and Foreclosure Protections for homeowners (News Release).

  • White House says it will send 13.5 million vaccine doses a week to U.S. states (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Alberta will start offering first doses of the vaccine to eligible health-care workers in Phase 1A after postponing them last month, and will soon announce more information on future phases of the prioritization list (News release).

  • 129,075 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,154 over the weekend, 38 deaths.

British Columbia

  • OIC 81/2021, repealing item 1 (Electronic Attendance at Strata Property Meetings (COVID-19) Order) in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, S.B.C. 2020, c. 8, effective July 10, 2021.

  • OIC 83/2021, repealing item 1 (Bylaw Enforcement Officer (COVID-19) Order) and item 5 (Provincial Compliance Officer (COVID-19) Order) in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, S.B.C. 2020, c. 8, effective July 10, 2021.

  • OIC 86/2021, repealing item 16 (Local Government Finance (COVID-19) Order) and item 21 (Local Government Meetings and Bylaw Process (COVID-19) Order No. 3) in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, S.B.C. 2020, c. 8, effective July 10, 2021.

  • 72,750 confirmed cases, an increase of 445 from Thursday to Friday, 10 deaths.

Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford refuses to commit to further travel measures as stay-at-home order lifts in most of province (CTV).

  • Call centre, a web portal to book vaccine appointments coming soon to Ontario (CBC).

    • Retired General Rick Hillier, chair of the province's COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force, said Ontario hopes to start vaccinating adults aged 80 and over starting the first week of March.

  • Ontario expands eligibility for Main Street Relief Grant (News Release).

    • Small businesses with 2 to 19 employees in all eligible sectors - expanded from 2-9 employees - including those in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, can now apply for up to C$1,000 in financial support. 

  • Ontario improving Farm Safety for Agri-Food workers; new resources will provide guidance and information on COVID-19 safety measures (News Release).

  • The legislature has resumed today and is scheduled to sit for 13 weeks of business before rising for the summer (News Release).

    • In the first weeks of the winter sitting, the government plans to proceed with important labour and public safety legislation, and support Ontario's recovery by proposing changes to help people resolve their legal matters with fewer delays.

  • The government has introduced Bill 245 Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021; in response to COVID-19, Ontario implemented a number of urgent measures to move more justice services online and closer to communities. If passed, the Act would build on these modernization initiatives (News Release and Backgrounder).

  • Province supports Ontario Heritage Trust during COVID-19; Funding will help ensure the provincial agency can continue to protect historical sites across Ontario (News Release).

  • 287,736 cases, an increase of 4,149 since Friday, 87 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec's vaccine deliveries forecasted to jump way up beginning this week (CTV).

  • S.Q. 2020 c.29 (Bill 75) An Act to improve justice accessibility and efficiency, in particular to address consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in force December 11, 2020 except:

    • Sections 5 to 7, which come into force on the date of coming into force of the first by-law made under section 128.1 of the Act respecting the Barreau du Québec, enacted by section 6 of this Act;

    • Section 35, which comes into force on the date of coming into force of the first regulation made under article 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure, as replaced by section 35 of this Act;

    • Sections 40 to 47, which come into force on 11 March 2021;

    • Sections 61 and 62, which come into force on the date of coming into force of the first by-law made under section 15.1 of the Notaries Act, enacted by section 62 of this Act.

  • S.Q. 2020 c. 27 (Bill 66) An Act respecting the acceleration of certain infrastructure projects in force December 11, 2020.

  • 278,187 cases, an increase of 4,000 since Friday, 49 deaths.

February 12, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Expanded restrictions to international land and air travel were announced today (News release and Backgrounder):

    • As of February 15, 2021, travellers arriving by land will need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken in the U.S. within 72 hours of pre-arrival or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival. There are some exceptions, such as essential workers and cross-border communities. As of February 22, 2021, travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a test on arrival and another near the end of their 14-day quarantine period.

    • As of February 22, 2021, travellers arriving by air will be required to take a test before exiting the airport and another near the end of their 14 day quarantine period. They will be required to reserve a 3-night stay in a government authorized hotel, where they will stay at their own cost while awaiting the results of their arrival test. 

    •  As of February 22, 2021, all travellers will be required to electronically submit their travel and contact information, including their quarantine plan, before crossing the border or boarding a flight.
  • Canada has negotiated an accelerated delivery schedule for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, and will receive all 40 million of its secured doses from Pfizer-BioNTech by the end of September (News release).

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that Canada will receive more Pfizer doses in the next quarter than expected, and that Canada has agreed to purchase four million more doses of the Moderna product, which will arrive in the summer (CBC). 

  • Canada is investing C$53-million in an integrated Variants of Concern Strategy, a national strategy that will bring together public health and genomic sequencing along with epidemiology, immunology, virology, and mathematical modelling (News release).

  • The following Orders are in the February 13, 2021 Canada Gazette, Part I:

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Training Requirements (B-737-8 and Other Aircraft), No. 2 (under the Aeronautics Act)

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 20 (under the Aeronautics Act)

U.S. - Federal

  • White House said it was not currently planning to require people to take COVID-19 tests before domestic airline flights (Reuters).

  • C.D.C recommends U.S. schools reopen with universal masking and other rigid health protocols (Reuters).

  • Proposed Rules - Wireline Competition Bureau: Petitions for Emergency Relief to allow the use of E-Rate Funds to support remote learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Alberta

  • Premier Jason Kenney says there are no plans right now to look at varying economic restrictions based on regions (Globe and Mail).

  • Alberta’s border pilot program meant to shorten quarantine periods for international travellers will come to an end once new federal measures take effect, says Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw (Edmonton Journal).

  • 127,921 cases, an increase of 351 since yesterday, 16 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, announced new changes that offer more financial flexibility for public post-secondary institutions (PSIs) impacted by COVID-19. PSIs are now approved to run budget deficits for two fiscal years, using surpluses earned in previous years to maintain current operations in a manner that supports students and the labour force (News release).

  • 72,305 cases, an increase of 449 since yesterday, nine deaths.

Ontario

  • Twenty-seven public health regions will transition out of lockdown to a revised colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework as of February 16, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. (News release).

    • For Toronto, Peel, York, and North Bay Parry Sound health regions, the shut-down measures and stay-at-home order will continue to apply until at least February 22, 2021.

  • Ontario deploys rapid tests to more essential workplaces and settings (News release).

  • Ontario restarting passenger road tests in most DriveTest centres across the Province (News release).

    • Tests will not be offered in public health unit regions with a Stay-at-Home order or in Grey-Lockdown zones.

  • The following regulations were added to e-Laws today:

    • O. Reg. 112/21, amending O. Reg. 37/09, General (under the Taxation Act), relating to film and television production companies

    • O. Reg. 113/21, amending O. Reg. 25/21, Extension of Orders (under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

    • O. Reg. 114/21, amending O. Reg. 263/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19 Act, 2020)

    • O. Reg. 115/21, amending O. Reg. 364/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19 Act, 2020)

    • O. Reg. 116/21, amending O. Reg. 363/20, Stages of Reopening (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19 Act, 2020)

    • O. Reg. 117/21, amending O. Reg. 82/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19 Act, 2020)

    • O. Reg. 118/21, amending O. Reg. 263/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 2 (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19 Act, 2020)

    • O. Reg. 119/21, amending O. Reg. 364/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19 Act, 2020)

  • 283,587 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,076 since yesterday, 18 deaths. Note: Toronto Public Health case counts are under-reported today.

Quebec

  • Citizens who have received assistance benefits related to COVID-19 will not have to pay interest on their 2020 tax balance for a period of one year (News release).

  • Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé announced the acquisition of 40,000 Dorma 99 respiratory protective devices designed and manufactured in Quebec by the company Dorma Filtration (News release).

  • Health minister says Quebec remains on track to give vaccine booster within 90 days (Globe and Mail).

  • Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity Jean Boulet announced financial assistance of C$1.9-million for the development of the Quebec workforce affected by the health crisis (News release).

  • 274,831 confirmed cases, an increase of 984 since yesterday, 25 deaths (four in the last 24 hours, 13 between February 5 and 10, seven before February 5, and one on an unknown date).

February 11, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)
Canada - Federal
 
  • The government extends and increases compensation to the audiovisual sector for production stoppages caused by COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Major General Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's vaccine logistics, said today that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will significantly ramp up its deliveries of doses next month (CBC).

    • Fortin said 444,000 Pfizer doses will be delivered each week for the first two weeks of March.

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she expects lawmakers to complete legislation based on President Joe Biden’s US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill by the end of February (Reuters).

  • CDC to issue new COVID-19 guidelines for schools on Friday (Reuters).

Alberta

  • S.A. 2020 c. 32 Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, section 11(14), (16), (23)(a), (24), (25), (31), (36), (37), (38) and (42), to the extent that it enacts section 209(2)(d) and (h) of the Labour Relations Code proclaimed in force February 10, 2021 (see: O.C. 43/2021).

  • 127,570 cases, an increase of 339 since yesterday, six deaths.

British Columbia

  • Updated Gatherings and Events Order - related to private residences, vacation accommodation and private clubs and organizations.

  • 71,856 cases, an increase of 469 since yesterday, six deaths.

Ontario

  • Super-contagious strains of COVID-19 could lead to another uptick in case numbers by the end of the month despite the recent significant drop in infections, new modelling data released today by the Ontario government shows (CTV).

  • Toronto Public Health releases COVID-19 workplace outbreak data (News Release).

    • Starting today, following the Board of Health decision on January 18, 2021, the Toronto Public Health will increase reporting of active COVID-19 outbreaks at local workplaces.

    • This information will be published on the COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard, which is updated weekly on Thursdays.

  • Ontario delays March Break until April 12-16, 2021 (News Release).

  • The Government of Ontario is making improvements to the Commodity Loan Guarantee Program to extend repayment deadlines, increase lending capacity and provide farmers with greater flexibility to purchase essential crop growing supplies, such as seed and fertilizer (News Release).

  • First Round of COVID-19 vaccinations completed in all Ontario Long-Term Care homes (News Release).

  • Deep deficits projected for years to come due to COVID spending, says Ontario’s fiscal watchdog (ipolitics).

  • The following Orders were added to e-laws today:

    • Made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) – related to film or television production:

    • O.Reg. 106/21 Extensions of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

  • 282,511 cases, an increase of 945 since yesterday, 18 deaths.

    • A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said that as part of Toronto Public Health’s transition to the provincial system, the public health unit’s case counts “are under-reported today, resulting in an underestimate of the daily counts.”

Quebec

  • Order in Council 103-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until February 19, 2021.

  • Quebec will increase its sequencing capacity for new variants (News Release).

  • 273,847 cases, an increase of 1,121 since yesterday, 37 deaths (eight in the last 24 hours, 25 between February 4 and February 9 and four before February 4).

February 10, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Ottawa says it is footing a multi-billion-dollar bill for the provinces to buy personal protective equipment, rapid COVID-19 tests and vaccines and syringe supplies but now a senior cabinet minister is raising doubts about how long that can continue (Toronto Star).

    • Procurement Minister Anita Anand told the Star’s editorial board that the COVID-19 response might become “an annual item” with “annual inoculations against COVID-19 and so our procurements need to address the possibility that we may need syringes, not to mention vaccines in the long term.”

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. Government partnering with Texas to build three mass vaccination sites (Reuters).

  • CDC study finds two masks are better than one vs. COVID-19 (CBC).

    • Today, the CDC reported the results of a lab experiment that spaced two artificial heads 6 feet (2 metres) from each other and checked to see how many coronavirus-sized particles spewed by one were inhaled by the other. The researchers found that wearing one mask -- surgical or cloth -- blocked around 40 per cent of the particles coming toward the head that was breathing in. When a cloth mask was worn on top of a surgical mask, about 80 per cent were blocked.

Alberta

  • C$465-million for Alberta’s critical workers; Hundreds of thousands of workers who continue to provide critical services to Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a one-time payment in recognition of their hard work and sacrifice (News Release).

  • 127,231 cases, an increase of 195 since yesterday, 12 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 71,387 cases, an increase of 435 since yesterday, four deaths.

Ontario 

  • Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy says all COVID-19 contingency funds spent (Globe and Mail).

  • An infectious disease expert says he believes that highly contagious variants of COVID-19 will trigger an "ugly" third wave of the pandemic around April that could send Ontario into a third lockdown (CTV).

    • According to provincial modelling data released in late January, the U.K. strain of COVID-19 is expected to become the dominant source of infection by March in Ontario.

  • Retailers show improvement in complying with Public Health Guidelines (News Release).

  • Ontario extends off-peak electricity rates to provide relief for families, small businesses and farms (News Release).
    • O.Reg. 101/21 Classes of Consumers and Determination of Rates (made under the Ontario Energy Board Act).
  • Ontario government released the province's 2020-21 Third Quarter Finances. The report shows that the government is projecting to spend C$25-billion more than last year, including an additional C$2.6-billion since the 2020 Budget. These investments are being used to deliver the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, to provide more hospital supplies and PPE, and to better protect long-term care homes and child care settings (News Release).

  • 281,566 cases, an increase of 1,072 since yesterday, 41 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec is contemplating the idea of setting up roadblocks during spring break to prevent non-essential travel to and from regions and neighbouring provinces (CBC).

  • Bill 85 An Act to facilitate the conduct of the 7 November 2021 municipal general election in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was tabled today.

  • 272,726 cases, an increase of 989 since yesterday, 34 deaths (eight in the last 24 hours, 16 between February 3 and February 8 and 10 before February 3).

February 9, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Non-essential travellers entering Canada through the land border will soon need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today (CBC).

    • "As of Feb.15, when you return to Canada through a land border, you'll need to show a 72-hour PCR test, just like air travel," Trudeau said.

    • Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer, said last week there is no exemption yet for Canadians who already have received a vaccine.

  • Government of Canada addresses CERB repayments for self-employed individuals and announces interest relief on 2020 income tax debt due to COVID-19 related income support (News Release).

  • Health Canada in 'final stages' of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine review (CBC).

  • Health Canada issues label change authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (News Release).

  • Minister Catherine McKenna and Community Foundations of Canada launch intake for COVID-19 resilient projects under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (News Release).

  • Government of Canada supports Indigenous businesses in Quebec (News Release and Backgrounder).

U.S. - Federal

  • U.S. to start sending COVID-19 vaccines directly to community health centers (Reuters).

Alberta

  • COVID-19 rapid testing expanding in Alberta; rapid testing will be used to screen asymptomatic staff at all long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta and a new rapid testing pilot has been launched at two Suncor sites (News Release).

  • 127,036 cases, an increase of 269 since Feb 7, one death.

British Columbia

  • B.C.'s provincial health officer is seeking an injunction prohibiting gatherings by three Christian churches who are challenging her orders suspending in-person religious services (CBC).
  • 70,952 cases, an increase of 1,236 since Friday, 13 deaths.

Ontario

  • The following Orders were added to e-laws yesterday evening:

    • Made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act:

      • O.Reg. 62/21 Residential Evictions
      • O.Reg. 94/21 Stay-At-Home Order
        • Stay at home Orders for each individual health unit have also been added to e-laws.
      • O.Reg. 95/21 Extensions of Orders
    • Made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) – mostly related to the changes made to the shutdown zones:

  • The Ontario government continues to implement its High Priority Communities Strategy to provide targeted supports to 15 communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

    • As part of the strategy, the province is providing C$12.5-million to local lead agencies to work in partnership with Ontario Health, public health units, municipalities, and other community partners to help high risk neighbourhoods contain the spread of the virus and access services to better protect individuals and families (News Release).

  • Ontario helping keep seniors safe and connected during COVID-19; Government’s investment will help older adults maintain their physical, mental and social well-being (News Release).

  • Ontario increases Mental Health funding for postsecondary students; Investment will expand access to mental health and addiction services during COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Ontario invests in affordable housing For Indigenous People; Funding supports innovative solutions for those at risk of homelessness during COVID-19 (News Release).

  • 280,494 cases, an increase of 1,022 since yesterday, 17 deaths.

Quebec

  • Health-care workers will soon have to wear N95 masks in COVID-19 hot zones (CBC)

  • The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, confirmed that March break will be maintained for the entire school network, on the dates planned locally. Parents who work in priority services will have access to emergency childcare services on the same basis as during the holiday season (News Release).

  • Premier François Legault confirmed today that the number of new daily cases continues to decrease in Quebec. The average of new cases per day is currently just above 1,000, which means that the measures applied continue to slow the spread of the virus. However, the number of hospitalizations (940) is still far too high. Legault therefore reminded everyone that despite the easing of restrictions and the gradual reopening of businesses and campuses, we must remain disciplined in the application of the instructions given by the public health authorities (News Release).

  • 271,737 cases, an increase of 826 since yesterday, 32 deaths (five in the last 24 hours, 22 between February 2 and February 7, four before February 2 and one has occurred at an unknown date).

February 8, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Ottawa lays out criteria for quarantine hotels as it inches toward new travel rule (CBC).

    • The Public Health Agency of Canada has listed its criteria for hotels seeking to participate in the mandatory three-day quarantine for returning travellers.

  • Temporary Pfizer vaccine delays are 'largely behind us,' procurement minister Anita Anand says (CBC).

U.S. - Federal

Alberta

  • Alberta begins Step 1 of plan to ease restrictions; step 1 of Alberta’s four-step framework to ease restrictions is underway as pressure eases on the health system and hospitalizations remain below 600 (News Release).

    • School-related and limited indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance activities, one-on-one indoor personal fitness with a trainer, and dine-in service at restaurants, cafés and pubs are now permitted provincewide.

    • While limited indoor and outdoor activities for school and minor sports are allowed, strong public health measures remain in place.

    • A decision on Step 2 will be made if, on Feb. 28, there are 450 or fewer hospitalizations and the number is declining.

  • 126,767 cases, an increase of 351 on Feb. 6, 25 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Order in Council No. 61 related to the COVID-19 (Provincial Court Proceedings) Regulation; and, effective July 10, 2021, item 7 in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act is repealed.

  • Updated Gatherings and Events Order was published on Friday (related to the provincewide public health orders that were extended).

  • 69,716 cases, an increase of 471 on Friday, six deaths.

Ontario

  • The government is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the stay-at-home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures (News Release).

    • When it is safe to do so, the province will gradually transition each region from the shutdown measures to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

    • The following three regions will be moving back to the Framework at the Green-Prevent level on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. and will no longer be subject to the stay-at-home order:

      • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
      • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health; and
      • Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
    • It is proposed that the stay-at-home order will continue to apply to 28 public health regions until Tuesday, February 16, 2021. For Toronto, Peel and York regions, it is proposed that the stay-at-home order will continue to apply until Monday, February 22, 2021.

    • Ontario is also introducing an "emergency brake" to allow for immediate action if a public health unit region experiences rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission or if its health care system risks becoming overwhelmed.

    • Orders currently in force under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act have been extended to February 23, 2021 and will be extended further if necessary.

  • Toronto reported Canada's first known case of COVID-19 variant first seen in Brazil yesterday (CTV).

  • Ontario expands emergency child care to more frontline workers; Government offers benefit at no cost in regions where students continue to learn remotely (News Release).

    • Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding the provision of emergency child care services:

      • Beginning this Tuesday, emergency child care will be extended to additional frontline workers in Toronto, York Region and Peel. This will include construction workers working on essential projects that have been permitted to continue during the provincial shutdown, and transit workers who are unable to work remotely.

  • The following Orders were added to e-laws Friday evening:

    • O.Reg. 55/21 Compliance Orders for Retirement Homes (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

    • O.Reg. 56/21 Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 57/21 Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

  • 279,472 cases, an increase of 4,142 since Friday, 100 deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council No. 102-2021 was published in the February 6 Gazette officielle du Québec (related, in part, to the return of the alert level system).

  • The public health authorities are announcing the health instructions to be followed in all snowmobile relays from February 8, especially those located in regions with maximum alert level (News Release).

  • 270,911 cases, an increase of 3,138 since Friday, 33 deaths.

February 5, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

 

Canada - Federal

  • Federal Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough is pushing back on Premier Doug Ford’s claim that funding paid sick leave in Ontario would “duplicate” federal supports through the Canada Sickness Recovery Benefit (CSRB) (ipolitics).

    • In Qualtrough’s response to Monte McNaughton, in a letter yesterday afternoon, she said the CSRB is designed to be there for workers during the COVID-19 crisis, but is not a wholesale substitute for paid sick leave, which normally falls under provincial jurisdiction.

  • More support for tourism and other small businesses experiencing COVID-19-related losses across Western Canada (News Release).

    • The expanded Regional Relief and Recovery Fund now offers up to an additional C$20,000 for eligible small businesses needing continued financial support.

U.S. - Federal

  • The U.S. House of Representatives approved a budget package on Friday that enables Democrats to push President Joe Biden's C$1.9-trillion US coronavirus relief package through Congress without Republican support in a process that will likely take weeks (CBC).

  • Remarks by President Biden before meeting with House Democratic Leaders working on the American Rescue Plan.

  • White House says it is working to speed early production of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine (Reuters). 

Alberta

  • Government of Alberta and the Alberta Medical Association partner to vaccinate Albertans (News Release).

  • Applications open for new business relief; new businesses and unregistered sole proprietors can now apply for Alberta’s small business relaunch grant (News Release).

  • 125,672 cases, an increase of 582 since yesterday, 13 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. health officials have once again extended the province-wide ban on social gatherings and events, citing concerns around the growing number of COVID-19 variant cases (CTV).

    • The restrictions will continue indefinitely; Dr. Bonnie Henry said there's a chance things might change by March, but there is no official expiry date on the extended orders (CBC).

  • Visitation and Visitor Appeal and Review – Update.

  • Government has launched a new Skills Training for Economic Recovery program in order to support people affected by COVID-19 to get access to new training opportunities for high-demand jobs (News Release).

  • 69,245 cases, an increase of 465 since yesterday, six deaths. 

Ontario

  • Ontario will reveal reopening details next week as state of emergency nears expiration (CP24).

    • Ontario’s Solicitor-General’s office said no decisions have been made regarding whether to end or extend the emergency order (Globe and Mail).

  • Toronto City Council approves bigger and better CaféTO program to help local restaurants (News Release).

  • Applications are now open for the Ontario government's new two-year C$115-million Skills Development Fund (News Release).

    • The fund, which will support workers and apprentices, is specifically designed to address the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and help reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining while preparing workers for the province's economic recovery.

  • 275,330 cases, an increase of 1,670 since yesterday, 45 deaths.

Quebec

  • Assessment of the variant situation in Quebec (News Release).

    • The British variant is considered to be contained for the moment by Public Health, which follows its development very closely. In addition to the eight confirmed cases so far, the laboratory is sequencing several samples for investigation. No case of the South African or Brazilian variant has been found in Quebec so far.

  • Following the announcement by the Government of Quebec aiming at the relaxation of the sanitary measures in effect as of February 8, the Commission des normes, de l'énergie, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) makes certain adjustments to its COVID-19 Kit, including the general guide to health standards in the workplace and seven sector specific guides (News Release).

    • Guides for the following sectors:

      • Indoor and outdoor sports, leisure and outdoor activities;
      • Performing arts, theaters and cinemas;
      • Retail trade and shopping centers;
      • Wholesale;
      • Museums and libraries;
      • Catering and bars;
      • Personal and aesthetic care.
  • 267,773 cases, an increase of 1,101 since yesterday, 33 deaths (seven in the last 24 hours, 18 between January 29 and February 3, six before January 29 and two at an unknown date).

February 4, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Government of Canada announces one-year ban for pleasure craft and cruise vessels (News Release).

    • The Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means:

      • Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters.
      • Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.
      • Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.
    • To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada continues to advise Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside of Canada until further notice.

  • Major-General Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said today Canada doesn't know how many Moderna doses will arrive in the weeks ahead and the company hasn't said why it has reduced shipments to our country (CBC).

  • A spike in work-from-home tax-credit claims resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cost the federal government C$260-million, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer (Globe and Mail).

    • The estimate by the PBO is C$50-million higher than the federal government’s projection.

  • International flights landing at only four Canadian airports as new travel restrictions take effect (CTV).

    • Effective midnight, all international flights landing in Canada will now be funnelled to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver.

U.S. - Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • 125,090 cases, an increase of 259 since yesterday, 11 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Enhanced safety measures for Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools; updated guidelines for the child care sector will be made available in the coming week (News Release).

    • All middle and secondary students and Kindergarten to Grade 12 staff will now be required to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including when they are with their learning groups. The only exceptions are when:

      • sitting or standing at their seat or workstation in a classroom;
      • there is a barrier in place; or
      • they are eating or drinking.
    • For elementary students, wearing masks indoors remain a personal choice.

  • 68,780 cases, an increase of 414 since yesterday, 16 deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ford government is considering the possibility of cancelling March Break for Ontario students amid concerns about new COVID-19 variants that are already circulating in the community (CP24).

    • Education Minister Stephen Lecce tells CP24 that he has sought advice from Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams on whether it might make sense to keep schools open throughout the spring break and expects to have his recommendation by next week.

  • Ontario Supports Air Monitoring Technology to better protect people from COVID-19 (News Release).

    • The Ontario government is providing CEM Specialties Inc. (CEMSI) C$2-million through the Ontario Together Fund to help commercialize and accelerate production of its airborne COVID-19 detector Kontrol BioCloud (BioCloud).

  • O.Reg. 50/21 Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) – related to animal welfare services/pet grooming.

  • 273,660 cases, an increase of 1,563 since yesterday, 88 deaths.

Quebec

  • Adjustments made to health measures in force in Quebec higher education institutions located in the red zone.

    • Class capacity will be capped at 50 per cent in red zones, but orange zones will be allowed to accommodate more students as long as the mandatory distance of 1.5 metres between each of them can be maintained.

    • Students and teachers will be required to wear procedural masks at all times while at school, to be provided by the government.

    • Up to six people will be allowed to gather for group projects, group studies or attending online classes while on campus, but public health measures — including physical distancing — will need to be maintained. The government hopes that students who would like to return to campus can do so as frequently as they want — ideally at least once a week, Minister Danielle McCann said (Montreal Gazette).

  • Order in Council No. 89-2021 the public health emergency has been renewed until February 12, 2021.

  • The Chief Coroner of Quebec, Pascale Descary, ordered the holding of an investigation into the deaths of elderly or vulnerable people who occurred in residential settings during the COVID-19 pandemic (News Release).

    • More specifically, this investigation concerns the deaths that occurred between March 12 and May 1, 2020 at the CHSLD Herron de Dorval as well as a sample of deaths that occurred in residential settings for the elderly, vulnerable people or people with loss of autonomy during the same period.

  • 266,672 cases, an increase of 1,093 since yesterday, 42 deaths (15 in the last 24 hours, 16 between January 28 and February 2, 10 before January 28 and one at an unknown date).
February 3, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • P.C. 2021-0019 Regulations amending the Employment Insurance Regulations in order to temporarily waive the EI waiting period to ease the financial pressure when eligible individuals seek EI benefits during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The European Commission says it has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine delivery to Canada and does not plan to block the exportation of most doses produced on the continent (CTV).

U.S. - Federal

  • Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program for COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs.

  • The Economics of the American Rescue Plan (White House Briefing).

  • President Joe Biden tells Democrats he would consider limits on who gets COVID-19 checks (Reuters).

Alberta

  • Alberta extends quarantine to 24 days for people who live with COVID-19 variant patients (Globe and Mail).

    • The new quarantine rules will be the strictest in Canada, where the number of variant cases identified has been growing, including more than 50 in Alberta.

  • Alberta’s government is providing C$68.5-million to protect vulnerable Albertans and staff in continuing care and residential addiction and mental health treatment facilities, as well as home care clients, from COVID-19 (News Release).

  • 124,831 cases, an increase of 268 since yesterday, 11 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Funding supports businesses to launch online (News Release).

    • The new Launch Online Grant program is designed to help over 1,500 eligible small- and medium-sized B.C. businesses adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and pivot to market their products online. 

  • The state of emergency has been extended to Feb. 16, 2021 (News Release and Order).

  • 68,366 cases, an increase of 429 since yesterday, eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Education Minister Lecce announced the dates for the return of in-person learning for students in all remaining Ontario public health units (News Release):

    • Tuesday, February 16, 2021:

      • Peel Public Health
      • Toronto Public Health
      • York Region Public Health
    • Monday, February 8, 2021:

      • Brant County Health Unit
      • Chatham-Kent Public Health
      • Durham Region Health Department
      • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
      • Halton Region Public Health
      • City of Hamilton Public Health Services
      • Huron Perth Public Health
      • Lambton Public Health
      • Niagara Region Public Health
      • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
      • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
      • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
      • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
    • Public Health Units continue to reserve the authority to close schools to in-person learning based on local circumstances.

    • Minister Stephen Lecce stated at the press conference that if trends move in the wrong direction, they will not hesitate to act (CBC).
  • Toronto City Council approves the extension of the City’s mask bylaw until June 2021 (News Release).

    • The Mandatory Mask By-law 541-2020, as amended by By-law 664-2020, were both extended, as these bylaws were set to expire at the end of February 2 and 3, 2021.

  • S.O. 2020, c. 36 Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020:

    • Schedule 6, sections 1-5, 7, 11, 12, 22-24 amending the Conservation Authorities Act proclaimed in force February 2, 2021.

  • 272,097 cases, an increase of 1,172 since yesterday, 67 deaths.

Quebec

  • Accompanied by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, and the National Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, Premier François Legault announced the return of the alert level system as of February 8 (News Release).

    • The only regions that will switch to the orange zone from February 8 are:

      • Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine
      • Bas-Saint-Laurent
      • Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
      • Abitibi-Témiscamingue
      • Northern Quebec
      • North Coast
    • All the other regions of Quebec will be at the red level.

    • Adjustments were made in red and orange areas - many of the COVID-19 lockdown measures will remain in place past the planned end date of Feb. 8.

      • The ban on visiting others in their homes remains in effect as does the mandatory work-from-home order for those who are able. The curfew will stay in effect, banning non-essential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., in 11 regions, including Montreal.

    • Premier Legault did not indicate when the curfew will be lifted, though he said a news conference will be held on Feb. 22 to reassess the situation and adjust public health restrictions as needed (CBC).

  • The Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, announces that business owners who have been subject to a closure order in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to obtain a refund of their fixed costs during the restart period (News Release).

    • This additional assistance represents the equivalent of one or two months of additional non-repayable contributions, in addition to those of the previous months.

  • The Minister responsible for seniors and caregivers, Marguerite Blais, announces today that private seniors' residences (RPAs) located in regions with orange alert levels will be authorized to reopen their dining rooms (News Release).

  • 265,579 cases, an increase of 1,053 since yesterday, 37 deaths (nine in the last 24 hours, 18 between January 27 and February 1 and nine before January 27 and one has occurred at an unknown date).

February 2, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Novavax to pursue the production of its COVID-19 vaccine at the National Research Council of Canada’s Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Montréal (News Release).

    • The Prime Minister also announced investments to support vaccine, therapeutic, and biomanufacturing projects in Canada.

    • Backgrounder – Government of Canada investments in COVID-19 vaccines and biomanufacturing capacity.

  • Government of Canada supports projects to encourage vaccine uptake in Canada (News Release).

U.S. - Federal

  • Fact Sheet: President Joe Biden announces increased vaccine supply, initial launch of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and expansion of FEMA reimbursement to states.

  • Biden administration to provide COVID-19 vaccine to pharmacies (CTV).

  • White House Memorandum on Maximizing Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Alberta

  • Leading COVID-19 indicators to act as "emergency brake" for Alberta’s reopening plans, Dr. Hinshaw says (Globe and Mail).

  • 124,563 cases, an increase of 355 on Jan. 31, 10 deaths.

British Columbia

  • COVID-19 ICBC customer rebates to average C$190 (News Release).

    • ICBC customers will receive one-time rebates averaging C$190 this spring – their part of C$600 million that was saved due to a major decrease in crashes and costs as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

  • 67,937 cases, an increase of 1,148 since Friday, 21 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario says it won’t meet its Feb. 5 goal of giving COVID-19 vaccine to all long-term care, high-risk retirement residents (Globe and Mail).

  • Ontario continues accelerated vaccinations of most vulnerable despite vaccine delays; immunization begins in Northern fly-in communities this week (News Release).

  • 270,925 cases, an increase of 745 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

    • Over the past several days, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has been migrating all of its data to the provincial data system - fluctuations in case numbers over the next few days are expected as a result.

Quebec

  • Quebec Premier François Legault and his government were considering a loosening of some pandemic restrictions, including a later curfew and the reopening of restaurants in some parts of the province, and non-essential businesses provincewide.

    • Legault will announce the changes at a 5 p.m. ET news conference, alongside Health Minister Christian Dubé and Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's director of public health (CBC).

  • 264,526 cases, an increase of 1,053 since yesterday, 38 deaths (seven in the last 24 hours, 22 between January 26 and January 31 and nine before January 26).

February 1, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada - Federal

  • Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, spoke with Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, about the recently announced European Union’s proposed export transparency mechanism. (News Release).
    • Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis reiterated assurances to Minister Ng that the mechanism will not affect vaccine shipments to Canada.

U.S. - Federal

  • Notice: Extension of Designation of Scarce Materials or Threatened Materials Subject to COVID-19 Hoarding Prevention Measures; Extension of Effective Date with Modifications.

Alberta

  • Announced on Friday: additional health measures will be eased for restaurants, indoor fitness and some children’s activities, effective Monday, Feb. 8 (News Release).

  • Expanding COVID supports for all Albertans; All Albertans are now eligible to receive self-isolation supports to help limit the spread of COVID-19 (News Release).

    • Prior to this expansion, only Albertans in Edmonton and Calgary were eligible for the C$625 payment when they completed self-isolating in their assigned hotel. Now, Albertans across the province – including First Nations individuals living both on and off reserve and people living on Metis Settlements who cannot isolate safely in their own home – are eligible.

  • 124,208 cases, an increase of 461 on January 30, 33 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 66,779 cases, an increase of 514 on Friday, five deaths.

Ontario

  • A decision on whether schools will reopen in Ontario's COVID-19 hot zones on Feb. 10 will be announced on Wednesday, the province says (CTV).

  • The following regulations were added to e-laws this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 37/21 Rules for Areas in Stage One (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 38/21 Rules for Areas in Stage One (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 39/21 Rules for Areas in Stage One (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 40/21 Rules for Areas in Stage One (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 41/21 Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures (made under the Emergency Management or Civil Protection Act).

  • Province Expanding Testing and Enhancing School Protocols as More Students Return to Class Today (News Release and Backgrounder).

    • Provincewide access to targeted asymptomatic testing for students and staff, using a combination of lab-processed PCR and rapid antigen tests;

    • Mandatory masking for students in Grades 1-3, including outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained;

    • Enhanced screening of secondary students and staff;

    • New guidance discouraging students from congregating before and after school; and

    • Temporary certification of eligible teacher candidates who are set to graduate in 2021 to stabilize staffing levels, following high levels of absenteeism.

  • Ontario Community Support Program Extended until 2022; This Will Ensure Seniors and People with Disabilities Have Access to Food and Medicine During COVID-19 (News Release).

  • Toronto Public Health (TPH) is announcing a COVID-19 outbreak believed to be linked to the B.1.1.7 variant - at a meat production facility, Belmont Meats (News Release).

  • 270,180 cases, an increase of 5,880 since Friday, 152 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec’s Francois Legault plans to announce changes to COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow (Globe and Mail).

    • A Saturday-morning Facebook post from Francois Legault said he intends to unveil changes to the province’s current protective measures on Tuesday at 5 p.m., adding he’s hopeful the announcement could include an easing of restrictions on retail stores and other businesses.

    • The Premier said the changes would come into effect after Feb. 8, the day a province-wide curfew is scheduled to end.

  • Tam urges provinces not to loosen COVID-19 restrictions as Quebec hints at changes (CTV).

  • 263,473 cases, an increase of 3,480 since Friday, 61 deaths.

January 29, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal  

  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced new travel restrictions and quarantine rules in an effort to discourage international travel. (News Release, Backgrounder and Backgrounder)

    • Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing and Air Transat are suspending service to the Caribbean and Mexico from January 31 until April 30.

    • Effective midnight February 3, 2021, all international flights will land at Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montréal airports.

    • As soon as possible, people returning to Canada will be required to undergo mandatory testing at the airport and wait up to three days at an approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense (expected to be more than C$2,000). The Prime Minister stated at the press conference that passengers who test negative can quarantine at home with increased surveillance, while passengers who test positive will be immediately required to quarantine in designated government facilities.

    • In the coming weeks, non-essential travellers will be required to show a negative test before entry at the Canada-U.S. land border.

  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced that a second instalment of up to C$1-billion from the Safe Return to Class Fund is being provided to provinces and territories. (News Release)

  • The Government of Canada is temporarily waiving the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance claims. (News Release)

  • Health Canada expects to make a decision on the authorization of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming days. (Statement)

  • Moderna is expected to ship between 20-25 percent less product to Canada in February than originally planned. (CBC)

  • The following orders will be in tomorrow’s Canada Gazette, Part I:

    • P.C. 2021-9 – Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States) (under the Quarantine Act).

    • P.C. 2021-10 – Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States) (under the Quarantine Act).

    • P.C. 2021-11 – Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) (under the Quarantine Act).

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 19 (under the Aeronautics Act).

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. Department of Labor issued stronger workplace guidance on the coronavirus. (News Release)

Alberta 

  • Premier Kenney is expected to announce this afternoon that some restrictions will be lifted, including allowing restaurants to reopen in-person dining and gyms to reopen. (CBC)

  • 122,821 confirmed cases, an increase of 461 since yesterday, including seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • 66,265 confirmed cases, an increase of 546 since yesterday, including 12 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario is taking immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • New six-point plan includes the following:

      • Mandatory on-arrival testing of international travellers at Pearson Airport from 12:01 p.m. on February 1, 2021, until the federal measures are in place. Ontario will explore additional testing measures at Pearson and land-border crossings in the coming weeks.

      • Enhanced screening and sequencing.

      • Maintaining public health measures – lifting of public health and workplace safety measures will not be considered until more information on variant spread is known and overall trends in public health indicators improve.

      • Strengthening case and contact management.

      • Enhancing protections for vulnerable populations.

      • Leveraging data – the province will work with Ontario technology company DNAstack to immediately establish a genomics databank and real-time analytics dashboard.

  • Over 1,000 stores were visited during Ontario's COVID-19 inspection blitz. (News Release)

  • O. Reg. 36/21 – Amending O. Reg. 82/20, Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

  • 264,300 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,837 since yesterday, including 58 deaths.

Quebec

  • The province is investing more than C$11-million to deploy the Variant Surveillance Program. (News Release)

  • Ministerial Order No. 2021-005 – Regarding persons authorized to mix substances for preparation of a COVID-19 vaccine (under the Public Health Act).

  • 259,993 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,295 since yesterday, including 50 deaths: nine in the past 24 hours, 35 between January 22 and 27, and six before January 22).

January 28, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)
Canada – Federal 
  • No new updates.
U.S. – Federal
  • The Democrats plan initial steps on Biden's COVID-19 relief for next week. (Reuters)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has amended the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to increase the workforce authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines. (News Release)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a Marketplace Special Enrollment Period for the COVID-19 public health emergency. (News Release)
Alberta
  • 122,360 cases, an increase of 459 since yesterday, including 12 deaths.
British Columbia
  • The B.C. government is investing C$10-million in a new FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund, as part of its economic recovery plan to create jobs and help communities cope with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release)
  • Order in Council No. 46 – Amends the Employment and Assistance Regulation (made under the Employment and Assistance Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act).
    • Modifications in relation to COVID-19 emergency B.C. recovery benefit.
  • 65,719 cases, an increase of 485 since yesterday, including four deaths.
Ontario
  • The Ontario government is considering issuing a directive that would require all international travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson airport to get tested for COVID-19. (cp24)
  • The highly contagious U.K. COVID-19 variant will likely be a dominant strain in Ontario by March, modelling suggests. (CTV)
    • The modelling data also found that Ontario's stay-at-home order, which came into effect on January 12, has resulted in only a small reduction in overall mobility in the province.
  • Ontario COVID-19 vaccinations are only half of what was reported because of government data error. (CTV)
    • Ontario has been over reporting the number of people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the province, the Ministry of Health revealed earlier. The error means that the number of people who have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines is only half of what the province has been logging. Data on the total number of doses administered was not affected, a ministry spokesperson said. (CBC)
  • The City of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health has recommended that the COVID-19 bylaws be extended to reduce the spread of the virus. (News Release)
    • The extension recommendation is for bylaws that were originally set to expire at the end of the February 2 and 3, 2021, City Council meeting and include:
      • The Physical Distancing in Public Spaces bylaws (322-2020 and 323-2020)
      • The Mandatory Mask bylaws (541-2020 as amended by 664-2020)
      • COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, and the COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 545, Licensing.
  • Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued a statement to provide an update on schools resuming in-person learning.
    • Elementary and secondary schools in four additional public health units (PHUs) will be permitted to return to in-person learning on February 1, 2021. The four additional PHUs are:
      • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
      • Middlesex-London Health Unit
      • Southwestern Public Health
      • Ottawa Public Health
    • Parents with children in the following school boards should double check with their local public health units about their status:
      • Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
      • Conseil scolaire Viamonde
    • In the PHUs that are permitted to return to in-person learning on February 1, before and after school childcare programs may also resume on February 1 and emergency childcare will end on January 29.
  • Ontario has extended off-peak electricity rates to provide relief for families, small businesses and farms. (News Release and O.Reg. 27/21)
  • 262,463 cases, an increase of 2,093 since yesterday, including 56 deaths.
Quebec
  • The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, announced that a contract has been awarded to the company AMD Medicom Inc. for the acquisition of N95 type respirators and level-three surgical masks over a 10-year period. (News Release)
  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that it supports the new recommendation of the National Institute of Public Health concerning the wearing of a respiratory protective device, such as the N95, when an uncontrolled outbreak exposes health-care workers to the risk of aerosol contamination. (News Release)
  • Premier François Legault has announced that there will be a provincewide day of mourning on March 11 for the victims of the pandemic. (CBC)
  • The following orders were published in the January 28 Gazette officielle du Québec:
    • Order in Council No. 59-2021 – The public health emergency has been renewed until February 5, 2021.
    • Ministerial Order No. 2021-003 – Related to seniors’ private residence.
    • Ministerial Order No. 2021-004 – Related to the curfew not applying to homeless persons.
  • 258,698 cases, an increase of 1,368 since yesterday, including 39 deaths: eight in the last 24 hours, 24 between January 21 and January 26, five before January 21, and two at an unknown date.
January 27, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Pfizer is pressing Health Canada to increase doses of COVID-19 vaccine taken from each vial. (The Globe and Mail)

  • Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said the federal government is still committed to its ambitious plan to vaccinate remote First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities by the spring, even as the country is currently grappling with a slowdown in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supply. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal 

  • President Biden has provided remarks on the fight to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • President Biden has announced new steps to boost vaccine supply and increase transparency for states, tribes and territories. (Fact Sheet)

  • CDC Update: Workplace Vaccination Program.

    • Making COVID-19 vaccination part of your workplace wellness program offers many benefits to you and your employees. To keep your workplace healthy, consider offering free, on-site COVID-19 vaccination at your business locations.

  • CDC Update: Essential Workers & Employees: When & How to Get Vaccinated.

Alberta

  • 121,901 cases, an increase of 366 since yesterday, including 13 deaths.

British Columbia 

  • Proof of residence will be required for vaccines in B.C. following a queue-jumping allegation. (CTV)

  • B.C. has ramped up screening for the faster-spreading coronavirus "variants of concern." (CBC)

  • 65,234 cases, an increase of 407 since yesterday, including 14 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario has expanded COVID-19 inspections to farming operations. (News Release)

    • The inspections will focus on locations that employ temporary foreign workers.

  • 260,370 cases, an increase of 1,670 since yesterday, including 49 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec may ease COVID-19 restrictions in some regions as of February 8, Legault says. (CityNews Montreal)

    • The premier said he would announce more details next week, but he said the Montréal region was likely to be kept under a higher tier of restrictions than other areas of the province.

  • A Superior Court judge has suspended application of curfew for the homeless population. (CBC)

  • 257,330 cases, an increase of 1,328 since yesterday, including 53 deaths: 16 in the last 24 hours, 30 between January 20 and January 25, four before January 20, and three at an unknown date.

January 26, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal 

  • Minister Ng announced the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). (News Release)

    • HASCAP is available to businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service.

    • To be eligible for HASCAP, businesses need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50 per cent in three months, within the eight months prior to their application. They must also be able to show their financial institutions that they have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.

  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told CBC Radio's The Current today that while she would not say which new travel restrictions cabinet has been discussing, stronger rules on the border are needed to further discourage non-essential travel. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal

  • Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-Immigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease.

  • The CDC updated the construction COVID-19 checklists for employers and employees.

Alberta 

  • As of January 25, Alberta has identified 20 cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom and five cases of the variant first identified in South Africa. All but one case have been linked to international travel. (News Release)

  • 121,535 cases, an increase of 362 on January 24, including 25 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C.’s top doctor warns the province is on “the threshold” of a spike in COVID-19 cases — with further restrictions possible. (1130 News)

  • 64,828 cases, an increase of 1,344 since Friday, including 26 deaths.

Ontario

  • The province is calling on the federal government to take further action to protect the border, including mandatory testing of all incoming international passengers and a temporary ban on direct flights from countries where new variants are detected. Details were provided today at Pearson Airport by Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott. (News Release)

  • O.Reg. 26/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

  • The Ontario government is providing more than C$2.3-million to McMaster University and the University of Toronto through the Ontario Together Fund to carry out research, development and testing of the next generation of personal protective equipment. (News Release)

  • 258,700 cases, an increase of 1,740 since yesterday, including 63 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier Legault confirmed today that the number of new daily cases continues to decline. However, the number of hospitalizations is still far too high. The Premier, therefore, reminds everyone that this is not the time to give up and asks people to respect the health measures in place. (News Release)

  • 256,002 cases, an increase of 1,166 since yesterday, including 57 deaths: four in the last 24 hours, 49 between January 19 and January 24, three before January 19, and one at an unknown date.

January 25, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government is "looking seriously" at tougher travel measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including mandatory hotel quarantines for air travellers returning from non-essential trips abroad. (CTV)

  • The vaccine rollout is expected to dominate the debate as the House of Commons resumes sitting today. (Radio Canada)

  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Mona Fortier, launched pre-budget consultations. These discussions allow the government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can support Canadians through the pandemic. (News Release)

  • Moderna says their vaccine appears effective against new coronavirus variants — but less so for one. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal

  • Executive Order on Economic Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • The U.S. will be escalating its tracking of COVID variants as confirmed cases top 25 million. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • 120,793 cases, an increase of 463 on Friday, including 49 deaths.

British Columbia

  • A progress review of the COVID-19 response in long-term care homes has been released. (News Release)

  • The premier provided a statement on one year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case.

  • 63,484 cases, an increase of 508 on Friday, including nine deaths.

Ontario

  • A date and plan for reopening schools for in-person instruction in more urban areas of Ontario outside of the province’s COVID-19 hotspots — such as Durham, Halton, Waterloo and Ottawa — could come in the next week. (CTV)

  • Ontario is expanding eligibility for emergency childcare during the extended remote-learning period. This benefit will take effect on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, and will build on the existing list of eligible workers. (News Release)

    • New additions to the list of those eligible for emergency childcare:

      • Individuals working in fuel distribution and oil refineries

      • Education staff who are required to report to work in person while their children continue with remote learning

      • Grocery store and pharmacy workers

      • Truck drivers

      • Farmers and those who support food or agricultural product supply chains

      • Individuals involved in the collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste

      • Individuals working in the manufacturing and distribution of disinfectants and sanitizers

  • The following regulations were added to E-Laws this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 21/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020).

    • O.Reg. 22/21 – Laboratories (made under the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act) – related to COVID-19 antigen testing.

    • O.Reg. 23/21 – Specimen Collection Centres (made under the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act) – related to COVID-19 antigen testing.

    • O.Reg. 24/21 – Extension of Emergency (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

    • O.Reg. 25/21 – Extension of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

  • Ontario has adjusted its vaccination plan in response to Pfizer-BioNTech shipment delays. Vaccinations for the province’s most vulnerable will be accelerated. (News Release)

    • The new target date for the vaccination of residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes is February 5, 2021.

    • Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be reallocated to 14 public health units to ensure vaccines are administered at each long-term care home in the province.

  • Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Ontario. (Statement)

  • Ontario is expanding its big-box blitz to Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham regions. (News Release)

  • 256,960 cases, an increase of 6,734 since Friday, including 145 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec mayors in regions with few infections want restrictions eased. (Gazette)

  • 254,836 cases, an increase of 4,344 since Friday, including 88 deaths.

January 22, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada Federal

  • Pfizer's CEO has assured Prime Minister Trudeau that vaccines will arrive in February. (CBC)

  • The Prime Minister is urging Canadians to cancel travel plans after data has revealed that more than a million people travelled over holidays. (CTV)

    • Minister Dominic LeBlanc also urged Canadians to “stay close to home” and avoid any international or even cross-Canada travel, saying the cabinet was considering even more stringent measures on anyone coming back into the country from abroad.

  • The Government of Canada is investing in key sectors to help boost economic recovery and create jobs. (News Release)

    • More information can be found in a backgrounder on the Sectoral Initiatives Program.

  • The Government of Canada is providing Mobile Health Units to assist Ontario with COVID-19 response. (News Release

U.S. Federal

  • Biden is seeking to speed up the delivery of coronavirus stimulus checks and food aid. (Reuters)

  • President Biden’s new executive actions deliver economic relief for American families and businesses amid the COVID-19 crisis. (Fact Sheet)

    • Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety

    • Executive Order on Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats

    • Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers

    • Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery

    • Executive Order on Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats

    • National Security Directive on United States Global Leadership to Strengthen the International COVID-19 Response and to Advance Global Health Security and Biological Preparedness

    • Memorandum to Extend Federal Support to Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and Other Assistance Provided to States

Alberta

  • 119,114 cases, an increase of 678 since yesterday, including 16 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Premier John Horgan; Adrian Dix, Minister of Health; Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer; and Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts, announced details of the next phases in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan. The plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September. (News Release and CBC)

    • The proposed schedule is split into four phases (B.C. is currently in Phase 1):

      • Phase 1 – December to February:

        • Residents, staff and essential visitors at long-term care and assisted living; people waiting for long-term care; people in remote Indigenous communities; and hospital workers caring for patients with COVID-19.

      • Phase 2 – February to March:

        • Seniors over 80, Indigenous seniors over 65, Indigenous elders, more health-care workers, vulnerable populations and nursing-home staff.

      • Phase 3 – April to June:

        • ​Members of the general public aged 60 to 79.

      • Phase 4 – July to September:

        • ​Members of the general public aged 18 to 59.

  • Premier John Horgan has released a statement regarding potential restrictions on interprovincial travel.

  • 62,976 cases, an increase of 564 since yesterday, including 15 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario is investing in a Niagara producer of hand sanitizer dispensers. (News Release)

  • Small businesses are applying for Ontario's Small Business Support Grant in growing numbers. (News Release)

  • 250,226 cases, an increase of 2,662 since yesterday, including 87 deaths.

Quebec

  • Montréal remains the "epicentre" of COVID-19 in Quebec, and its hospitals are "at full capacity," the city's public health department said Friday. (CTV)

  • Ministerial Order No. 2021-003 – Related to private residence for seniors.

  • 250,491 cases, an increase of 1,631 since yesterday, including 88 deaths: 18 in the last 24 hours, 33 between January 15 and January 20, and four at an unknown date.

January 21, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Orders issued related to the extension of restrictions until February 21, 2021; and making the annexed Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations). All are made under the Quarantine Act:

    • P.C. 2021-0009 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

    • P.C. 2021-0010 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

    • P.C. 2021-0011 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations).

 U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. House aims for early February COVID-19 relief bill vote (Reuters)

    • President Joe Biden has proposed a US$1.9-trillion COVID-19 bill that would provide enhanced jobless benefits and direct cash payments to households struggling amid the economic fallout from the virus.

  • National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (Report)

    • The Biden administration outlines centralized federal response to COVID-19 including new mask mandates and vaccine manufacturing.

    • The National Strategy is organized around seven goals:

      1. Restore trust with the American people

      2. Mount a safe, effective and comprehensive vaccination campaign

      3. Mitigate spread through expanding masking, testing, data, treatments, health care workforce and clear public health standards

      4. Immediately expand emergency relief and exercise the Defense Production Act

      5. Safely reopen schools, businesses and travel while protecting workers

      6. Protect those most at risk and advance equity, including across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines

      7. Restore U.S. leadership globally and build better preparedness for future threats.

  • Pausing Federal Student Loan Payments (Statement)

    • Acting Secretary of Education will extend the pause on federal student loan payments and collections and keep the interest rate at zero per cent.

  • Executive Order on Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for COVID-19.

  • Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.

  • Notice: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery From COVID-19 for All Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving Into the United States From Any Foreign Country.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Update: Workplace SARS-CoV-2 Testing: Consent Elements and Disclosures

    • SARS-CoV-2 testing may be incorporated as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing transmission in non-healthcare workplaces. This document describes the elements of consent and recommended disclosures necessary to support employee decision-making for participating in workplace-based testing. This document expands on the disclosures outlined in “SARS-CoV-2 Testing Strategy: Considerations for Non-Healthcare Workplaces.”

Alberta

  • 118,436 cases, an increase of 669 since yesterday, 21 deaths.

 British Columbia

  • B.C. to announce next steps in COVID-19 vaccine rollout tomorrow (Global News).

  • 62,412 cases, an increase of 500 since yesterday, 14 deaths.

 Ontario

  • COVID-19 spread in Toronto starting to dip slightly but the “tide has not turned”, officials say (CBC).

  • Yesterday, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement to provide an update on which schools can resume for in-person learning. The government is also introducing additional measures including province-wide targeted asymptomatic testing, enhanced screening, mandatory masking for students in Grades 1-3 and outdoors, where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    • Elementary and secondary schools in the following Public Health Units (PHUs) will be permitted to resume in-person learning on January 25, 2021:

      • Grey Bruce Health Unit

      • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

      • Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit

      • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit

      • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

      • Peterborough Public Health

      • Renfrew County and District Health Unit

  • The Ontario government announced that COVID-19 isolation centres are opening this week in Oshawa and Brampton and two isolation centres serving the City of Toronto are expanding. These new centres and expansions are in addition to existing centres in the City of Ottawa, and the regions of Peel and Waterloo (News Release).

  • The Ontario government is working with transportation agencies and providers to support the Stay-At-Home Order (News Release).

  • 247,564 cases, an increase of 2,632 since yesterday, 46 deaths.

 Quebec

  • If vacation trips aren't banned, Premier François Legault wants those returning to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense (CBC).

  • Order in Council No. 31-2021 the state of emergency has been renewed until January 29, 2021.

  • 248,860 cases, an increase of 1,624 since yesterday, 66 deaths (22 in the last 24 hours, 39 between January 14 and January 19, four before January 14 and one at an unknown date).

 

January 20, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal
  • The government has published draft legislative proposals to adjust certain deductions for employment insurance and COVID-19 benefits. (News Release)
    • The Child Care Expense Deduction allows childcare expenses to be deducted from income, subject to some limitations, when those expenses are incurred in order to earn employment or business income, pursue education or perform research.
    • The Disability Supports Deduction provides tax relief for individual taxpayers who have paid for certain disability-related supports in order to earn employment or business income, pursue education or perform research.
  • Draft Legislative Proposals and Explanatory Notes
  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance discusses the government’s plan to overcome the pandemic with provincial and territorial counterparts. (Readout)
  • The Government of Canada has invested in a national clinical trials network to address the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release and Backgrounder)
U.S. – Federal
  • Notice: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery From COVID-19 for All Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving Into the United States From Any Foreign Country.
  • Biden will be revamping the nation's fight against COVID-19 on his first day as president. (Reuters)
    • As part of a first sweep of executive actions, Biden will order that all federal employees wear masks and make face coverings mandatory on federal property. He will establish a new White House office to coordinate the coronavirus response and halt the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization, a process initiated by former President Donald Trump.
Alberta
  • 117,767 cases, an increase of 456 since yesterday, including 16 deaths.
British Columbia
  • Order in Council No. 13 – The state of emergency has been extended until February 2, 2021. (News Release)
  • 61,912 cases, an increase of 465 since yesterday, including 12 deaths.
Ontario
  • Ontario is expected to decide today or tomorrow when students can return to class. Education Minister Stephen Lecce will make the announcement publicly, after the cabinet approves the decision. (CBC)
  • The government is expanding the current workplace inspection campaign to further protect workers and customers at essential businesses. (News Release)
    • ​Starting today, more than 300 officers will be visiting a variety of workplaces that are allowed to be open during the provincial shutdown such as:
      • Retail establishments, including big-box stores
      • Restaurants providing takeout meals
      • Essential service-sector establishments (such as gas stations)
      • Farming operations
  • The following regulation was added to E-Laws this afternoon (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020):
    • O.Reg.17/21 – Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
  • 244,932 cases, an increase of 2,655 since yesterday, including 89 deaths.
Quebec
  • Minister Jean Boulet announced the extension of the flexibility measures and improvements to social assistance programs. (News Release)
  • 247,236 cases, an increase of 1,502 since yesterday, including 66 deaths: 10 in the last 24 hours, 42 between January 13 and January 18, 11 before January 13, and three at an unknown date.
January 19, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal 

  • Prime Minister Trueau warns Canada could impose new COVID-19 travel restrictions without notice. (CTV)

    • Citing the evolving situation with the identified COVID-19 variants from other countries, the prime minister is strongly urging Canadians not to travel because federal travel rules could change very quickly.

  • Despite a significant short-term gap in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau said today he's still confident the country is on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by September. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • 117, 311 cases, an increase of 474 since yesterday, including 11 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 61,447 cases, an increase of 1,330 since Friday, including 31 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario has reached a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19, completing the first round of vaccinations ahead of schedule in all long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex, the four regions with the highest COVID-19 transmission rates (News Release).

  • 242,277 cases, an increase of 1,913 since yesterday, including 46 deaths (Toronto Public Health "likely underreporting" number of new cases today, province says).

Quebec

  • Premier Legault calls on the federal government to ban non-essential international travel. (News Release)

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services has confirmed a revision of the vaccine campaign goals and timeline following Pfizer's decision. (News Release)
  • Ministerial Order No. 2021-001 – Related to modifying various orders.

  • 245,734 cases, an increase of 1,386 since yesterday, including 55 deaths: 16 in the last 24 hours, 33 between January 12 and January 17, and six before January 12.

January 18, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal 

  • Canada's procurement minister urged drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech to get the country's COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule back on track as soon as possible as cases of the novel coronavirus surged past the 700,000 mark on Saturday. (CBC

U.S. – Federal 

  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Friday said he would order increased production of syringes and other supplies to ramp up vaccinations. (Reuters

Alberta

  • Alberta will run out of COVID-19 vaccine today or early Tuesday because of the supply disruption announced by the federal government last week, Premier Jason Kenney said. (CBC)

  • The premier told a news conference that the province is putting a temporary hold on the first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure it has enough vaccine to provide a second dose to people who have already received their first shot.

  • Minister of Health Tyler Shandro issued a statement on the delay of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

  • 116,837 cases, an increase of 750 on Friday, including 47 deaths.

British Columbia 

  • New funding helps people with disabilities return to work. (News Release)

  • 60,117 cases, an increase of 509 on Friday, including nine deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says the province must cut its daily COVID-19 case counts to below 1,000 before lockdown measures can be lifted. (680 News)

  • The Labour Minister has said that Ontario will be expanding its big-box retail blitz amid widespread rule violations. (The Globe and Mail)

  • Ontario has extended the Reopening Ontario Act orders, which are needed to protect vulnerable populations and preserve health-care capacity. (News Release and O.Reg. 15/21)

    • Most of the orders under the act are extended to February 19, 2021, with the exception of O. Reg. 75/20 (Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works), which is not being renewed. O. Reg. 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage One) was amended to ensure government infrastructure projects are able to continue as essential construction activities.

  • The following regulation was added to e-Laws this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 16/21 – Work Deployment for Certain Health Services Providers (made under the Reopening Ontario (a Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act).

  • Francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for the COVID-19 Relief Fund on January 25, 2021. (News Release)

  • Ontario is adding over 500 hospital beds to expand critical-care capacity. Mackenzie Health’s new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital will temporarily be transitioned into a systemwide resource supporting the province's COVID-19 response when it opens on February 7, 2021. (News Release)

  • Ontario is investing in Peterborough-based producer of hand sanitizer and disinfectant bottles. The expansion will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and create jobs.

  • 240,364 cases, an increase of 9,056 since Friday, including 144 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Quebec government has announced a new interactive tool to calculate the deduction for telecommuting expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release)

  • 244,348 cases, an increase of 5,603 since Friday, including 70 deaths.

January 15, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Trudeau said the federal government is open to strengthening pandemic restrictions on international travel as concerns mount about Canadians travelling abroad — but suggested the government's pre-existing measures are still effective. (CBC)

  • New modelling released by the Public Health Agency of Canada suggests the number of daily COVID-19 cases could more than triple to 30,000 if people increase their contacts during a time of widespread community transmission. (CBC)

    • The report also projects that if Canadians simply maintain their current levels of contact with people outside their households, case counts will still rise to roughly 13,000 a day from 7,900 now.

  • The Prime Minister has released supplementary mandate letters for ministers. (News Release)

    • In his mandate letter, Trudeau tells Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland to continue spending on temporary measures until the crisis ends.

  • The COVID-19 Expert Panel has provided science-based advice on optimizing testing and screening in Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • In their first report, the panel provides advice to the Minister on COVID-19 testing and screening. They have identified four priority areas for action:

      • Optimizing diagnostic capacity with lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing

      • Deploying rapid tests for screening

      • Considering equity in testing and screening measures

      • Improving communications strategies

  • Canada's Pfizer shipments will be delayed temporarily by up to 50 per cent. (CTV)

  • The following orders were published in the January 16 Canada Gazette, Part I:

    • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 18 (made under the Aeronautics Act).

    • Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) (made under the Quarantine Act).

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has picked a former food and drug commissioner to lead vaccine science as part of his drive to put 100 million shots into the arms of Americans in his administration's first 100 days to stem the COVID-19 pandemic. (CBC)

Alberta

  • Alberta’s government is expanding its relaunch grant to ensure new businesses have access to the supports they need. (News Release)

    • More program details will be outlined on the program web page when finalized. Applications will be open until March 31, 2021, unless otherwise communicated.

  • As COVID-19 case numbers decrease, some restrictions will be eased next week for outdoor gatherings, personal services and funeral attendance (effective January 18). (News Release)

    • All other enhanced public health measures will remain in place provincewide.

  • Language describing case numbers of COVID-19 in schools is being updated based on feedback from education partners – including parents, schools and boards. (News Release)

  • 114,585 cases, an increase of 967 since yesterday, including 21 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 59,608 cases, an increase of 536 since yesterday, including seven deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario has launched its 2021 Budget Consultations. The government is looking for ideas to position the province for a strong economic recovery after COVID-19. (News Release)

  • The following order was added to E-Laws this afternoon:

    • O.Reg. 14/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act).

  • Applications are now open for Ontario's Small Business Support Grant. (News Release)

  • The Ontario government has hired more case managers and contact tracers, building the provincial workforce to 1,600 by February 15, 2021. (News Release)

  • Toronto Public Health has expanded its case and contact management work. (News Release)

  • 231,308 cases, an increase of 2,998 since yesterday, including 100 deaths: 46 of those deaths recorded by Middlesex-London Health Unit occurred earlier in the pandemic.

Quebec

  • Quebec threatens construction and manufacturing sectors with more COVID-19 restrictions. (National Post)

  • The Minister of Education, Jean- François Roberge, announced new measures aimed at strengthening the motivation and support of our students. (News Release)

  • 238,745 cases, an increase of 1,918 since yesterday, including 62 deaths: nine in the last 24 hours, 41 between January 8 and January 13, 11 before January 8, and one at an unknown date.

January 14, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's COVID-19 vaccine logistics, said today that manufacturers are expected to deliver up to one million doses a week starting in April. (CBC)

  • Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health: Implementing COVID-19 Vaccination in Canada — Vaccine Dose Interval.

U.S. – Federal 

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is reopening the Paycheck Protection Program to small lenders on Friday, January 15, and all lenders on Tuesday, January 19. (News Release)

  • U.S. airports warn of US$40-billion impact of COVID-19 and seek more government aid. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta's COVID-19 cases are dropping, but restrictions could stay longer if rules are ignored. (Edmonton Journal)

  • 113,618 cases, an increase of 875 since yesterday, including 23 deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • Ontario is increasing workplace inspections during COVID-19 to ensure big-box retailers are operating safely and protecting workers and patrons. (News Release)

    • Beginning this Saturday and Sunday, approximately 50 ministry inspectors, as well as local bylaw and police officers, will be visiting big-box stores in Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York and Durham.

  • Ontario also added the following regulations/orders to E-Laws yesterday evening:

    • O.Reg. 10/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (a Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020)

    • O.Reg. 11/21 – Stay-At-Home Order (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

    • O.Reg. 12/21 – Proceedings Commenced by Certificate of Offence (made under the Provincial Offences Act)

    • O.Reg. 13/21 – Residential Evictions (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

      • Ontario is temporarily pausing residential evictions. (News Release)

  • Ontario is supporting horse businesses impacted by COVID-19. The investment will help keep animals safe and cover maintenance costs. (News Release)

  • Jury trials in Ontario have been suspended until at least the spring. (CTV)

    • The heads of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice have issued statements saying matters should be conducted remotely unless it is absolutely necessary to proceed in person.

  • 228,310 cases, an increase of 3,326 since yesterday, including 62 deaths.

Quebec

  • New government information resource: Financial assistance for workers.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced the tabling of the report of the expert committee mandated to formulate recommendations on the use of rapid-screening tests, particularly with a view to better target the populations and environments in which these tests can be used optimally, in addition to the tests currently used. (News Release)

  • Order in Council 3-2021 – The public health emergency has been renewed until January 22, 2021.

  • Quebec guarantees COVID-19 vaccine boosters within 90 days of the first dose. (CBC)

  • 236,827 cases, an increase of 2,132 since yesterday, including 64 deaths: 15 in the last 24 hours, 41 between January 7 and January 12, four before January 7, and four at an unknown date.

January 13, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • The Government of Canada is investing C$1-million in a COVID-19 evidence network to support decision-making. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Led by Dr. John Lavis from McMaster University, the COVID-19 Evidence Network will:

      • Rapidly prepare and update evidence syntheses to support Canadian decision- and policy-makers.

      • Maintain a publicly available inventory of the best evidence syntheses for COVID-19 decisions to ensure that Canadian decision-makers have the most updated science available when needed.

      • Monitor emerging issues where evidence syntheses may be needed in the future.

      • Work with Canadian and global partners to reduce duplication and enhance coordination in the evidence response to COVID-19.

  • The federal government is refusing to waive repayments for ineligible CERB recipients who applied for the emergency benefit despite an internal mix-up at the CRA that led to weeks of misinformation. (CTV)

  • A vaccine advisory panel says Canada can be more flexible with the second doses of vaccines if necessary. (News Release)

  • The Government of Canada has announced further reinforcement of COVID-19 supports for Indigenous communities. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States. (CDC Update)

Alberta

  • 112,743 cases, an increase of 652 since yesterday, including 38 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 58,553  cases, an increase of 446 since yesterday, including nine deaths.

Ontario

  • The updated Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown has been published (includes the construction activities that can continue).

    • More information about the provincewide shutdown can be found here.

    • The government is expected to publish the legal parameters for the stay-at-home order that takes effect tomorrow, providing more clarification on the measures. Premier Ford's office said it likely won't be posted until this evening. (CBC)

  • Ontario will be vaccinating up to 8.5 million people in phase two. The province will expand the COVID-19 immunization program to seniors, frontline essential workers in the next phase of rollout plan. (News Release)

  • 224,984 cases, an increase of 2,961 since yesterday, including 74 deaths.

Quebec

  • 234,695 cases, an increase of 2,071 since yesterday, including 35 deaths: seven in the last 24 hours, 23 between January 6 and January 11, four before January 6, and one at an unknown date.

January 12, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • The Canada Revenue Agency has begun issuing T4As to COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefit recipients. (News Release)

  • Prime Minister Trudeau confirmed that the current border restrictions with the U.S. will now remain in effect until Feb. 21, 2021. (CTV)

  • Canada has exercised an option with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer-BioNTech to secure an additional 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Trudeau announced. (CTV)

  • The federal government has invested in nearly C$40-million of additional funding to respond to the needs of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. has released millions of COVID-19 doses and is urging states to broaden vaccine access. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • 112,091 cases, an increase of 639 since yesterday, including 23 deaths.

British Columbia

  • An online tool is helping people book appointments with Service BC. (Information Bulletin)

  • 58,107 cases, an increase of 1,475 since Friday, including 22 deaths.

Ontario

  • A second provincial emergency was declared under section 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which will last 28 days. (News Release and updatd Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Restrictions – obtained CBC).

    • ​Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. (EST), the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health-care services, for exercise or for essential work.

    • Additional public health restrictions, which will come into effect between Tuesday, January 12, 2021, and Thursday, January 14, 2021, are as follows:

      • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions.

      • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m.

        • The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants for takeout or delivery.

      • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.

      • Masks remain mandatory indoors at open businesses or organizations. Masks are also now being recommended outdoors where physical distancing of more than two metres is not possible.

      • All businesses must ensure any employee who can work from home do so.

      • Ontario is exploring all options to put a temporary residential evictions moratorium in place and will have more to say in the coming days.

    • New measures for schools:

      • Schools in the following public health units (PHUs) will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021:

        • Windsor-Essex

        • Peel Region

        • Toronto

        • York

        • Hamilton

    • Schools in northern PHUs will continue to remain open.

    • The following new health and safety measures will be put in place for in-person learning:

      • Masking for grades one to three and requirements for mask wearing outdoors

      • Enhanced screening protocols

      • Expanded targeted testing

    • Childcare centres for non-school-aged children will remain open, and emergency childcare for school-aged children will end in approved PHU regions on January 22, 2021.

  • The following were added to E-Laws this afternoon (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).:

  • Revised modelling suggests that despite restrictions put in place last month, mobility and contacts between people have not decreased in Ontario.

  • 222,023 cases, an increase of 2,903 since yesterday, including 41 deaths.

Quebec

  • More than half of CHSLD residents in Quebec have been vaccinated. (News Release)

  • 232,624 cases, an increase of 1,934 since yesterday, including 47 deaths: 13 in the last 24 hours, 27 between January 5 and January 10, four before January 5, and three at an unknown date.

January 11, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal 

  • The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to ensure that international travellers cannot access recovery benefits during mandatory quarantine. (News Release)

    • Ottawa will be introducing legislation to close the loophole for quarantining travellers. The federal government says the Canada Revenue Agency will delay processing claims for individuals who are self-isolating. (CBC)

  • The Government of Canada has announced funding for a new COVID-19 safe voluntary-isolation centre in Waterloo, Ontario. (News Release)

  • The Chief Public Health Officer has issued a Statement Series on COVID-19 regarding mRNA vaccines.

U.S. – Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • Alberta Occupational Health and Safety incident monitoring shows an increase in COVID-19 exposure with the failure of controls in workplace common areas. This bulletin discusses the increased risk and some best practices to address this risk.

  • COVID-19 units added to vaccine priority list. (News Release)

  • 111,452  cases, an increase of 811 on Friday, including 24 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Order in Council No. 4 – The COVID-19 Related Measures Act is amended as set out in Appendix 1, and the Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation is amended as set out in Appendix 2.

  • Updated Gatherings and Events Order – Related to private residences, vacation accommodation and private clubs and organizations.

  • 56,632 cases, an increase of 617 on Friday, including 18 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario has been urged to declare a state of emergency based on new modelling that is set to be detailed at an 11:30 a.m. (EST) briefing tomorrow, along with new COVID-19 measures. (CBC)

    • Health officials have recommended the following restrictions to the cabinet:

      • Gathering limits reduced to as little as five people.

      • Shorter hours for essential businesses that would involve earlier closures and later openings.

      • Limits on construction activity, but those limits would still allow essential construction to continue. Essential construction would be defined as work on health-care and critical infrastructure, as well as residential buildings.

      • A requirement that no employees would be allowed in offices unless they are deemed essential.

    • A government source told CBC News that a curfew will not be among the restrictions expected to be announced.

  • The following regulations were added to E-Laws this afternoon (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act):

    • O.Reg. 6/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 1

    • O.Reg. 5/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 2 – related to the NHL

    • O.Reg. 4/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 3 – related to the NHL

  • The City of Toronto is launching an initial COVID-19 immunization clinic to prepare for the city’s role in vaccine distribution. (News Release)

  • 219,120 cases, an increase of 10,726 since Friday, including 101 deaths.

Quebec

  • Minister of Finance Eric Girard announced the start of online pre-budget consultations. (News Release)

  • Order in Council 2-2021 was published in the January 9 Gazette officielle du Québec.

  • 230,690 cases, an increase of 7,584 since Friday, including 105 deaths.

January 8, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Trudeau says the state of the pandemic is “frightening” and is vowing that the number of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being delivered to Canada will “scale up” in February. (CTV)

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 17 (made under the Aeronautics Act) was published in the January 9 Canada Gazette, Part I.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine appears effective against mutation in the new coronavirus variants. (CBC)

  • The Government of Canada announces a new policy to help former international students live in, work in and continue contributing to Canada. (News Release)

  • Statement on Canada’s economic and job recovery.

  • No unexpected side effects from COVID-19 shots given in Canada so far: Health Canada. (CTV)

U.S. – Federal

  • President-elect Joe Biden will aim to release more available doses of coronavirus vaccine when he takes office. (Reuters)

  • CDC Update: Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test for All Air Passengers Arriving from the U.K. to the U.S.

Alberta

  • All students will return to in-person learning, as planned, on January 11. Mandatory health measures will remain in effect across the province until at least January 21. (News Release)

  • 108,469 cases, an increase of 968 since yesterday, including 24 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Protective Measures (COVID-19) Order and the Face Coverings (COVID-19) Order.

    • Changes include:

      • More clarity around the specific prohibitions found in public health orders for gatherings and events and for food- and liquor-serving premises

      • An amended face-coverings order, with an additional exemption for persons who need to remove a face covering to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired. No other substantive policy changes have been made. (News Release)

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry said the current orders, including a ban on gatherings with people outside of one's immediate household, will continue to apply until at least February 5 at midnight. (News Release)

  • Going forward, B.C. will provide updates every Thursday on ongoing outbreaks in long-term care, assisted living and independent living facilities in the province. The first update can be found here.

  • 56,015 cases, an increase of 761 since yesterday, including eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Premier Ford is promising further restrictions coming for Ontario. (CBC)

    • At the news conference this morning, Education Minister Lecce said the province will be expanding asymptomatic testing and all schools across Ontario will have access to it. The minister also promised improvements with personal protective equipment and staffing.

  • Yesterday evening, Ontario’s Regulatory Registry posted: Potential Permanent Changes to Enable Digital and Virtual Processes under the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services Business Law and Condominium Statutes.

    • Acts involved: Corporations Act, Business Corporations Act, Personal Property Security Act, Limited Partnerships Act, Partnerships Act, Co-operative Corporations Act, Condominium Act, 1998.

    • Comments due February 8, 2021.

  • 208,394 cases, an increase of 4,249 since yesterday, including 26 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Minister of Education, Mr. Jean-François Roberge, accompanied by Dr. Richard Massé, announced the implementation of a series of new educational and health measures. (News Release)

  • Delayed report cards, additional sanitary measures and cancellation of provincial exams are some of the new steps the province is taking. (iheartradio)

  • A bank of tutors will be created, made up of volunteer school staff, retirees as well as college and university students to support students in need of help. The service will be free.

  • Grade one and two students in elementary school are now required to wear a mask indoors, in common areas and on school buses, while masks remain required from all students above grade five.

  • A report of the expert panel on the ventilation and transmission of COVID-19 in schools and care settings. (News Release)

  • 223,106 cases, an increase of 2,588 since yesterday, including 45 deaths: 14 in the last 24 hours, 27 between January 1 and January 6, three before January 1, and one at an unknown date.

January 7, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • The COVID-19 testing centre for arriving international travellers launches at Toronto Pearson Airport. (News Release)

  • P.C. 2021-0001 – Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) (made under the Quarantine Act) – related to proof of COVID-19 test. 

  • The Correctional Service of Canada begins vaccination of inmates. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • No new updates.

Alberta

  • 107,501 cases, an increase of 1,123 since yesterday, including 25 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 55,254 cases, an increase of 625 since yesterday, including eight deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is extending online teacher-led learning until January 25, 2021 for elementary school students in the 27 southern Ontario public health unit regions and extending the shutdown in northern Ontario for another 14 days, aligning with the shutdown period in southern Ontario. (News Release)

    • Elementary students and secondary students in the seven northern Ontario public health unit regions will proceed with returning to in-person learning on January 11, 2021.

  • O.Reg. 3/21 – Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) – related to the NHL.

  • 204,145 cases, an increase of 3,519 since yesterday, including 89 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec has put in place a series of lockdown measures effective this Saturday until February 8, 2021. (News Release and Full Details)

    • A curfew will be in effect between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Anyone caught outside past the curfew without a valid reason could face a fine of up to C$6,000.

      • The curfew will apply to the whole province except the Nord-du-Quebec administrative region.

      • Below are some permitted exceptions. (Full List)

        • Pet owners can walk their animals after the 8 p.m. curfew, as long as they stay within a one-kilometre radius of their home.

        • Commuting to work is permissible. Employers can provide a certificate justifying the necessary travel for their employees.

    • It will no longer be possible for single people to join a family bubble. Gathering with people from outside your household bubble is prohibited at all times.

    • Schools and daycares:

      • Elementary schools will reopen on January 11 as planned (students in grades 5 and 6 will now be required to wear masks in classrooms).

      • High school students will be required to attend classes in person as of January 18. Until then, they will continue distance learning.

      • Daycares for preschool children will remain open.

    • Closure of non-essential businesses:

      • In offices, remote working will continue to be compulsory.

      • The closure of non-essential businesses is maintained until February 8. Curbside pick-up will be permitted.

        • In order to comply with the 8 p.m. curfew, all businesses must close their doors no later than 7:30 p.m. Restaurants may, however, continue to offer a delivery service.

      • Pharmacies and gas stations will remain open according to their usual hours. Pharmacies will only be able to sell drugs and essentials, while gas stations will only be able to sell food, gasoline and road vehicle products.

      • The manufacturing sector will remain open. Quebec's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said while the sector has seen many outbreaks, almost all of them occurred in the food sector, which cannot be shut down. (CBC)

    • All social, recreational or sports activities will now have to be limited to the family bubble.

      • Alpine ski resorts will remain open, but they will not be able to offer evening skiing until February 8.

    • Places of worship will be closed. Funeral ceremonies will have to be postponed or limited to a maximum of 10 people.

  • Order in Council No. 1-2021 – The public health emergency has been renewed until January 15, 2021.

  • 220,518 cases, an increase of 2,519 since yesterday, including 74 deaths: 16 in the last 24 hours, 41 between December 31 and January 5, 15 before December 31, and two at an unknown date.

January 6, 2021
Last update at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal 

  • New pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements come into effect for all air travellers flying into Canada. (News ReleaseBackgrounder and Order)

    • Effective midnight on January 7, 2021 (00:00 EST or 05:00 UCT), regardless of citizenship, all travellers five years of age or older must provide proof of a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

  • S.O.R./2020-284 – Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 — Wage and Rent Subsidies) were published in the January 6 Canada Gazette, Part II.

  • New COVID-19 boarding rules for airlines will be tighter than expected, industry sources say. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. will be sending the COVID-19 vaccine to pharmacies in hopes of speeding up shots. (Reuters)

Alberta 

  • Alberta’s vaccine roll out exceeds 26,000 doses to date. Vaccines are being administered across the province, with 56.9 per cent of vaccines received to date already given to Albertans. (News Release)

  • 106,378 cases, an increase of 843 since yesterday, including 26 deaths.

British Columbia 

  • Order in Council No. 1 – The state of emergency has been extended until January 19, 2021. (News Release)

  • 54,629 cases, an increase of 428 since yesterday, including eight deaths.

Ontario 

  • Premier Ford says the province will decide in the coming days whether or not more stringent lockdown measures, including possibly keeping schools closed, are needed to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases in Ontario. (CBC)

  • Ontario launches a testing program at Pearson Airport. The new free and voluntary pilot program will support early detection of COVID-19. More details will be available on the airport's website. (News Release)

  • 200,626 cases, an increase of 3,266 since yesterday, including 37 deaths.

Quebec

  • François Legault will hold a highly anticipated press conference this evening at 5 p.m. (EST), potentially announcing a province-wide curfew. Construction sites and the manufacturing sector could also be affected for the first time since the spring lockdown. (CBC)

    • According to a report from La Presse, Legault is expected to impose new stay-at-home orders starting at 8 p.m., enforced by police fines. (CTV)

  • 217,999 cases, an increase of 2,641 since yesterday, including 47 deaths: 13 in the last 24 hours, 28 between December 30 and January 4, five before December 30, and one at an unknown date.

January 5, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Trudeau says he's "frustrated" with the pace of the vaccine rollout and will be discussing distribution with the premiers on Thursday. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal

  • Federal Register Notice: Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.

  • CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.

Alberta

  • 105,535 cases, an increase of 5,107 (459 on January 2; 933 on January 1; 1,361 on December 31; 1,226 on December 30), including 96 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Vaccination Update for Q1 – All Pfizer and Moderna vaccines received in B.C. will be prioritized for administration to priority populations as their first dose until late January 2021.

    • Second doses will be administered approximately 35 days after the first dose to maximize the number of priority populations to receive the first dose.

    • The scheduling of the priority groups may be modified throughout Q1 as transmission is monitored.

    • B.C.’s plan and approach for Q2 and Q3 will be set out in mid/late January for population level vaccination.

  • 54,201 cases, an increase of 2,211 (565 from December 31 to January 1; 607 from January 1-2; 500 from January 2-3; 539 in the last 24 hours), including 45 deaths.

Ontario

  • Hospital figures reach pandemic highs as Ontario reveals more details about vaccine rollout. (CBC)

    • Ontario government has unveiled a plan to vaccinate all long-term care residents, workers and essential caregivers in the hard-hit areas of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex by January 21.

  • Ontario has accelerated COVID-19 vaccinations for long-term care homes in priority regions. All residents and workers will be vaccinated by the third week of January. (News Release)

  • 166,790 cases, an increase of 3,128 since yesterday, including 51 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec is considering setting a curfew and extending school closures to halt the spread of COVID-19. (CBC)

    • Legault’s government update has been postponed until tomorrow, but possible scenarios have been leaked.

    • The province is considering keeping schools closed for an extra week or two, while also shutting down non-essential activities in the manufacturing and construction sectors, sources tell Radio-Canada.

  • 215,358 cases, an increase of 2,508 since yesterday, including 62 deaths (17 in the last 24 hours, 41 between December 29 and January 3, three before December 29, and one at an unknown date).

January 4, 2021

Last updated at 5 p.m. (EST)

Canada – Federal 

  • Pre-departure COVID-19 testing and negative results for air travellers are new requirements coming to Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 16 was published in the January 2 Canada Gazette, Part I.

U.S. – Federal

  • The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced additional guidance to provide information to workers and employers about protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (News Release)

  • Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC Update)

  • Dr. Fauci sees the U.S. gaining control over the pandemic by next autumn. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Two senior Alberta government members are among the seven public officials who are facing consequences after travelling internationally in December. (CTV)

  • 100,428 cases, an increase of 1,287 since December 30, including 18 deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Food and Liquor Serving Premises and Retail Establishments Which Sell Liquor Order was updated on December 30, 2020 – Related to measures to protect the public from COVID-19.

  • Industrial Projects Restart PHO Order made on December 29, 2020 – Related to the number of workers to worksites and industrial camps.

  • 7,803 cases, an increase of 683 on Dec. 31, including eight deaths.

Ontario

  • Today, the Toronto Public Health (TPH) released new COVID-19 workplace outbreak data and announces new measures for COVID-19-related workplace safety. (News Release)

    • TPH has issued new requirements to businesses and organizations given the continued acute rise in COVID-19 infections in Toronto. TPH has also issued a letter of instruction to those businesses currently permitted to operate under the Reopening Ontario Act. The letter outlines additional measures to take to further limit opportunities for COVID-19 spread.

  • Ontario is supporting home-based food businesses during COVID-19 by providing entrepreneurs with a new “how to” guide. (News Release)

  • Ontario’s education minister has confirmed the start dates for in-person learning at schools will not change amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases over the holidays. (CBC)

  • 194,232 cases, an increase of 15,401 since December 30, including 205 deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council No. 1420-2020 – The state of emergency was renewed until January 8, 2021.

  • 212,850 cases, an increase of 13,028 since December 31, including 125 deaths.