Skip Navigation

Government Announcements

COVID-19 Resource Centre: Evolve. Connect. Flourish.
COVID-19 Resource Centre: Evolve. Connect. Flourish.

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.

July 27, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada's reopening plans could be hindered as thousands of border officers gird themselves for possible strike action. The two unions representing more than 8,500 Canada Border Services Agency employees announced this morning that the majority of their members have given them a strike mandate. That means they could begin strike action as soon as August 6, mere days before Canada reopens the border to fully vaccinated U.S. residents, said the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union in a news release. (CBC)

  • Canada now has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to fully vaccinate all eligible citizens: PM. (CTV)

    • Procurement Minister Anita Anand confirmed that by the end of the week, Canada will have received 68 million shots, with millions more coming in the next two months. “We have procured in total 51 million doses of Pfizer, 44 million doses of Moderna, and we will receive 95 million doses of both of those vaccine manufacturers prior to the end of September,” said Anand.

  • Government of Canada invests to help build a competitive tourism environment and boost economic recovery efforts. (News Release)

    • The tourism sector in Northern Ontario and across the country has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the significant positive impact this sector has on our nation’s economy, the Government of Canada continues to make strategic investments to ensure that tourism businesses, organizations and communities have the support they need to rebuild the industry as the economy recovers.

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced two new projects aimed at youth that will receive funding through the Immunization Partnership Fund. These projects will promote the importance of vaccinating against COVID-19 to youth aged 12 and over, parents and caretakers and teachers through school-based interventions and community-based outreach. (News Release and Backgrounder)

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. House panel holds hearing on pandemic evictions by corporate landlords. (Reuters)

    • The hearing occurred just days before the federal eviction ban expires on July 31. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first implemented the ban in September, in an effort to keep millions of Americans in their homes and out of crowded shelters during the pandemic. Housing experts say the ban's expiration will likely pave the way for evictions and possible homelessness for many of the 6.5 million tenants still behind on rent. The federal government has approved US$46.5-billion in rental assistance but so far only US$3-billion has made its way to landlords as localities struggle to ramp up the infrastructure to get the money out.

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to recommend fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in at least some instances, as the more highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a surge in infections. The CDC is also expected to recommend all students and teachers at kindergarten through twelveth grade schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status, the sources said. The changes mark a reversal of the CDC's announcement in May that prompted millions of vaccinated Americans to shed their face coverings. (CTV)

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice have jointly published guidance on how "long COVID" can be a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. (News Release)

  • As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing US$121-million to support the work of trusted community-based efforts to increase vaccinations in underserved communities. These awards, in addition to US$125-million awarded last month, establish, expand and sustain community-based efforts to mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, patient navigators, social support specialists and others to increase vaccinations. (News Release)

Alberta

  • COVID-19 information: employment standards guide - Information on changes to Employment Standards rules due to COVID-19. Includes information on job-protected leaves, temporary layoffs and variances.

  • 233,547 cases, an increase of 397 since Friday, 1,083 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. to reduce interval between doses to seven weeks, shots being offered at walk-in clinics. (CTV)

  • Vax for B.C. launches to get more people vaccinated, recognizes pandemic heroes. (News Release)

    • Beginning on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, and lasting throughout the month of August, community events, vax vans and mobile clinics will be up and running in dozens of communities in B.C. to get more people vaccinated with their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While registration and booking using the provincial Get Vaccinated system is still encouraged, these events will allow eligible people to walk-in and receive a vaccine without a scheduled appointment. In addition to drop-in events, Vax for B.C. will kick off an opportunity to recognize how far British Columbia has come together, providing a chance for people to share messages and notes of gratitude to pandemic heroes over the last 18 months. British Columbians are encouraged to share written messages online, in their windows at home and in-person at vaccination locations.

  • The Provincial Health Officer issued an order restricting mink farm operations after several mink tested positive for COVID-19 on a quarantined farm. (News Release)

  • 149,109 cases, an increase of 267 since Friday, 695 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario health units are ramping up youth vaccination efforts, using prizes and social media, as the window quickly closes for students to be fully immunized by the time school starts. Youth aged 12 to 17 have the lowest overall vaccination rate of any eligible age cohort in the province. Just over 64 per cent have one shot and 41 per cent are fully vaccinated, with variation across different regions. Students would need to get a first dose by the end of the August long weekend to be fully immunized for Labour Day. (CBC)

  • Ontario has asked the federal government to ensure Canadians who received mixed COVID-19 vaccines will be cleared for international travel as border measures lift. Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones wrote to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and other federal officials on Sunday about the issue. "We ask the Government of Canada to work with the WHO to update its guidance to international partners that mixing vaccines should be internationally accepted as a complete vaccine regimen," they wrote. (CBC)

  • 549,576 cases, an increase of 129 since yesterday, 1,395 active cases, including five deaths.

Quebec

  • In light of the success of the Passeport Attraits program, the Ministère du Tourisme, in collaboration with the Alliance de industrie tourisme du Québec, announces the addition of C$4-million in funding to support the revival of the tourism industry in all regions of Quebec. Since its launch in the summer of 2020, C$17.7-million has been granted under this program. This initiative promotes the discovery of new attractions through package deals. It offers visitors discounts ranging from 20 to 40 per cent on the purchase of packages combining two, three or four tourist attractions. (New Release)

  • The Quebec government is offering an extra dose of mRNA vaccine to people who want to travel to countries that do not recognize their vaccination status. (News Release)

    • Currently, there is still no international consensus on the criteria for a person to be recognized as "adequately vaccinated". Discussions are continuing with the federal government so that mixed or two-dose scenarios of AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine are more widely recognized internationally. New instructions could possibly be sent on this subject. In the meantime, certain exceptional measures are possible in Quebec to accommodate people who have an essential trip planned in the short term. 

  • 376,901 cases, an increase of 73 since yesterday, 803 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • The Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19 has released its first Progress Report. Playing a leadership role during the pandemic, the Committee successfully engaged in new ways of collaboration across the justice system and fostered information sharing during the COVID-19 crisis. (News Release)

  • The Government of Canada, through the Regional Air Transportation Initiative, Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund and Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, is providing funding to help airports continue their existing air routes and ensure they remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements. Funding is going to:

U.S. – Federal

  • Canada and Mexico imported millions of doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and offered them to the public without health officials properly inspecting the operations of the U.S. manufacturer, according to inspection records and the regulators involved. (CTV)

    • The Baltimore plant belonging to Emergent BioSolutions Inc was producing vaccines for both AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson under a US$628-million U.S. government contract. In late March, under pressure to help other nations access COVID-19 vaccines, the Biden administration released 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses to Canada, and 2.5 million to Mexico. European regulators had certified Emergent's factory as complying with "good manufacturing practices," and on that basis both Canada and Mexico began using the vaccine, regulators in both countries told Reuters. But the European Medicines Agency (EMA) told Reuters that the certification was based on a remote inspection that focused on a part of the facility that was not actually producing the AstraZeneca shots — a fact that has not been previously reported.

  • New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set off a cascade of mask rules across the nation Wednesday as cities, states, schools and businesses raced to restore mandates and others pushed back against the guidelines at a time when Americans are exhausted and confused over constantly shifting pandemic measures. (CTV)

    • The CDC's new guidance applies to places with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, which is roughly 60 per cent of all U.S. counties, federal officials said. Nearly all of the South and Southwest is subject to the guidance, but most communities in the Northeast — with the exception of major metro areas like New York City and Boston — are exempt for now, according to the CDC's COVID tracker.

  • Biden asks Congress to extend COVID-19 eviction ban set to expire this week. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta's health minister defended a series of changes to the province's COVID-19 response plan, calling the loosening of restrictions "the inevitable next step." (CTV)

    • Shandro also said the province's trigger to move towards treating COVID-19 as an endemic was a vaccination rate of 65 per cent of eligible Albertans with a second dose. The province is nearing that mark with 64.3 per cent of eligible Albertans having had two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Alberta is lifting much of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days as the disease continues to infect unvaccinated Albertans. (CTV)

    • Starting Thursday, close contacts of COVID-19 cases will no longer be mandated to quarantine, but isolation will still be required for positive cases and people with symptoms. On August 16, people who test positive for COVID-19 will not be mandated to quarantine anymore, but the province will recommend it. Albertans with COVID-19 symptoms will not be asked to get tested, but to stay at home until they feel better. And two weeks later, COVID-19 tests will only be available to people who need to go to the hospital or see a physician. Masks won't be mandatory in public transit, rideshares and taxies starting on August 16, the province announced. Some masking may still be required in hospitals or continuing care facilities.

  • CMOH order 39-2021 updates the isolation requirements for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. The order also removes quarantine requirements by rescinding Order 35-2021. It comes into effect July 29, 2021.

  • 233,875 cases, an increase of 194 on July 27, 1,334 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • 549,952 cases, an increase of 218 since yesterday, 1,424 active cases, including three deaths.

Quebec

  • The Quebec government is allocating a grant of C$5-million, for the 2021‑2022 fiscal year, to the City of Gatineau with a view to accelerating the economic recovery of its downtown area. (News Release)

  • The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services published the most recent update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers of the health and social services network. (News Release)

    • Cases

      • For a second consecutive week, the number of new cases is increasing compared to the previous week (653 versus 529);

      • This increase is particularly concentrated among adults aged 18 to 59.

    • Hospitalizations

      • The number of anticipated hospitalizations (17) is similar to that of the previous week (14);

      • The number of cases that could require a stay in intensive care (five) is similar to that in previous weeks.

  • Order in Council 1072-2021 renews the public health emergency until August 6, 2021. It was published in the Quebec Gazette Part II, No. 30A on July 29, 2021.

  • 377,172 cases, an increase of 138 since yesterday, 914 active cases, no new deaths.

July 30, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m.

Canada – Federal

  • Canada is heading towards a "Delta-driven" fourth wave, Tam says. (CTV)

    • Canada is headed towards a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, but how severe of a resurgence it’ll be depends on how many people are fully vaccinated, warns new national modelling released Friday. The country is seeing an increase in new COVID-19 cases, and thousands more infections are predicted if contacts aren’t contained, the modelling indicates. After weeks of sustained decline in new cases, the Public Health Agency of Canada is warning that if community-wide contact rates increase too quickly with ongoing reopening efforts, the long-term forecast indicates Canada could experience a “stronger resurgence” of the virus.

    • The new data predicts that in the short-term, the case count will continue to increase, meaning the country could see between 2,700 and 11,800 new cases over the next week or so. As of midday Friday, there have been 1,429,937 reported cases nationwide, and by August 8, that number could grow to between 1,432,555 to 1,441,610 cases. One sign that Canada’s case counts are on an upward trajectory: the national “Rt” or effective reproduction number, recently started trending above one around mid-July, meaning there are “early signs of epidemic growth” in some regions. This comes after the “Rt” had remained out of a growth pattern since April.

  • The Government of Canada is providing the Vancouver International Airport up to $$38.4-million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program to help the Vancouver International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport. Eleven regional airports in British Columbia will also receive up to C$11.7-million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs under the Regional Air Transportation Initiative to help overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Government extends COVID-19 benefits and business supports to support stronger economic recovery. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • These extensions include:

      • Extending the eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until October 23, 2021, and increasing the rate of support employers and organizations can receive during the period between August 29 and September 25, 2021.

      • Extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until October 23, 2021.

      • Increasing the maximum number of weeks available for the CRB, by an additional four weeks, to a total of 54 weeks, at a rate of C$300 per week, and ensuring it is available to those who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits.

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 34 was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on July 31, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • Delta variant is so transmissible "the war has changed," U.S. CDC warns. (CTV)

    • The Delta coronavirus variant surging across the United States appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The document — a slide presentation — outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.

  • President Biden to Announce New Actions to Get More Americans Vaccinated and Slow the Spread of the Delta Variant. (Statement and Factsheet)

    • The initiatives include:

      • Strengthening safety protocols for federal employees and federal contractors

      • Protecting those who serve our country

      • Expanding paid leave to get families and kids vaccinated

      • Calling on state and local governments to offer US$100 to get vaccinated

      • Increasing vaccinations among adolescents as kids go back to school

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today extended, through September 30, the eviction moratorium for homeowners of properties financed or guaranteed by USDA. “The United States is still reeling from a nationwide housing affordability crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA is taking this important action today to allow individuals and families who face eviction from homes purchased with USDA Single-Family Housing loans more time to maintain safe and stable housing, whether it’s in their current homes, or by obtaining alternative housing options,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson said. “Actions like the one we’re announcing today are part of President Biden’s strategy to ensure a stable and equitable recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide continued protection for thousands of individuals and families in rural America.” (News Release)

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury Policy Statement on State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and Individual Vaccine Incentives. (News Release)

    • The American Rescue Plan dedicated a historic US$350-billion to helping state, territorial and local governments respond to the pandemic and its negative economic impacts, in the form of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program (SLFRF). For these governments and the communities they represent, no task is more urgent than turning the tide on the pandemic, and there is no better tool than vaccination. This is why Treasury is encouraging state, territorial and local governments to use the funds to enhance their vaccination efforts, including by providing individual vaccine incentives.

  • Treasury Expands Paid Leave Tax Credit To Enable More Vaccinations. (New Release)

    • The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that eligible employers can claim tax credits equal to the wages paid for providing paid time off to employees to take a family or household member or certain other individuals to get vaccinated, or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the vaccination. Comparable tax credits are also available for self-employed individuals.

Alberta

  • The Alberta government released an updated version of COVID-19 information: Alberta Health Daily Checklist (for children under 18; and adults 18 and older) (August 2021). The tool has been developed to support schools, activity organizers, employers, businesses and facility operators in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among attendees and staff. It is meant to assist with assessing attendees who may be symptomatic or have been exposed to someone who is ill or has confirmed COVID-19.  Effective November 2, 2020, children should use the new version of the daily checklist for Albertans under 18.

  • 234,108 cases, an increase of 233 on July 28, 1,520 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • British Columbians invited to salute frontline heroes on B.C. Day. (News Release)

    • Premier John Horgan is inviting all British Columbians to join him in saluting frontline workers during the ongoing pandemic, as well as those battling wildfires, with a public cheer on B.C. Day.  The premier is asking people throughout the province to take a moment at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 2, to bang pots and make some noise as a way of expressing gratitude and appreciation. The salute to front-line workers is part of Vax for BC, the latest step in the Province’s campaign to help as many British Columbians as possible get vaccinated.

  • 149,648 cases, an increase of 204 since yesterday, 1,055 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario reveals details about lifting restrictions after Step 3, masks will remain mandatory indoors. (CTV)

    • “Upon exiting the Roadmap, the vast majority of public health measures, including capacity limits, will be lifted. Only a small number of measures will remain in place, including the requirement for passive screening, such as posting a sign, and businesses requiring a safety plan,” a spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said Friday. “As the Delta variant is the dominant strain in Ontario, which is not the case with some other provinces, face coverings will also continue to be required for indoor public settings.”

  • Mayor Tory announces 70 per cent of eligible Toronto residents are fully vaccinated, promotes this weekend’s Home Stretch Vaccine Push in Taylor-Massey. (News Release)

    • The Taylor-Massey neighbourhood has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city. This weekend’s Home Stretch Vaccine Push, led by the City and Michael Garron Hospital, alongside East Toronto Health Partners and numerous local community agencies, will focus efforts to remove all remaining barriers to vaccine access in the neighbourhood. Pop-up clinic locations include John’s No Frills, Massey Square, Secord Elementary School, Shoppers World Danforth and Victoria Supermarket. The clinics, which will be open to walkins to anyone with an “M” postal code, will administer mostly Pfizer with some supply of Moderna to those who request it. All clinics will offer free grocery or food gift cards for first doses and first dose referrals, while Shoppers World Danforth will also feature on-site music, free ice cream and coffee, as well as other exciting give-aways.

  • O. Reg. 541/21 – Rules for Areas in Step 3 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 364/20 to add Roadmap Exit Step requirements. It is effective July 30 2021.

  • O. Reg. 542/21 – Steps of Reopening (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 363/20 to add Schedule 4 (Areas at the Roadmap Exit Step) to the regulation. It is effective July 30, 2021.

  • 550,178 cases, an increase of 226  since yesterday, 1,491 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • 377,297 cases, an increase of 125 since yesterday, 951 active cases, including one death.

August 3, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian Medical Association and Nurses Association call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for health-care workers. (CTV)

    • The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) are calling for COVID-19 vaccines to be mandatory for health-care workers. In a news release, the CMA and CNA stated jointly that in the face of the highly contagious COVID-19 variants and the plateauing of Canada’s vaccination rate, the mandatory vaccination of health-care workers is “an additional measure to protect patients, the health workforce and health-care system capacity.”

  • Canada Recovery Benefit now unavailable to people who didn't file taxes in 2019 or 2020. (CTV)

    • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is now unavailable to people who haven’t yet filed their taxes for 2019 or 2020, according to recent changes on the Government of Canada’s website.

  • Canada and British Columbia support upgrades to two health care centres in the communities of Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua Nation. (News Release)

    • The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in local infrastructure during this unprecedented time to meet the needs of communities, enhance quality of life and support economic recovery from COVID-19. The Government of Canada is investing more than C$1.3-million in this project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Community Resilience Infrastructure Stream. Under this stream, the federal cost share is up to 100 per cent for projects intended for Indigenous communities.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. CDC extends COVID-19 policy allowing border expulsions. (Reuters)

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday extended a Trump-era policy allowing for the expulsion of migrants across U.S. borders, citing COVID-19 risks.

  • U.S. employers ratchet up the pressure on the unvaccinated. (CTV)

    • Employers are losing patience with unvaccinated workers. For months, most employers relied on information campaigns, bonuses and other incentives to encourage their workforces to get the COVID-19 shot. Now, a growing number are imposing rules to make it more onerous for employees to refuse from outright mandates to requiring the unvaccinated to undergo regular testing.

  • President Biden announces major milestone in administration’s global vaccination efforts: More than 100 million U.S. COVID-⁠19 vaccine doses donated and shipped abroad. (News Release)

    • The President announced that the U.S. has now donated and shipped more than 110 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccines to more than 60 countries – a major milestone that cements the United States as the global leader in COVID-19 vaccine donations.

  • New York becomes first U.S. city to mandate COVID-19 vaccines to enter restaurants and gyms. (Reuters)

    • New York City will become the first major U.S. city to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for customers and staff at restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses as the country enters a new phase of battling the highly contagious Delta variant.

Alberta

  • The Alberta Government released an updated Alberta public health disease management guidelines: coronavirus – COVID-19.

    • Intended for public health professionals, this resource presents the recommended practices for the reporting of COVID-19 as a notifiable disease. This includes a case definition and reporting requirements for the disease. The guidelines were developed by Alberta Health with input and advice from Medical Officers of Health, public health nurses, public health inspectors and medical infectious disease specialists.

  • 234,295 cases, an increase of 187 on July 29, 1,655 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • 149,889 cases, an increase of 241 on July 30, 1,242 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario unveils back-to-school plan for September. Here's what you need to know. (CTV)

    • All students will be able to return to the classroom full time this September under the Ontario government's highly anticipated back-to-school plan. The 26-page plan, which the Doug Ford government originally promised to release in July, says elementary students and secondary students will attend school in-person five days per week, for the first time in months. Remote learning will remain an option for parents and students who don’t feel comfortable returning to the classroom.

  • Toronto Public Health and hospital partners complete more than 12,000 out-of-province vaccination records. (News Release)

    • To date, TPH and Toronto hospital partners have processed 12,100 out-of-province vaccination record applications. Approximately 3,900 applications were from individuals requiring a second vaccine dose. All first dose applications received prior to July 20 have been processed and uploaded into COVaxOn. Second dose and single dose vaccine applications received before June 30 have been processed and uploaded.

  • 550,986 cases, an increase of 808 since Friday, 1,717 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • Restrictions lifted in Quebec despite Canada's top doctors warning of a fourth wave. (CTV)

    • At a minute past midnight Sunday, more COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec were lifted including how late bars and restaurants could serve alcohol and festival capacities. Bars and restaurants are now permitted to serve alcohol until 1 a.m. with closing time pushed to 2 a.m. Ten people or three private residences can share a table and tables must remain two metres apart indoors when there are no partitions between them. Outdoor terrasses can seat 20 per table and those tables must be a metre apart.

  • 377,798 cases, an increase of 501 since Friday, 1,174 active cases, no new deaths.

July 28, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Trudeau mum on launch of vaccine passport but vows system will be 'simple and efficient'. (CTV)

    • Trudeau said Ottawa will be responsible for a documentation framework for international travel specifically, but that it’s up to provinces to come up with a plan domestically. The government is facing mounting pressure to develop a national system as other countries move quick to establish their own.

U.S. – Federal

  • The White House is strongly considering requiring federal employees to show proof they've been vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise submit to regular testing and wear a mask — a potentially major shift in policy that reflects growing concerns about the spread of the more infectious Delta variant. The possible vaccine mandate for federal employees — regardless of the rate of transmission in their area — is one option under consideration by the Biden administration. The White House is expected to announce its final decision after completing a policy review this week. (CTV)

Alberta

  • Alberta won't offer third doses to travellers whose COVID vaccination status isn't recognized. (CBC)

    • "We are prioritizing vaccines for those who are not yet fully vaccinated. With a global shortage, it would not be appropriate to offer additional vaccines to fully immunized individuals looking to vacation while so many others still await even a first dose," said Tom McMillan, a spokesperson for Alberta Health.

  • COVID-19 is spreading faster in Alberta than during peak of third wave. (CBC)

    • The R-value, which represents the number of people infected by each infected person, was 1.48 (with a confidence interval of 1.38-1.59) in Alberta as of Sunday, according to Alberta Health. "The current R-value provincewide is one of the highest we've seen throughout the pandemic. So although the numbers are low today, the rate of viral spread is really as fast as we've seen at any other point during the pandemic," said Craig Jenne, an immunologist and microbiologist at the University of Calgary. Case numbers and positivity rates are currently low, but surging, driven by the more infectious Delta variant. Alberta had 1,173 active cases on Tuesday with a test positivity rate of 2.54 per cent. 

  • Canada's vaccination laggard: Alberta trails nation with slow uptake for first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. (CBC)

    • According to aggregate data compiled by CBC News, 75.2 per cent of Alberta's eligible population had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of July 27. The national average is 80.6 per cent. The picture is brighter when it comes to eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: Alberta's 63.6 per cent is in step with the national average and ahead of B.C., Quebec, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

  • 233,681 cases, an increase of 134 on July 26, 1,173 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. declares COVID-19 outbreak in Central Okanagan, reimposing mask mandate and other public health measures. (CBC)

  • B.C. looks to improve lower COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Interior as potential fourth wave looms. (CBC)

    • The number of daily COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has tripled during the past three weeks, and at the same time the Delta variant has grown to become the most dominant strain in the province. Much like B.C.'s actual wildfires, the province's COVID-19 cases right now are concentrated in the Interior. It has more than half the daily cases and active cases, despite having around 15 per cent of all residents. "It's not … a large number of out-of-province individuals that are driving the surge in cases," said Dr. Silvina Mema, medical health officer for Interior Health. "It's individuals that live in B.C., in the Interior. They're young … and many of them work in the hospitality industry: restaurants, fitness studios, clothes companies, bars — those types of companies are being affected." 

  • As the provincial government responded to people’s need for income support, business grants, tax breaks and crucial services during the pandemic, British Columbia ended the 2020-21 fiscal year with continued strong credit ratings and a lower-than-projected deficit of C$5.5-billion. (News Release)

    • The year-end deficit is C$2.7-billion lower than projected in Budget 2021. This is attributed to some sectors of the economy faring better than worst-case scenarios, which resulted in lower-than-expected spending and higher-than-expected revenues. Spending on COVID-19 support and recovery programs reached C$10.1-billion by the end of March 2021.

  • 149,259 cases, an increase of 150 since yesterday, 783 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto to enter next phase of its vaccination campaign with expanded mobile teams and a new mass immunization clinic model. (News Release)

    • Beginning August 23, Toronto Public Health (TPH) will redeploy approximately 700 staff from mass immunization clinics to expand its mobile clinic operations. This redeployment will add 17 mobile clinic teams to TPH’s five mobile teams currently administering vaccines across the city. This will expand its ability to bring vaccines directly to workplaces, faith groups, organizations and communities that experience barriers to vaccination and low vaccine uptake.

    • At the same time, the City will be adjusting its mass immunization clinics operations. On August 22 (end of day), City-operated clinics at the following locations will close:

      • Carmine Stefano Community Centre

      • Malvern Community Recreation Centre

      • Mitchell Field Arena

      • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre

      • Toronto Congress Centre

  • City of Toronto to begin reopening of City Hall and civic centres on August 9. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • O. Reg. 527/21 Extension of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act) amends O. Reg. 25/21 to extend the revocation date of certain orders to August 11, 2021.

  • 549,734 cases, an increase of 158 since yesterday, 1,378 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

  • The following were published in the Quebec Gazette Part II, No. 30 on July 28, 2021:

    • Order in Council 1042-2021 Amendments to the Financial Assistance Program for the Purchase of Eyeglasses and Lenses for Children entrusted to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec in order to allow for certain temporary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic (comes into force August 12, 2021)

    • Order in Council 1043-2021 Program Respecting Certain Temporary Measures Related to Certain Medical, Optometry and Dental Services Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic entrusted to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (comes into force August 12, 2021 and ends February 8, 2022)

    • Order in Council 1044-2021 Temporary Program to Compensate Persons who were Unable to Benefit Free of Charge from Certain Dental Services Provided by a Denturologist Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic entrusted to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (comes into force August 12, 2021 and ends February 8, 2022)

  • 377,034 cases, an increase of 133 since yesterday, 864 active cases, no new deaths.

July 20, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s not up to Canada to weigh in on how and when the U.S. decides to reopen its border to Canadians following Monday’s announcement that fully vaccinated Americans will be able to enter the country for discretionary purposes starting August 9. Trudeau was responding to questions about why Monday’s announcement wasn’t made in concert with the U.S. administration to allow a similar relaxing of border restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians. (CTV)

  • Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc is sounding a note of hope that Canadians who mixed and matched vaccines will not have a problem crossing borders in the months ahead. LeBlanc says he believes data sharing and conversations between health authorities around the world will lead to an "evolution" and "adjustment" of the more conservative approach of some countries' regulatory bodies. (CTV)

  • The Treasury Board Secretariat says it will be considering whether COVID-19 vaccines need to be required for certain roles and positions in the federal government. In a statement, the department that oversees much of the federal workforce said departments that consider making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for specific roles and positions would base their decision on occupational health and hazard prevention programs, medical expertise and legal requirements. (CBC)

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced three new projects receiving funding through the Immunization Partnership Fund to support vaccination efforts across Canada. These community-based projects will support populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 make informed vaccination choices by crowding out misinformation and providing culturally relevant and science-based information. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • Employment Insurance consultations to be launched later this summer. (News Release)

    • These consultations will help the Government of Canada better understand the needs of workers and employers who could benefit from improvements to the EI program, including in the areas of access, adequacy and affordability. The immediate focus of the consultations will be on improving access to EI by examining systemic gaps exposed by COVID-19. These include the need for income support for self-employed and gig workers; how best to support Canadians through different life events, such as adoption; and how to provide more consistent and reliable benefits to workers in seasonal industries.  

U.S. – Federal

  • The more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up 83 per cent of sequenced samples in the United States, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. "This is a dramatic increase, up from 50 per cent for the week of July 3.” (CTV)

Alberta

  • Public health experts concerned by Alberta premier's claim that the pandemic is over. (CBC)

    • A maskless Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands, embraces Calgary Stampede visitors and stands shoulder-to-shoulder for photo-ops in a video posted to his social media pages on Sunday. "Such a joy to connect with Albertans during Canada's first major event after the pandemic," the caption reads. His choice of phrasing — "after the pandemic" — worries health experts who say it falsely implies the coronavirus is no longer a cause for concern.

  • Opposition calls for COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Alberta schools this fall. (CBC)

    • The idea was given a tepid reception by Health Minster Tyler Shandro who was asked about the plan. Shandro said the province may look at school-based clinics when vaccines are approved for children 12 and under. He said Alberta's current strategy is to vaccinate as many eligible people as quickly as possible. "We want to ensure that our resources are deployed in the best way possible," he said. "We right now want to focus on community partners to be able to provide those vaccines."

  • 232,806 cases, an increase of 130 since Friday, 605 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Ministry of Health has released a guidance document for visitors to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living residences to support safe and meaningful visits while adhering to infection prevention and control requirements.

  • 148,487 cases, an increase of 156 since Friday, 653 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is investing C$10-million towards the Digital Main Street program for 2021-22 to help over 13,000 small businesses expand their digital presence and market their services online. As businesses enter Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen, the renewed program will provide small businesses with C$2,500 grants, technical training and digital resources to help them reach more customers in person and online, positioning them for a stronger recovery. (News Release)

  • The Ontario government is launching a new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative to support agri-tourism businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario wineries and cideries with on-site stores whose business were impacted by COVID-19 safety measures to stop the spread of the virus will be eligible for this one-time grant. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The 2021 Budget committed to providing a one‑time C$10-million grant to help wineries and cideries impacted by COVID-19 and to ensure that agricultural production and local jobs are maintained in Ontario’s rural communities. As the delivery agent of the new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative, Agricorp will send applications for the program directly to eligible wineries and cideries on July 20, 2021. This new relief initiative builds on government programs that aim to protect jobs and support local producers, including extending the VQA Wine Support Program and the Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program to 2022-23.

  • Home Stretch Vaccine Push continues with weekend-long #VaxTheNorth clinic at Mel Lastman Square. (News Release)

    • The two-day #VaxTheNorth pop-up clinic will take place on July 24 and 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Mel Lastman Square in North York to help bolster COVID-19 vaccine rates in the area, particularly within the 18 to 45 age group, which is currently experiencing the biggest lag in vaccinations. #VaxTheNorth follows the success of the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push in the north and west end of the city last week.

  • 548,474 cases, an increase of 127 since yesterday, 1,354 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • The Minister of the Executive Council releases the research and assessment reports in connection with government communications related to COVID-19. (News Release)

  • 376,416 cases, an increase of  76 since yesterday, 640 active cases, no new deaths.

July 21, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The following updated orders in council were issued under the Quarantine Act. They extend stated restrictions on entry into Canada until August 21, 2021.

    • PC 2021-732 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations)

    • PC 2021-731 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

    • PC 2021-730 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21, according to a renewal order issued by the American government Wednesday. In a notice pre-published in the U.S. Federal Register, the U.S. government says that while vaccination rates have improved, opening the land border to non-essential travel still poses too great a risk. (CBC)

Alberta

  • Rapid flow COVID-19 immunization clinics at the Expo Centre in Edmonton and the Calgary Telus Convention Centre will close by the end of July, Alberta Health Services said Wednesday. "Demand for immunization continues; however, rapid flow clinics are no longer needed given the increasing percentage of the immunized population." Albertans who want vaccines will be able to be immunized at other locations, including public health centres, pharmacies and physician offices in both cities. The EXPO Centre clinic in Edmonton will close at 8 p.m. on July 29. The Telus Convention Centre in Calgary will close at 8 p.m. on July 30. (CBC)

  • 232,875 cases, an increase of 69 since yesterday, 606 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • 148,563 cases, an increase of 76 since yesterday, 692 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 22, all nine City-run vaccination clinics will open to youth and adult walk-ins between noon and 7 p.m. Eligible residents who need a second dose and those who have yet to receive a first dose can be vaccinated immediately. Anyone taking advantage of the walk-in option to accelerate their second dose should cancel any existing second dose appointment whether at a City-run or partner clinic. Walk-ins should always prepare for a short wait that may include time lining up outdoors. (News Release)

  • 548,609 cases, an increase of 135 since yesterday, 1,334 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada may allow fully vaccinated Americans into the country by mid-August: Trudeau. (CTV)

    • Canada is getting ready to welcome the world again, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quietly indicated late Thursday as his office disclosed a target of mid-August for when the border might reopen for fully vaccinated Americans. Additionally, if the vaccination rate remains on its current upward trajectory, fully vaccinated travellers from around the world could begin arriving by early September, Trudeau said during a COVID-19 status update with Canada's premiers. The statement makes no mention of whether eligible U.S. visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination, a touchy subject in a country where personal freedoms are sacrosanct. The White House has already ruled out the idea of a vaccine "passport."

  • The government is working with other countries to recognize Canadians with mixed doses as fully vaccinated. (CBC)

    • Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc pointed to the federal government's efforts to create an internationally recognized proof of vaccination certificate — or vaccine passport — but didn't say how it would work for Canadians with two different doses, although he said more details would be made available "over the coming weeks and months."

U.S. – Federal

  • COVID-19 'is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,' CDC director says. (CTV)

    • With COVID-19 cases rising in all 50 states, health officials say it's clear that unvaccinated people are both driving the increase in cases and are most at risk. Cases are rising in every state and Washington, DC, with the average of new cases at least 10 per cent higher than a week ago — and 38 states are seeing at least a 50 per cent increase. Many experts have attributed the rise to slowing vaccination rates with only 48.3 per cent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, per CDC data. 

  • CDC defends U.S. transit mask mandate as some call for scrapping. (Reuters)

  • Biden says U.S. reviewing European travel ban, sees update in coming days. (Reuters)

    • Numerous countries not subject to travel restrictions have far higher COVID-19 rates than many European countries covered by the restrictions in place since March 2020. In early June, the White House launched interagency working groups with the European Union, Britain, Canada and Mexico to look at how to eventually lift restrictions. Those meetings have generally been occurring every two weeks but some have recently been delayed. Airlines and some government officials have said they do not anticipate the United States lifting restrictions until August at the earliest.

  • HHS announces US$103-million from American Rescue Plan to strengthen resiliency and address burnout in the health workforce. (News Release)

Alberta

  • 232,635 cases, an increase of 53 on July 14, 578 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 148,282 cases, an increase of 54 since yesterday, 650 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Toronto City Council approved the repeal of bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020, which regulated physical distancing in City of Toronto parks and public squares, as well as section 545-8.4.1 of Chapter 545, licensing that implemented additional COVID-19 measures for food and drink establishments. The repeal of the bylaws was based on a report from Toronto Public Health that took into consideration Toronto’s current epidemiological context, as well as overlap with the COVID-19 regulations contained in Step Three of the Government of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, which comes into effect today. (News Release)

  • 547,864 cases, an increase of 159 since yesterday, 1,403 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Several prizes to be won for people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

    • The Quebec Government is launching the Gagner à être vacciné contest in partnership with Lotto-Québec to encourage vaccination. There will be two contests (one for adults and one for adolescents) with weekly cash prize draws for people with their first dose and a larger prize draw for people who have received both doses. Full details will be available prior to the start date of the contest registration on July 25, 2021.

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montréal, in the Laurentians, in Estrie, in Montérégie, in the Centre-du-Québec, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • 376,192 cases, an increase of 83 since yesterday, 629 active cases, including three deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada has now eclipsed the U.S. in percentage of fully vaccinated residents. (CTV)

    • After lagging behind other developed countries in the early months of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Canada has officially eclipsed the United States when it comes to its percentage of fully vaccinated residents. According to data from CTV News’ vaccine tracker, 48.8 per cent of Canada’s population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, compared to 48.1 per cent of Americans.

  • Canada set to receive 7.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. (CTV)

    • The federal government is expecting to receive about 7.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, as it adjusts its distribution strategy amid waning vaccination rates and substantial supply. The new deliveries will include about 3.1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and four million doses of Moderna.

  • Easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada - Permitting discretionary travel for citizens and permanent residents of the United States. (News Release)

    • Easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada - Permitting discretionary travel for citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

  • The Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

  • International students and travel to Canada. (News Release)

    • The changes the Government of Canada announced today apply to all of IRCC’s clients. As the fall semester is approaching, we would like to remind international students of what they will need to do to return or come to Canada for their studies.

  • The following were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on July 17, 2021:

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. surgeon general defends CDC mask change, blames tech companies for COVID deaths. (Reuters)

    • U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stood by federal guidance that those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer needed to wear masks, while blaming social media companies for fueling vaccine misinformation.

  • Biden grappling with ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’. (Associated Press)

    • The rising numbers are being driven by large pockets of infection among the more than 90 million eligible Americans who have yet to get shots. Just four states with low vaccination rates made up 40 per cent of new cases last week and nearly half of them came from Florida alone.

Alberta

  • 232,676 cases, an increase of 41 on July 15, 579 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • Long-term care homes in B.C. fully open to vaccinated visitors. (CBC)

    • Residents in B.C.'s long-term care facilities can now visit with friends and family members without restrictions. Provided they are fully vaccinated, visitors no longer need to schedule visits in advance. There will also no longer be a limit on the number of visitors each resident can have.

  • 148,331 cases, an increase of 300 on Friday, 662 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's universities and colleges told to prepare for normal fall — with backup plans. (CBC)

    • Ontario colleges and universities should prepare for all in-person classes and activities to resume this fall without capacity limits or physical distancing requirements, the government says. However, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities has told the institutions to have plans for how learning will continue in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • Pharmacy association urges province to expand PCR travel testing. (CBC)

    • As travel opens up, the association representing Ontario's pharmacists is lobbying the province to drastically expand the number of pharmacies permitted to offer PCR tests — the gold standard for assessing if someone has COVID-19.

  • With the law unclear, businesses face tricky questions about mandating vaccines. (CBC)

    • As businesses in Ottawa reopen, employers are facing the question of whether to mandate vaccines for their employees — and the law doesn't yet provide a clear answer. In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccines aren't mandatory but are heavily suggested. Currently in Ottawa, more than 80 per cent of residents have had at least one dose.

  • 548,347 cases, an increase of 1,084 since Friday, 1,355 active cases, no new deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • Relaunch of festivals and events — Québec announces the development of a research protocol for the holding of a test event. (News Release)

    • Determined to make Quebec a recognized tourist destination for its festivals and safe events, the Government of Quebec is positioning itself among the world leaders in this field by announcing the start of the process of holding a test event in early fall in Quebec City. The Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, today confirmed the granting of an important mandate to Université Laval for the preparation of a research protocol for this purpose. Quebec thus became the first Canadian province to take this initiative.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-054 amends Order in Council 1062-2021 to update every procedure, other than a referendum procedure, that is part of the decision-making process of a municipal body and that involves the movement or gathering of citizens be accompanied by a written consultation, announced beforehand through a public notice, that ends at the same time as the accompanying procedure; the written consultation may also replace the procedure concerned, in which case it is of a duration of 15 days and comes into force on July 22, 2021. 

  • 376,431 cases, an increase of 516 since Friday, 656 active cases, no new deaths.

July 14, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Federal government delivers C$5-billion in pandemic support to provinces and territories for vaccines and health care. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is providing C$4-billion through a one-time top-up to the Canada Health Transfer to help address the extreme pressures that COVID-19 has put on our health care systems. This funding will help provinces and territories address immediate health system pressures, including clearing the backlog of medical procedures, patient care and access to primary care put on hold due to the pandemic.

    • It is also providing C$1-billion to support vaccine rollout campaigns across the country and helping Canadians receive their first and second doses as quickly as possible. The funding supports a variety of vaccine-related costs, such as recruiting and training immunizers, establishing mass vaccination clinics, setting up mobile vaccination units, engaging Indigenous communities to advance vaccine rollout and reaching vulnerable populations through community-based vaccination efforts.

U.S. – Federal
 
No news today.
 
Alberta

  • The rate at which COVID-19 cases spread from one person to the next is once again rising in Alberta. Over the last two weeks, Alberta's province-wide R-value was 0.84, with a confidence interval of 0.74 to 0.94. It was even higher in Edmonton, at 0.97 with a confidence interval pushing the city's R-value potentially over one. The R-value represents the number of people infected by each infected person. Those numbers are up from previous weeks, when the R-value was 0.75. (CBC)

  • The Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued the following orders and guidance document:

  • 232,536 cases, an increase of 35 on July 12, 599 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • 148,187 cases, an increase of 33 since yesterday, 639 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Unvaccinated young Ontarians have the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the province, top doctor says. (CBC)

    • Over the last three months, 96 per cent of people between the ages of 19 and 29 who were infected with COVID-19 weren't vaccinated against the virus, Dr. Kieran Moore said. Ninety-nine per cent of infected people between the ages of 12 and 17 were unvaccinated. Adults aged 18 to 39 have a 68 per cent first-dose coverage rate and youth 12 to 17 have a first-dose rate of 60 per cent.

    • The number of vaccinated teens is particularly important as the province prepares for the return to school in September. The province has said it will offer two vaccine doses to all eligible students and staff before classes resume, and vaccines aren't fully effective until 14 days after the second dose.

  • Ontario will be removing the requirement that fully-immunized and asymptomatic staff, caregivers and visitors be tested before entering long-term care homes. Updated guidance to retirement homes will also recommend exempting fully immunized people from routine testing. This change will coincide with Step Three of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, coming into effect on July 16, 2021. (News Release)

  • City of Toronto ready to enter Step Three of the province's reopening plan this Friday. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto is prepared to enter Step Three of the Province of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16. In Step Three, Toronto residents will be permitted, subject to restrictions, to gather indoors, eat indoors at bars and restaurants and resume going to gyms and recreation centres. All retailers can open for in-person shopping with capacity limited to the number of people who can maintain a physical distance of two metres. 

    • Beginning July 19, Toronto will also start reopening indoor recreational facilities, starting with most self-directed programs and services.

  • 547,562 cases, an increase of 153 since yesterday, 1,478 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • Twelve corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montréal, in the Laurentians, in Estrie, in Montérégie, in the Centre-du-Québec, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • The Quebec Government is launching an ad campaign called A Good Dose to reinforce the importance of vaccination, particularly in obtaining a second dose, and highlight the progress made since the start of the pandemic. The ads will air on TV, radio, in print and in digital media. (News Release)

  • 376,044 cases, an increase of 75 since yesterday, 658 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • The military general overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country says Canada is moving to a "more nuanced" approach as the supply of doses is on the verge of outstripping demand. (CTV)

    • Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie says more than two million doses of vaccine are already being held back because provinces have said they can't use them — a big change from when all newly arrived doses were shipped around the country as quickly as possible. Now, the goal is shifting to minimize waste by not distributing doses provinces do not yet need and so that Canada can decide whether it can start donating more doses to other countries.

  • Health Canada says the sale of certain face masks that were recalled for containing graphene can resume after the agency assessed the masks and found "no health risks of concern." (CTV)

    • Health Canada issued an advisory in April asking all distributors selling masks with graphene or biomass graphene to recall their products over potential inhalation risks. Graphene is comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms and is considered a nanomaterial, meaning it is made of tiny particles. During a preliminary assessment, the agency identified some potential for inhaled graphene particles to cause lung effects, such as inflammation in animals. In an updated advisory issued Thursday, Health Canada said it assessed four face mask models produced by Shandong Shengquan New Materials and found that the biomass graphene didn't pose a health risk to wearers.

  • The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that as of November 1, 2021, the prohibition of cruise ships in Canadian waters would no longer be in effect if operators are able to fully comply with public health requirements. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • Biden-Harris administration provides nearly US$144-million in American Rescue Plan Funds to support COVID-19 response efforts in underserved communities. (News Release)

  • U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, is issuing the first Surgeon General's Advisory of this administration to warn the American public about the urgent threat of health misinformation. Health misinformation, including disinformation, have threatened the U.S. response to COVID-19 and continue to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk, and the advisory encourages technology and social media companies to take more responsibility to stop online spread of health misinformation. (News Release)

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced today that roughly US$15-billion dollars were paid to families that include nearly 60 million eligible children in the first monthly payment of the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan passed in March. Eligible families received a payment of up to US$300 per month for each child under age six and up to US$250 per month for each child age six to 17. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Small businesses are quick to apply for Calgary reopening grants. (CBC)

    • City council approved the C$15-million program last month to help businesses with reopening costs. The city said applications will be processed within 30 days of being received with the money flowing soon after. The deadline for applications is August 10, unless the grant money runs out sooner.

    • The reopening grants have three categories:

      • Bars, restaurants and pubs: C$2,500 each

      • Fitness centres: C$7,500 each

      • Entertainment establishments (night clubs and music venues): C$15,000

  • The Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery gives Albertans another incentive to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes fishing licences, Canmore Nordic Centre ski passes and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a special licence hunting tag for bighorn sheep, trophy pronghorn, elk or turkey. (News Release)

    • Albertans can have a chance to win these outdoor prizes by receiving their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and registering in the Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery by 11:59 p.m. Sept. 10. Due to the unique nature of these prizes, Albertans will be required to register separately for their chance to win. Anyone who already registered for the Open for Summer Lottery will need to register again specifically for the Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery if they want to win these prizes. Winners are expected to be announced on Sept. 17.

  • 232,582 cases, an increase of 46 on July 13, 569 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 148,228 cases, an increase of 41 since yesterday, 639 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ford outright rejects vaccine passports on eve of Step Three of COVID-19 reopening. (CBC)

    • Some businesses in the province have said that when Ontario enters Step Three of its reopening plan, patrons will need to show proof of vaccination upon arrival. Toronto Mayor John Tory has called on the provincial government to create a voluntary system that would aid individual businesses or organizations determine the vaccination status of patrons and members. The Toronto Region Board of Trade has also endorsed such an initiative.

    • Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Ontarians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can rely on the receipt printed or emailed to them after their second shot.

  • Ontario weighing COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain jobs. (CBC)

    • A draft provincial document obtained by CBC News reveals the government is wading through the legal and ethical issues involved in developing vaccination policies for certain employment sectors. Although the document frequently refers to "mandatory vaccination," the policy it ultimately recommends would not actually require any workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Rather, it would allow unvaccinated health-care workers to have contact with patients, provided that they wear full protective equipment (PPE) and undergo frequent screening for the coronavirus.   

  • As Ontario moves to Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021, the province is easing COVID-19-related restrictions in congregate care settings such as residences for adults with developmental disabilities, residences for children in care or with special needs, along with women’s shelters so residents can spend more time with family and friends. (News Release)

    • The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services congregate care guidance document and website have been updated with the following changes:

      • Scheduled indoor and outdoor visits for non-essential visitors are permitted in alignment with social gathering limits as outlined in the Roadmap to Reopen.

      • Overnight absences are permitted for all residents, with an updated active screening process with no requirement for a negative COVID-19 test for fully immunized residents.

  • Ontario invests in Science North, providing stability to one of Northern Ontario’s great tourism and cultural institutions. (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is investing more than C$8.9-million in Science North to support the 2021-22 operations, develop exhibits and online content, perform maintenance and repairs and deliver learning supports for students and teachers. These investments will help sustain operations, protect jobs and support short and long-term recovery planning following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • O. Reg. 524/21 Rules for Areas in Step 3 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 364/20 to update public health restrictions. It came into force on July 14, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 525/21 Extension of Orders (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 458/20 to replace “July 19, 2021” with “August 18, 2021.”

  • 547,705 cases, an increase of 143 since yesterday, 1,443 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council 1062-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 23, 2021. It is published in the Quebec Gazette Part II No. 28A on July 15, 2021. Ministerial orders 2021-052 and 2021-053 (included in previous digest) were published as well.

  • 376,109 cases, an increase of 65 since yesterday, 655 active cases, including one death.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Health Canada recalls two more hand sanitizers: MediCare Foaming Hand Sanitizer, which is produced by Dollarama L.P., as well as Pur-Vie, produced by Literies Universelles Paga Inc. (CTV)

    • The agency says that Pur-Vie was found to contain “elevated levels” of benzene, an impurity that may increase the risk of cancer and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat as well as headaches. As for MediCare Foaming Hand Sanitizer, Health Canada says this product may contain undeclared acetaldehyde, another potentially carcinogenic impurity, at elevated levels.

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced a bilateral agreement with Nunavut to expand virtual health care services for its residents. Under the agreement, the territory will receive over C$3.1-million to invest based on agreed-upon pan-Canadian priorities for accelerating virtual health care services, which have been instrumental for delivering care during the pandemic and are helping to improve access to much needed services. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities. (CTV)

  • Fauci says U.S. headed in 'wrong direction' on coronavirus. (CTV)

    • The United States is in an "unnecessary predicament" of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent Delta variant, the nation's top infectious diseases expert said Sunday. "We're going in the wrong direction," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, describing himself as "very frustrated." He said recommending that the vaccinated wear masks is "under active consideration" by the government's leading public health officials. Also, booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated.

  • A federal appeals court late on Friday reversed course and let stand a lower court order prohibiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from enforcing coronavirus-related cruise ship rules in Florida. The eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta had only on Saturday voted 2-1 to block the lower court decision. But in its latest brief statement, the three-judge appeals panel said it had withdrawn its earlier order on its own and was now rejecting the government's request because it had "failed to demonstrate an entitlement to a stay pending appeal (Reuters)

  • The United States will not lift any existing travel restrictions "at this point" due to concerns over the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant and the rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases, the White House confirmed on Monday. (Reuters)

  • Biden pushes for long COVID-19 sufferers to be protected by law. (Reuters)

    • President Joe Biden said Monday the White House is pushing for people with long-term symptoms of COVID-19 to be protected against discrimination, as he marked the anniversary of a landmark law for people with disabilities. U.S. agencies will coordinate to ensure people suffering from severe long-term health problems are protected after the end of their infections with the novel coronavirus, he said. That could include mandating new accommodations for those disabilities at restaurants, in workplaces, at school and in the healthcare system. The White House did not immediately provide additional details on the program.

Alberta

  • Critical Worker Benefit application extended to August 31. (News Release)

    • As Alberta’s economy recovers, small and medium-sized businesses are focused on reopening and rehiring staff. Many of these businesses also provided services to Albertans in the midst of the pandemic and have employees who are eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit. In order to make sure these businesses can focus on reopening while ensuring their employees can get the Critical Worker Benefit, the deadline for private sector employers to submit applications has been extended to August 31.

  • 233,160 cases, an increase of 98 on June 22, 799 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • British Columbia's regional health authorities have been getting creative with new ways to reach people who have yet to be partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This summer, pop-up clinics and mobile vaccination vans have been pulling up to parking lots, skate parks and highway pull-outs to help protect residents against the novel coronavirus. Tanis Hampe, vice-president of the pandemic response at Northern Health, says the health authority's approach is about reaching people where they're at. "The goal really is to provide opportunities for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine close to where they live and work," Hampe said. (CBC)

  • 148,842 cases, an increase of 112 on Friday, 603 active cases, including four deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario reports a slight increase in new COVID-19 cases, per cent positivity rate rises. (CTV)

    • The seven-day rolling average remains at 159, compared to 153 a week ago. Provincial labs processed more than 13,902 test specimens, generating a positivity rate of at least 1.1 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

  • The Ontario government is continuing to take steps to create a reliable, high-quality supply of locally made surgical masks to help protect workers in the public sector from the risk of COVID-19 and other illnesses. The province recently signed contracts with Viva Healthcare Packaging and Canada Masq to supply 500 million made-in-Ontario level one and level two surgical/protective masks over the next five years. (News Release)

  • Home Stretch Vaccine Push moves to Taylor-Massey neighbourhood in east end to encourage vaccine uptake. (News Release)

    • Nine micro-targeted pop-up clinics offering primarily Pfizer vaccine to residents age 12 and over will be set up throughout the east-end neighbourhood on the long weekend of July 31 to encourage vaccine uptake. Clinic locations are John’s No Frills, Massey Square, Secord Elementary School, Shoppers World Danforth and Victoria Supermarket. Clinics will feature entertainment and give-aways throughout the day. Hours of operation vary by clinic, some of which will open as early as 10 a.m. and operate at late as 8 p.m.

  • 549,447 cases, an increase of 461 since Friday, 1,429 active cases, including eight deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • Technical difficulties on first day to register in Quebec vaccination lottery. (CTV)

    • The registration period was supposed to be opened at 8 a.m. Sunday but the province's health ministry said that the website was "experiencing technical problems." "Work is underway to resolve the situation as fast as possible," the ministry wrote.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced further relaxation of public health restrictions for public events, bars and restaurants will take effect August 1, 2021 and apply to the entire province. Physical distancing remains mandatory as well as wearing masks in indoor public spaces.(News Release)

    • For public events with individual seating (includes sport events with bleachers or stands, assemblies, meetings, conventions or ceremonies and places of worship):

      • Outdoor event capacity is increased to 500

      • Indoor event capacity is increased to 250

    • Stadiums, venues and festivals will also see their reception capacity increased:

      • Outdoor event capacity is increased to 15,000 people, following the guidelines established for each type of event. 

      • Indoor event capacity is increased to 7,500 people. The capacity of each of the independent sections will also be increased to 500 people. 

    • Bars, restaurants and microbreweries will be able to serve alcohol until 1 a.m.

  • 376,828 cases, an increase of 75 since yesterday, 814 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Deputy Prime Minister highlights support through jobs and Growth Fund for Atlantic Canada. (News Release)

    • Announced on July 13, 2021, the C$700-million Jobs and Growth Fund aims to help businesses recover and grow, enhance competitiveness, support the green transformation of our economy, foster an inclusive recovery and create jobs in every corner of the country. This funding was first announced in Budget 2021 and will be delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. Eligible businesses could receive interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50 per cent of authorized costs. Eligible not-for profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90 per cent of authorized costs. Indigenous-led organizations and/or businesses may be eligible to receive up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs.

U.S. – Federal

  • Republican politicians ramp up pro-vaccination messaging as COVID-19 caseloads soar. (CBC)

    • The outreach comes as COVID-19 cases have nearly tripled in the U.S. over the last two weeks, with hospitalizations up 32 per cent since last week. Public health officials cite the new Delta variant, especially in pockets of the country where vaccination rates are low. Just 56.2 per cent of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the CDC. 

    • For months, many conservative lawmakers and pundits have been stoking vaccine hesitancy, refusing to take the shots or downplaying the severity of the virus, following the lead of former president Donald Trump. Republican governors have signed bills protecting the unvaccinated from having to disclose their status and tried to roll back mask mandates. Overall, only 51 per cent of Republicans said in mid-June that they had received at least one vaccine dose, versus 83 per cent of Democrats, according to an AP-NORC poll. 53 per cent who identify as Republicans and hadn't been vaccinated said they definitely wouldn't get the shots.

  • United States buys 200 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (Reuters)

    • A Biden administration official with knowledge of the contract said that as part of the agreement, Pfizer will provide the United States with 65 million doses intended for children under 12, including doses available immediately after the vaccine is authorized for that age group. The U.S. government also has the option to buy an updated version of the vaccine targeting new variants of the virus.

  • A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked authority for the national moratorium it imposed last year on most residential evictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Reuters)

    • The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling in March finding the CDC overstepped its authority when it issued the moratorium last year. The opinion by Judges Alan Norris, Amul Thapar and John Bush said dealing with the evictions during the pandemic could not be delegated to the CDC under existing law.

  • U.S. CDC advisers back J&J COVID-19 vaccine benefits amid neurological illness reports. (Reuters)

    • Despite reports of a rare neurological disorder appearing in some people who have received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, the benefits of its use outweigh the risks, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel said on Thursday. Given the possible association between GBS and the vaccine, CDC will update its considerations for the use of J&J's vaccine to say that patients with a history of GBS should first look at the availability of two-shot mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer Inc/BioNTech and Moderna.

Alberta

  • Alberta's top doctor says the majority of the province's new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated or within two weeks of their first shot. (CTV)

    • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who is Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said in a social media post that 96 per cent of Albertans who have tested positive for the virus since January 1 hadn't had two doses of vaccine. She said 91 per cent of COVID-19 deaths and 95 per cent of hospital and intensive care unit admissions followed the same trend in the past month.

  • Since launching in May, the Alberta Jobs Now program has approved approximately 2,700 applications from employers. This will help nearly 14,000 Albertans get back to work in the coming months. This is a clear signal that Alberta’s economy is ready to reopen, recover and grow. The program is seeing the highest demand for hiring in sectors such as science and technology, construction and the service industry. Due to the significant demand to the program and recognizing that the pace of recovery differs across industries, Alberta’s government is closing the first intake period. The first application intake period will now close on July 23. The second intake will open on September 16 and close on December 31. (News Release)

  • As of July 22, 75 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose of vaccine through Alberta Health Services, community pharmacies and physician clinics. Also, 61.3 per cent are now fully immunized with both doses. (News Release)

  • 233,062 cases, an increase of 106 on June 21, 676 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • COVID-19 cases in B.C. are up — but 78 per cent of new cases are among unvaccinated people. (CBC)

    • COVID-19 cases in B.C. are up, with the seven-day rolling average of new and active cases at the highest levels they've been in two weeks. On Thursday, the province announced 89 new cases of COVID-19 — the highest one-day total in a month. Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Friday that 78 per cent of new cases recorded between June 15 and July 15 were among unvaccinated people. Eighteen per cent were among people who had received one dose, while four per cent were among people who had been fully vaccinated. 

  • More than 80 anchor attractions and tour bus operators in B.C. will receive direct support for their recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the Major Anchor Attractions Program. Grants of up to C$1-million will be provided to both businesses and not-for-profits, including 23 urban anchor attractions, 34 rural anchor attractions and 26 tour bus operators. Recipients include Butchart Gardens, International Dragon Boat Festival, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Sea to Sky Gondola, Science World, Richmond Night Market, HR MacMillan Space Centre, Big White Ski Resort, Britannia Mine Museum, Hells Gate Airtram and Wilson’s Transportation. (News Release)

  • Disbursements from the Local Sport Relief Fund will help sporting organizations in the Lower Mainland, Thomson Okanagan, Kootenay, Northern B.C. and Vancouver Island recover from the pandemic as B.C. reopens.

    • There are more than 4,100 local sports organizations in B.C., many of which have faced financial challenges due to the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships because of the COVID-19 limits on gatherings for public safety. The Local Sport Relief Fund provides grants of up to C$7,500 to non-profit sports organizations to assist with expenses such as insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs and equipment essential to providing sports programs.

  • 148,730 cases, an increase of 89 since yesterday, 781 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's long-awaited paid sick day program — created to protect vulnerable workers from COVID-19 — has seen far less uptake than anticipated, new figures reveal. (CBC)

    • As of July 16, claims had been submitted for 39,887 employees since the program took effect, with an average of 1.8 days claimed per worker, according to published provincial numbers. When the program was introduced, provincial officials estimated the cost at C$750-million to C$1.5-billion. The claims made as of Wednesday — just past the mid-way point of the time-limited program — total C$13.2-million. That's less than two per cent of the low-end estimate.  

  • 548,986 cases, an increase of 192 since yesterday, 1,407 active cases, including one death.

Quebec

  • Quebec study aims to develop treatment for COVID-19 long-haulers. (CBC)

    • Spearheaded by epidemiologist and cardiologist Dr. Thao Huynh of the McGill University Health Centre, the Impact Quebec COVID-19 Long Haul Study aims to evaluate 200 adults of various ages experiencing long-term effects of the disease for one year. The C$250,000 project, financed by a Pfizer Inc. grant from September 2020, will allow researchers from McGill and Université de Sherbrooke to test subjects' cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal and urinary systems and their intellectual functioning.

  • 376,530 cases, an increase of 101 since yesterday, 752 active cases, including one death.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada is expecting vaccine shipments to keep rolling in this week as the country inches closer to matching the percentage of people in the United States fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (CTV)

    • The federal government expects another 1.4 million doses of the shot from Pfizer-BioNTech to arrive in the next seven days. It also plans to distribute the 1.5 million doses from Moderna that came in last Friday. To date, around 42.7 per cent of Canadian residents have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, giving them full protection against the virus. The U.S.'s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data tracker lists 48 per cent of that country's population as being fully immunized.

  • Canada’s so-called pandemic early warning system needs a series of reforms in order to be better prepared to respond to future emerging health threats, according to a new report issued Monday stemming from a federal independent review. (CTV)

    • In its final report issued Monday and called “Signals,” the federal government-struck independent review panel has issued 36 recommendations for how the system needs to recalibrate and evolve to keep up with the evolving technological landscape and to better monitor and analyze the massive amounts of information available to better inform its work.

    • The report says that surveillance was not well coordinated in the four years leading up to the arrival of the novel coronavirus partly due to the fact that a key position — chief health surveillance officer — had been left vacant since 2017 and was due to be eliminated.

  • Better vaccine outreach to younger Canadians needed as first doses slow, says Tam. (CTV)

    • As of July 3, two in three Canadians between 12 and 39 have had at least one dose, but that leaves 4.5 million Canadians in that age group without any protection. Comparatively, almost four in five people between 40 and 60 have at least one dose, and more than nine in 10 people over 60.

    • The number of first doses administered has plummeted from almost 250,000 a day in the first week of June, to less than 50,000 in the first week of July. Between June 26 and July 3, Health Canada data shows 359,635 people got their first dose, while 3.3 million got their second. Canada's overall vaccination pace slowed around the weekend after Canada Day, but seemed to bounce back a little by the end of this week. But more than 90 per cent of shots are going to second doses.

  • Canada said that while booster COVID-19 shots may be needed, it has received no request from Pfizer to approve one, and health authorities are currently studying the duration of protection from two doses. (CTV)

    • "Emerging data to date shows good immunity in most people out to 9 months after receiving 2 vaccine doses," Canada's public health agency said in a statement. "It is possible that Canadians will need a subsequent vaccination, or booster shot, after we have reached sufficient levels of community protection with the current rollout... Given the emergence of variants of concern, the need for future booster doses is being closely monitored," the ministry said.

  • Federal government launches Tourism Relief Fund to help tourism businesses and organizations recover and grow. (News Release)

    • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, launched C$500-million in funding for the new Tourism Relief Fund. Eligible organizations can now submit applications to support the tourism sector prepare to welcome back domestic travelers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination. Canada’s regional development agencies will deliver C$485-million directly to businesses and organizations to help them adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.

    • Indigenous communities that rely heavily on tourism have also been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In order to close this gap, the Government of Canada is investing a minimum of C$50-million of the Tourism Relief Fund in Indigenous tourism projects. In addition, C$15-million, delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will support destination development, seasonal and local attractions, and human resources and skills development.

  • The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced support for the operation, planning and positioning for recovery of Indigenous community businesses in the Atlantic Region through the Indigenous Community Business Fund. Over C$13-million in non-repayable financial contributions will help Indigenous community- or collectively-owned businesses to strengthen operations, support their viability and position them for recovery. (News Release)

  • Canada announces new contribution to global vaccination efforts and launch of matching fund with UNICEF Canada. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada will donate an additional 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, procured by Canada with an advance purchase agreement, to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX). The Government of Canada will also match, dollar for dollar, donations made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, up to a maximum of C$10-million. The matching fund campaign, called “Give A Vax,” will run to September 6, 2021. Canadians who want to donate to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign can do so by going to www.unicef.ca/giveavax or by texting VACCINES to 45678 to donate C$10.

  • Government of Canada funds five new projects to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • Public Safety Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Indigenous Services Canada are working with the Government of Yukon to send more public health professionals to help with coordination and contact tracing, social supports, as well as to ship laboratory equipment and personal protective equipment in response to the outbreaks in the Yukon. (News Release)

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 32 was published in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on July 10, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer Inc. will meet with federal health officials as soon as Monday to discuss the need for a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine as it prepares to seek authorization, the company said on Sunday. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta will not bring in vaccine passports, premier says. (CBC)

    • "We've been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports," Kenney told reporters at the annual premier's Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast on Monday. "I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act." Kenney replied "yes" when asked whether Alberta would speak up if the federal government attempted to bring in the passports.

  • 232,411 cases, an increase of 52 on July 8, 675 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • The following orders in council were issued on July 9, 2021:

    • Order in Council 428/2021 – Repeals BC Reg. 32/2021 (effective July 9, 2021) and repeals item 1 in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 429/2021 – Repeals item 11 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 430/2021 – Repeals BC Reg. 33/2021 (effective July 9, 2021) and items 1 and 5 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 431/2021 – Repeals item 5 in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act as of December 31, 2021

    • Order in Council 432/2021 – Repeals section 10 (1) (a) and (2) of item 2 and item 9 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective July 9, 2021) and repeals item 2 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 433/2021 – Repeals paragraph (c) of BC Reg. 188/2020 (effective July 9, 2021) and item 23.1 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 437/2021 – Replaces paragraph (b) of BB Reg. 215/2020 with “(b) effective December 31, 2021, item 23.2 in Schedule 2 is repealed.” (effective July 9, 2021)

  • 148,031 cases, an increase of 45 on Friday, 661 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • 547,263 cases, an increase of 459 since Friday, 1,610 active cases, including 14 deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • People who have had COVID-19 in the past and want to travel will be able to get a second dose of the vaccine. (News Release)

    • This decision is based on a recent update of the opinion of the Committee on Immunization of Quebec (CIQ). The CIQ now recommends a second dose for people with a history of COVID-19 who are planning a trip and who must meet the requirement for a double vaccination. For a person who does not wish to travel and does not have the obligation to meet the requirements of a double vaccination, the administration of a single dose for people who have had COVID-19 is considered sufficient and provides effective protection. It was announced that the vaccination passport will effectively recognize all adequately protected persons, including those with a history of infection.

  • Student financial assistance enhanced again for two years. (News Release)

    • This temporary measure gives students the option of adding an extraordinary allowable expense. Given the context of economic instability caused by the COVID-19 crisis as well as the difficulty some students have in finding affordable housing, this renewal is necessary to better support them financially and thus avoid dropping out.

    • Assistance will be extended to cover the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school terms. The additional expense is C$96 per month for students living with their parents and C$205 per month for others. Students deemed to be registered will also be eligible for this measure. Under the latter, the total amount of allowable living expenses will remain at approximately C$1,200 per month.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-053 amends Order in Council 885-2021 to update public health restrictions on physical distancing and capacity limits and comes into force on July 12, 2021.

    • Physical distancing reduced to one metre (except when working out or singing), retail capacity limits removed, sport venues with bleachers can accommodate 50 spectators indoors/100 spectators outdoors, masks still mandatory in public places. (CTV)

  • 375,915 cases, an increase of 52 since Friday, 651 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Amid attention on what the World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist recently said about mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada’s vaccination strategy is “bearing out,” with increasing take-up and steadily declining new infections. (CTV)

    • As of Tuesday, more than 50 per cent of Canadians who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. With 68 million doses expected to land by the end of July, Canada is on track to have everyone who is eligible fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the summer. According to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s daily statement, across the country new infections continue to decline with an average of 451 cases reported daily during the last seven days.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will work with provinces to ensure there is an "internationally accepted proof of vaccination" for international travel, but will leave domestic options up to the provincial governments. (CTV)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday added a warning to the fact sheet for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine saying that data suggests there is an increased risk of a rare neurological disorder in the six weeks after inoculation. (CTV)

    • In a letter to the company, the FDA classified the chances of getting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after vaccination as being "very low." Still, it said J&J vaccine recipients should seek medical attention if they have symptoms including weakness or tingling sensations, difficulty walking or difficulty with facial movements. GBS is a rare neurological condition in which the body's immune system attacks the protective coating on nerve fibers. Most cases follow a bacterial or viral infection. Most people fully recover from GBS.

  • The United States is reviewing the need for a third COVID-19 booster shot among residents who have already been vaccinated but needs to see more data to know if additional shots could raise people's risk of serious side effects, a U.S. health official said Tuesday. The official said the second dose for two-shot COVID-19 vaccine regimens was associated with higher rates of side effects, suggesting a third dose could potentially come with even greater risks. (Reuters)

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided US$398-million in funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program to 1,540 small rural hospitals for COVID-19 testing and mitigation. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta critical worker benefit leaves some frontline employees unrecognized. (CBC)

    • As a pandemic bonus program expands to reward another 77,000 frontline workers, some people say arbitrary and unfair distinctions are leaving out worthy employees. As of May 5, 5,800 of the 12,300 companies that had applied for the benefit were approved, which means 53 per cent of applicants were turned away.

  • Growing proportion of Alberta COVID-19 cases have no known source. (CBC)

    • While Alberta's daily COVID-19 case counts remain low compared with the peak of the third wave, a growing proportion of cases have no known source — a trend experts say is likely related to the province's reopening. According to provincial data, contact tracing had been unable to pinpoint a source of transmission for 39 per cent of active cases (246 of 624 active cases) and 40 per cent of those identified in the past week (125 of 312 cases between July 5 and July 11). Those numbers were hovering in the low 30s in early June.

    • Experts say the increase is to be expected now that Alberta has lifted virtually all of its restrictions. "What can happen as we reopen is people just have so many more contacts," said Carolyn Colijn, a math professor and infectious disease modeller at Simon Fraser University. "Now that things are completely reopen and people visit different venues, different workplaces, different social gatherings, of course that's a huge load on trying to identify and call people that might have been exposed," Colijn said.

  • Alberta to start lifting remaining continuing care restrictions. (News Release)

    • To support the health and safety of residents and staff, Alberta’s government will take a two-phase approach for easing remaining measures provincewide. The first phase will lift remaining visitor restrictions, current limits to dining and recreation activities and additional screening for residents who go off-site. Outbreak protocols, single-site staffing and other measures will remain in place until further notice. Facility operators have until July 31 to fully implement these changes.

  • The Alberta Government released the COVID-19 information: COVID-19 as a workplace hazard guidance document which outlines the OHS hazard assessment requirements for employers.

  • 232,501 cases, an increase of 90 since Friday, 624 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is providing C$1.1-million in additional funding to offer continued support for the province’s agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The pandemic continues to place financial pressures on agricultural and horticultural societies across the province as many will be unable to hold their primary revenue-generating fairs and events again this year. ​The government will provide up to C$5,000 for each eligible agricultural society and up to C$1,500 for each eligible horticultural society, equal to their 2019 grants. 

  • The Ontario government is providing more than C$1.8-million to help 109 Sault Ste. Marie businesses adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines and protect employees and customers. The funding is being delivered by the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) and will support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), installation of safety equipment, renovations and new construction. (News Release)

  • City of Toronto receives federal funding to support main street and small business recovery initiatives. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will provide C$19-million to the City of Toronto and its partners over the next two and a half years for investment in a range of main street and small business recovery initiatives. The City will receive C$18-million from FedDev Ontario to support Toronto’s Main Street Recovery and Rebuild program that includes the following initiatives:

      • Retail Accelerator Program

      • Main Street Innovation Fund

      • CaféTO (pending Council approval)

      • plazaPOPS

      • Support for Businesses in Little Jamaica/Eglinton West (in partnership with the Black Business Professional Association)

      • Vacant Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program (pending Council approval)

    • The City of Toronto also welcomes a C$1-million investment from FedDev Ontario for Destination Toronto’s support of the upcoming ShowLoveTO campaign to boost consumer confidence and encourage Toronto residents to discover, shop and dine at Toronto’s amazing small retail-based businesses and restaurants.

  • 547,409 cases, an increase of 146 since yesterday, 1,548 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • Six corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to quickly receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in Montréal, Estrie and the Capitale-Nationale. (News Release)

  • 375,969 cases, an increase of 54 since Friday, 635 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that Canada is on track to have everyone who is eligible fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the summer, noting that until around 80 per cent of people are completely immunized, the country will still be at risk for new surges. (CTV)

    • So far, more than 77 per cent of eligible Canadians have received their first dose and more than 36 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated. Citing Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s advice, Trudeau said the country should be aiming to get more than 80 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated “if we’re going to be safe.”

  • Canada and Quebec invest in 187 infrastructure projects to improve Quebec’s educational facilities. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$144.2-million through the new COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Quebec is also contributing nearly C$36.1-million, in addition to the significant funding already allocated by Quebec for the improvement of its educational infrastructure. Several of these projects are aimed at replacing or retrofitting the establishments’ electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning or security systems. Other projects involve repairing or renovating roofs, doors and windows, ceilings, as well as interior and exterior finishes. Many schoolyards will also be upgraded or redeveloped.

U.S. – Federal

  • Biden to zero in on Delta variant as U.S. approaches 160 million COVID-19 vaccinations. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • 232,236 cases, an increase of 44 on July 4, 831 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • An Ontario health unit is repeating COVID-19 vaccines for people who attended a clinic where some were injected with a saline solution instead of the shot. Niagara Region Public Health says six people were injected with the harmless saline substance on June 16 at a clinic in Port Colborne, Ont. (CTV)

  • City of Toronto launches RecoveryTO webpages to highlight Toronto’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. (News Release)

    • The RecoveryTO pages provide a snapshot of COVID-19 recovery-related city decisions, reports, data, dashboards and announcements. The information included on these webpages will help Torontonians easily access information about the city’s recovery actions, reports and data by providing a single source with links and highlights from Council decisions, staff reports, dashboards and media announcements. The webpages will be updated regularly and new highlights will be added as they become available.

  • 546,217* cases, an increase of 244* since yesterday, 1,883 active cases, including nine deaths.

*About 80 cases from 2020 have been included in Toronto Public Health’s case count today due to a data review and data cleaning initiative.
 
Quebec

  • People who are having difficulty obtaining their proof of vaccination can call the coronavirus information line for support. The telephone line is an additional means allowing citizens who do not have their proof of vaccination and who cannot obtain it from the self-service portal to speak to an attendant without having to go to a vaccination centre. (News Release)

    • Citizens can call 1 877 644-4545 (or the telephone code corresponding to the region concerned) and choose the “proof of vaccination” option. The service will be available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Note that people under the age of 14 will not be able to download their proof of vaccination from the portal. Work is underway to make the evidence accessible through the portal.

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in Montreal, Estrie, the Laurentians, Montérégie, the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that starting July 6, the online appointment booking system will allow people to book their second dose of vaccine with an interval of four weeks (28 days). (News Release)

  • Ministerial Order 2021-051 amends Ministerial Order 2020-107 to include “adequately vaccinated” definition.

  • 375,262 cases, an increase of 67 since yesterday, 799 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian Blood Services has issued an urgent appeal for blood donations as surgical procedures put on hold during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic begin again. (CTV)

    • The Canadian Blood Services said that while all blood types help patients, there is a specific need for donors with O-negative blood type, which is known as the “universal donor,” as their blood donation is compatible with everyone. The organization said that it will maintain all of the COVID-19 safety protocols in all of its facilities across the country, adding that appointments are still required to donate blood in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s mandate on physical distancing. To find an appointment near you, call 1-888-2-DONATE or 1-888-236-6283 or book online at blood.ca

  • Canada and Quebec are investing in 209 infrastructure projects to modernize health, social services and long-term care facilities. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is contributing C$144.3-million through the new COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Quebec is contributing nearly C$44-million. Several of these projects are aimed at modernizing or reconfiguring facilities at various hospital centres to optimize space and take into account physical distancing requirements and other post-pandemic realities. In addition, many multi-service centres, local community service centres, reception centres and residential and long-term care facilities will receive funding to upgrade their electrical, ventilation or air conditioning systems or to renovate common areas and washrooms to improve safety and well-being.

  • The following regulations were published in the Canada Gazette Part II today:

    • SOR/2021-140 Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code (Medical Devices, COVID-19)

    • SOR/2021-163 Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations

    • SOR/2021-164 Regulations Amending the Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations

U.S. – Federal

  • The Delta variant is already the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States according to data modelling done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CTV)

    • According to the health agency's estimates, the Delta variant became dominant in the country over the two weeks ending July 3, with 51.7 per cent of cases linked to the variant that was first identified in India. The proportion of cases linked to the Alpha variant which was first identified in Britain and had been dominant in the United States so far, fell to 28.7 per cent.

  • U.S. industry groups and lawmakers press White House to lift travel restrictions. (Reuters)

    • A coalition of 24 industry organizations on Wednesday urged the White House to lift restrictions that bar much of the world from traveling to the United States. Separately, 75 members of the U.S. House of Representatives called on Biden to reopen the U.S. border with Canada to non-essential travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19 in U.S. government meetings. Industry and U.S. officials told Reuters they do not expect the administration to lift restrictions soon.

Alberta

British Columbia

  • 147,797 cases, an increase of 46 since yesterday, 602 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's top doctor is calling for all eligible people — especially young adults and teens — to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the planned return to schools in September. (CBC)

    • In Ontario, 78 per cent of Ontario adults have at least one dose of a vaccine and 46 per cent are fully vaccinated. Vaccination coverage is higher among older Ontarians and the rate lags slightly behind when it comes to young adults. Sixty-eight per cent of the population aged 18 to 29 has received the first dose and 66 per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 have their first shots.

  • 546,411 cases, an increase of 194 since yesterday, 1,841 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Due to the favourable epidemiological situation and the vaccination coverage in Quebec, new relaxations will come into effect as of Monday, July 12 at 12:01 a.m. They will apply everywhere in Quebec, all regions currently at the new green level. (News Release)

    • Social distancing between people from different households has been lowered to one metre both indoors and outdoors. However, for singing activities and for high intensity exercise in gyms, the two metre distance should be maintained. In addition, wearing a face cover remains compulsory in public places, as is currently the case.

    • There will no longer be capacity restrictions in retail stores. Merchants must however manage traffic in order to be able to maintain a distance of one metre at all times between people of different residences. Wearing a mask or face cover remains mandatory.

    • In indoor and outdoor places with fixed seats, a seat must remain free between people from different residences. The distance of one metre must be kept in common areas.

    • During sporting/leisure events where spectators remain seated in stands, bleachers or fixed seats, the maximum number of spectators authorized per sports area is 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

    • CNESST will distribute, by the time these relaxations come into force, the necessary documentation so that workplaces can apply them in accordance with the health and safety of workers in Quebec.

  • Twelve corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montreal, in the Eastern Townships, in the Laurentians, in the Centre-du-Québec, in Montérégie, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • 375,365 cases, an increase of 103 since yesterday, 807 active cases, including one death.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said today her team is having "focused discussions" with the provinces on how to limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading among children who can't receive a vaccine yet. (CBC)

    • While much of the adult population in Canada has received at least one dose, none of the vaccines cleared for use by Health Canada have been approved for children under the age of 12. Several trials are underway to test the effectiveness and safety of existing vaccines. Dr. Caroline Quach, then chair of Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization, has said that an approved vaccine for kids isn't expected until 2022. As a result, questions are being asked about the return of school in the fall.

  • Amid calls to present a comprehensive border reopening plan before thinking about calling a federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that it’s going to be “quite a while” yet before Canada is ready to welcome in any tourists who are unvaccinated. (CTV)

    • The prime minister said that he understands the impatience to return to as much of pre-pandemic normalcy as possible but the government remains hesitant to put dates or timelines on the table for when the month-over-month extensions of the international and Canada-U.S. border restrictions could be lifted. “Before we get to reflecting on what international travellers who are not fully vaccinated might be able to do…The next step will be looking at what measures we can allow for international travellers who are fully vaccinated. That will be our first focus, and we will have more to say in the coming weeks,” Trudeau said, promising continued aid for the tourism businesses.

  • Canada is “within reach” of fully vaccinating 80 per cent of those currently eligible against COVID-19 if momentum is kept up, but federal public health officials are cautioning that uptake is starting to slow. (CTV)

    • As of midday Thursday, more than 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada, seeing more than 26 million people, or 77.9 per cent of those eligible, receive at least one dose and 15 million people, or 44.8 per cent of those ages 12 and older, fully vaccinated. With the focus on seeing all those who received their first shots going back for their second, the number of Canadians who are showing up for their first shots is currently increasing at a slower pace. Tam said that in order to get and stay ahead of more highly transmissible variants such as the Delta and Lambda strains of COVID-19 when Canadians head back indoors over the fall and winter, the country needs to reach “the highest possible vaccine coverage as quickly as possible.”

    • Tam said that those who appear to be less eager to “offer their arm” are young people, marginalized populations and in certain smaller communities across the country. She said that reaching those who are unvaccinated is a priority across levels of governments and public health authorities.

  • Canada and Quebec invest in 176 infrastructure projects to improve facilities at post‑secondary institutions in the province. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Danielle McCann, Minister of Higher Education, announced a total of C$220-million in joint funding for these 176 infrastructure projects. The Government of Canada is investing over C$144.3-million through the new COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Quebec is also contributing more than C$75.7-million.

U.S. – Federal

  • COVID-19 cases are up around 11 per cent over the previous week, almost entirely among people who have not been vaccinated officials said on Thursday, as the highly infectious Delta variant becomes the dominant COVID-19 strain in the country. (Reuters)

  • The Biden administration will not immediately lift any international travel restrictions, even as it faces growing pressure from U.S. business groups and lawmakers. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta continues to be a leader in Canada in administering second doses, with 50.7 per cent of eligible Albertans having received both doses. As of July 6, 73.6 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

  • 232,336 cases, an increase of 67 on July 6, 745 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • 147,856 cases, an increase of 59 since yesterday, 624 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Over half of Ontario adults now vaccinated with second dose. (News Release)

    • Health care workers across the province have administered more than 16 million doses since the start of the rollout, with Ontario ranking as one of the world’s leading jurisdictions for population percentage to have received their first dose. To date, more than 78 per cent of adults aged 18 and over have received at least a first dose and more than 51 per cent have received both doses, ensuring the strongest possible protection against COVID-19.

  • The Ontario government is investing C$16.3-million in Destination Toronto and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) to support tourism sector recovery in one of Ontario’s key gateway cities. (News Release)

    • Destination Toronto will receive C$9-million to help with workforce development, drive demand to the region and to create new niche tourism products and activities. This funding will be used to help alleviate losses, aid in recovery and ensure Toronto’s tourism businesses are ready to attract more international visitors to Ontario. The MTCC will receive up to C$7.3-million in stabilization funding to support its continued operation and maintenance. The funding will be used to cover core operating costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance and health and safety costs, enabling the MTCC to sustain operations, prevent insolvency and prepare for re-opening.

  • Team Toronto set to launch Home Stretch Vaccine Push focused in north-west neighbourhoods where vaccination rates are the lowest. (News Release)

    • As part of Team Toronto’s ongoing efforts to help to remove barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, a one-week hyper-local vaccination initiative will be launched in the north-west part of the city starting on July 10. Using neighbourhood-level data, more than a dozen micro-focused clinics are being planned to take place across six priority neighbourhoods starting this weekend: Elms – Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village – The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston and Englemount-Lawrence.

    • In an effort to break down all remaining barriers to access, the clinics, which will be predominantly administering the Pfizer vaccine for both first and second doses, will be located in and near buildings where residents live and offer flexible afternoon and evening hours to accommodate frontline workers. Extensive multilingual community-based canvassing by community ambassadors will be incorporated through a variety of Team Toronto community agency partners. Other outreach tactics will also be implemented through the city’s VaxTO campaign, including text-based messaging, emails, telephone voice broadcasts and outreach calls from the VaxTO call centre in order to increase access to vaccination clinics as well as vaccination rates.

  • City of Toronto “VaxTO” campaign expands multilingual features and establishes call centre as it continues to connect residents with vaccine information. (News Release)

    • Residents can now connect to vaccination information in the language of their choice through one of 12 translated city microsites. Language options are aligned to the Sprint Strategy 2.0 neighbourhoods and include French, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Farsi (Persian), Portuguese, Spanish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Bengali, Italian, Tamil and Tagalog. VaxTO is also expanding multilingual social and digital advertising efforts across popular social platforms WeChat, Reddit, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.

  • City of Toronto opening Toronto Congress Centre vaccination clinic to walk-ins. (News Release)

    • Beginning Thursday, July 8, the City of Toronto is making walk-in vaccinations available at the Toronto Congress Centre COVID-19 vaccine clinic. From this Thursday to Sunday, approximately 2,000 vaccinations will be available each day for walk-in clients. Walk-in vaccinations are open to anyone age 18 or older to receive a first or second dose of an mRNA vaccine.

    • Walk-ins will be accepted from noon to 7 p.m. daily at the City’s Toronto Congress Centre clinic only. All city-operated vaccination clinics administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine to everyone age 18 and older. The City will be evaluating the effectiveness of the walk-in program and will consider expanding walk-in appointments to other City-operated vaccination clinics based on clinic capacity and appointment availability.

  • O. Reg. 518/21 Extension of Orders amends O. Reg. 25/21 by extending the revocation date of several orders to July 28, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 519/21 Rules of Areas in Step Two amends O. Reg. 263/20. It came into force on July 7, 2021.

  • 546,621 cases, an increase of 210 since yesterday, 1,816 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

  • The Legault government plans to use proof of vaccination to limit people's access to non-essential services if the COVID-19 situation worsens in the fall. (News Release)

    • The vaccination passport will work from three principles: 

      • It will be used when the possibility of having access to two doses of vaccine has been offered to the entire Quebec population aged 12 and over; so the target date for the implementation of vaccination passport is September 1, 2021.

      • It will be used only if there is a deterioration or a change in the epidemiological situation in a given territory which would justify its use.

      • It will not be used for access to public or essential services, only for non-essential activities and in the following settings: 

        • High-risk activities involving a limited number of people (gyms, practice of team sports, bars, restaurants, etc.)

        • Moderate or low risk activities, bringing together a larger number of people (arts and entertainment, festivals and major events, sports matches, etc.)

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centers will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montreal, in the Eastern Townships, in the Laurentians, in the Centre-du-Québec, in Montérégie, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • The Ministry for the Economy has announced funding in the 2021-2022 fiscal year towards the economic revival of city centers.

  • Order in Council 937-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 16, 2021. It was published in the Quebec Gazette Part II No. 27A on July 8, 2021. Ministerial orders 049-2021 and 051-2021 (included in previous digest) were published as well.

  • 375,429 cases, an increase of 64 since yesterday, 716 active cases, including 10 deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada and Ontario invest more than C$3.8-million in municipal infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in the City of Ottawa. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$3.1-million through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than C$779,000. The majority of funding will support the rehabilitation of municipal buildings, community centres and arenas across the city.

  • Competition Bureau investigates Canada Tax Reviews’ marketing practices regarding pandemic benefit programs. (News Release)

    • The Competition Bureau has obtained a court order to advance an ongoing investigation into potentially false or misleading claims made by Canada Tax Reviews when promoting services to Canadians wanting to apply for government benefit programs implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Recovery Benefit.

U.S. – Federal

  • Vaccinated teachers and students in the U.S. don't need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools. (CTV)

    • The new schools guidance says:

      • No one at schools needs to wear masks at recess or in most other outdoor situations. However, unvaccinated people are advised to wear masks if they are in a crowd for an extended period of time, like in the stands at a football game.

      • Ventilation and handwashing continue to be important. Students and staff also should stay home when they are sick.

      • Testing remains an important way to prevent outbreaks, but the CDC also says people who are fully vaccinated do not need to participate in such screenings.

      • Separating students into smaller groups or cohorts continues to be a good way to help reduce spread of the virus. However, the CDC discouraged putting vaccinated and unvaccinated kids in separate groups, saying schools shouldn't stigmatize any group or perpetuate academic, racial or other tracking.

  • The CDC and FDA issued a joint statement saying vaccine boosters were not needed at this time despite plans by Pfizer to ask U.S. regulators for authorization of a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. (CBC)

Alberta

  • 232,359 cases, an increase of 23 on July 7, 697 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • People in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living and their loved ones will have more ways to safely spend time together, with a further easing of visitation rules coming into effect on July 19, 2021. (News Release)

    • Changes to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living include:

      • Visitors will no longer need to schedule or book in advance to visit loved ones and the limit on the number of visitors for each resident will be removed.

      • Fully immunized visitors can visit with residents without wearing a mask.

      • Larger facility-wide social events or gatherings are safe to begin again.

      • Indoor gatherings may include residents and staff across units of a facility, while outdoor gatherings may include family and friends.

      • Adult day programs and in-facility respite can fully resume, providing additional health and well-being benefits for seniors and caregivers in the community. 

    • The screening of visitors and practices such as hand hygiene, use of medical masks and physical distancing will remain in place when visitation restrictions are eased. It is strongly recommended that visitors choose to get fully immunized against COVID-19 in order to lower the risk to people in long-term care settings. At the same time, new public health requirements around vaccinations will add protections for people in long-term care. Effective July 19, new requirements to better protect seniors will include:

      • A PHO order will require all long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities to provide public health with information on all residents, staff, personal service providers and volunteers so their immunization status can be determined.

      • Workers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask at work and be tested for COVID-19 regularly using rapid tests.

      • Volunteers and personal service providers entering long-term care settings must be fully vaccinated.

      • Masks are required for visitors who are not fully vaccinated. Masks will not be required for visitors who are fully vaccinated, except when travelling through common areas.

      • Each site will continue to maintain a sign-in list for contact tracing purposes and actively promote adherence to all infection prevention control protocols.

  • The Provincial Health Officer has issued the following updated public health orders:

  • 147,915 cases, an increase of 59 since yesterday, 649 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen on July 16. (News Release)

    • Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:

      • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions

      • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people

      • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing

      • Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect

      • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open, subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less

      • Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect. Capacity limit to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less)

      • Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres

      • Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres

      • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions and festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors

      • Concert venues, cinemas and theatres permitted to operate at:

        • Up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)

        • Up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less)

      • Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres

      • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less)

    • O. Reg. 520/21 Rules for Areas at Step 3 and O. Reg. 521/21 Steps of Reopening (both made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act) provides a full list of public health measures and outlines the regions at Step 3, respectively. 

  • The Ontario government is providing more than C$3.8-million to help 215 businesses in the Thunder Bay region adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines and protect employees and customers. The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program and will support the purchase of personal protective equipment, installation of safety equipment, renovations and new construction. (News Release)

  • City of Toronto expanding walk-in vaccination to four City-run clinics. (News Release)

    • Starting Saturday at noon, walk-ins can attend four City-run vaccination clinics. Moving forward, walk-in vaccinations will be available daily from noon to 7 p.m. All City-operated vaccination clinics administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine to everyone age 18 and older. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for youth 12 to 17.

      • Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 277 Front St. W.

      • Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.

      • The Hangar, 75 Carl Hall Rd.

      • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall

  • 546,804 cases, an increase of 183 since yesterday, 1,757 active cases, including nine deaths.

Quebec

  • The Ministry for the Economy has announced funding in the 2021-2022 fiscal year towards the economic revival of city centres.

  • Reimbursement programs for certain medical, optometric or dental expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic. (News Release)

    • These temporary measures are intended to help people who lost their eligibility for certain medical, dental and optometric between March 16 and September 1, 2020. This will compensate the financial consequences resulting from the closure of non-emergency care clinics in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information relating to the eligibility of care and the claims process will be available on the website of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec prior to the entry into force of these new measures.

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montréal, in the Eastern Townships, in the Laurentians, in the Centre-du-Québec, in Montérégie, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • Ministerial Order 2021-052 permits high school graduation ceremonies with a 250 student capacity limit. It came into force on July 8, 2021.

  • 375,716 cases, an increase of 77 since yesterday, 711 active cases, including one death.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Border restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians loosen but plan for wider reopening remains unclear. (CBC)

    • As of today, Canadians and permanent residents who have completed their doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada are now able to forgo the 14-day quarantine, which has been a requirement since March of last year. Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents who arrive by air will also be allowed to skip out on the federal government's required stay in a government-approved hotel. However, the travel restrictions between Canada and the United States preventing all non-essential trips, including tourism, are to remain in place until at least July 21.

    • Today's gradual reopening marks the first time Canadians and permanent residents have to start showing electronic proof of their vaccinations. Those entering the country must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the government's ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic and have a suitable quarantine plan. Travellers are required to submit a suitable quarantine plan even if they're "seeking the fully vaccinated exemption.” The federal government also said children who aren't fully vaccinated will be able to go home with their parents, but must quarantine and follow testing rules.

  • Government of Canada funds three new projects to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Indigenous Primary Health Care Council will receive funding to develop and implement educational outreach sessions and resources for non-Indigenous health care providers so they can better promote vaccine uptake among Indigenous clients and their families in a culturally safe and trauma-informed way. The University Health Network will receive funding to develop COVID-19 vaccine education initiatives specifically for personal support workers that will build their confidence in vaccines and their capacity to effectively counsel and support their colleagues, communities and clients/patients to make informed COVID-19 vaccine choices. The Women's College Hospital will receive funding to educate and build the capacity of non-physician health care practitioners and other essential workers in long-term care facilities and home care settings as vaccinators and vaccine promoters. 

  • Beginning July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers, arriving by land or air, who are eligible to enter Canada and who comply with specific criteria will not be required to quarantine or complete a day-eight test. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized accommodation (GAA) to await their on-arrival test result. (News Release)

  • PC 2021-665 amends the Order to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Canada (quarantine, isolation and other obligations) to bring it into force on July 5, 2021.

  • The following were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on July 3, 2021:

U.S. – Federal

  • Fewer than half of U.S. states have reached the White House's July Fourth vaccine goal. (CTV)

    • Twenty states have reached the Biden administration's goal to partially vaccinate 70 per cent of American adults by the Fourth of July as the Delta variant spreads and people gather for holiday celebrations across the country. The U.S. reached its highest vaccination rate in mid-April when the seven-day average of doses administered daily topped 3.3 million. At that time, 1.8 million new people became fully vaccinated each day. But that rate was not sustained, dropping to a seven-day average of 1,121,064 doses given per day as of Saturday. About 685,472 people are becoming fully vaccinated daily.

  • The Government has released the U.S. COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework which provides a focused set of objectives and lines of effort under which U.S. departments of agencies are executing a whole-of-government response. This response aims to shorten the lifespan of and ultimately end the COVID-19 pandemic globally; mitigate its wider harms to people and economies and support the global recovery; and build back better to strengthen international readiness for future biological threats. (News Release)

  • The U.S. Department of Labor today announced grants to fund New York, Connecticut and Illinois’ Short-Term Compensation Program which seeks to prevent layoffs by allowing an entire group of workers to receive a partial unemployment benefit payment while their employer reduces their hours.

    • US$6,458,984 grant to the New York Department of Labor

    • US$1,187,842 grant to the Connecticut Department of Labor

    • US$4,187,442 grant to the Illinois Department of Employment Security

Alberta

British Columbia

  • Health officials are bringing COVID-19 vaccines to some popular beaches in B.C.'s Lower Mainland in a push to get more people immunized. (CTV)

    • Fraser Health is setting up walk-in clinics at Surrey's Crescent Beach and at Cultus Lake, near Chilliwack, in the hopes of attracting beachgoers who haven't yet received a shot, particularly young adults and families. The Crescent Beach clinic will be operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at 12150 Beacher St. The Cultus Lake location will be operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the main beach.

  • Students, faculty and staff at B.C.’s colleges and universities are being supported to come back together for in-person learning this fall, informed by the release of new Return-to-Campus Guidelines. This follows the announcement that B.C. has transitioned to Step Three of the Province’s restart plan. (News Release)

  • The Provincial Health Officer has updated the following public health orders:

  • 147,705 cases, an increase of 128 since June 30, 729 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • Teachers' union calls on province to consult on COVID-19 safety measures before schools reopen. (CBC)

    • With just two months before the new academic year begins, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation says it wants to see a concrete plan from the province for reopening schools well before late August. Among other things, the union is calling for improved ventilation and air filtration in school buildings, a possible reduction of class sizes and continued masking if necessary to ensure that the federation's 60,000 members, students returning to school and their parents feel reassured that the schools are safe. The union represents 20,000 teachers.

  • Starting on July 5, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., youth aged 12 to 17 across the province will be eligible to book an accelerated second dose appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine through the provincial booking system, directly through public health units that use their own booking system and through participating pharmacies. (News Release)

  • The City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including a second dose. More than 44,000 vaccine appointments are available in the provincial booking system for city-operated clinics this week. Appointments can be booked online or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900. (News Release)

    • Anyone with an existing appointment at a hospital or other vaccination partner clinic who is now booking an earlier appointment at a city-run clinic or unable to attend their appointment is urged to cancel the existing appointment by contacting the partner clinic directly.

  • 545,973 cases, an increase of 876 since June 30, 1,967 active cases, including 47 deaths.

Quebec

  • Five corporate vaccination centers will offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in Montreal, Estrie and Montérégie on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. (News Release)

  • Effective July 2, 2021, the capacity for festivals and outdoor events has increased to 5,000. Unassigned sections can accommodate 500 with two metres between people and assigned sections require one metre between people. (News Release)

  • Order in Council 893-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 9, 2021. It was published in the Quebec Gazette Part II No. 26B on July 2, 2021. Ministerial Order 2021-048 (included in previous digest) was also published.

  • Ministerial Orders 2021-049 and 2021-050 amend Order in Council 855-2021 to increase the capacity limits for outdoor events and came into effect on July 2, 2021.

  • Regulation respecting the establishment of an exceptional temporary measure for the executive staff of school service centres owing to the COVID-19 pandemic (in relation to leave for senior school staff) was published in the Quebec Gazette Part II No. 26A on July 2, 2021. It came into force on July 2.

  • 375,195 cases, an increase of 118 since July 1, 818 active cases, including four deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Deputy Prime Minister Highlights Tourism Relief Fund Support for Atlantic Canada. (News Release)

    • With C$48.5-million in funding for the Atlantic region tourism sector, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will provide direct support to tourism businesses and organizations to help them create or enhance tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors and recover from the pandemic. These investments will also help the sector safely welcome international visitors by providing the best tourism experiences Atlantic Canada has to offer. Tourism businesses and organizations can visit the Tourism Relief Fund page to see if they are eligible and to submit an application.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control is likely to advise that kids who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks when they return from summer holidays to school in the fall. The CDC recommendations are not binding and school mask requirements will be decided on a district-by-district basis. To date, some have adopted more stringent requirements while others have none at all. (Reuters)

  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will implement a series of programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest the US$3-billion it received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to help communities across the country build back better. The EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades. (News Release)

  • Biden Administration to invest more than US$1.6-billion to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in vulnerable communities. (News Release)

    • This funding will support expanded COVID-19 testing and mitigation measures for mental health and substance use providers, homeless shelters, group homes and other congregate settings, and federal, state and local prison populations.

  • Biden-Harris Administration provides US$100-million to rural health clinics for COVID-19 vaccine outreach in their communities to increase vaccinations. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta’s government and a coalition of businesses have partnered to launch a new mobile vaccination clinic focusing on worksites, rural and hard-to-reach communities. (News Release)

  • 232,956 cases, an increase of 81 on June 20, 649 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • 148,641 cases, an increase of 78 since yesterday, 729 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario science table says vaccine certificates could be used to speed up reopening of high-risk settings. (CTV)

    • The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table published a 21-page brief providing their key considerations on a possible vaccination certification program, concluding that provincial governments "may want to consider development of a common design."  On a longer-term basis, the brief says they could serve as a secure and standardized way to show immunization records. Officials pointed to schools and workplaces that require mandatory reporting of immunization status as potential sites where vaccine certificate programs could be useful. According to the brief, vaccine certificates could be used in Ontario on a short-term basis to help reopen higher risk settings, such as indoor dining, bars, gyms, cultural and sports events, sooner or at an increased capacity.

  • The Ontario government is providing over C$1-million to 57 businesses in Timmins and over C$1.7-million to 85 businesses in the Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk–James Bay regions to help them adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines. This investment will support building renovations, the installation of safety equipment and the purchase of personal protective equipment.

  • 548,794 cases, an increase of 185 since yesterday, 1,363 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services published the most recent update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers in the health and social services network. (News Release)

    • Cases

      • After a decrease in cases every week for more than three months, the number of new cases increases very slightly compared to the previous week (505 versus 459).

      • Almost three quarters of cases are concentrated in people under the age of 40. This proportion has been increasing for more than two months.

    • Hospitalizations

      • The number of anticipated hospitalizations (11) is similar to that of the previous week (14).

      • The number of cases that could require a stay in intensive care (two) is the same as last week.

  • Order in Council 1069-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 30, 2021. It was published in the Canada Gazette No. 29A on July 22, 2021.

  • 376,429 cases, an increase of 99 since yesterday, 597 active cases, including three deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Health Canada has updated the labels for Pfizer and Moderna and AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD vaccines to warn of rare and serious side effects.

    • Pfizer and Moderna: Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart, following vaccination have been reported in a small number of people in Canada and internationally.

    • AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD: Capillary leak syndrome is a very rare and serious condition that causes fluid leakage from small blood vessels (capillaries), which can result in the swelling of the arms and legs, sudden weight gain, low blood pressure, thickening of the blood and low levels of the albumin blood protein. There has been one case of capillary leak syndrome following vaccination reported in Canada. Health Canada has also updated the label for the vaccines with information about very rare events of blood clots associated with low levels of platelets following immunization.

  • Government of Canada funds four new projects to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) will receive funding to work with primary care providers across Canada to support vaccine uptake among their patients. Nova Scotia's Department of Health and Wellness will receive funding to implement a culturally relevant education and outreach campaign to promote the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines to African Nova Scotians. The University of British Columbia will receive funding to develop an interprovincial network of workshops across the four Western provinces to enhance vaccine uptake. Women's Health in Women's Hands will receive funding for its project to develop and implement culturally tailored and responsive tools, resources and webinars to improve vaccine uptake among women from the African, Caribbean, Black, Latin American and South Asian communities living in Toronto and surrounding areas.

  • Government expands Canada Workers Benefit to support one million more Canadians. (News Release)

    • The government is expanding eligibility by making the benefit available to those with incomes up to:

      • C$32,244 as single Canadians, without children

      • C$42,197 as single-earner families

      • C$56,197 as double-earner families

    • This expansion includes a new provision which allows secondary earners in couples, most of whom are women, to exclude up to C$14,000 of their working income when calculating the benefit, allowing them to access a more generous tax refund. 

  • The Government of Canada launches online calculator to help businesses apply for the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program. (News Release)

    • This calculator integrates the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, automatically showing applicants which subsidy will provide them with more support based on the information they enter. 

  • Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1, SC 2021 c. 23 (Bill C-30), received Royal Assent on June 29, 2021 and comes into force on various dates. 

    • Part 1 (which includes amendments to the Income Tax Act) and Part 4 Division 12 (funding for Canada’s COVID-19 immunization plan) came into force on Royal Assent. Part 4 Division 34 (COVID-19-related benefits and leave) came into force on June 19, 2021 except for the coordinating amendments provision. Part 4 Division 35 (benefits and leave related to employment) comes into force on various dates as outlined in the statute.

U.S. – Federal

  • As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed by President Biden, the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is again lowering the cost of health insurance and opening more pathways for Americans to obtain affordable and comprehensive health coverage. Starting July 1, 2021, consumers who received or are approved to receive unemployment compensation for any week beginning in 2021 may be able to find even lower cost plans and save extra money on out-of-pocket expenses through HealthCare.gov. (News Release)

Alberta

  • The Government has released a 2021-2022 school year plan which is focused on a normal return to school with in-class learning for the majority of students in fall 2021. The plan outlines key elements for the resumption of learning. Recognizing the dynamic nature of COVID-19, the appendix contains two contingency plans in the unlikely event that they may be needed.

  • 231,911 cases, an increase of 61 on June 28, 1,132 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • O. Reg. 502/21 Rules of Areas in Step 2 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 263/20 in relation to businesses providing health and safety training.

  • 544,897 cases, an increase of 184 since yesterday, 1,132 active cases, including 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • The government favours a gradual return of employees to the workplace as of September. (News Release)

  • Nine corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the regions of Montreal, Estrie, Centre-du-Québec, Montérégie, Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • 374,857 cases, an increase of 126 since yesterday, 891 active cases, including three deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is in limbo with no additional Canadian shipments planned. (CBC)

    • A government official said Canada has ordered 10 million doses of this product but "at this time, there are no additional shipments confirmed.” Joelle Paquette, the director general responsible for vaccine procurement at Public Services and Procurement Canada, said earlier this month that Johnson & Johnson would deliver some of its shots by the end of June. With just one day left in the month, that shipment is now no longer expected. There's no word on when more doses could arrive either. Speaking at a COVID-19 briefing for journalists today, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the Johnson & Johnson contract remains in place and Canada could draw on supplies from this company at a later date.

  • The number of Canadians who have died because of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely double than shown in the official numbers, according to a disturbing news report published by the Royal Society of Canada. (CTV)

    • The report, which looked at excess deaths, suggests that largely racialized communities and essential workers were the ones caught in the crosshairs, often perishing at home and going unreported as COVID-19 deaths. This contradicts our current understanding of COVID-19 fatalities in Canada as being overwhelmingly concentrated in long-term care, a focus which may have distracted us from other communities in need.

    • The report pointed out that if a person died mysteriously and had symptoms clinically similar to COVID-19 cases, if they did not have a known close contact who had COVID-19, their death would not be considered to be connected to COVID-19 unless a post-mortem was done to confirm the cause of death. During the peak of outbreaks, when contact tracing was overwhelmed, this could mean many were left out.

  • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has developed a free online course to help organizations in Canada conduct a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment and safety plan. The COVID-19 Workplace Risk Assessment and Safety Plan is available in English and French. The course outlines the steps needed to plan and conduct a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment and to plan and evaluate a workplace safety plan.  (News Release)

  • Canada and Ontario invest more than C$51.2-million in municipal infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southwestern, Midwestern and Central Ontario. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is investing more than C$40.9-million in municipalities through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing over C$10.2-million. Funding will support the development of modern and accessible recreational spaces and the replacement of equipment in health and emergency facilities. Other investments include increased options for active transportation and the renovation of municipal infrastructure and community centres to provide safe and inclusive spaces for residents across Southwestern, Midwestern and Central Ontario.

  • Bill C-30, Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 passed second reading in the Senate on June 28, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • Delta variant is forcing U.S. officials to rethink COVID-19 measures, even for the vaccinated. (CTV)

    • The Delta variant now accounts for about one in every five new coronavirus infections in the U.S. and has spread to nearly every state.  With more than half of the population still not fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, health experts and officials worry that regions with low amounts of virus protection could see surges in the fall and winter. Experts have said that evidence points to vaccines like those from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech providing high amounts of protection against the variant, but it is not clear what the future of the variant will be as it becomes more prevalent.

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health announced US$250-million in grant awards to 73 local governments as part of a new, two-year initiative to identify and implement best practices for improving health literacy to enhance COVID-19 vaccination and other mitigation practices among underserved populations. The Advancing Health Literacy (AHL) to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 initiative is part of the Biden/Harris Administration's National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. (News Release)

  • US Department of Labor announces availability of US$43-million in funds to support reemployment of workers displaced by the pandemic. (News Release)

    • Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the department will award funds through Comprehensive and Accessible Reemployment through Equitable Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grants. These grants will focus on workers from historically marginalized communities or groups, and those unemployed for an extended period or who have exhausted unemployment insurance or other pandemic unemployment insurance programs.

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released state-by-state data through early June for the 163.5 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) totaling nearly US$390-billion received by individuals through the American Rescue Plan Act. With this round of payments, the IRS and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service have delivered more EIPs and more total direct relief than in any previous round of direct relief. All 50 states saw more total relief with this round of payments than in previous rounds. (News Release)

Alberta

British Columbia

  • A record-breaking heat wave has created a hiccup for B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccination program as several clinics in the Lower Mainland are postponing appointments or redirecting patients to other locations. (CBC)

    • Fraser Health says it is implementing heat-related measures at seven immunization and testing clinics in the region until the end of the day on Tuesday. Any walk-in patients or people with appointments booked after 12 p.m. at those clinics are being redirected to other sites with cooler temperatures. The affected clinics include the testing and immunization centres in Burnaby, Mission, South Surrey, Coquitlam, Langley and Surrey 66, as well as the Abbotsford Ag-Rec Centre Immunization Clinic.

    • Vancouver Coastal Health postponed all vaccination appointments at the West End Community Centre and the Vancouver Community College clinic as of 1 p.m. on Monday. People with appointments at the ICBC vaccination clinic were being diverted to the West Vancouver Community Centre clinic.

  • B.C. shifts to Step Three of restart plan on July 1, 2021. (News Release)

    • Moving from Step Two to Step Three also includes:  

      • Return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings

      • Maximum capacity for indoor organized gatherings of 50 people or up to 50 per cent of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater

      • Maximum capacity for outdoor organized gatherings of 5,000 people or up to 50 per cent of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater

      • Return to normal for fairs, festivals and trade shows with communicable disease plans

      • Return to Canada-wide recreational travel

      • Reopening of casinos with reduced capacity and ~50 per cent of gaming stations permitted to open

      • Reopening of nightclubs with up to 10 people seated at tables, no socializing between tables and no dancing

      • Return to normal hours for liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs with table limits to be determined by venue and no socializing between tables

      • Return to normal for sports and exercise facilities with communicable disease plans

      • Mask wearing recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated

    • During Step Three, businesses will gradually transition to new communicable disease plans with guidelines for these plans released by WorkSafeBC on June 28. These guidelines were developed in consultation with public health and businesses and will continue to be supported by WorkSafeBC and the PHO as they transition. These plans will continue to include physical barriers at many business and retail settings. Capacity limits, formal health screening tests and directional arrows, as well as other physical distancing measures will no longer be required. However, they may still be used during this transition period.

  • The Provincial Health Officer has updated the following guidance documents:

  • 147,549 cases, an increase of 38 on yesterday, 930 active cases, including five deaths.

Ontario

  • In line with the move to Step Two of the government’s Roadmap to Reopen, Ontario is further easing restrictions in long-term care homes to enhance residents’ quality of life. The changes will take effect Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (News Release)

    • The Ministry of Long-Term Care’s guidance document has been updated to set out the following:

      • Residents can have outdoor visits of up to 10 people

      • All residents may have up to two general visitors and two caregivers for an indoor visit

      • Personal care services can resume

      • Cohorting of residents can be relaxed during outdoor activities

      • No limit on the number of people who can be designated as a caregiver by a resident or their substitute decision-maker

  • The Ontario government is investing C$7.7-million in language and skills training to help 2,700 newcomers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic start new jobs. Through 19 programs across Ontario, newcomers will gain the skills they need to work in food manufacturing, healthcare, web development and other in-demand sectors while supporting Ontario’s economic recovery and future prosperity. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • The city has updated the COVID-19: Reopening Guide for Toronto Residents with a list of activities that are permitted when Toronto enters Step Two on June 30, 2021. 

  • 544,713* cases, an increase of 299* since yesterday, 2,409 active cases, including 25 deaths.

*About 90 cases from 2020 have been included in Toronto Public Health’s case count today due to a data review and data cleaning initiative.

Quebec

  • Beginning in September, the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents will begin processing compensation claims to people whose trip has been canceled in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and who are eligible for reimbursement. The process should continue until December. (News Release)

  • Seven business vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the regions of Montreal and the Capitale-Nationale, of Chaudière-Appalaches and Estrie. (News Release)

  • 374,731 cases, an increase of 71 since yesterday, 1,001 active cases, including four deaths.

June 28, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Total COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to top 50 million doses by week's end. (CTV)

    • Brig. Gen. Krista Brodie, the military commander managing national vaccine delivery logistics for the Public Health Agency of Canada, says Pfizer-BioNTech is to send more than 2.4 million doses this week and Moderna about 1.4 million. Those shipments will push Canada's total vaccine deliveries above 50 million doses to date, enough to administer two shots to 75 per cent of eligible residents.  Another 18 million doses are expected in July, enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12.

  • Why reports of COVID-19 infections after two vaccine doses aren't cause for alarm. (CBC)

    • There are two key things to keep in mind about these "breakthrough infections." For one thing, they're rare — making up around 0.5 per cent of reported COVID-19 cases since vaccination efforts began, and when post-vaccination infections do happen, they typically tend to be mild.

    • Experts also stress that while no vaccine offers perfect protection for every single person, the relatively infrequent examples of serious infections after full vaccination — coupled with the dramatic drop in cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 — show these vaccines are indeed doing their job and excelling at it.

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is warning that if the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Canada, it could lead to a larger than expected resurgence in case numbers this fall. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said such a resurgence could be kept in check if personal protective measures remain in place until the country achieves a higher level of vaccination coverage. (CBC)

  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says some major emergency pandemic support programs may not need to be extended through November, as provinces loosen restrictions and the economy improves. (CBC)

    • The Liberal government's 2021 budget provides a "base case" for changes to emergency measures, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit and federal wage subsidy. Currently, those key supports will be extended until September 25. "That's a pretty long time from now," Freeland said. Aside from the wage subsidy and CRB, the government's new hiring incentive would continue to November and a revamped flexible EI system will continue for another year. But she said the proposed gradual decline of income and business supports starting in July is "looking good to me." Freeland said economists are forecasting a strong economic recovery, but Ottawa is retaining the power to extend support measures until the end of November if needed.

  • Canada and Nova Scotia invest in community, culture and recreation infrastructure to help respond to the impacts of COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The retrofit project for the Cheema Aquatic Club Frank Garner Boat House will include the expansion of the existing clubhouse, which needs more space to accommodate Cheema's growing membership. The need for this expansion has also been amplified by COVID-19 restrictions. The Government of Canada is investing C$600,000 in this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing C$500,000 while the Cheema Aquatic Club is investing C$400,000.

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. drug regulator added a warning to the literature that accompanies Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shots to indicate the rare risk of heart inflammation after its use. (CBC and News Release)

    • For each vaccine, the fact sheets for health-care providers have been revised to include a warning that reports of adverse events suggest increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly after the second dose and with onset of symptoms within a few days after vaccination. The cases appear to be notably higher in males and in the week after the second vaccine dose.

Alberta

  • No new case data due to technical issues.

British Columbia

  • 147,418 cases, an increase of 72 on Friday, 1,096 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario invests in Hamilton Manufacturer of Components for COVID-19 tests. (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is investing nearly C$860,000 in Coreprint Patterns through the Ontario Together Fund. The investment will help the family-owned-and-operated business manufacture critical components for COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for hospitals and labs across the province.

  • City of Toronto vaccination clinics prepared for surge in second dose eligibility, adding 375,000 July appointments to booking system. (News Release)

    • Anyone age 12 or older is eligible to book one of the 375,000 appointments as a first dose appointment. As of this morning, second dose appointments can be booked by anyone, including youth age 12 to 17, who received a first Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days ago or a first AstraZeneca vaccine at least eight weeks ago.

    • Appointments for the weeks of July 5, 12 and 19 will go live in the provincial booking system at 8 a.m. tomorrow June 29. Appointments for city-run immunization clinics can be booked by residents online or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

  • City of Toronto ready to enter Step Two reopening ahead of schedule. (News Release)

    • In addition to the provincial loosening of restrictions, the following changes to city services will happen as of June 30:

      • CaféTO: As restaurants prepare to welcome up to six customers per table, CaféTO continues to support more than 1,000 restaurants with expanded outdoor dining spaces in curb lanes, on sidewalks and on private property this summer across Toronto.

      • Permits for outdoor leagues and team sports: As of June 30, games and scrimmages can be played. Most seasonal permits for sports fields have already been issued and the city is reaching out to permit holders directly about what is permitted effective June 30.

      • Indoor and outdoor religious and ceremonial permits: Religious and ceremonial permits will be issued for 25 per cent of indoor capacity and outdoor permits can be issued with physical distancing requirements.

      • Permits for picnics and fire pits: As of June 30, the city will be issuing picnic and fire pit permits for gatherings of 25 people or fewer.

      • Permits for outdoor fitness: Outdoor fitness classes can increase from 10 participants to 20, providing physical distancing of three metres can be maintained by participants. The city is reaching out to permit holders directly about what is permitted effective June 30.

      • Outdoor amusement: Centreville will reopen in Step Two and information will be posted on their website

      • Outdoor performing arts venues and permits: The city is working with High Park and Earl Bales amphitheatre user groups to develop an opening plan. Permits for arts and music in parks can be issued and direct communication is underway with permit applicants.

      • Farms and zoos: Capacity for outdoor areas of animal attractions, including High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm will increase to 25 per cent. 

  • O. Reg. 498/21 General (made under the Modernizing Ontario for People and Businesses Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 555/20.

  • 544,414 cases, an increase of 843 since Friday, 2,506 active cases, including 28 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec is updating its vaccine booking system to provide more flexibility to people booking their second dose. As of June 29, 2021, people will be able to choose a vaccine that is different from the one they received for their first dose and be able to change the location of their appointment for the second dose. (News Release)

  • The Bureau de normalization du Québec (BNQ) announced the certification of a first batch of reusable masks intended for workplaces. (News Release)

    • The Montreal-based EcoUNIFORM (9398-9341 Quebec inc.) received the first certificate issued by the BNQ for a batch of 15,000 reusable masks manufactured in Quebec by Chemise Empire, of Louiseville. These masks were deemed to comply with the requirements of the BNQ 1922-900 Masks for workplaces certification booklet , published in December 2020.

    • In yellow or green level, as is currently the case in the regions of Quebec, wearing a procedural mask or one certified by the BNQ is recommended both for work carried out indoors and outdoors during interactions within two meters without physical barriers. In orange or red level, it remains mandatory to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and its variants.

  • Seven corporate vaccination centers will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in the regions of Montreal, the Capitale-Nationale and Centre-du-Québec. (News Release)

  • 374,660 cases, an increase of 76 since Friday, 934 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Public Health Agency of Canada releases guidance on what fully vaccinated can do. (CTV and Guidance Chart)

  • Newly released national modelling indicates that there is a “sustained national decline” in COVID-19 spread across the country, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said is a “quite encouraging” sign that the pandemic’s trajectory is improving. (CTV)

    • Friday’s modelling showed that the “Rt” or effective reproduction number has remained out of an epidemic growth pattern since mid-April, which coincides with the ramping up of the vaccine rollout. The latest figures come with a caveat: the threat of the Delta variant continues to pose a real risk based on international experience and so “sustained control efforts” will be needed in order to avoid a fall or winter resurgence, until vaccination coverage is high across the population. Between April 25 and May 23, Canada saw a four-fold increase in the proportion of Delta cases, with the majority of Delta cases being found in unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated people.

  • As part of the national investment of C$33-million to support Shop Local campaigns across the country announced on June 21, the Government of Canada is providing:

    • An investment of up to nearly C$2.7-million across Atlantic Canada. (News Release)

      • Newfoundland and Labrador: up to C$550,000 

      • Prince Edward Island: up to C$550,000

      • Nova Scotia: up to C$880,000

      • New Brunswick: up to C$715,000

  • Government of Canada supports fish and seafood sector in northeastern New Brunswick. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Serge Cormier, Member of Parliament for Acadie-Bathurst, announced total investments of C$5,634,209 in 13 initiatives in northeastern New Brunswick to help the region’s fish and seafood processing sector tackle challenges caused by the pandemic head-on and ensure its future viability. The funding is helping businesses adapt processing operations with new equipment, materials and modifications to enhance employee health and safety due to COVID-19. 

U.S. – Federal

  • The leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee are preparing a US$3-billion bipartisan bill to prepare for the next global health crisis, trying again to pass a pandemic plan after similar efforts stalled last year. (Reuters)

    • The Senate measure would authorize US$3-billion over five years for prevention and preparedness, addressing gaps in the global health system by increasing vaccine production and distribution and shoring up the U.S. pandemic defense system.

Alberta

  • Four more outreach clinics are opening this weekend to increase the number of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in northeast Calgary. The quadrant has consistently had the highest active case numbers of COVID-19 in Alberta and also the lowest uptake when it comes to vaccinations. Many people in that part of the city are newcomers to Canada, working multiple jobs and facing language, financial and cultural barriers. Access to technology is another issue. These obstacles can make getting vaccinated much more of a challenge. The walk-in clinics will operate on a no-appointment basis to make it as easy as possible. (CBC)

    • Baitun Nur Mosque between 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday

    • Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday

    • Somali Canadian Society of Calgary between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday

    • Dashmesh Culture Centre between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday

  • Edmonton city council votes to end mask bylaw on July 1. (CBC)

  • The Chief Medical Officer of Health has updated the following guidance document: COVID-19 information : Stage 3 : guidance for preschool, day care and out of school care (child care) (June 2021).

  • 231,641 cases, an increase of 73 on June 23, 1,580 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 147,346 cases, an increase of 75 since yesterday, 1,111 active cases, including three deaths.

Ontario

  • All Ontarians aged 18+ becoming eligible for accelerated second doses. (News Release)

    • Starting Monday, June 28, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., all Ontarians aged 18 and over who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their second ahead of schedule.

    • Beginning Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., youth aged 12 to 17 who live in a Delta hot spot (Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Peel, Porcupine, Simcoe-Muskoka, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York public health units) are eligible to book an accelerated second dose appointment through the provincial booking system, directly through public health units that use their own booking system and through participating pharmacies.

  • In-person summer learning to support student success and a strong start to 2021-22 school year. (News Release)

    • School boards are delivering virtual summer programming in July. To build upon this, and with the support of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is permitting school boards to offer in-person summer school in August with strict health and safety measures in place.

  • O. Reg. 489/21 Rules for Areas in Shutdown Zone and at Step 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 82/20 in relation to group sports (professional & amateur).

  • 543,571 cases, an increase of 256 since yesterday, 2,899 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that the daily report on data surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec will now be released Monday to Friday only. (News Release)

  • Six corporate vaccination centres will offer walk-in vaccination in Quebec today and this weekend. (News Release)

  • Ministerial orders 2021-045, 2021-046, 2021-047 and orders in council 849-2021 and 885-2021 (reported in previous digests) are published in today’s Quebec Gazette Part II No. 25A.

  • 374,406 cases, an increase of 88 since yesterday, 1,252 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Confusion, frustration as Canadians react to COVID-19 travel restrictions for unvaccinated children. (CTV)

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada has quietly reorganized its internal divisions and assembled a security and intelligence section tasked with providing better and faster warnings of future pandemics. The creation of the intelligence division — part of a widespread reconfiguration of teams within the agency — comes in response to pointed criticism of PHAC's early pandemic response in 2020. (CBC)

  • Canada sending medical supplies to support COVID-19 response in Pakistan and Nepal. (News Release)

    • The shipment will include 162 ventilators and related equipment for Pakistan, 27 ventilators and related equipment and over 16,000 units of PPE for Nepal. These supplies will be sourced from Canada’s National Emergency Strategic Stockpile.

  • As part of the national investment of C$33-million to support Shop Local campaigns across the country announced on June 21, the Government of Canada is providing:

    • An investment of up to C$7.2-million to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. (News Release)

      • Alberta: up to C$4,950,000 

      • Manitoba: up to C$1,100,000

      • Saskatchewan: up to C$1,155,000

    • An investment of up to C$5.5-million to British Columbia. (News Release)

    • An investment of up to C$1.65-million to the territories. (News Release)

      • Yukon: up to C$550,000 

      • Northwest Territories: up to C$550,000

      • Nunavut: up to C$550,000

  • Government of Canada funds new project to encourage vaccine uptake in Canada. (News Release)

    • The Dr. Peter Centre will develop a bilingual National Community of Practice to help community health agencies across Canada improve uptake and access to the COVID-19 vaccine, for people living with HIV and other complex health and social conditions. Through the creation of an online portal of resources, the Dr. Peter Centre will create a space for community leaders to access and share COVID-19 vaccination resources and best practices so they can increase vaccine uptake among the populations they serve.

  • Bill C-30, Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 passed third reading in the House of Commons and first reading in the Senate on June 23, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • The Biden administration said it was extending the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 residential eviction moratorium until July 31 but said it would not grant further extensions. (Reuters and CDC Order)

Alberta

  • A.R. 136/2021 (Employment Standards (COVID-19 Leave) Amendment Regulation) made under the Employment Standards Code amends A.R. 29/2020 to repeal Section 4.1(6).

  • 231,568 cases, an increase of 92 on June 22, 1,676 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • StrongerBC supports Indigenous tourism businesses through pandemic recovery. (News Release)

    • StrongerBC programs such as the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), Tourism Dependent Communities Program and Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative are part of the Province’s actions to support the recovery of B.C.’s tourism sector, including Indigenous tourism. Indigenous tourism businesses in B.C. have received over C$28-million for 60 projects to support recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Provincial Health Officer updated the order on agricultural temporary foreign workers.

  • 147,271 cases, an increase of 87 since yesterday, 1,119 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario Moving to Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen on June 30. (News Release)

    • Step Two of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities and limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn, with other restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:

      • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people

      • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to five people

      • Essential and other select retail permitted at 50 per cent capacity

      • Non-essential retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity

      • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times and at 25 per cent capacity and other restrictions

      • Outdoor dining with up to six people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions

      • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 25 per cent capacity of the particular room

      • Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain three metres of physical distance

      • Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating, with restrictions

      • Overnight camps for children operating in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

      • Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity

      • Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity

      • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity

      • Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals permitted at 25 per cent capacity and with other restrictions

    • While the province has surpassed Step Three vaccination targets, Ontario may remain in Step Two for a period of approximately 21 days to allow the most recent vaccinations to reach their full effectiveness and to evaluate any impacts of moving to Step Two on key public health and health care indicators. When it is determined to be safe, the province will promptly move to Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen.

  • Going forward, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will provide a weekly COVID-19 update on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. This will replace the regularly scheduled Monday and Thursday updates. (Media Advisory)

  • O. Reg. 486/21 (Extension of Orders) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act amends O. Reg. 25/21 to extend the revocation date of previously made orders to July 14, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 487/21 (Steps of Reopening) made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 amends O. Reg. 363/20 to update the areas at Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. It comes into force on June 30, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 488/21 (Rules of Areas in Stage Two) made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 amends O. Reg. 263/20 to update the public health measures and restrictions at Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen. It came into force on June 23, 2021.

  • 543,315 cases, an increase of 296 since yesterday, 2,938 active cases, including six deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council 849-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 2, 2021. 

  • Order in Council 885-2021 replaces or amends previous orders in council and ministerial orders related to public health measures and restrictions. It comes into force on June 28, 2021.

  • 374,318 cases, an increase of 96 since yesterday, 1,164 active cases, including four deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Health Canada has announced the recall of more hand sanitizers, adding 18 more products to their list because of issues such as containing ingredients not allowed by Health Canada or not being authorized for sale in Canada. (CTV and Recall Notice)

    • The list of hand sanitizers affected in this recall:

      • Aerochem Liquid Hand Cleaner 70% Alcohol

      • Bio-Odeur

      • Defenz

      • Gigi's Goodbye Germs Hand Sanitizer

      • JP Wiser's Distillery

      • KeraSpa

      • Natural Concepts Sanitizing Gel

      • Peak Processing Solutions - Ethanol sanitizer 80%

      • Preference Pre-Quat Sanitizer

      • Premium Hand Gel Sanitizer

      • Premium Hand Sanitizer

      • Puricia

      • Safe-Guard Product Canada Hand Sanitizer

      • Salon Solution Waterless Hand Wash

      • SunnaPure Hand Sanitizer Spray

      • T-1000

      • TerraPure Hand Sanitizer

      • Umbrell (60 mL format)

  • Government of Canada launches C$500-million Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) to drive post-COVID-19 recovery. (News Release

    • CCRF funding will support two major streams of activity:

      • Adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public-health guidelines

      • Build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions

    • Eligible recipients will include not-for-profit organizations; rural, municipal or regional governments; Indigenous groups and communities; and public sector bodies that provide municipal-type infrastructure. Priority may be given to projects that encourage the participation of underrepresented groups and take into consideration the unique challenges of rural and remote communities.

    • A one-time special scheduled intake will focus on eligible projects that are ready to proceed. Initial screening will begin during the four-week period. Assessment of applications will begin on July 23, 2021, 23:59 PDT. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. Should there be remaining funding after the scheduled intake period, applications will continue to be accepted and funded on a continuous intake basis over the next two years or until such a time as the allocated funding is fully distributed.

  • SOR/2021-127 Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 – Relief for Deferred Salary Leave Plans and Pension Plans) was published in the Canada Gazette Part II today. They came into force on June 10, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group now says reports of heart inflammation in people given an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine are likely linked to the vaccine, but that the benefits of vaccination still outweigh any risks. (CBC)

    • In a Wednesday presentation, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) noted that early data from its database shows a rate of 4.4 reported cases of heart inflammation per million first doses given of any mRNA vaccine in the 21 days following vaccination. That rate jumped to 12.6 reported cases per million second doses. The reports were greater than anticipated, particularly after dose two in younger age groups, with early data on cases among 12-to 39-year-olds suggesting the case rate is higher in males than females.

    • The CDC's available outcome data also showed patients suffering from post-vaccination heart inflammation generally do recover from their symptoms, which can include chest pain. Many patients have been hospitalized, "usually for short duration."

  • Authorization and Revocation of Emergency Use of Drugs During the COVID-19 Pandemic was published in the Federal Register today. 

    • The Authorization for B. Braun Melsungen AG was effective as of March 12, 2021 and the revocation for Eli Lilly and Company was effective as of April 16, 2021.

Alberta

  • Hinshaw to give last scheduled COVID-19 update next Tuesday. (CTV)

    • After more than 230 press conferences, Alberta's top doctor said that next Tuesday, June 29, will be her final scheduled update.  Hinshaw added she would hold a press conference if it were needed. She also said Alberta will no longer report COVID-19 data on weekends and will announce the province's R-value every two weeks.

  • More Albertans to receive C$1,200 Critical Worker Benefit. (News Release)

    • During the first round of the Critical Worker Benefit Alberta’s government provided C$1,200 payments to over 277,800 workers in the healthcare, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains. Workers in new job categories will be eligible for the same C$1,200 payment. This includes workers in social services and the private sector who provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods and faced greater potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work environments.  

    • To be eligible for the benefit, employees must have worked a minimum of 300 hours during the period of October 12, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Support staff working in licensed child care must have worked a minimum of 243 hours during this period. Eligible social services sector employers do not need to apply. Employers of support staff working in licensed child care programs, disability support workers providing independent living supports, respite, community access, and employment supports and front-line workers in seniors-serving organizations and non-profit affordable housing providers will be contacted by the government of Alberta to confirm details.

    • Eligible private sector workers making C$25 per hour or less will also qualify for the benefit. These workers include: truck drivers, farmworkers, security guards, cleaners, funeral workers, employees at quick service and dine in restaurants and taxi drivers who can demonstrate they worked at least 300 hours during the eligibility period. The complete list of eligible workers for this phase of the program are available in the application guidelines for the private sector. Private sector employers can apply on behalf of employees online as of June 22. Employers have until July 23 to apply. Employers will be responsible for distributing the C$1,200 Critical Worker Benefit to their eligible employees.

  • 231,476 cases, an increase of 57 on June 20, 1,773 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • The Province of British Columbia has formally extended the provincial state of emergency until the end of the day on July 6, 2021. (News Release and Order in Council 366-2021)

  • The Provincial Health Officer updated the public heath order on gatherings and events.

  • 147,187 cases, an increase of 56 since yesterday, 1,150 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet are considering moving Ontario into Step 2 of the government's reopening plan on June 30, two days ahead of schedule. Ford and his cabinet are meeting this afternoon to discuss the decision and if approved, the announcement is expected to be made tomorrow. (CBC)

  • The Ontario government released a report prepared by the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force, which makes recommendations on how to support the province’s C$36-billion tourism industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release)

    • The report provides 10 key recommendations about how to rebuild and reshape the future of Ontario’s tourism industry. The recommendations include reducing red tape for tourism businesses, restoring consumer confidence in visitors through collaboration between public health officials and the tourism industry and encouraging Ontarians to experience the province through industry co-ordinated travel days. The report also suggests new opportunities to showcase the best Ontario has to offer through itineraries, packages and trails that will make it easier to find local Ontario products and experiences.

  • Team Toronto Sprint Strategy 2.0 continues to increase vaccine uptake and expands strategy. (News Release)

    • The Sprint Strategy 2.0 has now expanded to include four new postal codes to increase dose one vaccine uptake and to provide the additional effectiveness of a second dose against the emerging Delta variant. The new postal codes include:

      • M9R: Northwest Toronto

      • M2R: North York

      • M1R: Scarborough

      • M1K: Scarborough

  • We shoot! We score! Toronto Vaccine Day reaches new North American record 25,000 bookings. (News Release)

    • Toronto Vaccine Day is now fully booked. In support of Toronto Vaccine Day, on Sunday, June 27, the TTC will be offering free rides to and from booked appointments at any vaccination clinic in Toronto. Metrolinx is also offering free rides to Union Station and the Scotiabank Arena vaccine clinic and back home again. Riders taking transit will be asked to show proof of booking on the trip to their appointment and the confirmation of their shot will be their return ticket. Employees and volunteers are also eligible for free trips when they show employee or volunteer identification.

  • The City of Toronto launches the Toronto Youth Vaccine Engagement Strategy to coordinate vaccine outreach to vulnerable youth. (News Release)

    • A part of city’s Vaccine Engagement and Mobilization Plan, the strategy sets out to prioritize youth-targeted equity engagement and mobilization actions and encourage and enable COVID-19 vaccine uptake among vulnerable youth. As the youth voice is essential to the strategy, a Toronto Youth Vaccination Advisory Committee has been established to ensure engagement tactics focus on youth with a youth-friendly lens. The Toronto Youth Vaccine Engagement Strategy will be active from June to November 2021, at which time there will be a project evaluation and assessment report.

  • 543,019 cases, an increase of 255 since yesterday, 3,032 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Department of Health and Social Services announced that, in accordance with the decision of the government of Prince Edward Island made public last Tuesday, permanent residents of the Îles de la Madeleine will be able, as of June 27, to travel to Prince Edward Island without having to do a 14-day quarantine, provided they have received an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

  • Five vaccination centers offer walk-in with the Moderna vaccine in Quebec today. (News Release)

  • The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services has released its most recent risks of hospitalization and projections of hospital needs reports. (News Release)

    • Report on the risks of hospitalization:

      • Cases: the number of new cases decreased by 23 per cent compared to the previous week (952 versus 1,233) and this decrease is observed in the majority of age groups and most regions.

      • Hospitalizations: the number of anticipated hospitalizations remains low, as in the previous week (37 versus 39) and the number of cases that could require a stay in intensive care is the same as the previous week (10 cases).

    • Report on hospital needs, it highlights the following elements:

      • For Quebec as a whole, projections still suggest that the number of new hospitalizations remains very low.

      • For Montréal and its neighboring regions (zone 1), projections still suggest a decrease in the occupancy rate of regular and intensive care beds for the next three weeks. Less than 10 per cent of regular beds and 15 per cent of intensive care beds designated for COVID-19 patients are currently occupied.

      • For zone 2, projections also suggest a decrease in new hospitalizations over the next three weeks. Overall, less than 10 per cent of regular beds and designated intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients are currently occupied.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-048 amends Order in Council 799-2021 in relation to public events. It comes into force on June 25, 2021.

  • 374,222 cases, an increase of 127 since yesterday, 1,184 active cases, including three deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians can soon expect more updates about the easing of travel restrictions should vaccinations continue to increase and COVID-19 case counts remain low. (CTV)

  • Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says she'll soon have advice to help fully vaccinated Canadians figure out what they can safely do, but she says much will depend on who you are and where you live. A risk-assessment tool for Canadians is being developed with provincial and territorial health officials and Tam urges Canadians to keep following local public guidance and know about their own risks from COVID-19. (CTV)

  • Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19 response) was reported with amendments by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs on June 21, 2021.

  • The following Orders in Council were issued on June 21, 2021 (made under the Quarantine Act):

    • PC 2021-615 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations)

      • Maintain the previous requirements that all persons who have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or know they have COVID-19 upon entry into Canada are required to quarantine or isolate for 14 days, including asymptomatic persons, with limited exceptions

      • Provide an exception from the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated persons and require mandatory traveler declarations on vaccination status and proof of vaccination as of July 5, 2021

      • Clarify a number of existing requirements and exceptions

      • Maintain the requirements from the previous Order

      • Extend the effect of the Order to July 21, 2021

    • PC 2021-614 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

      • Continue to prohibit entry into Canada of foreign nationals arriving from countries other than the United States, with some limited exceptions, and if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or if they know they have COVID-19

      • Allow any person approved as a permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to enter Canada

      • Continue to maintain the requirements from the previous Order

      • Extend the restrictions on entry into Canada until July 21, 2021

    • PC 2021-613 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

      • Continue to prohibit entry into Canada of foreign nationals arriving from the U.S. for an optional or discretionary purpose, with some limited exceptions, and if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or if they know they have COVID-19

      • Continue to maintain the requirements from the previous Order

      • Extend the restrictions on entry into Canada until July 21, 2021

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 as concerns grow about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead. (Associated Press)

    • The push is underway as the Delta variant, first identified in India, has come to represent more than 20 per cent of coronavirus infections in the U.S. in the last two weeks, the CDC reported Tuesday. That’s double what it was when the CDC last reported on the variant’s prevalence. Americans at highest risk for complications from COVID-19 are overwhelmingly vaccinated, according to CDC data, but only 53 per cent aged 25-39 have received one dose. Among those 18-24, it’s 47 per cent.

  • Testimony by Chair Powell on the Federal Reserve's response to the coronavirus pandemic

Alberta

  • Calgary's mask bylaw will stay in place until at least July 5. (CBC)

    • Wearing masks will continue to be mandatory in Calgary's indoor spaces until at least July 5, a few days after masks will no longer be required in the rest of the province. Council voted eight to six in favour of the motion on Monday, which states the city's mask bylaw will be re-evaluated at a council meeting on July 5, based on metrics like how many second doses have been administered and the rate of infection. If it's deemed safe to do so, the bylaw could be repealed immediately at that time. 

  • 231,419 cases, an increase of 60 on June 20, 2,003 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • As COVID-19 numbers in British Columbia continue to trend downward, health officials are scaling back the number of in-person briefings held weekly. The briefings were usually scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays with the first one of the week recapping weekend data. According to the health ministry, these events will now be once a week and are currently scheduled for Tuesdays. (CBC)

  • Limited drop-in vaccinations offered at four clinics in the Vancouver Coastal Health area. (CBC)

    • ICBC Claims Centre, 255 Lloyd Ave., North Vancouver

      • June 22, 23, 24, 7-10 p.m.

      • Availability: 50 drop-in spots per day

      • Eligibility: Ages 12-69, first dose only; ages 70-plus, first or second dose

    • Vancouver Community College, 1199 E. 7th Ave., Vancouver

      • June 23, 26, 27, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

      • Availability: 400 drop-in spots per day

      • Eligibility: Ages 12-69, first dose only; ages 70-plus, first or second dose

    • Seniors Centre at the Minoru Centre, 7191 Granville Ave., Richmond

      • June 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

      • Availability: 200 drop-in spots

      • Eligibility: Ages 55-69, first dose only; Ages 70-plus, first or second dose

    • Whistler Conference Centre, 4010 Whistler Way, Whistler

      • June 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

      • Availability: 300 drop-in spots

      • Eligibility: Ages 12-69, first dose only; ages 70-plus, first or second dose

  • 147,131 cases, an increase of 45 since yesterday, 1,204 active cases, including three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario hits vaccine targets to enter Step 3 weeks ahead of schedule. (CTV)

    • The provincial government’s "Roadmap to Reopen" highlighted vaccination rates as the key benchmark to open additional portions of the economy, in conjunction with declining hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and positivity rates – targets that been exceeded in recent days. In order to initiate Step 3, the province would need 70 to 80 per cent of the adult population vaccinated with a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and a quarter of the adult population would require two doses.

    • Currently, 76 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and above have received their primary dose, while 25 per cent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. The province, however, is still in the first step of the reopening plan and top cabinet ministers are offering vague suggestions about whether the next steps will be sped up.

  • Ontario providing accessible rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites. (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is investing C$3.7-million in a partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association to help people with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, get to and from vaccination sites so they can get their shot and help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Accessible Drive To Vaccines program will ensure that anyone who wants a vaccine is able to by connecting eligible individuals with staff and volunteers who will drive them to and from local vaccination sites across the province. This includes individuals who have not yet received their first shot, or anyone who may require additional support to access their second.

  • More than 10,000 people booked for Toronto Vaccine Day, 5,000 more appointments opened for record-setting “Our Winning Shot” clinic on Sunday, June 27 at the Scotiabank Arena. (News Release)

    • Appointments will be required for the clinic. Appointments can be booked by residents online or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900. The clinic will be administering primarily the Moderna vaccine, with very limited Pfizer doses reserved for youth ages 12 to 17 with confirmed appointments. 

  • 542,764* cases, an increase of 296* since yesterday, 3,248 active cases, including 60** deaths.

*About 80 cases from 2020 have been included in Toronto Public Health’s case count today due to a data review and data cleaning initiative.
**54 deaths from previous months are included today due to a data review and data cleaning initiative.
 
Quebec

  • All regions of Quebec will move to the new green level as of June 28. (News Release)

    • In addition to the relaxations already planned, the new reductions in the green level are as follows:

      • Private gatherings and outdoor terraces

        • Gatherings of a maximum of 20 people will be permitted on private outdoor grounds. Likewise, 20 people may be at the same table on restaurant and bar terraces.

        • Remember that at the green level it is allowed that a maximum of 10 people or the occupants of 3 different residences can assemble inside private homes.

      • Cinemas, performance venues and stadiums with assigned seats

        • The distance of 1.5 metres between the seats of people who do not reside at the same address can now be calculated laterally, which will make it possible to increase the number of spectators. Thus, it will no longer be necessary to free up a space of 1.5 metres in front of and behind people.

      • Other flexibilities from Friday June 25

        • The wearing of a mask and distancing during a gathering in private homes will no longer be recommended for people who have received two doses of vaccine.

        • The resumption of festivals and major outdoor events during which spectators are standing or seated without an assigned seat, with a maximum of 3,500 people authorized on each site, subject to certain measures.

    • Keep in mind:

      • Wedding ceremonies and funerals may be held in indoor and outdoor public places with an assistance of a maximum of 250 people who must remain seated (such as during assemblies or meetings). Other measures apply for receptions. 

      • It should be noted that karaoke-style activities remain prohibited everywhere in public places. Dancing is not allowed in bars. However, shows in establishments such as bars and brasseries are permitted.

  • Administrative segregation no longer required for a contact considered protected. (News Release)

    • The amendment to the Directive on case and contact management in the context of the circulation of variants under enhanced surveillance states that people who have received both doses of vaccine are considered protected if their exposure to a case has occurred more than seven days after receiving the second dose; otherwise, they are considered partially protected. People who have received only one dose for more than 14 days are considered to be partially protected during exposure; otherwise, they are considered unprotected.

    • This new concept also takes into account people who have already had COVID-19, who are particularly considered as protected if they received a first dose of vaccine more than seven days ago or if they developed the disease less than six months ago. It should also be noted that immune-suppressed people are always considered unprotected, regardless of their vaccination status or their history with COVID-19.

    • The amendment applies to daycare services, schools and workplaces.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that a person who has received a first dose of Pfizer vaccine can receive a second dose of Moderna vaccine. This decision is based on the opinion of public health experts and on the recommendations of the Committee on Immunization of Quebec. (News Release)

  • Three vaccination centers offer walk-in with the Moderna vaccine in Quebec today. (News Release)

  • 374,095 cases, an increase of 84 since yesterday, 1,225 active cases, including four deaths.

June 21, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • The federal government will once again allow individuals approved for permanent residency to enter Canada as COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease. As of June 21, any foreign national with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) will be allowed to enter Canada. (CTV and Backgrounder)

  • Canada to get 5.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week, Pfizer shipment slightly delayed. (CTV)

  • Canada has hit a major milestone with 20 per cent of the eligible population now fully vaccinated, a target government officials have said was needed before the country could proceed with the easing of COVID-19 health restrictions. (CTV)

  • Government of Canada's first phase to easing border measures for travellers entering Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Beginning July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day eight. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel. To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country and must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.

    • For these new measures to apply to them, fully vaccinated travellers must still meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre- and on-arrival testing. Fully vaccinated travellers must also be asymptomatic, have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in Canada. They must still present a suitable quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt from quarantine. As with all other exempt travellers, they will be required to follow public health measures in place, such as wearing a mask when in public, keeping a copy of their vaccine and test results, as well as a list of close contacts for 14 days after entry to Canada.

    • For travellers who are not fully vaccinated, there are no changes to Canada’s current border measures. They must continue to adhere to the current testing and federal quarantine requirements and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN before arriving in Canada. Unvaccinated air travellers must also book a three-night stay at a government-authorized hotel before their departure to Canada.

  • The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced the launch of Shop Local, a Canada-wide investment of C$33-million to encourage Canadians to shop locally. (News Release)

    • Shop Local is an important initiative to supplement the government of Canada’s ongoing and comprehensive support for small and local businesses. The funding will be provided through provincial and territorial chambers of commerce to support awareness-building campaigns that promote consumer confidence and local businesses. The amount of funding allocated to each chamber is based primarily on the percentage of small businesses in its region.

  • The government of Canada is providing an additional C$1-million to the government of Yukon to continue the support of essential air services for remote communities in Yukon. The global COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Northern and remote communities that depend on supply chains remaining intact for the delivery of essential goods and services, medical care and transportation needs in their communities. (News Release)

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 30 (made under the Aeronautics Act on May 30, 2021) was published in the Canada Gazette Part I on June 19, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to fall short of his commitment to shipping 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June because of regulatory and other hurdles, officials said as they announced new plans on Monday for sharing the shots globally. (CTV)

  • President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris urged Americans to get COVID-19 shots as the country looks likely to miss the White House’s goals for vaccination next month as a new coronavirus variant triggered serious concerns. (Reuters)

  • Request for comments on an interim final rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor: Occupational Exposure to COVID–19; Emergency Temporary Standard

Alberta

British Columbia

  • 146,902 cases, an increase of 109 on Friday, 1,389 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontarians slated for a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine this week will be offered a Moderna vaccine instead due to a shipment delay. A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott confirmed a batch of Pfizer doses slated to arrive on Monday have been delayed by two-to-three days. (CBC)

  • City of Toronto announces Toronto Vaccine Day at Scotiabank Arena on June 27. (News Release)

    • Appointments will be required for the clinic. Starting today, June 21 at 8 a.m., appointments can be booked by residents through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button at the city’s COVID-19 webpage or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.

  • City of Toronto clinics scale up Moderna doses as provincial Pfizer shipment delayed. (News Release)

  • O. Reg. 480/21 (Extension of Orders) amends O. Reg. 458/20 by extending the orders made under the Reopening Ontario Act to July 19, 2021. It came into force on June 18, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 481/21 and O. Reg. 482/21 (Rules for Areas in Shutdown Zone and At Step 1) amend O. Reg. 82/20 to allow businesses that provide outdoor tour and guide services to open and make amendments regarding day camps for children, respectively. They came into force on June 18, 2021.

  • 542,468 cases, an increase of 943 since Friday, 3,454 active cases, including 28 deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • Due to a delay in the next delivery of Pfizer vaccines, clinics will temporarily stop offering Pfizer's vaccine without an appointment from Saturday June 19 to Thursday June 24. (News Release)

    • The Ministry of Health and Social Services confirmed the next shipment of doses of Pfizer's vaccine, originally scheduled for the weekend, would instead be delivered on June 24 or 25; 546,000 doses are expected. Despite the delay, all currently booked Pfizer appointments will be honoured.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-047 amends Order in Council 689-2020 and Order in Council 799-2021. It comes into force on June 21, 2021.

  • 374,011 cases, an increase of 353 since Friday, 1,299 active cases, including 11 deaths since Friday.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced that Canada will have enough product on hand by the end of July to fully vaccinate every person eligible for a shot. With roughly 32 million people over the age of 12 eligible for a vaccine, the country needs 64 million shots to administer the necessary two doses — a threshold the country is likely to hit sometime in mid-July. Health Canada has not yet authorized any vaccine for children under the age of 12. (CBC)

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is working with the U.S. and other international partners to ensure that AstraZeneca vaccine recipients face few barriers when they travel abroad. Trudeau's commitment comes at a time when some U.S. venues are already suggesting they will only allow people who've been fully vaccinated with a United States Food and Drug Administration-approved product — the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines — to attend certain events unencumbered. (CBC)

  • Thousands of Canadians inoculated in the U.S. and abroad with Health Canada-approved vaccines are recognized as fully vaccinated from a medical standpoint – but may not be registered or counted in provincial and national inoculation tallies, which are forming the basis of most re-opening plans. (CTV)

  • U.S. border restrictions extended to July 21, PM cites desire to stick to vaccine targets. (CTV)

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintains that Canada will need to meet the COVID-19 vaccines target of 75 per cent of the total population with a first dose and 20 per cent with two doses before his government lifts border restrictions. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair noted that the government will provide further details about its phased approach to easing restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals on Monday.

U.S. – Federal

  • To further aid the global fight against COVID-19, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued three general licenses (referred to as the COVID-19-related GLs) to build upon the Treasury’s existing authorizations for COVID-19-related transactions and activities. The new COVID-19-related GLs expand upon longstanding humanitarian exemptions, exceptions and authorizations to cover additional COVID-19-related transactions and activities. These include transactions and activities involving the delivery of face masks, ventilators and oxygen tanks, vaccines and the production of vaccines, COVID-19 tests, air filtration systems and COVID-19-related field hospitals. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Effective immediately, anyone who received their first mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) dose in May or earlier can book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

    • Albertans who had their first immunization with Pfizer or Moderna (mRNA vaccine) four weeks ago or more can book their second dose through Alberta Health Services by calling Health Link at 811 or through participating physicians’ offices or pharmacies. Albertans who received a first dose of AstraZeneca should continue to wait a minimum of eight weeks before booking their second dose to ensure best effectiveness. Appointments can be booked through Alberta Health Services by calling 811.

    • Alberta Health Services (AHS) is offering a new secure web-based portal for Albertans to enter any out-of-province and out-of-country COVID-19 immunizations they’ve received to their health records. People can submit out-of-province or out-of-country immunization records on behalf of themselves or their child/youth under 18 years of age. Records will be reviewed by AHS and verified information will be available within two to three weeks on an individual’s My Health Records account.

  • With 70.2 per cent of eligible Albertans having been vaccinated with at least one dose as of June 17, Alberta will move to Stage 3 on July 1 and fully reopen, removing all mandatory restrictions. (News Release)

    • Effective July 1:

      • All remaining restrictions will be lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings.

      • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and protective measures in continuing care settings may remain.

      • The general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings.

  • Alberta's government is investing C$13-million in the Stabilize Program to help non-profit arts and culture organizations recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release)

    • Non-profit organizations may use Adapt and Innovate stream funds for projects to better allow them to resume in-person live experiences. Projects could include developing new funding, operating or event models. Non-profits can also use funding for projects to build their digital capability, such as new systems for online bookings, virtual queuing, reserved seating or simultaneous online and in-person performances. Qualifying organizations will be eligible for a grant of up to C$75,000. Priority will go to smaller organizations and to organizations whose events are produced in Alberta. The deadline to apply is July 29.

    • The second phase of the Stabilize Program funding includes C$3-million in matching funding allocated to non-profits that host live experiences or own and/or operate live experience venues. The government will approve and match dollar-for-dollar donations on a first-come, first-served basis until the C$3-million is allocated.

  • Bill 66, Public Health Amendment Act, 2021 (SA 2021 c. 15) received Royal Assent on June 17, 2021. It comes into force on proclamation except sections 11, 16, 17, 18, 19(c)(i), 21(a)(i) and (b), 22, 23 and 31(a)(ii) which are in force as of the date of Royal Assent.

    • The amendments modernize the Public Health 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.

  • Bill 70, COVID-19 Related Measures Act (SA 2021 c. C-31.3) received Royal Assent on June 17, 2021. It is effective as of March 1, 2020.

    • The legislation ensures health services providers cannot be held liable for damages due to COVID-19 spread or exposure as long as they follow public health orders, guidance and legislation. Protection would not apply in the event of gross negligence.

  • 231,008 cases, an increase of 150 on June 16, 2,471 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • Bill 4, Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2021 (SBC 2021 c. 18) received Royal Assent on June 17, 2021. It comes into force on various dates as listed in the bill.

    • Amends the Income Tax Act to provide for eligibility for the emergency benefit for workers and the recovery benefit.

  • Bill 11, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2021 (SBC 2021 c. 17) received Royal Assent on June 17, 2021. It comes into force on various dates as listed in the bill.

    • Amends the COVID-19 Related Measures Act regarding repeal dates and minister reports. 

    • Amends the Motor Vehicle Act to allow the refusal to issue a permit, a licence and corresponding number plates for failure to pay fines under the Off-Road Vehicle Act, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act and the Emergency Program Act.

The Provincial Health Officer issued an updated order on gatherings and events.

  • 146,794 cases, an increase of 120 since yesterday, 1,451 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • The City of Toronto is moving quickly to open 90,000 new vaccine appointments over the next two weeks to respond to continued unprecedented demand as eligibility for second vaccine doses opens further. Later today, 30,000 appointments at city-run immunization clinics will open in the provincial booking system for the week of June 21. The city will announce as soon as they are live in the system. On Monday, the remaining 60,000 appointments will open for the week of June 28. (News Release)

  • 541,525 cases, an increase of 345 since yesterday, 4,110 active cases, including one death.

Quebec

  • Eight business vaccination centers will today offer walk-in vaccination to people 12 years of age and over wishing to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the regions of Montreal and the Capitale-Nationale, Montérégie, Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • The VacciBUS Laurentides, a bus that has been specially designed to take the form of a walk-in mobile vaccination unit, will crisscross the Laurentians region as of June 19 for the entire summer period. It is expected that the VacciBUS Laurentides will administer approximately between 150 and 250 doses per day. View scheduled dates and locations online. (News Release)

  • 373,658 cases, an increase of 127 since yesterday, 1,505 active cases, including two deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending the provinces stop administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in most cases — even as booster shots for people who've already received first doses of the product. Instead, AstraZeneca recipients should instead receive a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, like the ones offered by Pfizer and Moderna. (CBC and Summary of Statement)

    • NACI said people who already have had two doses of AstraZeneca "can rest assured that the vaccine provides good protection against infection and very good protection against severe disease and hospitalization." However, the vaccine committee said evidence emerging from studies in Germany suggests mixing one dose of AstraZeneca with a second dose of a Pfizer vaccine can actually produce "a potentially better immune response, including against variants of concern" than two doses of AstraZeneca alone.

  • The U.S. is gearing up to send one million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine to Canada. At the same time, calls mount on both sides of the border to ease travel and quarantine measures. (CTV)

    • The doses will arrive on Canadian soil later this evening and will bring the total amount of Moderna doses shipped to the country to 10.1 million. Procurement Minister Anita Anand will provide more details about specific deliveries from the supplier arriving in July during a vaccine update on Friday and restated that the government still expects to receive 55 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of that month.

    • The restrictions placed on the Canada-U.S. border that prohibit discretionary travel but exempt the flow of trade and commerce, as well as vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border, have been in place since March 2020 and are set to expire on June 21. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc indicated this week that the government will have more to say on the issue before that deadline as to the “phased” approach to reopening.

  • Investment to increase the resilience of Canada’s supply of critical personal protective equipment. (News Release)

    • The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of up to C$28.99-million in Meltech Innovation Canada Inc., a newly established division of Medicom Group Inc. This investment will support a C$38.754-million project, which includes the establishment of a new factory in Greater Montréal dedicated to manufacturing the specialized fabric required to produce life-saving respirators and surgical masks. This factory will fill an existing domestic manufacturing gap.

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its warnings for cruises by a notch from the highest level that led to a sailing hiatus and recommended only fully vaccinated people take trips when sailings resume from U.S. ports in a few days. (Reuters)

  • Biden administration to invest US$3-billion from American Rescue Plan as part of COVID-19 Antiviral Development Strategy. (News Release)

    • This plan accelerates and expands the administration’s ongoing efforts to support clinical trials to test prioritized drug candidates for COVID-19 and to support the advanced development of promising therapies. Working through an unprecedented public-private partnership called ACTIV (Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutics and Vaccines), 19 therapeutic agents have been prioritized for testing in rigorous clinical trials for outpatients and inpatients with COVID-19. 

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces US$80-million in American Rescue Plan funding to strengthen U.S. public health IT, improve COVID-19 data collection and bolster representation of underrepresented communities in public health IT workforce. (News Release)

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in our public health reporting and data analysis, particularly around race and ethnicity-specific data. Some of these gaps can be attributed to limited technological infrastructure and chronic underfunding of the staff needed to support public health data reporting at the state and local levels. Federal efforts to center equity in the COVID-19 response and future public health responses will be improved by robust data collection and reporting around infection, hospitalization and mortality rates, as well as underlying health and social vulnerabilities that is disaggregated by race and ethnicity, age, gender and other key variables.

Alberta

  • Bill 70, COVID-19 Related Measures Act passed third reading on division on June 16, 2021.

  • The Alberta government has release an updated guidance document that provides information on the scope and application of workplace closures in high case areas with on-site transmission of three or more cases.

  • CMOH Order 32-2021 rescinds CMOH order 23-2021 and modifies CMOH order 10-2020 to update requirements for health care facilities in Alberta.

  • 230,858 cases, an increase of 153 on June15, 2,639 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

  • Starting June 17, 2021, employers can apply for reimbursement of wages paid to workers who have taken sick leave related to COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The temporary reimbursement program is retroactive to May 20, when legislation was passed to ensure sick workers can stay home for up to three days without losing wages while supporting businesses during the pandemic. The amendments to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) require employers to pay sick workers their regular wages. Employers can then apply for reimbursement up to C$200 per day, to a maximum of three days per worker. Any employer whose workers are covered under the ESA but does not currently provide paid sick leave benefits to its employees will be eligible.

  • Students, families, teachers and staff should plan for a near-normal return to school in September. The province is providing C$43.6-million to support ongoing health and safety measures, First Nations and Métis students, mental health services, rapid response teams and to address learning impacts to students. (News Release)

    • Of the C$43.6-million, there are C$25.6-million in new one-time pandemic-specific funding to support necessary cleaning and disinfecting, hand hygiene for students and staff, improve ventilation and restock supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE). This funding will also strengthen the commitments to First Nations and Métis students and provide more mental health supports for students and staff.

  • The Provincial Health Officer has released the following updated orders and guidance documents:

  • 146,674 cases, an increase of 113 since yesterday, 1,454 active cases, including four deaths.

Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford said he will meet with the province's top doctor to make a decision about whether Ontario can make an earlier move to Step 2. (CTV)

    • When Ford announced the three-step plan in May, he said the province must stay in each stage for at least 21 days. The government said this length of time helps to ensure that cases don't spike from easing restrictions. That means Step 2 is currently scheduled for July 2. 

    • To enter this step, 70 per cent of adults need to be vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses. To date, 75 per cent of Ontarians have received their first dose, while 18 per cent have had both doses.

  • Accelerated second dose eligibility continues ahead of schedule. (News Release)

    • As of Monday June 21, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., all Ontarians who received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book or rebook their second dose appointment at a shortened interval.

    • As of Wednesday June 23, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 30, 2021 and who live in the catchment area of one of the 10 public health units identified as Delta hot spots (Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Peel, Porcupine, Simcoe-Muskoka, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, and York public health units) will be eligible to book or rebook their second dose appointment at a shortened interval.

    • Starting the week of June 28, 2021 (days/sequence to be confirmed) all Ontarians aged 18 and over who have received their first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to book their second dose appointment. The appointment will be scheduled at least 28 days after the first dose, per the recommended interval.

  • Team Toronto vaccination partners now completing in-home second doses of COVID-19 vaccine for homebound residents. (News Release)

  • 541,180 cases, an increase of 370 since yesterday, 4,390 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • A new update of an opinion from the Committee on Immunization of Quebec confirms that a second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine remains a valid option and will remain available. However, people who have had thrombosis with low platelets following a first dose of Astrazeneca, or who have a history of thrombocytopenia (low platelets) associated with heparin, should avoid AstraZeneca for their second dose and receive an mRNA vaccine instead. (New Release)

  • The National Institute of Public Health of Quebec has released a report that estimates the pandemic caused 5,400 more deaths in Quebec in 2020 compared to a normal year. (News Release)

  • A legal challenge has begun to determine whether private seniors' residences (RPAs) will have to reimburse their residents for services paid for but not rendered during the pandemic. (New Release)

    • Jacques Martin, a tenant of an RPA, obtained an Administrative Court of Housing decision to reduce his rent because of the reduction in services generated by COVID-19 but must now continue his fight in the Court of Quebec since the RPA has decided to contest the decision.

    • Québec solidaire calls on the Minister of Seniors, Marguerite Blais, to enforce the law which stipulates that all services included in a rental lease must be offered by the operators of the RPA and to adopt a decree before the beginning of the summer in order to oblige RPAs to reimburse all services not rendered to their residents during the pandemic.

  • Nine corporate vaccination centers will today offer walk-in vaccination to people 12 years of age and over wishing to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the regions of Montreal and the Capitale-Nationale, Montérégie, Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • Mobile vaccination clinics in several municipalities in Bas-Saint-Laurent from June 23 to July 2. (News Release)

    • It is possible to make an appointment to receive the vaccine in these mobile clinics online. Walk-ins can also be accommodated but the number of doses will be limited. The mobile clinics will be held in the parking lots of the Desjardins caisses in each of the municipalities visited and will welcome clients between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

      • La Pocatière: June 23 and 24

      • Pohénégamook: June 25 and 26

      • Squatec: June 27 and 28

      • Sayabec: June 29 and 30

      • Causapscal: July 1

      • Saint-Zénon-du-lac-Humqui: July 2

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced that due to new downward projections in the number of doses of Pfizer vaccines to be received in Canada over the coming weeks, there will be no additional appointments that can be made during the first two weeks of July in Quebec. However, all appointments that have been made to date will be honoured. (News Release)

  • Order in Council 807-2021 renews the public health emergency until June 25, 2021 and is published in Part II of today’s Quebec Gazette No. 24A.  Ministerial Orders 43-2021 and 44-2021 (included in previous digests) were also published.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-046 amends Order in Council 799-2021 to increase capacity limits from 2,500 to 3,500 for public events.

  • 373,531 cases, an increase of 161 since yesterday, 1,574 active cases, including one death.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada is on the cusp of hitting its first national vaccination target, but chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the Delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 might mean the country has to up its vaccine game again. (CTV)

    • Federal modelling done in April and May suggested that if 75 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 20 per cent had two, provinces could safely begin easing restrictions on public movement without overwhelming hospitals again. When 75 per cent of eligible people are fully vaccinated, the modelling suggested personal measures like physical distancing and wearing masks could also begin to loosen.

    • The variants used to develop those models didn't include Delta, which is the most infectious one tracked in Canada to date, believed to cause more severe illness and is expected to become the dominant variant circling. "If we model the Delta variant now and put that into that model... it does mean that even higher vaccination coverage would be even better at protection against the hospitalizations and overwhelming the health system" said Tam.

  • Canada and Prince Edward Island invest in education and active transportation infrastructure to help reduce the impacts of COVID-19. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Joint federal and provincial funding will support upgrades to four education and active transportation infrastructure projects in central Prince Edward Island. These investments will support safer and more sustainable communities. The government of Canada is investing over C$2-million through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream and the Green Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The government of Prince Edward Island is providing over C$911,000 in funding.

  • Order in Council 2021-522 announces the upcoming publication of regulations amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 – Relief for Deferred Salary Leave Plans and Pension Plans). The regulations will be published June 23, 2021.

    • Regulations amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 Relief for Deferred Salary Leave Plans and Pension Plans) to provide increased flexibility to address the unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as employees postponing or being called back from their leaves of absence, or layoffs and wage roll-backs impacting registered pension plans.

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. government has bought another 200 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine including an option to buy experimental shots that may be in development. (Reuters)

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the launch of the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) program. The Department is encouraging eligible businesses of all sizes to apply for funding to protect jobs for workers as the industry climbs back from the impacts of the pandemic. This program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Up to 1,200 Albertans can receive their first dose of an mRNA vaccine over three days at the Muslim Association of Canada Islamic Centre in Edmonton. The clinic will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 18 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 19 and June 20. (News Release)

    • The temporary clinic is located at 6104 172 Street NW, Edmonton, AB. Anyone interested in attending the clinic for a first dose can book online with Alberta Health Services or by calling 811. When attending your appointment, please bring identification and your Alberta Health Care card if you have one.

  • Along with three draws for C$1-million each, Alberta’s Open for Summer Lottery will now offer an additional 40 travel-related prizes provided by WestJet and Air Canada. This includes week-long stays at all-inclusive luxury resorts and flights across Canada and abroad. (News Release)

    • The WestJet and Air Canada packages will be included in the August lottery draw for people who receive both vaccine doses. To enter, you simply need to register online and have received a first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 24. Winners will be announced on August 31.

  • Bill 66, Public Health Amendment Act, 2021 passed third reading on June 15, 2021.

  • Bill 70COVID-19 Related Measures Act passed second reading on division and was referred to the Committee of the Whole on June 15, 2021.

  • 230,705 cases, an increase of 127 on June 14, 2,804 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

  • 146,561 cases, an increase of 108 since yesterday, 1,496 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Public health units in Ontario collectively administered a new high of more than 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday as the province's borders with Quebec and Manitoba reopened. (CBC)

    • Ontario is averaging more than 180,000 vaccinations daily, while more than 75 per cent of adults in the province have now had at least a single dose of vaccine. That is already above the 70 per cent threshold the government has set as a main criterion for moving into Phase 2 of the province's reopening plan. Another key benchmark is at least 20 per cent of adults fully immunized against the virus. Given the current trajectory of second doses — which have been outpacing doses being used for first shots — Ontario could reach the target by the end of this week.

  • 540,810 cases, an increase of 384 since yesterday, 4,662 active cases, including 12 deaths.

Quebec

  • The following places are offering walk-in vaccination to people 12 years of age and over who wish to receive the Pfizer vaccine quickly:

    • Saputo in-house and CAE vaccination centers

      • The Saputo vaccination center is located at the town hall of Montreal-North, at 4243 rue de Charleroi, in Montreal. It will be possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine there until 7:30 p.m. today. The clinic has 260 doses dedicated to walk-in.

      • CAE's vaccination center which is located at 8585 Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse, in Saint-Laurent, has 500 doses to offer without an appointment between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    • National Bank, Bell, Couche Tard, Groupe CH and Metro in Brossard 

      • The vaccination center is located at Complexe Bell, at 8000 boulevard Leduc, in Brossard. It will be possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine there, between noon and 7 p.m. today. The clinic has 500 doses dedicated to walk-in.

    • Desjardins vaccination center

      • The vaccination center is located at 150 rue des Commandeurs, in Lévis. There it will be possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today between noon and 7:30 p.m. The clinic has 250 doses dedicated to walk-in.

    • The vaccination center for businesses in the Capitale-Nationale and the vaccination center in Biscuits Leclerc

      • The vaccination center for businesses in the National Capital is located at 300 rue de l'Estuaire, in Quebec City. There it will be possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The mobile clinic has 400 doses dedicated to walk-in, offered between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

      • The Biscuits Leclerc vaccination center is located at 91 Rotterdam, François Leclerc Industrial Park, in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. It will be possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine there. The mobile clinic has 275 doses dedicated to walk-in, offered between 11:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m.

    • The Cascades in-house vaccination center

      • The vaccination center is located at 412 boul. Marie-Victorin, in Kingsey Falls, in Centre-du-Québec. It is possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. today. The clinic has more than 200 doses per day dedicated to walk-in, offered according to the order of arrival.

  • Announcement of in-camera testimony on Wednesday, June 16 for the public inquiry into the deaths of elderly or vulnerable people in residential settings during the COVID-19 pandemic at CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée de Laval. (News Release)

  • Shows, sporting events and festivals will soon be able to accommodate up to 3,500 people. (News Release)

    • Shows and sporting events will be able to host up to 3,500 people, both inside and out, beginning June 17 at 12:01 a.m. This relaxation will also apply to drive-in parks located on the green level as well as to festivals and major events that will be authorized outside as of June 25.

    • Except for drive-ins, the audience must be sub-divided into independent sections, each with a maximum limit of 250 people. Each of these sections should have independent entry, exit and sanitary facilities, as well as separate dining areas, if applicable. The distancing rules in force must be applied.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-045 revokes Ministerial Order 2021-029 (which prevents interprovincial travel between Ontario and Quebec) effective today.

  • 373,370 cases, an increase of 153 since yesterday, 1,606 active cases, no new deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than C$22.2-million to protect the health and well-being of residents in 130 municipalities throughout eastern Ontario. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$17.7-million in municipalities through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than C$4.4-million.

    • Funding will support upgrades to improve and protect important municipal buildings such as town centres and emergency and healthcare facilities. Additional investments will rehabilitate recreational and community infrastructure across eastern Ontario and include improvements to local trail and pedestrian path systems. These investments will provide thousands of residents with access to modern recreational infrastructure where they can safely maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

  • Government of Canada launches Ask the Experts campaign to encourage vaccine uptake. (News Release)

    • The Ask the Experts campaign will run from June 15, 2021, to July 31, 2021. The ads will appear on TV, web sites, social media and in search engine marketing. Through a series of videos, the campaign answers a variety of questions such as the importance of getting the second dose of the vaccine, why people who are young and healthy need to get vaccinated and how the vaccines work. 

U.S. – Federal

  • New York is lifting all state-mandated coronavirus restrictions after reporting that 70 per cent of the state's adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (Associated Press)

    • Effective immediately, he said, the state is lifting rules that required many types of businesses to follow cleaning protocols or take people’s temperatures or screen them for recent COVID-19 symptoms. Businesses will no longer have to follow social distancing rules or limit how many people they can allow inside based on keeping people six feet (two metres) apart. 

    • Some rules will remain: New Yorkers will continue to have to wear masks in schools, subways, large venues, homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, jails and prisons.

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now calls the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, also known as B.1.617.2, a "variant of concern." (CTV)

    • The variant of concern designation is given to strains of the virus that scientists believe are more transmissible or can cause more severe disease. Vaccines, treatments and tests that detect the virus may also be less effective against a variant of concern. Previously, the CDC had considered the Delta variant to be a variant of interest.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) announced it has filed a formal complaint against Air Canada with an Administrative Law Judge regarding the carrier’s failure to provide refunds in a timely manner to thousands of consumers who requested them for flights to or from the United States that the carrier canceled or significantly changed. The OACP is seeking a civil penalty of US$25,550,000 for Air Canada’s extreme delays in providing the required refunds. (News Release)

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury today awarded US$1.25-billion in COVID-19 relief funds to 863 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The grants will be made through the Treasury’s CDFI Rapid Response Program (CDFI RRP) and will provide necessary capital for CDFIs to respond to economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved communities. (News Release)

    • Grant funds will be used to support eligible activities such as financial products, financial services, development services and certain operational activities while also enabling CDFIs to build capital reserves and loan-loss reserves. 

Alberta

British Columbia

Ontario

  • City of Toronto immunization clinics adding 30,000 appointments using Moderna vaccine. (News Release)

    • The additional appointments will be available starting Wednesday, June 16 at 8 a.m. for vaccination appointments between June 22 and 27. These new appointments will be for the Moderna vaccine only.

    • People who book these new Moderna appointments at city-operated clinics will not be able to choose a different vaccine at their appointment. When the additional appointments are made available tomorrow morning, the provincial booking system will not indicate that a Moderna-specific appointment is being booked at the time of booking. Eligible individuals should be aware that almost all available appointments as of tomorrow will be for Moderna doses.

  • Team Toronto vaccination initiative reaches milestone of 20 per cent of Toronto adults receiving second dose of vaccine. (News Release)

  • O. Reg. 474/21 Grants for Student Needs – Legislative Grants for the 2020-2021 School Board Fiscal Year (made under the Education Act) amends O. Reg. 489/20 to add provisions related to the allocation of COVID-19 resilience infrastructure stream grants to schools boards. It is effective June 15, 2021.

  • 540,426 cases, an increase of 296 since yesterday, 5,012 active cases, including 13 deaths.

Quebec

  • Starting today, people who received the Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose can book an appointment for their second dose provided at least eight weeks have passed since their first dose. (News Release)

  • The regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec go green as of June 21, 2021. (News Release)

  • The Desjardins vaccination center will offer walk-in vaccination to people 12 years of age and over wishing to quickly receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this afternoon between 1:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. (News Release)

    • The vaccination center is located at 150, rue des Commandeurs, in Lévis. There it will be possible to receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic has 150 doses dedicated to walk-in. Considering the limited number of doses, the principle of first come, first served will be applied while stocks last.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced the adoption of a ministerial decree that allows bars located in regions with green and yellow levels to serve alcohol until midnight and close at 2:00 a.m. Restaurants can also serve alcohol until midnight. This change is effective June 14, 2021. (News Release)

  • 373,217 cases, an increase of 105 since yesterday, 1,630 active cases, including four deaths.

June 14, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada to receive 9.5 million vaccine doses this week thanks to influx of Moderna shots. (CTV)

    • The federal government says the Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical firm will deliver a total of 7.1 million jabs in two separate shipments this week. The first shipment of 2.9 million doses is scheduled to arrive and be sent to provinces in the middle of the week. The remaining 4.2 million will arrive later in the week, but won't be sent to provinces and territories until next week. Another 2.4 million doses are also due to come from Pfizer and BioNTech, which have been consistently delivering large weekly shipments since mid-March.

  • Health Canada has completed its quality review of the shipment of one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines that have been in quarantine since April.  The vaccines will not be released for use in Canada. (Statement)

U.S. – Federal

  • United States and G7+ partners will provide more than two billion vaccines for the world. (News Release)

    • G7+ countries have previously committed to finance and share more than one billion doses. This week, G7+ agreed to provide an additional one billion doses starting summer 2021. Their investment in local vaccine production capacity will also support at least one billion vaccine doses by the end of 2022.

  • The US Department of Health and Human Services Awards US$125 million in workforce grants for community-based efforts to bolster COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta’s government will hold three draws for C$1-million each to incentivize Albertans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. (News Release)

    • First dose lottery: Registration opens June 14 and closes one week after 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose. The first winner will be announced when Stage 3 of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan begins. 

    • Second dose lotteries: The second draw closes August 24 and the winner will be announced August 31, 2021. The third draw closes September 23, 2021 and the winner will be announced on September 30, 2021.

    • Dates and deadlines are subject to change and will be posted on the website once Alberta enters Stage 3 of the Open for Summer Plan. Albertans only need to register for the Open for Summer Lottery once and will be eligible for all draws once entered.

    • Eligibility requirements:

      • Opt-in by registering online.

      • Reside in Alberta at the time of entry and draw.

      • Be 18 years of age or older.

      • Provide proof of receiving your first dose of an approved vaccine for the first draw and proof of both first and second doses for the second and third draws.

      • Any Albertan 18 or older who received vaccines out of province is also eligible, provided they have submitted proof of vaccination to AHS and meet all other eligibility criteria.

  • CMOH Order 31-2021 outlines public health measures for Stage 2 of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan and is effective June 10, 2021.

  • 230,463 cases, an increase of 165 on June 12, 3,180 active cases, including eight deaths since Friday.

British Columbia

  • B.C. prepares to safely move to Step 2 of its restart plan on June 15, 2021. (News Release)

    • Moving from Step 1 to Step 2 includes:  

      • B.C. recreational travel – non-essential travel ban lifted. Out-of-province non-essential travel advisory continues. 

      • Maximum of 50 people for outdoor personal gatherings.

      • Maximum of 50 people for indoor seated organized gatherings (e.g. movie theatres, live theatre, banquet halls) with safety plans.

      • Indoor faith gatherings – a maximum of 50 people, or 10% of a place of worship’s total capacity, whichever number is greater – with safety plans.

      • Maximum of 50 spectators for outdoor sports.

      • Liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs extended until midnight.

      • Indoor sports games (no spectators) and high-intensity fitness with safety plans. 

    • All other capacity limits and guidelines listed in Step 1 stay in place unless noted in the list above. Public health safety protocols, such as mask wearing in all indoor public spaces and physical distancing will remain in place during Step 2. As well, personal indoor gatherings will be limited to five visitors or one other household.  

  • For the second consecutive year, the province is waiving the income requirements normally required for existing B.C. farm operations when qualifying for farm classification. By once again eliminating the income requirement as B.C. recovers from COVID-19, farmers will not have to worry about the possibility of losing their farm classification and having an increase in property taxes in 2022. (News Release)

  • Ministerial Order 242/2021 (made under the Emergency Program Act) repeals the Travel Restrictions (COVID-19) Order No. 3 made by Ministerial Order 212/2021 and is effective at the end of the day June 14, 2021.

  • 146,176 cases, an increase of 180 on Friday, 1,880 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario will lift provincial border restrictions on June 16, allowing people to once again travel freely into the province from Manitoba and Quebec. (CTV)

  • The Ontario government is releasing a framework for select Ontario professional and elite-amateur sport leagues and events that outlines the minimum requirements that must be met for a safe return to play. (News Release)

    • Key elements of the framework include: private COVID-19 screening and testing, assigned cohorts with limited or no interaction between different cohorts; practice, training and competition protocols; accommodation and travel/transportation services protocols; and individual control measures when not training or competing such as physical distancing and the use of face coverings.

  • The Ontario government is further accelerating the second dose interval for individuals who received their first dose of an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to eight weeks, with informed consent, from 12 weeks. (News Release)

    • With informed consent, individuals can choose between a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, at an eight to 12-week interval, recognizing that while waiting 12 weeks helps to ultimately provide more protection, some may choose to receive their second dose sooner to have the increased protection provided by a second dose earlier. All of these options provide protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, and have been deemed safe. Eligible individuals can begin booking second dose appointments as of Monday, June 14 at 8 a.m.

  • Ontario thanks the Canadian frontline health care workers who volunteered to temporarily relocate to Ontario during the third wave of the pandemic to support the province’s health care system. (Statement)

  • The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kits to small- and medium-sized businesses across Toronto. (News Release)

    • Businesses in Toronto with 150 or fewer employees are welcome to participate in this voluntary initiative. Eligible businesses can visit https://bot.com/rapidscreening to order their initial four-week supply of testing kits from the Toronto Region Board of Trade and book a time slot for pickup. The following distribution sites will be open for scheduled pickups by appointment only from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

      • Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall

      • North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.

      • Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.

      • Fort York Visitor Centre, 250 Fort York Blvd.

    • Participating businesses must ensure employees use the rapid screening kits correctly, watch a training video and safely dispose of the used testing kits. Each business will be required to electronically submit their screening results and are advised to test staff twice weekly. The accumulated data will be reported to the Ontario Ministry of Health monthly.

  • O. Reg. 471/21 Extension of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act) extends the revocation date of other emergency orders to June 30, 2021.

  • 540,130 cases, an increase of 1479 since Friday, 5,374 active cases, including 26 deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • The business vaccination center of the Capitale-Nationale will offer walk-in vaccination to people 12 years of age and over wishing to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine beginning this afternoon between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (News Release)

    • The vaccination center is located at 300, rue de l'Estuaire, in Quebec City. Individuals can receive the first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The mobile clinic has 200 doses per day dedicated to walk-in. Considering the limited number of doses, the principle of first come first served will be applied while stocks last.

  • The government of Quebec announces the reopening of its border with Ontario as of June 16, 2021. (News Release)

    • The 14-day isolation requirement for people entering Quebec from Ontario to return to their main residence has been lifted. People coming from Ontario may dine-in at restaurants within the limits of the rules applicable to each zone.

  • The government of Quebec is providing additional support to businesses in the Montérégie region, MRCs of Rivière-du-Loup & L’Islet, and Laval through the Emergency Assistance Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (PAUPME) and its Assistance to Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert (AERAM) component.

    • MRCs of La Vallée-du-Richelieu, Haut-Richelieu and Pierre-De Saurel will receive C$1.1-million, C$3-million and C$850,000, respectively.

    • MRCs of Rivière-du-Loup and L'Islet will each receive C$500,000.

    • Ville de Laval will receive C$1.5-million.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-043 amends Order in Council 799-2021 to update the list of health regions in green, yellow, and orange zones and is effective today.

  • 373,112 cases, an increase of 456 since Friday, 1,745 active cases, including six deaths since Friday.

June 11, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada will commit to sharing up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the world in a formal announcement that will come later in the G7 summit, the country's high commissioner to the United Kingdom said today. (CBC)

  • New COVID-19 cases have dropped 80 per cent — and 5.3 million more shots are set to arrive next week. (CBC)

    • As of Friday, Canada was averaging about 1,500 new cases a day — an 80 per cent decline from two months ago and a number comparable to the caseload reported in mid-October, before the deadly winter surge, according to data provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

  • Minister Murray participates in the Open Government Partnership Ministerial Steering Committee meeting. (News Release)

    • The committee focused discussions on leveraging the OGP platform to advance COVID-19 response recovery reforms and how members can work towards a stronger global coalition of governments to advance open government in 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • United States and G7+ plan to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 and prevent the next pandemic. (News Release)

  • The Food & Drug Administration on Friday said Johnson & Johnson must throw away millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were manufactured at a problem-plagued Baltimore factory but also cleared millions for use. (Reuters)

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration provided US$424.7-million in funding to over 4,200 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing and mitigation. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Ramping up vaccine second doses in Alberta; effective immediately, every Albertan who received their first dose in April or earlier can book a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

    • Albertans vaccinated in May are currently scheduled to begin booking their second dose starting June 28. The province will continue to accelerate second doses if supply allows.

  • Any Albertan who has received a first or second dose outside of the country or in another province can bring a copy of their immunization records to one of the 141 AHS public health clinics located throughout the province to have their immunization record updated. (News Release)

  • 229,949 cases, an increase of 178 since yesterday, 3,810 active cases, including six deaths.

British Columbia

  • Order in Council No. 336 Government directive issued by the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia re: Application in Support of a Second COVID-19 Rebate.

  • 145,996 cases, an increase of 153 since yesterday, 1,910 active cases, including four deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario extending temporary wage increase for personal support workers; this temporary wage increase will continue until August 23, 2021. (News Release)

  • Backgrounder: Investing in Northern Ontario to respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

  • 538,651 cases, an increase of 574 since yesterday, 6,184 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is giving health-care staff in oncology departments an ultimatum: either get vaccinated or be subject to three COVID-19 tests per week. (CBC)

    • The new rule comes after at least four patients died following a coronavirus outbreak in the cancer ward of Fleurimont Hospital, located in Sherbrooke. A total of 17 patients tested positive.

  • The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, today announced that the mandate given to Ms. Joane Castonguay, Commissioner for Health and Welfare (CSBE), to assess the performance of the health network, specifically for managing the care and housing of seniors in the context of COVID-19, is being extended for four months. (News Release)

  • 372,656 cases, an increase of 180 since yesterday, 2,068 active cases, including one death.

June 10, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • Canada still lacks national guidance for fully vaccinated Canadians as travel restrictions ease. (CBC)

    • Canada still hasn't provided clear guidance to fully vaccinated Canadians on what they can and can't do safely as the number of second doses of COVID-19 vaccines ramps up across the country and travel restrictions are set to ease.

    • Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam did provide some informal guidance for partially vaccinated Canadians on May 14, saying they could socialize with family and friends outdoors over the summer, but has not updated guidelines for the fully vaccinated.

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. Department of Labor issued an emergency rule for controlling COVID-19 and protecting workers in healthcare settings, but stopped short of extending the rule to other high-risk industries. (Reuters)

    • Hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities will be required within 14 days to implement the rule that covers face masks, ventilation and requirements for screening and limiting patients and visitors.

    • The rule by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aligns with existing non-binding guidance from the agency, but gives workers greater leverage to demand protections and provides for stricter enforcement and fines.

    • The agency also provided non-binding guidance for unvaccinated workers in high-risk settings, such as shifting some of those workers to off-hours, installing physical barriers on assembly lines and staggering breaks.

  • President Biden announces historic vaccine donation: Half a billion Pfizer vaccines to the world’s lowest-income nations. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Stage 2 of Open for Summer Plan begins today. (News Release)

    • Beginning June 10, Stage 2 of the Open for Summer Plan will take effect, two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus received at least one dose of vaccine and with COVID-19 hospitalizations well below 500 and still falling.

    • Restrictions eased in Stage 2 of the Open for Summer Plan, effective June 10:

      • Outdoor social gatherings increase to 20 people, with distancing.

      • Indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies may occur with up to 20 attendees. Receptions are permitted outdoors.

      • Indoor and outdoor funeral services remain unchanged with up to 20 people permitted. Receptions are permitted outdoors.

      • Restaurants may seat tables with up to six people, indoors or outdoors.

      • Dining parties are no longer restricted to households only.

      • Physical distancing and other restrictions still apply.

      • Retail capacity increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.

      • Capacity for places of worship increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.

      • Gyms and other indoor fitness facilities open for solo and drop-in activities with three-metre distancing between participants and fitness classes may resume with three-metre distancing.

      • Indoor settings may open with up to one-third of fire code occupancy, including indoor recreation centres. This includes arenas, cinemas, theatres, museums, art galleries and libraries.

      • Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports resume.

      • Youth activities, such as day camps, overnight camps and play centres, may resume.

      • Personal and wellness services can resume walk-in services.

      • Post-secondary institutions can resume in-person learning.

      • The work-from-home order is lifted but still recommended.

      • Outdoor fixed seating facilities (e.g., grandstands) can open with one-third of seated capacity.

      • Public outdoor gatherings increase to 150 people (e.g., concerts/festivals).

    • Stage 3 is expected to begin in late June or early July. 

  • As part of Stage 2 of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan, museums and archives can open to the public at reduced visitor capacity. (News Release)

  • New Government resource: Summer school 2021 : COVID-19 plan

    • The Summer School 2021 COVID-19 plan builds on the comprehensive 2020-21 School Re-entry Plan that directed school authorities to prepare for three possible scenarios.

  • 229,771 cases, an increase of 313 since yesterday, 4,204 active cases, including five deaths.

British Columbia

  • 145,843 cases, an increase of 148 since yesterday, 1,975 active cases, including three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario unveiled updated COVID-19 modelling as second doses of COVID-19 vaccines accelerated for some. (CBC and Ontario’s Vaccine Implementation Update)

    • At a news conference, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Ontario is making "tremendous progress" on the vaccination front.

      • According to the modelling, cases should continue to decline for at least the next 10 days in Ontario. (CTV)

    • Officials also said that starting the week of June 20, mobile workplace clinics in Toronto, Peel and York, as well as employer-led clinics in Peel specifically, will begin operating sooner than expected.

    • About 62.6 per cent of Ontarians, or 73.2 per cent of those aged 18 and older, have now had at least one shot. Eleven per cent of the total population are fully vaccinated.

  • Ontario further accelerates second doses in Delta hot spots; province will further accelerate second doses across Ontario once additional shipments are confirmed. (News Release)

    • The province is further expanding eligibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 variants and protect communities with the highest rates of Delta (B.1.617) variant transmission.

    • Beginning 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 2021 individuals who live in Delta hot spots in Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York public health units and have also received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book their accelerated second dose appointment through the provincial booking system (for Peel and Toronto public health units), directly through public health units that use their own booking system and through participating pharmacies.

    • Primary care providers will be reaching out to book appointments.

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

  • 538,077 cases, an increase of 590 since yesterday, 6,464 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • Premier François Legault says he expects the border between Quebec and Ontario to reopen “in the next few days.” (Montreal Gazette)

    • He was responding to a reporter’s pandemic question at a press conference about a cultural announcement.

  • Quebec surgery wait lists won't return to normal until 2023, Dubé says. (Montreal Gazette)

  • Order in Council No.782-2021 The public health emergency has been renewed until June 18, 2021.

  • Order in Council No.799-2021 Related to a variety of amendments regarding reopening measures.

  • 372,476 cases, an increase of 189 since yesterday, 2,206 active cases, including two deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • The federal government says fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents crossing the border into Canada will soon no longer be required to stay at a hotel for part of their quarantine period. (CBC)

    • Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government is hoping to ease some restrictions in stages, starting in early July.

    • She said those fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will still have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival and have an isolation plan until their test comes back negative.

  • Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said today that Moderna will ship seven million more vaccine doses to Canada this month. (CBC)

  • Canada and Ontario invest more than C$115.1-million in municipal infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. (News Release and Backgrounder)

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. workplace regulator will publish a rule on Thursday requiring healthcare employers to take steps to protect workers from COVID-19, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh told a congressional panel today. (Reuters)

    • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also release non-binding guidance on how other businesses can protect workers.

  • Biden Administration announces U.S. government procurement of Merck’s investigational antiviral medicine for COVID-19 treatment. (News Release)

    • The U.S. government will procure approximately 1.7 million courses of an investigational antiviral treatment, molnupiravir (MK-4482), for COVID-19 from Merck, pending emergency use authorization (EUA) or approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to insurers and providers: COVID-19 vaccines and testing must be free for patients. (News Release)

  • A bill, introduced in the United States Congress aims to create pressure to reopen the Canada-U.S. border to international travel. (CBC)

    • A Republican lawmaker from New York state who introduced the bill in the House of Representatives this week says he wants answers on what conversations are happening behind the scenes.

Alberta

  • 229,458 cases, an increase of 139 since yesterday, 4,431 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • Ontario dramatically ramping up delivery of rapid test kits; Over 12 million rapid antigen screening tests now shipped across the province. (News Release)

  • Toronto City Council approves extension of COVID-19 bylaws until September. (News Release)

    • The bylaws to be extended are:

      • Bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020, which regulate physical distancing in city parks and public squares.

      • Bylaw 541-2020, that requires people wear masks or face coverings in common areas of businesses, apartments and condominiums.

      • Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, which regulates apartment building standards and includes temporary amendments such as the need for mandatory hand hygiene stations and public health signage, increased cleaning protocols and the closure of non-essential common areas.

      • Chapter 545, Licensing, specifically temporary amendments that require food and drink establishments to implement measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (i.e. through signage, capacity and table limits, etc.) and maintain customer logs.

  • Toronto Public Health case and contact management key to limiting COVID-19 transmission and preparing for re-opening. (News Release)

  • Ontario is resuming in-vehicle passenger road tests on Monday, June 14, 2021, at DriveTest centres across the province. (News Release)

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

    • O.Reg.452/21 Rules for Areas in Shutdown Zone And At Step 1

  • 537,487 cases, an increase of 411 since yesterday, 6,824 active cases, including 33 deaths.

Quebec

  • 372,287 cases, an increase of 178 since yesterday, 2,274 active cases, including eight deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada eyeing multi-stage approach to reopening the border to travellers. (CBC)

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed two key elements of the likely reopening plan in public remarks Monday: That the reopening will happen in stages and that the first travellers entering Canada will have to be fully vaccinated.

    • Several aspects of the reopening plan remain up in the air.

      • The first is the reopening date itself: Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told a group of border mayors in a meeting last month that it was uncertain whether the first phase could happen in late June, when the current border restrictions expire.

  • Government of Canada funds five new projects to encourage vaccine uptake in Canada. (News Release)

    • Four provincial and one national Community Health Centre (CHC) Associations will receive funding to increase COVID-19 vaccine knowledge and access for those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 within their communities. 

U.S. – Federal

  • CDC eases travel recommendations on 61 countries, including Canada. (CTV)

  • White House urges states to lengthen shelf life of J&J vaccine as millions sit unused. (CTV)

  • Department of Transportation thanks transit agencies for helping Americans access COVID-19 vaccination sites nationwide and encourages more to step up as part of National Month of Action. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta is seeing a diminishing demand for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and that could translate into a longer wait for the province to fully reopen, says Premier Jason Kenney. (CBC)

  • 229,319 cases, an increase of 127 since yesterday, 4,707 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • Ontario logs fewest new COVID-19 cases since September as delta variant seen in all regions. (CBC)

  • 537,076 cases, an increase of 469 since yesterday, 7,378 active cases, including 18 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec will allow high school proms after July 8, Legault says; Bar terrasses can reopen across Quebec on Friday. (Montreal Gazette)

    • Also on Friday, supervised outdoor activities with limited contact, including sports like soccer and baseball, will be permitted with up to 25 people.

    • As of Monday (June 14), no region will be on orange or red alert. Regions will be either yellow or green.

  • Option to bring forward second dose appointment only available for Pfizer's vaccine for now. (News Release)

  • Wearing masks no longer mandatory in class for staff in yellow and green regions. (News Release and Ministerial Order 2021-041)

    • Following the CNESST's announcement and with the agreement of the public health authorities, the Ministry of Education announces that all staff in primary and secondary schools, located in the yellow-tier regions and green, will no longer be required to wear a mask in class, as long as the two-meter distance from students and staff is maintained or there are physical barriers such as plexiglass panels. These adjustments also apply to general adult education and vocational training.

  • Wearing a mask now not mandatory in class in orange-level regions. (News Release)

    • In the context of the heat wave that is currently affecting Quebec and following a recommendation from public health authorities, the Ministry of Health and Social Services announce that elementary and secondary students living in the regions at the orange level will no longer be obliged to wear a mask in class, starting tomorrow.

    • However, students must always wear a mask in common areas, when traveling in the corridors and in school transport.

  • 372,109 cases, an increase of 179 since yesterday, 2,400 active cases, inclduing four deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada's border agency is urgently looking to hire a global technology firm to help develop a biometric strategy in response to rapidly evolving issues including COVID-19. (CTV)

    • The Canada Border Services Agency issued a notice of procurement today inviting 15 firms to submit proposals for immediately setting up an Office of Biometrics and Identity Management.

  • Canada and Ontario invest C$15-million in municipal infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in Northern Ontario. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$12-million in Northern Ontario municipalities through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than C$3-million.

    • The majority of funding will support the rehabilitation of water and wastewater infrastructure, repairs to municipal public works buildings and fire halls. Additional investments will support upgrades to parks, recreational facilities and active transportation networks of multi-use paths and trails for residents across Northern Ontario.

  • Projects selected under the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge to help promote vaccine confidence. (News Release)

    • Through the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge, the Government of Canada is engaging directly with communities to increase confidence in vaccination.

  • The following were published in the June 5 Canada Gazette Part I (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)

U.S. – Federal

  • Airlines press U.S. on refusal to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions. (Reuters)

    • The White House, which is focused on boosting U.S. vaccination rates and reducing COVID-19 cases, declined to comment.

Alberta

  • Alberta will move to Stage 2 of its reopening plan on June 10, Premier Jason Kenney confirmed today. (CTV)

    • Under Stage 2, outdoor social gatherings of up to 20 people would be permitted, and outdoor concerts or festivals could welcome as many as 150 people. Indoor social gatherings are still prohibited.

    • The capacity limits on funeral and wedding services would increase to 20 people.

    • Gyms and fitness studio will be allowed to reopen for solo or drop-in activities as long as physical distancing guidelines are followed.

    • Casinos, cinemas, museums, and libraries may also welcome guests through their doors, with some restrictions in place.

    • Restaurants may resume offering indoor dining with up to six people at a table.

    • The province has set a target for moving to Stage 3, the removal of nearly all pandemic-related restrictions, by late June or early July. (CTV)

  • As of June 4, Alberta Health Services, community pharmacies and physician clinics have delivered more than three million doses into the arms of Albertans. More than 66 per cent of eligible Albertans have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 13 per cent are now fully immunized. (News Release)

  • New Government Resource: Employer’s toolkit for vaccination [June 2021]

    • Employers can use the guidance documents in this Toolkit to encourage their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, protecting themselves, their fellow employees and the health of their business.

  • 229,192 cases, an increase of 768 since Friday, 4,884 active cases, including 10 deaths.

British Columbia

  • 145,049 cases, an increase of 183 on Friday, 2,453 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario to move to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen on June 11; Improvements in key indicators allowing province to begin the safe and gradual lifting of public health measures. (News Release)

    • Step One of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities with smaller crowds where risk of transmission is lower. It will also permit more limited indoor settings to be open, all with restrictions in place. 

      • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to 10 people and patios can reopen. Restaurants can return to their normal hours of liquor service, Monday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

      • The province said there will be no capacity limits on outdoor patios, but tables must be 2-metres apart, and a maximum of four people can be seated together, unless they are part of the same household. One person who lives alone, or a caregiver, can be added.

      • Day camps will be allowed to operate, along with overnight camping grounds at provincial parks. Fitness classes and sports training are permitted with up to 10 people outdoors. But, sports games are not allowed.

      • While Step 1 of the province’s reopening plan will allow in-person shopping at non-essential retail, with strict capacity limits, it will continue to keep malls shuttered. Only stores featuring street-front entrances will be permitted to open (CTV).

    • The province will remain in Step One for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. If at the end of the 21 days the province has vaccinated 70 per cent of adults with one dose and 20 per cent of adults with two doses and there are continued improvements in other key public health and health system indicators, the province will move to Step Two of the Roadmap.

  • The following Regulations were added to e-laws:

    • O.Reg. 440/21 Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020)

    • O.Reg. 441/21 Stages of Reopening (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020)

    • O.Reg. 412/21 Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (made under the Employment Standards Act, 2000)

  • Legislative Activity:

    • S.O. 2021 c. 27 (Bill 283), Advancing Oversight and Planning in Ontario’s Health System Act, 2021 received Royal Assent on Friday. The Act creates the following three new Acts (coming into force information is set out at the end of each Schedule):

      • The Health and Supportive Care Providers Oversight Authority Act, 2021;

      • The Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021; and

      • The COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Act, 2021

    • S.O. 2021 c. 25 (Bill 276), Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021 received Royal Assent on Friday – the Act amends a number of Acts including the COVID-10 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 and the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020. Coming into force information is set out at the end of each Schedule.

  • 536,607 cases, an increase of 1,932 since Friday, 7,937 active cases, including 49 deaths.

Quebec

  • Montréal and Laval are taking another step on the long, winding road back to normality on Monday as the two regions will be downgraded from red to orange zones. (CBC)

    • Quebec's vaccination campaign also enters an important new phase as schools will begin co-ordinating efforts for students between the ages of 12 and 17 to get their first shot.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-040 related to the easing of certain measures set in place to protect the health of the population.

  • 371,960 cases, an increase of 599 since Friday, 2,587 active cases, including six deaths.

June 4, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government has secured 9.1-million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech to arrive in August and an option for three million more in September. This means Canada will receive two million doses from the supplier every week until the end of the summer. (CTV)

  • SOR/2021-107 – Regulations Amending the Contraventions Regulations (Schedule XVI) increases the fine amount under the Contraventions Regulations to C$5000. This fine may be levied against travellers returning to Canada who do not follow the current quarantine rules. The regulation was published in the Canada Gazette, Part 2, Vol. 155, Extra No. 4 on June 4, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director urged teenagers to get vaccinated as new data from the agency’s researchers showed one in three teenagers who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 early this year needed ICU admission. (Reuters and Statement)

  • The U.S. health regulator authorized a lower dose of Regeneron Pharmaceutical's COVID-19 antibody cocktail that can be given by injection.  Regeneron has been working on a lower dose of its cocktail that can be given subcutaneously to address the challenges that have weighed on demand for antibody drugs. (CTV)

    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had in November authorized a 2,400 mg dose of REGEN-COV administered as a single dose directly injected to a vein for non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The agency has now lowered it to 1,200 mg and allowed the administration of casirivimab and imdevimab by injecting under the skin when intravenous infusion is not possible and would lead to treatment delay.

  • U.S. health authorities are trying to determine whether heart inflammation that can occur along with many types of infections could also be a rare side effect in teens and young adults after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (CTV)

    • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted doctors last month that it was monitoring a small number of reports of heart inflammation in teens and young adults after the mRNA vaccines, the kind made by Pfizer and Moderna. The CDC hasn't determined if there's really a link to the shots, and continues to urge that everyone 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19, which is far riskier than the vaccine. Authorities will have to tease out whether cases following COVID-19 vaccination are occurring more often than the expected "background rate."

Alberta

  • About 10,000 more surgeries were delayed during Alberta's third wave of COVID-19, which pushed the province's intensive care units to the brink of capacity this spring. (CBC)

    • The heavy demand on the system prompted Alberta Health Services to once again postpone non-urgent scheduled surgeries — as it had during the first and second waves last year — in part because some patients who receive surgery require intensive care after their operations. The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU has been on the decline for several weeks, and surgeries are starting to pick up again. Roughly 25,000 surgeries were delayed in the first and second waves of the pandemic last year. All backlogged surgeries from the first wave have now been rebooked, but it will still take months for the health system to catch up.

  • 228,424 cases, an increase of 296 on June 2, 5,831 active cases, including five deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Province is adding millions in additional funding to keep the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant operating until the expected start of Step 3 of B.C.’s Restart plan on July 1, 2021. (News Release)

    • To date, the business recovery grant program has committed C$290-million to support businesses impacted by the pandemic. After applications close on July 2, 2021, the total investment of the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program is expected to reach C$430-million. This funding will support more than 20,000 B.C. businesses and 260,000 employees over the course of the pandemic and beyond. 

    • Eligible businesses interested in applying for the grant are encouraged to apply right away. All businesses that apply, including businesses in the application process, must submit all final documentation and details prior to the July 2, 2021, deadline. Outstanding grants and related service-provider claims will continue to be processed as soon as possible after the application period closes.

  • 144,866 cases, an increase of 199 since yesterday, 2,563 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • A dangerous new variant of COVID-19 has prompted politicians and public health officials to urge Ontario to learn from the early mistakes of its vaccine rollout and prioritize Peel Region for second doses, lest the province get swept into a fourth wave of the pandemic. (CBC)

    • The public health unit west of Toronto has long been a COVID-19 hot spot due in large part to the numerous essential workplaces in the area, and experts warn the Delta variant is now spreading in the region. Evidence now suggests a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is not as effective against the Delta variant, which is also known as B.1.617 and was first detected in India.

  • Ontario continues to support families, businesses and workers during COVID-19 by stressing the importance of vaccine uptake and encouraging workplace rapid testing. (Statement)

  • Due to an increasing supply of vaccines, the province is inviting individuals aged 70 and over as well as individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) on or before April 18, 2021 to book an accelerated second dose appointment ahead of schedule. (News Release)

    • Beginning today, eligible individuals can book an appointment through pharmacies and primary care settings participating in the vaccine rollout. Starting June 7, they can book an appointment through the provincial booking system and call centre (1-833-943-3900). 

  • City of Toronto immunization clinics opening 10,000 new appointments as new groups eligible to book second dose appointment at city clinics starting next week. (News Release)

    • The new appointments at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Cloverdale Mall and Scarborough Town Centre clinics will be available to book in the provincial booking system today as of 11:30 a.m.

  • Bill 305, 10 Paid Sick Days for Ontario Workers Act, 2021 was introduced and passed first reading on June 3, 2021. The bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 in the following ways:

    • Sections 50, 50.0.1 and 50.0.2 of the Act, which provide for sick leave, family responsibility leave and bereavement leave, respectively, are repealed. Section 50 is re-enacted to provide for up to 10 paid days of personal emergency leave in the case of a personal illness, injury or medical emergency, the illness, injury or medical emergency of a specified family member or an urgent matter concerning a specified family member.

    • The Act is amended to require that the Minister implement an employer support program to provide resources and supports to assist employers in providing personal emergency leave as required by the new section 50.

    • Section 50.1 of the Act, which currently provides for three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave, is amended to increase this number to 10 days of paid leave.

  • 534,675 cases, an increase of 914 since yesterday, 9,459 active cases, including 19 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Minister responsible for Seniors and Caregivers, Marguerite Blais, announced the easing of restrictions in long-term care facilities based on regional alert levels. The changes come into effect June 7, 2021. (News Release)

    • In regions with a green alert level, residents can receive up to nine visitors inside their living environment, for a total of 10 people including the resident. In yellow alert regions, residents are allowed to receive people from another residence, taking into account the accommodation capacity of the environment (for example: room, rental unit). In orange alert regions, residents can receive one visitor.  Under all alert levels, visitors will no longer have to make an appointment. 

    • Residents of the same facility who have had two doses of the vaccine will be able to mix inside their rental unit, regardless of the level of alert. 

    • Communal dinning areas will be able to accommodate 10 people/table (green alert), six people/table (yellow alert), and four people/table (orange alert) with no social distancing required.

  • The Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region will go to green alert level effective June 7, 2021. (News Release)

  • The public hearings on the deaths of residents in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic will resume with hearings from June 7 to 10, June 14 to 17, and June 21 to 23, 2021 starting at 9 a.m. at the Laval courthouse. The listed hearings are focused on CHSLD Yvon-Brunet in Montreal and CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée in Laval. Remote attendance is possible. (News Release)

  • 371,361 cases, an increase of 279 since yesterday, 3,215 active cases, including four deaths.

June 3, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Travellers who refuse hotel quarantine will soon face larger fines. (CTV)

    • The government says tickets issued by police for violations of the Quarantine Act will carry a maximum fine of C$5,000 as of Friday. That's a 67 per cent increase from the C$3,000 fine that is currently in place.

  • Government of Canada investment helping the fish and seafood sector in Central Newfoundland remain strong and adjust operations with enhanced focus on COVID-19 health and safety. (News Release)

    • Today, Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, announced total investments of C$314,214 in four initiatives to help the fish and seafood processing sector in Central Newfoundland:

      • Fogo Island Co-operative Society Ltd. is receiving a non-repayable contribution of C$60,000 to support expenditures related to COVID health and safety modifications to its seafood processing operations in Fogo, Joe Batt’s Arm and Seldom, including installation of dividers to ensure safe distancing of employees, purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), and renovations to plant entrances, washrooms and breakrooms.

      • Hodders Shelfish Inc. is receiving a non-repayable contribution of C$137,250 to support costs of plant modifications to expand the lunch and common area, install dividers and purchase PPE and thermometers.

      • Notre Dame Seafoods Inc. is receiving a non-repayable contribution of C$41,964 to implement modifications to its Comfort Cove Fish Plant, including renovations for a health screening room and change rooms, as well as the purchase of PPE, and installation of dividers to ensure safe employee distancing.

      • Triton Ocean Products Ltd. is receiving a non-repayable contribution of C$75,000 to assist with the costs associated with a new health and safety policy, including installation of motion sensor equipment throughout the plant, purchase of PPE and installation of dividers for safe distancing of employees.

U.S. – Federal

  • The White House laid out a plan for the United States to share US$25-million surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses with the world and said it would lift some restrictions to allow other countries to buy U.S.-made supplies for vaccine production more easily. (Reuters and Statement)

    • The United States will donate nearly 19 million doses through the COVAX international vaccine sharing program, with some six million doses going to Latin America and the Caribbean, about seven million doses to South and Southeast Asia and roughly five million to Africa. The remaining doses, amounting to just over six million, would go directly from the United States to countries including Canada, Mexico, India and South Korea.

    • The White House is also removing special powers it granted through the Defense Production Act (DPA) to certain vaccine makers that received U.S. funding but do not yet have U.S. approvals, including AstraZeneca, Sanofi SA/GlaxoSmithKline Plc, and Novavax Inc. The DPA ratings give U.S. producers priority access to supplies and equipment needed to manufacture the vaccines that are in short supply around the world. Lifting them could free up raw materials for major vaccine makers elsewhere, especially the Serum Institute of India.

Alberta

  • Up to 5,000 Albertans can receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine without an appointment on June 5 and June 6 at the Village Square Leisure Centre (2623 56 Street NE) in Calgary, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Albertans interested in attending are asked to bring identification and their Alberta Health Care card, if they have one. (News Release)

  • 228,128 cases, an increase of 410 on June 1, 6,305 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • 144,667 cases, an increase of 194 on since yesterday, 2,662 active cases, including four deaths.

Ontario

  • A rise in COVID-19 cases over the past two days has prompted Ontario's top doctor to warn the chances of an earlier reopening are looking "less promising". (CTV)

  • Thanks to high levels of vaccination in long-term care homes and improvements in key public health care indicators, Ontario is easing the restrictions to allow long-term care residents to enjoy more social connections with their loved ones. (News Release)

    • The Ministry of Long-Term Care’s visitor policy and guidance document have been updated to allow the following:

      • Residents who have been fully immunized can leave their long-term care homes for day and overnight social outings and trips.

      • Residents with mobility limitations or health conditions (essentially, factors unrelated to weather) that make participating in outdoor visits highly unlikely or impossible may have one general visitor at a time inside the long-term care home, in addition to an essential caregiver.

      • Regardless of resident and visitor vaccination status, brief hugs can now take place. Where both the resident and visitors are fully immunized, close physical contact, including handholding, can now take place safely. It continues to be important that residents and visitors adhere to public health measures in the home, including good hand hygiene and appropriate masking.

  • The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, has updated its guidance for individuals who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and who have not yet received their second dose to allow for the mixing of COVID-19 vaccines if desired. (News Release)

    • Beginning June 4, 2021, individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 12 weeks ago and want a second dose of the same vaccine can contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where they received their first dose to book an appointment.  Individuals opting to receive an mRNA vaccine have the option to schedule their second dose appointment at a participating pharmacy where the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are administered. They will also be able to book their second dose of an mRNA vaccine through the provincial booking system or their local public health unit’s booking system beginning the week of June 7, 2021.

  • Bill 276, Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021 passed third reading today.

  • The following regulations made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act were filed with the Registrar of Regulations on June 2, 2021. 

  • 533,761 cases, an increase of 870 since yesterday, 9961 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, unveiled the schedule for making COVID-19 vaccine second dose appointments for people aged 18 and over. (News Release)

    • Appointments can be booked through the government’s online portal. It is the age reached that will be considered when receiving the vaccine and not the year of birth.

      • June 7: 80 and over

      • June 8: 75 and over

      • June 9: 70 and over

      • June 10: 65 and over

      • June 11: 60 and over

      • June 14: 55 and over

      • June 15: 50 and over

      • June 16: 45 and over

      • June 17: 40 and over

      • June 18: 35 and over

      • June 21: 30 and over

      • June 22: 25 and over

      • June 23: 18 and over

  • Following an update of the opinions of the Committee on Immunization of Quebec (CIQ), the Ministry of Health and Social Services announces that the recommended interval between the two doses for vaccines administered in Quebec is now eight weeks, down from 16 weeks. (News Release)

    • Note, however, that for people who are immunosuppressed or on dialysis who have not yet received their second dose, the recommended interval is four weeks to optimize their immune response quickly.

  • The Minister of Higher Education unveiled the procedure for requesting a one-time payment to recognize the human inconvenience suffered by college and university students in the context of the COVID-19 health emergency. (News Release)

    • The payment is available to all college and university students registered full-time for the fall 2020 or winter 2021 sessions. Eligible students will be able to obtain a maximum lump sum of C$200, or C$100 per full-time session. Students will be able to access the application form from their institution’s website or by contacting the registrar beginning July 2, 2021. 

  • Order in Council 740-2021 (which renews the public health emergency until June 11, 2021) and Ministerial Order 2021-039 (included in previous digest) were published in the Quebec Gazette No. 22A on June 3, 2021.

  • 371,082 cases, an increase of 267 since yesterday, 3,356 active cases, including six deaths.

June 2, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • International Development Minister Karina Gould says Canada is doubling its dollar commitment to the global vaccine-sharing alliance known as COVAX but isn't yet committing to a specific donation of excess vaccine doses. (CTV)

  • The Government of Canada announces details of the New Canada Recovery Hiring Program and Extension of Business Support Programs. (News Release and Backgrounder and Backgrounder)

    • The proposed Canada Recovery Hiring Program would provide a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of eligible salary or wages. It would be available to eligible employers who have experienced qualifying revenue declines so they can hire more workers, increase workers’ hours, or increase wages. This support would afford businesses with certainty that they can take on the extra costs needed to rehire and be ready to return to growth. Businesses would be able to access the program through the Canada Revenue Agency and support would be available retroactively to June 6, 2021.

    • The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Small Business also detailed the proposed extension of business support programs that have served as a lifeline to Canadian businesses through the pandemic. This includes the extension of the Wage Subsidy, Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021 and the Business Credit Availability Program and Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program to December 31, 2021.

  • The Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health issued a statement on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines.

U.S. – Federal

  • President Biden to announce National Month of Action to mobilize an All-of-America Sprint to get more people vaccinated by July 4. (Fact Sheet)

    • The National Month of Action will include the following initiatives:

      • Free child care for individuals getting vaccinated

      • Extended hours at pharmacies across the country in June to offer more flexible appointment availability

      • Community canvassing, phone banking, text banking and vaccination events in areas with low vaccination rates

      • “We Can Do This” national vaccination tour by the Vice President

      • Mayors challenge to increase vaccination rates in cities across America

      • Shots at the Shop – a new initiative to engage black-owned barbershops and beauty salons to support local vaccine education and outreach efforts

      • Blanketing local TV and radio and social media to get Americans the facts and answer their questions

      • COVID-19 college challenge where colleges and universities can commit to taking action to get their students and communities vaccinated with support from the Administration

      • Business incentives for vaccinated Americans

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launches first venture capital partnership to develop transformative technologies to combat future pandemics and other health emergencies. (New Release)

    • Through the BARDA Ventures program, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, is launching a partnership with the nonprofit organization Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC). Through this partnership, BARDA intends to provide GHIC with a minimum of US$50-million over five years with potential for up to US$500-million over 10 years. GHIC will launch a global health security fund with matching capital from other investors. This partnership will allow direct linkage with the investment community and establish sustained and long-term efforts to identify, nurture, and commercialize technologies that aid the U.S. in responding effectively to future health security threats.

Alberta

  • Alberta Health Services has extended an offer to accept up to 10 intensive care patients from Manitoba to help ease the burden as that province nears the expected peak of its third wave of the pandemic. (CTV)

    • Discussions are currently underway to formulate a timeline for the westward transfer of patients in need of critical care. Once a patient's condition stabilizes, they will return to Manitoba to continue their recovery.

  • City of Calgary council voted unanimously to approve more than C$15-million for a COVID-19 relief package for certain types of Calgary businesses.(CBC)

    • Motels and hotels have been given a property tax deferral for this year through to the end of 2022. Restaurants, pubs and bars will be able to apply for a re-opening grant program to receive C$2,500. The city will make larger grants available to fitness facilities, live music venues, and nightclubs that have been largely closed during the pandemic.

    • Business owners with multiple establishments in Calgary will be able to apply for funding for each one. Applications will be accepted from July 2 to August 10 — or until all of the funding is allocated — and must present a copy of their business licence.

  • Alberta speeding up second-dose appointments. (News Release)

    • Albertans will be able to schedule second-dose appointments in the order they received their first doses.

      • Anyone vaccinated in March or earlier can book their second dose starting June 1

      • Anyone vaccinated in April can book their second dose starting June 14

      • Anyone vaccinated in May can book their second dose starting June 28

    • While the interval between first and second doses will start at 12 weeks, Alberta will now be able to offer second-dose appointments at progressively earlier intervals, provided vaccine supply remains stable.

      • For Pfizer and Moderna, the interval will be lowered over time to a minimum of three to four weeks as supply becomes available and we work through the eligible groups.

      • For AstraZeneca, the interval will be lowered over time to a minimum recommended length of eight weeks or more for best effectiveness.

    • Albertans who received an AstraZeneca dose in March or earlier can now book second-dose appointments. Anyone who received it in April or May should wait until eight weeks have passed since their first dose before booking. Albertans who received a first dose of AstraZeneca will have a choice:

      • Book a second appointment for AstraZeneca by going to the online AHS booking site, calling 811, or going to a pharmacy listed on the Alberta Blue Cross website

      • Book a second appointment for an mRNA vaccine through participating pharmacies or AHS

  • 227,718 cases, an increase of 209 on May 31, 6,771 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • Bill 11, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2021 passed third reading on June 1, 2021.

  • 144,473 cases, an increase of 184 on since yesterday, 2,800 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced schools will remain closed to in-person learning for the rest of the academic year, but says the province might be able to enter Step 1 of its reopening plan earlier than expected. (CTV)

  • The Ontario government has made the decision to continue with remote learning for all elementary and secondary students across the province for the remainder of this school year. This will allow the province to continue its focus on accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations to support a safer summer and return to in-person learning in September for the 2021-22 school year. (News Release)

    • School boards will continue to have safety plans in place for students who are experiencing or could be expected to experience mental health challenges. This will help them to have continued access to remote or in-person services through the school, community child and youth mental health service providers or local health care partners. Schools will continue to remain open for in-person learning for special education students who cannot be accommodated through remote learning until the end of June. 

    • With schools in Ontario closed for in-person learning, emergency child care will continue until the end of June to align with the end of the elementary school year. Before and after school programs will remain closed and will continue to not charge parent fees, which is prohibited during the remote learning period. Licensed child care centres may resume serving school-aged children for full-days in programming over the summer months, in accordance with the Ministry of Education’s health and safety guidance. Those before and after school programs that operate as a camp over the summer will be permitted to do so, and will follow health and safety guidance from the Ministry of Health.

  • 532,891 cases, an increase of 733 since yesterday, 10,664 active cases, including 25 deaths.

Quebec

  • The government of Quebec unveiled the Back to School Plan 2021-2022, which consists of a return to school as normal as possible for students and staff. (News Release)

    • The plan currently outlines:

      • No intervention masks or face covers for students or staff

      • The end of an organization based on stable class-groups

      • The return of full-time educational services

      • Additional support measures for vulnerable students or students suffering from educational delay

      • A resumption of extracurricular activities

      • Return to normal with regard to school transport and the use of cafeterias and dining rooms

      • Maintenance of cleaning measures and disinfection by maintenance agents, particularly with regard to frequently touched surfaces

      • Maintaining hand hygiene routines for students and employees, according to CNESST recommendations

      • Continued assessment of symptomatic children and their possible exclusion

    • The plan will be updated at the beginning of August so that it is in line with the evolution of the epidemiological situation and the progress of vaccination of the general population and of pupils.

  • Québec solidaire is proposing a transitional law to end the state of emergency in Quebec. The pandemic will make certain health measures necessary for months, possibly years. It is time to reasonably mark out the special powers that the Legault government needs to fight the virus, while putting an end to the automatic renewal of the state of emergency. A transitional law is the only legislative tool to achieve these objectives. (News Release)

  • A new case of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TIPIV) has occurred after the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This brings to nine the number of cases that have occurred so far in Quebec. (News Release)

  • 370,815 cases, an increase of 288 since yesterday, 3,475 active cases, including five deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is changing its guidelines to allow for mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines. NACI is now recommending that a first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine can safely be combined with a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots in certain situations. The new guidance also advises that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be mixed for first and second doses as the mRNA technology is similar. (CTV and Guidance Document)

  • Canada launches its first national vaccine injury compensation program. (CTV)

    • Public Health Canada launched the Vaccine Injury Support Program today. Anyone who experiences a severe adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible for compensation under the program by submitting a claim that answers the following questions:

      • Where you vaccinated in Canada?

      • Which province or territory did the vaccination occur?

      • Was the date of the vaccination on or after December 8, 2020?

      • Is the injury serious and permanent or has it resulted in death?

  • The number of new COVID-19 cases being reported daily in Canada has dropped 70 per cent since the mid-April peak of the third wave. While the number of new infections has fallen, the number of people with severe cases of COVID-19 has not declined at the same pace with the average number of patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital each day dropping by 40 per cent since the April peak. (CBC)

U.S. – Federal
 
No news today.
 
Alberta

  • Alberta's Stage 1 reopening offers a tiny taste of the summer ahead. (CBC and News Release)

    • As of June 1, restaurant and bar patios may reopen with a limit of four people per table from the same household. Hair, nail, and tanning salons and tattoo parlours can open by appointment-only. Outdoor social visits and physical, recreation, or performance activities are allowed with a group of up to 10 socially-distanced people. Retail store capacity is increased to 15% of fire code capacity.

  • 227,509 cases, an increase of 263 on May 30, 7,646 active cases, including eight deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. health officials urge caution until more people have second doses, even as COVID-19 cases continue to fall. (CBC)

  • Bill 11, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2021 passed second reading on May 31, 2021.

  • 144,289 cases, an increase of 212 on since yesterday, 2,953 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto Public Health (TPH) published a series of tweets today notifying residents about reports of fraudulent text messages about COVID-19 test results. (CBC)

    • These messages are falsely claiming to be from TPH staff and include threatening language that may be upsetting to the recipients.  TPH says it corresponds with residents through text messages, emails and phone calls. When it does, it asks residents to confirm their identity before providing support and information to make sure people are following public health guidelines and restrictions. Text messages from TPH will be from 77000 and include a secure link to complete a personal assessment form.

  • Ontario maintains COVID-19 restrictions as stay-at-home order is set to expire. (News Release)

    • Ontario’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on June 2, 2021. When it does, all other public health and workplace measures will remain in place province-wide until Ontario enters Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen. Restrictions includes limiting outdoor gatherings to up to five people, limiting essential retail capacity to 25 per cent, restricting non-essential retail to curbside pick-up and delivery only, limiting short-term rentals to those who need housing only, and limiting Ontario Parks and public campgrounds to day-use only. Indoor gatherings remain prohibited. 

  • The Ontario government is providing over C$31-million to help improve access to specialized mental health treatment services, reduce waitlists and wait times, and support the mental health and well-being of children and youth by addressing the increased demand for services during COVID-19. (News Release)

  • Bill 283, Advancing Oversight and Planning in Ontario’s Health System Act, 2021 passed third reading today.

  • O. Reg. 384/21 – General Waste Management amends regulation 347 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 regarding the disposal of waste from COVID-19 antigen point-of-care testing. It is effective May 31, 2021.

  • 532,158 cases, an increase of 699 since yesterday, 11,689 active cases, including nine deaths.

Quebec

  • If 75 per cent of youth, aged 16 to 19, receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the time school starts, physical distancing will no longer be required when they return to classrooms for the first time in more than a year according to the province's minister of higher education, Danielle McCann. (CBC)

    • Students will be allowed to sit within one metre of each other in classrooms and as close as they want in common spaces. The minister said there would be accommodations for immunocompromised students who feel at risk in a crowded environment, but she did not specify how those accommodations will be offered. Additional measures, such as wearing a mask, may be applied depending on the epidemiological situation when school starts.

  • All regions of Quebec in orange, yellow or green zones as of June 7. (News Release)

    • Regions moving to orange level:

      • Montreal

      • Laval 

      • MRC du Granit (Estrie)

      • MRCs of Beauce-Sartigan, L'Islet, Montmagny and Robert-Cliche (Chaudière-Appalaches)

      • RCMs of Kamouraska , Rivière-du-Loup, Témiscouata and Les Basques (Bas-Saint-Laurent)

    • Regions moving to yellow level:

      • Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

      • Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec

      • RCMs of Rimouski-Neigette, La Mitis, La Matapédia and Matane (Bas-Saint-Laurent)

    • Regions moving to green level:

      • Abitibi-Témiscamingue

      • North Coast

      • Nord-du-Québec

  • Foreign temporary workers will be able to obtain a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and will then be offered a second dose in their host region later in the summer. For the moment, only temporary foreign workers arriving on chartered flights are targeted by this initiative. (News Release)

  • 370,527 cases, an increase of 208 since yesterday, 3,609 active cases, including five deaths.

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

Canada – Federal

  • Canada won't be rushed into reopening its border with the United States to non-essential travel as new COVID-19 case counts continued to drop in much of the country. (CTV)

    • Trudeau said 75 per cent of Canadians need to be vaccinated and daily cases need to continue to decline across the country before his government would be willing to ease travel restrictions.

  • Canada is set to receive 2.9-million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week due to an increase in planned deliveries from Pfizer and BioNTech. (CTV)

    • The two pharmaceutical companies had been delivering about two million shots per week through the month of May, but will increase that to 2.4-million doses per week starting on Monday. The federal government says the other 500,000 shots due to arrive this week will come from Moderna in two separate shipments. The first will arrive in the middle of the week while the second is due for delivery next weekend, with the doses set for distribution to provinces and territories next week. Canada is also expecting another one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of June, though a detailed delivery schedule has not been confirmed.

  • Health Canada has approved an extension to the expiry dates of two lots (MT0055 and MT0056) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by 30 days, from May 31, 2021, to July 1, 2021. This will ensure that provinces and territories are able to use up their existing inventory and provide Canadians access to much needed doses of the vaccine. (Statement)

U.S. – Federal

  • A deal on an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization was no closer to acceptance despite Washington's backing, due to skepticism about a new draft submitted by India, South Africa and dozens of other developing countries last week. (CTV)

    • There seems to be wide gulf between the U.S.’s initial suggestions and the proposed waiver draft, particularly in relation to its scope and duration. While U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai had previously said she is only focused on increasing vaccine access, the new draft also includes diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices. The draft also sets a time span of "at least three years" and allows the WTO's 164 members to determine when it ends. Given they would need to do this by consensus, one country could repeatedly prolong it.

  • More U.S. cities and states are shrugging off lingering COVID-19 restrictions as vaccination rates rise and the number of infections falls. (CTV)

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said employees can be required to be vaccinated as long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws. In addition, employers may offer incentives to workers to be vaccinated, as long as they are not coercive. (Reuters and News Release

Alberta

British Columbia

  • During the first week adolescents were eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, 12 children were given Moderna instead of Pfizer-BioNTech accidentally. Currently, Pfizer-BioNTech is the only vaccine approved for use in youth ages 12 to 17 in Canada. (CBC)

    • The health authority said this past week was the first one that had teenagers attend vaccination clinics, and Moderna was the primary vaccine being offered at that time. It has put additional practices in place to ensure the mistake doesn't happen again. This includes new questions as part of the registration screening process, and Pfizer stations specifically for youth where possible.

  • 143,581 cases, an increase of 317 on Friday, 3,441 active cases, including two deaths on Friday.

Ontario

  • The Ontario Government has extended certain orders under its Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act within the province until at least June 16, 2021. (CTV)

  • Ontario is taking further action to protect long-term care home residents by becoming the first province in Canada to make it mandatory for homes to have COVID-19 immunization policies for staff and to set out the minimum requirements that need to be included in these policies. (News Release)

    • Homes will be required to track and report on the implementation of their policies, including overall staff immunization rates. The immunization status of individual staff members will not be shared with the province. Under the immunization policies to be put in place at all long-term care homes in the province, each staff member must do one of the following:

      • Provide proof of vaccination of each dose

      • Provide a documented medical reason for not being vaccinated

      • Participate in an educational program about the benefits of vaccination and the risks of not being vaccinated

  • On Monday, May 31, 2021, the Ontario government will table a motion in the legislature to appoint Dr. Kieran Moore as the province’s next Chief Medical Officer of Health to succeed Dr. David Williams upon his retirement on June 25, 2021. Should the motion be passed, Dr. Moore would assume office effective June 26, 2021. To ensure a seamless transition into his new role, Dr. Moore will work alongside Dr. Williams for a few weeks, starting Monday, June 7, 2021. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • The City of Toronto opened more than 10,000 new appointments at city-run immunization clinics intended to offer earlier appointments for second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to partially vaccinated individuals age 80 and older. Vaccination is by appointment only at all city-run immunization clinics. (News Release)

    • Anyone now eligible for accelerated vaccination is able to reschedule their current second dose appointment and book a new appointment for an earlier date.

  • The City of Toronto announced it is increasing the number of community-based program partners to help people without an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card get a COVID-19 vaccine. The program is expanding with five new partners: Adam House, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Matthew House, Romero House and Sojourn House. (News Release)

  • Bill 276, Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021 is reported as amended and presented for third reading today.

  • 531,459 cases, an increase of 3,006 since Friday, 12,567 active cases, including 46 deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • The Minister of Health and Social Services has released guidelines for graduation ceremony activities in light of the province’s re-opening plan. (News Release)

    • While graduation balls are not allowed, a graduation ceremony may be organized on school grounds and during school hours, either indoors or outdoors. Only student and school staff may be present; parents may participate virtually. Students must be segregated into and stay in class groups/bubbles.

  • Ministers Christian Dubé and Chantal Rouleau highlight the opening of the Saint-Michel vaccination center in the Cité des arts du cirque. (News Release)

    • The vaccination center is located in the premises of the Cirque du Soleil residences, located just in front of the company's head office, at 8333, 2e Avenue (Saint-Michel district), in Montreal. The clinic will be open Monday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made through the province’s online portal.

  • The Quebec Ministry of Finance is announcing a new 12-week extension of the employer contribution credit to the Health Services Fund for employees on paid leave. This additional assistance will be in effect for three additional eligibility periods, the first starting on June 6, 2021 and the last ending on August 28, 2021. (News Release)

  • Ministerial Order 2021-039 – Amends Order in Council 735-2021 including adjusting the alert levels for different health regions. It came into effect on May 28, 2021, except for the measures set out in subparagraph five of the first paragraph, which take effect on May 31, 2021.

  • 370,319 cases, an increase of 1001 since Friday, 3,925 active cases, including 10 deaths since Friday.

May 28, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada's chief public health officer said today that strict public health measures and a ramped-up vaccination campaign have pushed the national COVID-19 case count to its lowest level in weeks. In much of the country, the pandemic outlook is improving. (CBC)

  • Feds to consult with provinces before adopting recommendation to end hotel quarantine. (CTV)

    • Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government won’t make an immediate decision to adopt a recommendation by a federal advisory panel to end the mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers before speaking with its provincial and territorial counterparts.

    • Hajdu said on Friday that she welcomes the findings and that they will provide a helpful “roadmap” for an eventual border reopening strategy, but implementing next steps depends entirely on the prevalence of COVD-19 spread and the rate of vaccinations domestically.

  • National vaccine panel now says second shots should be given 'as soon as possible'. (CTV)

    • NACI said the interval of up to 16 weeks was “the upper limit” based on supply constraints and an effort to widely disperse some degree of protection with first doses, but now’s the time to start accelerating the timing of people’s second shots.

  • Trudeau backs Biden effort to identify origin of COVID-19. (Globe and Mail)

    • Trudeau did not say whether Canada would take an active role in the U.S. investigation, and declined to say whether Canada’s intelligence agencies favour one theory over another.

  • PC 2021-0422 – Regulations amending the Contraventions Regulations (Schedule XVI) in order to include a meaningful and more persuasive fine in order to improve and maintain compliance with the Quarantine Act related emergency orders made under that Act.

  • Bill C-30, Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 received second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance in the House of Commons yesterday.

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 29 published in the May 29 Canada Gazette Part II (made under the Aeronautics Act).

U.S. – Federal 

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has loosened its guidance for summer camps, announcing that fully vaccinated campers will no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing. (Bloomberg)

  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the U.S. is taking a “very close look” at vaccine passports for international travel. (Bloomberg)

  • Notice: Pandemic Response Voluntary Agreement under the Defense Production Act.

  • Deputy Attorney General Convenes Inaugural Meeting of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force. (News Release)

    • The Task Force is marshalling the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across the federal government to enhance enforcement efforts against COVID-19 related fraud.

Alberta

  • Alberta’s government is providing up to C$45-million in new funding to jump-start targeted supports for students who require extra help with literacy and numeracy after two school years of pandemic-impacted learning. (News Release)

  • Another 60 physician clinics will soon begin vaccinating patients as Alberta’s vaccine rollout continues to expand. (News Release)

  • CMOH order 29-2021 – Modifies CMOH orders 19-2021 and 20-2021 (measures for private social gatherings for a protest or political purpose.)

  • 225,937 cases, an increase of 513 since yesterday, 10,017 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • Updated Order: Gatherings and Events

  • 143,264 cases, an increase of 378 since yesterday, 3,543 active cases, including seven deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario accelerates rollout of second shots targeting a two-dose summer; 65 per cent of adults have received first doses, ahead of schedule. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Ontario is also preparing to roll out the eligibility for accelerated second dose appointments starting with individuals aged 80 and over, beginning on May 31, 2021. If there is sufficient vaccine supply, it is anticipated that the majority of Ontario residents who choose to receive the vaccine will be able to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer.

    • The following is an anticipated schedule for eligibility to book a second dose appointment based on confirmed supply.

      • Week of May 31: individuals aged 80+

      • Week of June 14: individuals aged 70+

      • Week of June 28: individuals who received their first dose between the week of March 8 to April 18, on a “first-in, first-out” basis. For example, this included individuals with the highest-risk health conditions and special education workers.

      • Week of July 19: individuals who received their first dose between the week of April 19 to May 9, on a “first-in, first-out” basis. For example, this included individuals aged 50 and over, as well as individuals with high-risk health conditions.

      • Week of August 2: individuals who received their first dose between the week of May 10 to May 30, on a “first-in, first-out” basis. For example, this included individuals who cannot work from home and individuals who have at-risk health conditions.

      • Week of August 9 to 16: individuals aged 12 to 25

      • Week of August 9: individuals who received their first dose from the week of May 31 onwards on a “first-in, first out” basis, respecting the recommended intervals.

  • The following was added to e-laws yesterday evening:

    • O.Reg. 381/21 – Extensions of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

  • Government House leader Paul Calandra, the Progressive Conservatives’ voice in the legislature, said his government wants to debate and pass four key pieces of legislation, including bills that touch on the economy and health care. (ipolitics)

    • Opposition members will push the Ford government to formulate a plan to safely reopen schools and support businesses during the reopening period, the NDP and Liberals told iPolitics. 

  • 528,453 cases, an increase of 1,273 since yesterday, 15,438 active cases, including 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • The Department of Health and Social Services announces that the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered as of Saturday, May 29 in walk-in clinics. (News Release)

    • The decision to advance the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is based on a clarification provided by the Committee on Immunization of Quebec, which mentions that the interval between the two doses of this vaccine can be reduced to 8 weeks.

  • New written recommendations produced by Public Health were published by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) on its website. These were added to the documents already made public, last February, then at the beginning and in mid-May. (News Release)

    • These recommendations were made to support the decision-making of the Government of Quebec in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were the subject of discussions between the parties to make them operational on the ground, all with a view to public announcements.

  • 369,318 cases, an increase of 419 since yesterday, 4,758 active cases, including three deaths.

May 27, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal 

  • Moderna confirms two million COVID-19 vaccine doses coming by mid-June. (CTV)

  • Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Saving Tourism Jobs in the Prairies and British Columbia.

    • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered in the West by Western Economic Diversification Canada supports eligible tourism businesses and other small-and medium-sized enterprises and organizations that have not been able to access other federal relief measures. RRRF also aids organizations that support a broad range of tourism sector activities, such as industry associations and groups like destination marketing organizations.

  • Canada and Nova Scotia invest in healthcare and long term care facilities to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • Seven projects will see upgrades and repairs to hospitals and health care centres, these include the Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Glace Bay Hospital, Nova Scotia Hospital, Veterans Memorial Building, Valley Regional Hospital and Aberdeen Hospital. These projects will improve patient and staff safety and provide a healthier, more sustainable environment in these healthcare facilities for years to come. The investments will also allow for important upgrades at 33 long term care facilities across the province. In total, 39 projects will undergo building and system upgrades to improve living environments and increase safety for residents and staff.

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$11.4-million dollars in these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing more than C$2.8-million.

  • Government of Canada to reimburse self-employed workers who repaid the CERB. (News Release)

    • Starting on May 27, 2021, self-employed workers who meet the remission order criteria and who had voluntarily repaid all or part of the CERB to the CRA or Service Canada can request a reimbursement of their payments only from the CRA. These workers can do so by completing the CRA’s CERB Reimbursement Application for Self-Employed Individuals form and submitting it to the CRA electronically or by mail.

    • The CRA will begin processing applications after June 15, 2021. Eligible Canadians who repaid the CERB can expect reimbursements within approximately 90 days of submitting their applications to the CRA.  

U.S. – Federal 

  • DOJ Announces Coordinated Law Enforcement Action to Combat Health Care Fraud Related to COVID-19. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta will launch its first drive-through vaccination clinic in early June to help improve access for people in northeast Calgary. Alberta Health Services is working with the community to finalize a location for the drive-through clinic next week. (News Release)

  • CMOH order 27-2021 – Amends CMOH orders 19-2021 and 20-2021 by permitting outdoor group physical and performance activities for students as part of an education program at school and is effective May 25, 2021.

  • CMOH order 28-2021 – Modifies order 20-2021 by removing the County of Newell from section 10 of Appendix A.

  • 225,424 cases, an increase of 390 since May 25, 10,953 active cases, including six deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Province is launching a COVID-19 safety certificate program called BSAFE for workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors to increase consumer confidence as businesses start to return to more normal operations in accordance with B.C.’s Restart Plan. (News Release)

    • BSAFE course participants will be trained to:

      • Understand COVID-19 primary modes of transmission, high risk areas/activities and the importance of consistent application of controls and measures

      • Be able to resolve conflict situations arising from non-compliance of safety protocols by guests, coworkers and employers

      • Identify where to access relevant public health information and best practices for their workplace and community

      • Communicate personal responsibilities in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining a safe environment

      • Identify employer and employee responsibilities in ensuring a safe work environment during the pandemic, as well as principles to carry forward into the post-pandemic environment

      • Explain the importance of empathy – the positive impact of respectful behaviour, tolerance and understanding toward others

      • Demonstrate high-quality safety standards that show a venue is safe

  • B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer issued an updated public health order on events and gatherings.

  • 142,886 cases, an increase of 250 since yesterday, 3,580 active cases, including three deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is investing C$1.25-million through Destination Northern Ontario to provide 300 people with free training to work in Northern Ontario’s tourism industry. The project will benefit people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19 and benefit businesses and employers by ensuring they have the resources they need to attract and retain workers. (News Release)

    • Participants in this program will get training for positions like customer service, front desk reception, guest services and housekeeping, as well as training in COVID-19-safe operating protocols, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and service excellence. The program will start in June with online self-directed training to take place over the next few months. Participants will be placed in positions for the summer months until September throughout Northern Ontario.

  • The City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners have launched a “Homebound Sprint” to deliver first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all remaining homebound Toronto residents. (News Release)

  • 527,180 cases, an increase of 1,135 since yesterday, 16,541 active cases, including 19 deaths.

Quebec

  • Sports and recreational activities resume this summer. (News Release)

    • As of June 11, in yellow-tier regions, supervised sports and recreation will be permitted outdoors in groups of up to 25 people. From June 25, it will be possible to organize tournaments and competitions for all levels of alert. These events must be held outdoors and it will be allowed to accommodate spectators, in accordance with the measures concerning outdoor gatherings in a public place. In the green zone, activities are permitted in groups of a maximum of 50 people. At the red and orange levels, activities are still permitted without contact, while respecting distancing. 

  • The government of Quebec is providing additional COVID-19 funding through the Emergency Assistance Program to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (PAUPME) and its assistance component for businesses in regions on maximum alert (AERAM).

  • Private Member Bill 795, An Act to permanently limit the amount of certain charges payable by restaurateurs when they retain the delivery services of a third person, was introduced today to make permanent the government’s temporary limits on delivery/service charges by third-party delivery companies to help the restaurant industry during the relaunch period. (