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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

With the help of a $110,000 federal grant, Saanich will be adding 22 new EV chargers for its municipal fleet to reduce emissions from district operations. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich adds 22 new EV chargers for municipal fleet to reduce corporate emissions

Federal grant adds $110,000 jolt to project, installation to be completed fall 2022

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read