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Ontario reports nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases, Nova Scotia lifting some restrictions

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Audrey Wiseman in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS-Andrew Vaughan-Pool

Ontario reports 994 new cases of COVID-19, Quebec reports over 700

Nova Scotia lifting some restrictions in the Halifax area

Health Canada says decision on Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be announced in coming days

MANITOBA (NEWS 1130) – Ontario is reporting 994 new cases of COVID-19. Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 298 of those new cases are in Toronto, 171 are in Peel and 64 are in York Region. There were 10 more deaths in Ontario since the last daily update.

Quebec is reporting 707 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including four in the past 24 hours. Health officials say 626 people are hospitalized, including 115 people in intensive care.

Manitoba’s northern regions continue to be the hardest hit with the COVID-19 virus in that province, as health officials there report 51 new cases and two deaths. High case numbers in Mathias Colomb Cree Nation have prompted the chief and council to ban public gatherings and require people to stay home except for shopping, medical care and work in essential services.

There have been three new cases in Nova Scotia, as that province lifts some of the restrictions in the Halifax region. Rules that came into effect on Feb. 27 limiting restaurant hours, prohibiting sports events and discouraging non-essential travel in and out of the area will end Friday morning. Rules for residents of long-term care homes remain unchanged, but those living in care facilities may only have visits from their two designated caregivers.

Related article: Canada to fast-track approvals for tweaks to COVID-19 vaccines for variants

Newfoundland and Labrador reported five new COVID-19 cases Thursday. Eight people are in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.

Nunavut is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19, all in Arviat, a community of about 2,800 and the only place in the territory with active cases. Arviat has been under a strict lockdown since November, with all schools and non-essential businesses closed. The community’s hamlet council also ordered a nightly curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to curb the spread.

Health Canada says a decision on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be announced in the “next few days.” The word came Thursday from Dr. Marc Berthiaume, director of the regulator’s bureau of medical sciences. Once approved, the J&J product would become the fourth vaccine available for use in Canada. It was approved last weekend in the United States.

Canada’s deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says nearly 400,000 people were vaccinated in Canada in the last seven days. He says that’s the most in a single week since immunizations began on Dec. 14.

Njoo says more than two million doses have been administered now, with about four per cent of Canadians getting one dose and almost 1.5 per cent now vaccinated with two doses.