The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario continues, with 3,295 new cases and 19 deaths recorded on Thursday.
There are now 1,417 people hospitalized in the province due to COVID-19, with 525 in the ICU. It is the highest number of hospitalizations in Ontario since Jan. 26 and another record-high for ICU patients.
Quebec is reporting another spike in cases and hospitalizations linked to COVID-19, with 1,609 new infections and an additional 16 people in hospital.
Of the 566 patients currently in hospital, health officials say nine more are in intensive care for a total of 132. The province is also reporting nine more deaths linked to the virus.
Meanwhile, the Manitoba government is making a couple of minor changes to its COVID-19 public health orders. Starting Friday, golf courses will be allowed to operate liquor carts, and the cap on attendance at self-help meetings will rise from 15 to 25 people.
That province is reporting 137 additional COVID-19 cases and three deaths.
New Brunswick is reporting seven new cases. There are 20 patients who are in the hospital, including 13 in the ICU.
Nova Scotia is reporting five new cases of COVID-19, all related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case, with a total of five active cases.
The Canadian Medical Association says constantly changing rules to help curb the spread of COVID-19 are confusing and detrimental to their purpose.
The national advocacy group representing Canada’s doctors, says new lockdowns can’t be lifted until there are clear signs the variants are under control. The pace of vaccinations must also increase, particularly in communities where COVID-19 is spreading the most.
That association says primary care doctors should be involved to help roll out vaccines, prioritizing vaccinations for essential workers. It says essential workers and their families also need supports to keep them safe, including paid sick leave and proper protective equipment.