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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

Last Updated Mar 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm EDT

The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

1:55 p.m.

A southern Ontario First Nation is reporting its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Six Nations of The Grand River says the two patients started self-isolating immediately when they noticed symptoms.

They say they are setting up checkpoints to monitor people who travel in and out of the reserve that is located south of Hamilton.

Elected chief Mark Hill says the move to set up checkpoints represents a drastic step in their response to the virus.

1:21 p.m.

Public health officials in Manitoba are reporting eight new probable cases of COVID-19 in the province.

It brings the province’s total number of cases to 25 confirmed — including one death —and 47 presumptive cases.

1:05 p.m.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says there are 2,840 cases of COVID-19 in the province, an increase of 342 over Saturday.

Legault says it’s good news that the number of new cases appears to be stabilizing and hospitalizations remain limited.

The biggest concentrations of cases are in the Montreal and Estrie regions, and Legault says local officials will provide updates in those regions later today.

12:45 p.m.

Patricia Morrell says her parents are being moved from a coronavirus-infected cruise ship anchored off Panama onto a sister ship this morning.

Four people have died aboard the MS Zaandam and several others have tested positive for COVID-19, while about 150 others have flu-like symptoms.

Global Affairs Canada says there are 248 Canadians aboard the Zaandam, and the Panamanian government said it would allow it and the MS Rotterdam passage through the Panama Canal so they can eventually moor in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Morrell says her parents, who are from Ottawa, are relieved that the ships should set sail soon.

12:35 p.m.

The chair of the federal cabinet’s COVID-19 response committee, Jean-Yves Duclos, says more than 1 million Canadians have applied for employment insurance because of the crisis.

There have been concerns about the EI system being overwhelmed by claims.

That is why the federal government launched a $52-billion aid package last week that will provide $2,000 per month for four months to Canadians whose livelihoods are affected by COVID-19.

12:30 p.m.

Nova Scotia is confirming three workers at separate long-term care homes have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in two days.

The latest positive case involves a worker at the Magnolia residential care home in Enfield.

It is one of 12 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 announced today by the province, bringing the total to 122.

Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters he’s frustrated by reports of people going to parks and beaches even though they’re closed, calling citizens who do this “the reckless few.”

12:25 p.m.

Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam says some hospitals are trying to reduce what she calls the “burn rate” of protective masks and other equipment as the federal government seeks to obtain more.

Tam was responding to reports some doctors and nurses are reusing their masks because of a shortage of protective gear.

Tam says such measures make sense to ensure masks and other needed resources are not wasted before more can be obtained.

Deputy chief public health officer Howard Njoo says the federal government is in the process of purchasing more ventilators for COVID-19 patients, but it is too early to say how many will be needed.

12:10 p.m.

Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam says 205,000 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in the country, and about three per cent of them have been positive.

She also says the number of people with the disease requiring hospitalization remains around six per cent, with two per cent in critical care and one per cent of cases fatal.

Tam notes the government has the ages for only about 25 per cent of cases.

Tam is also calling on religious leaders to tailor their celebrations for events such as Easter and Ramadan to account for COVID-19 and the need to self-isolate and practise social distancing.


11:40 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says while planning is underway for a variety of different scenarios, there are no immediate plans to deploy the military in response to COVID-19.

Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance on Friday put the Canadian Armed Forces on notice to stand ready should its assistance be required.

Trudeau says the military will be ready, but the federal government has not received any specific requests for military help and there are no plans for the Forces to intervene.

11:35 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is remaining in self-isolation at his home in Ottawa for close to two more weeks to ensure he does not have COVID-19.

His wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tweeted news of her recovery from the respiratory illness Saturday, but Trudeau says public health advice is that he remain in isolation for two weeks following her recovery.

Trudeau, who first went into self-isolation on March 13 after Gregoire Trudeau was diagnosed with the illness, says there is still a chance he has the illness, and he is following the lead of many Canadians now working at home.

The prime minister says his wife has taken their three children to the prime minister’s secondary residence at Harrington Lake in Quebec.

11:15 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is investing millions of additional dollars to help children in need as well as seniors cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Trudeau says the government is investing an extra $7.5 million into the national Kids Help Phone program to pay for more counsellors and volunteers.

The government is also providing an extra $9.5 million to the United Way to help with checking up on seniors as well as delivering food and groceries.

10:55 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 211 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province’s total number of cases to 1,355.

The province also reported two more deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus to 21.

The number of fully resolved cases remains at eight.

10 a.m.

The grocery company Loblaw says a second employee at a store in Oshawa, Ont., has tested positive for COVID-19.

The company says it has closed its Real Canadian Superstore and brought in a company to sanitize the store.

Katy Saunders says her husband Keith Saunders, a store manager there, died earlier in the week of COVID-19-related complications.

The Canadian Press