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A pedestrian wearing a mask walks under Christmas decorations in an empty downtown Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, after new provincial restrictions were announced amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

6:40 p.m. ET

Alberta is reporting 1,590 new COVID-19 cases and 13 additional deaths

Alberta is reporting 1,590 new COVID-19 cases and 13 additional deaths.

Nine of the deaths were in the Edmonton zone, and five of them are linked with an outbreak at the Hardisty Care Centre.

Most of the other deaths were also in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

The province says the deaths occurred over nearly two weeks since Nov. 30, explaining there can be delays in deaths being reported to Alberta Health.

It says there can also be delays in deaths being confirmed as having COVID-19 as a contributing cause.

There are 628 people with COVID-19 in hospital, with 128 of those cases receiving intensive care.

– The Canadian Press

3:42 p.m. ET

Manitoba reports 18 new deaths, schedules first vaccinations

Manitoba is reporting 18 new deaths from COVID-19 and 358 new cases.

The figures come as the province began scheduling vaccinations health-care workers will get after the first doses arrive as early as next week.

Eligible workers were notified on Friday, the province says, and it hopes the first clinic will be operating as soon as Wednesday.

Manitoba says about 900 health-care workers in critical, acute and long-term care units will be first to receive the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Older workers in direct contact with patients as well as those in the clinics will at the front of the line and bookings will be accepted in the order received.

More dates will be added to immunize the priority group as soon as possible, based on further deliveries of the vaccine.

– The Canadian Press

3:32 p.m. ET

Saskatchewan reports 11 new deaths linked to coronavirus

Saskatchewan is reporting its largest one-day increase in COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

The province says in its daily COVID-19 update on Saturday that 11 people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died.

The province also reported 274 new cases of COVID-19.

There are nearly 120 people in hospital in Saskatchewan with COVID-19, with 23 in intensive care.

Police in Regina, meanwhile, say they’re planning to monitor a convoy and rally that’s expected to convene on the legislature grounds on Saturday afternoon.

Organizers of the Saskatchewan Freedom Rally are protesting public health orders.

– The Canadian Press

12:47 p.m. ET

COVID-19 testing urged for people near poultry plant in Nova Scotia

Residents living near a poultry plant in Berwick, N.S, should get tested for COVID-19, provincial public health officials said on Saturday.

The notice came a day after an announcement that the Eden Valley Poultry plant would be closed for at least two weeks because cases of the virus were detected there.

As of Saturday, six employees had tested positive. All were self-isolating until they could be retested in the coming week.

People living in New Minas to Middleton should be tested as a precaution and there was no evidence currently of community transmission, officials said.

“I want to thank everyone at Eden Valley Poultry for working with public health in efforts to contain the virus,” Premier Stephen McNeil said in a statement.

Seven new infections were reported in Nova Scotia on Saturday, and 61 cases were active in the province.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said he was pleased with a drop in the number of cases.

“While these results show our approach is working, they also tell us we need to continue to follow the public health measures that are in place,” Strang said.

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported three new cases of COVID-19 Saturday. Two were said to be travel related, while the source of the third infection was under investigation. There were 23 active cases in the province.

New Brunswick reported one new case of coronavirus disease on Saturday. The person in their 20s in the Saint John region, was self-isolating, officials said.

There were currently 72 active cases in New Brunswick, with four people in hospital, including three in intensive care.

The Edmundston region in the northwest of the province was moved into the orange level of COVID-19 recovery Saturday after the number of cases doubled in just five days.

– The Canadian Press

11:43 a.m. ET

Quebec reports 1,898 new COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths

A nurse waits for patients at a COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal yesterday.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Quebec is reporting 40 additional deaths associated with COVID-19 today and 1,898 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Public health authorities say 14 of those deaths took place in the past 24 hours with the rest taking place at an earlier date.

The Health Department says there are now 860 people in hospital, down 11 from the day before. Of those, 129 are in intensive care, an increase of six from the previous day.

Quebec conducted 39,415 COVID-19 tests on Thursday, the most recent day for which that data is available, the highest number of tests conducted in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

Quebec’s national public health institute says there have been an additional 1,624 recoveries from the novel coronavirus.

Quebec has reported a total of 161,921 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,475 deaths associated with the virus.

– The Canadian Press

11:28 a.m. ET

COVID-19 vaccine has allergy risk: Health Canada

A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry, Britain.POOL/Reuters

With inoculation against COVID-19 in Canada set to begin on Monday, the federal health agency said people with allergies to any of the vaccine’s ingredients should not receive it.

Two people in the United Kingdom had severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Health Canada said in a release on Saturday. Both had histories of severe allergic reactions but have recovered, the agency said.

Health Canada said it had reviewed the available evidence after the allergic reactions — which happened on Tuesday — and decided against changing its recommendations about the vaccine’s use.

The agency did say people with severe allergies should talk to their doctors before receiving a shot.

“In Canada, all vaccines carry a warning about the risk of serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis,” the release said. “Immunization clinics are equipped to manage these rare events.”

– The Canadian Press

10:43 a.m. ET

Ontario reports 1,873 new cases of COVID-19, 17 additional deaths

COVID-19 has killed another 17 people in Ontario amid another sharp uptick in new cases.

The province today reports 1,873 new infections, bringing the total caseload seen so far to 138,504.

Well over half the new cases are in Toronto, Peel and York.

In all, novel coronavirus deaths in the province are rapidly approaching the 4,000 mark.

Another 47 people needed admission to hospital, and 19 more people ended up on ventilators. Testing has also increased.

– The Canadian Press

More coronavirus news and explainers

Canada on track for 12,000 daily COVID-19 cases by January as first vaccines arrive Monday

Mobile COVID-19 testing sites in Toronto a success, city says

Rhesus monkeys, ‘pizza boxes,’ and armed robbery: Canada’s history shows that, when it comes to vaccination, details matter

When will Canadians get COVID-19 vaccines? The federal and provincial rollout plans so far

Coronavirus commentary

Mason: If Canada can’t address its homelessness crisis in a deadly pandemic, then when?

Editorial Board: We have a coronavirus vaccine. But it will only work if Canadians agree to take it

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