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Doctors take part in board rounds in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver earlier this year.JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

6:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, Nov. 14

Alberta passes the 1,000-case threshold

Alberta’s daily tally of new COVID-19 diagnoses has passed the 1,000-case threshold.

Officials in that province are today reporting 1,026 new cases of the virus.

The province is also reporting three new deaths for a total of 401 since the pandemic began.

Fifty-four people were in intensive care, unchanged from yesterday.

– The Canadian Press

5:00 p.m. ET

Saskatchewan follows neighbours, brings in more COVID-19 restrictions due to rising new cases

With new daily active case counts now averaging over 100 each day, and much higher daily counts in each of its neighbours, Saskatchewan is following suit by implementing further COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to slow the transmission of the coronavirus.

Mask wearing will be mandated in communities larger than 5,000 people. All Saskatchewan restaurants and licensed establishments (bars, taverns, nightclubs) will be required to stop serving alcohol by 10 pm and consumption must end by 11 pm. There are no exceptions for private events or outdoor serving spaces. There are also new spacing requirements for gyms and high schools over 600 students are moving to 50 per cent capacity in school.

Newly appointed Minister of Health Paul Merriman and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Saqib Shahab, announced the new measures from the Legislature in Regina on Nov. 13. This came a day after Alberta announced some new restrictions, and a day after Manitoba effectively went into another lockdown, planned to last two weeks.

Saskatchewan says a snowstorm earlier this week is part of the reason it is reporting a high number of new COVID-19 cases today. The province says there are 308 new cases, up from 81 on Friday which had been the lowest number in recent days. Saskatchewan’s daily COVID-19 update says fewer people went for testing because of the snow, and the storm also delayed getting samples from remote locations to provincial labs. It says even though case daily case numbers are fluctuating, “there is an upward trend in positive case numbers.”

– The Canadian Press

2:53 p.m. ET

‘Worrisome’ trends in Western Canada, Ontario and Quebec threaten to overwhelm hospitals, Tam says

Canada’s top doctor says the country’s hospitals are facing growing pressure as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in much of the country.

Dr. Theresa Tam describes the situation in Western Canada, Quebec and Ontario as “worrisome” and says it’s straining health care resources.

Tam says the number of people with severe cases of COVID-19 continues to increase with a daily average of more than 1,400 people being treated in hospitals over the past week.

She says that includes a daily average of 280 people in critical care and 55 deaths reported each day over the past seven days.

Tam says Western provinces saw a weekly increase in daily hospitalization between 24 to 50 per cent compared to last week.

She says while Ontario and Quebec saw lower increases, those provinces continue to have the highest numbers of people in hospital.

– The Canadian Press

2:15 p.m. ET

Manitoba has 15 November coronavirus deaths

Manitoba is reporting 237 COVID-19 cases and 15 additional deaths from the virus.

The province says the deaths occurred over more than a week, from Nov. 2 to Nov. 13. It brings the total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 152 in Manitoba. The province says 11 of the deaths it reported Saturday were from the outbreak at the Maples Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.

Health officials said Friday they had uncovered problems with protective equipment, staffing and the tracking of resident feeding at the facility.

– The Canadian Press

2:08 p.m. ET

Two new COVID-19 cases in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and now has eight active cases of the virus.

Health officials say both are travel-related.

One case involves a woman between 20 and 39 years old in the eastern health region who returned from travel in the United States, while the other is a woman in the western health region, also between 20 and 39, who returned to the province from Ontario.

The province has recorded 301 cases of COVID-19 since March, while 289 people have recovered and there have been four deaths.

– The Canadian Press

1:47 p.m. ET

Celebrate Diwali virtually, Trudeau says in video

Politicians and leaders are asking Canadians to observe the holiday of Diwali virtually today in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 cases across the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says in a video statement posted to social media that he understands celebrations will look different this year, and asked residents to celebrate online with friends and family.

Diwali is a South Asian celebration, lasting five days and honouring the victory of light over darkness.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer of health, says she understands the difficulty of not being able to celebrate with friends and family, but says doing so is important as Canada sees a rise in COVID-19 cases.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urged those celebrating Diwali and the Sikh celebration of Bandi Chhor Divas to do so while respecting health guidelines.

He says doing so will help allow future celebrations to take place in-person.

– The Canadian Press

12:34 p.m. ET

Peel businesses running afoul of pandemic restrictions could be fined $5,000 a day

Peel Region’s top doctor says businesses who do not follow public health rules aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 will face fines.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, The region’s medical officer of health, says businesses could face fines of $5,000 a day for violating the rules.

Loh says spread of the virus in workplaces is driving case counts higher and some employers are ignoring public health protocols.

He’s issuing a new public health order today to create the fine system as Peel reported 497 new cases of the virus.

He’s also urging employers to give their workers paid sick days to allow them to stay home if they show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

Peel says it has had 116 workplace outbreaks from Sept. 1 to Nov. 13.

– The Canadian Press

Related: Why Brampton has become a hot spot for COVID-19

12:25 p.m. ET (updated)

Six new COVID-19 cases in each of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick each reported six new cases of COVID-19 Saturday. New Brunswick now has 19 active cases provincewide, while Nova Scotia has 21.

Health officials in Nova Scotia say all of the new cases are in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, and all are contacts of previously reported cases.

One of the cases is related to the Bitter End, a bar in downtown Halifax that officials say appears linked to a cluster of cases in the city’s Clayton Park area.

Officials say the other cases are part of an emerging cluster that is being investigated by provincial public health authorities.

Nova Scotia has recorded a total of 1,142 positive cases of the virus, while 1,056 cases are considered recovered and there have been 65 deaths. No one is currently in hospital.

New Brunswick Public Health says four of the new cases are in the Moncton area, while there are two in the Saint John region and one is in the Fredericton area. The province has had a total of 364 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and six deaths. Two patients are currently hospitalized with one in intensive care.

– The Canadian Press

11:36 a.m. ET

Quebec announces 1,448 new COVID-19 cases, 25 deaths

Quebec’s daily COVID-19 case load hit a new single-day peek today as the province recorded 1,448 new cases in the past 24 hours.

The province is also reporting 25 additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

The government said four of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, while 17 occurred between Nov. 7 and 12 and the rest are unknown.

Hospitalizations remained stable at 583, while the number of people in intensive care dipped by three to 82.

The largest number of new cases were in Montreal, with 341, while several other regions including the Lanaudiere and Monteregie also recorded large numbers.

Health Minister Christian Dube took to Twitter to urge Quebecers to reduce contacts and respect health measures, saying everyone has a role to play in reducing the case numbers.

A total of 122,643 people have tested positive and 6,611 people have died in Quebec since the pandemic began.

– The Canadian Press

The pandemic is changing the outlook for Canada’s cities. The Globe is going in-depth on the topic, and here's why

11:01 a.m. ET

Ontario reports single-day high of 1,581 new cases of COVID-19

Ontario is reporting yet another single-day record for new COVID-19 cases today, recording 1,581 new diagnoses and 20 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 497 cases in Peel Region, 456 in Toronto, 130 in York Region and 77 in Ottawa.

The province says it has conducted 44,837 tests since the last daily report.

In total, 502 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 107 in intensive care.

The province says 66 people are on ventilators in hospital.

The latest figures bring the total of COVID-19 cases in Ontario to 92,761, with 3,332 deaths, and 77,241 cases resolved.

– The Canadian Press

9:25 a.m. ET

Provincial health officials hesitant to use rapid COVID-19 tests, despite ‘game-changer’ description

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More than 3.8 million rapid tests for COVID-19 are now in the hands of provincial health authorities but many jurisdictions are still evaluating how the devices might help battle the pandemic.

Health Canada has approved more than three dozen different tests for COVID-19, but only six of them are “point-of-care” versions more commonly referred to as rapid tests.

The “gold-standard” COVID-19 tests need to be processed in a lab, and usually take at least a day to provide results. Rapid tests can be processed in the same place a patient is tested, sometimes in as few as 15 minutes, but they are generally considered less reliable than lab results.

Most jurisdictions are still not sure whether they can fully trust the results, or figure out the best way to use them. In almost all cases, the rapid-test results are still being verified by also testing a patient with the lab-based version.

– The Canadian Press

8:27 a.m. ET

Toronto restrictions at ‘red’ level, one step short of lockdown

Toronto moves to the “red zone” of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions Saturday, though the city has implemented its own set of stricter rules in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

The change comes a day after Premier Doug Ford lowered the threshold for partial shutdowns in the government’s colour-coded system for pandemic rules.

Toronto was to move to the most restrictive level – short of a lockdown – even if the threshold had remained higher.

But the city has opted to extend earlier shutdowns imposed by the province, meaning indoor dining will still be barred, and a shutdown of casinos, bingo halls and event spaces will continue.

Hamilton, Halton and York regions are to move to the “red” level on Monday.

The tiered system has faced criticism since it was announced last week, with many health experts including the Ontario Medical Association calling it too lax.

Critics have noted that, among other things, indoor dining is permitted in restaurants and bars even under the red alert level.

The Canadian Press

More coronavirus news

How an Australian state beat its second wave of COVID-19

Why Brampton has become a hot spot for COVID-19

Long-term care workers’ exhaustion leading to greater pandemic risks, Quebec officials say

Coronavirus commentary

Picard: With the pandemic surging, we need more leadership and less urging

Editorial Board: The evidence is conclusive: Canada can’t beat the pandemic by passing the buck

Trichur: COVID-19 has exposed how our health care system fails marginalized people

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