Skip to main content

Latest headlines

The latest: How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada, by province, and worldwide?

If you are returning to Canada from anywhere, you need to self-isolate: Here’s how

Explainer: What you need to know about COVID-19 and its toll around the world

6:55 p.m. EDT

TTC to trim routes

The Toronto Transit Commission is trimming routes and changing its payment policy as it grapples with plunging ridership and new safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transit agency, which normally carries about 10 million riders a week, more than any other in the country, said Monday that its passenger volumes were down 70 per cent. In response, the TTC will be removing most of its express routes and reallocating the vehicles.

The agency will also ask passengers to board through the rear door of buses, to minimize contact with the driver. This has the corollary effect that passengers will no longer enter past the fare-box. The large majority of riders with a Presto fare-card are being asked to continue to tap, while those who normally pay with cash, tickets or tokens will ride the bus for free.

– Oliver Moore

4:30 p.m. EDT

Signs of hope in Germany

Signs are emerging that the exponential upwards curve in new coronavirus infections in Germany is flattening off for the first time thanks to social distancing measures, the head of Germany’s public health institute said on Monday.

Early testing for the virus in Germany had helped the health authorities and restrictions on public gatherings in places over the last week appeared to be working, said Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute.

“We are seeing signs that the exponential growth curve is flattening off slightly,” Wieler told reporters. “But I will only be able to confirm this trend definitively on Wednesday.”

He said he was optimistic that measures taken so far in Germany, including school closures, instructions on handwashing and strict warnings against public gatherings, were already having an effect.

As of Sunday, there were 22,672 cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 86 deaths, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said.

Figures from private data provider Statista show the death rate of just 0.4% in Germany compares with much higher rates of 9.2% in Italy, 7.8% in Iran and 6.1% in Spain. The average age of people infected with the virus in Germany is 45.

– Reuters

3:15 p.m. EDT

B.C. reports 48 new cases, three more deaths

British Columbia reported three additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 48 new cases of the respiratory virus on Monday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 472 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19.

The majority of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are living in the Lower Mainland, with 248 people in the Vancouver Coastal health region and 150 people in the Fraser region, she said.

Vancouver Island has 39 cases, the Interior 30 and there are five in northern B.C., said Henry.

The three deaths brings the total number of fatalities related to the new coronavirus to 13.

“We are very saddened, of course, by the passing of these people,” Dr. Henry said in announcing the latest deaths.

She said of the three deaths, two were connected to long-term care facilities in Metro Vancouver at the Lynn Valley Care Centre and Haro Park, with the third person being a resident in the Fraser Health region.

Dr. Henry said 100 people with the novel coronavirus in B.C. are now considered recovered and can be released from isolation.

– The Canadian Press

2:40 p.m. EDT

Manitobans urged not to travel outside province

Manitoba’s chief public health officer is urging people to cancel all non-essential travel as he announced another case of COVID-19 in the province.

“I’m strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel outside of Manitoba,” Dr. Brent Roussin said Monday.

“This travel advice is regarding international travel as well as travel within Canada.”

The latest case of the novel coronavirus involves a man in his 50s from Winnipeg and is believed to be travel-related. Roussin noted that all of Manitoba’s cases so far are related to travel.

He said anyone who returns from either international or domestic travel should self-isolate for 14 days.

“I want to make clear that this is not just a suggestion.”

The directive, however, does not apply to the transportation of goods and services, or to people who live in border communities and need to travel for basics such as groceries, he added.

– The Canadian Press

2:00 p.m. EDT

Quebec announces further shutdowns

Quebec on Monday ordered the near-complete shutdown of its economy for three weeks in a bid to head off further spread of the novel coronavirus.

The move marks a dramatic escalation of efforts to fight COVID-19 in a bid to limit human contact and a reversal for Quebec, whose political leaders had insisted last week that big industries, such as construction, needed to keep going.

The province mandated all non-essential businesses to close Tuesday night until April 13. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, media and and a few other services will be allowed to stay open, the premier said in Quebec City.

“This is applicable to the construction industry, aluminum smelters too,” Quebec Premier François Legault told reporters. “There could be exceptions. We don’t want to create catastrophes, obviously. But it includes all goods that are manufactured that are not essential.”

Ontario also announced the closure of non-essential businesses for at least 14 days.

– Nicolas Van Praet in Montreal

11:30 a.m. EDT

Ottawa to support farmers, invest in vaccines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said $5-billion in federal credit would be made available to farmers, as the government continues to grapple with how to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Trudeau also outlined how the government would invest $192-million to create and produce vaccines for the virus.

He also reiterated that Canadians need to do their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus by self-isolating in their own residences.

“Enough is enough. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to do be doing,” he told reporters at his daily news conference.

11 a.m. EDT

Ontario reports 78 new COVID-19 cases; total at 503

Ontario is reporting 78 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the provincial total to 503.

It’s the largest increase in a day so far.

The total includes six deaths and eight cases that have fully resolved.

At least six of the new cases are hospitalized, including a woman in her 30s, a man in his 40s, two people in their 50s and two people in their 70s.

Information on dozens of the new cases is listed as pending.

Since Sunday, more than 1,950 people tested negative, while more than 8,000 people are still awaiting their test results.

- The Canadian Press

10:59 a.m.

N.L. Liberal party suspends leadership election campaign during pandemic

The contest to replace Newfoundland and Labrador’s Liberal premier is being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just days after the party declared it would continue online.

The party says the suspension will be in effect until at least May 1, after which it will be determined whether the situation has improved enough to set a new date for the vote, to be conducted online and by phone.

Premier Dwight Ball announced his plan to step down last month, and the party was set to choose a new leader to replace him at a convention in May.

Under party rules announced today, the two candidates, Andrew Furey and John Abbott, are prohibited from accepting donations and campaigning, including interviews and social media posts about the race.

The initial decision to continue was criticized by opposition politicians, some Liberal caucus members and by Abbott as insensitive to the needs of residents during the pandemic.

Ball said last week he would not have resigned if he had known the extent of challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

- The Canadian Press

10:49 a.m. EDT

Ontario enhances COVID-19 self-assessment tool, opens more assessment centres

Ontario has enhanced its COVID-19 self-assessment tool, making it interactive and allowing the province to gather data from it.

The new tool takes users through a series of questions about their symptoms and will help people determine if they are likely to have COVID-19 and what to do.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says in a statement that the tool will give the province real-time data on the number of people who are told to seek care, self-isolate or monitor for symptoms, as well as where in the province they live.

People calling Telehealth Ontario have reported long waits, but Elliott says the service now has more than 2,000 lines running, up from about 400 before the pandemic.

The government also says Ontario has 58 dedicated COVID-19 assessment centres running, well up from the 38 Premier Doug Ford said were open just a few days ago.

Elliott is reminding people to practise social distancing, meaning staying at least two metres away from anyone outside your immediate family, and for anyone who has travelled to stay at home and self-isolate.

- The Canadian Press

10:30 a.m.

B.C. legislature resumes with scaled-back sitting

Just 12 members of the British Columbia legislature will be present this afternoon as the sitting resumes in Victoria to consider what the New Democrat government says is urgent legislation related to COVID-19.

NDP, Green and Liberal representatives approved plans for the scaled-down sitting to meet social distancing requirements, although the proceedings will be broadcast online and via legislative TV.

The handful of politicians are expected to enact amendments to the Employment Standards Act, intended to provide greater protection for B.C. workers whose jobs are at risk because of the global pandemic.

B.C. declared a state of emergency last week to support its response to COVID-19.

- The Canadian Press

10:14 a.m. EDT

Ottawa opens COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre for homeless

A local recreation centre in Ottawa is becoming an isolation and treatment centre for homeless people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

The centre opens today, and three people are already expected stay in isolation while they await test results.

Advocates say homeless populations may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, and are likely to have worse outcomes because of underlying health conditions.

Wendy Muckle with Ottawa Inner City Health says homeless people can be tested for the virus by a mobile assessment van, paramedics, as well as the typical assessment centre and hospitals.

At the end of January, Ottawa became the first city in Canada to declare a homeless emergency.

Expert say COVID-19 will only exacerbated the already critical situation facing the national capital’s growing homeless population.

- The Canadian Press

10:12 A.M. EDT

New rules for those entering Nova Scotia as province declares state of emergency

As of today, anyone entering Nova Scotia will have to self-isolate for 14 days, though there are exceptions for people who provide essential services.

The new measure was introduced Sunday as Premier Stephen McNeil declared a provincial state of emergency.

McNeil says the province had to take action in response to reports that thousands of people were continuing to gather in public places, “blatantly ignoring” requirements for social distancing.

Images shared on social media over the weekend show hundreds of vehicles parked near popular beaches and parks, where people were spotted strolling in the sunshine.

Under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act, people in the province are now prohibited from gathering in groups larger than five.

Individuals caught violating the limit face a $1,000 fine, and businesses face a $7,500 fine.

- The Canadian Press

Sample HTML block
10 a.m.

Ottawa can’t repatriate all Canadians, Champagne says

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says it won’t be possible for the government to repatriate all Canadians stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with CBC’s The Current this morning, Champagne says the challenges the government faces are unprecedented with airport and airspace closures, border closures and the fact some countries have imposed martial law.

He says Global Affairs Canada has had 10,000 calls and 14,000 emails in the last 48 hours.

Earlier today, the minister said on Twitter that the government has arranged for three new flights to bring stranded Canadians home from Peru.

- The Canadian Press

Sample HTML block
9:05 a.m. EDT

Vancouver to vote on imposing fines on those who ignore social distancing

Anyone who ignores Vancouver’s state of local emergency declaration could receive a ticket and stiff fine if city council approves a recommendation supporting enhanced powers to enforce it.

Council votes later today on the recommendation that would immediately impose fines of up to $50,000 on businesses violating the declaration.

If approved, bylaw officers would also have the power to hand out $1,000 tickets to anyone not honouring social distancing requirements to stay at least one metre apart.

Vancouver declared a state of local emergency last week and did not include violation penalties in anticipation of compliance, but Mayor Kennedy Stewart says that didn’t happen, prompting the call for stricter measures.

- The Canadian Press

9 a.m.

Ottawa to repatriate Canadians in Peru

Ottawa says arrangements have been made to help repatriate Canadians stranded in Peru due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says in a tweet that the government has secured authorizations for Air Canada to operate three flights from that country this week.

The minister is urging Canadians in Peru to register with the federal government so they can receive further information.

Champagne said Saturday that negotiations are also underway with other countries that have closed airspace and borders to try to get Canadians out.

- The Canadian Press

8:30 a.m.

Trudeau and ministers to meet amid new warnings of months-long recession, social distancing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will host a conference call with Canada’s First Ministers Monday morning amid a new report that the economy could remain in a standstill until August and shed hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The dire warning about a much deeper and longer recession comes as Ottawa is being urged to invoke the Emergencies Act to combat COVID-19’s spread across the country.

On Monday, the Conference Board of Canada predicted that travel bans and social distancing, now in effect, will continue until the end of August in both Canada and the United States.

This will result in a severe impact on the Canadian economy – with real GDP forecast to fall by 1.1 per cent in 2020.

- Robert Fife

Open this photo in gallery:

In this file photo, a bag of blood is shown at a clinic in Montreal.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

7:55 a.m.

Canadian Blood Services concerned about cancellations

Canadian Blood Services says it’s concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in cancellations for blood donation appointments in several cities.

The organization, which is responsible for the national blood system outside Quebec, says it’s safe for those who aren’t ill to give blood.

The agency says those who have been told by public health authorities to self-quarantine, or who live with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, are also barred from donating for 14 days after their last contact with the infected, or potentially infected, person.

It says Canada’s blood inventory is currently strong but the cancellations are worrying given that shortages have been reported in other countries affected by the novel coronavirus.

- The Canadian Press

7:25 a.m. EDT

Transat lays off 3,600

Transat AT Inc. says it has temporarily laid off about 70 per cent of its workforce in Canada, about 3,600 people.

Some of these layoffs are effective immediately, while others will take effect following advance notice of up to one month.

The layoffs include all flight crew personnel.

- The Canadian Press

Open this photo in gallery:

People walk towards a COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Michael Garron Hospital, in Toronto, on March 15, 2020.Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

4:45 a.m. EDT

Hospital holds mask drive as groups sound alarm over impending shortage

A Toronto hospital is accepting donations of face masks and other protective gear from members of the public in an effort to ward off what some say is an impending shortage.

The Personal Protective Equipment Drive at Michael Garron Hospital comes a day after two Ontario medical associations sounded the alarm about the supply of N95 and surgical masks.

The Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario said there is a large stockpile of the masks that have expired but should still be used in lower-risk areas.

The associations are also calling on anyone with masks not currently being used to hand them over so they can be used by health workers.

They specifically called on education institutions and dental workers to repurpose their supplies.

The federal government has said it’s secured millions more masks, which should be arriving shortly, but there’s still concern that it won’t be enough.

The PPE Drive at Michael Garron Hospital is accepting N95 respirator masks, which are able to filter out tiny particles, surgical masks that contain coughs, vented goggles, protective gloves and gowns.

The east Toronto hospital is home to a dedicated COVID-19 assessment centre.

- The Canadian Press

The spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues, with more cases diagnosed in Canada. The Globe offers the dos and don'ts to help slow or stop the spread of the virus in your community.

The Globe and Mail

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters.


March 22: Canada refuses to go to Olympics unless postponed; Trudeau not at point of declaring federal emergency

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe