Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal, on March 7, 2021.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Federal officials are “anxious” over new modelling showing an increase in daily COVID-19 cases, which they say comes at a bad time with several religious holidays nearing, and people wanting to gather with families.

Data shows severity indicators and daily cases are back on the rise as variants of the virus continue to spread in parts of the country, with incidence highest among young adults.

Approaching spring holidays may make spread tougher to contain, says Canada’s chief public health officer, noting that the country also saw a sharp rise in cases following Christmas.

Story continues below advertisement

Canada vaccine tracker: How many COVID-19 doses have been administered so far?

COVID-19 news: Updates and essential resources about the pandemic

Dr. Theresa Tam says daily cases have increased more than 30 per cent over the past two weeks, with an average of 29 deaths reported daily.

The Jewish holiday of Passover is this weekend while Easter follows a week later. Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, begins April 13.

“Every time we hit a holiday period, we’re always a bit anxious,” Tam said in a news conference Friday. “Passover, Easter, Ramadan, (these are) times when families and churches and other gatherings typically occur.”

Tam says rising cases indicate we’re in a “very tight race” between vaccines and variants of concern, which make up an increasingly high proportion of new cases in several provinces.

All six provinces west of the Atlantic region are currently experiencing, or likely to experience, a resurgence in cases “in the coming days and weeks,” she noted, adding that jurisdictions need to clamp down on rapid spread quickly.

“We want to make sure (holiday gathering) does not happen right now,” she said. “(It’s) not the time.”

The data released Friday by the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that while the number of cases has declined in Canadians aged 80 and older, incidence rates are highest among young adults aged 20 to 39.

Story continues below advertisement

Tam says infections among younger, more mobile and social age groups pose an ongoing risk for spread into high-risk populations.

Some of the decrease in incidence rates among older Canadians is a result of vaccine efforts, Tam said.

Canada administered more than 190,000 vaccines on Thursday, the most since the rollout began in mid-December, and 11 per cent of the country’s adult population has now received at least one dose.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Friday that Canada was seeing a surge in deliveries that’s expected to continue, despite recent export restrictions from the European Union.

Anand says six million more doses of COVID vaccines are scheduled to flow into Canada over the next three weeks, matching the six million doses that have arrived in the country since the approval of the first vaccine in December.

“We are closely monitoring the global environment, including export restrictions in a number of jurisdictions,” Anand said. “Our officials across numerous departments as well as our suppliers are working ahead of time to ensure that Canada’s vaccines continue to arrive in our country.”

Story continues below advertisement

Despite the surge in vaccine supply, Ontario Premier Doug Ford expressed continued frustration with his province’s stock from the federal government.

He said Ontario has received word that a shipment of Moderna doses expected this week will not arrive until next week.

“I’ve been very complimentary and collaborative with the federal government, but enough is enough,” he said. “This is becoming a joke. We need more vaccines.”

Ford also slammed the federal government for not providing enough information about the arrival date of further Oxford-AstraZeneca shots expected soon.

Anand announced earlier Friday, however, that 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca, procured in a deal with the United States, are scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

Anand also said Moderna has upped its delivery frequency from every three weeks to every two weeks, and reiterated that “at least” one million Pfizer-BioNTech shots will be arriving in Canada every week through the end of May.

Story continues below advertisement

The influx in vaccines comes as variants continue to spread across the country, however.

Tam said more than 7,100 cases of variants of concern have been reported across Canada, with B.1.1.7, first identified in the U.K., making up 90 per cent of those cases.

Tam cited data from Ontario that she says shows the B.1.1.7 variant has led to a 60 per cent increase in hospitalizations, 100 per cent increase in ICU admissions and a 60 per cent increase in the risk of death.

“These severity indicators can be seen across all age groups of the adult population,” Tam said. “It is a very important set of information that should drive home to all of us why it is important to maintain these (restrictive) measures.”

The Ontario Hospital Association said Friday that the third wave is threatening the province’s ICU capacity as the number of severely ill patients approaches a previous peak.

Dr. Theresa Tam says COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to smother the pandemic in Canada but she urges slow and cautious removal of public health restrictions so they can be of maximum benefit. Reopening too soon, especially as more contagious variants spread, will likely just mean slamming things shut again after people get sick. The Canadian Press

Meanwhile, Quebec’s government-mandated public health institute says more transmissible variants will represent the majority of new infections in the province by the first week of April.

Story continues below advertisement

Some provinces have recently loosened restrictions despite rising variant activity, including Ontario, which increased its indoor dining capacity to 50 people in most regions and will allow hair salons and outdoor fitness classes to reopen in regions that are under lockdown.

Quebec reopened gyms in parts of the province on Friday, and places of worship in those areas are allowed once again to welcome up to 250 people indoors.

Manitoba this week also announced the limit on outdoor gatherings is to go up to 25 people from 10, and a 50 per cent capacity rule for retail outlets is to max out at 500 people rather than 250.

Tam says there’s “merit” in provinces taking regional approaches with their restrictions, but notes that “up-and-down measures” may not be the best way to combat spread.

“If there are detections that this activity is ramping up, then definitely don’t relax,” she said. “Try and keep that even keel until the vaccines have gained much more of acceleration in terms of coverage.”

Under questioning from the Conservatives' Michelle Rempel Garner in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he'll press top European leaders to make sure Canada isn't affected by tougher export controls on COVID-19 vaccines. Rempel Garner sought an absolute guarantee that no doses would be held back. The Canadian Press

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

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies