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An Air Canada flight from Mexico City arrives at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, March 20, 2020.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

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

Christopher Mio and Meghan Hoople found themselves jobless and wanting to help in the wake of COVID-19 isolation in Toronto. After flyering their neighbourhood with a free-of-charge offer, they received an outpouring of support and requests from people in need. The Globe and Mail

11:20 p.m. EDT

Loblaw becomes second major grocery chain to install screens at checkout counters

Loblaw Companies Ltd. is the second major grocery chain in Canada to announce it is installing plexiglass screens at its checkout counters, as grocery companies seek to reassure staff of their safety while remaining open to provide essential products to customers.

The company has begun installing the screens at stores checkouts, executive chairman Galen Weston wrote in a letter to customers on Saturday morning. Its announcement was made one day after Sobeys parent company Empire Co. Ltd. said it had ordered thousands of screens to install in its grocery banners, including Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland and FreshCo, as well as some of its pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations and liquor stores.

Loblaw owns grocery banners including No Frills, Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Valu-Mart, and Provigo. The screens were another measure after the company announced that some of its busiest stores would close every other checkout lane, in order to provide customers more space.

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- Susan Krashinsky Robertson


9:30 p.m. EDT

McDonald’s closing most locations, will offer drive-through and delivery only

One day after Starbucks Canada made a similar move, McDonald’s Canada has decided to close most of its stores in Canada, opting to serve customers at drive-through windows or through delivery only.

The announcements are a sign of the sweeping changes hitting the retail industry in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past week, non-essential retailers across Canada have shut their doors. However, some food retailers, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, have attempted to continue their services in order to provide meal options to Canadians who are staying home and practicing social distancing.

- Susan Krashinsky Robertson


9:00 p.m. EDT

Metro grocery stores raising wages for workers during pandemic

Metro is raising wages for grocery store and distribution centre workers by $2 per hour during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grocer says the wage boost is effective from March 8 to May 2.

The chain says the temporary raise is an acknowledgment of the tough but necessary work their employees are doing during an unprecedented time.

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It says it’s also introducing plexiglass guards to service counters to help protect staffers from the virus.

- The Canadian Press


8:00 p.m. EDT

Toronto real estate board recommends stopping in-person open houses

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board is recommending its 56,000 members stop holding in-person open houses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TRREB says it will “suppress” open houses on its websites because the practice is not conducive to social distancing.

The board says the decision to hold open houses ultimately lies with the real estate brokerage, but the organization is strongly recommending they stop.

- The Canadian Press

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6:30 p.m. EDT

Vancouver health authority bans visitors, restrict workers at long-term care homes after outbreak kills nine at single facility

Vancouver’s health authority issued an order Saturday that bans most visitors to long-term care homes and prohibits staff and volunteers from working at more than one facility, as public-health officials work to contain an outbreak that has already hit three care homes in the region and killed nine residents at a single facility.

The order applies to all licensed long-term care facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region, including the Lynn Valley Care Centre, which has accounted for all but one of B.C.'s 10 COVID-19 fatalities. Other health regions in the province were expected to follow suit with similar orders.

The Lynn Valley Care Centre had already taken steps to protect staff and residents since March 7, when an outbreak was declared, such as restricting visitors and serving meals in residents’ rooms, rather than in communal dining areas.

- Wendy Stueck


6:30 p.m. EDT

Governments threaten fines, arrests to enforce COVID-19 isolation measures

Governments across Canada are turning to fines and threats of arrests in the face of concerns that not everyone is getting the message about self-isolating and social distancing to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections.

The need to ensure people most at risk of passing along COVID-19 heed the direction from public-health officials is becoming more urgent as Canadians are repatriated from locations around the world. All have been told to isolate at home for 14 days, which is the incubation period for the novel coronavirus at the root of the pandemic, but for the most part officials have relied on those people taking the steps voluntarily.

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But there are signs that patience is running out. Saskatchewan has threatened returning travellers with $2,000 fines if they don’t self-isolate for 14 days. The government has used the emergency-broadcast system to send that message to cellphones. In Quebec City, police arrested a woman who was infected with the virus and was walking around outside.

- James Keller


5:15 p.m. EDT

Hospital-based labs mobilize to test for COVID-19 and alleviate backlog

Hospital-based laboratories are mobilizing to become testing centres for COVID-19 to help alleviate the growing backlog at overwhelmed public labs that some health experts say is slowing Canada’s response to the virus.

Across the country, increasing demand for coronavirus tests and a shortage of testing materials are hampering efforts to identify cases. About 77,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Canada as of Friday evening, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

As a result, infectious disease experts say the true number of COVID-19 cases in Canada is far greater than official figures show and the risks of catching it are much higher than many members of the public realize.

To help address those problems, researchers at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network are teaming up to re-purpose research labs for COVID-19 testing.

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- Carly Weeks


3:30 p.m. EDT

Ontario records its third COVID-19 death

Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a call for the province’s businesses to step up and find ways to manufacture medical supplies to help the province, and Canada, cope with imminent shortages.

“I can’t rely on the rest of the world right now," Mr. Ford said Saturday at a press conference announcing a web portal that will allow companies to fill out a questionnaire on their capabilities to supply ventilators, masks, gloves and even hospital beds.

Mr. Ford said he’d been on the phone with major global companies as recently as Friday, seeking ventilators from General Electric Co., Medtronic plc and Koninklijke Philips N.V., Tyvek chemical-resistant coveralls from E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., and gloves and masks from 3M Co. Ontario has 12 million surgical gloves and one million N-95 respirator masks on order right now.

“If you can retool your business, we need to hear from you right now,” Mr. Ford said.

Mr. Ford said Ontario needs to produce the goods for the entire country. “They’re relying on us to make sure we ramp up, we make enough for everyone in Canada. This is the Team Canada approach. We’re all working shoulder to shoulder."

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- David Milstead


3:10 p.m. EDT

British Columbia’s total surpasses 400, province orders salons, spas, others to close

British Columbia’s provincial health officer says there are 74 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing the total to 424.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are 27 people in hospital, 12 of whom are in intensive care. Six people have recovered.

She says there has also been another death associated with the Lynn Valley long-term care home in North Vancouver.

Henry says the province is ordering all personal service establishments to close, including salons, spas, and massage and tattoo parlours.

- The Canadian Press


3:00 p.m. EDT

Nova Scotia has six new presumptive cases, bringing total to 21

Nova Scotia has six new presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 21.

All are travel-related.

The 21 individuals affected range in age from late-teens to mid-70’s.

Dentists can no longer practise in the province unless it’s an emergency.

- The Canadian Press


2:56 p.m. EDT

Newfoundland and Labrador announce more cases

Newfoundland and Labrador has two new presumptive cases of COVID-19.

One case is woman who returned from international travel and the other is women who returned from a cruise.

That brings the provincial total to six cases.

Health Minister John Haggie says he heard from cabbies that Friday night was as busy as any Friday night, but instead of people going to bars, people were going to house parties.

He stressed that people need to practise social distancing.

- The Canadian Press


2:48 p.m. EDT

Northwest Territories reports its first presumed case of COVID-19

The Northwest Territories is reporting what is believe to be the first case of COVID-19 in Canada’s North.

The territory says the individual had travelled to British Columbia and Alberta then developed mild symptoms three days after returning to Yellowknife.

The individual is now recovering at home.

The Northwest Territories is planning to ban non-essential travel into the territory.

In a news release, the N.W.T. says chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola will make an order under the territory’s Public Health Act effective today.

Residents returning to the territory will be required to self-isolate in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik.

The news release says disobeying the order is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.

- The Canadian Press


2:30 p.m. EDT

Ontario records its third COVID-19 death

A third person has died in Ontario because of COVID-19.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed the death of the man who was in his 70s today.

The man had been in close contact with another man who was the province’s first COVID-19 related death on March 11.

- The Canadian Press


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference on COVID-19 at Rideau Cottage, his residence on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

2:10 p.m. EDT

‘We won’t be able to reach everyone’: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is working with airlines to repatriate Canadians stranded abroad amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but is warning the government won’t be able to bring everyone home.

A repatriation flight, operated by Air Canada, landed in Casablanca, Morocco Saturday, where it was to pick up between 400 and 450 Canadians and bring them back to Montreal. Mr. Trudeau said the government is in talks with airlines to arrange other repatriation flights for Canadians in Peru and Spain, but the details are still being sorted out. He said announcements regarding rescue flights from other countries will be made “as soon as possible.”

“We won’t be able to reach everyone but we’re going to do our best to help those we can.”

Mr. Trudeau said he has spoken directly with the heads of Canada’s largest airlines in the past few days, saying they are “all in” when it comes to getting stranded Canadians home. He said a number of factors, including the number of Canadians in a particular region and airspace closures, are being considered as the government plans other flights.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he spoke with his counterpart in Peru on Saturday morning during a joint call with other nations, and the Peruvian foreign minister said his government would allow repatriation flights to enter the country’s airspace. However, shortly after the call, Peru’s defence minister said the country would no longer allow repatriation flights as of Sunday. Mr. Champagne said he would be speaking with his Peruvian counterpart Saturday afternoon to figure out if Canadians will be allowed to leave.

- Michelle Carbert


2:05 p.m. EDT

New Brunswick announces new cases, four involving people who had been on a cruise ship

New Brunswick has six new presumptive cases of COVID-19.

Four of the people had been on a cruise ship, while the other two were close contacts to travel-related cases.

There are now seven confirmed cases and 10 presumptive cases in New Brunswick for a total of 17.

Residents of New Brunswick’s Campobello Island must travel through part of Maine to get to the New Brunswick mainland.

With the border closed, Premier Blaine Higgs says he has been assured that anyone who needs to travel between the island and the mainland for essential services will be allowed to do so.

–The Canadian Press


2:00 p.m. EDT

B.C. pledges to help renters facing eviction in buildings funded by BC Housing

British Columbia’s housing minister says help is on the way to ensure renters are not evicted as the province cracks down on the spread of the new coronavirus.

Selina Robinson says the B.C. government is banning evictions for non-payment of rent in buildings funded by BC Housing.

–The Canadian Press


1:45 p.m. EDT

Ontario asks doctors, pharmacists to hold off on prescription re-fills

Ontario’s health minister says the province is asking the doctors and pharmacists not to re-fill prescriptions for more than 30 days to prevent drug shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christine Elliott says pharmacists have told the government some patients have been requesting refills of up to six months.

The government says doctors and pharmacists will be allowed to use their own discretion if they believe a patient requires more than a 30 day supply.

–The Canadian Press


1:20 p.m. EDT

Legualt says Quebec now has 181 confirmed cases

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says there are now 181 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, up from 139 yesterday.

Legault also announced four new deaths, meaning there’s a total of five deaths in the province.

Legault says the four new deaths all came from the same senior residence.

The premier says the jump in cases was to be expected, as the province has increased its testing capacity.

–The Canadian Press


1:09 p.m. EDT

PEI implements new screening measures at all points of entry

PEI is asking anyone who has travelled internationally or within Canada to self-isolate for 14 days when coming to the Island.

New screening measures are in place at all entry points to PEI including the Confederation Bridge, ferries and airport, but the province is not closing its boundaries.

The screening includes asking questions and providing information on self-isolating.

PEI chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says there are no new cases of COVID-19 to add to the two previously reported on the Island.

–The Canadian Press


11:18 a.m. EDT

Northwest Territories planning to ban non-essential travel to territory

The Northwest Territories is planning to ban non-essential travel into the territory.

In a news release, the N.W.T. says chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola will make an order under the territory’s Public Health Act effective today.

Residents returning to the territory will be required to self-isolate in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik.

The news release says disobeying the order is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.

–The Canadian Press


10:51 a.m. EDT

Ontario reports 59 new cases

Ontario is reporting 59 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total in the province to 377.

The total includes six resolved cases and two deaths.

No information is listed for more than half of the new cases, but a man in his 40s from the Simcoe-Muskoka area has been hospitalized with the virus.

Public Health Ontario says he contracted the illness during travel to England.

Premier Doug Ford is set to make an announcement later today related to COVID-19 with his health and economic development ministers.

–The Canadian Press


4:00 a.m. EDT

First flight of Canadians stranded in Morocco expected to land today

An Air Canada flight bringing a group of Canadians home from Morocco is expected to land in Montreal today.

The repatriation flight departing from Casablanca was arranged with the help of the federal government.

Thousands of Canadians stranded abroad are becoming increasingly desperate as countries close borders and airlines cut flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

–The Canadian Press


British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on the coronavirus in the province, during a news conference in Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

12:15 a.m. EDT

B.C. reports new cases, passes Ontario’s total

British Columbia is reporting 77 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 348.

That includes nine deaths.

B.C. has the highest number of cases in the country, surpassing the 318 being reported in Ontario.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says 22 patients are in acute care and the province will spare no effort to ensure it has the equipment in place to protect health care and other essential workers.

–The Canadian Press


12:00 a.m. EDT

New Canada-U.S. border restrictions begin

The new normal at Canada-U.S. border crossings went into effect at midnight.

In the ongoing struggle to stem the rising tide of COVID-19 cases all non-essential cross border traffic, such as tourists and people looking to do some shopping, is now banned until further notice.

Travel considered essential is still allowed, such as truckers hauling freight, health professionals and others who work on one side of the border but live on the other.

–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.

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

Archives

March 20: Alberta announces economic stimulus for oil and gas sector as Canada surpasses 1,000 cases

Marh 19: Pandemic kills Ontario, Alberta residents; border restrictions to kick in Friday night, PM says

March 18: Trudeau unveils sweeping new aid package; U.S.-Canada border to close to all non-essential travel

March 17: Ontario, Alberta, B.C. declare states of emergency; B.C. closes schools to combat virus spread

March 16: Total number of cases in Canada stands at 407; Ontario asks bars, restaurants to close

March 15: U.S. Fed cuts interest rates to near zero, Trudeau says more screening being put in place

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

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