Canada adds more than 800 new coronavirus cases, 6 deaths

The number of Canadians who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus grew by 863 on Saturday, while the national death toll rose by six.

There have been 142,652 cases since COVID-19 was first diagnosed in Canada in late January and 9,211 deaths overall.

Across the country more than 7.7 million tests have been conducted throughout the pandemic, and 87 per cent of all cases are resolved.

The number of new cases being reported daily has increased by more than 60 per cent in the last two weeks, and demand for testing has increased sharply as well.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said on average about 849 cases were reported per day in the last week.

“I urge all Canadians to take action now to slow the spread of the virus. In addition to strict adherence with personal protective measures (e.g. physical distancing, handwashing and wearing non-medical masks where appropriate), we must all reduce our number of contacts to a minimum. Most importantly, stay home and isolate yourself from others if you are experiencing any symptoms, even if mild.”

The vast majority of the new cases occurred in Ontario and Quebec, though Saturday’s numbers are incomplete because the territories, Alberta, B.C. and P.E.I. do not release daily statistics on the weekend.

Quebec announced 427 new infections, bringing its total to 67,080. Five deaths were recorded, three of which occurred earlier this month, officials said.

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Premier François Legault said Saturday he has tested negative for COVID-19 but would remain in isolation until Sept. 28.

Legault and his wife were tested after meeting with Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole — who has since tested positive.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced the province would be extending restrictions on private events to all areas of the province.

Earlier in the week, new limits on the number of people allowed to gather were announced for virus hotspots such as Toronto and Ottawa.

“Over the past several days, we have seen alarming growth in the number of COVID cases in Ontario,” Ford said.

“The alarm bells are ringing. And too much of it has been tied to people who aren’t following the rules. People who think it’s OK to hold parties, to carry on as if things are back to normal. They aren’t.”

Ontario added 407 new cases on Saturday and one new death was announced. The province has seen a cumulative total of 46,848 infections.

Officials in Saskatchewan said they hit a record high in testing on Friday, with 2,873 samples taken. There were 11 cases discovered. Overall, the province has seen 1,787 cases and 24 fatalities.

In Manitoba, 18 new cases were reported Saturday. The province has the lowest cumulative case total in Western Canada at 1,558, including some cases considered presumptive.

Three out of four provinces in Atlantic Canada provided updates on the pandemic Saturday but no new cases were announced. There are only a handful of active cases remaining in the region.

On Friday, British Columbia added 179 new cases, though 40 of them dated back to early August, and Alberta reported 107 new positive tests.

There are currently no active cases in Canada’s North. Nunavut has yet to declare a case, and the infections announced in Yukon and Northwest Territories — 20 in total — have long been resolved.

On Saturday, the U.S. coronavirus death toll was poised to reach 200,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Around the world, more than 30 million people have been diagnosed with the illness, and nearly 954,000 people have lost their lives.

—With files from The Canadian Press, Mickey Djuric, Ryan Rocca and David Lao, Global News

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