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Canada now has more than 61,000 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, but as numbers continue to climb in some provinces, parts of Atlantic Canada have gone several days without any new cases.
Prince Edward Island — where 25 of the province’s 27 confirmed cases have recovered — extended its run with no new infections reported, while Newfoundland and Labrador has now gone four days without any new cases. New Brunswick on Tuesday reported its first case in more than two weeks.
Federal health officials and politicians have stressed that the reopening process will vary depending on where people live, noting that while there are shared guidelines, provincial leaders and health officials will make their own decisions based on the reality in their region.
As of 4 p.m. ET, Canada had 61,981 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. Provinces and territories listed 26,674 of those as either recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting put the COVID-19-related death toll in Canada at 4,122, plus two known deaths of Canadians abroad.
WATCH | Freeland says those who feel unsafe won’t be forced back to work, can get CERB:
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the daily increase of cases in Canada has slowed to about three per cent.
Tam says that trend, coupled with statistics showing the percentage of tests coming back positive is going down, even as the number of tests goes up, signifies that the epidemic in Canada is slowing down.
Meanwhile, Tam says the pediatric network in Canada is monitoring children for signs of the inflammatory syndrome known as Kawasaki disease, which some countries have found in some children with COVID-19.
But Tam says there are no firm conclusions in Canada about the links between COVID-19 and inflammatory diseases.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday unveiled a $252-million support plan for the agri-food industry.
Speaking outside Rideau Cottage, the prime minister announced a range of initiatives, including support for food producers, funding for processors and a program to purchase surplus supply.
WATCH | Trudeau on why farm aid package doesn’t match what producers want:
The prime minister said $77 million of the funding will go to measures to keep workers in food processing safe with protective equipment and by supporting physical distancing in workplaces.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture had asked for $2.6 billion in assistance, saying it was needed to “to help maintain food security in Canada in response to COVID-19.”
Tuesday’s announcement was an “initial” pledge of support, Trudeau said, and the government will continue working with farmers, food producers and provinces.
“We know that there is more to do,” Trudeau said. “We will be there for our agricultural producers because they are so important to all Canadians.”
Public health measures put in place to try and slow the spread of the virus — including lockdowns, mandated business closures and travel restrictions — have caused massive economic disruption in Canada and abroad, including in the food and agriculture sectors.
The novel coronavirus, which causes an illness called COVID-19, first emerged in China in late 2019 before spreading around the world. There are no proven treatments or vaccines for the virus, which causes mild to moderate symptoms in most but can cause serious illness and death.
What’s happening in the provinces and territories
British Columbia is beginning to reach a point where interactions between individuals could eventually double, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“In New Zealand, they have this concept of ‘now, you can double your bubble.’ That’s the kind of thing we think about now, too,” Henry told CBC’s The Early Edition on Tuesday morning, referring to increasing the size of social circles.
The latest round of COVID-19 data for B.C., released Monday, revealed the spread of the virus has been declining since physical distancing measures were introduced and schools, restaurants and bars were closed in mid-March. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
In Alberta, a third meat-processing plant is seeing a spike in cases, prompting the federal food inspectors’ union to call for the plant to be closed. Alberta Health has connected 34 coronavirus cases to Harmony Beef in Balzac, just north of Calgary, as of Tuesday.
More than a month ago, the first case in the plant prompted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to withdraw its inspectors from Harmony Beef over safety concerns. The union representing those inspectors is calling for Harmony Beef — and all other meat-processing facilities with infected employees — to be closed immediately. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
WATCH | Workers worry about safety as Cargill meat processing plant reopens:
Saskatchewan reported 20 more cases on Tuesday, all of them in the far north and north regions of the province.
Meanwhile, some medical services and surgeries put on hold because of the pandemic will resume on May 19 under a Saskatchewan Health Authority plan released Tuesday. There will be a 10 to 25 per cent increase in surgical services under the first stage of the four-phase plan, according to the province. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.
Manitoba on Tuesday reported a seventh death from COVID-19. The deceased was a man in his 70s from the Southern Health Region, said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer.
One new case of COVID-19 was also reported by health officials on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases seen in the province to 282.
Meanwhile, Premier Brian Pallister said a $200 tax credit will be sent to anyone over 65 who filed a 2018 tax return. The one-time benefit is not limited to low-income earners, and will not be treated as taxable income. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
WATCH | Pallister on people unwilling to work due to subsidies:
Ontario Premier Doug Ford slammed some of the province’s medical officers of health Tuesday, saying they aren’t getting enough coronavirus tests done.
“Some just aren’t performing. I’m calling them out right now. You’ve got to pick up the pace,” Ford said at his daily news conference, adding that some regions need to be testing more.
After several consecutive days of the province meeting or exceeding its target of processing 14,000 tests per day, only 10,654 were completed in the last 24 hours. It is the lowest total in five days. The backlog of tests waiting to be processed stayed at over 6,000. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault is lifting some of the restrictions on private seniors’ homes that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Since March 23, regular visits have been banned in the province’s 1,800 seniors’ homes, known as RPAs, and the 130,000 residents who live there have been unable to leave, unless they are accompanied. Quebec will now ease these rules in certain parts of the province, allowing residents to go for unaccompanied walks.
“Autonomous people have been isolated for two months now,” Legault said. “It’s bad for mental health.” Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
New Brunswick on Tuesday announced its first case in more than two weeks. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said the individual is in the Fredericton region and is between the ages of 30 and 39. She said the case is under investigation. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
In Nova Scotia, three more residents have died, all at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, which has been dealing with the province’s most significant outbreak of the disease. Of the province’s 41 total deaths, 35 have been residents of Northwood. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.
WATCH | 100-year-old recovers from COVID-19:
Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King is receiving some backlash from students and opposition parties for comments he made suggesting some federal emergency benefit programs could act as a disincentive to going back to work. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 for the fourth straight day on Tuesday. The total number of cases remains at 259, with 241 people having recovered from the virus. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
Nunavut is once again the only jurisdiction in Canada to have zero confirmed coronavirus cases after the territory’s top doctor said the first reported case was actually a false positive. Read more about what’s happening across the North.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From Reuters and The Associated Press, updated at 3 p.m. ET
The number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surged past 70,000 on Tuesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 — more than the combined total of the next largest outbreaks in Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
On Monday, a University of Washington research model often cited by White House officials nearly doubled its projected U.S. death toll to more than 134,000 by Aug. 4.
The revision reflects “rising mobility in most U.S. states,” with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said.
The revised projection coincided with the disclosure of an internal Trump administration forecast predicting a surge in fatalities to 3,000 a day by the end of May.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump headed for Arizona to visit a Honeywell factory that makes respirator masks, in what could be a return to more regular travel for the president.
“The people of our country should think of themselves as warriors. Our country has to open,” Trump said before boarding Air Force One.
Meanwhile, some states took continued steps to lift the restrictions that have thrown millions out of work, while others extended their measures.
In Delaware, Democratic Gov. John Carney said Tuesday he will allow small businesses to resume limited operations starting Friday.
The announcement is aimed at gradually lifting restrictions that Carney imposed on individuals and businesses more than seven weeks ago in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Retailers such as department stores, tobacco shops, book stores and thrift stores will be allowed to do business using curbside pickup as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Jewelry stores will be allowed to conduct business by appointment only.
But in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont ordered in-person classes at all K-12 public schools in the state to remain cancelled for the rest of the current school year, requiring districts to continue distance learning.
The Democrat says schools must continue providing to-go meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs. Lamont says he’s working with state and local education officials to determine whether summer school programs should be held.
Lamont says he was hoping high school seniors could complete the final few weeks, but it wasn’t possible given the virus and the need to “protect everyone’s safety.”
The state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association, praised Lamont’s decision.
In hard-hit New York state, officials reported more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities.
At least 4,813 people have died in the state’s nursing homes since March 1, according to a tally released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office late Monday. It includes, for the first time, people believed to have died from the coronavirus before it could be confirmed by a lab test.
Exactly how many nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 remains uncertain despite the state’s latest disclosure. The list doesn’t include nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals before dying.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 4:30 p.m. ET
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising,” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
WATCH | WHO says COVID-19 may have been circulating earlier than first believed:
Britain’s official coronavirus death toll has passed Italy’s to become the highest in Europe. The U.K. government says 29,427 people with COVID-19 have died in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings, an increase of 693 on the figure announced a day earlier.
The toll is the second-highest in the world behind the United States. In the U.K. there have been 32,375 deaths in which COVID-19 was either confirmed or suspected.
Italy has reported its lowest daily number of new cases since its lockdown began in early March. The health ministry registered 1,075 new cases, running the overall number of confirmed infections nationwide to 213,013, although experts note that many persons with no or mild symptoms never get tested. All but two of Italy’s 20 regions had 100 or fewer new cases in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday evening. The death toll rose to 29,315, with 236 more deaths of infected persons registered on Tuesday.
While the lower number of daily new cases is heartening, epidemiologists have warned that the daily numbers will be especially critical to watch in about two weeks, when it will be clearer if partially lifted lockdown rules, which went into effect on Monday, might see an uptick in infections.
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed plans to gradually reopen schools next week amid concerns from mayors, teachers and parents about the timing. Macron, wearing a mask, visited a primary school in a suburb west of Paris on Tuesday that has remained open for children of health workers.
More than 300 mayors in the capital region, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, urged Macron in an open letter to delay the reopening of primary schools, which is scheduled for next week.
In Russia, the number of infections rose sharply again, with 10,102 new cases over the past 24 hours, the country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said. Tuesday marks the third day in a row that Russia has reported more than 10,000 new cases.
The nationwide tally now stands at 155,370. The centre also reported 95 new deaths, bringing the total to 1,451.
In India, health officials are rushing to contain the spread of the virus in the southern city of Chennai after a large cluster was discovered in one of the country’s largest markets for fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Local official J. Radhakrishnan tells The Associated Press that some 7,000 people connected to the busy Koyambedu market that remained open through India’s nationwide lockdown were being traced and quarantined. Many had returned to their homes in different districts in the region, he says.
The market is spread over more than 100 hectares and has around 500 shops. It was shut on Monday after the viral cluster was detected. Chennai now has 2,008 cases, with 545 cases detected in the past two days, and the city now accounts for half of the state’s total 4,058 cases.
South Korea reported only three new cases on Tuesday, its lowest since Feb. 18. Schools will reopen in phases starting with high school seniors on May 13, but the highlight Tuesday was the baseball season, which began with no spectators allowed.
Cheerleaders danced beneath rows of empty seats, and umpires wore face masks as one of the world’s first major professional sports returned to action in games broadcast around the globe. Players and coaches were subjected to fever screenings before entering stadiums.
It has been three weeks since any new deaths have been reported in China, where the pandemic began late last year. Just one new case of infection was confirmed, and fewer than 400 patients are still being treated for COVID-19, health officials said.
Indonesia reported on Tuesday its biggest daily rise in infections with 484 new cases, taking the total to 12,071. The death toll also rose by eight to 872. A health ministry official said more than 88,900 have been tested.
Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra confirmed on Tuesday that confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have now exceeded 50,000. Vizcarra said a total of 50,189 cases had been detected, in a news conference in the capital Lima, and confirmed 1,444 deaths.
Copper-rich Peru was one of the first Latin American countries to shut down to prevent the virus spread, yet nonetheless within ten days saw a doubling of its confirmed cases to become the region’s second worst-hit nation after Brazil.
Lesotho, the only country among Africa’s 54 to not report a case of COVID-19, will lift its five-week lockdown on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Tom Thabane says schools, churches and bars will open, with restrictions. Businesses will open but they must maintain social distancing and staff must work in shifts to reduce congestion. Churches can open but they must have less than 50 people per service. People will be expected to wear face masks in public. Thabane says mass-testing will begin.
South Africa, which surrounds the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho, has Africa’s highest number of confirmed cases at 7,220. South Africa slightly eased its strict lockdown this week to allow some mines, manufacturers and retailers to resume operations at up to 30 per cent capacity.
Rwanda and Nigeria also eased restrictions this week.