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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada – TimminsToday

The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

5:10 p.m.

The Calgary Stampede’s board of directors has cancelled the world-famous exhibition and rodeo this year because of COVID-19.

Stampede officials say it’s a difficult decision, but public health must come first.

It’s the first time the annual celebration of cowboy life hasn’t been held in almost 100 years.

3:45 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 keeping the province’s total of confirmed cases at 26.

Public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says 24 of those cases have recovered.

She says more testing and strong screening measures at points of entry are important as the province looks to ease back restrictions.

3:30 p.m.

Health officials in Saskatchewan are reporting five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 331.

So far 270 people have recovered from the virus while four have died.

Premier Scott Moe says the province has managed to flatten the curve.

He has laid out his five-part plan to turn on some parts of the economy starting in May.

2:33 p.m.

Doug Ford’s office has confirmed the Ontario premier’s mother-in-law has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ford has previously said his wife’s mother lives in a Toronto long-term care home that had an outbreak of the disease.

The premier was emotional during a press conference today, talking about families with loved ones in long-term care.

2:20 p.m.

The Manitoba government is reporting five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 262 with 251 confirmed and 11 probable.

With 174 people now recovered, the number of active cases has dropped to 82.

Seven people are in hospital — two of them in intensive care.

The death toll remains at six.

1:30 p.m.

Quebec is reporting 109 new COVID-19 deaths today, bringing the total to 1,243.

There are now a total of 21,838 positive cases in the province, including 873 reported over the last 24 hours.

Premier Francois Legault says a big concern is finding health-care personnel as 9,500 staff are off the job due to illness or other reasons.

He’s asking all workers who are not in quarantine and able to return to work to do so.

12:55 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health is announcing two new public orders as the province reported no new cases of COVID-19.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said all travellers arriving into the province will need to complete a declaration form starting April 24.

Fitzgerald adds that starting April 27, all travellers will be required to submit a 14-day self-isolation plan upon entering Newfoundland and Labrador.

Following several days of no new cases reported in the province, Fitzgerald says authorities have begun considering ways to relax lockdown measures.

12:40 p.m.

The Saskatchewan government has outlined a five-phase plan to reopen parts of the province’s economy during the COVID-19 crisis.

Premier Scott Moe says restrictions will first be lifted starting May 4 for dentist offices, optometry clinics and physical therapy providers.

Golf courses are to reopen on May 15 and retail shops selling clothing, books, flowers and sporting goods might be allowed to open their doors on May 19.

Hairdressers and barbers could also start seeing clients again on May 19, but employees working directly with the public would have to wear masks.

12:30 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting four more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 16.

Health officials say three of the deaths occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality, and the other occurred at Harbourstone Enhanced Care in Sydney.

Nova Scotia is reporting 55 new cases of the virus and has a total of 827 confirmed cases.

There are 10 licensed long-term care homes and unlicensed seniors’ facilities in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 158 residents and 79 staff.

12:25 p.m.

Manitoba drivers are going to get insurance rebates in the coming weeks.

The provincial government says it’s planning to issue cheques with rebates of 11 per cent, worth roughly $150 for the average policy holder.

Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton says Manitoba Public Insurance can afford the rebates, partly because fewer people are driving and accident claims have dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

11:50 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says we are failing our parents and grandparents in long-term care homes.

Trudeau says the government is sending the military to help in long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec.

But he says it should never have come to this, and there are tough questions to be asked once the crisis is over.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in long-term care homes has outraged many Canadians and Trudeau says that outrage is not misplaced.

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa is rolling out $1.1 billion for a national medical and research strategy, almost a third of which is aimed at expanding national testing and modeling to better prevent the spread of COVID-19 while a vaccine is in development.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a vaccine is the long-term solution but until then we need to slow the spread to start reopening the economy, so $350 million is going towards more testing and modelling, with a new task force.

There is $115 million for additional research on vaccines and treatments, but the lion’s share of the funding – $662 million – will be for the clinical trials to test those vaccines and treatments as they are developed.

10:50 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 634 new cases of COVID-19 today and 54 more deaths.

That brings the total number of cases in the province to 12,879 — a 5.2 per cent increase over Wednesday.

The total includes 713 deaths and 6,680 cases that have been resolved.

10:25 a.m.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is asking the federal government to give local governments billions in emergency funding to stave off financial ruin.

The organization says local governments need between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next six months to pay for services while they see revenue declines.

Transit ridership, for instance, is down as people stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and municipal councils are considering or have approved delays in collecting property taxes to give residents a financial break.

That’s why they’re asking for $2.4 billion for cities with transit systems.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on the federal government to showcase a plan for the next steps of Canada’s COVID-19 response.

Scheer says a potential patchwork approach by the provinces to loosening restrictions on physical distancing ought to be led by federal guidelines.

He says if experts are suggesting the current level of testing must be tripled, he also wants to know how the Liberal government will meet that threshold.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said there were 53 new cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.

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