Just over 30,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, according to figures from federal and provincial health officials on Thursday.
Canada’s death toll from the viral illness — which surpassed 1,000 on Wednesday — is now at 1,195.
About 9,700 people have recovered from the virus across the country, and nearly half a million Canadians have been tested.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that while there are signs that actions to curb the spread of the virus are working, Canada needs to “double down” to stop outbreaks in high-risk settings.
“Long-term care homes and seniors’ residences have been severely impacted,” she told reporters Thursday morning.
“But there are other vulnerable groups that urgently need our attention, including people who are experiencing homelessness and precarious housing.”
She said models are now predicting between 1,200 and 1,620 deaths from COVID-19 by April 21.
Previous projections, however, were only forecasting between 500 and 700 deaths as of this week — far below the current total.
In Ontario and Quebec, the two provinces hardest hit by the pandemic, about 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Thursday. In both provinces, dozens of seniors’ care facilities are grappling with outbreaks of the virus.
Quebec has nearly 16,000 cases of the virus as of Thursday, while Ontario has just under 9,000.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Quebec has requested assistance from the federal government.
Trudeau said Quebec has specifically asked for medical personnel for help as the hard-hit nursing homes face staffing shortages.
The number of coronavirus diagnoses in Alberta stands at 2,158 cases and 50 deaths as of Thursday, though the province’s chief health officer said the data for that day was incomplete due to a small electrical fire.
There were a handful of new cases elsewhere in the Prairies. Saskatchewan announced one new case, bringing the provincial total to 305, and Manitoba announced four.
B.C. government data showed there were three additional deaths in that province as of Thursday, along with 14 new cases of the virus.
Federal corrections officials said that an inmate at the medium-security Mission Institution prison in B.C. died as an apparent result of complications of COVID-19.
Nova Scotia announced 30 new cases on Thursday, while Newfoundland and Labrador announced five. There were no new diagnoses in P.E.I., New Brunswick or the territories.
— With files from The Canadian Press and Kalina Laframboise
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