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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern): 7:12 p.m.

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

7:12 p.m.

Royal assent has been given to legislation authorizing $9 billion worth of emergency benefits for students who face bleak job prospects this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation was enacted shortly after it was approved by the Senate.

The House of Commons approved it on Wednesday.

Under the legislation, students who can't find work or are unable to work due to the pandemic will receive the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit of $1,250 per month from May through August.

Students with dependents or permanent disabilities will receive $2,000 per month.


6:45 p.m.

Yukon says all 11 people who have had COVID-19 in the territory have recovered.

The territory says in a statement that it has 21 test results pending.

It has done a total of 999 tests.


6:39 p.m.

The Senate has approved legislation authorizing $9 billion worth of emergency benefits for students who face bleak job prospects this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill is now awaiting royal assent.

Under the legislation, students who can't find work or are unable to work due to the pandemic will receive the new Canada Emergency Student Benefit of $1,250 per month from May through August.

Students with dependents or permanent disabilities will receive $2,000 per month.


6:15 p.m.

British Columbia is reporting another 33 cases of COVID-19 and one more death.

The province has 2,145 cases of COVID-19 and 112 deaths since the pandemic began.

The death occurred in the region covered by the Fraser Health authority, which has also seen the highest number of cases.

The province says 1,357 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.


6 p.m.

Alberta is reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 at an Amazon warehouse north of Calgary.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical health officer, says there are five cases at the site at Balzac.

Overall there are 218 new cases of the illness in the province, bringing the total to 5,573.

Hinshaw says an additional three people have died — all at continuing care centres that also have outbreaks of COVID-19.

So far, 92 people have died in Alberta and 2,359 people have recovered.


5:45 p.m.

Alberta is launching a voluntary mobile app to expand contact tracing for COVID-19 to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government says it's believed to be the first of its kind in North America and is based on similar apps in Singapore, South Korea and Australia.

The app, once downloaded, uses Bluetooth to identify any other nearby phones that have the same app.

Anyone with the app who later contracts COVID-19 will be asked to upload the data to Alberta Health Services, which will use it to reach out to those who came in contact with the person.


4:10 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting a jump in the number of COVID-19 cases and an outbreak at a second hospital.

It says there are 26 new infections, 19 of which are in or around La Loche, a Dene village around 600 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

Officials are dealing with a cluster of cases in that community and trying to ramp up testing and contact tracing.

With the new cases announced today, Saskatchewan's total number of COVID-19 infections is 415.

Health officials also declared an outbreak at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert where one patient has tested positive.


4 p.m.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is acknowledging the $15 million in COVID-19 emergency funding earmarked to help organizations that service Indigenous urban populations is "not enough."

Speaking to a Commons committee today, Miller says his department received far more applications than the 94 proposals that have been approved.

He says he is working to secure additional funds to help the vulnerable populations that friendship centres and other urban Indigenous organizations work to support every day.

Earlier this month, the National Association of Friendship Centres said facilities on the front lines of the crisis and have been inundated with requests for help.

The association said they have been struggling to function without additional funds from the federal government to provide the increased demand for services.


2:20 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting four new COVID-19 cases, bring the total to 279 .

With the number of people who have recovered rising to 235, the number of active cases has dropped to 38.

The Manitoba government is allowing many non-essential businesses to reopen starting Monday, including museums, retail stores and hair salons.


2:05 p.m.

Quebec is reporting 163 new deaths because of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 2,020.

The province has 28,648 confirmed cases of the virus in the province, but Quebec's public health director says the province will now try to put those fatality numbers in chronological order to determine where they're at with flattening the COVID-19 curve.

Dr. Horacio Arruda noted that of the 163 deaths reported today, only 22 date from the past 24 hours, so the province needs to place the deaths according to the date they actually occurred.

Arruda says the province will do a report for the previous month going forward.


2 p.m.

Nova Scotia is easing some public health restrictions around COVID-19 effective immediately, but existing directives around physical distancing and social gatherings will remain in place.

Under the changes, trails and provincial and municipal parks can reopen, but playground equipment will continue to be off limits.

Garden centres, nurseries and similar businesses can open, and while golf driving ranges can open, courses will remain closed.

Sportfishing is permitted and people can attend boating, yacht or sailing clubs for the purpose of preparing boats for use.

Drive-in religious services will be allowed, as long as people stay in their cars, they are parked two metres apart and there are no interactions between people.


1:50 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting no new cases of COVID-19. The provincial total remains at 118 and 116 of them are considered recovered.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jennifer Russell says there is no one in hospital with COVID-19 right now in New Brunswick.

The province has gone almost two weeks without a new cases of COVID-19, despite the struggles of neighbouring Quebec and Nova Scotia.


1:40 p.m.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province will allow a small list of businesses to open back up on May 4.

He says the businesses that can reopen are mostly seasonal and will have to follow physical distancing measures.

They include garden centres with curbside pick-ups, lawn care and landscaping companies, and automatic car washes.

Ford says the province is able to take this step because the spread of COVID-19 has slowed.


1:30 p.m.

Quebec says it will begin administering about 100,000 COVID-19 tests per week as the province gradually reopens.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health, said today the province's new testing strategy will be up and running — administering up to 14,000 tests a day — by the end of next week.

Arruda estimates about 3 per cent of Quebec's population has been infected with COVID-19, representing about 250,000 people.

He says Quebec currently administers about 7,000 tests a day.


1:10 p.m.

Dr. Theresa Tam says lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are just the tip of the iceberg of the actual spread of the illness.

She says the total numbers of people who have contracted the novel coronavirus will be clearer, and much larger, once good blood tests for antibodies are available and widespread.

The key to containing the pandemic is still keeping the number of cases low enough that severely ill patients don't overwhelm the health system, Tam says.

She says Canada is succeeding at that so far and that's more important for now than knowing exactly how many COVID-19 cases are out there.


12:59 p.m.

Dr. Theresa Tam says although children seem to suffer less seriously from COVID-19 than adults, reopening schools and child-care centres also has to take into account protecting the adults who work in them.

That means that as provinces begin allowing those facilities to reopen, they'll need to impose distancing restrictions and strict cleaning requirements.

Tam says Canada will have the benefit of seeing what happens in other jurisdictions that are ahead of us in the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic.


12:51 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today.

The provincial total remains at 27 cases and 24 of those have recovered.

P.E.I. had just six cases during the month of April.

The Island has started to ease public health restrictions with its Renew PEI Together program, which includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to five people  


12:50 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador announced one new positive case of COVID-19 today, bringing the provincial total to 259.

Two-hundred and thirty people have recovered from COVID-19 in the province.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says she has requested the public health emergency to be extended for 14 more days.

Premier Dwight Ball announced a text line for deaf or hard of hearing residents who need to speak with a nurse in the province.


12:45 p.m.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says despite the pandemic, Canadians should seek whatever treatment and help for any other health concerns they have.

She says physical distancing seems to have worked to bend the curve of COVID-19 cases in the country and public health experts across the country have been impressed by how thoroughly Canadians have followed their advice and orders.

But she says it's also important to get other conditions treated, even if it means consulting a doctor only by phone or online.

She added that everyone needs to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep, despite the stress and limitations imposed by the pandemic.


12:35 p.m.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is calling on landlords to show compassion to renters facing difficulty meeting their May 1 deadline because of COVID-19 difficulties.

She says if a tenant has lost income, now is a good time for a landlord to support their neighbours and their country in a time of crisis.

Freeland says it is also a time for banks to be thoughtful about the mortgage payments that landlords must pay.


11:50 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting another death related to COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 29. The death occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality.

The province is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 959.

There are 10 licensed long-term care homes and unlicensed seniors' facilities in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 237 residents and 105 staff.

Nova Scotia is renewing its state of emergency for another two weeks, to run until May 17.


11:40 a.m.

Justice Minister David Lametti say no one should try to surrender their assault-style guns while physical distancing is in effect to fight COVID-19.

Lametti spoke after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government is banning a range of assault-style guns, with an order that takes effect immediately.

Trudeau also announced a two-year amnesty period for current owners of those guns and said there will be a compensation program that will require a bill passed in Parliament.


11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 421 new COVID-19 cases today, and 39 more deaths.

The provincial total rose to 16,608 cases, an increase of 2.6 per cent from yesterday.

That total includes 1,121 deaths and 10,825 resolved cases.

Figures on COVID-19's impact in long-term care homes, which come from a separate database than the provincial numbers, show 26 more residents died in the past day.


6:30 a.m.

The C.D. Howe Institute's Business Cycle Council says Canada has entered a recession due to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a report released today, the council says the economy peaked in February before the steps taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus brought the economy to a standstill.

A commonly used definition for a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative quarter-over-quarter economic growth.

However, the C.D. Howe council defines a recession as a pronounced, persistent, and pervasive decline in aggregate economic activity and it looks at both GDP and employment as its main measures.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the student benefit is $2,250.

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