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Coronavirus: Canada adds over 1,700 new cases, most in Ontario and Quebec

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau announces Ottawa will send 125 military members to help in Quebec’s long-term care homes' Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau announces Ottawa will send 125 military members to help in Quebec’s long-term care homes
WATCH: Prime Minister Trudeau announces Ottawa will send 125 military members to help in Quebec's long-term care homes – Apr 17, 2020

Ontario and Quebec reported the most new cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada Friday, with Ontario seeing its largest single-day increase since the outbreak began.

Canada now sits at 31,809 total COVID-19 cases, with 1,310 deaths. A national total of 1,714 new cases was reported Friday.

READ MORE: Canada is flattening the coronavirus curve. That’s ‘good news,’ expert explains

Ontario reported 564 new cases on Friday, bringing its total to 9,525 cases total and 478 deaths, which went up by 55 on Friday. Provincial officials said there are 245 patients in intensive care, which is significantly lower than the 1,200 patients predicted by April 16 earlier this month.

Apart from Ontario, the bulk of new cases were in Quebec. The province announced 941 new cases and 58 more deaths on Friday to give it 16,798 cases total and 688 deaths.

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The majority of deaths have been in senior homes and roughly half of the province’s cases are in Montreal while the situation is largely stable outside the city, according to Quebec Premier Francois Legault. Quebec has 135 per cent more confirmed cases per capita than the national average.

Horacio Arruda, the director of Quebec public health, said he believes the province has reached its peak of cases but not necessarily deaths or hospitalizations. More than 1,000 Quebecers are in hospital, and 207 of them are in intensive care.

Click to play video: 'Quebec hits its COVID-19 infection peak, with the majority of deaths coming from seniors homes' Quebec hits its COVID-19 infection peak, with the majority of deaths coming from seniors homes
Quebec hits its COVID-19 infection peak, with the majority of deaths coming from seniors homes – Apr 17, 2020

For the Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island reported no new cases of COVID-19 Friday, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases and Nova Scotia added 27 cases to make its total 606. Nova Scotia also announced a fourth person had died from the virus in the province.

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New Brunswick announced no new cases for the second straight day.

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Despite the lack of cases in the Atlantic, Canada’s top public health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, said no province should let their guard down.

“Some areas will experience the epidemic slowdown earlier than others. But no matter where we are in the country, we’ve got to remember that Canadians are highly susceptible to the virus,” she said.

“Unless we all remain diligent in maintaining our new habits of physical distancing and good hygiene, new outbreaks can be sparked anywhere at any time.”

READ MORE: Nearly half of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths linked to long-term care facilities: Tam

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced province-specific measures Friday rather than nationwide ones, which include the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces in Quebec and a $1.7-billion stimulus measure for abandoned oil wells in Alberta.

“We will continue our co-ordination around principles and steps that need to be taken. But this is Canada, which means there are very different needs and very different approaches that will be in place across the country,” Trudeau said at his regular morning news conference.

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Out west, Alberta added 134 confirmed cases thanks to increased testing to give it a total of 2,292 lab-confirmed cases, while Manitoba announced no new cases and Saskatchewan said it had two new cases.

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British Columbia announced 43 new cases to bring its total to 1,618. Provincial officials said Friday that mid-May would be the earliest time restrictions could be lifted, but announced that it has successfully “flattened the curve.”

“Our pandemic started earlier than other parts of Canada,” chief medical officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “But … we have flattened that curve.”

Up north, the Yukon announced one new case to bring its total to nine, while no new cases were reported in Nunavut or Northwest Territories on Friday.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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