Canada added 2,062 new coronavirus cases Saturday — the vast majority in Quebec and Ontario — as the national death toll rose by 23.
Saturday’s figures also showed an uptick in COVID-19 diagnoses in Atlantic Canada, a region that has yet to see a dramatic rise in cases this fall unlike other parts of the country.
Overall, 179,993 cases have been diagnosed in Canada since the pandemic broke out, and 9,608 people across the country have lost their lives to COVID-19. Saturday’s data, however, does not include updates from British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta or the territories.
Almost 151,000 people have recovered from COVID-19, and about 9.8 million tests for the virus have been conducted.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that about 2.5 per cent of those tested in the last week were positive for the virus.
While the infection rate is highest among young adults, Dr. Tam warned that the number of outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities is on the rise.
“We all have a shared responsibility to help protect those at highest risk,” she said in a statement. “When spread of COVID-19 is kept to low levels in the community, this decreases the risk of exposure for older Canadians in our communities and the likelihood that the virus will enter and take hold in care homes.”
Quebec reported 1,097 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, as well as 14 additional deaths linked to the pandemic.
Officials said three of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, seven happened between Oct. 3 and 8, and four occurred at earlier dates.
The province has reported more than 1,000 new cases for six of the last seven days, and has implemented additional restrictions in badly affected regions.
In Ontario, the virus’ death toll surpassed 3,000 after seven recent fatalities were announced Saturday. The province also added 809 new infections, bringing the cumulative total to 58,490.
As of Saturday, Toronto, the nearby region of Peel and Ottawa are facing new restrictions to combat surging virus cases.
Manitoba said coronavirus has claimed the lives of two seniors, bring its death toll to 32. The province also announced 97 new infections — most in the Winnipeg health region. There are currently more than 1,000 active cases in the province.
Saskatchewan saw 34 new cases of the virus, 13 of which are connected to a series of events in Prince Albert. Overall, the province has seen 2,068 infections, nearly 1,900 of which are resolved.
Several new cases were reported Saturday in Atlantic Canada, which has been under a travel “bubble” since July.
New Brunswick announced 20 new infections, most connected to outbreaks in Campbellton and a care home in Moncton.
Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia announced three new cases each Saturday.
Throughout Atlantic Canada, there are 74 active cases — 57 of which are in New Brunswick.
On Friday, Canada posted a record daily increase of more than 2,500 new cases. Alberta added 282 cases and reported one additional fatality on Friday, while B.C. reported 119 new infections.
Around the world, more than 37 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 1 million deaths have been attributed to the virus, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.
— With files from the Canadian Press and Global News reporters