Canada is now adding new coronavirus infections at a rate over three times what was seen during the first peak of the pandemic in May, new data reveals, as the country ends a particularly brutal month of rising cases and deaths.
The country saw 6,103 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, after the daily number inched closer to the 6,000-mark throughout the previous week.
But weekend data reported by British Columbia on Monday also raised the daily totals for Saturday and Sunday even further past that threshold. Saturday marked a new daily record of 6,488 infections, while Sunday brought another 6,195.
Those cases now bring the national total to 377,806 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, 299,972 are considered to be recovered, while another 2,545 patients are currently in hospital.
Canada’s death toll also rose to 12,130 after 66 new deaths were reported Monday. Another 32 deaths over the weekend in B.C. further added to the total.
November has been a particularly sobering month for the pandemic, as cases and deaths continued to climb despite new restrictions and other efforts from public health officials.
Roughly 140,000 people tested positive over the past 30 days — almost twice the number of new cases in October. It took from the start of the pandemic until mid-September for the country to confirm its first 140,000 cases.
Almost 2,000 people also died of complications from COVID-19 in November. While not as deadly as the first spring peak when roughly 150 people were dying daily, deaths have been steadily climbing along with infections.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
The federal government closed the month by providing an update on the country’s economy, which pegged the current deficit projections at $382 billion this fiscal year and confirmed the government plans to issue a formal budget next year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada’s economic recovery will likely not begin until “deep into 2021,” but few details on how that recovery will be achieved were revealed Monday.
Freeland told the House of Commons the federal deficit likely won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2026, due to expected extensive spending on social programs and continued economic restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
In the meantime, health officials are urging everyone to do their part and follow those restrictions into next year, as Canada and the rest of the world anxiously awaits the arrival of a vaccine.
“As with our last effort to bend the curve, and more so now, this is not going to be a quick solution but a test of our determination and endurance,” Canada’s chief medical health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement.
“While now is not the time to gather, we can take comfort in knowing that the sacrifices we are making today are for our tomorrow.
Ontario and Quebec, which have each been reporting over 1,000 daily cases for weeks, announced 1,746 and 1,333 new infections Monday, respectively. Quebec also reported another 23 new deaths, while officials announced eight more people have died in Ontario since Sunday.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba each reported over 300 new cases. Thirteen more deaths were also announced in the two Prairie provinces, with two in Saskatchewan and 11 in Manitoba.
Alberta nearly matched Ontario’s daily case total with 1,733 new infections, setting a new daily record, along with eight additional deaths. The province continues to lead the country in active cases, with officials warning hospitals are being pushed to their limits.
In B.C., 596 new cases and 14 more deaths were reported Monday, while officials also revealed over 700 new cases were added both Saturday and Sunday. Another 277 historical cases from earlier in November were also added.
In Atlantic Canada, six new cases were reported in New Brunswick while Nova Scotia announced 16 more people had tested positive.
One new case was also reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, which on Monday further tightened its border to travellers after leaving the Atlantic travel bubble last week. Starting Tuesday, all essential travellers will have to submit a form and obtain a reference number to show border officials when they arrive.
Two of the three territories also saw new cases Monday, with Yukon adding one and Nunavut reporting four.
Nunavut is planning to lift its two-week lockdown on Wednesday, as the number of active cases has finally started to trend downward after an explosion in cases this month.
The pandemic has now infected over 63.1 million people around the world and killed more than 1.46 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
— With files from Global’s Amanda Connolly