Several Canadian provinces broke record daily coronavirus caseloads as the country added another 6,886 infections on Christmas Eve.
The new case data tallied from the provincial and territorial governments Thursday pushes Canada’s total cases to 534,816. Another 122 fatalities from the virus were recorded on Thursday as well, with the country’s death toll standing at 14,719. To date, over 443,000 patients have since recovered from the virus, while 17,723,000 tests have been administered.
In his annual Christmas message, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that this wasn’t the holiday season Canadians were hoping to experience.
“This isn’t the holiday season we wanted, I know,” Trudeau said in Christmas greeting video posted to Twitter.
“But here’s the thing: Even though this year’s Christmas traditions will be different, we can and should give thanks for everything that unites us.”
“This crisis will end and, as a country, we will come out of it stronger and more united.”
Trudeau’s Christmas message also comes amid an early present — the arrival of the first doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. The vaccines’ arrival comes just a day after Health Canada authorized its use for Canadians above the age of 18.
Moderna’s vaccine is now the second approved for use in Canada, joining the one from Pfizer-BioNTech which was approved earlier this month. A total of 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses, which are due to be administered primarily in long-term care homes and in rural areas due to its less stringent transport requirements, are scheduled to be delivered by the end of December.
Ontario reported a record breaking 2,447 new infections Thursday, as well as 49 more deaths from the virus. The province’s previous daily infection record stood at 2,432 just a week ago.
In Quebec another 2,349 cases were announced, marking the third day the province hit a new record. Another 46 deaths were reported in the province hardest hit by the pandemic, with its total caseload and death toll standing at 185,872 and 7,913, respectively.
Alberta added 1,100 new cases on Thursday while B.C. announced another 579.
Saskatchewan’s total cases now stands at 14,255 after 154 infections were added Thursday. Manitoba added another 243 cases Thursday, which pushed its provincial total to 23,624 — of which an unknown number are considered probable.
Several provinces reported new cases in Atlantic Canada. New Brunswick added two more, P.E.I. another three and Nova Scotia tallied another seven infections. Newfoundland and Labrador did not announce any new cases during its update Thursday.
Both the Yukon and Nunavut added one additional case on Thursday as well.
Worldwide, over 79,327,000 people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.74 million people have also succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.