Canada added more than 8,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row on Thursday.
The country added 8,331 coronavirus cases and 210 deaths, giving it 634,648 cases total and 16,579 deaths.
Ontario reported 3,519 cases on Thursday, a new single-day record for the province, beating the last record set five days ago. The province also reported 89 more deaths, the largest increase since April 30.
There are currently 1,472 people hospitalized in the province for the virus and 26,718 active cases, the latter of which is another record for the province.
Ontario also extended the start of in-person classes for children for another two weeks after reports of “concerning behaviour over the holidays.” They were supposed to begin on Monday.
Quebec reported 2,519 new coronavirus cases and 74 more deaths, 16 of which occurred in the last 24 hours.
The province is bracing for a curfew to begin this weekend that bars people from leaving their homes from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. except to work. Flouting the rule could result in a fine from $1,000 to $6,000.
Out west, British Columbia posted 761 new cases along with eight more deaths, all of which were in long-term care homes. It was the highest amount of new cases since mid-December. Restrictions were also extended to Feb. 5.
Two more cases of the more contagious U.K. variant were also announced in B.C., after first being detected there in late December.
Alberta reported 968 new cases Thursday and 24 deaths as the province’s current restrictions were extended another two weeks.
There are currently 871 Albertans in hospital due to COVID-19, 139 of whom are in intensive care.
Saskatchewan reported 334 new cases Thursday and three more deaths. There are currently 2,947 active cases in the province.
Manitoba reported 208 new cases and 12 deaths, with 4,506 active cases. The province is set to extend restrictions on gatherings and business openings that would have expired Friday.
Out east, New Brunswick reported 24 new cases and several new outbreaks in long-term care homes, while Nova Scotia reported four new cases.
Canada has received 425,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as of Tuesday, but fewer than 150,000 Canadians have received shots of them.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered whatever support the federal government could offer to provinces in the vaccine rollout during a conference call with premiers Thursday.
There have been 87,980,415 cases of the coronavirus worldwide to date, and 1,896,344 deaths.
— With files from Global Staff and the Canadian PressView link »