Another 2,458 people in Canada have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 831,582.
The new cases come as Canada races to vaccinate the population against the virus, as new, more transmissible variants threaten to cause a third wave of the pandemic.
The variants — first detected in the U.K. and South Africa — have now been identified in all of Canada’s provinces.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is “following the situation closely.”
“Nobody wants a third wave, especially not with these new variants that are far more contagious,” he said.
Trudeau said all Canadians need to be making “smart choices” regarding how to limit their number of contacts and to keep COVID-19 from spreading.
Vaccine rollout continues
According to Health Canada, as of Feb. 11 a total of 1,443,400 doses of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines had been distributed across the country.
Canada’s vaccine rollout has been repeatedly hampered by delays from both Pfizer and Moderna.
Most recently, on Tuesday, Pfizer confirmed Canada’s shipment of vaccines would be delayed by one day due to a harsh winter storm in the United States.
However, despite the delays, Trudeau has maintained that the country remains on track to vaccinate all Canadians by the end of September.
Thousands of new cases
In Ontario, 902 new cases and 13 deaths were reported on Tuesday.
To date, the province has reported 287,736 infections and 6,719 fatalities connected to the virus.
Meanwhile, Quebec reported 669 new COVID-19 infections for a total of 278,187.
Seventeen more fatalities means 10,246 people have died of the disease in Quebec so far.
Saskatchewan saw 136 new cases on Tuesday, and health officials confirmed three more people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Since the virus was first detected, it has infected 26,829 people in the province and has killed 357.
Health officials in Manitoba said 166 new cases of the virus have been detected since Sunday for a total of 30,932.
Four additional deaths push the provincial death toll to 875.
Atlantic Canada saw 13 new cases on Monday.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported seven new cases of COVID-19, while three more people have fallen ill in Nova Scotia.
New Brunswick saw three new cases and health officials confirmed one more person has died in the province.
Prince Edward Island did not report any new coronavirus infections on Tuesday. So far, 112 of the province’s 114 cases are considered to be resolved.
In western Canada, 565 new cases were identified.
British Columbia health authorities said 302 more people have contracted the disease, pushing the provincial case load to 74,283.
Four new fatalities bring the total death toll in the region to 1,314.
Meanwhile, in Alberta, 263 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 and nine more people have died.
The new infections and deaths bring the provincial tallies to 129,338 and 1,791 respectively.
Five new cases of the coronavirus were detected in Nunavut, bringing the total number of infections in the territory to 323.
Neither Yukon or the Northwest Territories reported a new case.
Globally, the virus has infected more than 109.4 million people, and has claimed 2.4 million lives, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The United States remained the viral epicentre on Tuesday with more than 27.7 million confirmed infections, and over 487,000 deaths related to COVID-19.