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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Tuesday, May 4, 2021

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):

6:15 p.m.

Alberta is reporting 1,743 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths.

Officials say 23,623 cases are considered active.

There are 671 people in hospital and 150 of those patients are in intensive care.

A total of 2,099 Albertans have now died due to the disease.

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6 p.m. 

The British Columbia government says pregnant women are now part of a priority population to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says in a statement they've reviewed the data that show pregnant women experience more severe illness, similar to people who are in their 50s.

B.C. reported 697 new cases on Tuesday and one new death, for a total of 1,597 fatalities since the pandemic began in the province.

More than 1.9 million doses of vaccines have been administered, with 92,244 of those being second shots.

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6 p.m.

The NDP is asking the federal government to consider invoking the Emergencies Act in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Alberta.

New Democrat MP Heather McPherson says in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons that she will propose an emergency debate Wednesday on the pandemic’s third wave that continues to swamp the province.

Alberta has more than 23,000 active COVID-19 infections and the highest case rate of any jurisdiction in North America.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has called on the government to invoke the emergency legislation before, asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on April 18 to take the plunge that would allow Ottawa to shut down interprovincial travel and lock down areas suffering from high case numbers.

The decision on whether the NDP request for an emergency debate meets parliamentary criteria rests with Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, who will weigh the ask tomorrow.

The request comes as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is poised to announce new restrictions Tuesday evening amid case rates that threaten to overwhelm the province’s hospitals.

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3:50 p.m.

Health officials in Saskatchewan are reporting 189 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.

They say 2,305 cases are considered active.

There are 174 people in hospital and 41 of those patients are in intensive care.

The province also says people age 37 and up are able to book appointments for vaccines.

Those 18 and over can get vaccines in the Northern Saskatchewan District.

The province says front-line workers are also eligible and must provide proof of employment at the time of immunization.

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3 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting four new cases of COVID-19.

Provincial health authorities say three of those infections have been linked to travel while the fourth remains under investigation.

There are now 56 active reported infections in the province and two people are in hospital due to the disease.

As of Tuesday, 37 per cent of people over 16 years old in the province had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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2:15 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting two deaths related to COVID-19 today.

Health officials say a woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s have died in the Halifax area.

There have now been 69 COVID-related deaths in Nova Scotia.

The province is also reporting 153 new cases of COVID-19 today and has 1,060 known active cases.

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2:15 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says there is one new case in each of the Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Bathurst regions.

She says all four cases are travel-related.

New Brunswick has 141 active reported cases of COVID-19 and six people in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.

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1:45 p.m.

Quebec is ending emergency COVID-19 lockdown measures in some parts of the province next week, including the Quebec City area.

Premier François Legault says the situation has improved enough in the capital and in two parts of the Outaouais region in western Quebec to allow high school students to return to class, non-essential businesses to open and the nightly curfew to be pushed to 9:30 p.m. from 8 p.m. beginning May 10.

Legault imposed the emergency measures at the beginning of April in hard-hit regions of the province.

The premier, however, says the situation has worsened in the Granit regional municipality, south of Quebec City, and is closing non-essential businesses, schools and advancing the curfew in that area.

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1:35 p.m.

Health officials have announced 290 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and the death of a man in 40s linked to a variant of concern. 

The five-day test positivity rate has been steadily climbing and is now 8.5 per cent provincially and 9.2 per cent for Winnipeg. 

The province also added more neighbourhoods to those prioritized for vaccinations today. 

Anyone over 18 living in the Winnipeg communities of River East South, St. Vital North and Seven Oaks East can now get a dose.

Some people who work in the neighbourhoods are also eligible.

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11:55 a.m.

Canada's chief public health officer says there have been 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 in the country including over 24,300 deaths linked to the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada is making progress nationally, but there are a few "tricky spots."

She says the decline in national cases has slowed, with an average of 7,900 cases reported daily, and the number of people experiencing critical or severe illness is high.

Tam says more than 1,450 people are being treated in intensive care units every day and an average of 47 deaths are being reported daily.

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11:35 a.m.

Canada is receiving a shipment of Moderna vaccine a week earlier than expected.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is picking up its next shipment of Moderna vaccine tonight in Europe.

He says by tomorrow morning, a million Moderna doses will be on the ground in Canada.

Trudeau also says this week, just like every week in May, Canada is receiving two million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech alone.

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11:15 a.m.

The Quebec government is reporting 797 cases of COVID-19 as well as 16 additional deaths due to the pandemic.

Hospitalizations increased by six to 594, while the number of people in intensive care rose by four to 155.

The province administered another 50,379 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours and added 1,762 from previous days to its tally, for a total of 3,308,542 total doses given to date.

Health Minister Christian Dubé says at least 75 per cent of Quebecers age 55 to 59 have now booked their first shots, but that the province wants to surpass that target in order to maximize herd immunity.

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11 a.m.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet says he supports the idea of a vaccine passport for international travel.

Blanchet says countries should work toward a common definition of safe inoculation, and then allow international travel by passengers with proper certification.

Blanchet says the main hurdle is the United States, which so far has been reluctant to take steps toward vaccine passports.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said recently that the federal government is working on a form of certification to allow vaccinated Canadians to travel abroad again.

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10:50 a.m.

Health officials on Prince Edward Island are reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the latest case involves a person in their 50s who travelled outside of Atlantic Canada.

There are now seven active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and there have been 183 cases since the onset of the pandemic.

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10:30 a.m.

Ontario reports that there are 2,791 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 25 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 931 of those new cases are in Toronto, 653 are in Peel Region, and 275 are in York Region.

Over 88,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since Monday's report, for a total of more than 5.4 million doses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press