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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - NIAID-RML via AP
March 09, 2020 - 5:00 PM

The latest news on the novel coronavirus and the illness dubbed COVID-19 (all times Eastern):

7:50 p.m.

Ontario confirmed one more novel coronavirus case on Monday evening, bringing the total in the province to 35.

Health officials say the newest patient is a woman in her 30s in Peel Region who is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.

She is at home in self-isolation.

5:47 p.m.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the Canadian economy is strong enough to weather the economic impacts of the novel coronavirus.

He says the federal government has enough wiggle room in its finances to help individuals and businesses deal with the fallout.

But he is still not sharing any details of those plans — or the date when the federal budget will be released.

He also would not reveal whether he expects the deficit to be bigger than previously projected, given the sharp decline in oil prices and the hit the markets are taking today.

In an appearance on Parliament Hill, Morneau says the federal government is in a position to respond to challenges like COVID-19 as they come, and the budget is only part of that.

The Trudeau Liberals are being urged to ease access to federal sick leave benefits, along with tax credits and other breaks, to help workers who feel they can't afford to stay home when sick, as well as to help small businesses that might not have the cash flow to manage the effects of the outbreak.

5:46 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed condolences to the family of the man who died in B.C. of the novel coronavirus.

He also said he wanted to assure Canadians that the top medical scientists are working on the issue, and the federal government is working with the provinces to ensure Canada's actions are consistent with what the World Health Organization and others are advising globally.

He said Canada will do everything to keep Canadians safe and encouraged people to look at Health Canada websites to keep up-to-date on how to keep their families safe.

4:15 p.m.

Canada's main stock index closed down 10.3 per cent to its lowest level in 14 months amid a collapse in oil prices and the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

The oil price collapse has triggered a plunge in the energy sector while concerns persist about the economic impact of the viral outbreak.

The S&P/TSX composite index lost 1,660.78 points at 14,514.24 as the capped energy index was down more than 27 per cent as Cenovus Energy Inc. was down 51.6 per cent.

The decreases came as crude oil prices initially fell to a four-year low in the steepest one-day decrease since the 1991 Gulf War as the threat of a price war and increased supply rippled through markets.

The loonie fell almost a full cent, trading for 73.54 cents US compared with an average of 74.51 cents US on Friday.

4 p.m.

Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow says he will be in self-isolation until March 20th after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Matlow says he was just informed the contact occurred last Thursday after the other person returned from a conference in Washington, D.C.

The councillor says he has no symptoms of COVID-19 but is following the advice of public health officials and self-isolating.

He says that will mean cancelling all his public events for the time being.

3:32 p.m.

Liberal MP Anthony Housefather is isolating himself at home in Montreal after a recent trip to a conference in Washington, D.C., linked to confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Housefather got a call from The Toronto Jewish Federation last night to let him know that an individual from Toronto who also attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease associated with the virus.

The federation recommended he self-isolate out of an abundance of caution, pending further advice from Toronto Public Health.

He says it's been more than a week since he left the conference, and so far he has no symptoms of COVID-19.

3:15 p.m.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia's provincial health officer, confirms a man in his 80s with pre-existing conditions died Sunday night after contracting the new coronavirus at a long-term care facility in North Vancouver.

Henry says a second health care worker at that facility has also been diagnosed with COVID-19 and she is in isolation at home and doing well.

She says two close contacts of the woman, a man in his 50s and a male teenager, are all also in isolation at home and doing well.

B.C. is also reporting two other additional cases involving a woman who travelled to Iran and a man who travelled to Italy.

The province has a total of 32 confirmed cases.

Henry says four people have recovered completely and three others are in stable condition in hospital, although one of those patients remains in an intensive care ward.

3:12 p.m.

A cruise ship with Canadian passengers and a cluster of coronavirus cases that forced it to idle off the California coast for days has arrived at a port in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Grand Princess pulled into the Port of Oakland with more than 3,500 people including 237 Canadians aboard — 21 of them infected with the new virus.

Canadians who have been stuck on the ship's current voyage are being brought back to quarantine in Ontario.

Six Canadians who were on the Grand Princess from Feb. 11 to 21 were confirmed to have the virus.

2:18 p.m.

British Columbia health officials say a man has died of the new coronavirus at a care centre in North Vancouver.

The death at the Lynn Valley care centre is believed to be the first COVID-19 death in Canada.

1:09 p.m.

Alberta is facing three new potential cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the province to seven.

Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer, says six of those cases are presumptive and one is confirmed.

A man in his 40s from the Edmonton area was confirmed on Sunday as having contracted COVID-19.

He had recently travelled to the United States, but health officials believe the source of the infection is more likely to have been a travel companion who was on a previous voyage of a Grand Princess cruise ship now docked off California.

12:47 p.m.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann says the government is evaluating whether to allow the world figure skating championships to go ahead next week in Montreal.

Her comments today come after the International Ice Hockey Federation on Saturday cancelled the women's world hockey championship scheduled to take place in Nova Scotia from March 31 to April 10.

McCann said provincial public health and public security officials are involved in the analysis of the March 16-22 figure skating event, with input from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

She says cancelling the competition has not been ruled out, and a decision will be made as quickly as possible.

11:28 a.m.

Canada's top public-health doctor now recommends Canadians avoid travelling on all cruise ships to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Theresa Tam previously advised Canadians to think twice about cruises but toughened her warning in a Monday morning news conference.

Tam says the ships may voyage to areas with confirmed or undiagnosed cases of the coronavirus and its associated respiratory disease, COVID-19.

There are six cases of the virus in Canada linked to a previous voyage of the Grand Princess cruise ship out of San Francisco.

Other Canadians, stuck on the ship's current voyage, are being brought back to quarantine in Ontario.

10:47 a.m.

Ontario health officials have announced three new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total in the province to 34.

One patient, a man in his 50s, recently travelled to Germany, and the other two cases are a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s who were recently in Iran.

All four of the patients have been released into self-isolation.

10:38 a.m.

The federal government is asking premiers to identify any critical gaps in supplies or capacity to deal with the novel coronavirus so that Ottawa can help as the number of Canadians with COVID-19 rapidly increases.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has written the provincial and territorial leaders asking them to inform the federal government of their state of readiness and any shortages by the time first ministers meet Friday in Ottawa.

Freeland says the objective is to ensure a "whole-of-country effort" to be "as prepared as we can be" for the challenges ahead.

In her letter, Freeland notes that the federal government is already leading a bulk procurement of personal protective equipment.

10:21 a.m.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann says the province has designated a first clinic to screen potential COVID-19 patients.

She says the new clinic will open its doors in Montreal today, while two others will open in the Quebec City region and on Montreal's South Shore in the coming week.

The province currently has two confirmed cases as well as two presumptive cases, which still need to be confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

10:12 a.m.

The S&P/TSX composite index nose-dived in initial trading as the price of oil collapsed and the loonie plunged against the U.S. dollar.

The collapse at the start of trading triggered circuit breakers on the stock market that temporarily put a halt to trading.

The drop in markets followed similar moves on stock markets in Europe and Asia that came after Saudi Arabia, Russia and other major oil producers failed to agree on cutting output to prop up prices.

The move rattled already volatile stock markets that have been falling amid concerns about the impact COVID-19 on the global economy.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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