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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada on May 4


The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

2:30 p.m.

Nunavut's lone case of COVID-19 has turned out to be a false positive.

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, says the original swab was tested again after no other cases emerged in the area.

He says all orders under the territory's public health emergency remain in effect.

However, additional measures put in place in Pond Inlet, where the false positive was located, are now lifted.

2:11 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting no new COVID-19 cases today, which leaves the total to date at 281 — 270 confirmed, 11 probable.

With 238 cases recovered, there are 37 cases still active in the province.

The province has allowed many non-essential businesses to reopen as of today, including hair salons, golf courses and restaurant patios.

2 p.m.

New Brunswick is entering its third week without a new reported case of COVID-19.

All 118 confirmed cases of the illness are considered resolved as of Saturday.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, says it's time to focus on recovery of the economy, social connections and work while preparing for more cases in the province.

Russell says New Brunswickers are equipped to live with the "new normal" by relying on physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and wearing masks when necessary.

1:46 p.m.

Prince Edward Island reported no new cases of COVID-19 today.

Twenty-five out of 27 people have recovered from the illness.

The province began the first phase of its recovery plan Friday, allowing small gatherings outdoors with groups of no more than five people.

Premier Dennis King says he was pleased to see people's adherence to public health advice over the weekend, and says Islanders must continue to enter the recovery phase with caution.

1:45 p.m.

The Abbotsford International Airshow has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airshow society president Jim Reith says they had hoped the spread of virus would be minimized in time for the event in August.

He says the primary goal of the airshow society is to put on an event that is safe for all spectators and participants, and the decision to cancel was necessary for health and safety reasons.

The event attracts thousands of people to watch flight demonstrations from Canadian, American and international participants.

1:26 p.m.

Quebec is pushing back the reopening of retail stores in the greater Montreal area by one week, to May 18.

Premier Francois Legault said today there are too many COVID-19 patients in Montreal's hospitals to safely open retail stores by the originally scheduled date.

Legault says the construction and manufacturing sectors across Quebec will reopen, as scheduled, on May 11.

Meanwhile, Quebec recorded another 75 COVID-19 deaths, for a total of 2,280, and the province announced 32,623 confirmed cases of the virus, an increase of 758 over the previous day.

12:30 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 for the third straight day.

The province has confirmed 259 cases of the illness including 233 recoveries.

Four people are in the hospital and two are in intensive care.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, encouraged people to keep up with physical distancing while caring for their mental health and making time for outdoor exercise.

12:28 p.m.

Canada's chief public health officer says taking the temperature of people as a screening measure for COVID-19 is ineffective, especially by itself.

Dr. Theresa Tam made the comments today in response to news that Air Canada will be taking the temperature of passengers before boarding.

She said the more is understood about the novel coronavirus, the more it becomes clear that temperature taking is "not effective at all" to identify people who have it.

12:15 p.m.

Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos says 7.3 million Canadians have received money from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

He says another 1.7 million Canadian workers, employed by 96,000 businesses, are being helped by the wage subsidy.

12:10 p.m.

Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says Canadians are going to need how to learn to live with COVID-19.

She says that means even as things begin to reopen, people will have to keep practising physical distancing and cough etiquette, and stay home at the first sign of symptoms.

Tam says working while sick can no longer be allowed.

11:45 a.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting another death related to COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 38.

The death occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, which has accounted for 32 of the COVID-19 deaths in the province.

Nova Scotia is confirming 985 cases of the viral infection, with 14 new cases reported today.

Six individuals are in hospital, two of those in intensive care and 638 individuals have recovered.

11:40 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is being transparent about the billions of dollars being spent to get Canada and Canadians through the COVID-19 crisis.

But he says the government has not yet been able to figure out how to bring in a federal budget because there is so much uncertainty in the weeks and months to come.

He says a budget is usually a forecast of what is to come but without more certainty, a budget or fiscal update is still a work in progress.

11:32 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that when this is over he will order an audit of the government's response.

Trudeau says the government will try to set up a plan to be better prepared for the next global pandemic, if one should take place.

He says for now the government remains focused on getting through this time.


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the Liberal government must demonstrate a plan to backstop efforts by provinces to slowly reopen their economies.

Scheer says the provinces do and should have control over making those decisions.

But he says the role of the federal government is to support them by ensuring adequate supplies of COVID-19 testing kits and personal protective equipment.

Scheer says he also has concerns that current federal benefit programs don't allow enough flexibility for people to return to some work but not lose their income support from Ottawa.

10:35 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 370 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 84 more deaths.

That brings the provincial total to nearly 18,000 cases, including 1,300 deaths and more than 12,500 resolved cases.

The new provincial total is 2.1 per cent higher than the previous day, which is part of a downward trend.

9:30 a.m.

Canada has pledged $850 million to bolster international efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment, as well as aid for developing countries.

The European Union organized the pledge conference in an effort to fill the World Health Organization’s funding gaps.

The goal is to raise $11.5 billion for vaccine and treatment options for COVID-19 and make them available and affordable worldwide.

The EU says this is just the first wave of funding that will be needed.

8:30 a.m.

British Columbia's egg producers are joining the effort to keep Canadians fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BC Egg, the organization representing all registered egg farmers in the province, says it will donate 25,000 dozen eggs to Food Banks BC every week.

The organization says all egg farmers in B.C. will share the cost of the donation.

Food Banks BC executive director Laura Lansink says protein is one of the most sought-after food bank items and more than 100,000 individuals, families and children who depend on food assistance every month will appreciate the donation.

The Canadian Press

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