The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 13

Reported by: The Canadian Press

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

1:20 p.m.

Quebec is reporting 89 new deaths related to COVID-19 today, bringing the toll to 3,220.

Premier Francois Legault says the province now has 39,931 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 706 cases.

Legault says the province continues to miss its testing target of 14,000 tests per day, and is only able to administer 9,000 per day.

The premier is once again urging people to wear masks when they leave the house, but says the government won’t make wearing them mandatory for now.

12:50 p.m.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says whether you should be wearing a mask in public depends on what’s happening in your community and what you’re doing.

She says masks are beneficial in areas with community transmission of COVID-19, and in areas where it’s difficult to stay away from others.

That includes in certain stores and on public transit.

But she says mandatory mask rules could disadvantage vulnerable people who can’t afford or get access to one.

12:45 p.m.

An organization representing Indigenous people across Canada has filed a court application over what it says is the federal government’s inadequate funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and its provincial and territorial organization’s filing challenges the funding allocation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The organization says it’s not possible for it to provide meaningful relief to the thousands of off-reserve Indigenous peoples under current federal allocations.

12:40 p.m.

Nova Scotia is reporting three more deaths related to COVID-19.

The deaths occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax, which has accounted for 45 of the province’s 51 deaths.

Northwood in Halifax currently has 64 residents and 13 staff with active cases.

Four new cases of COVID-19 were also reported today bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,024.

12:40 p.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 today.

The province has confirmed 261 cases of the illness and 247 people have recovered.

Three people are in the hospital due to the illness including one in intensive care.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, says the province has done well at containing COVID-19 in the two weeks since households expanded their circles to “double-bubble” with one other household.

12:35 p.m.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government will join in a federal program to top up wages for front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pallister says details such as which workers will qualify and how much they will receive are not worked out yet.

He estimates a ballpark figure of about $1,000 for the average worker in a one-time payment via online applications.

The federal government announced the cost-shared program last week.

12:30 p.m.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada will use a newly-approved antibody test for COVID-19 to study how many people in the country have contracted the viral disease.

She says it’s premature to use the test to determine whether someone is immune to the virus, because not enough is known about how effective the natural antibodies are.

12:25 p.m.

The federal government is launching the regional relief recovery fund for businesses that don’t qualify for other federal relief programs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Several weeks ago, the government announced almost $1 billion is being delivered through regional development agencies.

The program is being administered by six regional development agencies across the country.

12:15 p.m.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says people should not delay seeking health care if they need it.

She says if people avoid getting urgently needed help it can lead to an immediate increase in deaths, while people putting off appointments related to chronic illnesses can lead to worse outcomes in the long run.

She says people should also keep up with their vaccinations to prevent other preventable disease outbreaks.

11:15 a.m.

Students and recent graduates will be able to apply for financial relief from the federal government on Friday.

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit will provide students $1,250 per month for up to four months, with an extra $750 for students with disabilities or dependents.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says students should preemptively create an account with the Canada Revenue Agency.

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 329 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 40 more deaths.

That brings the province to a total of 21,236 cases, including 1,765 deaths and 15,845 cases that have been resolved.

The new cases represent an increase of 1.6 per cent over the previous day.

8:15 a.m.

A new emergency order allows the Ontario government to control the management of long-term care homes hardest hit by COVID-19.

Premier Doug Ford says the move will help ensure the spread of the virus in care homes is contained.

The order allows the province to step in if a facility has a high number of infections or deaths, or if it’s facing a staffing shortage.

The province says the appointed manager could be any person, including a corporation or hospital.

The Canadian Press

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