The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

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

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7 p.m.

The federal government says there has been a "considerable" weekly increase in the number of new and active COVID-19 cases in First Nation communities since mid-August, resulting in the highest number of weekly new cases since the pandemic began.

The total number of active cases this week increased from 79 to 121.

The government says it is equally concerned about the growing number of cases that originate outside of First Nation communities.

As of Thursday, Indigenous Services Canada says it was aware of 631 confirmed cases in First Nation communities during the pandemic, with 499 recovered cases and 11 deaths.

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6:29 p.m.

British Columbia has recorded 98 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 8,641 infections.

A joint statement from the Health Ministry and the office of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says one more person has died, for a death toll of 230 people since the start of the pandemic.

Sixty-two patients are in hospital, 19 of them in intensive care.

British Columbians are being urged step back from connecting in person to staying connected in other, safer ways as the cooler weather arrives.

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2:43 p.m.

Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer is making masks mandatory in indoor spaces in Winnipeg, as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in the capital city.

Dr. Brent Roussin says there are 54 new cases of the virus in the province — 44 of them are in the Winnipeg health region.

In response, the city and nearby communities have been moved up to a code orange classification in the province's pandemic response system.

Indoor and outdoor gatherings will also be restricted to 10 people.

The mask mandate comes into effect on Monday.

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12:30 p.m.

Ontario has announced new provincewide public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of all strip clubs.

The province is also requiring bars to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m., and to close their doors at midnight.

The new rules take effect just after midnight tonight.

Ontario has seen an uptick in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, particularly among young people.

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12:05 p.m.

The federal government has signed a deal with AstraZeneca to get up to 20 million doses of its experimental vaccine for COVID-19.

At the same time Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is spending $440 million to join the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, known as COVAX, as well as the COVAX market fund to help less wealthy countries buy access to vaccines as well.

Canada's commitment under COVAX is split equally in half, with $220 million securing 15 million more doses of vaccines for Canadians, and $220 million to help low and middle-income nations buy doses.

The deal with AstraZeneca is the sixth such private pact with vaccine makers for Canada.

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12:00 p.m.

Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting a new case of COVID-19 today.

The new case is an individual between 30 and 39 years old in the Bathurst region.

Public Health says the case is related to travel from outside of the Atlantic bubble and the individual is self-isolating.

The number of confirmed cases in the province is now 200 while 191 people have recovered and there are seven active cases.

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11:30 a.m.

A Queen's University student who lives in residence has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Kingston, Ont., university says the student is self-isolating.

Close contacts of the individual will be contacted by public health officials as the case is investigated.

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11:10 a.m.

Quebec has recorded 637 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 70,307, the provincial health ministry said on Friday.

While there were no deaths from COVID-19 recorded during the past 24 hours, four deaths between Sept. 13 and 23 are now believed to be from the disease, brining the total number of deaths in Quebec to 5,814.

The number of hospitalizations now stands at 199, up 15 from yesterday.

The number of people in intensive care rose by two yesterday, to 33 today.

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10:45 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 409 new cases of COVID-19 today, and one new death related to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 65 per cent of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.

She says 204 new cases are in Toronto, while 66 are in Peel Region, and 40 are in Ottawa.

The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 48,905, which includes 2,837 deaths and 42,169 cases classified as resolved.

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9:55 a.m.

The University of Alberta has released its plans for the upcoming winter semester and most students won't see much change from the current remote learning model.

The Edmonton-based university says the 2021 winter term will continue to be delivered with a blend of face-to-face and on-line courses.

The university says it aims to raise in-person learning to 30 per cent, in line with public health guidelines, but the emphasis will remain on program completion, graduate research, practicums or experiential placements.

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8:50 a.m.

The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians has begun a COVID-19 helpline in the Greater Toronto Area.

Executive director Samya Hasan says the organization wants to provide a low-tech, language-specific way for pockets of communities to access COVID-relief related information.

She says anecdotal evidence showed that information isn't getting to certain parts of the population who may have language or technology barriers.

The helpline will include information on health and safety, government benefits and support services available in English, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil, Bangla and Punjabi.

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8:30 a.m.

The Bloc Quebecois says most of the M-Ps and party staff who have been self-isolating over a COVID-19 scare have tested negative and are out of confinement.

The exceptions are leader Yves-François Blanchet and a handful of people he had contact with before he tested positive for the virus that causes the illness.

One of Blanchet's aides was found to have COVID-19 shortly after a face-to-face caucus meeting that most Bloc M-Ps attended.

The party says Blanchet, two other M-Ps and two staffers who had contact with him will stay in isolation until next week.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misstated the number of new people in intensive care in Quebec.

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