News Update: 21st June 2021


COVID news in Canada this week involves a lot of confusion as Canada approaches a major milestone. Prime Minister Trudeau has drawn flak from businesses for continuing to maintain Canada’s travel ban, citing the need for 75% of Canadians to have one vaccination, and 20% have two vaccinations. However, some sources are already declaring that Canada will be passing this threshold this weekend. And then there are those who believe that the Delta variants may make this goal post meaningless. 
Ontario reported 318 COVID cases yesterday, maintaining its rate below 400 per day. Ontario medical experts meanwhile have been debating just how COVID spreads, suggesting that mask wearing may be the more important defensive factor than social distancing. Quebec has reported 160 COVID cases yesterday, with rates consistently dropping even as there are worries about getting new vaccines. British Columbia recorded 109 COVID cases yesterday, as it moves into eased restrictions, promising a normal back-to-school September. Alberta recorded 127 cases of COVID yesterday, though it is hoping to lift all COVID restrictions as early as July 1st.
Saskatchewan has recorded 55 new cases, and is also aiming for a July reopening. Manitoba, next door, has recorded 151 new COVID cases and has been expressing concerns about a total reopening. Nova Scotia has reported only six new cases of COVID yesterday, while New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador all recorded 5 or less cases. While the Maritimes remains very low for COVID cases, there are concerns that remote and rural areas may not have the protections needed. 
Many people are already declaring that Canada has hit the vital vaccine thresholds of 75% first doses and 20% second doses. It may take a few days for the data to come in to confirm this. We can confirm right now that there have been over 31 million doses of vaccine given out in Canada, with nearly 6.8 million Canadians being fully vaccinated - over 18% of the population. Exactly when these thresholds will be met is uncertain, and Canadians should maintain protective measures like masks and social distancing - but it certainly seems that Canada is on track.