A woman dresses mannequins in a storefront window in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A woman dresses mannequins in a storefront window in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta begin relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

In Alberta, restaurants also reopened for in-person dining Monday

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that his province’s state of emergency will not be extended, while authorities in Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia began lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Ford told reporters that while he’s concerned about new coronavirus variants, he was ready to “gradually and safely” return to the colour-coded system of regional restrictions that was in place before the lockdown order. He said restaurants and non-essential businesses in three regions where COVID-19 cases are low will be allowed to open on Wednesday.

A stay-at-home order, however, will remain in effect across most of the province, he said, adding that it will be lifted on a region-by-region basis over the coming weeks. Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters that all positive COVID-19 tests are being screened for known variants, adding that “variants of concern” have been found in several parts of the province.

Ontario reported 1,265 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 33 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. Health officials said 901 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 335 in intensive care.

ALSO READ: B.C. extends COVID-19 gathering restrictions as infections slow down

In Quebec, where 853 new cases and 17 more COVID-19-related deaths were reported Monday, non-essential stores, personal-care salons and museums reopened across the province. In six, less populated regions, gyms were allowed to reopen and in-person restaurant dining could resume.

In Alberta, restaurants also reopened for in-person dining Monday, while gyms could offer one-on-one training.

Restrictions on organized gatherings were eased in Nova Scotia Monday, as authorities reported one, travel-related case of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada released a report Monday noting a rise in excess mortality among younger men in Western Canada between the spring and fall. The agency said the increase may be linked to “indirect consequences of the pandemic, which could include increases in mortality due to overdose.”

Excess mortality — when more deaths than expected are reported during a specific period — among Canadians under 45 rose from four per cent between March and June to 16 per cent between mid-September and November, the federal statistics agency said.

Men accounted for 77 per cent of those excess deaths, and only British Columbia and Alberta saw “significant excess mortality” among men under 45.

Roughly 50 people under 45 in Canada have died from COVID-19, well below the 440 excess deaths among people under 45 reported from September to November alone, StatCan said.

Among all age groups, there were 12,067 excess deaths between January and November 2020, the study said, which is five per cent more deaths than would have been expected if there were no COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and staying as a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Forward Ethan Mann from Wisconsin has committed to the Penticton Vees for the 2021-22 season.(Contributed)
Penticton Vees land Wisconsin-born forward Ethan Mann

Mann scored 32 points in 21 high school hockey games this year in Wisconsin

The Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. (Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre photo)
Osoyoos Indian Band receives $400,000 grant for heritage project

Some of the money will be used to build a traditional pit house at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read