Canada surpasses 15,000 deaths related to COVID-19

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Canada has surpassed 15,000 deaths related to COVID-19.

The total was reached with the reporting of 37 new deaths in Quebec.

A total of 15,001 Canadians have now died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began earlier this year.

Of the 37 new deaths, Quebec health officials say seven took place in the last 24 hours, 27 occurred between Dec. 21 and Dec. 26, and three are from unspecified dates.

Quebec is also reporting 2,265 new cases of COVID-19.

The news comes after a contagious new strain of the virus was found in two more parts of the country on Sunday .

The variant first seen in the U.K. has now been found in Ottawa, the Vancouver Island area of B.C. and in Durham Region east of Toronto, where the first two cases were reported on Saturday.