Canada surpasses 5,000 deaths connected to COVID-19

Canada has officially recorded more than 5,000 deaths connected to COVID-19, marking another grim milestone in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The death tally passed 5,000 when Ontario reported 56 more deaths on Tuesday, a doubling of the national death count since the last weekend of April when the country surpassed 2,500 deaths.

Ontario's announcement brought the national total to 5,049.

Across Canada, there are currently more than 40,000 active cases of COVID-19, with approximately 33,000 patients having recovered.

The first Canadian death was reported just over two months ago on March 9, six weeks after the very first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Toronto on Jan. 27.

Ontario and Quebec have recorded more than 4,730 deaths between the two provinces, which amounts to more than 90 per cent of all Canadian deaths. More than 1,720 people have died in Ontario so far, while more than 3,010 people have died in Quebec.

Experts have asserted since the start of the pandemic that deaths would continue to spike even as the curve flattened and infection rates slowed. While some provinces have indeed seen the curve begin to flatten in recent weeks, infection rates have only slightly slowed in Ontario and Quebec, which are often recording more than 400 and 700 new cases daily, respectively.

Meanwhile, some areas of the country started to reopen in May after weeks of strict lockdown measures that saw non-essential businesses close. Most Canadians remain on stay-at-home orders, but some parts of the economy have been allowed to slowly restart as the federal government continues to announce further funding for individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.

The movement of individuals has begun to lighten up in parts of the country, too. "Double bubbles," in which two households are permitted to have close contact, have been allowed in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. Nearly all of the COVID-19 cases in each of those provinces have recovered. British Columbia, which has seen fewer than 150 deaths, will permit single households to host up to six guests in May.

Five provinces and territories have yet to see any deaths related to COVID-19, including New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, which hasn't recorded a single case.

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