Most of those cases are in British Columbia (1,066 cases, 25 deaths),Ontario (2,793 cases, 53 deaths), and Quebec (4,611 cases, 33 deaths). Confirmed cases have been reported in 12 of Canada's 13 provinces and territories, with Nunavut being the only remaining territory without a confirmed case. An additional 13 cases involve repatriated citizens from the Grand Princess cruise ship. Until March, all cases were linked to recent travel to a country with a substantial number of cases. The first case of community transmission in Canada was confirmed in British Columbia on March 5, and Toronto's chief health officer announced on March 16 that there is "some evidence of community transmission".
In mid-March, all of Canada's provinces and territories declared states of emergency. Most provinces and territories have also implemented school and daycare closures, prohibitions on large gatherings, as well as the closure of various leisure and entertainment venues. On March 16, Canada severely restricted its border access, barring travellers from all countries except the United States; on March 18, travellers from the United States were also banned in a mutual agreement with the US government (with exceptions in place for family members, essential employees who commute across the border and to ensure continued exchange of goods). Under an order issued by the federal Minister of Health under the Quarantine Act, as of March 26 all travellers (excluding essential workers) returning to the country are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days. Several provinces had already instituted similar mandates as part of their respective state of emergency.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive for the virus on March 12 and she and Trudeau went into self-isolation. On March 28, she thanked her well-wishers and announced her full recovery via social media while the Prime Minister announced he would remain in isolation for another two weeks to ensure he had not contracted the virus.
On January 25, the first identified presumptive case in Canada was a male in his 50s who travelled between Wuhan and Guangzhou before returning to Toronto on January 22. Canada issued a travel advisory against non-essential travel to China due to the outbreak, including a regional travel advisory to avoid all travel to the province of Hubei. Federal health officials stated that the risk in Canada was low. Final testing conducted at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba confirmed the presumptive case on January 27.
On February 2, the Canadian Armed Forces announced that it planned to charter a plane to assist in the evacuation of Canadian nationals still in Wuhan once given authorization by China, intending to fly them to CFB Trenton for repatriation and medical screenings. Only those that had entered the country with a Canadian passport would be allowed to take this flight. The first plane landed at CFB Trenton on February 7. On February 21, a chartered flight of 131 Canadians who were quarantined aboard Diamond Princess after an outbreak on the cruise ship in Japan, and who all tested negative for the virus, were brought to CFB Trenton for additional screening before being transported by bus to the NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario to be quarantined.
On February 26, Hajdu recommended that citizens stockpile food and medication, noting that it was "good to be prepared because things can change quickly [in any emergency]." The recommendation faced criticism from politicians: Manitoba health minister Cameron Friesen and Ontario health minister Christine Elliott both felt that there was no need for such aggressive stockpiling, while Friesen also felt that there needed to be more coordination between the federal and provincial levels in terms of information regarding the outbreak.Conservative Party shadow minister Matt Jeneroux opined that the suggestion incited concern and was lacking in transparency. Health Canada's website recommended against such bulk purchases (as to not strain supply chains), and explained that having supplies on hand was to "ensure you do not need to leave your home at the peak of the outbreak or if you become ill."
Hajdu announced on March 6 that the federal government would offer $27 million in funding to 47 research groups at 19 universities to develop means of managing the outbreak. Minister of FinanceBill Morneau stated that the next federal budget would include measures in response to the outbreak, including an increase to the risk adjustment provision.
On March 8, Champagne stated that at the request of the U.S. government, Canada had chartered a EuroAtlantic passenger airplane to evacuate the 237 citizens that were still aboard the cruise ship Grand Princess. They were quarantined at CFB Trenton for two weeks when the plane landed on March 10.
On March 12, after returning from a speaking engagement in London, England, Trudeau's wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive for COVID-19. She and the Prime Minister went into self-isolation. The next day, Trudeau also announced that the federal government was preparing a stimulus package to address those affected by the pandemic.
On March 16, Trudeau announced that new entry restrictions would be implemented shortly after midnight ET on March 18, primarily restricting entry into the country to Canadian citizens and their immediate families, and permanent residents. Most international flights are being routed to Canada's major airports in order to enhance screening measures. Minister of Foreign AffairsFrançois-Philippe Champagne also announced that for citizens who are still abroad, the country would provide emergency loans of up to $5,000 to cover travel costs or basic needs until they are able to return.
The federal government's pandemic response is based on two primary documents: the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Preparedness planning guidelines, which outlines risks and measures to address a viral disease, and the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Public Health Response Plan for Biological Events, which includes identifying, tracking, and ensuring rapid access to medical care. As of February 27, the response plan was at level 3 (escalated). The federal government activated its Emergency Operations Centre on January 15.
On March 18, the federal Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, announced that the federal government had signed an interim order to speed up access to COVID-19 test kits that would allow provincial labs to increase testing. The test kits are made by Switzerland-based Roche Molecular Systems and ThermoFisher Scientific. According to Health Canada, "an Interim Order is one of the fastest mechanisms available to the Government of Canada to help make health products available to address larger scale public health emergencies. This Interim Order provides the Minister with the flexibility to consider the urgent circumstances relating to the need for the medical device, authorizations granted by foreign regulatory authorities, or possible new uses for medical devices that are approved in Canada."
Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and head of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), said on March 19 that Canada will not know for two or three weeks if country-wide social distancing efforts have curbed the spread of COVID-19. As part of an ad campaign distributed by the Government of Canada, Tam appeared in a TV commercial urging personal hygiene and social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, which began on March 23, 2020 until at least the end of April 2020.
On March 19, 2020, the federal government announced that it had added to Trudeau's March 11 announcement of $275M in funding for an additional 49 projects to bring the total to 96 research projects that will focus on developing and implementing measures to detect, manage, and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
On March 20, as part of the announcement on Canada's industrial strategy (see below), Trudeau stated that the National Research Council will work with small- and medium-sized companies on health research to fight the virus.
On March 24, 2020, a small number of MPs from each party met in the House of Commons to vote on an $82-billion emergency spending legislation, known as Bill C-13. The passage of the bill was stalled due to the federal government's proposed clauses that gave the finance minister the right to spend money and raise taxes without the approval of Parliament until December 31, 2021. After criticism from the Official Opposition over the minority government's "power grab" which was considered undemocratic, a revised bill was agreed upon the next day that would permit the government six months of special spending powers until September 30, 2020, with oversight from a Parliamentary committee. The House of Commons' Health and Finance committees began holding weekly virtual meetings during the pandemic.
Travel and entry restrictions
On March 14, Canada recommended against international travel, and advised those returning from outside of Canada, except for essential workers (such as flight crew), to self-isolate for 14 days. Since March 16, only Canadian citizens and their immediate families, permanent residents, and U.S. citizens are allowed to enter the country. The only exceptions are flight crews, diplomats, and trade and commerce. Travellers showing symptoms of the virus must also be refused boarding onto flights into Canada, regardless of their citizenship. International flights to Canada from outside the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. were instructed to land at only one of four airports: Calgary International Airport, Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
On March 18, Trudeau announced that Canada and the U.S. agreed to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the border, while maintaining supply chains between both countries; this measure took effect at midnight on March 20.
On March 25, Hajdu informed the Senate that she would invoke the Quarantine Act effective at midnight, federally mandating that all travellers (excluding essential workers) returning to the country must self-isolate for 14 days, prohibiting those who are symptomatic from using public transit as transport to their place of self-isolation, and prohibiting self-isolation in settings where they may come in contact with those who are vulnerable (people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly).
On March 28, Trudeau announced that beginning March 30 at 12:00 p.m. ET, individuals showing symptoms of the virus must also be refused boarding on domestic flights (10 seats or more) and passenger trains. This excludes buses and intercity passenger rail services. The order will be enforced by Transport Canada.
A First Ministers' meeting scheduled for March 12 and 13 was cancelled after Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire self-isolated. The Canadian House of Commons was suspended between March 14 and April 20, immediately after passing the new North American free trade deal. The federal budget, previously scheduled for March 20, was also suspended.
Bank of Canada rate changes
The Bank of Canada has twice lowered its overnight rate target by 50 basis points, first to 1.25 percent on March 4, and then to 0.75 percent on March 13, citing the "negative shocks to Canada's economy arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent sharp drop in oil prices.
On March 27, the Bank lowered the rate a third time to 0.25 percent, citing "serious consequences for Canadians and for the economy" due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank also launched a program to "alleviate strains in the short-term funding markets" and another program to acquire Government of Canada securities at a minimum of $5 billion per week.
On March 18, the federal government announced an $82-billion response package that included measures ranging from wage subsidies and income supports to a temporary boost to the child benefit program. Payment and interest on federal student loan debt is being waived for six months. On March 25, the package received royal assent from Governor General Julie Payette. The Canadian income tax filing deadline of April 30, 2020 was extended to June 1, 2020.
On March 16, the Treasury Board urged Federal public servants to work from home if possible. No date was provided for when this provision should end.
On March 20 the government announced a plan to ramp up production of medical equipment, switching assembly lines to produce ventilators, masks and other personal protective gear. Companies will be able to access funds through the government's Strategic Innovation Fund. The PM started that Canadian medical supply firms Thornhill Medical, Medicom and Spartan Bioscience were looking to expand production. According to Innovation, Science and Industry ministerNavdeep Bains, "the country's entire industrial policy will be refocused to prioritize the fight against COVID-19".
^Refers to status of internal borders only. Although the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees broad mobility rights to Canadian citizens, during a state of emergency provincial and territorial governments can effectively restrict or deny entry due primarily their lawful authority to, at their discretion, refuse any person permission to use their roads: Open: No restrictions on entry from other Canadian provinces and territories. Screened: Health checks and/or self-isolation mandatory for persons entering from other Canadian provinces and territories. Restricted: Entry prohibited for non-residents without a valid reason to enter the province or territory. Regional: Entry restricted to (a) specific region(s) of the province or territory.
^For most provinces, takeout and delivery orders are still permitted even though dine-in section is closed.
^Nunavut is not accessible from the rest of Canada by road. Its entry restrictions are therefore effectively enforced with respect to prospective non-resident air travelers by federal transportation officers serving at airports from which flights depart for the territory. Returning Nunavummiut and others permitted to enter the territory are required to isolate at designated hotels in the city of departure for fourteen days prior to boarding a flight.
^Entry restricted to locals and essential workers in 9 regions out of 18, and parts of 3 other regions.
On March 12, 2020, Alberta announced a ban on all meetings of more than 250 people. It also recommended against international travel, and requested that any Albertans returning from international travel self-isolate for fourteen days.
By March 28, increasingly aggressive measures were introduced to slow the spread of the virus, which included limiting the size of gatherings to 15, closing all but a limited number of essential businesses and suspending vehicle access to provincial parks by closing parking lots. The Premier also announced protection for renters.
Playground in Port Moody, British Columbia, closed off with caution tape. A sign indicates the playground is closed because of COVID-19.
British Columbia health officer Bonnie Henry recommended against non-essential travel outside the province on March 12. This was followed the next day by a recommended self-quarantine of all travellers from outside the country, with the exception of health care workers. At this point, this restriction is not legally binding. BC also banned all gatherings of 50 people or more.
On March 20, 2020, Premier Brian Pallister announced a state of emergency, effective for 30 days. The order restricted public gatherings to no more than 50 people, required retail stores and public transit to enforce social distancing, limited hospitality businesses and theatres to 50 people or half their normal capacity, whichever is less, and shut down all fitness facilities. Breaches of the order could trigger fines of up to $50,000 or six months imprisonment.
On March 21, a drive-through testing centre opened in Winnipeg at a site close to the Victoria General Hospital. As with walk-in testing centres, a referral will be necessary to use the drive-through testing centre. As of March 21, 2020, there were four other walk-in test centres in Winnipeg, as well as test centres in Brandon, Thompson, Selkirk, Flin Flon, Steinbach and The Pas. Since March 27, vehicles entering Manitoba via provincial highways 16, 5, and 2 (from Saskatchewan) or the Trans-Canada have been briefly stopped at the border to receive an information pamphlet, covering the pandemic and travel restrictions. These checkpoints are currently for informational purposes; the province has not introduced screenings or restrictions on interprovincial travel.
On March 13, the provincial government announced that all New Brunswick schools would shut down until March 30. Day cares were not affected by the announcement at the time but are now closed, as of March 16, 2020. On March 16, the chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell recommended that all public spaces and certain business should close starting on March 17, They also asking restaurant owners to limit the number of customers to 50 per cent of the capacity of their dining areas. Take-out orders, deliveries and drive-through services would be permitted. The government also announced that all non-essential government services to shut down until further notice. On March 19, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs declared a state of emergency in the province, widening the list of closures.
Newfoundland and Labrador
On March 18, Health Minister John Haggie declared a public health emergency in the province, ordering that all travellers returning from outside of the country must self-isolate for 14 days. Arenas, bars, cinemas, and fitness facilities were ordered closed, and restaurants may only operate at half capacity. These requirements are punishable by fines of $2,500 and up to six months imprisonment for individuals and $50,000 for corporations, and they will multiply after each violation. On March 20, the province extended legally-required self-isolation to any traveller returning to the province—including domestic travel.
On March 18, the Northwest Territories announced a public health emergency to be in effect until April 1. On March 20, the government announced the closure of its borders, starting on March 21, with only limited exceptions. Those allowed in would have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The government has announced a relief package of $13.2 million. The relief measures also include deferring payments normally owed to the government, deferral of student loan payments, and increased funding for social assistance.
The first presumptive cases in Nova Scotia were announced by the provincial chief medical officer of health on March 16, 2020.
On March 17, the province banned gatherings of more than 50 people, ordered the closure of bars, and restricted restaurants to take-out service only. The next day, Nova Scotia also ordered all gyms and personal service facilities (such as barber shops, spas, and tattoo parlors) to close.
On March 22, Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency with major restrictions; all groups larger than five are prohibited, all provincial parks are closed effective immediately, and beginning March 23, screenings are required at any point of entry into Nova Scotia, and anyone entering the province (even domestically, except those who are delivering goods and services into the province) will be legally required to self-isolate for 14 days. In addition, law enforcement is authorised to enforce fines for individuals and businesses who contravene orders made by the chief medical officer of health.
A checkpoint has been established at the land border with the rest of Canada (on Highway 104). Provincial officers are also screening travellers at other entrances to the province (namely the ferry terminals in North Sydney and Digby, and the Halifax and Sydney airports).
Nunavut's Chief Public Health officer Michael Patterson has asked non-essential people from outside the territory not to travel to Nunavut, with anyone who does asked to self-isolate for 14 days. On March 18, 2020 Inuit in Rankin Inlet blocked the road leading to the local goldmine in an effort to keep their region COVID-19 free.
On March 18, the Nunavut Minister of Health announced that the territorial government had declared a state of public health emergency, on the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. In explaining the decision, the Chief Public Health Officer stated that while there were no reported cases in Nunavut, "If we wait for COVID-19 to be in town to adjust our activities, it will be too late." Measures announced including encouraging self-isolation, closing bars, and reducing non-essential medical treatments.
Ontario has announced it has a dedicated web page updated twice daily with the cumulative total and new cases. In addition, they have been making new releases as cases are confirmed with their source whether they are due to travel history or close contact.
On March 12, the Government of Ontario announced publicly funded schools would be closed for an additional two weeks after March Break until April 5.
On March 15, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced a suspension of most criminal matters, including trials until the end of May.
On March 17, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency requiring all libraries, private schools, child care centres, concert venues, movie theatres, bars and restaurants that do not offer take out and delivery services, to close immediately. This included a prohibition of all public events of over 50 people.
On March 23, the province announced that all "non-essential" businesses must close for 14 days beginning at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 24. A whitelist of 74 "essential" fields of businesses was released later that day. Premier Doug Ford explained that the list was intended to allow continued provision of "necessities" and maintain provincial supply chains.Toronto, provincial capital and Canada's most populous city, also declared a state of emergency.
Prince Edward Island
On March 16, 2020, Premier Dennis King announced that the provincial Cabinet had declared a state of public health emergency under the Public Health Act. The declaration of emergency gave special powers to the Chief Public Health Officer of the province, who will be able to issue orders to refrain from attending any public gatherings, align resources to where they are needed most, and manage hospitals and other health care facilities and ambulance services.
The Premier also announced that Cabinet had established a $25 million contingency fund, and was also exploring other options, such as monitoring supply chains, exploring compensation for childcare staff, and reducing government activities to reduce interaction with the public.
On March 19, PEI closed its liquor and cannabis stores. Due to concerns that this could impact those suffering from alcohol withdrawal syndrome, the province announced that it would begin to re-open its liquor stores on March 25.
On March 11, PremierFrançois Legault recommended that a 14-day quarantine be imposed on all students and faculty returning from school trips to countries strongly affected by the pandemic (such as China and Italy), even if there are no signs of symptoms, and the cancellation of upcoming trips to such locations. The same day, New Frontiers School Board stated that it had asked 18 students and two staff members of Howard S. Billings Regional High School — who had recently returned from a trip to Italy — to stay home from school until further notice. New Frontiers stated that this decision was a precautionary measure based on Legault's recommendation. A teacher from Kénogami Secondary School, and a teacher and a student from Arvida Multipurpose School who had also returned from Italy, were also asked to quarantine. The same day, Collège International Marie de France also suspended classes, pending the testing of a student who was suspected to have coronavirus.
On March 12, Premier Legault announced that the province would ban indoor gatherings of more than 250 people, and that government workers returning from international travel, including teachers, would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return. Legault advised residents that show flu-like symptoms, or have recently returned from international travel, to also do so.
On March 14, Legault announced that Quebec would prohibit visits to long-term care facilities and hospitals, and advised those 70 and over to avoid leaving their homes. Later that day, the government announced that it would offer free emergency childcare services for people working in essential services, with up to 60,000 spots available, using the up to 400 schools that the government had closed. By the evening of March 14, it was reported that the city of Montreal would be dispatching employees to Montréal–Trudeau International Airport to advise travellers arriving from international destinations to self-quarantine for 14 days, frustrated with inaction from the federal government, which is responsible for the airport.
Further restrictions were announced by Premier Legault on March 15, who ordered the closure of various leisure and entertainment venues, including but not limited to bars, cinemas, gyms, pools, and ski hills. Restaurants were also ordered to reduce their capacity by half and enforce social distancing. Quebec's first death was announced on March 18 — a senior who lived in Lanaudière and had contact with people who had recently travelled abroad.
The government announced that it would extend the income tax filing deadline and inject $2.5 billion into companies suffering liquidity problems due to the COVID-19 crisis. It also asked Quebecers not to travel between regions. As of March 19, Quebec residents in isolation or quarantine that are not covered by any benefits can apply for $573 per week of financial aid. The city of Montreal also announced its own measures: extending the city's tax deadline and unveiling a $5-million emergency fund to support small- and medium-size businesses.
On March 21, Quebec announced that all public gatherings would be prohibited regardless of size (except in workplaces not suspended by the province, or in retail settings), and that the existing decree of a health emergency would be extended through at least March 29.
Citing concerns over the potential of an impending outbreak in the province, PremierScott Moe announced on March 12 that he would not pursue a snap election. On March 13, 2020, following the second presumptive case in the province, its government announced restrictions on gatherings of more than 250 people in contiguous indoor space, and those with more than 50 people if they include those who recently travelled internationally. On March 18, when the provincial government declared a state of emergency, this number would be reduced to 50 and later to 25 unless all people involved could stay 2 metres away from each other. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs had to transition to take-out service, with exceptions to bars and nightclubs where people could stay 2 metres away from each other.
Fitness facilities, casinos, and bingo halls were ordered closed. Exceptions to gathering limits are permitted for retail shops. An exception for faith-based organizations was removed March 16. The government of Saskatchewan has sharply reduced inter-provincial and international travel on government business by any provincial employees. If they travel, they must self-isolate for fourteen days upon their return.
On March 17, 2020, the government delayed the introduction of the provincial budget. The same day, the Legislature passed bills to provide unpaid job security to employees during the pandemic, which were supported by both parties. The next day, the Legislature adjourned its spring sitting, with the consent of the Opposition. On March 20, Premier Moe signed an order making emergency regulations enforceable under provincial law.
The government subsequently announced that all travellers returning to Saskatchewan from outside of the country and close contacts of individuals that tested positive, are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days. Essential travellers are exempt. Moe ruled out the possibility of closing its borders with Alberta or Manitoba (the Northwest Territories' own border closure being of no direct consequence since Saskatchewan has no road connections to the territory). The premier expressed doubt that such a measure could be effectively policed due to the large number of roads connecting the Prairie provinces compared to the country's other internal borders. Non-essential businesses were ordered closed on March 26.
On March 18, 2020, Yukon declared a public health emergency. Although there are no reported cases in Yukon, over 100 people have been tested. As a result of the declaration of an emergency, schools are closed until after the Easter break, indoor public recreation facilities will be closed, and hospitals will be closed to visitors, with limited exceptions.
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, following the announcement of Yukon's first two cases, the government announced several new restrictions. The government recommended the suspension of all non-essential travel into and out of Yukon, as well as suspension of all non-essential travel to rural areas of Yukon. Yukoners who return to Yukon in the next 30 days are to self-isolate for 14 days. Bars were closed immediately on Sunday night, while restaurants were to reduce seating by 50%, and go to take-out only by Thursday, March 26, 2020. Hair salons, barber shops, massage therapists, tattoo parlours and nail salons were to close Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Meetings of more than ten people were banned, and Yukoners with flu-like symptoms should not attend any social gatherings.
Courts across the country instituted measures to reduce public contact, while maintaining access to the courts. The Supreme Court of Canada has closed the building to public tours, while maintaining the ability to file documents for cases electronically. It has also adjourned appeals which were to be heard in March, to dates in June. Other courts have prioritised the cases which will be heard, generally giving priority to ongoing criminal trials and trials in family and child protection matters, while adjourning most pending cases to later dates.
Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Quebec and Saskatchewan have closed schools for extended periods.
On March 12, the Ontario government announced that all public schools will be closed from March 14 to April 5, for two weeks after the March break. On March 23, Premier Doug Ford said that schools will not reopen on April 6. On March 31, it was announced that the schools would reopen on May 4.
On March 12, Laurentian University suspended classes and moved to online instruction. This was then followed by many universities in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba voluntarily cancelling classes and moving online. In British Columbia, the ban on gatherings of 250 people or more has resulted in the cancellation of in-person classes with more than 250 students.
On March 13, the Manitoba Minister of Education announced that all schools will be closed for three weeks beginning March 23 (an extra week before and after Spring break). All after-school activities will be cancelled for the week leading up to the shutdown.
In Quebec, many public and private schools announced that they would voluntarily close on March 13. On March 13, Premier Legault ordered the closure of all daycares, schools, and post-secondary institutions in the province for two weeks beginning March 16.
On March 15, Alberta ordered, until further notice, all daycares to close, all K-12 schools to suspend classes and close to students, and all post-secondary institutions to suspend in-person classes and switch to online classes. Grade 12 diploma exams were originally to still occur, however on March 20, it was announced they were going to be cancelled, but students were able to request to write one if required.
In Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan voluntarily suspended in-person classes on March 16, and will switch to online courses for the remainder of the semester. On March 16, the province announced that all public schools will "wind down" over the week, and close indefinitely on March 20. No academic penalties will be issued for students that do not attend school during the week of March 20, final grades will be issued based on existing progress, and eligible Grade 12 students will be able to graduate.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University announced that classes would be suspended from March 18–22, 2020, and continue without in-person classes thereafter. On March 16, the province announced that all schools, early childhood education centres and regulated daycare centres are closing.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost another 10% on March 16, causing trading to halt a 3rd time in a span of eight days. The index closed at 12,360.40 points on March 16, down over 30% from before the crash at 17,944 recorded on February 20.
Health and travel insurance
At least one insurance carrier announced that it was cutting back on insurance coverage for Canadians abroad. On March 15, 2020, RSA Canada announced that trip cancellation, interruption, and emergency medical coverage was now limited to 10 days from the federal government's announcement on March 13, 2020, urging Canadians not to travel internationally.
WestJet has frozen all hiring and is offering voluntary departure packages to employees, with the goal of cutting 12% of its total capacity. Air Canada announced on March 20 that it will lay off 5,000 of its staff. On March 20, the federal government announced a dramatic increase in applications to unemployment insurance, with over 500,000 Canadians applying in a single week (an 18-fold increase). By March 22, the figure was adjusted to nearly one million Canadians applying in a single week.
Air Canada and WestJet have cancelled all flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Rome; and cut back on flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul, with WestJet announcing on March 16 that all international flights, including to the US, will be suspended by March 22. On March 18, regional carrier Porter Airlines announced that it would suspend all flights until June. In a similar move, Air Canada announced on March 18 that by April 1 all international flights will be suspended, with only 6 airports outside the US and 13 US airports still being serviced. These "air-bridges" (to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Tokyo and Hong Kong) will allow Canadians to return home and are operated at least until April 31.
Initially, fast casual restaurants such as Starbucks and Tim Hortons maintained service, but suspended the allowable use of reusable cups by patrons. Tim Hortons simultaneously altered its popular "Roll up the Rim to Win" promotion to exclude physical cups (the chain had already announced its intent to increase its use of digital components for the promotion in an effort to combat litter). In compliance with or ahead of local mandates, some national restaurant chains (including those aforementioned) have since suspended in-store dining and seating, in favour of take-out and delivery service only. McDonald's Canada stated on March 22 that it would close its dining rooms entirely at most locations, and only offer drive-through and delivery.
The major movie theatre chains Cineplex Entertainment and Landmark initially restricted the capacity of their individual cinema auditoriums by half (with Landmark using its reserved seating systems to enforce social distancing between patrons, and providing fresh bags and cups for popcorn and soft drinks upon refills rather than reusing them). On March 16, both chains announced that all locations will be closed until further notice, with Cineplex targeting an April 2 reopening.
Canada's national museums in Ottawa cancelled all scheduled events and exhibits, and closed indefinitely on March 14. Almost all local museums, art galleries, theatres, and other performance venues across the country have also closed indefinitely.
Shopify cancelled its Shopify Unite conference, which was scheduled to occur from May 6 to 9 in Toronto.
Many news websites have dropped their paywalls for material related to the pandemic, including The Globe and Mail and all Postmedia sites. Postmedia subsequently dropped its paywalls for all content for April 2020, sponsored by the chicken restaurant chain Mary Brown's.
CBC Radio One also temporarily suspended production of its arts and entertainment magazine series Q, in order to provide an extended daily broadcast of its morning news series The Current, while CBC Music shifted to programming exclusively Canadian music to help support artists impacted by the cancellations of concert tours and the Juno Awards.
The eighth season of the Global series Big Brother Canada abruptly ended production on March 24, 2020 due to the Ontario government's mandatory 14-day closure of all non-essential workplaces. There was no winner, with the prize money subsequently donated to charities responding to COVID-19. 
In Alberta, as of April 1, there is a total of 871 cases and 11 deaths. There have been 94 recoveries from the virus in the province. The majority of cases were in the Calgary zone, which had 453 cases as of March 31. The first case, which was confirmed on March 5, was a tourist, who had been repatriated from the Grand Princess to Calgary. As of March 16, cases have been reported in every Alberta zone. Community transmission was first reported on March 15, but at that time limited to seven people, six of whom attended a dental conference held from March 5 to 7 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The first death caused by the virus in Alberta occurred on March 19.
At their March 25 briefing Hinshaw said that, the "significant case numbers"—which included 61 new cases, of which 33 were believed to be by community transmission, 20 patients hospitalized, and 8 in ICU—"underscore the seriousness of the situation that we face." Alberta's Chief Medical Officer, Deena Hinshaw, announced on March 26, that Alberta labs were conducting 3,000 tests a day. By March 31, 48,892 tests had been conducted in Alberta.
As of April 1, 2020[update], British Columbia has reported 1,066 cases, 606 recoveries, and 25 deaths. Additionally, the provincial government has announced that 44,639 people have been tested for the virus in British Columbia as of April 1.
The first case in British Columbia was reported on January 28. The person had returned from Wuhan and began experiencing symptoms on January 26. The first case in BC's Interior Health region was reported on February 14. The person had recently returned from China. The first case in the Fraser Health region was reported on February 20. This was also the first BC case where the person had travelled to or from Iran.
The first two cases in the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver were reported on March 7. One resident and one staff member were diagnosed. The staff member is now thought to be Canada's first case of community transmission. This care centre became Canada's worst outbreak, with 16 cases to date, and may be linked to subsequent cases in another seniors' home and a hospital in North Vancouver.
On March 9, the Lynn Valley outbreak resulted in the first coronavirus death in Canada, by a man in his 80s with pre-existing health conditions. Three more deaths at the centre were reported on March 16. An additional 2 deaths were reported at the centre on March 17, while another was reported on March 19.
The seventh death was reported to have occurred "in [a] hospital in the Fraser Health region".
BC's first two cases linked to the Grand Princess were also reported on March 7. They were hospitalized.
As of April 1, 2020, Manitoba has reported 127 cases, with the first three reported on March 12. There have been 4 recoveries and 1 death. All of Winnipeg's cases were identified after March 12. As of March 30, 8,550 tests have been completed. The rate of testing was increased to more than 500 tests a day on March 14.
In Manitoba's first case, the person had returned to Winnipeg from the Philippines, and self-isolated at home. All subsequent cases were found in Winnipeg.
As of April 1, 2020, Nova Scotia has reported 173 confirmed cases. On March 15, 2020, three presumptive cases in Nova Scotia were announced. All three were travel-related.
On March 29, a Halifax woman was fined $697.50, and had her vehicle seized by police after she was found in a park despite Nova Scotia having closed parks and beaches to the public under its emergency measures act.
As of April 1, 2020[update], Ontario, the province with the first case in the country, has reported 2,392 cases with 689 recoveries and 37 fatalities. Most cases to date have been linked to international travel, including local conferences with international attendees, however at least three cases are being investigated for community transmission. In total, 55,482 people have tested negative, while 3,135 continue to be investigated.
The first case in Canada, was reported on January 25 in Toronto. The person had recently returned from Wuhan, China, and had taken precautions in returning. After admission to hospital, the person made a full recovery by February 23.
Further cases imported from other countries were reported later in February, with the first case from Iran reported on February 26, Egypt on February 27, Grand Princess Cruise on March 7, the United States on March 7, France and Germany on March 8, Switzerland on March 10, and Austria on March 11.
On March 12, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, became Canada's first UK-linked case. Both she and the prime minister started self-isolation.
As of April 1, 2020, Prince Edward Island has reported 21 confirmed cases of the virus, with 3 recoveries. As of April 1, 665 tests have come back negative and 184 are currently under investigation. On March 14, 2020, the first confirmed case in Prince Edward Island was announced, a woman in her 50s who had returned from a trip on a cruise ship on March 7. By March 26, there were five cases, all of which had been travel related, i.e., been contracted while persons were abroad. To date, there was no re-transmission reported in the island province.
As of April 1, 2020, Quebec has reported 4,611 confirmed cases of the virus and 33 deaths.
The province confirmed its first case on February 28—a 41-year-old woman from Montreal who had returned from Iran on the 24th on a flight from Doha, Qatar. She was transferred to Jewish General Hospital on March 3, and released on March 4; since then, she has remained in isolation at her home in Verdun. On March 5, the Ministry of Health and Social Services announced a second presumptive case, involving a man who had travelled to India in February, and was being treated in Mont-Laurier for symptoms similar to coronavirus. On March 4, the person was transferred to Jewish General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Hours afterwards, a third presumptive case was confirmed, involving a woman who had returned from France on March 3.
A fourth case was confirmed March 8, involving a woman from Montérégie, Longueuil who had recently returned from a cruise that had visited Mexico. On March 10, authorities stated that the person had used public transit between February 24 and March 6, and had travelled through the Berri-UQAM, Champ-de-Mars, and Longueuil metro stations. Premier François Legault initially classified the threat posed by the virus as being "weak".
On March 9, a Montreal resident who had recently returned from Ireland was reported as a fifth presumptive case. Four new cases were confirmed on March 11, including one who had returned from Caribbean and Miami, a man who had returned from the Dominican Republic, a person who had returned from Italy, and a resident of Montreal who had returned from international travel.
By March 18, 94 confirmed cases had been reported in Quebec. The province also had its first death.
On March 20, a woman who tested positive for COVID-19 was arrested for being out in Quebec City's Limoilou neighbourhood despite being under a quarantine order; this was the first time that this type of warrant was executed.
As of April 1, 2020[update], there have been 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 30 recoveries in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Officer Saqib Shahab announced the first presumptive case of in the province on March 12, a person in their 60s that had recently returned from Egypt, who was tested on March 9, and was in self-isolation at their home. Two cases involved attendees of the aforementioned dental conference in Vancouver.
11 Saskatchewan health care employees tested positive after attending a physicians' bonspiel at a curling club in Edmonton on the week of March 11.
Saskatchewan reported its first deaths from COVID-19 on March 30, 2020. Both people were in their 70s and were from separate parts of the province.
As of April 1, 2020, Yukon has reported 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 722 tests have been completed, with 690 confirmed negative and 26 still under investigation.
On March 22, 2020, Premier Sandy Silver and the Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Hanley, announced that Yukon had its first cases of coronavirus, a couple who had attended a convention in the United States and then returned home to Whitehorse. They developed symptoms upon their return and immediately sought medical assistance. They have self-isolated and have meticulously followed all public health directions.
The bottom two plots use a log scale for the y axes. Each major division is a factor of ten. This makes the slope of the plot the relative rate of change anywhere in the timeline, which allows comparison of data between early and later periods of the pandemic.