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Canadian provinces and COVID Updates

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Just recently, Canada hit the biggest number of new cases in one day, instilling fear and a sense of weariness all over the country. With the second wave anticipated, provinces across Canada differ with phases of reopening and COVID cases. It has been interesting to see how provincial leadership has taken different steps towards slowing the spread of COVID-19. Today we'll be looking at the state of some provinces and territories regarding changes and updates in their fight against the global pandemic.

British Columbia

Currently, BC is in Phase 3 of reopening. The following precautions assure that the virus is contained:

  • International travellers & returning BC citizens are obliged to self-isolate for 14 days. The Federal Quarantine Act is still in place. 

  • Although in Phase 3, many of the extra precautions in Phase 2 are still to be followed. 

  • Religious buildings/institutions reopen at a maximum capacity of 50 participants.

  • Several Park Campgrounds remain open and some remain shut. Preferential access for campgrounds will be given to BC residents.

  • Students are separated into cohorts to reduce Covid-19 transmission and to ease the tracing process. 

Tips from Dr. Bonnie Henry:

  • Always maintain a physical distance of 2-meters between yourself and others whenever you can, to ensure your safety and the safety of others. 

  • Wash your hands! 

  • Be aware of who you want in your bubble. 


As a result of rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in nursing homes and vulnerable communities as well as more hospitalizations, Ontario’s Chief Medical officer implemented stricter measures, which are effective Oct. 10th, 2020. 

These measures include:

  • Prohibiting indoor dining, as improper physical distancing was observed.

  • Prohibiting recreational activities that take place in locations such as cinemas, gyms, and performing arts facilities.

  • Maximum of 10 individuals indoors and 25 individuals outdoors with social distancing (for schools, universities, guided tours, real estate).

  • Schools and childcare programs are exempt from these restrictions. 


With 1,097 new cases reported in Quebec, the prime minister has implemented new measures in Covid-19 red zones. 

  • Police have been touring schools to educate students on how and why they should comply with the new measures. 

  • Premier Francois Legault urges Quebecers to stay home and to avoid nonessential travel. 

  • A partial lockdown may be implemented if cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. 


Mandatory health orders can be found here.

Beginning Oct. 8th, Albertans are to follow voluntary public health measures outlined below.

  • Limit cohorts to no more than 3; ie: 1 school, 2 extracurricular (sports team or social group), and immediate family. A fourth cohort is allowed for individuals who go to work and children who attend childcare.

  • Wear a non-medical mask indoors and when 2-meter spacing cannot be maintained. 

  • If you are sick, get tested and isolate for 30 days if positive. If negative, stay home until you fully recover. The mandatory self-isolation measures can be found here: https://www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx

  • Avoid non-essential travel

  • Get the flu shot to lower influenza cases and to allow healthcare workers to concentrate on treating Covid-19 cases.

  • Social gathering guidelines can be found here


  • Have one person do the shopping and try to limit the number of times you go shopping. If accessible, order online. 

  • Avoid overcrowding in tight spaces ie: elevators

  • Practice good hand hygiene.

  • Resist the urge to touch your face. 

Nova Scotia

Measures in Nova Scotia have also been evolving. However, in contrast to other provinces, Nova Scotia is easing their restrictions. 

  • As of Oct 1st, the maximum number of individuals allowed in a gathering without social distancing increased to 50 people. This also applies to recreational sports and drop-ins. 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador have now moved to Alert 2, which includes businesses reopening and updates on measures. Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador have been doing well in curbing the number of cases. Over the past week, there have only been 5 new cases. 

The guidelines that are in place in Newfoundland and Labrador can be found here


Current restrictions include: 

  • Prohibition of large gatherings

Indoor and outdoor gatherings of 30 people or less are allowed when a 2-meter distance can be maintained. 

  • Must go into mandatory self-isolation if tested positive. Mandatory self-isolation also applies to individuals who have been in close contact with those tested positive

  • International travellers must self-isolate for 14 days.

  • Visitors to hospitals, long-term care facilities, group homes, and personal care homes must undergo health screening before entering

  • All businesses are permitted to operate while following Public Health Guidelines

  • Specific Public Health Measures can be found here

New Brunswick 

New Brunswick indicates the severity and risk of Covid-19 transmissions/cases with levels. At the moment, the Moncton Region is at the Yellow Level, and the Campbell Region is regressing to the Orange Level.  

At the Yellow Level:

  • People are permitted to physically socialize with close friends and extended families while abiding by Public Health Guidelines

  • Face masks are mandatory in public spaces

  • Limit the number of individuals in indoor and outdoor groups

  • Businesses and activities operate under the Covid-19 operational plan

  • Seating venues are required to keep a record

At the Orange Level, the following activities are permitted (Government of New Brunswick, 2020)

  • Two household bubbles: caregivers and immediate family 

  • Outdoor gatherings with proper physical distancing and fewer than 10 people are allowed. 

  • Indoor religious observances, funerals, celebrations of life, marriage ceremonies, receptions, and social gatherings of more than 10 persons are disallowed.

  • Wearing a mask in public spaces is required. 

  • Non-urgent medical procedures and elective surgeries are allowed.

  • Strict visitor restrictions are maintained around vulnerable individuals (ie: seniors in long-term care homes). 

  • Close contact services such as hair salons and spas remain closed. 

  • Daycares, day camps, and K to 12 schools are open under rigorous measures

  • Post-secondary education is permitted.

  • Outdoor recreational activities are allowed, but sports and are prohibited, and gyms remain closed. 

  • Businesses and food venues can remain open when they abide by the Covid-19 Operational Plan.

  • Mandatory isolation for persons who arrive from outside of New Brunswick.


Measures in Yukon are comparatively relaxed as all services are allowed to operate. Yukon is currently in Phase 3. 

Their signature advice to help prevent Covid-19 transmissions is the “Safe 6” (Government of Yukon, 2020) https://yukon.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-information/6-steps-staying-safe-covid-19

  • Maintain physical distancing – keep 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and people who are not in your social bubble.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Stay home if you're feeling sick.

  • Follow gathering guidelines. Remember to keep 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and people who are not in your social bubble.

  • Limit travel to rural communities and be respectful when you’re there.

Self-isolate if you’ve:

  • recently returned to Yukon and have been outside of British Columbia, Nunavut, or the Northwest Territories in the last 14 days

  • been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.


No Covid-19 cases 

Orders from Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer can be found here

Northwest Territories

A list of active health orders can be found here


Alberta. (n.d.). COVID-19: Edmonton Zone public health measures. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www.alberta.ca/covid19-edmonton-zone-public-health-measures.aspx

Government of New Brunswick. (2020, October 13). NB's Recovery plan. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/covid-19/recovery.html

Government of Yukon. (2020, October 09). Practise the Safe 6. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://yukon.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-information/6-steps-staying-safe-covid-19

British Columbia. (2020, October 15). BC's Restart Plan. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/phase-3

Ontario. (2020, October 9). Ontario Implementing Additional Public Health Measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58767/ontario-implementing-additional-public-health-measures-in-toronto-ottawa-and-peel-region

Crawley, M., Nasser, S., & Bessonov, A. (2020, October 9). Ontario closes indoor dining, gyms and cinemas in COVID-19 hot spots amid surge in cases. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-cases-friday-1.5756516

Saskatchewan. (n.d.). Public Health Orders. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/re-open-saskatchewan-plan/restrictions

CTV News. (2020, October 09). Quebec police to make rounds at red zone schools to ensure COVID-19 health measures being followed. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/quebec-police-to-make-rounds-at-red-zone-schools-to-ensure-covid-19-health-measures-being-followed-1.5137559

Nova Scotia. (2020, October). Restriction updates. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restriction-updates/

All information updated to October 9th.

Article Author : Michelle Xiao

Article Editors : Edie Whittington, Sherilyn Wen