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Trudeau touts vaccine deals as Canada breaks daily record for COVID-19 cases

Last Updated Oct 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm MST

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference, Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to offer Canadians modest hope about progress in testing and vaccine development.

His announcement came after Canada notched an all-time high of new COVID-19 cases in a day.

Trudeau told a news conference that the government is spending $214 million towards the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

The federal government signed deals with Quebec’s Medicago and British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems.

Trudeau said the Medicago contract includes the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine, should it meet health and safety standards.

It will also provide funding for a production facility in Quebec City.

Two more American vaccine makers, Moderna and Pfizer, have asked Health Canada to review their products as they undergo clinical trials.

Trudeau warned that he doesn’t anticipate a vaccine will be ready to inoculate Canadians against the COVID-19 virus this year or in early 2021.

He added Canada also acquired “hundreds of thousands” of rapid test kits from medical company Abbott.

They will distribute the kits across the provinces and territories.

Canada’s chief public health officer says a record 2,788 new illnesses were reported on Oct. 22, 2020.

Alberta response

The province surpassed its previous record high for new cases of COVID-19 with 432, which includes eight in the RMWB.

Health officials completed 15,208 tests in the last 24 hours with a positivity rate of 2.8 per cent.

In Fort McMurray, there are 37 active cases, one death, and 294 recoveries, while there are six new cases and 64 resolved cases outside the urban service area.

Over the last 48 hours, Wood Buffalo had 13 cases of COVID-19 and only one recovered case.

While the region has a total of 43 active cases, a mandatory face-covering bylaw would come into effect if the number reaches 50.

Alberta has 3651 active cases, including 1751 in the Edmonton Zone, while 20,310 Albertans recovered.

Four Albertans died of COVID-19 to bring the death toll to 300.

112 Albertans are in hospital with 14 in intensive care.

Chief medical officer of health, Dr Deena Hinshaw will provide her next live update on Oct. 26, 2020.

This article includes excerpts from The Canadian Press.