The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Alberta is reporting 278 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths.
The province says six cases of a more contagious variant have also been detected, bringing that total in Alberta to 659.
There are 254 people in hospital, with 36 of them in intensive care.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro says he believes it’s safe enough to immediately lift some more public-health restrictions.
Alberta is lifting more COVID-19 public-health restrictions, including allowing more people to shop in retail stores and malls.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the retail limit is increasing to 25 per cent capacity from 15 per cent.
He says banquet halls, community halls and conference centres can open for meetings, while weddings of up to 10 people and funeral services with a maximum of 20 people are allowed.
Lessons and practices for youth and post-secondary sports can go ahead with a cap of 10 participants.
And there can be rehearsals and performances — without an audience and confined to 10 people — for youth and adult dance, singing and theatre activities.
B.C. is reporting 11 more deaths and 1,462 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days as the death toll in the province nears 1,400.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says more than 4,800 cases are active, including 240 people hospitalized with the illness.
She says 144 more cases of variants of concern have been detected in B.C. for a total of 394, of which 87 cases are active.
There have been 333,327 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in B.C., including nearly 87,000 second doses.
Prince Edward Island is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today.
Health officials say the new cases involve two men in their 20s.
They say one man recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada and the other is a close contact of a previously reported infection.
P.E.I. has 28 active reported cases of COVID-19.
Saskatchewan is reporting 97 new cases of COVID-19 and two more infections caused by a more contagious variant.
Health officials say a provincial lab confirmed two additional cases of the variant first detected in the United Kingdom in the Regina area.
The ministry also confirmed a previously reported presumptive case to be the B.1.1.7 variant.
To date, Saskatchewan has seen nine cases of variants of concern.
Quebec is announcing it will not follow recommendations from Canada’s national vaccine expert panel regarding the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The province said today in a news release its provincial vaccine expert committee is recommending that all approved doses be used immediately -- particularly for people in their 70s -- to reduce death and hospitalizations.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has said the AstraZeneca vaccine is not recommended for people aged 65 years and over because of insufficient data.
Quebec says the fact the AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t need to be kept frozen will help officials conduct more mobile vaccinations campaigns and reach patients at home.
Ontario's health minister says people won't be asked to provide proof of their pre-existing health conditions to access a COVID-19 vaccine during the second phase of the rollout.
Christine Elliott says she believes most people will come to the clinics when they are permitted and not take advantage of the honour system.
The vaccine will be offered starting in April to people with specific health conditions like organ transplant recipients, those living with obesity and those receiving treatments that suppress the immune system.
Elliott says local public health units will screen people as they arrive at the clinics and may be able to check with a person's family physician, but that will not be mandatory.
New Brunswick is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today.
Two cases in the Moncton region involve people in their 20s and are travel-related.
The other cases are in the Miramichi area and are linked to a previously reported infection.
There are currently 36 active reported cases in the province and three people in hospital with the disease, including one in intensive care.
Manitoba is reporting 63 new COVID-19 cases and one death.
On a per capita basis, the northern part of the province continues to be hardest hit.
Manitoba is expanding its vaccination program again.
The minimum age to book an appointment for the general public is being dropped by five years -- to 60 and up for First Nations people and 80 and up for all others.
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.
Health officials say all three cases involve close contacts of previously reported infections.
The province has 84 active reported cases and three people in hospital with the disease.
Newfoundland and Labrador has reported a total of 1,009 COVID-19 cases and six deaths linked to the virus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says March 11 will be a "national day of observance" for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The day is meant to commemorate the 22,000 people in Canada who have died from the disease and to acknowledge all the other ways lives have changed over the past year.
In a statement, Trudeau says that includes kids' missed birthday parties, seniors' increased isolation, lost jobs and failing businesses.
The day is also meant to honour workers in health care and other essential front-line services.
Nova Scotia is reporting no new cases of COVID-19.
Health officials say the province has 24 active reported infections.
Two people in the province are in hospital with the disease, including one in intensive care.
Nova Scotia has reported a total of 1,659 COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths linked to the virus.
Ontario is reporting 1,631 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths today.
The province says the daily case count is higher than expected due to a "data catch-up process" in its system.
No other details about the issue have been provided.
The province has lifted its stay-at-home order in Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay, the last three regions where it was still in effect.
Quebec is reporting 579 new cases of COVID-19 as well as nine additional deaths due to the illness.
None of the deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.
Hospitalizations declined by two to 590, with 108 people in intensive care, which is one more than a day earlier.
The province administered 15,249 doses of vaccine Sunday, bringing the total to 564,302.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021
The Canadian Press