Today’s coronavirus news: U.S. CDC asks Americans to ‘reconsider travel’ to Canada; TTC to expand service ahead of school year; Ontario reporting 694 new cases of COVID-19

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

9:24 p.m.: The Durham Region Health Department is urging people who attended two more Oshawa basketball tournaments to get tested for COVID-19.

1313 Boundary Rd. in Oshawa, between Aug. 3 to 8 to get tested after more than 20 people reported testing positive for COVID-19.

Now, people who showed up for tournaments at the same facility between Aug. 13 and 15 and between Aug. 20 to 23 are also urged to get tested.

The health department has been notified of three cases of COVID-19 linked to the Canadian Youth Basketball League (CYBL) tournament that began on Aug. 13 and the cases are from Durham and Peel. In this case, people are urged to get tested if they currently or recently had symptoms of COVID-19.

8:28 p.m. B.C. is prepared to give out COVID-19 booster shots should they be required and recommended by Health Canada, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday.

He said the COVID-19 booster shot is something health officials have been “preparing now for some time” both within and beyond the long-term care sector, and for those who are immunocompromised.

“So, we’re looking at that,” he told a news conference.

More than 76 per cent of those eligible are fully vaccinated in B.C., while about 84 per cent have received their first dose of the COVID-19 shot, the government said in a news release.

The province recorded 1,853 new cases of COVID-19 over the three-day period that began Friday. The province said Monday there were 5,918 active cases across B.C., with Interior Health reporting the highest number of cases at 707.

That three-day period also saw seven COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,814.

Fraser Health said it has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Chilliwack General Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit. Three patients have tested positive in the outbreak that’s limited to one unit, which has been temporarily closed to new admissions, the health authority said.

The emergency department remains open and no other areas have been affected at the hospital, where enhanced cleaning and contact tracing are in place, it said.

The Northern Health authority also announced a new COVID-19 outbreak at the in-patient unit of the Fort St. John Hospital over the weekend. Three patients and two staff have tested positive for the illness and infection control measures are in place, including enhanced monitoring for symptoms, it said.

An outbreak continued at White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital, along with 13 outbreaks in assisted-living and long-term care homes when the province last issued an update on the virus.

Last week, Health Canada said in a statement that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization continues to review evidence on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines booster shots in those who are immunosuppressed. The committee was expected to update its recommendations in the coming weeks, it said.

“Current data to date shows most people have good immunity that is sustained for at least six months after receiving their second dose, however it is not yet clear how long immunity lasts nor known whether and when additional shots are required to sustain immunity for Canadians.”

7:27 p.m. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says his government will support local businesses and workplaces that require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, but won’t mandate vaccine passports.

At a news conference Monday, Moe called government-mandated vaccine policies a “heavy-handed” approach and said working collaboratively with those who choose to enact these policies would be successful.

Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba are the only provinces to announce provincewide vaccine passport systems.

Moe said his government is already working with organizations, such as the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team, to “work out the logistics” of such programs.

“We will do the same with any other teams, leagues, concerts… or large event venues that do choose to move in this direction. We will also support any employers that choose to move in this direction,” said Moe, who noted the province is creating a digital QR code that can be used by businesses or venues.

Other large organizations that have introduced vaccine policies are the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina.

Moe’s comments come days after some of the province’s leading doctors — including Cory Neudorf, an interim senior medical health officer with the Saskatchewan Health Authority — called on the government to introduce measures such as mandated masking and vaccine passports for a