Canada’s death toll from the novel coronavirus has now surpassed 100 following an announcement of five more deaths in B.C.

As of Tuesday, Canada’s COVID-19 death toll now sits at 101 while confirmed cases have now reached 8,579.

The new numbers come amid a surge of cases in Quebec and Ontario.

READ MORE: How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Quebec — the new epicentre of Canada’s outbreak — reported an increase of 790 confirmed cases from the day before, bringing their total to 4,162. Ontario announced 260 new cases on Tuesday as well, a 15.2-per cent increase in 24 hours.

0:45 Coronavirus outbreak: 7708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, 89 total deaths

Coronavirus outbreak: 7708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, 89 total deaths

Health-care officials across the country expressed concern that a lack of screening procedures and shortfalls of medical equipment are now placing Canada’s most vulnerable communities at the forefront of exposure to the virus.

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On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters at a press conference that this week would be “really critical” in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

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“I know that it is hard, but we all must stay strong and stay at home unless we are doing essential work like stocking the shelves in our grocery stores, like working on the frontlines of our health-care system,” she said.

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British Columbia announced five new deaths and 43 new cases on Tuesday, while Alberta announced its third death and 64 new cases.

READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada

The brunt of B.C.’s and Alberta’s deaths come from long-term and continuing care homes in the province.

2:05 Coronavirus outbreak: Is Canada prepared if too many healthcare workers contract COVID-19?

Coronavirus outbreak: Is Canada prepared if too many healthcare workers contract COVID-19?

Dr. Theresa Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, said that the spread of the virus is putting some of the country’s most vulnerable communities at increased risk.

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“Of greatest concern at the moment relates to the introduction and spread of the virus in enclosed settings where vulnerable people reside,” said Tam.

“We currently have a number of ongoing outbreaks in long-term care homes, cases in First Nations and Inuit communities, and in corrections facilities.”

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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