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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

May 13, 2020

The first death attributed to COVID-19 in Canada was reported in British Columbia occurring on March 8, 2020. 

Statistics Canada has provided provisional information on deaths in Canada during the first 13 weeks of 2020 along with death counts by week through to the end of March.  This includes deaths attributable to all causes; fluctuations from one week to the next may be attributable to many different causes of death.  A comparison of deaths in 2020 with the number of deaths reported in similar weeks in previous years allows estimation of 'excess' deaths above what is usually reported.  

The number of deaths reported in each week is represented below as a ratio of deaths per 1 million residents (population as of January 1 of the year).  Data for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Manitoba do not include the weeks ending March 24, 2020 and March 31, 2020.  Data for New Brunswick and Ontario are not yet available.  

In results for March 2020, the number of deaths per 1,000,000 residents is at or below levels observed in recent years in: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Deaths per 1,000,000 residents were above recent averages in Alberta (throughout March) and British Columbia (in the last two weeks of March).

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  13-10-0779-01   Death counts, by week


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