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B.C. NDP leader promises free COVID-19 vaccine during town hall



NDP Leader John Horgan says his government will provide free COVID-19 vaccine to British Columbians once it is approved and is available.

He made the campaign promise during a virtual town hall Monday afternoon.

Horgan said providing the COVID-19 vaccine free is on top his government’s recently announced pandemic preparedness plan which commits to purchasing two million doses of flu vaccine for this influenza season.

“The difficult times are not over yet, because the virus will be with us for the foreseeable future. But once there is a safe and approved vaccine, we will ensure every British Columbian can get one,” said Horgan.

The NDP’s $1.6-billion pandemic preparedness plan announced in September will also hire 7,000 new front-line health care workers in long-term care and assisted living.


Researchers work on a vaccine against the coronavirus at Copenhagen University in Denmark in March. (Thibault Savary/AFP/Getty Images)


Horgan made the healthcare announcement at the beginning of a virtual town hall during which he planned to take questions on several topics.

“The last thing we should do now is go back to a government that puts the wealthy and well-connected before the needs of people. Putting people first has been at the heart of our pandemic response and it will continue to be if our team is re-elected.”

In a tweet, Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson reacted by questioning why a free vaccine for something as serious as COVID was even an issue.

“In what world would a life-saving vaccine not* be free to British Columbians? the Liberal leader tweeted. “It’s our duty to provide health care to everyone in B.C. It’s beyond belief that the NDP even considered charging for this.”

His sentiments were echoed by the Green Party of B.C. which called the election promise a “no-brainer”.

“Given how much British Columbians have sacrificed waiting for a vaccine, would any political party seriously consider not giving the vaccine to everyone?”

The party said it, too, supports a publicly funded COVID-19 vaccine.



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72 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday – CTV Edmonton



Ottawa Public Health is reporting 70 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, the ninth straight day with less than 100 new cases in the capital.

There is also one new death linked to COVID-19 in Ottawa.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 6,296 laboratory-confirmed cases in Ottawa, including 309 deaths

The last time Ottawa Public Health reported a triple-digit increase in COVID-19 cases in Ottawa was Thanksgiving Monday, with 119 new cases.

On Wednesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches told reporters there are signs COVID-19 transmission is “slowing down” in Ottawa this month.

Across Ontario, there are 841 new cases of COVID-19, including 335 cases in Toronto and 106 in Peel Region.


There are 675 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, down from 717 active cases on Wednesday.

A total of 5,201 people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.


Ottawa Public Health reports 49 people are currently in an Ottawa hospital with COVID-19 related illnesses. That’s up from 48 people on Wednesday.

There are five people in the intensive care unit.


Here is a breakdown of all known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa by age category:

  • 0-9 years old: Six new cases (392 cases total)
  • 10-19 years-old: 11 new cases (680 cases total)
  • 20-29 years-old: 17 new cases (1,372 cases total)
  • 30-39 years-old: Five new cases (841 cases total)
  • 40-49 years-old: Eight new cases (813 cases total)
  • 50-59 years-old: 10 new cases (738 cases total)
  • 60-69-years-old: Five new cases (501 cases total)
  • 70-79 years-old: Three new case (322 cases total)
  • 80-89 years-old: Five new cases (380 cases total)
  • 90+ years old: One new case (257 cases total)


There are 10 new cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region.

Two new cases reported in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health region.

Two new cases were reported in the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit also reported two new cases.


Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 69 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

There is a new COVID-19 outbreak at Park Place retirement hoime.

New COVID-19 outbreaks were declared Thursday at All Saints High School and Ecole Elementaire Catholique Montfort.

The COVID-19 outbreak at École élémentaire Catholique Saint-Joseph-d’Orléans is over.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. All Saints High School (NEW)
  2. Andrew Fleck Children’s Services
  3. Children’s Place Civic
  4. Children’s Village of Ottawa Carleton at Navan
  5. École élémentaire Catholique Montfort (NEW)
  6. École élémentaire publique Seraphin Marion
  7. École secondaire Catholique Franco-Cité
  8. Farley Mowat Public School
  9. Gabrielle Roy school
  10. Garderie Tunney’s Daycare
  11. Grandir Ensemble – La Maisonée
  12. Grandir Ensemble – Pierre Elliott-Trudeau
  13. Kanata Montessori
  14. Matreshka Child Care Centre
  15. Service A L’Enfance Aladin, St-Anne
  16. St. Jerome Catholic School
  17. St. Joseph High School
  18. St. Peter High School
  19. The Children’s Place Annex Location

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Association pour intégration sociale d’Ottawa – 2
  2. Association pour intégration sociale d’Ottawa – 3
  3. Association pour intégration sociale d’Ottawa – 4
  4. Association pour intégration sociale d’Ottawa – 6
  5. Association pour intégration sociale d’Ottawa – 7
  6. Bairn Croft Residential Services
  7. Bairn Croft Residential Services – French Hill Residence
  8. Carlingview Manor
  9. Centre d’accueil Champlain
  10. Centre de soins de longue durée Montfort long-term care home
  11. Christian Horizons 9
  12. Cité Parkway Retirement Residence
  13. Colonel By retirement home
  14. Edinburgh Retirement Home
  15. Emergency Housing West
  16. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
  17. Forest Hill long-term care home
  18. Garry J. Armstrong
  19. Governor’s Walk
  20. Granite Ridge Care Community
  21. Hillel Lodge
  22. Innovative Community Support Services
  23. Jardin Royal Garden
  24. Laurier Manor
  25. Longfields Manor
  26. Manoir Marochel
  27. New Edinburgh Square Chartwell
  28. Park Place (NEW)
  29. Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre – Gatineau Building
  30. Peter D. Clark
  31. Residence St. Louis
  32. Robertson Home
  33. Rockcliffe Retirement
  34. Royal Ottawa Hospital — Geriatric South
  35. Royal Ottawa Place long-term care home
  36. Sisters of Charity retirement home
  37. St. Patrick’s Home
  38. St. Vincent Hospital 5 North
  39. Starwood
  40. Tamir Foundation
  41. The Ottawa Hospital General Campus 5N
  42. The Ottawa Hospital General Campus 6W
  43. The Ravines retirement home
  44. Villa Marconi
  45. Walk of Grace Residential Services – 1
  46. Walk of Grace Residential Services – 2
  47. Waterford Retirement Community
  48. West End Villa
  49. Westwood Building 1 retirement home
  50. Wildpine Retirement Home

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care). 

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Two more Toronto hospitals declare COVID-19 outbreaks – CTV Toronto



More Toronto hospitals have declared outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Scarborough Health Network says six patients are infected in one unit at its general hospital in the city’s east end.

A spokeswoman for the health network says the unit has been closed to admissions in order to protect patients and staff.

Leigh Duncan says enhanced infection prevention and control measures are in place in the affected unit.

Meanwhile, the University Health Network is declaring an outbreak at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s University Centre site, with four patients infected at one unit.

Both hospitals join a growing list of Toronto hospitals that have declared an official outbreak, defined as two health-care-related cases of COVID-19 within 14 days.

St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have also declared outbreaks among staff or patients.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020.

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Ontario reports 841 new coronavirus cases, 9 more deaths – Global News



Ontario reported 841 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 67,527.

Thursday’s case count is an increase from Wednesday which saw 790 new cases and Tuesday’s at 821. It also marks the second-highest case count ever recorded. Active cases in Ontario now stand at 6,390.

According to Thursday’s provincial report, 335 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 162 in Peel Region, 106 in York Region, 72 in Ottawa and 29 each in Durham and Halton regions.

All other public health units in Ontario reported under 35 new cases.

Read more:
Ontario drivers face higher auto insurance premiums, even in a pandemic

The death toll in the province has risen to 3,071 as nine more deaths were reported. Nine deaths were also reported on Wednesday.

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Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said more than 38,900 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. The government has said it hoped to increase testing capacity to 50,000 per day by mid-October.

The per cent positivity for processed tests and positive cases in Thursday’s report was 2.2 per cent, down from yesterday’s at 2.4 and Tuesday’s at 3.4.

However, there is currently a backlog of 34,784 tests that need results. A total of 4,785,832 tests have been completed since the pandemic began.

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Here is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age:

  • 32,426 people are male — an increase of 429 cases.
  • 34,687 people are female — an increase of 417 cases.
  • 6,627 people are 19 and under — an increase of 123 cases.
  • 24,356 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 318 cases.
  • 19,277 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 259 cases.
  • 10,281 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 110 cases.
  • 6,975 people are 80 and over — an increase of 33 cases.

The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.

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The province also notes that the number of cases publicly reported each day may not align with case counts reported by the local public health unit on a given day. Local public health units report when they were first notified of a case, which can be updated and changed as information becomes available.

Meanwhile, 58,066 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 86 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 741 from the previous day.

Ontario has 270 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (up by 10 from the previous day), with 74 patients in an intensive care unit (up by three) and 48 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (down by one). All hospitalizations have, overall, increased over the last several weeks.

The newly reported numbers for Thursday’s report are valid as of 2 p.m. Wednesday for Toronto, Ottawa and Middlesex-London public health units, and 4 p.m. Wednesday for the rest of the province.

Read more:
Coronavirus can live on skin for 9 hours, study shows. But experts say not to panic

Ontario child care centres and schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 1,641 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 920 among students and 241 among staff (480 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 74 more cases from the previous day.

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In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 444 cases reported among students and 101 cases among staff (250 individuals were not identified) — totaling 795 cases.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 501 out of 4,828 schools in the province.

Five schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 349 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of seven (three new child cases and four new staff cases).

Numbers for cases in schools and child care centres is updated weekdays only, at 10:30 a.m.

Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,910 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of two since the previous day. Eight health-care workers and staff in long-term care homes have died.

There are 80 current outbreaks in homes, an decrease of six.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 203 active cases among long-term care residents and 243 active cases among staff — down by 13 and up by 17 cases respectively in the last day.

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

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