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Canada adds 322 more coronavirus cases, 7 deaths – Global News



Canada added 322 new coronavirus cases to its tally on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 125,969.

Health officials said seven more people had died. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was first announced in March, the virus has claimed the lives of 9,090 people across the country.

So far, 112,050 people have recovered from the virus while 6,070,800 tests have been administered.

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These numbers are incomplete, as Nunavut did not provide a COVID-19 update on Tuesday.

Health officials reported 58 new infections — including one epi-linked case — in British Columbia on Tuesday, for a provincial total of 5,242. They added there were no new deaths confirmed throughout the province. Overall, 203 people in B.C. have died from the virus, while 4,114 have recovered after falling ill.

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There were 77 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Alberta on Tuesday and one new death. The province has seen a total of 13,083 diagnoses and 235 people have died. So far, 11,714 people have recovered.

Saskatchewan recorded its 23rd COVID-19-related death on Tuesday, with officials saying one more person had died.

Coronavirus: Quebec shelves COVID-19 tracing app for now

Coronavirus: Quebec shelves COVID-19 tracing app for now

They said no new cases were detected, with the overall total for the province at 1,601. Officials added one previously counted case from Aug. 23 had been removed after deeming the case to be an out-of-province resident.

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Manitoba reported 25 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, increasing the provincial tally to 1,018. Of those, 606 people have recovered. One more person had died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 13.

In Ontario, health officials detected 100 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. So far, 41,607 in the province have been diagnosed with the virus, while 37,748 of those cases have recovered. Two more people had died from COVID-19, increasing the provincial total amount of people who died from the virus to 2,800.

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Quebec — the province hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — saw 62 new infections on Tuesday, for an overall total of 61,803. The province’s death toll rose to 5,746 after health officials said two more people had died. More than 88 per cent of confirmed cases in the province — 54,850 people — have recovered.

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New Brunswick reported one new COVID-19 diagnosis in its Moncton region on Tuesday, increasing the provincial tally to 190. Of those, 178 have recovered. Health officials said no one had died in the province on Tuesday, for an overall number of two.

Nova Scotia officials detected no new infections and said nobody had died from COVID-19 on Tuesday. So far, there have been 1,080 confirmed cases throughout the province while 1,011 have recovered. Sixty-five people have died.

There were no new COVID-19-related deaths or diagnoses recorded in Prince Edward Island on Tuesday. Nobody has died from the virus in the province. Out of the province’s 44 cases, 41 have recovered.

Coronavirus: How to prepare kids for back to school this fall

Coronavirus: How to prepare kids for back to school this fall

Newfoundland and Labrador, too, saw no new COVID-19-related cases or deaths on Tuesday. The provincial tally stands at 268 confirmed cases, three deaths and 265 recoveries.

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In the Yukon, health authorities on Tuesday reported no new cases of COVID-19. Out of the territory’s 15 cases, all but one have recovered and no one has died from the virus.

All five confirmed cases in the Northwest Territories have recovered. As of Monday, Nunavut had yet to see its first case of COVID-19.

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

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Crisis, what crisis? If Canada is in a 2nd COVID wave, N.L. is watching it from afar –



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on April 27. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

On Wednesday, Canadians tuned in to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau make a national address on COVID-19. Trudeau got right to the point.

“The second wave isn’t just starting, it’s already underway,” Trudeau said. “The numbers are clear.”

Given that Trudeau just moments later said, “We’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring,” I was expecting him to then lay down the framework for another lockdown.

That didn’t happen. Instead, Trudeau appealed to Canadians to do their part to smash a curve that has been on rapid ascent in some provinces, especially British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Are things that bad? Here’s a comparison from the address that ought to have caught attention. “Back on March 13, when we went into lockdown, there were 47 new cases of COVID-19. Yesterday alone, we had well over a thousand.”

There was no sense of panic after Trudeau’s remarks — not across the country, but especially not here. What reaction I did notice locally on social media might be boiled down to “meh.” That is, life is going on, and since Trudeau’s address made for prime-time viewing in our time zone, it felt like a bit of a letdown.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a rare address to the nation following a throne speech like no other in Canadian history. The address and the speech were both focused on COVID-19. The Liberals also promised job creation and child-care investment. 9:01

Part of this reason surely must be that there are distinct COVID-19 situations in the country, and Newfoundland and Labrador — perhaps accustomed to watching national dramas from both geographic and psychological sidelines all along — is far away from a mounting crisis elsewhere in Canada.

Wildly different experiences in the pandemic

Consider this. In Ontario on Thursday — the day after Trudeau’s address to the nation — 409 cases were reported. A month earlier, on Aug. 24, the number was 105. Quebec reported 582 cases on Thursday; on Aug. 24, that number was just 68.

The national tally has indeed been spiking in recent days. On Thursday, Canada logged 1,341 news cases of COVID-19 — or about 55 an hour. That’s almost one a minute.

Or, to look at it another way, there are on average five new cases surfacing every five or six minutes.

To count the last five cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, you need to go back to Aug. 10. To count the last 10, we go back to July 22.

Passenger traffic at St. John’s International Airport is gradually climbing, but remains a small fraction of normal volumes. (Gary Locke/CBC)

In other words, the pandemic situation here — like all of the other Atlantic provinces and the territories — is entirely different from provinces where cases are spiking. (Manitoba is dealing with double digits, while Saskatchewan’s caseload has been comparatively modest.)

So … have we become complacent?

There’s always that concern everywhere, and we should be no different.

But it’s worth noting that a focal point of Wednesday’s weekly briefing was whether Halloween could go ahead this year. (A provisional yes, said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, so long as rates do not increase.)

Not only did we not see anxious faces that have been handling briefings in bigger provinces, we learned on Wednesday that the provincial government has stopped sending daily news releases on COVID-19. They’ll resume when there is, well, news — presumably, a new case. Otherwise, data will be updated every afternoon on the dashboard of the province’s COVID-19 website.

Crushing the curve

Newfoundland and Labrador, which had a scary spike in the early spring with a cluster that involved attendance at the Caul’s funeral home in St. John’s, not only planked the curve, but kind of crushed it.

Still, despite a gradual loosening of restrictions brought in through a public health emergency order, we continue to move through the impacts of living with a pandemic. We may be able to shop and move around more easily, but many facets of daily life are quite affected. In the weeks to come, there will be no fall fairs at local churches, no Christmas sales at the Glacier, no big concerts at Mile One. Live performances are resuming, but many chairs (every other row at the Arts & Culture Centre) will be vacant for safety.

The tone of COVID-19 briefings locally has been notably less grim than in some other provinces. Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the chief medical officer of health, reactions to a question at Wednesday’s briefing on whether she has plans to travel abroad. After chuckling, she said no. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

There will be no conventions, either. Indeed, there has not been that much travel. There was five times the amount of passenger traffic at St. John’s International Airport in August than in April, but that’s only because there was practically no traffic at all in those early weeks of the pandemic.

Consider this chart:

MonthPassengersDecrease from 2019
April 20205,424-95.4%
May 20206,780-94.9%
June 202010,831-92.2%
July 202021,791-87.1%
August 202028,569-84.1%

Source: St. John’s International Airport

Newfoundland and Labrador’s so-called travel ban — which prohibits entry to the province to non-residents (now outside the Maritimes) who do not have previously approved exemptions — continues to be divisive, but I see many people applaud it. Last week, Justice Donald Burrage upheld the ban, even though he also found that the order clearly violates charter rights of movement. Lawyers who argued the case say they are considering an appeal.

Legends of the fall

As I was making a cup of coffee early Friday morning, I noticed something that used to be common (like clockwork, really) in the air over the east end: the distinctive noise of a jet taking off at the airport.

It has occurred to me that the “new normal” of COVID-19 that we’ve all been talking about really means “the normal we are in right now, and it may change quickly.”

We are connected to the rest of the country, and the rest of the planet, and things are fluid.

Trudeau, who used his address to call on people to behave responsively, said the outcome of the second wave is not predetermined.

“What we can change,” he said, “is where we are in October and into the winter. It’s all too likely we won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving, but we still have a shot at Christmas.”

At this end of the country, it would be an understatement to say people want the infection rate to stay as low this fall as it’s been this summer.

It’s also reasonable to think many people are looking forward to a “new normal” that moves closer and closer to the old one.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Canada failed to protect elderly in first wave of COVID-19 — will the same mistakes be made again? –



This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.

As COVID-19 cases surge across Canada and outbreaks in nursing homes flare up once again, experts say vulnerable elderly populations are at extreme risk in the second wave due to a lack of government action. 

Long-term care facilities bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic in Canada, with more than 70 per cent of deaths from COVID-19 occurring in those aged over 80, about twice the average of rates from other developed countries.

“That is one of the most damning failures that’s taken place through the pandemic,” said Dr. Andrew Boozary, executive director of health and social policy for Toronto’s University Health Network. 

“If we were going to be judged by how we protected our most susceptible and people who are structurally vulnerable — we failed them.” 

Dozens of COVID-19 outbreaks have recently been reported in nursing homes in Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Quebec as the second wave arrives in much of Canada.

WATCH | Trudeau discusses the federal government’s role in long-term care:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explains what prompted his government to begin a dialogue with the provinces around national standards for long term care facilities. 1:49

In his address to the nation Wednesday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the situations experienced by “too many elders” in long-term care homes is “unacceptable.”

“That has to change and it will change,” he said. “We will be working with the provinces and territories to set new national standards on long-term care.”

But Canada’s systemic failures in long-term care are nothing new, and neither are the calls for action. 

Long-term care deficiencies a longstanding issue

A July report from the Royal Society of Canadaan association that includes some of Canada’s top scientists and scholars, described COVID-19 as “a shock wave that cracked wide all the fractures in our nursing home system.” It called on the federal government to act “immediately” on creating national standards of care.

Months later, no concrete action has yet been taken, and the second wave of COVID-19 infections is well underway in previously hard-hit provinces, such as Ontario, B.C. and Quebec.

On Friday, Trudeau conceded during a press conference that problems in long-term care facilities “existed long before COVID-19.”

Canadian Armed Forces personnel, along with hospital staff and some education workers, were among those brought in to assist long-term care homes during the first wave of the pandemic. A military report subsequently detailed abuse, neglect and cruelty inside nursing homes. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

“The systems that we had were inadequate all across the country,” he said. “They were not up to the task of protecting our seniors appropriately.”

But experts question why the process of fixing those systemic issues has only now just begun.

“The writing is on the wall that this had to happen yesterday,” said Boozary. 

“To not ensure that every measure, every resource is in place to protect these families and their loved ones — to me is just damning, it’s egregious.” 

The prime minister was quick to point out that long-term care is “very clearly a provincial jurisdiction,” adding that the federal government was busy helping the provinces “get the situation under control” early in the pandemic. 

“Whether it was sending in the military or the Red Cross or sending extra financial support to vulnerable health care workers, the federal government was busy acting,” he said.  

But Trudeau also said the need for national standards of long-term care only became clear to his government after “conversations with Canadians and the provinces” following the devastation caused in the first wave of the pandemic. 

Long-term care facilities unprepared for second wave

A group of major stakeholders in Ontario’s long-term care system sent a 60-page letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the ministers of both Health and Long-Term Care this week calling for “immediate action” to protect the health of residents, staff and family members.

“In the absence of these measures and support from government, Ontario’s long-term care homes are not currently ready to manage a second wave of COVID-19,” said the letter, which was first reported on by the Globe and Mail.

WATCH | Canada’s prime minister on the country’s second wave of COVID-19:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Canadians in a rare national address from his office on Parliament Hill. 1:47

“The recent surge in cases in Ontario and other provinces is a warning that we have little time to waste,” it stated. “We need decisive action now.”

Dr. Anna Banerji, an infectious disease expert and faculty lead for Indigenous and refugee health at the University of Toronto, said she’s not convinced Canadian long-term care homes have made the necessary changes to protect elderly residents in the second wave.  

“We don’t want to see the same kind of disasters that we were seeing in the spring where we had all these people dying and the people that were living were basically living in squalor,” she said. “If that occurs again, it’s a real failure.” 

Banerji said nursing homes need to ensure they have no more than one resident per room with individual access to their own bathroom, while staff should have adequate personal protective equipment and infection control training — something they lacked in the first wave. 

Dr. Aisha Lofters, a family physician and researcher at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, said nursing homes also need to ensure staff aren’t putting residents at unnecessary risk. 

“In the early days, we saw a lot of people who were working in multiple long-term care homes, working part-time and casual, having to move from home to home to home,” she said.

“We saw the devastating effects of that.”

National standards of long-term care need enforcement

Dr. Naheed Dosani, a physician and health-justice advocate in Toronto, welcomes the creation of national standards for long-term care, but hopes those homes in violation of them will face serious consequences. 

“One of the things that we need to be aware of is that at least in Ontario, it was shown that for-profit homes especially had a higher proportion of deaths,” he said. 

Dosani said he wants the national standards to create a baseline for where care needs to be in nursing homes across Canada, so that seniors aren’t left to suffer the consequences. 

“They already suffered in the first wave. My hope is that they don’t have to suffer and less people have to die in the second wave,” he said. 

“Why would we allow this to happen in the second wave? The federal government has the ability to set that bar where it needs to be so that standard of care is met so that doesn’t have to happen again.” 

To read the entire Second Opinion newsletter every Saturday morning, subscribe by clicking here.

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Liberals, NDP reach deal on sick leave, avoiding immediate election –



NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the Liberal government is willing to boost the number of people who can access sick days, clearing the way for New Democrats to support the throne speech and bypass an immediate fall election.

Singh said the agreement involves a change to the wording in Bill C-2 — the proposed legislation that would transition people from the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) to an employment insurance program with expanded eligibility, or to one of three new recovery benefits —  to significantly expand the number of Canadians who would be able to access paid sick leave.

“If what we’ve agreed upon is reflected in the bill that’s presented on Monday, if all the same elements are still there, then we will be able to support that bill and yes, we will be able to support the throne speech,” said Singh during a news conference this evening.

The NDP’s support for the throne speech would give the minority Liberals enough votes to pass it in the House of Commons and avoid a snap election.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has secured improved sick day provisions from the Liberal government. He will now support the government on an upcoming confidence vote, reducing the prospect of a snap election. 1:54

The details of the sick leave changes haven’t been released yet, but Singh said the change “will help millions of Canadians.”

“Today marks the first step in achieving the first ever, in the history of our country, federal paid sick leave for Canadian workers,” he said

“It’s a first step toward our ultimate goal of insuring all Canadian workers have paid sick leave now and forever.”

Liberal House Leader Pablo Rodriquez tweeted this afternoon that a deal has been reached, but didn’t offer any more details about the sick leave changes.

“We are entering the second wave and millions of Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet. We now have an agreement with the NDP on a bill that will deliver the help that Canadians need. It’s by working together that we will get through this pandemic,” he said.

The Conservatives said flatly they won’t support the throne speech, while the Bloc Québécois said it won’t support it unless the government boosts health care transfers to the provinces with no strings attached.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh talks to CBC Radio’s The House about striking a deal with the Liberal government to ensure greater access to paid sick leave. 8:28

Canadians faced ‘impossible choices:’ Singh

That made the 24 New Democrats in the House the Liberals’ best shot for securing enough votes to pass the confidence vote on the throne speech and avoid a snap election.

Ahead of Wednesday’s speech from the throne, Singh said his party would need to see the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) extended and paid sick leave offered to every employee across the country to ensure no Canadian has to go to work sick.

Bill C-2 provides for a 10-day sick leave benefit — something the NDP had demanded —  but on Thursday Singh said he still had concerns about how accessible the paid sick leave would be. He refused to explain in detail what he was asking for, saying that negotiations with the government are ongoing and those talks could affect the entire bill.

He said it’s a priority for the NDP because too many people now face what he calls “impossible choices” between staying home or going to work when they’re unwell.

“Many of them have to go into work because if they don’t they’re not going to get paid … and they cannot pay their bills at the end of the month unless they go to work,” he said in an interview of CBC’s The House airing Saturday.

Trudeau had hinted earlier in the day that talks were ongoing with the NDP.

“I’ve heard reflections from the NDP that this should be a permanent feature of Canada’s system going forward and I think that’s certainly something we can have conversations about,” he said.

“But we are very much focused on making sure that into this fall as cold season starts again that people have access to sick leave to be able to stay home and not risk going to work and infect people.”

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