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Canada’s 1st COVID-19 vaccine arrives

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Young Canadians have reached out to Kids Help Phone more than 4 million times in 2020, signalling a sharp uptick in calls for help compared to previous years and a growing chorus of youth who continue to struggle under the COVID-19 pandemic.   In 2019, the youth crisis hotline received 1.9 million calls, texts, and clicks on their online self-directed resources for help. Under the pandemic, that number has more than doubled.   Kids Help Phone now receives more than 800 calls and texts for help from children and youth across the country daily — about 10 of which are active suicide rescues where police are called for backup, said Kids Help Phone’s senior vice-president of innovation Alisa Simon.    It’s a cascade of calls for help that 182 counsellors across the country, from Toronto to Vancouver, have had to answer from their own homes as they too have been confined to pandemic-mandated lockdown measures.   But the crisis line said they’ve been able to keep up with demand, with 50 additional counsellors to be hired by the end of the year, thanks to new federal funding. Kids Help Phone has also been able to train 4,200 volunteers to respond to texts from teens in distress this year alone, Simon said.   “We’re always hiring because we want to make sure that we have enough front-line staff to be able to meet demand,” Simon said. “We’re always training new crisis responders.”   Still, the volume of calls is unlike anything Kids Help Phone has experienced since its inception in 1989. Calls have been pouring in from children as young as five to young adults as old as 28, mainly to seek help for their mental and emotional health.    Almost half of the calls come from Ontario, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. A majority call between the early hours of 12 a.m. and 4 a.m., according to newly released data by Kids Help Phone.   The main driver of calls, Simon said, has been isolation, with calls related to loneliness up 50 per cent from pre-pandemic rates. Others have been reaching out with concerns about missed milestones, like prom and graduation, and some expressed self-esteem and body image issues earlier in the pandemic.   Those who were returning to school in the fall, Simon said, expressed worry about getting sick with COVID-19. Those who opted for virtual learning felt grief about being unable to return to the physical classroom.    “There were a lot of young people experiencing really different realities when school began based on whether or not they were going to be back in school or not,” Simon said.   Of the 4 million times people have reached out for help, 300,000 of those were one-on-one calls or texts — a 51 per cent increase from what Kids Help Phone saw last year.    And it’s not only children and youth who are reaching out: Kids Help Phone launched a 24/7 text line this year for adults as well due to increase in demand.    “Large numbers of adults are coming to us and saying, ‘I’m so sorry I’m not a kid, but can I talk to you?’” Simon said.    Others have been reaching out through different means, including new services launched this year, such as a chat platform through Facebook and Wellness Together Canada, an online website that connects people with mental health supports and counselling services.    This year also marked the first time Kids Help Phone began offering counselling services in Arabic alongside French and English.   Joanna Henderson, a youth psychologist and the executive director of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, which works to enhance and redesign youth mental health services in the province, said younger people in Canada have had a particularly difficult time with COVID-19, leading to a reliance on services like Kids Help Phone as they don’t know where else to turn.    “Many young people have reported a deterioration in their mental health, especially at the beginning of the pandemic,” Henderson said.    Through a survey with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health of around 600 young people across Canada about their mental health since the pandemic began, Henderson found the reasons for the deterioration are not only tied to public health measures and social isolation, but also to changes to their schooling, as well as living arrangements and financial stresses.    The findings also revealed youth with pre-existing mental and physical health conditions have been particularly impacted psychologically by the pandemic.    As the number of young people reckoning with unprecedented stress on their mental health grows, so does the reliance on easy-to-access, centralized national services like Kids Help Phone, Henderson said, explaining the spike in calls for help.   “Kids Help Phone had the advantage of having a national single number, a single brand that people understood would be where you could get help,” Henderson said.    But while Kids Help Phone offers an essential service for youth in crisis, Henderson said it’s important that youth have access to ongoing counselling and mental health services, as some may need more consistent care than one conversation with a crisis line counsellor.    It’s a worry that Simon said she shares, adding that Kids Help Phone hires librarians who search for services in the community someone is calling from in order to help connect them to local services.   “We often are a front door for young people,” she said. “They come to us because they’re feeling distressed and they don’t know what to do.”   Another issue, Simon added, is that young people are facing very long waiting lists when trying to access mental health services, and many approach Kids Help Phone as they wait for longer-term help. Others reach out at odd hours, when their counsellor or other service provider may not be able to help.   “For us it is really about being that go-to place that young people know they can trust at any time,” Simon said.    BY THE NUMBERS    66 per cent of those reaching out to Kids Help Phone Canada-wide are between the ages of 14 and 24;    40 per cent of Canada-wide calls are due to issues with mental or emotional health;     40 per cent of Canada-wide texts are due to relationship issues, and 39 per cent are due to anxiety and stress;    In Ontario, the majority of those reaching out to Kids Help Phone are adults between the ages of 18 and 24 (38 per cent), followed by teens between the ages of 14 and 17 (28 per cent);    In Ontario, more people are texting for suicide help (20 per cent) than calling (5 per cent);    Calls for suicide are highest in the Northwest Territories (100 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (44 per cent), and New Brunswick (28 per cent).    If you are thinking of suicide or know someone who is, there is help. Resources are available online at crisisservicescanada.ca or you can connect to the national suicide prevention helpline at 1-833-456-4566, or the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.   Nadine Yousif is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering mental health. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Follow her on Twitter: @nadineyousif_  Nadine Yousif, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 – BayToday

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021.

There are 747,383 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Canada: 747,383 confirmed cases (63,668 active, 664,621 resolved, 19,094 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 4,852 new cases Sunday from 51,308 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. The rate of active cases is 169.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 37,536 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,362.

There were 120 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,054 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 151. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.4 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 50.8 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 17,050,539 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 398 confirmed cases (eight active, 386 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday from 346 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 78,133 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 110 confirmed cases (seven active, 103 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.46 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of six new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 88,407 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,571 confirmed cases (19 active, 1,487 resolved, 65 deaths).

There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 1.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 14 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 200,424 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 1,124 confirmed cases (335 active, 776 resolved, 13 deaths).

There were 20 new cases Sunday from 819 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.4 per cent. The rate of active cases is 43.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 177 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 25.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.67 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 135,109 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 253,633 confirmed cases (16,940 active, 227,215 resolved, 9,478 deaths).

There were 1,457 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 199.65 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,719 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,531.

There were 41 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 423 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 60. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.71 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 111.7 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 2,695,925 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 255,002 confirmed cases (24,153 active, 225,046 resolved, 5,803 deaths).

There were 2,417 new cases Sunday from 48,947 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.9 per cent. The rate of active cases is 165.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17,216 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,459.

There were 50 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 394 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 56. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.39 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 39.84 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 8,944,809 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 28,697 confirmed cases (3,521 active, 24,377 resolved, 799 deaths).

There were 221 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 257.11 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,186 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 169.

There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 30 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.31 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.34 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 448,638 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 22,177 confirmed cases (3,251 active, 18,673 resolved, 253 deaths).

There were 260 new cases Sunday from 1,196 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 276.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,905 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 272.

There were three new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 38 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.46 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 21.54 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 329,702 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 120,793 confirmed cases (9,511 active, 109,733 resolved, 1,549 deaths).

There were 463 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 217.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,956 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 565.

There were 24 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 113 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 35.44 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 3,061,844 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 63,484 confirmed cases (5,901 active, 56,455 resolved, 1,128 deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 116.36 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,338 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 334.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 55 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 22.24 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 1,044,931 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (zero active, 69 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 6,216 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 31 confirmed cases (seven active, 24 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 15.62 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 9,064 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 280 confirmed cases (15 active, 264 resolved, one deaths).

There were 13 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 38.68 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 7,261 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

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Why you need to eat fewer ultra-processed foods like frozen pizza and even granola bars – The Globe and Mail

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A customer pushes a shopping cart through the frozen food aisle inside a Kroger Co. grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on June 14, 2017.

Luke Sharrett/bloomberg

Grocery stores are flooded with foods produced by extensive industrial processing. Examples: granola and protein bars, margarine, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, breakfast cereals, pretzels, instant noodles, muffin and cake mixes, mass-produced packaged breads and soft drinks.

A steady intake of ultra-processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of chronic health problems such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Now, findings from a large Italian study add to mounting evidence that ultra-processed foods should be limited. Added sugars in these foods, as well as the processing methods used to make them, may contribute to their harmful effects.

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What are ultra-processed foods (UPFs)?

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, nearly 50 per cent of the calories in our diet come from UPFs, and Canadian kids, ages 9 to 13, consume even more.

UPFs are formulations of substances derived from foods plus numerous additives used to flavour, bleach, colour, emulsify, texturize and preserve. They contain little, if any, real food at all.

These foods are typically high in calories, unhealthy fats, added sugars and sodium and are lacking fibre and protective phytochemicals.

The altered taste and texture of UPFs make them highly palatable and habit-forming.

The new findings

The latest study, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed the eating habits and health outcomes of 22,475 citizens of Italy, with an average age of 55 years, over eight years.

Participants who consumed the highest amount of UPFs (14 per cent of total food intake versus 6.6 per cent) had a 26-per-cent increased risk of dying from any cause, and a 58-per-cent greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The greater the intake of UPFs, the greater the risk of death.

The researchers accounted for other risk factors including age, sex, smoking status, physical activity, body mass index, health history, calorie intake and diet quality.

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Processed meats, pizza, cakes and pies were the largest contributors to ultra-processed food intake.

Limitations of the study include its observational design (it can’t provide that eating UPFs causes premature death) and the use of self-reported questionnaires (which are subject to error) to collect dietary data.

Still, the researchers collected detailed information on lifestyle and health factors to help rule out other possible reasons for the findings. It was also the first study to look at nutrients that may link UPFs to death.

Added sugars explained nearly 40 per cent of the association between UPFs and cardiovascular death. This is in keeping with the theory, and findings from a recent randomized controlled trial, that UPFs promote excessive calorie intake and weight gain.

How UPFs may cause harm

Besides added sugars, other components of UPFs may cause unfavourable health effects. Components introduced during processing may promote inflammation by altering the composition of our gut bacteria.

Ultra-processing strips foods of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals. It also changes the structure of foods in a way that spikes blood sugar and insulin and also makes them less satiating, which can promote overconsumption.

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Heating and processing can also lead to the formation of compounds that may have harmful effects, especially with respect to cardiovascular disease.

Tips to eat fewer UPFs

Make a list of the UPFs you eat on a regular basis and put strategies in place to buy them less often.

Make a meal plan for the week to avoid reaching for highly processed prepared foods when pressed for time. Keep staples on hand that you can quickly turn into a healthy meal (e.g., canned fish and beans, canned tomatoes, frozen edamame, frozen vegetables).

Make homemade versions of the UPFs you rely on such as granola and energy bars, pasta sauce, soups, salad dressings and muffins. Roast a turkey breast for sandwiches and salads.

Replace highly processed snacks with whole and minimally processed ones. Kale chips, popcorn, unsweetened dried fruit and nuts and plain yogurt and berries are examples.

Read ingredient lists when buying packaged foods. As often as possible, choose ones with ingredients you’d find in your own pantry.

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Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private practice dietitian, is director of food and nutrition at Medcan. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieBeckRD

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 – SooToday

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021.

There are 747,383 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Canada: 747,383 confirmed cases (63,668 active, 664,621 resolved, 19,094 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 4,852 new cases Sunday from 51,308 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. The rate of active cases is 169.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 37,536 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,362.

There were 120 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,054 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 151. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.4 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 50.8 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 17,050,539 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 398 confirmed cases (eight active, 386 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday from 346 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 78,133 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 110 confirmed cases (seven active, 103 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.46 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of six new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 88,407 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,571 confirmed cases (19 active, 1,487 resolved, 65 deaths).

There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 1.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 14 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 200,424 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 1,124 confirmed cases (335 active, 776 resolved, 13 deaths).

There were 20 new cases Sunday from 819 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.4 per cent. The rate of active cases is 43.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 177 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 25.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.67 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 135,109 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 253,633 confirmed cases (16,940 active, 227,215 resolved, 9,478 deaths).

There were 1,457 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 199.65 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,719 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,531.

There were 41 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 423 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 60. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.71 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 111.7 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 2,695,925 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 255,002 confirmed cases (24,153 active, 225,046 resolved, 5,803 deaths).

There were 2,417 new cases Sunday from 48,947 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.9 per cent. The rate of active cases is 165.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17,216 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,459.

There were 50 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 394 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 56. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.39 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 39.84 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 8,944,809 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 28,697 confirmed cases (3,521 active, 24,377 resolved, 799 deaths).

There were 221 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 257.11 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,186 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 169.

There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 30 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.31 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.34 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 448,638 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 22,177 confirmed cases (3,251 active, 18,673 resolved, 253 deaths).

There were 260 new cases Sunday from 1,196 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 276.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,905 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 272.

There were three new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 38 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.46 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 21.54 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 329,702 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 120,793 confirmed cases (9,511 active, 109,733 resolved, 1,549 deaths).

There were 463 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 217.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,956 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 565.

There were 24 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 113 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 35.44 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 3,061,844 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 63,484 confirmed cases (5,901 active, 56,455 resolved, 1,128 deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 116.36 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,338 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 334.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 55 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 22.24 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 1,044,931 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (zero active, 69 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 6,216 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 31 confirmed cases (seven active, 24 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 15.62 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 9,064 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 280 confirmed cases (15 active, 264 resolved, one deaths).

There were 13 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 38.68 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 7,261 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

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