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Coronavirus Update: Nova Scotia lab to conduct first Canadian trials for possible COVID-19 vaccine – The Globe and Mail

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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. The first Canadian clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine to be conducted by Halifax research team that also was involved in trials that led to an Ebola virus vaccine
  2. Group urges Quebec to respect patients’ rights during COVID-19 pandemic, as hundreds complain about confinement measures imposed on vulnerable seniors
  3. Communities and businesses feel the pain of cancelled cruise ships as tourist season begins amid travel restrictions

In Canada, 76,944 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 27 days ago. There have been 38,476 recoveries and 5,781 deaths. Health officials have administered 1,360,318 tests.

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Worldwide, 4,685,623 cases have been confirmed, with 1,720,750 recoveries and 313,105 deaths.

Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins University.


Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province


Photo of the day

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are shown at Residence Yvon-Brunet, a long-term care home in Montreal, Saturday, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press


Number of the day

190,000

The World Health Organization has warned that as many as 190,000 Africans could die in the first year of the pandemic and countless more from other diseases as the continent’s limited medical resources are stretched even further.

But across West Africa, countries are finding it increasingly difficult to keep mosques closed during Ramadan even as confirmed virus cases mount and testing remains limited. The holy month is already a time of heightened spiritual devotion for Muslims, and many say prayer is now more important than ever.

Last week, Niger and Senegal allowed mass prayers to resume, and Liberia is reopening its houses of worship beginning Sunday. In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, several states recently signalled the reopening of mosques even as the number of confirmed cases countrywide exceeded 5,000.


Coronavirus in Canada

There are currently at least 2,832 hospitalized cases, down 2 per cent from a week ago. Of those, 383 are in intensive care.

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  • A Quebec patients’ rights group urged the province to respect the fundamental rights of seniors living in care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the province reported 79 more deaths.
  • Ontario reported another 340 cases and 23 new deaths related to the virus. There are now 22,653 confirmed cases in the province, which include 1,881 deaths and 17,360 resolved cases.
  • British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer urged residents to stay close to home during the Victoria Day weekend in order to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 before some businesses reopen on Tuesday.
  • The Alberta government said a report from a panel exploring the province’s role in Confederation is complete but won’t be released to the public until after the worst of the pandemic is over.
  • Toronto is asking for increased funding and testing from the provincial government for its homeless shelters. Two shelter clients have died this week after contracting COVID-19.
  • Licensed daycares in New Brunswick can begin reopening Tuesday. And while children will not have to wear masks, they will be separated into small groups as a safety precaution.

National updates

The first Canadian clinical trials for a possible COVID-19 vaccine will be conducted by a Halifax research team that was also involved in trials that eventually led to a vaccine for the Ebola virus.

  • Trials will be conducted at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University.
  • The centre’s director, Dr. Scott Halperin, said it’s possible an “emergency release” could happen in Canada with a potential COVID-19 vaccine if it shows potential and is deemed safe, expediting a process that usually takes a number of years to complete

Dr. Halperin cautions there’s much work to be done before a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved for use.

The Halifax researchers will be following up on work by Chinese manufacturer CanSino Biologics, which is already conducting human clinical trials for the vaccine.


Coronavirus around the world

  • Former U.S. president Barack Obama told graduating college students Saturday that the country’s leaders weren’t even “pretending to be in charge” of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In a letter to the WHO, Canada and seven major allies said the agency’s continuing exclusion of Tawain has caused a public-health concern during the coronavirus crisis.
  • India said on it would privatize state-run companies in non-strategic sectors and stop fresh insolvency cases for a year as the country battles with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • United Arab Emirates-based Emirates airline is planning to cut about 30,000 jobs to reduce costs amid the coronavirus outbreak, which will bring down its number of employees by about 30 per cent, according to Bloomberg.

Coronavirus and business

John Campbell, owner of the Sou’Wester Restaurant and Gift Shop in Peggy’s Cove, N.S. stands near the lighthouse on Friday, May 15, 2020. Tourism operators have seen a massive drop in revenues amid the COVID-19 pandemic and face a difficult season with travel restrictions that remain in place. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Canadian communities and businesses are feeling the pain of cruise cancellations as what would normally be the tourist season begins amid COVID-19 travel restrictions.

  • Cruising has grown annually in Canada and had an annual economic impact of $4.1-billion in 2018, up from $3.2-billion two years earlier.
  • In Atlantic Canada, 873,000 passengers generated more than $373-million in direct and indirect impact to the economies of the four provinces last year, says Jeff Stevens, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association.
  • Before COVID-19, the number of passengers to Atlantic Canada was forecast to grow 14 per cent to about one million in 2020.
  • The estimated impact to B.C. from the delayed season is nearly $1.5-billion, according to the Port of Vancouver

The economic damage from COVID-19 is unprecedented, said Donna Spalding of Cruise Lines International Association – North West & Canada

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“I have never seen anything that has impacted cruising and tourism overall, for that matter, in the way that this has if we think of the impact on our day-to-day lives,” she said from Vancouver.


Question and answer

Question: Is contact tracing during the pandemic an opportunity for smart regulation?

Answer from technology journalist Kara Swisher: “I’m not particularly worried about contact tracing. We have been doing contact tracing in health crises forever. Going back to 1918, they did a version of contact tracing with pencils and paper. That is not, per se, the difficulty. And actually, Google and Apple, who are trying to do [contact tracing] together, have been very transparent.

Government really needs these tech giants to help them do their job, and so what does that mean? It is not necessarily a bad thing, because these are the companies that are good at these things.

It’s just a question of what does that mean? What does that mean when Microsoft and Amazon fight over a major defence contract, which they have been doing? These tech companies are moving into not just communications and apps and games and entertainment. They’re also moving into defence, security, surveillance, health care, transportation, in ways that are really at the heart of society and the control of society.”

The Globe health columnist André Picard answered reader questions on physical distancing and many additional topics.

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Distractions

Almond and hummus-stuffed dates by Bashir Munye, food advocate and culinary professor, George Brown College

Bashir Munye/Handout

Working from home? Seven easy snack recipes to get you through the day

Chefs and food aficionados offer some delicious snacking options to keep those working from home energized.

From George Brown College culinary professor Bashir Munye: Almond and hummus-stuffed dates

“One of my favourite snacks during Ramadan, and any other time of the year, are Medjool dates stuffed with toasted almonds and topped with beet hummus, fresh mint and orange zest. I love this recipe as I have all these ingredients, and individually they all make great snacks as well. It’s sweet, chewy, crunchy, creamy, bright, earthy and nutrient-dense all at once. To make this snack, blend four beets (cooked, peeled and cubed), 100 grams of cooked chickpeas, a few spoonfuls of tahini, the juice and zest of two lemons, a chopped garlic clove and ground cumin and salt to taste. Open the dates and discard the pit, add toasted almonds, spoon the hummus on top and garnish with orange zest and chopped fresh mint. Enjoy it as one bite.”


More Globe reporting and opinion

  • Professional investment to help finance commercial court cases is on the rise in Canada and a recent Supreme Court ruling paves the way for its use in insolvency matters, which are expected to balloon as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • If you’re a glass-half-full type who believes brighter days will soon be here, the pandemic could turn out to be worse for you than those who are bracing for catastrophe.
  • Gary Mason: “Whenever I need a reminder of the strange times in which we live, I just gaze into the mirror. The person looking back at me resembles Drew Doughty, or any of his NHL-playing brethren who consider it perfectly normal to parade around with missing teeth.”
  • Paul Abela: “We’re not here wrestling with the aftermath of a man-made catastrophe such as a nuclear exchange. Nor is it – as in the economic crash of 2008 – a disaster brought on by hubris and greed. No, we’re in a standoff with a microscopic, mindless, nano-sized killer.
  • Barry Campbell: “As the COVID-19 virus advanced, infectious disease specialists warned that it could stick to surfaces. ‘This may include hard currency,’ one said. If not already queasy about handling money and coins, that warning likely did it for you.”

Information centre

What are we missing? Email us: audience@globeandmail.com. Do you know someone who needs this newsletter? Send them to our Newsletters page.

Have questions about the coronavirus? Email audience@globeandmail.com.

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New hours for London, Ont.’s Oakridge Arena COVID-19 assessment centre effective Monday – Global News

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The coronavirus assessment centre at Oakridge Arena in London, Ont., is changing its hours starting Monday, June 8.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) announced Friday the centre’s new hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


READ MORE:
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The hours for London’s other COVID-19 assessment centre at the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre will remain unchanged. It operates from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

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Wait times for both assessment centres can be found on the MLHU’s Twitter page.

The MLHU says anyone may attend either assessment centre to be assessed for coronavirus testing.

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READ MORE:
Ontario reports 455 new coronavirus cases, including 68 impacted by reporting delay

Tests are conducted based on clinical criteria, but those who do not show symptoms of the novel coronavirus but are concerned they may have been exposed to a positive case or believe they may already be ill will be tested, the health unit stated.

There is no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 assessment centres.

As of Saturday, the COVID-19 assessment centre at Oakridge Arena has swabbed 4,762 clients, and the centre at the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre has swabbed 8,011, according to MLHU figures.

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

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COVID-19 outbreak over at Royal Rose Place in Welland – Newstalk 610 CKTB (iHeartRadio)

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One of Niagara’s deadliest long-term care home COVID-19 outbreaks has been declared over. 

Niagara Regional Public Health confirming the outbreak at Royal Rose Place in Welland was declared over Friday morning. 

The Royal Rose outbreak was one of the more serious outbreaks in Niagara, the other being Lundy Manor in Niagara Falls which is now facing a $20 million dollar lawsuit.  

There have been 61 deaths in Niagara from COVID-19, the majority of those deaths stemming from the deadly long term care outbreaks. 

An outbreak at the Greater Niagara General Hospital site was also declared over on Friday. 

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6 new cases of coronavirus, 5 more recoveries in London-Middlesex – Globalnews.ca

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Six more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London-Middlesex, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Saturday.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the area to 555.

The number of recoveries increased by five on Saturday and now sits at 408 — about 73.5 per cent of cases.

The number of deaths remains at 56.


READ MORE:
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The MLHU says all six new cases are from London, where 518 of the region’s cases have been reported — about 93 per cent — while 20 cases have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc and seven Middlesex Centre.

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Elsewhere, four cases each have been reported in North Middlesex and Thames Centre, and one each has been reported in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

The health unit says the COVID-19 assessment centre at the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre has swabbed 8,011 clients, and the assessment centre at Oakridge Arena has swabbed 4,762 as of Saturday.

Health officials say the number of active outbreaks in London and Middlesex dropped to three on Friday after three other outbreaks were declared over the day before.

Outbreaks remain active at Kensington Village, Sisters of St. Joseph and Chelsey Park Retirement Community. They were declared April 3, April 17 and May 30, respectively.

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At least 19 of the 24 outbreaks that have been declared locally during the pandemic have involved seniors’ facilities.


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Local senior homes, which includes both long-term care and retirement homes, have seen 169 cases of COVID-19. This includes 104 residents and 65 staff. Additionally, 36 people have died.

In terms of total case count, the most severe of the three outbreaks has been at Sisters of St. Joseph, where at least 25 cases have been reported involving 13 residents and 12 staff members.

Of those, three residents and one staff member have died.






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At least 457 outbreaks have been reported at seniors’ homes across the province since mid-January, according to Public Health Ontario.

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The number of hospitalized patients in the city declined by one to eight as of midnight Friday, according to the most recent update from London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

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The figure is a combination of cases at University and Victoria hospitals. It’s not clear whether any patients are in intensive care.


READ MORE:
Some recovered COVID-19 patients say they feel ‘ashamed’ and misunderstood after diagnosis

LHSC announced Friday that it would stop releasing an updated number of positive cases among staff members unless the tally increased by five or greater. The organization said it was to protect staff privacy.

In its update on Wednesday, LHSC said there had been at least 42 staff cases reported during the pandemic.

At least 18 staff members with St. Joseph’s Health Care have tested positive. It’s not clear how many cases remain active.

At least 410 hospital workers across Ontario have tested positive for the virus since mid-January, while 393 residents/patients have also been infected, according to Public Health Ontario.

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Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 455 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday morning, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 30,202.

Of the new cases, 68 were included due to a reporting delay, meaning 387 cases have been confirmed since the last report.

The death toll rose by 35, bringing the total fatalities to 2,407.

A total of 23,947 cases are considered resolved, which makes up 79.3 per cent of all confirmed cases.

Nationally, Canada has reported 95,001 of COVID-19, 7,773 deaths and 52,932 recoveries.

Elgin and Oxford

No new cases or deaths were reported Saturday in the region, and the total number of recoveries rose by two.

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Officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) say there are now 68 recoveries, the total number of confirmed cases remains at 75, and no new deaths have been reported since April 22.


READ MORE:
Ontario, Quebec continue to account for majority of Canada’s new novel coronavirus cases

Officials say an outbreak at Secord Trails that has left at least eight staff sickened remains active as of Saturday. The long-term care facility in Ingersoll has seen an active outbreak since May 18.

Of the three cases that remain active in the region, one is in Oxford County in Tillsonburg, while two remain active in Elgin County, both in St. Thomas.

As of Saturday, 5,738 tests had been conducted in Elgin and Oxford counties, of which 580 remained pending results.






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Huron and Perth

As of Saturday, no new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported.

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At least 54 cases have been reported in the region, of which 46 have recovered and five have died. No new deaths have been reported in the region since April 29.

The last new case to be reported by health officials was on Wednesday. Before that, a case was reported on Monday.


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Three active cases remain in the region, including two in St. Marys — both reported earlier this week — and one in Stratford.

The number of active outbreaks remains at zero. A total of seven have been declared, involving 27 cases.

All but seven of those cases were reported at Greenwood Court in Stratford. An outbreak there saw six residents and 10 staff members test positive, and four people die. It was declared over May 11.

Twenty-six cases have been reported in Stratford, while 13 have been reported in Huron County and 11 in Perth County.


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Four cases have been in St. Marys, including the region’s first two.

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The health unit said 3,829 tests had been administered in Huron and Perth as of Friday. Of those, 124 were awaiting test results.

Sarnia and Lambton

Six more people have recovered from the novel coronavirus and no new cases or deaths were reported as of late Friday, according to Lambton Public Health (LPH).

This brings the total number of recoveries to 223. The total number of confirmed cases remains at 267 and the death count at 24.

LPH says one outbreak remains active — at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia, where 26 residents and 25 staff members have tested positive for the virus. Nine residents have since died.

Still-positive residents from the home have been moved to Bluewater Health hospital to keep the outbreak from spreading.






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The hospital says it’s treating 11 COVID-19 patients as of Saturday, one fewer than the day before, along with 21 who are suspected positive or are awaiting tests, five fewer than the day before.

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According to the health unit, 40 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the county have been outbreak-related and 35 per cent are related to close contact.

As of late Friday, LPH said 7,861 test results had been received by health officials. It’s not clear how many cases are still pending.

— With files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca and Matthew Trevithick

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

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