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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on April 23 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

The federal government has announced a $1.1-billion plan to marshal Canada’s scientific community in the fight against the coronavirus, as some provinces with relatively fewer cases begin to weigh how they will relax restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Scientists around the globe are scrambling to come up with tests, treatments to lessen the severity of the disease and ultimately, a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus that has killed more than 2,000 Canadians and almost 200,000 people worldwide.

At his Thursday news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was putting in place a three-point medical and research strategy.

WATCH | Trudeau lays out the government’s strategy:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $1.1 billion strategy to fund COVID-19 medical research and a task force to study immunity. 3:53

This plan includes:

  • $155 million for research on vaccines and other treatments, support for clinical trials and expanding national testing and modelling. 
  • $662 million for clinical trials led by Canada.
  • $350 million to expand national testing and modelling of COVID-19, including a COVID-19 immunity task force that includes Dr. David Naylor, Dr. Catherine Hankins, Dr. Tim Evans, Dr. Theresa Tam and Dr. Mona Nemer.

In mid-March, the Trudeau government committed $275 million for research, as part of the first emergency aid package.

That was supplemented later in the month with the creation of a new strategic innovation fund, which provided another $192 million to specific companies and research institutions working on the development of drugs and vaccines.

A laboratory technologist at LifeLabs demonstrates one of the steps taken when a specimen is tested for COVID-19 at the company’s lab in Surrey, B.C., on March 26. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

As well, the government has provided $52 million through national granting councils to almost 100 research teams across the country.

With several provinces beginning to talk cautiously about reopening the economy, which has been virtually shut down since mid-March, the pressure is on to find reliable, rapid tests to determine who is infected with the virus and who has developed immunity to it.

Saskatchewan’s reopening plan

Saskatchewan became the first province Thursday to outline a concrete plan for how some businesses and services could be allowed to resume next month provided the number of cases there stays low. 

Premier Scott Moe said restrictions will be lifted May 4 for dentists’ offices, optometry clinics and physical therapy
providers.

Golf courses will reopen May 15 and retail shops selling clothing, books, flowers and sporting goods might be allowed to open their doors on May 19.

A runner and walker keep their distance from each other on the Charlottetown boardwalk in late March. P.E.I. is among the provinces eyeing the relaxation of some COVID-19-related restrictions. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

Hairdressers and barbers could also start seeing clients again on May 19, but employees working directly with the public would have to wear masks.

Physical distancing and strict cleanliness standards would have to be maintained through every phase. 

For the next phases — for which there are no start dates yet — officials would consider lifting restrictions on indoor and outdoor recreational and entertainment facilities and bumping up the size of allowable gatherings to 30 people from the current 10.

The final phase of the plan would include lifting restrictions on crowd sizes, visits to long-term care facilities and non-essential travel. Moe has already said those will stay put for some time.

The government’s plan doesn’t provide a timeline for when gyms might be allowed to operate or when daycare capacity might be increased. Nor does it give a time frame for food services and restaurants to reopen, but when they do, they will be expected to operate at half their capacity.

Prince Edward Island, where the COVID-19 caseload is low, is aiming to ease measures put in place to slow the spread in late April and reopen businesses in mid-May.

‘Not exactly islands’ 

Dr. Craig Jenne, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Calgary, said easing restrictions in one province could present challenges for others.

“Many provinces in Canada have no hard borders,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba — we are not exactly islands where we can cut off travel between provinces.

“We are going to have to make sure we’re on the same page with this.”

‘Failing our parents, our grandparents’: Trudeau

Trudeau said the military will respond to provincial requests for assistance at long-term care facilities. But he said the measure is a short-term solution and that Canada should not need soldiers to take care of seniors.

“If you’re angry, frustrated, scared, you’re right to feel this way. We can do better. We need to do better. Because we are failing our parents, our grandparents, our elders.”

WATCH | Should long-term care homes be federally regulated?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters on Thursday. 1:12

The comments today followed requests by Ontario and Quebec on Wednesday for hundreds of soldiers to help long-term care facilities that have been hit hard by COVID-19. The Canadian Armed Forces is now assessing what more it can provide to respond to these requests.

Trudeau said the government is sending the military to help in long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec — 130 troops were sent to help five long-term care facilities in Quebec last week — but said it should never have come to this, and there are tough questions to be asked once the crisis is over.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in long-term care homes has outraged many Canadians and Trudeau said that outrage is not misplaced.

WATCH | Dr. Nathan Stall says there wasn’t enough attention paid to long-term care residences during pre-pandemic planning:

Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician from Sinai Health System, says there wasn’t enough attention paid to long-term care residences during pre-pandemic planning. 1:16

During his daily briefing Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose mother-in-law is in a long-term care home and has just tested positive for COVID-19, paused to gather himself before pledging to improve Ontario’s long-term care system.

“I recognize the system is broken,” he later said.

WATCH | Doug Ford’s full response:

His voice cracking, Ontario Premier Doug Ford vowed to ‘do better’ for the people in long-term care facilities. 1:27

Quebec resident Jonathan Marchand, who has muscular dystrophy, told CBC News that it’s not only the elderly who are vulnerable in those long-term care institutions. 

“It’s not a safe environment,” he said. “What I want is to get out of here.”

WATCH | Quebec man talks about feeling unsafe in his long-term care home:

Quebec long-term care resident Jonathan Marchand, who has muscular dystrophy, says he wants the right to be cared for outside of an institution. 5:08

Thousands of layoffs in transportation

The pandemic also continues to wreak havoc on the Canadian economy. Calgary-based WestJet says a further 3,000 of its workers will be laid off in early May as demand for flights craters.

In Toronto, the city’s transit commission said it plans to temporarily lay off 1,200 workers.

As of 7 p.m. ET Thursday, there were 2,232 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, plus two reported COVID-19-linked deaths of Canadians abroad, according to a CBC News tally based on provincial and local health data, as well as CBC reporting.

There are 42,110 confirmed and presumptive cases, and 14,774 resolved cases among the provinces and territories that make such data public. 

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia has confirmed an outbreak at a second poultry processing plant. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that two cases have been identified at the Superior Poultry plant in Coquitlam, a sister plant to the United Poultry location in Vancouver, where 29 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.

Alberta has cancelled the Calgary Stampede for the first time in almost 100 years. The July event typically draws a million spectators. Organizers have already laid off 80 per cent of its staff. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.

WATCH | COVID-19 outbreak forces Alberta meat-processing plant to close:

A COVID-19 outbreak at the Cargill meat processing plant in High River, Alta., has forced the facility to temporarily close, raising concerns about beef prices and supply. 3:03

In Saskatchewan, a team of College of Engineering grad students and staff at the University of Saskatchewan is trying to create a new reusable medical mask in an effort to reduce the global shortage of N95 respirators. The team is collaborating with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba reported five new cases of COVID-19, its biggest single-day jump in nearly two weeks. Of the new patients, two are in their 20s, two in their 30s and one is in their 80s. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

Ontario, environmental groups are raising concerns after the government changed its rules to allow it to approve some projects without public consultation. The provincial environment minister says the exemption is intended only for projects related to the pandemic that need to be built quickly, but the bulletin on the province’s website doesn’t specify that. Read about that issue here, and read more about what’s happening in Ontario here.

In Quebec, nurses in Montreal who have volunteered to work in a private long-term care home where more than half the residents have tested positive for COVID-19 say there is “shockingly little” protective gear available for employees. CHSLD Vigi Mont-Royal has more than 150 residents who have tested positive for the virus. Read more about the care home here, and read more about what’s happening in Quebec here

New Brunswick officials warned the province is not in the clear, even though only 14 active cases remain there. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Russell said the province’s success has “given us a chance to get ready for what comes next,” but that physical distancing will be in place for “weeks and months ahead.” Premier Blaine Higgs said businesses should prepare to reopen, while also respecting physical-distancing measures. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.

Nova Scotia‘s four new COVID-19 deaths are all connected to long-term care homes. The province has also seen higher infection rates among women, who account for 59 per cent of cases. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Strang says it’s because more women live in long-term care homes and more women work in those facilities, too. Read more about what’s happening in Nova Scotia.

Prince Edward Island, with only two active cases, is focusing on screening people at its small number of entry points. Checkpoints at Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown Airport have been in place since March 21, and now the province says people could be on the hook for a quick return flight if their travel there is not essential. Read more about what’s happening in P.E.I.

WATCH | What to do when you return from the grocery store:

Andrew Chang explains what you should do after you’ve brought your supplies home from the grocery store. 1:05

In Newfoundland and Labrador, chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says the province will be able to relax some distancing measures in the near future, but warns that residents shouldn’t expect a full return to normal any time soon. There have been no new cases reported in the province for five days. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

In the North, territorial health authorities are testing less than before, despite expanded criteria. Dr. Sarah Cook, the Northwest Territories’ territorial medical director, said that’s partly because other public health measures have been effective. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.

From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a $484 billion US bill to expand federal loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and hospitals overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID-19.

By a vote of 388-5, the House passed the measure, which was unanimously approved on Tuesday by the Senate. It now goes to President Donald Trump for signing into law. 

The House also approved a select committee, with subpoena power, to probe the U.S. response to the coronavirus. It will have broad powers to investigate U.S. preparedness, how federal dollars are being spent, and Trump administration deliberations.

That aid came as another 4.4 million Americans filed for government jobless benefits for the first time last week, as joblessness continues to hit the U.S. economy at a breathtaking pace.

Bronx Draft House manager Jonas Silva hands over a free meal to a first responder on April 23, 2020, in New York City. On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a new study suggested 2.7 million residents across the state may already have antibodies for COVID-19. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

The figure brings the total number of newly jobless people in the United States in the past five weeks to more than 26 million. That’s more than the entire number of new jobs created in the U.S. economy since the financial crisis of 2008.

As of 9 p.m., there were more than 867,000 confirmed cases and nearly 50,000 deaths in the country, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally

On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a screening of 3,000 people in the state found nearly 14 per cent tested positive for antibodies for the coronavirus, suggesting that 2.7 million residents across New York may have been infected with the disease. 

Cuomo noted that the survey was preliminary and had limitations, though at least initially indicated a fatality rate of about 0.5 per cent of confirmed cases, far lower than some experts feared.  

Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. Applications for jobless benefits are surging in some states as coronavirus concerns shake the U.S. economy. The sharp increase comes as governments have ordered millions of workers, students and shoppers to stay home as a precaution against spreading the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo/Associated Press)

 

Meanwhile, shares of American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences fell more than four per cent Thursday, after the Financial Times reported its experimental coronavirus drug failed its first randomized clinical trial. The report cited draft documents published accidentally by the World Health Organization.

In a statement on Friday, Gilead said the post included inappropriate characterizations of the study and that the study was terminated early due to low enrolment and, as a result, it was underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

European Union leaders edged forward on Thursday toward joint financing of an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by agreeing to ask the European Commission to work out the details of such common support.

A pupil walks between distanced tables as she arrives for a test at a secondary school in Berlin on April 22. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images)

Still, a decision is likely months away as member countries disagree on how much financial aid should be given out. 

Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands all opposed recovery aid through grants, while a broader northern camp — including Germany — were in favour of linking a new Recovery Fund to the bloc’s next long-term budget for 2021-27, sources said.

Hard-hit Italy called for a Recovery Fund of 1.5 trillion euros ($2.3 trillion Cdn) as well as grants to member states, while French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe’s response required financial transfers to the hardest-hit states, and not just loans. Macron also said the European project had no future if member states failed to respond to the “exceptional shock.”   

The World Health Organization said it would announce a “landmark collaboration” on Friday to speed development of safe, effective drugs, tests and vaccines to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19.

The Geneva-based agency, in a brief statement issued late on Thursday, said the initiative with partners aims to make technologies against the disease caused by the novel coronavirus “accessible to everyone who needs them, worldwide,” but gave no details.

With more than 22,000 officially recorded deaths, officials in Spain are now preparing for rolling back some of the strict lockdown restrictions. The confinement has helped slow the daily contagion rate increase from more than 20 per cent to less than two per cent, although Spain has not been testing widely and the real contagion is believed to be higher.

Health-care workers attend a coronavirus patient at the intensive care unit of the Principe de Asturias hospital in Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, on April 22. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

China says Australian calls for an independent investigation into the cause of the coronavirus outbreak are politically motivated and unhelpful in dealing with the global pandemic. Australia is among a number of countries and localities that are calling for more information from China about where the virus originated and whether all efforts were made to stop it spreading across China and then around the globe.

China also said on Thursday it would donate a further $30 million US to the World Health Organization, about a week after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that U.S. funding would be halted while Washington reviewed the WHO’s role “in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to return to work as early as Monday after being hospitalized earlier this month with COVID-19, the Telegraph reported, even as the U.K. economy is crumbling under the strain of the coronavirus lockdown.

A business owner uses a thermal fogger as he disinfects trucks at a haulage firm in Barnsley, south Yorkshire, U.K., on April 22. (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea has told the World Health Organization it tested 740 people for the new coronavirus as of April 17 but that all came out negative. That claim is being questioned by many outside experts.

South Korea‘s health authorities are planning to soon begin antibody tests to learn how widespread the coronavirus infection is within the population. They are also researching how long people maintain immunity after recovering from COVID-19. 

South Africa‘s President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will allow a partial reopening of the economy on May 1, with travel restrictions eased and some industries allowed to operate under a five-level risk system. International borders will remain closed while travel will be only allowed for essential services.

COVID-19 cases surged 43 per cent in the past week across Africa, reaching 26,000 according to the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures underscored a recent warning from the World Health Organization that the virus could kill more than 300,000 people in the continent and push 30 million into desperate poverty. 

Ecuador’s health minister said on Thursday the country’s coronavirus case total was twice as high as previously confirmed, as authorities added 11,000 new infections that resulted from delayed testing. With 560 confirmed deaths, the outbreak has ravaged the economy of the oil-producing country and overwhelmed sanitary authorities in the largest city of Guayaquil, where corpses remained in homes or for hours on the streets.

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Thousands still flying into Canadian airports despite COVID-19 restrictions – CBC.ca

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While U.S. and international flights coming into Canada have been significantly curtailed since the outbreak of COVID-19, thousands of passengers are still arriving each week at the country’s airports.

It’s an issue that at least one infection control epidemiologist believes is cause for concern.

“The fact of the matter is this pandemic arrived everywhere in the world through travel,” said Colin Furness, who is also an assistant professor with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information.

“We should be closing our borders as much as we can. We can’t bring [the number of entrants] down to zero but we should get as close as we can.”

According to the Canada Border Services Agency, 356,673 air travellers came into Canada from the U.S. last year during the week of May 11-17. In the same time period this year, there was a nearly 99 per cent drop.

Yet 3,691 people still entered Canada that week.

As well, international travel in that time period saw a 97 per cent decrease from last year’s total of 374,775. This year, during that same week, 10,845 people arrived at one of the four Canadian airports that accept international flights — Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

In total, since March 23, 76,072 passengers from the U.S. and 193,438 international travellers have arrived in Canada.

Travel-related cases dropped

Two months ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that for air travel specifically, as of March 18, the government was barring foreign nationals from all countries except the U.S. from entering Canada.

But an order in council later that month exempted a number of individuals, including immediate family members of a Canadian citizen, emergency service providers, temporary foreign workers and international students.

The ban came at a time when the vast majority of COVID-19 cases were deemed to be travel-related. Since those restrictions have been implemented, travel-related cases of COVID-19 have dropped significantly. 

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of May 25, 81 per cent of all COVID-19 cases were related to community transmission. Meanwhile, 19 per cent of cases were the result of someone becoming exposed while travelling or being exposed to a traveler coming to Canada. Nine per cent of cases were those who reported to have travelled outside of Canada.

A series of social distancing policies have been implemented on aircraft in the wake of the pandemic, including the mandatory wearing of masks. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

“The data from PHAC suggest that since the borders were closed, international travel is rarely a cause of cases in Canada — the biggest category by far is domestic spread,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist and chief of staff at Humber River Hospital in Toronto, in an email. 

“I don’t think the risk [of international travel] is zero but it is much lower than it used to be, especially since international arrivals must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.”

But Furness said some countries that seemed to get the virus under control have experienced small flare-ups because of infections related to travel.

“It may well be that we’re not seeing a large number of travel-related cases, but one case can then spawn one more, which then spawns a whole ton of community spread,” Furness said.

‘Trusting people to self-isolate’

Anyone arriving in Canada by air or land must complete a contact tracing form to help PHAC monitor and enforce the 14-day quarantine or isolation requirement. Failing to comply with the Quarantine Act can lead to a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.

“Those that aren’t [self-isolating] I imagine are in the minority,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and researcher based at Toronto General Hospital.

“I think it’s safe to assume the vast majority of those individuals are adhering to the 14 days isolation.”

Last week, PHAC revealed to CBC News that police officers have made nearly 2,200 home visits to make sure Canadians are complying with the self-isolation rules when they return to Canada.

PHAC said there have been no arrests under the Quarantine Act since the pandemic restrictions began.

Still, Trudeau told reporters last week “we need to do more to ensure that travellers who are coming back from overseas or from the United States … are properly followed up on, are properly isolated and don’t become further vectors for the spread of COVID-19.”

He said conversations were ongoing with the premiers regarding potential monitoring tools for those arriving in Canada.

Stringent policies

Recently, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced his government was implementing more stringent measures at the province’s two international airports in Calgary and Edmonton to screen incoming passengers from outside Canada for symptoms of COVID-19.

Travellers arriving from destinations outside Canada will undergo temperature scans and provide provincial officials with details of their 14-day mandatory quarantine plan. That includes where they will stay and how they will get there. 

Travellers without such plans or private transport to their destinations will be isolated on site, Kenney said. 

WATCH | The future of flying:

Technology could play a big role as airports and airlines develop new ways to help passengers feel safer. 3:43

In April, the federal government announced that all air travellers would have to wear face masks while in transit and whenever maintaining two metres’ separation from others is not possible.

Passengers arriving in or departing from Canada have to prove they have a non-medical mask or face covering with them during the boarding process. If they can’t, they can be prevented from continuing their journey.

Some airlines have capped the number of tickets they sell, or ensure that the middle seat is kept empty.

However, the International Air Transport Association, in an effort to restart commercial flights, suggested this month that it was time to end some of the in-flight physical distancing rules.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada on May 26 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Quebec and Ontario reported the vast majority of Canada’s new coronavirus cases on Monday, as the number of confirmed and presumptive infections across the country rose to more than 85,000.

Quebec reported 573 new cases, while Ontario reported 404, which together make up roughly 96 per cent of Canada’s 1,011 new infections over the past 24 hours.

Monday’s figures come a day after Ontario’s premier announced an opening up of COVID-19 testing criteria. Doug Ford reiterated on Monday that people who feel they need a test should go to one of the province’s assessment centres — even if they don’t have symptoms.

Ford also pleaded for people who live in “hotspots” to get tested for the virus — saying the government is able to measure them by postal code and that some areas are “lighting up like a Christmas tree” — but that data has not been made public. CBC News has requested a breakdown of cases by postal code, but Hayley Chazan, spokesperson for the provincial minister of health, would only say that Ontario’s hardest-hit regions are in Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex County.

WATCH | Ontario testing to focus on ‘hotspots’ in 3 regions, says premier:

Premier Doug Ford says the testing will be narrowed to some postal codes that are ‘lighting up like a Christmas tree’ and need greater attention. 1:09

Ford also scolded a gathering of people at a popular west-end Toronto park over the weekend.

“I’m disappointed, to say the least, with everyone who showed up at Trinity Bellwoods on Saturday,” Ford said. “Why don’t you do us all a favour and get tested now,” he said.

However, both Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, and Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa contradicted the premier’s advice and said people who were at Trinity Bellwoods Park this weekend should instead self-monitor for 14 days and try to avoid contact with vulnerable people such as seniors and young children.

The provincial government has faced criticism for its public messaging during the COVID-19 outbreak, with Ontario’s top doctor even acknowledging last week that it has been inconsistent at times.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott also cited the Trinity Bellwoods Park incident as one of the reasons the province is maintaining a five-person maximum for gatherings.

Elliott said the province had been considering allowing groups of more than five to gather in the near future, but those plans have temporarily been put aside. The province has prohibited gatherings of more than five people, unless they live together, since March 28.

“It is something that will be coming forward, but it has been pushed back a little bit,” Elliott said.

WATCH | Ontario delays loosening group restrictions:

The province says it will maintain its emergency order restricting groups to five or fewer people, in part due to the large crowd at Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday. 0:54

The new cases reported Monday brought the total number of cases in the Ontario to 25,904, with 19,698 considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of coronavirus-related deaths based on provincial health information, regional data and CBC’s reporting stood at 2,188 in the province.

Quebec is the only province in the country that has seen more COVID-19 cases than Ontario, with 47,984 reported cases and 4,069 reported deaths. Quebec lists 14,654 cases as recovered or resolved. While stores and schools have reopened across most of Quebec, the hard-hit island of Montreal — which has been the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada — had delayed its reopening.

For some retailers in Montreal that delay ends Monday, as they are allowed to open with increased public health precautions, including physical distancing rules and stepped-up hygiene requirements.

A customer wearing a face mask pays for a purchase at a department store in Montreal on Monday as many non-essential businesses are allowed to re-open. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Like Ontario, Quebec has struggled to meet its testing goals and is still reporting hundreds of new cases a day. Last week, Quebec reported hundreds of new cases daily, with the lowest daily figure coming in at 570 on May 19 and rising to 720 on May 21.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the regional variability of the pandemic on Monday, saying “our approach will have to be tailored to each community.”

“That means the rules and public health recommendations you’re asked to follow may be different depending on where you live, and that can be confusing,” Trudeau said Monday outside Rideau Cottage. “But right across the country, one thing will stay the same — everyone has a responsibility to themselves and the people around them.”

He said moving forward has to happen gradually and carefully, adding that testing and contact tracing are critical to reopening.

Trudeau also said the federal government is talking to the provinces about bringing in 10 days of paid sick leave for workers — something the NDP demanded in exchange for supporting the Liberals’ plan to extend the suspension of the House of Commons during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Nobody should have to choose between taking a day off work due to illness or being able to pay their bills. Just like nobody should have to choose between staying home with COVID-19 symptoms or being able to afford rent or groceries,” Trudeau said. 

“That’s why the government will continue discussions with the provinces, without delay, on ensuring that as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic, every worker in Canada who needs it has access to ten days of paid sick leave a year. And we’ll also consider other mechanisms for the longer term to support workers with sick leave.”

WATCH | Trudeau questioned about paid sick leave plan:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters on Monday. 2:40

On Parliament Hill, a small number MPs gathered Monday to debate the Liberals’ proposal to waive normal House of Commons sittings in favour of expanding the special COVID-19 committee that has acted as a sort of replacement for most in-person sessions for the past month.

Their motion proposes adding an additional day to the committee’s current schedule of one in-person meeting per week (with fewer than three dozen MPs actually present) and two online meetings per week.

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17, with a hybrid of in-person and virtual attendance that would see a small number of MPs in the Commons chamber and others participating via two large video screens set up on either side of the Speaker’s chair.

The Conservatives have indicated they want to do away with the special COVID-19 committee and bring back House of Commons sittings, including opposition days, private members’ business and other activities that cannot occur within the committee format.

From left: NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-François Blanchet are seen during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill on Monday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The novel virus that causes COVID-19 first emerged in China in 2019 but has since spread around the world, prompting travel restrictions, lockdowns and massive economic fallout. The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

As of 7 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 85,711 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 44,651 of the cases considered recovered or resolved. CBC’s tally of coronavirus deaths stood at 6,637. 

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday there has been “significant progress” in B.C. as new case numbers continue to track low.

“We are moving forward,” Henry said. “Our success so far, and our ability to ease restrictions relies on our shared commitment and effort and we need that to continue.”

Henry reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing B.C.’s total to 2,530. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.

A hair stylist works on a client at a hair salon in Vancouver on Monday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the government has ordered 40 million masks and will soon announce a distribution plan for them.

Meanwhile, businesses in Calgary and Brooks began reopening on Monday. Much of the province was allowed to reopen on May 14, but the two cities reopened at a slower pace due to higher numbers of COVID-19 cases in their regions. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta

A barista serves coffee from behind plexiglass at a cafe in Calgary on Monday. (Helen Pike/CBC)

Saskatchewan reported two more case on Monday, as well as eight more recoveries. One of the new cases is in the far north region, while the other is in the northern region. Read more about what’s happening In Saskatchewan, including a story about door-to-door testing in La Loche, which has seen a large share of the province’s cases.

Manitoba has now gone three straight days without reporting any new cases. The number of active cases remains at 17 on Monday, and no one is being treated for the illness in hospital. The province’s death toll stands at seven, while 268 people have recovered. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

Ontario reported 404 additional cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a 1.6 per cent jump that continues an upward trend of new daily cases that began about two weeks ago.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus since the outbreak began in January to nearly 26,000. Of those, 76 per cent are resolved. 

The number of active cases in the province has risen by about 20 per cent in the last week, and is now more than 4,100. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.

WATCH | Ottawa resident on why they’re seeking COVID-19 tests:

Ottawa Public Health now says anyone, with or without symptoms, can be tested for COVID-19, leading some residents to head to the city’s assessment centre at Brewer Park Arena. 1:07

In Quebec, public transit users in Laval and Montreal are being encouraged to wear masks as hundreds of thousands of people returned to work this morning.

Politicians and a brigade of Société de transport de Montréal (STM) workers are handing out free masks at Metro stations in Laval and Montreal. Exo staff members are also giving out masks.

Masks are not obligatory in Quebec, but Premier François Legault, who now wears one to his daily briefing, has strongly encouraged people to wear them. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

WATCH | Montreal mayor hands out masks at metro station:

As more people start heading back to work, local politicians join public transit staff in distributing masks. For now, the masks are recommended, but not mandatory. 0:59

New Brunswick again reported no new coronavirus again on Monday. The province is planning to lift even more restrictions put in place to deal with COVID-19 later this week. Read more about what’s happening in N.B. 

Nova Scotia reported one new coronavirus case on Monday and one new recovery. The vast majority of COVID-19-related deaths in the province have been linked to Northwood, a Halifax long-term care home. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.

WATCH | Some good news from around the world on Monday:

With much of the world struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still some good-news stories to report. Here’s a brief roundup. 2:33

Prince Edward Island, which has no active cases of COVID-19, will see its first sitting of the legislature since the start of the pandemic this week. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases again on Monday. Read more about what’s happening in N.L., where the province has pledged $25 million to help the tourism sector, which the premier said employs about 20,000 people.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 in Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut on Sunday. Nunavut, which remains the only jurisdiction in Canada with no confirmed cases, released a plan on Monday to reopen the territory. Called Nunavut’s Path, it starts by allowing daycare centres to open as of June 1, along with municipal playgrounds and outdoor use of territorial parks. It allows 25 people to gather together outside, but keeps the limit for gathering indoors at five. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

WATCH | People enjoy new freedoms but also find unusual ways to live in a world with the coronavirus still present:

People enjoy new freedoms but also find unusual ways to live in a world with the coronavirus still present  5:19

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Canada reports 121 more coronavirus deaths, more than 1,000 new cases – Global News

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Canada’s total cases of the novel coronavirus passed the 85,000 mark on Monday after a total of 1,014 more cases were announced.


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Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada

The new cases, which include 121 more deaths, were tallied from data released by provincial and federal health authorities across the country.

The added numbers brings Canada’s total cases and deaths to 85,700 and 6,545, respectively.

The provinces of Ontario and Quebec once again reported the highest amount daily COVID-19 cases.






2:07
Coronavirus: Dentists scrambling to get ready to reopen, with strict conditions


Coronavirus: Dentists scrambling to get ready to reopen, with strict conditions

Ontario announced an increase of 404 cases, bringing its provincial total to 25,904. A total of 2,102 people have died in the province from the virus following Monday’s increase of 29.

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Quebec’s total coronavirus cases reached 47,984 on Monday following an increase of 573 cases. The province remains the epicentre of Canada’s COVID-19 outbreak, with a total of 4,069 deaths as of May 25 — accounting for over 60 per cent of the country’s death toll.

Other provinces announced new cases of the coronavirus on Monday as well.

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Cases in British Columbia rose by another 12 on Monday, while a total of 19 more cases were announced in Alberta.

Saskatchewan announced a single-digit increase in COVID-19 infections with an increase of just two cases.

In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia remained the only province to report an additional coronavirus infection with an announcement of one case.

More to come…

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

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