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

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The latest:

  • California issuing waivers allowing hospitals to temporarily bypass the nation’s only strict nurse-to-patient ratios as COVID-19 cases surge.
     
  • EU makes a deal for 300 million additional doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
     
  • U.K. regulators approve Moderna vaccine, the 3rd to be OK’d for use in the country.

Ontario reported more than 4,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, though health officials noted that hundreds of the cases were from previous days.

The province reported 4,249 new cases of COVID-19, with 26 additional deaths. Health Minister Christine Elliott’s office said in a statement, however, that approximately 450 of the cases were from previous days and were reported Friday because of a “data upload delay” in Toronto.

Speaking Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford reiterated his call for people to follow public health measures as “hospital capacity is stretched to new limits.”

The latest update comes a day after parents and students heard that elementary students in southern Ontario will be learning at home for at least another two weeks.

The province said Thursday that elementary students in 27 southern Ontario regions will continue with online learning until Jan. 25. In northern Ontario, elementary students will return to class as scheduled on Jan. 11, but the broader shutdown in the sprawling region will be extended another two weeks to align with the rest of the province.

Canada’s most populous province has seen rising case numbers in several communities and the strain on the health-care system is mounting. 

Hospitals in hard-hit regions are being told to prepare to transfer patients within their region and even outside it, CBC’s Mike Crawley reported.

In a memo dated Thursday and obtained by CBC News, Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson said all hospitals “must be ready to accept patient transfers when directed by their regional COVID-19 response structure.”

Neighbouring Quebec, which recently updated its restrictions and announced a four-week curfew, is also facing a strained health system. As of Thursday, the province was reporting 1,380 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 202 people in intensive care units.

Quebec, which reported 2,519 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 74 deaths, is opening elementary schools as planned on Jan. 11, with high schools to open a week later.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick officials expressed concern after reporting 24 additional COVID-19 cases Thursday, a slight decrease from Wednesday’s single-day record of 31.

“The current situation is the worst we have seen so far during this pandemic,” said New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell.

New Brunswick — like the other Atlantic provinces — has seen far fewer cases than Central and Western Canada, with just 717 total cases reported since the pandemic began. But with numbers rising, health officials urged people to follow the rules, be honest with contact tracers, and support people who are in isolation because of a positive test or a contact.

Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday that if people follow the rules, the province should be able to avoid even tighter restrictions.

“This thing could get away from us and that is exactly what’s happening in other provinces,” he told Information Morning Fredericton.

In Nova Scotia, health officials reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, while Prince Edward Island reported one new case. There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Health officials in Manitoba, reported 201 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 12 additional deaths. Restrictions on gatherings and business openings are set to expire Friday, however Premier Brian Pallister said earlier this week that he didn’t expect any significant change.

“We still have a high number of cases in acute care. We still have surgeries and diagnostics being deferred,” Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba’s acting deputy chief of provincial public health, said during a conference call Thursday.

Saskatchewan, meanwhile, reported 334 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths on Thursday.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said restrictions in place since mid-December banning private gatherings will remain until at least Jan. 21. Classrooms, however, will reopen as planned on Monday.

In central Alberta, the Red Deer hospital is feeling the strain of rising COVID-19 caseloads.

“Our intensive care has now overflowed into coronary care, which means patients in coronary care are now being managed in other areas of the hospital,” said Dr. Kym Jim, an internal medicine specialist at Red Deer Regional Hospital.

Across the North, there were three new cases reported in Yukon on Thursday, with no new cases in the Northwest Territories. In Nunavut, Agnico Eagle said in a news release Thursday that a worker had tested positive for COVID-19 in late December and been flown to their home province and instructed to follow local public health rules.

British Columbia‘s top doctor, meanwhile, said COVID-19 restrictions that were set to expire Friday have been extended to Feb. 5.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the extension while reporting eight more deaths and 761 new cases of COVID-19, saying the spike is partly related to changes in streamlining its reporting. However, the curve of the second wave in B.C. is trending up again, Henry said Thursday.

“If we see positive trends in our cases and our hospitalizations … we will monitor that as well,” said Henry. “Right now, we need to hold the line.”

As of early Friday morning, before Ontario reported its updated figures, Canada had reported 635,143 cases of COVID-19, with 80,289 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 16,579.

The Canadian economy, meanwhile, posted its first monthly loss of jobs since April in December amid tightened public health restrictions to slow a resurgence in the pandemic.

Statistics Canada said Friday the economy lost 63,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate edged up to 8.6 per cent compared with 8.5 per cent in November. The job losses ended a streak of monthly job gains that began in May, when initial restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the pandemic began to ease.

-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, updated at 10:20 a.m. ET


What’s happening around the world

A nurse dons personal protective equipment to attend to a patient in a COVID-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Community Hospital on Wednesday in the Willowbrook neighbourhood of Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)

As of early Friday morning, more than 88.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 49.1 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case tracking tool. The global death toll stood at more than 1.9 million.

In the Americas, the U.S. alone has seen more than 21.5 million cases of COVID-19 and 365,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Thursday alone, according to the U.S.-based university. The New York Times, which has also been tracking COVID cases and deaths in the U.S, put the number of deaths reported Thursday even higher, at 4,111.

Facing a massive surge in coronavirus cases, California has been issuing waivers allowing hospitals to temporarily bypass the nation’s only strict nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses say that being forced to take on more patients is pushing them to the brink of burnout and affecting patient care.

At least 250 of about 400 hospitals in California have been granted 60-day waivers. They allow ICU nurses to care for three instead of two people and emergency room nurses to oversee six patients instead of three.

Nurses in other states have demanded law-mandated ratios like those in California but so far have failed to get them.

Brazil, which has seen more than 7.9 million cases of COVID-19, passed a grim milestone as its death toll surpassed 200,0000. The health ministry said Thursday that the country had 1,524 deaths in the previous 24 hours, rising to a total of 200,498 for the pandemic.

Mexico, meanwhile, continues to see record increases in coronavirus cases, with a 24-hour caseload of 13,734 confirmed infections setting a new high for the second consecutive day.

In Europe, the executive branch of the European Union has secured 300 million extra doses of the coronavirus Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Speaking during a news conference in Brussels on Friday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement will double the number of doses ordered by the 27-nation bloc. The EU commission later said in a statement that the commission has proposed to member states to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine, with the option to acquire another 100 million doses.

“This would enable the EU to purchase up to 600 million doses of this vaccine, which is already being used across the EU. The additional doses will be delivered starting in the second quarter of 2021,” the EU said.

Combined with the contract finalized with Moderna — the second vaccine authorized so far in the region — Von der Leyen said the EU now has the capacity to vaccinate 380 million people, more than 80 per cent of the EU population.

The news from the EU comes as Britain authorized a coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna, the third to be licensed for use in the country.

The Department of Health said Friday that the vaccine meets the regulator’s “strict standards of safety, efficacy and quality.”

Britain has ordered 10 million doses of the vaccine, though it is not expected to be delivered to the U.K. until spring.

So far Britain has inoculated 1.5 million people with two other vaccines.

“Vaccines are the key to releasing us all from the grip of this pandemic, and today’s news is yet another important step towards ending lockdown and returning to normal life,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma said.

Germany, meanwhile, reported a record 1,188 daily COVID-19 deaths on Friday, only days after further tightening a national lockdown.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is considering extending a state of emergency from the Tokyo metropolitan area to other regions as cases increase, a move that could heighten the risk of a double-dip recession for the world’s third-largest economy.

A police officer asks people to refrain from going out after 8 p.m. in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo on Friday during the first day under a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

Beijing shut places of worship and authorities restricted access to a highway to the city of Shijiazhuang, which is battling a new cluster of infections.

Travellers to Australia will have to show a negative COVID-19 test before they can board their plane, as Brisbane went into lockdown after the discovery of a case of a virulent new variant.

The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, meanwhile, reported its first COVID-19 death 10 months after initially detecting the virus and managing to keep the disease under control by largely sealing off the country.

In the Middle East, Israel tightened a national lockdown in a bid to curb a sharp rise in new cases, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising that all Israeli adults could be vaccinated by the end of March.

South Africa, the hardest-hit nation in Africa, said this week it will import 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to inoculate the country’s health workers.

-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 7:30 a.m. ET

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

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The latest:

With hospital intensive care units in parts of Ontario reaching capacity due to COVID-19, a new hospital will open in Vaughan, Ont., next month to help relieve pressure on other facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, the province announced Monday.

The Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, due to open Feb. 7, will be a “dedicated resource to support the province’s COVID-19 response,” taking in critical patients from other hospitals, Premier Doug Ford said.

“It’s like reinforcements coming over the hill,” Ford said, adding that the province is also adding 500 additional surge capacity hospital beds in Toronto, Durham Region, Kingston, Ont., and Ottawa.

Canada’s vaccination efforts against COVID-19 took a notable step forward on Monday with the opening of mass immunization centres in Toronto and Brandon, Man. This follows the opening of a similar immunization supersite in Winnipeg two weeks ago.

Toronto’s supersite is being described as a “proof-of-concept” clinic that will help the city fine-tune the operation of its future clinics, “ensuring safety and increasing efficiency in advance of wider immunization,” according to a city news release.

Retired general Rick Hillier, who heads the province’s vaccine distribution plan, told CBC News on Sunday that Ontario wants to have everyone vaccinated by late July or early August.

The Toronto site is not open to members of the public and will instead operate with a sample group of health-care workers, including those involved in harm reduction and Streets to Homes staff who support the city’s vulnerable populations. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, is given a tour of an ICU room at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital by Altaf Stationwala, CEO of Mackenzie Health in Vaughan, Ont., on Monday. The new hospital, which is set to open Feb. 7, will take patients from other hospitals that are strained by COVID-19. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The clinic aims to vaccinate 250 people per day. However, due to the delay in obtaining the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Europe, the clinic inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is set to close until further notice after the work day on Friday, said Matthew Pegg, head of the city’s immunization task force.

He said anyone who got a first dose of the vaccine at the clinic will be able to receive a second dose within the recommended time frame.

Ontario reported 2,578 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which is the fewest logged on a single day in about two and a half weeks. However, the province’s labs processed just 40,301 test samples for the novel coronavirus, nearly 20,000 fewer than the day before.

The province also reported 24 new deaths and a total of 1,571 patients with COVID-19 in hospital. Of those, 394 were being treated in intensive care units and 303 were on ventilators — the first time the latter has climbed above 300 since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, vaccinations got underway at the mass vaccination site in Brandon on Monday morning, following an initial hiccup in which hundreds of health-care workers with immunization appointments were given the wrong address.

Joanna Robb, a cytotechnologist who works at Shared Health’s Westman Lab, which deals with COVID-19 specimens, was the first to receive a dose of the vaccine. 

“You hear the death tolls every day and the numbers, and it’s heartbreaking,” Robb said. “And we can do something.”

The Brandon site was slated to give out more than 550 shots on Monday alone, provincial officials said. The centre will be open 12 hour a day, seven days a week, for eligible health-care workers.

Manitoba registered 118 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths on Monday. Forty-six of the new cases are in the province’s North Health Region.

WATCH | Manitoba opens 2nd COVID-19 vaccination supersite:

The Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man., is now a supersite for COVID-19 vaccinations. It opened on time Monday despite incorrect information about its location originally being given out. 1:51

What’s happening across Canada

As of 6:40 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had reported 715,073 cases of COVID-19, with 75,461 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 18,120.

Over the weekend, federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand sought to allay Canadians’ concerns about Pfizer’s decision to delay international vaccine deliveries while it upgrades its manufacturing facility.

Anand said on Twitter she has been in touch with the drugmaker and was assured that it is “deploying all efforts” to return to its regular delivery schedule “as soon as possible.” The minister said shipments for this coming week will be largely unaffected.

New Brunswick has rolled back the Edmundston and Grand Falls region to a more restrictive red phase, and other regions face the same prospect as the province continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The province reported 26 new cases on Monday. That follows a tally of 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday — 24 of them in the Edmundston and Grand Falls region, about 380 kilometres northwest of Saint John — marking its highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic.

The move to red-phase restrictions, which took effect in the region at midnight, mean som businesses — including movie theatres, barbershops and hair salons — must close, while restaurants can only operate with takeout and delivery. However, schools will remain open with additional health measures in place.

The rest of Atlantic Canada has not seen the recent spread of COVID-19 infections to the extent that New Brunswick has. 

Nova Scotia reported no new cases on Monday, after reporting four additional cases on Sunday, all of which are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

Newfoundland and Labrador added one new case on Sunday, in a person who returned home from work in Alberta.

P.E.I. reported four new cases on Monday, three of them linked to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and one involving someone who was in contact with a previously reported case, the province said in a news release.

In Quebec, high schoolers headed back to classrooms on Monday after a month at home, joining elementary students who returned to in-person instruction a week before the older kids. Among other health precautions, students must wear medical-grade masks and will be tested immediately if they show any COVID-19 symptoms.

The province reported 1,634 new cases on Monday, though it noted that a delay in the transmission of laboratory data caused a delay in the reporting of cases to public health departments on Sunday, as well as a drop in the number of new cases reported.

It also reported 32 deaths, nine of which occurred in the last 24 hours and 23 that occurred between Jan. 11 and 16.

Saskatchewan added 290 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths on Monday.

The province administered 2,449 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. The total number of vaccines administered in the province has now reached 22,618.

Alberta will have no more COVID-19 doses available to administer by the end of Monday or early Tuesday due to the Pfizer supply disruption, Premier Jason Kenney has announced.

The premier told a news conference on Monday that the province is putting a temporary hold on the first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure it has enough vaccine to provide a second dose to people who have already received their first shot.

Alberta reported 474 new COVID-19 cases and 11 new deaths on Monday. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said 739 people are in hospital with the respiratory illness, 120 of whom are in intensive care.

British Columbia on Monday reported 1,330 new cases of COVID-19 and 31 more deaths over the last three days. As of Monday, 87,346 people in B.C. had received at least one dose of vaccine.

WATCH | Risks of hockey arenas amid pandemic:

Air quality research and a growing understanding of how COVID-19 spreads are helping to explain why facing off in hockey arenas can be risky during the pandemic. 8:27

In the North, Northwest Territories health officials placed the hamlet of Fort Liard under a two-week containment order after three cases were discovered in the community.

A dozen employees of Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine gold mine in Nunavut are now in self-isolation after a worker at the mine tested positive for COVID-19, the company said in a news release on Friday. There have been nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the mine since the start of the pandemic, an Agnico Eagle spokesperson told CBC News on Saturday via email.

Meanwhile, members of Yukon‘s two mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams held one last dry-run at a Whitehorse high school on Friday before hitting the road.


What’s happening around the world

As of Monday, more than 95.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 52.5 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case tracking tool. The global death toll stood at more than two million.

The head of the World Health Organization says it’s “not right” that younger, healthier adults in rich countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people in poorer countries.

Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus kicked off WHO’s week-long executive board meeting — virtually from its headquarters in Geneva — on Monday by lamenting that only 25 vaccine doses have been provided in a single poor country, while more than 39 million doses have been administered in nearly 50 richer nations.

“Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country — not 25 million, not 25,000 — just 25. I need to be blunt,” Tedros said. He did not specify the country.

Tedros again criticized “bilateral deals” between drug companies and countries that hurt the ability of the WHO-backed COVAX program, which aims to get vaccines to all countries based on need.

“Most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries, where the profits are highest, rather than submitting” data to WHO, he said, so it can approve vaccines for wider use.

In Europe, France on Monday began a campaign to inoculate people over 75 against the coronavirus, as its death toll rose past 70,000 over the weekend.

Robert Farquar of Westman Lab gets vaccinated by public health nurse Jennifer Cochrane in Brandon, Man., on Monday morning. (Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun/Pool)

The new variant of COVID-19 first detected in Britain is now starting to gain a foothold in Belgium, officials say, with cases reported in several northern schools on top of an outbreak in a nursing home.

Officials in the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz quarantined employees and guests of two luxury hotels, closed ski schools and kept schoolchildren home from class on Monday after a dozen positive tests for a highly infectious coronavirus variant.

In Asia, a Chinese province grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases is reinstating tight restrictions on weddings, funerals and other family gatherings, threatening violators with criminal charges.

The notice from the high court in Hebei province did not give specifics but said all types of social gatherings were now being regulated to prevent further spread of the virus.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions are ‘on the cusp’ of a return to red as the province moved the Edmundston and Grand Falls region back to the more restrictive phase. (Submitted by the Government of New Brunswick)

In the Americas, California became the first U.S. state on Monday to record more than 3 million known COVID-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. California only reached 2 million reported cases on Dec. 24 and has the highest count of any state. Nearly 34,000 deaths in the state have been attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain says the coronavirus pandemic will get worse in the U.S. before it gets better, projecting another 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the first five weeks of president-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Klain said Biden was inheriting a dire situation, saying even with vaccines, “it’s going to take a while to turn this around.” Biden has set a goal of injecting 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in his first 100 days in office, a goal Klain said they were on pace to meet.

Brazil’s health regulator on Sunday approved the urgent use of coronavirus vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America’s largest nation to begin an immunization program that’s been subject to months of delay and political disputes.

Brazil currently has six million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine ready to distribute in the next few days and is awaiting the arrival of another two million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University.

French singer and actress Line Renaud receives an injection of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Rueil-Malmaison, west of Paris, on Monday. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

In Africa, South Africa, which has yet to receive its first coronavirus vaccine, has been promised nine million doses by Johnson & Johnson, the Business Day newspaper reported.

South Africa has delayed reopening schools as it faces a rapid resurgence of COVID-19 overwhelming the country’s hospitals and driven by a more infectious variant of the virus.

Ghana’s president said Sunday that infection rates are skyrocketing and include variants of the virus not before seen in the country, filling treatment centres and threatening to overwhelm the health system.

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

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The latest:

With hospital intensive care units in parts of Ontario reaching capacity due to COVID-19, a new hospital will open in Vaughan, Ont., next month to help relieve pressure on other facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, the province announced Monday.

The Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, due to open Feb. 7, will be a “dedicated resource to support the province’s COVID-19 response,” taking in critical patients from other hospitals, Premier Doug Ford said.

“It’s like reinforcements coming over the hill,” Ford said, adding that the province is also adding 500 additional surge capacity hospital beds in Toronto, Durham Region, Kingston, Ont., and Ottawa.

Canada’s vaccination efforts against COVID-19 took a notable step forward on Monday with the opening of mass immunization centres in Toronto and Brandon, Man. This follows the opening of a similar immunization supersite in Winnipeg two weeks ago.

Toronto’s supersite is being described as a “proof-of-concept” clinic that will help the city fine-tune the operation of its future clinics, “ensuring safety and increasing efficiency in advance of wider immunization,” according to a city news release.

Retired general Rick Hillier, who heads the province’s vaccine distribution plan, told CBC News on Sunday that Ontario wants to have everyone vaccinated by late July or early August.

The Toronto site is not open to members of the public and will instead operate with a sample group of health-care workers, including those involved in harm reduction and Streets to Homes staff who support the city’s vulnerable populations. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, is given a tour of an ICU room at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital by Altaf Stationwala, CEO of Mackenzie Health in Vaughan, Ont., on Monday. The new hospital, which is set to open Feb. 7, will take patients from other hospitals that are strained by COVID-19. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The clinic aims to vaccinate 250 people per day. However, due to the delay in obtaining the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Europe, the clinic inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is set to close until further notice after the work day on Friday, said Matthew Pegg, head of the city’s immunization task force.

He said anyone who got a first dose of the vaccine at the clinic will be able to receive a second dose within the recommended time frame.

Ontario reported 2,578 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which is the fewest logged on a single day in about two and a half weeks. However, the province’s labs processed just 40,301 test samples for the novel coronavirus, nearly 20,000 fewer than the day before.

The province also reported 24 new deaths and a total of 1,571 patients with COVID-19 in hospital. Of those, 394 were being treated in intensive care units and 303 were on ventilators — the first time the latter has climbed above 300 since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, vaccinations got underway at the mass vaccination site in Brandon on Monday morning, following an initial hiccup in which hundreds of health-care workers with immunization appointments were given the wrong address.

Joanna Robb, a cytotechnologist who works at Shared Health’s Westman Lab, which deals with COVID-19 specimens, was the first to receive a dose of the vaccine. 

“You hear the death tolls every day and the numbers, and it’s heartbreaking,” Robb said. “And we can do something.”

The Brandon site was slated to give out more than 550 shots on Monday alone, provincial officials said. The centre will be open 12 hour a day, seven days a week, for eligible health-care workers.

Manitoba registered 118 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths on Monday. Forty-six of the new cases are in the province’s North Health Region.

WATCH | Manitoba opens 2nd COVID-19 vaccination supersite:

The Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man., is now a supersite for COVID-19 vaccinations. It opened on time Monday despite incorrect information about its location originally being given out. 1:51

What’s happening across Canada

As of 6:40 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had reported 715,073 cases of COVID-19, with 75,461 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 18,120.

Over the weekend, federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand sought to allay Canadians’ concerns about Pfizer’s decision to delay international vaccine deliveries while it upgrades its manufacturing facility.

Anand said on Twitter she has been in touch with the drugmaker and was assured that it is “deploying all efforts” to return to its regular delivery schedule “as soon as possible.” The minister said shipments for this coming week will be largely unaffected.

New Brunswick has rolled back the Edmundston and Grand Falls region to a more restrictive red phase, and other regions face the same prospect as the province continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The province reported 26 new cases on Monday. That follows a tally of 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday — 24 of them in the Edmundston and Grand Falls region, about 380 kilometres northwest of Saint John — marking its highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic.

The move to red-phase restrictions, which took effect in the region at midnight, mean som businesses — including movie theatres, barbershops and hair salons — must close, while restaurants can only operate with takeout and delivery. However, schools will remain open with additional health measures in place.

The rest of Atlantic Canada has not seen the recent spread of COVID-19 infections to the extent that New Brunswick has. 

Nova Scotia reported no new cases on Monday, after reporting four additional cases on Sunday, all of which are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

Newfoundland and Labrador added one new case on Sunday, in a person who returned home from work in Alberta.

P.E.I. reported four new cases on Monday, three of them linked to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and one involving someone who was in contact with a previously reported case, the province said in a news release.

In Quebec, high schoolers headed back to classrooms on Monday after a month at home, joining elementary students who returned to in-person instruction a week before the older kids. Among other health precautions, students must wear medical-grade masks and will be tested immediately if they show any COVID-19 symptoms.

The province reported 1,634 new cases on Monday, though it noted that a delay in the transmission of laboratory data caused a delay in the reporting of cases to public health departments on Sunday, as well as a drop in the number of new cases reported.

It also reported 32 deaths, nine of which occurred in the last 24 hours and 23 that occurred between Jan. 11 and 16.

Saskatchewan added 290 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths on Monday.

The province administered 2,449 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. The total number of vaccines administered in the province has now reached 22,618.

Alberta will have no more COVID-19 doses available to administer by the end of Monday or early Tuesday due to the Pfizer supply disruption, Premier Jason Kenney has announced.

The premier told a news conference on Monday that the province is putting a temporary hold on the first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure it has enough vaccine to provide a second dose to people who have already received their first shot.

Alberta reported 474 new COVID-19 cases and 11 new deaths on Monday. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said 739 people are in hospital with the respiratory illness, 120 of whom are in intensive care.

British Columbia on Monday reported 1,330 new cases of COVID-19 and 31 more deaths over the last three days. As of Monday, 87,346 people in B.C. had received at least one dose of vaccine.

WATCH | Risks of hockey arenas amid pandemic:

Air quality research and a growing understanding of how COVID-19 spreads are helping to explain why facing off in hockey arenas can be risky during the pandemic. 8:27

In the North, Northwest Territories health officials placed the hamlet of Fort Liard under a two-week containment order after three cases were discovered in the community.

A dozen employees of Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine gold mine in Nunavut are now in self-isolation after a worker at the mine tested positive for COVID-19, the company said in a news release on Friday. There have been nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the mine since the start of the pandemic, an Agnico Eagle spokesperson told CBC News on Saturday via email.

Meanwhile, members of Yukon‘s two mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams held one last dry-run at a Whitehorse high school on Friday before hitting the road.


What’s happening around the world

As of Monday, more than 95.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 52.5 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case tracking tool. The global death toll stood at more than two million.

The head of the World Health Organization says it’s “not right” that younger, healthier adults in rich countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people in poorer countries.

Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus kicked off WHO’s week-long executive board meeting — virtually from its headquarters in Geneva — on Monday by lamenting that only 25 vaccine doses have been provided in a single poor country, while more than 39 million doses have been administered in nearly 50 richer nations.

“Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country — not 25 million, not 25,000 — just 25. I need to be blunt,” Tedros said. He did not specify the country.

Tedros again criticized “bilateral deals” between drug companies and countries that hurt the ability of the WHO-backed COVAX program, which aims to get vaccines to all countries based on need.

“Most manufacturers have prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries, where the profits are highest, rather than submitting” data to WHO, he said, so it can approve vaccines for wider use.

In Europe, France on Monday began a campaign to inoculate people over 75 against the coronavirus, as its death toll rose past 70,000 over the weekend.

Robert Farquar of Westman Lab gets vaccinated by public health nurse Jennifer Cochrane in Brandon, Man., on Monday morning. (Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun/Pool)

The new variant of COVID-19 first detected in Britain is now starting to gain a foothold in Belgium, officials say, with cases reported in several northern schools on top of an outbreak in a nursing home.

Officials in the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz quarantined employees and guests of two luxury hotels, closed ski schools and kept schoolchildren home from class on Monday after a dozen positive tests for a highly infectious coronavirus variant.

In Asia, a Chinese province grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases is reinstating tight restrictions on weddings, funerals and other family gatherings, threatening violators with criminal charges.

The notice from the high court in Hebei province did not give specifics but said all types of social gatherings were now being regulated to prevent further spread of the virus.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions are ‘on the cusp’ of a return to red as the province moved the Edmundston and Grand Falls region back to the more restrictive phase. (Submitted by the Government of New Brunswick)

In the Americas, California became the first U.S. state on Monday to record more than 3 million known COVID-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. California only reached 2 million reported cases on Dec. 24 and has the highest count of any state. Nearly 34,000 deaths in the state have been attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain says the coronavirus pandemic will get worse in the U.S. before it gets better, projecting another 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the first five weeks of president-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Klain said Biden was inheriting a dire situation, saying even with vaccines, “it’s going to take a while to turn this around.” Biden has set a goal of injecting 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in his first 100 days in office, a goal Klain said they were on pace to meet.

Brazil’s health regulator on Sunday approved the urgent use of coronavirus vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America’s largest nation to begin an immunization program that’s been subject to months of delay and political disputes.

Brazil currently has six million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine ready to distribute in the next few days and is awaiting the arrival of another two million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University.

French singer and actress Line Renaud receives an injection of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Rueil-Malmaison, west of Paris, on Monday. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

In Africa, South Africa, which has yet to receive its first coronavirus vaccine, has been promised nine million doses by Johnson & Johnson, the Business Day newspaper reported.

South Africa has delayed reopening schools as it faces a rapid resurgence of COVID-19 overwhelming the country’s hospitals and driven by a more infectious variant of the virus.

Ghana’s president said Sunday that infection rates are skyrocketing and include variants of the virus not before seen in the country, filling treatment centres and threatening to overwhelm the health system.

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Canada adds over 6K new coronavirus cases as Tam warns of ‘continuing resurgence’ – Global News

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Another 6,453 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported across Canada on Monday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 715,072.

Health officials also confirmed another 92 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the total death toll to 18,120.

However, since the pandemic began, 623,033 people have recovered from the respiratory illness, while 20,594,862 tests for the virus have been administered.

Read more:
Alberta set to run out of COVID-19 vaccine supply, first dose appointments no longer offered

In a series of tweets on Monday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said with high levels of “disease activity in many areas,” Canada remains “on the path of continuing resurgence.”

“Together we can change this,” she wrote. “YOU + #PublicHealth measures/restriction controls CAN #crushCOVID.”

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Tam urged the public to continue to comply with public health measures, including washing their hands, practicing physical distancing and wearing a mask.

So far, Health Canada has approved two vaccines to protect against the virus, one from Pfizer-BioNTech, the other made by Moderna.

According to the agency’s website, as of Thursday, 765,100 doses of those vaccines had been distributed for use across the country.

The federal government has said all Canadians who want a vaccine will have access to one by the end of September.


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Coronavirus: Toronto COVID-19 vaccination clinic pausing after 5 days due to supply issues


Coronavirus: Toronto COVID-19 vaccination clinic pausing after 5 days due to supply issues

New cases in the provinces

In Ontario, 2,578 new cases were reported, and 24 more fatalities, bringing the total number of cases and deaths to 240,364 and 5,433, respectively.

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Meanwhile, in Quebec, 1,634 new cases bring the total number of infections to 244,348. Thirty-two new deaths mean 9,087 people have died in the province since the pandemic began.

In Atlantic Canada, 30 new cases of COVID-19 were detected.

New Brunswick added 26 new cases and health officials said 12 more people have died.

Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island reported four new infections for a total of 108 cases. However, 98 are considered to be recovered.

Neither Nova Scotia or Newfoundland added a new case or fatality on Monday.

In Saskatchewan, 290 new cases bring the total case load in the province to 20,562.

Four new deaths mean 219 people have now died in Saskatchewan since the pandemic began.

Read more:
What’s in Pfizer’s vaccine? A look at the ingredients

Health officials in Manitoba also said four more people had died, pushing the death toll to 773.

Another 118 new cases were also reported in the province, bringing the total number of cases to 27,629.

Further west in Alberta, 474 new cases and 11 more fatalities were reported.

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So far, the province has seen 117,311 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 1,447 deaths.

In British Columbia, 301 new cases pushed the total number of infections to 61,447.

Health authorities in the province also said five more people have died after testing positive for the virus.

To date, 1,078 people have died in B.C. after contracting the coronavirus.

No new cases in Canada’s territories

The Northwest Territories has reported 40 cases of the virus since the pandemic began. Health officials say 28 of the cases are from residents of the territory, while 12 are from elsewhere.

No new cases or deaths were reported in Nunavut, meaning the total counts of infections and fatalities remained at 266 and one, respectively.


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Coronavirus: More students signing up for homeschooling as Quebec high schools reopen

Health officials in the Yukon did not report any new COVID-19 infections or deaths, either.

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To date, the territory has seen 70 cases of the respiratory illness and one fatality.

Global cases top 95 million

Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, it has infected 95,435,122 people around the world, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

Read more:
Coronavirus tracker: how many news cases of COVID-19 in Canada today?

By Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET, the virus had claimed 2,037,076 lives globally.

The United States remained the viral epicentre on Monday, with 24,041,339 infections and 398,588 fatalities to date.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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