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

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The latest:

Manitoba is stepping up enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions as it tries to tamp down the spread of the novel coronavirus, while Alberta’s top doctor is warning that more restrictions could be coming unless the province sees case numbers “decline dramatically” in the days ahead.

Premier Brian Pallister on Thursday backed away from the idea of imposing a curfew in the Winnipeg area, saying the province will spend money to step up enforcement around existing restrictions first.

“There will be consequences for people when they put others in danger, when they put themselves in danger,” Pallister said at a Thursday briefing.

Pallister said that 277 more personnel, including fire safety inspectors, motor carrier enforcement officers and municipal bylaw officers will help make sure public health orders are followed. That brings the total number of enforcers to more than 3,000.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in Manitoba has more than tripled in two weeks, from 42 on Oct. 22 to 153 on Nov. 5. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

The province has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent days — health officials reported 427 new cases and four more deaths on Thursday — and hospitalization numbers have been climbing. 

In Alberta, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw warned that more restrictions could be coming as the province reported a record high number of new cases.

“Unless our numbers decline dramatically in the next few days, we will have to consider additional measures,” she said. 

The province wasn’t able to provide an exact number of new cases Thursday because of technical issues, but the range provided was well over its previous one-day record of 622.

“I can tell you that about 800 new cases have been identified in the last 24 hours,” Hinshaw said, noting that there are nine hospitals in Alberta dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Faced with mounting case numbers, the province is looking to hire more contact tracers to help existing staff. A spokesperson for Alberta Health Services said there are currently 800 people working with the contact tracing team, and AHS is looking to hire “approximately 380 additional staff” in the coming weeks.

British Columbia also saw a record high daily case number on Thursday as health officials reported 425 new cases of COVID-19.

WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about COVID-19 in Fraser Health region:

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are a number of factors, including a large number of essential workers and multigenerational families. 1:50

Most of the new cases reported by B.C. health officials were in the Fraser Health region, which covers an area east of Vancouver and includes communities like Burnaby and Surrey.

A statement from public health officials said there were 97 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 24 in intensive care. 


What’s happening across Canada

As of 11:50 a.m. ET on Friday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 253,475 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 210,024 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,420.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Canadians to be careful as winter approaches and people spend more time inside.

“We need to make sure we’re making it into winter on a good footing so we can hold on through winter.”

In Ontario, case numbers continued to rise a day after Premier Doug Ford’s government unveiled a much-anticipated budget after months of delay attributed to the global pandemic. 

On Friday, the province reported 1,003 cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths.

Provincial figures updated Friday put the number of people in hospital at 380, with 86 in intensive care.

Quebec on Friday reported 1,133 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths — including five in the last 24 hours. According to the data on the provincial dashboard, there were 539 people in hospital, with 77 in ICU.

Saskatchewan also reported a record high on Thursday, with 129 COVID-19 cases. According to health officials, many of the new cases were in Saskatoon and the area around Prince Albert.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported one new case of COVID-19 on Friday.  There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nova Scotia reported one new case on Thursday. Prince Edward Island has no active cases of the novel coronavirus.

Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.


What’s happening around the world

Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment prepare a mass COVID-19 testing site in Liverpool, England. The government is piloting loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) coronavirus testing technology, offering all Liverpool residents quick-result tests to identify who has COVID-19 and asking them to isolate. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

As of Friday morning, more than 48.8 million of cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 32.2 million of those listed as recovered, according to a coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.2 million, the U.S.-based university reported.

The World Health Organization is looking at biosecurity around mink farms in countries around the world to prevent further “spillover events” after Denmark ordered a national mink cull because of an outbreak of coronavirus infections in the animals.

In the Americas, the U.S. has been dealing with a surge in cases, reporting more than 100,000 new daily cases two days in a row, according to numbers reported by the New York Times.

The American job market showed a burst of strength in October, with employers adding 638,000 jobs and the unemployment rate tumbling to 6.9 per cent. Still, the pace of hiring isn’t enough to rapidly soak up the millions of Americans who were thrown out of work by the pandemic recession.

It’s far from clear that employers can maintain — let alone increase — their pace of hiring. The job market and the overall economy are under intensified pressure from the accelerating pandemic.

On Thursday, the country broke another record in the seven-day rolling average for new cases, hitting nearly 90,000. Daily new cases were also on track for another day above 100,000, with surging numbers reported all around the country, including a combined nearly 25,000 in Texas, Illinois and Florida.

A shopper wearing a face mask walks by the Christmas decorations at The Grove outdoor shopping centre in Los Angeles on Thursday. COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise in the U.S. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Latin American countries, including those that have brought down coronavirus transmission rates, should take heed of the second wave hitting much of Europe, a Pan American Health Organization official said.

In Europe, Portugal’s parliament approved a new state of emergency starting on Monday to fight the spread of the coronavirus that has put the health-care system under pressure.

The initial state of emergency, which under Portuguese law is limited to 15 days but can be extended indefinitely in 15-day periods, was declared in March and lasted six weeks. It restricted the movement of people and led thousands of businesses to suspend activities.

A nurse puts on a second pair of gloves before tending to COVID-19 patients in negative pressure rooms at the Curry Cabral hospital in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday. (Armando Franca/The Associated Press)

Germany’s health minister has warned of hard times ahead unless the country can “break” the rising trajectory of coronavirus cases. Jens Spahn told lawmakers in parliament on Friday that “the situation is serious,” noting that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the country’s intensive care units has doubled in the last 10 days.

“As of today, the health system can cope with this,” he said. “But a doubling every 10 days is something the best health system in the world can’t cope with in the long term.”

Germany’s disease control agency reported a new record of more than 21,500 confirmed infections in the country in the past day, and 166 further deaths.

Russia’s daily number of new coronavirus infections topped 20,000 Friday, setting a new record since the beginning of the pandemic. Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases — currently the fourth largest in the world — has exceeded 1.7 million following a quick spread of contagion since September. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported 29,887 deaths since March.

Despite new daily records, authorities insist there is no need to impose a second lockdown or shut down businesses nationwide. They argue that the health-care system is capable of handling a surge in infections. Russian media, however, have reported on overwhelmed hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers in some regions, indicating that the health-care system is under significant strain.

Austria warned that all its COVID-19 intensive care beds could be full within two weeks because of the “much stronger, more serious” second wave of infections.

Italian taxi drivers and co-operative taxi workers demonstrate in Rome on Friday as part of a national strike against the government’s restriction measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

Oslo has shut down restaurants, cafés, bars, gyms, cinemas and theatres to help curb the coronavirus. On Friday, officials in the Norwegian capital introduced what they called a “social closure of Oslo.”

Mayor Raymond Johansen said that to bring down the infection rates, “we must shut down where people gather.” However, schools will remain open.

Slovenian police said they detained 10 people following violent protests in the capital Ljubljana against lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has alerted about 1,000 people who attended the memorial of the late Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee last week to get tested for the coronavirus after one person at the event tested positive.

India has recorded 47,638 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 8.4 million.

Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, driving total fatalities to 124,985 on Friday, the health ministry data showed. India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States. Even though the country has seen a steady dip in cases since mid-September, its capital is witnessing a surge in infections.

Health authorities in Thailand on Friday announced the country’s 60th death from COVID-19, a 66-year-old Thai man who was diagnosed with coronavirus after he returned from the United Kingdom. It was Thailand’s first coronvirus death since mid-September.

The U.S. mission in Geneva urged World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday to invite Taiwan to a major meeting the body is hosting next week that is expected to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Africa, the coronavirus pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of WHO said on Thursday. Lockdowns imposed by countries to halt the spread of the virus in May, June and July contributed to a more than 50 per cent drop in services monitored by WHO.

In Nigeria, for example, more than 362,000 pregnant women missed their antenatal care between March and August.

Iran remained the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. The country had more than 663,000 reported cases, with more than 37,400 deaths recorded.

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Ford differentiates between Ontarians holding private gatherings and establishments defying COVID-19 rules – CBC.ca

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Premier Doug Ford drew a distinction between Ontarians flouting public health measures through private gatherings and establishments that openly defy the province’s COVID-19 rules Tuesday.

The remarks came in response to questions about at Toronto barbeque restaurant owner publicly vowing to keep his doors open amid the province’s lockdown for the city.

“They have to follow the rules. There can’t be rules for one group and not another,” he said at a news conference Tuesday, less forcefully than in other instances where the premier has come out swinging against people throwing large parties or weddings, for example.

“When it comes to private parties, that’s a different ball of wax,” Ford said. “I’m not going to get up here and start pounding the small business owner when the guy’s holding on by his finger nails. I differentiate between someone at home being reckless and having 100 people over and partying and renting a public storage place … that’s reckless.

“I don’t condone that he opened up but I feel terrible. My heart breaks for these guys … these business-owners, believe me. “But please, in saying all that, you’ve got to follow the protocols and guidelines.”

WATCH | Ford comments on Toronto BBQ restaurant vowing to stay open during COVID-19 lockdown:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the owner of a Toronto BBQ restaurant who opened for indoor dining in violation of provincial lockdown orders should follow the rules, and he says his ‘heart breaks’ for small business. 1:12

Rapid testing begins, auditor general set to release report

The province also announced Tuesday that it has begun deploying rapid testing in long-term care homes, rural and remote areas — something the premier called a “gamechanger.”

The rapid tests, which can produce results in minutes rather than days, have been sent to 36 long-term care homes and 27 retirement homes, as well as some hospitals.

Ford said the province will continue to deploy the 98,000 ID Now tests and 1.2 million Panbio tests it has received from the federal government in the coming weeks.Health Minister Christine Elliott says another 1.5 million Panbio tests are expected to arrive in Ontario next month.

The announcement comes as a data error resulted in an artificially low daily total of 1,009 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

It also comes just one day before the province’s auditor general is set to issue a three-part report on the province’s pandemic emergency preparedness and its response to COVID-19, including lab testing, case management and contact tracing. 

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said that yesterday’s figure of 1,589 cases (which appeared to be a record high) inadvertently included eight-and-a-half extra hours worth of data from Nov. 22, meaning the total count was inflated. Today’s number adjusts for the mistake.

The new cases include 497 in Toronto, 175 in Peel Region and 118 in York Region. The seven-day average now sits at 1,395.

Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:

  • Waterloo Region: 40
  • Windsor: 31
  • Simcoe Muskoka: 25
  • Ottawa: 19
  • Niagara Region: 19
  • Durham Region: 16
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 16
  • Hamilton: 10
  • Thunder Bay: 14

[Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.]

Testing falls to about half of capacity

Today’s additional cases include 270 that are school-related: 223 students and 47 staff. The Ministry of Education said in a statement that the figure is not a one-day increase. Rather it reflects cases identified in schools from 2 p.m. last Friday to 2 p.m. yesterday, and also some others that were not reported Friday because of professional learning days in some boards, including the Toronto public and Catholic boards.

There are currently 703 publicly-funded schools in Ontario, or about 14.6 per cent, with at least one reported instance of COVID-19. Four schools are closed due to the illness, including one in Windsor with 39 cases, the largest school-related outbreak in the province.

There are now 12,917 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, a slight drop from yesterday as 1,082 cases were marked resolved today. 

The further infections in today’s update come as Ontario’s network of labs processed just 27,053 test samples for the novel coronavirus, and added 29,316 to the queue to be completed. There is currently capacity in the system for up to 50,000 tests daily. Meanwhile, the province reported a test positivity rate of 5.8 per cent.

The official COVID-19 death toll grew by 14, up to 3,519. So far this month, 374 people with COVID-19 have died in Ontario. 

Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 also jumped, up 27 to 534. Of those, 159 are being treated in intensive care and 91 with ventilators. Public health officials have identified 150 patients in ICUs as the threshold for when unrelated surgeries and procedures are likely to be postponed because of burdens on the hospital system.

Meanwhile, a group of engineers, physicians and other professionals issued an open letter to the province Tuesday, calling for updated COVID-19 guidelines that emphasize the importance of ventilation when it comes to curbing the risk of spreading the virus

‘With winter approaching, our activities are moving indoors and it is therefore imperative that public institutions, workplaces and individuals understand the risk of aerosol transmission as well as the actions that can be taken to combat it,” the letter says.

Backed by 36 professionals, it also calls on the province to mandate and fund ventilation assessments and upgrades of settings like schools and long-term care homes, establishing ventilation standards for reopening, among other measures.

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Ford differentiates between Ontarians holding private gatherings and establishments defying COVID-19 rules – CBC.ca

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Premier Doug Ford drew a distinction between Ontarians flouting public health measures through private gatherings and establishments that openly defy the province’s COVID-19 rules Tuesday.

The remarks came in response to questions about at Toronto barbeque restaurant owner publicly vowing to keep his doors open amid the province’s lockdown for the city.

“They have to follow the rules. There can’t be rules for one group and not another,” he said at a news conference Tuesday, less forcefully than in other instances where the premier has come out swinging against people throwing large parties or weddings, for example.

“When it comes to private parties, that’s a different ball of wax,” Ford said. “I’m not going to get up here and start pounding the small business owner when the guy’s holding on by his finger nails. I differentiate between someone at home being reckless and having 100 people over and partying and renting a public storage place … that’s reckless.

“I don’t condone that he opened up but I feel terrible. My heart breaks for these guys … these business-owners, believe me. “But please, in saying all that, you’ve got to follow the protocols and guidelines.”

The province also announced Tuesday that it has begun deploying rapid testing in long-term care homes, rural and remote areas — something the premier called a “gamechanger.”

The announcement comes as a data error resulted in an artificially low daily total of 1,009 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

It also comes just one day before the province’s auditor general is set to issue a three-part report on the province’s pandemic emergency preparedness and its response to COVID-19, including lab testing, case management and contact tracing. 

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said that yesterday’s figure of 1,589 cases (which appeared to be a record high) inadvertently included eight-and-a-half extra hours worth of data from Nov. 22, meaning the total count was inflated. Today’s number adjusts for the mistake.

The new cases include 497 in Toronto, 175 in Peel Region and 118 in York Region. The seven-day average now sits at 1,395.

Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:

  • Waterloo Region: 40
  • Windsor: 31
  • Simcoe Muskoka: 25
  • Ottawa: 19
  • Niagara Region: 19
  • Durham Region: 16
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 16
  • Hamilton: 10
  • Thunder Bay: 14

[Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.]

Today’s additional cases include 270 that are school-related: 223 students and 47 staff. The Ministry of Education said in a statement that the figure is not a one-day increase. Rather it reflects cases identified in schools from 2 p.m. last Friday to 2 p.m. yesterday, and also some others that were not reported Friday because of professional learning days in some boards, including the Toronto public and Catholic boards.

There are currently 703 publicly-funded schools in Ontario, or about 14.6 per cent, with at least one reported instance of COVID-19. Four schools are closed due to the illness, including one in Windsor with 39 cases, the largest school-related outbreak in the province.

There are now 12,917 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, a slight drop from yesterday as 1,082 cases were marked resolved today. 

The further infections in today’s update come as Ontario’s network of labs processed just 27,053 test samples for the novel coronavirus, and added 29,316 to the queue to be completed. There is currently capacity in the system for up to 50,000 tests daily. Meanwhile, the province reported a test positivity rate of 5.8 per cent.

The official COVID-19 death toll grew by 14, up to 3,519. So far this month, 374 people with COVID-19 have died in Ontario. 

Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 also jumped, up 27 to 534. Of those, 159 are being treated in intensive care and 91 with ventilators. Public health officials have identified 150 patients in ICUs as the threshold for when unrelated surgeries and procedures are likely to be postponed because of burdens on the hospital system.

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Error in reporting COVID-19 data resulted in overestimation of case count on Monday, province says – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario is reporting 1,009 new cases of COVID-19 but the province says an error in reporting yesterday’s data has resulted in an underestimation of today’s case count and overestimation of Monday’s total.

On Monday, Ontario reported 1,589 new cases of the virus , a new single-day record, but the province now says that number was not accurate.

“Due to technical issues, instead of including cases up until 12:00 p.m. on November 22, yesterday’s report contained cases reported in CCM up until 8:30 p.m. on November 22, resulting in an overestimate of the daily counts yesterday, and an underestimate of the daily counts today,” a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in an email on Tuesday.

The province has not confirmed how many cases should have been included in yesterday’s total.

When averaging out new infections reported over the last two days, Ontario saw 1,299 cases on both Monday and Tuesday.

“Ontario is reporting 1,009 cases of #COVID19,” Elliott tweeted on Tuesday, acknowledging Monday’s data glitch.

“Locally, there are 497 new cases in Toronto, 175 in Peel and 118 in York Region. There are 1,082 more resolved cases and nearly 27,100 tests completed.”

On Monday, the province said that 37,471 tests were completed, meaning that an average of just 32,285 tests were processed on both Monday and Tuesday, well below the province’s goal of 50,000 tests per day.

The test positivity rate averages out to about 5.2 per cent over the two days, according to figures provided by provincial health officials.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases is now 1,395, down from 1,421 one week ago.

According to the province’s latest disclosure, 14 more virus-related deaths were reported in Ontario today.

Ten of those deaths involved residents of long-term care homes in the province.

Hospitalizations now sit at 534, according to provincial health officials, and intensive care admissions are at 159.

On Monday, Toronto and Peel Region officially entered into a 28-day lockdown period to curb the spread of the disease.

Restaurants have been forced to close patios and indoor dining rooms in the two regions as part of the lockdown but they can remain open for takeout and delivery.

All non-essential retail stores are also closed to in-person shopping but are still permitted to offer curbside pickup and delivery.

New GTHA cases (average over two days):

Peel Region: 355 (535 on Monday, 175 on Tuesday)

Toronto: 416.5 (336 on Monday, 497 on Tuesday)

York Region: 162 (205 on Monday, 118 on Tuesday)

Durham Region: 37 (51 on Monday, 23 on Tuesday)

Halton Region: 29 (53 on Monday, 5 on Tuesday)

Hamilton: 35.5 (61 on Monday, 10 on Tuesday)

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