Canadians are set to receive renewed federal help amid the coronavirus pandemic as Parliament passed legislation authorizing new financial aid, while Ontario announced more than $500 million in new funding to protect long-term care.
On early Wednesday morning, the federal government unanimously passed Bill C-4 — legislation authorizing new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vote, which was considered a confidence measure, earned the support of the more adversarial parties, the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservatives. It passed 306-0.
The bill is intended to replace the now-defunct $500-per-week Canada emergency response benefit (CERB), which came to an end last weekend after helping almost nine million Canadians weather the pandemic’s impact.
The bill introduces a series of new COVID-19 benefits for Canadians to ease their transition away from CERB.
Millions of CERB recipients will transition automatically to employment insurance (EI). Expanded eligibility rules will also mean more people can qualify and the changes also include three new replacement benefits.
WATCH | Ottawa to buy millions of rapid COVID-19 tests after approval:
September has been a record breaking month for Ottawa as the city ends the month with 64 more confirmed cases of COVID, adding to the more than 1,300 reported over the course of the month.
On Wednesday, 43 out of 64 new cases were from people under the age of 40, most of them in their 20s and 30s.
With more than 20 deaths linked to COVID-19 so far this month, Ottawa’s medical officer of health said the city is experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
WATCH | Ontario scrambles to contain 2nd round of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes:
Meanwhile in Ontario, health authorities say they are expecting new daily cases of COVID-19 to reach 1,000 in the first half of October, as the province confirmed another 625 new infections on Wednesday.
According to Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, the number of new cases reported daily are doubling every 10 to 12 days. That means the province could see a “remarkably high surge” in the next coming weeks.
He said the growth in infections was initially limited to the 20-39 age group, however now, cases are climbing in every age group.
“Although we see a large amount of infections among younger people right now, this is likely starting to spill over into older age groups, which is where we see the most tragic and most challenging consequences for health and for the health-care system,” said Brown.
At Alberta’s Foothills Medical Centre, some patients are being transferred to another hospital because of the COVID-19 outbreaks at the Calgary facility earlier this month.
So far, four patients have died and 60 positive cases have been identified in patients, staff and visitors. The outbreak has also caused dozens of surgeries to be postponed.
“It’s somewhat horrifying, to be honest, to see those kinds of numbers,” said Dr. Stephanie Smith, the director of infection prevention and control at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
“It severely impacts the hospital’s ability to provide care, and certainly we’re seeing that across the province in that there’s services that are being diverted to other hospitals. So it’s very concerning.”
Residents in Manitoba are being warned about another outbreak at a personal care home.
The Calvary Place Personal Care Home in Winnipeg is moving to red, or critical, level on the province’s pandemic response system.
Unions representing front-line staff in the province says the increase in active coronavirus cases are contributing to the burnout of health-care workers.
In a seven-week period in August and September, 61 health-care workers tested positive, making up the bulk of the roughly 100 such cases over the past six months, according to COVID-19 surveillance data from the province.
The recent uptick is adding strain to the health-care sector as employees are being required to work more overtime due to staffing shortages, said the Manitoba Nurses’ Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
On Wednesday, 40 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Manitoba, bringing the total number of active cases to 599.
According to a provincial news release, more than three-quarters of the new cases — 31 — are in the Winnipeg health region.
New cases were also announced in each of the other four health regions in the province.
There are four in the Southern Health region, two in the Prairie Mountain Health region, two in the Interlake-Eastern health region and one in the Northern Health region.
What’s happening in the rest of Canada
As of 8:19 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 158,758 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 134,971 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,333.
As the number of active coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, Health Canada regulators approved the ID NOW rapid COVID-19 testing device on Wednesday.
The Abbott Laboratories-backed molecular devices can be administered by trained professionals at places like pharmacies, without the need for a laboratory to determine if someone is infected with the virus.
The point of care devices could give results in 15 minutes and could help improve tests for communities across Canada dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases.
To date, the vast majority of tests have been done at public health clinics, with samples then sent to laboratories for analysis — a process that can take days.
Now that cold season has started, it may be time to take some symptoms off the COVID-19 checklist, says New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health.
Dr. Jennifer Russell said her colleagues from across the country have talked about “streamlining” testing requirements to avoid a logjam of tests for people who end up simply having a cold.
Several of the symptoms for COVID-19 overlap with those of the common cold, including a runny nose, sore throat and headache. Those are three of the 10 symptoms British Columbia removed last week.
She said the system can handle the current situation, but if there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, then the checklist may have to be scaled back.
Quebec is making sure people follow its newly strengthened public health rules, especially in the province’s red zones where COVID-19 cases are surging.
Starting Wednesday, police will be issuing $1,000 fines to those who gather in private residences or protests without wearing a mask.
“Police officers will start by trying to disperse the gatherings, but if people don’t co-operate, fines can be given,” Premier François Legault said.
Police will be authorized to demand proof of residency and if residents refuse entry, officers will be able to obtain warrants faster through a new, virtual system that was established in collaboration with the Crown, he said.
“We had to give the police the means to intervene,” said Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault.
Normally the process for obtaining a warrant can take a day or two, but that won’t work when police want to break up parties that very same evening, Legault said.
In addition to banning all gatherings, even outside in public parks, Quebec also has made masks mandatory for those who wish to march or protest.
Quebec reported 838 new cases of COVID-19 but no deaths Wednesday. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 74,288 confirmed cases and 5,834 people have died in the province.
WATCH | Critical contact tracing backlog as COVID-19 cases rise in Ontario:
Officials say they have had difficulty tracing those who have been in contact with a positive case, hampering efforts to isolate potentially contagious individuals.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé said he was in the process of finalizing details about adopting the federal app, COVID Alert, which informs users when they have had prolonged contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet are back on Parliament Hill Wednesday after self-isolating for two weeks due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Blanchet said his personal experience should serve as a warning to everyone to take public health guidance seriously.
“Some people go through it much more painfully than I did. I was very, very, very lucky. Some people die of that thing,” he told a news conference.
“There is no absolute protection. There [are] only ways to reduce the probability of catching the thing and giving it to someone who might be more vulnerable to it.”
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 33.7 million. More than one million people have died, while over 23.4 million have recovered.
The United Nations chief says the COVID-19 pandemic has taken “an unprecedented toll,” especially on the economies of many developing countries, and the world has not responded with “the massive and urgent support those countries and communities need.”
Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that in the United States, Canada, Europe and most of the developed world, governments have adopted packages valued in double-digits of GDP to help tackle the coronavirus crisis and its impact.
“The problem is to mobilize the resources to allow the developing countries to be able to do the same,” he told a joint press conference with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who have been jointly spearheading high-level meetings to try to raise the resources.
Meanwhile the number of deaths and people being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Britain are rising again. On Wednesday, there were 7,108 new infections reported and 71 virus-related deaths, the same number of deaths confirmed the day before.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people on Wednesday to continue to social distance, wear masks, wash their hands and download the coronavirus app.
“I know that some people will think we should give up and let the virus take its course, despite the huge loss of life that would potentially entail,” Johnson said on Wednesday. “I profoundly disagree and I don’t think it’s what the British people want.”
WATCH | U.K.’s Boris Johnson vows to fight and defeat coronavirus:
As the fight against the coronavirus continues, residents in Madrid are being barred from leaving except on essential travel, Spain’s government said on Wednesday.
The capital city, with more than three million people, and nine surrounding municipalities with at least 100,000 inhabitants each, are to see borders closed to outsiders for non-essential visits.
People would be allowed to cross boundaries for work, school, doctors’ visits or shopping, but not for leisure.
Other measures include the closure of bars and restaurants at 11 p.m., from a previous curfew of 1 a.m., as well as
shutting parks and playgrounds. Social gatherings will be limited to six people.
Madrid has 735 cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest of any region in Europe and double Spain’s national rate.
South Korea reported 113 new cases of COVID-19, its first daily increase over 100 in five days, as the country entered a holiday break that officials fear would possibly worsen transmissions.
The numbers released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday brought the caseload to 23,812, including 413 deaths.
Eighty-one of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers have struggled to stem transmissions linked to various sources, including churches, medical facilities, restaurants, schools and workers.
Indonesia on Wednesday reported 4,284 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 287,008, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
There were also 139 additional coronavirus-related deaths reported, taking the total number of fatalities to 10,740.
Russia has completed clinical trials of a second potential vaccine against COVID-19, developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute, the RIA news agency cited Russian consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying on Wednesday.
The institute completed early-stage human trials, known as Phase II, earlier this month.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday pledged $100 million US to help developing countries access a COVID-19 vaccine as World Bank President David Malpass said “broad, rapid and affordable” access to vaccines “will be at the core of a resilient global economic recovery that lifts everyone.”
Merkel also called on “those who are still dithering” to commit to the global vaccine effort.
The Czech government will limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor ones to 20 as part of new measures taking effect for two weeks from Monday to combat a surge in coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roman Prymula said on Wednesday.
Sports matches will continue but without spectators, and theatres and cinemas can still operate, but concerts, musicals and operas will be banned, Prymula said.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – CityNews Toronto
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Ontario is reporting 827 new cases of COVID-19 today, and four new deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 355 cases are in Toronto, 169 in Peel Region, 89 in York Region and 58 in Ottawa.
The province has conducted 23,945 tests since the last daily report, with an additional 22,636 being processed.
In total, 312 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 75 in intensive care.
Quebec is reporting 963 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.
The Health Department said today four of the deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, 14 date back to last week and one death was from an unknown date.
The number of patients in hospital declined by 16 to 527 while the number of intensive-care patients dropped by two to 91.
Quebec has reported a total of 101,885 COVID-19 cases and 6,172 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19.
Health officials say the case is in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, and is related to travel outside the Atlantic region.
The province has six active cases of novel coronavirus.
In total, Nova Scotia has confirmed 1,102 cases, while 1,031 cases have been resolved and there have been 65 deaths.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Trudeau says pandemic 'sucks' as COVID-19 compliance slips and cases spike – CBC.ca
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he understands that Canadians are increasingly frustrated by “annoying” measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, but he’s urging people to stay the course as cases continue to climb in some parts of the country.
Canada is in the grips of a second pandemic wave. Some provinces — notably Alberta, B.C., Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec — are now seeing case counts larger than those reported in the spring, at the onset of the pandemic.
“This sucks, it really, really does,” Trudeau told a COVID-19 press briefing this morning. “It’s going to be a tough winter. It’s easy for us to want to throw up our hands … it’s frustrating to have to go through this situation.
“Nobody wanted 2020 to be this way, but we do get to control how bad it gets by all of us doing our part.”
Trudeau said Canadians must get this latest pandemic wave under control or risk putting their Christmas festivities in jeopardy.
“Unless we’re really, really careful, there may not be the kinds of family gatherings we want to have at Christmas,” he said.
After a summer lull, the death count in Canada has also started to climb. Hospitalizations and the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) remain at manageable levels in most regions, despite the cresting caseload.
Some Toronto-area hospitals are nearing 100 per cent capacity as they grapple with both COVID-19 cases and other patients.
Data indicates that younger, healthier people — who are more likely to recover without medical intervention — are driving the COVID-19 spike during this round of the pandemic.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, said there’s no doubt that Canadians are tired of the restrictions that have upended their social and economic lives for the better part of eight months.
“What we’re seeing around the world is people are suffering from COVID fatigue,” Njoo said.
Another full lockdown is not necessary at this point, he said.
“We want to get back to as normal as possible, the functioning of society,” he said, adding Canada needs to find the “sweet spot” where new cases of COVID-19 don’t threaten to overwhelm the health care system.
Asked if governments bear any responsibility for conflicting messages from federal and provincial leaders and local public health officials about how Canadians should go about their daily lives during the pandemic, Trudeau said the situation on the ground in the provinces and territories varies greatly and does not demand national uniformity.
WATCH: Trudeau questioned about public confusion over pandemic messaging
Trudeau said Ottawa is not intent on plunging the country into another shutdown — and the country is better equipped to handle this wave than it was in March and April.
“We have a better understanding of COVID-19. We have better tools to deal with COVID-19 and we can be a little more targeted but, yeah, that means a little more complication in our messages,” Trudeau said.
“It’s frustrating to see friends at the other end of the country doing things you’d love to be able to do but you can’t.”
Trudeau said that when his six-year-old son Hadrien recently asked him if COVID-19 would with us “forever,” he assured him the pandemic would end — but its impact will depend on Canadians doing their part in the short term by wearing masks wherever possible, keeping a two-metre distance from others and avoiding large social gatherings altogether.
“We need to do the right thing, we need to lean on each other, we need to use all the tools that we can,” he said.
Trudeau sounded a positive note today, too, saying that Canada has placed orders for tens of millions of possible vaccine candidates. He said pharmaceutical companies are developing promising treatments.
“Vaccines are on the horizon. Spring and summer will come and they will be better than this winter,” he said.
All told, the federal government has secured 358 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines — an insurance policy if some of the vaccines in development prove to be ineffective in clinical trials.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Tuesday – CBC.ca
People in British Columbia and Alberta’s two largest cities are facing tighter restrictions around some social gatherings after an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday that while she has often spoken about the need to “balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions,” the province is now “losing the balance we have been seeking.”
The temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.
Alberta has reported a total of 25,733 cases since the pandemic began, with 4,477 of those listed as active cases. As of Sunday, health officials reported 118 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals, with 16 of those patients in ICU beds.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer in British Columbia, also placed restrictions on gatherings on Monday, with a focus on events in people’s homes. Henry said gatherings are now limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six” guests.
WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry said mask-wearing is expected in public in B.C.:
“This is a bit of a sobering weekend for us,” she said after provincial health officials reported 817 new cases since Friday.
B.C. has reported a total of 13,371 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with 2,325 of the cases considered active. The most recent information from health officials said 77 people were in hospital with 26 in intensive care.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 220,213 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 184,303 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,973.
Manitoba’s provincial public health officer also urged people to avoid gathering in large groups, saying many of the 100 new cases reported in the province on Monday linked back to social gatherings — including Thanksgiving.
Dr. Brent Roussin said if the province’s trajectory continues, health officials expect to have a total of more than 5,000 cases by the end of the week. The province had 4,349 cases as of Monday, with 2,117 considered active. There were 80 people in hospital, with 15 in intensive care.
WATCH | Manitoba frustrated by rise in COVID-19 cases:
Roussin wasn’t the only Manitoba official with words of warning. Premier Brian Pallister expressed frustration on Monday at people with too many close contacts as cases increase.
“Grow up and stop going out there and giving people COVID,” the premier said.
Saskatchewan reported 54 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the province to 2,783, with 650 of those considered active cases.
In Ontario, a region west of Toronto is waiting for word on whether tougher measures will be imposed by the province as part of the effort to fight COVID-19. Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer, said while neither he nor Halton Region’s local medical officer are ready to make a decision on tighter measures for the area, they will be watching case counts and other metrics closely in the coming days.
Quebec Premier François Legault moved Monday to extend restrictions on people living in so-called red zones until Nov. 23, saying daily COVID-19 case numbers and deaths are still too high to allow an easing of limits in places like Montreal and Quebec City.
WATCH | How health authorities are trying to balance restrictions and COVID-19 caseloads:
In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported three new cases on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 60. Health officials in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland reported one new case, while there were no new cases reported in Prince Edward Island.
There were two new cases reported in Yukon on Monday, and a mine in Nunavut reported that two workers who had been reported as presumptive cases were confirmed as positive for COVID-19. The workers were flown to their home province of Quebec and instructed to self-isolate.
What’s happening around the world
A case count maintained by Johns Hopkins University put the number of COVID-19 cases around the world at over 43.5 million as of Tuesday morning with over 29.2 million cases considered recovered. The Baltimore, Md.-based institution’s count of deaths stood at more than 1.1 million.
In the Americas, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States is at a two-month high, straining health-care systems in some states.
The White House said on Tuesday it saw a potential deal on COVID-19 stimulus funding in “coming weeks,” casting doubt on whether a deal could be struck with Congress before the Nov. 3 election. A spokesperson for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she was hopeful an agreement could be reached ahead of the election, but noted that there were still major issues that needed to be addressed.
In the Asia-Pacific region, China reported the highest number of asymptomatic infections in nearly seven months. China detected 137 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Sunday in Kashgar in the northwestern region of Xinjiang after one person was found to have the virus the previous day — the first local new cases in 10 days in mainland China.
Hong Kong announced it would reopen public beaches and increase the number of people allowed to sit together in bars and restaurants starting Friday as the city continues to unwind strict COVID-19 rules put in place in July.
In India, authorities reported 36,470 newly confirmed coronavirus infections. That’s the lowest one-day tally in more than three months in a continuing downward trend. In its report Tuesday, the country’s health ministry also listed 488 new fatalities from COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 119,502.
The case number reported Tuesday is the lowest since India had 35,065 newly confirmed infections on July 17. Last month, the country hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but daily infections have been decreasing since then.
In Europe, many governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections across the continent and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across Italy on Monday to vent their anger at the latest round of restrictions, including early closing for bars and restaurants, with demonstrations in some cities turning violent.
In neighbouring France, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned the country to prepare for “difficult decisions” after some of the strictest restrictions currently in place anywhere in Europe have failed to halt the spread of the disease.
South Africa remained the hardest hit country in Africa, with more than 716,000 recorded COVID-19 cases and more than 19,000 deaths according to the Africa CDC.
People in Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, faced new daily records of infections and deaths. Authorities have ordered residents in Tehran to wear masks in public, and many public sector workers in the capital have been told to stay home every second day.
Score Media and Gaming Inc. Virtually Opens The Market – Canada NewsWire
COVID-19: New rules mandate medical masks for some spa, salon staff – London Free Press (Blogs)
'One of the rarest species of shark in the world' captured in amazing video – CNET
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
- Sports20 hours ago
Edmonton Oilers dressing room icon Joey Moss dies
- Tech16 hours ago
iPhone 12 can act as 5GHz Wi-Fi hotspot, boon for 5G
- Health17 hours ago
Record 1440 new COVID cases in Alberta this weekend
- Health24 hours ago
Exclusive: Montreal to convert downtown hotel to 380-bed homeless shelter for COVID-19 winter – CTV News Montreal
- Politics17 hours ago
Latin American Politics
- Art16 hours ago
Southern Alberta Art Gallery Is Honoured With A Blackfoot Naming Ceremony
- Tech9 hours ago
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 review: the 1440p sweet spot – The Verge
- Tech19 hours ago
Five iPhone 12 features you won't find on any Android phones (and one Apple is missing!) – Daily Express