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

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The latest:

B.C.’s premier is urging people to “get with the program” and cut back on social interactions, warning that a return to tighter restrictions is possible if the province’s COVID-19 case numbers don’t come down. 

“This is going to be challenging,” Premier John Horgan said Monday. “No one should be under any illusion based on what’s happening in British Columbia, in Canada, in North America — around the world — that we’re going to be out of this anytime soon.” 

The province, which doesn’t publicly report COVID-19 case data on the weekend, on Monday reported 998 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths since Saturday. The province’s coronavirus dashboard put the number of hospitalizations at 133, with 43 in intensive care.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief public health officer, recently announced a two-week period of tighter restrictions for people living in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions. Henry said Monday that health officials are monitoring where people are contracting COVID-19 and the two-week order could change depending on what they learn.


What’s happening across Canada

WATCH : COVID-19 situation getting worse, not better, infectious disease specialist says:

Despite the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says we need to to double down on efforts to stop the spread of the disease right now.   1:14

As of 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 268,735 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 218,400 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,564.

In Alberta, health officials reported 644 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday and seven deaths. The province reported that 192 people were in hospital, with 39 in ICU. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, expressed concern Monday about the hospitalization numbers and cautioned that Alberta has “not yet turned the corner that we must turn.”

With case numbers rising, a group of physicians in Alberta on Monday sent a letter to Premier Jason Kenney, the health minister and Hinshaw calling for swift moves to slow the spread of the virus.

“If the rate of COVID-19 spread continues, the consequences to the people of Alberta will be catastrophic,” the letter said. “The province should consider a two-week, short, sharp lockdown, or ‘circuit breaker’ to drop the effective reproductive number and allow contact tracing to catch up.”

Saskatchewan hit a new high in daily reported COVID-19 cases on Monday as officials announced 190 new cases. Health officials also reported one additional death, bringing the province’s death toll to 29. 

In Manitoba concern is mounting over case numbers and the situation at some long-term care facilities dealing with outbreaks. Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said Monday he has spoken to Premier Brian Pallister about the possibility of stepped-up restrictions.

“We see these numbers going in the wrong direction, we see increasing demand on our health-care system,” Roussin said. “We’re at a critical point where we need to change these dynamics.”

WATCH | Frustrations grow along with Manitoba’s COVID-19 case numbers: 

Manitoba has recorded more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases in just one week and teachers, health-care workers are among those expressing frustrations and sparking calls for more action from the provincial government. 2:02

Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Yukon or the Northwest Territories on Monday. In Nunavut, health officials said an individual at one of the territory’s isolation hubs in Winnipeg had tested positive for COVID-19.

Ontario on Tuesday reported 1,388 new cases of COVID-19, with 520 of them in Toronto and 395 in Peel Region.

Peel, northwest of Toronto, is the only region in Ontario currently listed as “red” in the province’s new colour-coded COVID-19 framework. Faced with mounting cases, the province on Monday announced it is setting up additional testing capacity in Brampton, with three new testing centres and a mobile unit. 

WATCH | Peel Public Health implements further COVID-19 restrictions:

Peel became the first region in Ontario to move into the red “control” category of the province’s new tiered, colour-coded system for COVID-19 restrictions. But as Ali Chiasson explains, Peel Public Health chose to implement new restrictions Monday on top of the province’s. 2:33

The province reported 13 additional deaths on Monday and reported 367 hospitalizations, with 84 in ICU. Updated figures on deaths and hospitalizations were expected later Tuesday.

In Quebec, a long-term care facility in Dorval that was hit hard in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is closing permanently. 

Health officials said Monday that while the situation has improved in some parts of the province, such as Quebec City and Montreal, it is worsening in others — including the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean area, which currently has more than double the provincial rate of cases per 100,000 people.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported one new case of COVID-19 on Monday, as did Nova Scotia. There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, and P.E.I. held steady with no active cases.


What’s happening around the world

From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

As of early Tuesday morning, there have been more than 50 million cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide, with more than 33 million listed as recovered on a coronavirus tracking dashboard maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The number of deaths recorded by the U.S.-based university stood at more than 1.2 million.

WATCH | What Pfizer’s vaccine trial means for the pandemic:

Infectious disease doctors answer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and what the announcement by Pfizer about its early results from its vaccine means. 6:07

In the Middle East, Iran was to impose a nightly curfew on Tuesday on businesses in Tehran and other big cities and towns while Lebanon was preparing for a two-week nationwide lockdown later this week as both countries battle a major surge in coronavirus infections.

Restaurants and non-essential businesses in Tehran and 30 other cities were ordered to close at 6 p.m. local time for one month to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and to slow the worsening outbreak, which has killed more than 39,000 — the highest toll in the Middle East. Iran has set single-day death records 10 times over the past month, a sign of how quickly the virus is spreading.

The announcement of new limits on Tehran’s bustling cafes and shops, the strictest since a brief nationwide business shutdown in April, reflects the growing sense of urgency among officials. In a first, Iranians’ phones lit up on Monday with a personal appeal from Saeed Namaki, the health minister.

“Do not leave your house for as long as you can and stay away from any crowded places,” his text read. “Coronavirus is no joke.”

Yet in the face of a steep economic decline, Iran continues to avoid a tougher lockdown. The country is already squeezed by unprecedented American sanctions reimposed in 2018 when the Trump administration withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers. Iran’s currency has plunged to new lows in recent weeks, hurting millions of destitute citizens.

Authorities may introduce other targeted measures, like a nighttime ban on through traffic on streets to keep Iranians from going to parties, Tehran Gov. Anoushiravan Bandpay said.

In Lebanon, caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said a lockdown will begin on Saturday and last until the end of the month.

Lebanon has broken daily records in recent weeks, straining the country’s medical sector, where intensive care units are almost full and cannot take more cases. The World Health Organization says 1,527 health workers have tested positive since the first case was reported in Lebanon in late February.

The Lebanese announcement came despite harsh criticism from business sectors that have suffered for more than a year as the country passes through its worst economic and financial crisis. The head of the Lebanon workers union, Bechara el Asmar, warned on Monday the effects of a complete lockdown “will be catastrophic for workers and economic activities.”

A voter, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dips her finger in ink after voting at a polling station in Jordan’s capital Amman on Tuesday. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

Jordanians have begun voting to elect a new parliament amid the ongoing pandemic. The country’s economy has suffered from the virus and the repeated lockdowns, and the tourism industry, a key source of foreign currency, has all but dried up.

Israel said it had asked the U.S. government on Monday to help it get access to Pfizer’s potential COVID-19 vaccine.

In the Americas, Brazil’s health regulator has halted clinical trials of the potential coronavirus vaccine CoronaVac, citing an “adverse, serious event.” The decision posted on Anvisa’s website Monday night elicited immediate surprise from parties involved in producing the vaccine.

The potential vaccine is being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac and in Brazil would be mostly produced by Sao Paulo’s state-run Butantan Institute. Sao Paulo state’s government said in a statement it “regrets being informed by the press and not directly by Anvisa, as normally occurs in clinical trials of this nature.”

Therapist Monica Cirne gives physical therapy to COVID-19 survivor Maria dos Santos at the Movement and Life Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday. A volunteer medical team from the institute gives free physical rehabilitation to poor COVID-19 survivors in favelas, many suffering long-term effects from the disease even though they have recovered from the infection. (Silvia Izquierdo/The Associated Press)

Dimas Covas, who leads Butantan, said on TV Cultura late Monday that while a volunteer had died, it was not due to the shot.

Covas told reporters that the suspension of the trials by Brazil’s health regulator had caused “indignation” and had been done without discussion with the organizers.

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden on Monday unveiled the initial details of his plan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in more than 10 million cases and more than 238,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. 

In the Asia-Pacific region, Pakistani authorities have imposed a mini-lockdown in some areas of the capital, Islamabad, sealing off hot spots to contain the surging coronavirus. The latest development comes hours after Pakistan on Tuesday reported 1,637 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths in the past 24 hours. The country has registered 346,476 confirmed cases and 7,000 deaths since February.

Authorities in China’s financial hub of Shanghai have quarantined 186 people and conducted coronavirus tests on more than 8,000 after a freight handler at the city’s main international airport tested positive for the virus.

No additional cases have been found, the city government said on its microblog Tuesday. It remains unclear how the 51-year-old man contracted the virus, which has largely spared the sprawling metropolis despite its dense population and strong international links.

In the northern port city of Tianjin, more than 77,000 people have been tested after a locally transmitted case was reported there on Monday. That case was believed to be linked to a cold storage warehouse, reinforcing suspicions that the virus may be spreading to victims from frozen food packaging.

In Europe, Dutch authorities warned on Tuesday that social distancing measures must remain in place despite a sharp fall in coronavirus cases, as hospitals remain under pressure due to heavy numbers of COVID-19 patients.

The National Institute for Health on Tuesday reported 43,621 cases in the week through Nov. 10, a decline of more than 30 per cent from the previous week. Deaths increased to 565 from 435.

Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said it was too soon to discuss relaxing rules from the country’s second partial lockdown, which began on Oct. 13.

“I think we have to realize that we as a society still have to make sure that we get much further into the green zone,” Grapperhaus said after a meeting with regional health and safety officials.

A man in a hazmat suit desinfects a truck as members of the Danish health authority, assisted by members of the Danish Armed Forces, dispose of dead mink in a military area near Holstebro, Denmark on Monday. Denmark will cull about 17 million minks after a mutated form of coronavirus that can spread to humans was found on mink farms. (Morten Stricker/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty IMages)

Sweden, whose soft-touch virus approach has sparked world-wide attention, has registered 15,779 coronavirus cases since the country’s previous update on Friday, Health Agency statistics showed on Tuesday.

The number compares with 10,177 cases for the corresponding period last week. Cases in the Nordic country, which does not publish updated COVID-19 data over the weekend and Mondays, have risen sharply, repeatedly hitting daily records over the last two weeks.

Sweden registered 35 new deaths, taking the total to 15,779 during the pandemic. Sweden’s death rate per capita is several times higher than Nordic neighbours but lower than some larger European countries, such as Spain and Britain.

In Africa, Botswana has signed an agreement with the global vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the World Health Organization, giving it the option to buy coronavirus vaccines for 20 per cent of its population, a senior health official told Reuters.

The southern African country has registered a relatively low number of coronavirus cases, around 7,800, with 27 deaths, but its economy has been dealt a severe blow by the pandemic.

Unlike many other African countries, Botswana does not qualify for subsidized vaccines under the COVAX scheme because it is classified as an upper-middle income country like neighbours Namibia and South Africa.

“Twenty per cent coverage is the initial allotment guaranteed under the arrangement,” Moses Keetile, deputy permanent secretary in the health ministry, said.

South Africa remained the hardest-hit country in Africa, with John Hopkins putting the number of cases reported in the country at more than 738,000, with nearly 20,000 deaths. 

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The latest on the coronavirus outbreak for Nov. 23 – CBC.ca

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Aarhus in Denmark is placing 100 waste bins around the city that can hold about 3,000 face masks. The containers have a clamped lid, which ensures that neither birds nor wind can spread the waste. (Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix/Reuters)

P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador hit pause on Atlantic travel bubble

Residents of the four Atlantic provinces have been able to travel relatively freely across each other’s borders without quarantining, but that came to a halt on Monday after announcements from Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. Both provinces cited rising cases in recent days in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

“The Atlantic bubble has been a source of pride … but the situation has changed,” Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey said in announcing a two-week pause from unfettered travel.

Travel to and from Newfoundland and Labrador will only be for essential reasons, Furey said.

P.E.I. said it will re-evaluate on Dec. 7, but beginning Tuesday, those arriving on the island from the other Atlantic provinces will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

“Over the last number of days, it has become apparent that our neighbours in Atlantic Canada, especially Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, are experiencing a second wave,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief public health officer. “I’m concerned it may already be here with some people,” she added.

Those coming to the province from the other three Atlantic provinces will once again need to apply for entry, and students who return to P.E.I. will need to self-isolate for two weeks.

Click below to watch more from The National

Canadians’ fears about contracting COVID-19 kept many people from going to the emergency room. New data shows ER visits were down by nearly one million and there is concern about the impact on the patients who didn’t get the care they needed. 1:59

IN BRIEF

Workplace compensation claims reflect COVID-19 toll on Canadian workers

CBC News has reached out to provincial workers’ compensation boards across the country and found that more than 26,000 claims have been filed by people who contracted COVID-19 at work, the first concrete indication — though not fully complete — of how many workers are getting COVID-19.

Jeffrey Freedman, who was among those 26,000, felt he had no choice earlier in the pandemic but to work at his tile company despite the risk of infection. Freedman spent 44 days in hospital and still can’t work or drive a vehicle due to lingering health effects.

“I have brain fog. I have permanent damage to my vocal cords from the ICU and tubing for 33 days. I have constant neck and bicep pains,” he said.

In Ontario and British Columbia, the data shows that most claims have come from workers in health-care facilities and agriculture.

A quarter of workers in Ontario are not covered at all by the workers’ compensation system, compared with B.C., where all workers have coverage. In addition to variations across the provinces in terms of eligibility, data collection is a challenge as there is no standard accounting of how many people have fallen sick while at work due to a patchwork of provincial and federal tracking. What’s more, the system does not capture COVID-19 cases among workers who are ineligible.

Read more about what the claims tell us

National grief strategy needed for COVID-19 losses, advocacy group says

With over 11,000 Canadians dead from COVID-19, an organization called the Canadian Grief Alliance has been pushing the federal government for a national strategy to help people cope with the increased loss society is facing. The alliance hopes the government will invest $100 million over three years.

Shelly Cory, executive director of Canadian Virtual Hospice and one of the founders of the alliance, says the pandemic’s impact on Canada and the number of people who are grieving is “astounding.” The alliance is calling for a national consultation to help understand the impact and scope of the issue.

“We’ve never dealt with grief from a pandemic. We need to understand where the pressure points are and where we need to provide resources to suffering Canadians,” said Cory, who noted that grief during the pandemic doesn’t involve dealing with the death of a loved one only.

Health Canada says it has funded Wellness Together Canada, a portal that provides Canadians with access to free, credible information and supports to help reinforce mental wellness and address mental health and substance use issues.

The agency also said it has received the proposal from the Canadian Grief Alliance, and officials have been engaging with the organization to discuss its proposal.

Read more about the initiative

Distribution, national registry key issues in COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The past two weeks have provided encouraging news on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, including on Monday from AstraZeneca, but there will be challenges in distributing and tracking vaccine usage in a country as vast as Canada.

In an interview on Rosemary Barton Live, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister called for “national criteria” to guide the country’s distribution efforts.

“Vulnerable people, and, of course, front-line workers, are going to get it first. We all agree with that. But we need to also come to a national agreement on those criteria because it isn’t going to be here all at the same time,” said Pallister.

The head of the committee advising the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on the use of vaccines also spoke to Barton. Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh says another challenge, aside from prioritizing who gets the vaccine, is that there is no national registry to oversee and track vaccination records.

“I think that most provinces have registries so that they’re able to follow up on who gets what, and it’s now the time to really be able to use it,” said Quach-Thanh.

Co-ordination and communication between levels of government will be critical. Even in the first few days after positive news regarding the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, there appeared to be confusion between some provinces and the feds on how many doses were being allocated.

Read more about the distribution challenges

(CBC News)

Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data.

THE SCIENCE

University of Guelph researchers look for answers regarding COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’

Researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario are trying to determine why months after infection with COVID-19, some people are still battling crushing fatigue, lung damage and other symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

Jackie Loree, a respiratory nurse in Kitchener, Ont. is a COVID-19 long-hauler. She tested positive for coronavirus in April, and eight months later she is still experiencing its effects.

“My circulation is poor. I still have bouts of nausea. I lost a great deal of my hair throughout this process, and every day is different,” she told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo’s The Morning Edition. “I always have symptoms every day and it’s very difficult.”

Dr. Melanie Wills, director at the G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab at the university, said when the pandemic hit in early spring, they saw a potential similarity between COVID-19 and Lyme disease — some patients just don’t seem to get better.

“It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill with COVID now, and so my question is: if we are seeing a chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia syndrome emerging from the COVID, is that finally going to shine a spotlight on these types of diseases that have been really ignored to our own peril?” said Wills.

What researchers find will be crucial in treating those with lasting symptoms and trying to prevent new infections from lingering.

AND FINALLY…

Consistency key to adopting new fitness routines during pandemic, researchers say

A jogger runs on a track at Bear Creek Park in Surrey in June 2020. ((Ben Nelms/CBC))

With several provinces entering a more restrictive phase of lockdown that often affects gyms and recreation centres, health researchers in B.C. say it’s important to fight against apathy and still find ways to incorporate a regular fitness routine.

“It’s not something to sort of push off,” says University of Victoria Prof. Ryan Rhodes, who studies health psychology and how people approach and do exercise. “We have to accept that this is a new reality and find new routines to get our physical activity going,” he said.

Rhodes and Guy Faulkner from the University of British Columbia worked on different studies looking at how Canadians were exercising during the initial response to the pandemic. They found a noticed drop-off even among regular exercisers.

Early in the pandemic, it was learned that people with dogs more easily kept up with exercise by walking their pets. People who had exercise equipment at home, bought new equipment or even turned to YouTube for exercise videos also fared better in keeping up with a routine.

Some tips: exercising at the same time of day to build a routine; emphasizing the activities you like most; and taking a walk in the morning and at the end of the working day as a sort of faux commute.

Read more exercise and motivation tips here

Find out more about COVID-19

Still looking for more information on the pandemic? Read more about COVID-19’s impact on life in Canada, or reach out to us at covid@cbc.ca if you have any questions.

If you have symptoms of the illness caused by the coronavirus, here’s what to do in your part of the country.

For full coverage of how your province or territory is responding to COVID-19, visit your local CBC News site.

To get this newsletter daily as an email, subscribe here

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CRA warns 213,000 Canadians that they might have to pay back CERB overpayments – CBC.ca

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The Canada Revenue Agency says it’s warning about 213,000 Canadians who may have been paid twice through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program that they could be called upon to repay the money.

But repayment isn’t required right away, says the agency. The CRA has suspended collection of debts for the duration of the pandemic emergency.

“The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has issued letters to individuals who may have applied for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from both Service Canada and the CRA, and who may be required to repay an amount to the CRA,” a CRA spokesperson said in an email. “The letters did not require immediate payment; rather they informed the taxpayer that there may be a requirement to repay amounts received.

“We will resume collections activities when it is responsible to do so, including collection of debts related to CERB payments,”

The CRA was responding to CBC’s question about individuals being asked to repay pandemic benefits. The agency says it is still recommending that people pay back any CERB funds to which they’re not entitled by the end of the year, warning that if they don’t, the sum will appear on T4A tax slips and will need to be reported as income on next year’s tax return.

‘An honest mistake’

In emails to CBC News about possible repayments, CRA was careful to avoid suggesting that all those who received letters warning they might have to repay CERB money had been caught in any kind of unethical behaviour.

A CRA spokesperson noted that “applicants may make an honest mistake when applying” for CERB.

It’s also possible that some of those who have received letters about repayment already had returned the money voluntarily, or had incorrectly repaid the money to Service Canada instead of the CRA, the spokesperson said.

According to the latest figures, 945,000 pandemic benefit repayments — including for CERB and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit — have been conducted through the CRA’s My Account online portal. The large number has been blamed on confusion over how to apply for the benefits in the early days of the pandemic.

Last week, a Conservative MP raised concerns about CRA figures indicating more than 800,000 non-tax filers had received CERB payments. But several economists were quick to point out that Canadians can qualify for CERB even if they haven’t previously filed taxes — and only people who owe money to the CRA are required to file a return.

For Canadians who do have to return some pandemic benefits, the CRA says it can come up with individual arrangements based on their ability to pay.

In cases where the CRA can’t come to such an arrangement with a taxpayer, it would turn to collections measures. Those measures remain on hold during the pandemic but they could include taking away future tax credits and refunds or garnishing wages, a spokesperson said.

The CRA also has warned Canadians to be aware of CERB repayment scams, including texts, emails or phone calls that appear to come from the CRA and ask for money or personal information.

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Coronavirus: Canada tops 330K cases ahead of new COVID-19 restrictions – Global News

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Regions across Canada braced for a host of new public health restrictions on Sunday as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sent case counts soaring from coast to coast.

Surging case counts that reached record heights in several provinces over the weekend spelled the short-term end to restaurant and retail service in some infection hot spots, while others prepared to further cap public and private gatherings in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

Across the country, health authorities identified a total of 4,792 new cases of the virus as well as 49 more deaths. The new infections, which now place Canada in its sixteenth day of daily-identified cases topping the 4,000 mark, bring the country’s total cases to 330,201.

Read more:
How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

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A total of 11,455 people have also succumbed to the virus, while at least 261,201 patients have since recovered. Over 13.7 million tests have also been administered.

In Ontario, which reported 1,534 new cases and 14 additional deaths on Sunday, shoppers flocked to local stores in Toronto and neighbouring Peel Region a day before both districts were slated to enter the lockdown phase of the provincial pandemic response plan.

Janet Reid visited Toronto’s Eaton Centre on Sunday afternoon to do some last-minute shopping in the hours before non-essential retailers close their doors to in-person visitors.


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Ski resorts seeing busy season start thanks to COVID-19


Ski resorts seeing busy season start thanks to COVID-19

She said she hoped the restrictions, which also include the closure of salons and the suspension of indoor dining at local restaurants, would help bring the COVID-19 numbers down.

“It’s going to take everybody to do it, and not just a few people to do it,” Reid said.

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Read more:
Coronavirus Christmas: Canadians should celebrate outdoors, virtually, experts say

Public health officials in Atlantic Canada have also announced new limits on gatherings as the region saw a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, marking a reversal from the stable figures reported for months.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Nova Scotia’s Hants County and the Halifax area will be under stricter rules as of Monday, including a limit of five people who can gather without social distancing, down from the previous cap of 10.

The province reported 11 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing its number of active diagnoses to 44.

“I know this will not be easy, but it’s an initial step to contain the community spread and avoid the potential to overwhelm our health-care system,” Dr Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in a Friday statement outlining the new rules.

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In Newfoundland and Labrador, which reported three new cases on Sunday, Memorial University announced plans to postpone staff members’ scheduled return to work, originally set for the coming week.

The small town of Deer Lake, N.L., also sounded the alarm over a regional spike in cases when it announced a two-week closure of some municipal buildings and asked local businesses to follow suit.

The slew of pending restrictions is in line with advice from Canada’s top public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, who on Sunday urged people to limit gatherings and only go out for essentials ahead of the holiday season.

Tam said Canada is seeing “rapid epidemic growth,” as the country has now recorded 330,492 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Alberta added to that tally with 1,584 new cases on Sunday, marking the fourth straight day the daily count has reached a record high.


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Ottawa opens new COVID-19 emergency rent subsidy for businesses


Ottawa opens new COVID-19 emergency rent subsidy for businesses

Health officials in Nunavut reported 18 new cases on Sunday in Arviat, a small community on Hudson Bay that now has 98 active infections.

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The territory, which went into a two-week lockdown on Nov. 18, currently has 128 active COVID-19 cases. No deaths have been reported.

“Health teams are working around the clock in Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet to trace, test, isolate and contain the spread of the virus,” Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 1,154 new COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the highest provincial total in the country to 132,042 cases and 6,829 deaths since the pandemic began.

Officials in New Brunswick reported six new COVID-19 cases and warned that three schools may have been exposed to the virus. The province set a single-day record on Saturday with 23 new cases.

Saskatchewan logged 236 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, while Manitoba recorded 243 new instances of the virus and 12 related deaths.

Manitoba’s most recent round of stringent measures took effect Friday. The Hanover School Division, which includes Steinbach, about 60 kilometres south of Winnipeg, will switch to remote learning only on Tuesday.

Worldwide, cases of the virus surpassed 58.5 million according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. A total of 1,386,454 have also succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India leading in both cases and deaths.

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— With files from Global News and CP’s Anita Balakrishnan in Toronto, Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton and Sarah Smellie in St. John’s.


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Small businesses struggling to meet bottom line in COVID-19 pandemic


Small businesses struggling to meet bottom line in COVID-19 pandemic

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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