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COVID-19 restrictions extended in Halifax and Hants; N.S. ramps up asymptomatic testing – CTV News Atlantic



Nova Scotia has extended the pandemic restrictions in areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County for at least one more week.

Dr. Robert Strang noted that Nova Scotia is still reporting daily cases in the double digits, including another 15 on Friday.

“Modelling projects that this will continue for several more days,” Strang said during a news conference in Halifax on Friday. “So we need more time with the existing restrictions in place to see these numbers come down and to be certain they will stay down.”

The restrictions will remain in place until at least Dec. 16.

A decision on whether to continue with restrictions that saw Atlantic Canada’s largest city close down in-person dining at restaurants as well as close public libraries, museums, gyms and casinos, was to be made next Wednesday. Strang said that’s now been moved to Dec. 16.

He said he couldn’t make any promises about what the situation will look like then.

“What I can tell you is that the more we buckle down and stay tight right now . . . the better position we will be in to have some slight relaxation as we enter the holiday weeks before January starts.”


The province also launched a period of asymptomatic testing across the province to limit the potential spread of the virus by detecting positive cases in people who do not have symptoms.

“For the past week, we have had double-digit case numbers daily and most of them are in the areas where we added restrictions last week. These restrictions are important to help us slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “We have also ramped up testing significantly as a key measure in containing the virus. Adding more opportunities for asymptomatic testing is another way of enhancing our testing strategy.”

McNeil said that in the last two weeks, public health has conducted more than 7,000 rapid tests and these have helped flag 22 potential cases of COVID-19 from people who had no symptoms.

“Without everyone’s hard work to run these clinics, and without all of you coming forward to be tested, we would not be able to track COVID as quickly,” McNeil said.


Health officials in Nova Scotia reported 15 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. With 17 more cases resolved, the number of active cases has dropped to 117. 

Eleven of the new cases are located in Nova Scotia’s Central Zone. This includes a case connected to Halifax’s Citadel High School, which was first reported late Thursday.

Three cases are in the Northern Zone and are close contacts of previously reported cases.

The other case is in the Western Zone and is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. 


Nova Scotia Health says a positive case has also been identified at Park West School, a primary to Grade 9 school in Halifax. 

The person did not attend school on Friday and is self-isolating.

The school will remain closed to students until Dec. 10 so a deep cleaning can take place. Students will study from home in the meantime.

Nova Scotia health says, as a precautionary measure, the school’s offsite pre-primary location will also be closed until Dec. 10. Students and families can expect an update on Wednesday.

Public health will notify any close contacts of the person who tested positive. Everyone who is a close contact will be notified, tested and required to self-isolate for 14 days.


Strang said the province has added voluntary testing for rotational workers who are not showing symptoms.

Rotational workers can book an appointment through the COVID-19 self-assessment on Day 6, 7, or 8 of their modified self-isolation.

“This will not change any of the restrictions, but it does offer a level of reassurance if they don’t have COVID, and if they do, it will help us contain the virus quicker,” said Strang.


The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,623 Nova Scotia tests on Thursday.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has conducted 73,254 tests. There have been 269 positive COVID-19 cases. Of those, 152 cases are considered resolved, leaving 117 active cases.

There have been no deaths during the second wave and no one is in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Nova Scotia has conducted a total of 196,425 tests, with 1,358 positive cases confirmed overall. Of those, 1,176 cases are considered resolved and 65 people have died. 

The province’s overall confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Fifty seven per cent of cases are female and 43 per cent are male.

There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the Central Zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.

The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.

  •  Western Zone: 63 cases
  •  Central Zone: 1,154 cases
  •  Northern Zone: 86 cases
  •  Eastern Zone: 55 cases

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Dec. 13.


Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is available in Nova Scotia.

The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.


Anyone who experiences a fever or new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, is encouraged to take an online test or call 811 to determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19:

  •  Sore throat
  •  Headache
  •  Shortness of breath
  •  Runny nose/nasal congestion

With files from The Canadian Press.

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Ottawa sees lowest daily COVID-19 case count in three weeks – CTV Edmonton



Ottawa Public Health is reporting 56 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19, the lowest daily figure in three weeks.

However, two more residents of Ottawa have died of COVID-19.

It comes amid a drop of cases provincewide, with fewer than 2,000 new cases reported across Ontario, due in part to a technical issue in Toronto.

“Due to a technical issue, Toronto Public Health could not report an undetermined number of new cases today, resulting in an underestimation of the daily counts,” Public Health Ontario said.

Figures from OPH and the province often differ due to different data collection times. The province reported 41 new cases in the city.

According to Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 12,427 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and 407 deaths.

There are early signs of some improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the city, with the number of known active cases falling for the third day in a row, and some weekly trends also on the decline. The number of cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents has been slowly falling, and the estimated reproduction rate in the last week is below 1, suggesting viral spread is slowing down.

The COVID-19 wastewater monitoring is also showing signs of a decline after a peak in early January. 

However, there are still more than 30 COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate care settings such as long-term care homes and retirement homes and new outbreaks are still being regularly declared.


A province-wide lockdown went into effect on Dec. 26, 2020. Ottawa Public Health moved Ottawa into its red zone in early January.

A provincial stay-at-home order has been in effect since Jan. 14, 2021.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 81.9 cases
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.0 per cent (Jan. 11 – Jan. 17)
  • Reproduction number: 0.96 (seven day average)

Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing. 


As of Jan. 18, 2021:

  • Doses administered in Ottawa (first and second doses): 21,938 
  • Doses received in Ottawa: 22,245

As of Jan. 19, 2021:

  • Doses administered in Ontario: 224,134 
  • Vaccinations completed in Ontario: 25,609
  • Doses received in Ontario: 277,050 (Jan. 14, 2021)


The number of people with known active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa is below 1,200 for the first time in a week.

OPH reported 1,137 active cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, down from 1,232, driven largely by a jump in resolved cases.

The number of resolved cases rose by 149 on Tuesday to 10,883. 

The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.


There are 39 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications and eight people are in the ICU.

Of the people in hospital, one is between the ages of 10 and 19 (this person is in the ICU), one is in their 30s (this person is in the ICU), six are in their 50s (one is in the ICU), eight are in their 60s (two are in the ICU), seven are in their 70s (three are in the ICU), nine are in their 80s, and seven are 90 or older.


Ontario health officials say 34,531 COVID-19 tests were performed on Monday across Ontario and 36,750 tests remain under investigation.

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says 1,717 swabs were taken at assessment centres on Monday and local labs performed 2,640 tests. There are 2,368 COVID-19 tests in progress as of Jan. 19.

The positivity rate for the week of Jan. 11 to 17 was 4.0%

The Average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at a testing site to the result was 23 hours.


Here is a breakdown of all known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa by age category:

  • 0-9 years old: 7 new cases (888 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: 8 new cases (1,572 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 15 new cases (2,638 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 10 new cases (1,716 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: 10 new cases (1,627 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: 3 new cases (1,469 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: 2 new cases (897 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: 0 new cases (562 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: 1 new case (632 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: 0 new cases (423 total cases)
  • Unknown: 0 new cases (3 cases total)


  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 14 new cases
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 3 new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 3 new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 0 new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases
  • Outaouais region: 20 new cases


Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 38 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

Five new outbreaks were declared on Tuesday at an Andrew Fleck Children’s Services daycare, the Montfort Long-term Care Centre home, the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, the Peter D. Clark long-term care home, and a supported independent living home.

The outbreak at the Duke of Devonshire retirement home has ended.

There are six active community outbreaks. An outbreak at a multi-unit dwelling has ended.

Three are linked to health workplaces, one is linked to an office workplace, one is linked to a distribution centre, and one is linked to a services workplace

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Andrew Fleck Children’s Services – Home Child Care – 29101 (NEW)
  2. Greenboro Children’s Centre
  3. Montessori by Brightpath
  4. Ruddy Family Y Child Care
  5. Services à l’enfance Grandir Ensemble – La Maisonée – 28627

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Alta Vista Manor
  2. Besserer Place
  3. Centre D’Accueil Champlain
  4. Colonel By Retirement Home
  5. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  6. Extendicare Medex
  7. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
  8. Extendicare West End Villa
  9. Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home
  10. Grace Manor Long-term Care Home
  11. Granite Ridge long-term care home
  12. Group Home – 28608
  13. Group Home – 28740
  14. Group Home – 28848
  15. Group Home – 29045
  16. Group Home – 29049
  17. Group Home – 29052
  18. Hillel Lodge
  19. Madonna Care Community
  20. Montfort Long-term Care Centre (NEW)
  21. Oakpark Retirement Community
  22. Park Place 
  23. Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre (NEW)
  24. Peter D. Clark long-term care home (NEW)
  25. Redwoods Retirement Residence
  26. Shelter – 28365
  27. Sisters of Charity Couvent Mont Saint-Joseph
  28. St. Patrick’s Home
  29. Supported Independent Living – 28110
  30. Supported Independent Living – 29100 (NEW)
  31. Valley Stream Retirement Residence
  32. Villa Marconi
  33. Villagia in the Glebe Retirement Residence

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).  

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PM warns Canada could impose new COVID-19 travel restrictions without notice – CTV News



Citing the evolving situation with the identified COVID-19 variants from other countries, the prime minister is strongly urging Canadians not to travel because federal travel rules could change very quickly.

In French, the prime minister implored anyone who has booked trips to cancel them, saying a vacation is not worth it given the uncertainty and chance of either contracting the virus or ending up stranded abroad.

He said the federal government is closely following the latest science on more transmissible strains, such as those from the U.K. and Brazil, and officials could impose new restrictions without advance notice at any time.

The government continues to advise against any non-essential travel, though that decision is left up to Canadians and no outright ban is in place. 

Canadian airlines and travel companies continue to offer vacation packages and flight deals to warmer destinations, with flights departing from Canada daily. 

Acknowledging that people have the right to travel, Trudeau said the government also has the ability to impose penalties for those endangering others’ health. 

Canada has had restrictions on international travellers entering the country since mid-March 2020, as well as a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for anyone who returns from an international location. 

In December, while some Canadians opted to vacation abroad, the federal government imposed new travel rules, including the requirement to show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding a flight coming back into this country. As well, for a short period of time flights from the U.K. were banned with little notice, but have since resumed. 

Violating any of Canada’s international travel screening and self-isolation requirements can result in charges under the Quarantine Act, with maximum penalties of up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $75,000.

According to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, in Canada there have been 23 confirmed cases of the variant first reported in the U.K., and two cases of the South African strain. Further, the Public Health Agency of Canada is reporting nearly 200 recent international flights that have landed in Canada with at least one COVID-19 positive passenger aboard. 

“Every vacation travel we postpone for a better time in the future, every outing or activity we avoid, shorten, or limit to essentials… helps to reduce spread of the virus,” Tam said Tuesday.  

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3 Qualities to Look for When Hiring New Employees



Hiring New Employees

You’re hiring a new executive position at your firm. There’s a shortlist of five stellar candidates — compact with impressive experience, education, and references — that are about to engage in separate secondary interviews within the coming days. How do you make the right decision? They all made it to the second round of interviews due to their high qualifications and excellent interview skills, so how can you possibly choose just one individual?

There’s no denying that making the final hiring decision can be a challenge. However, if you can find the following three qualities in a candidate, in addition to relevant experience and skillset, you’ve got yourself the right person for the job.

1. Emotional Intelligence

You’re looking for someone who can think quickly on their feet, is a problem-solver, and can effectively communicate with peers. What some hiring committees forget to consider is whether or not a candidate conveys emotional intelligence. Would this person show empathy to colleagues? How would they react to a stressful situation? You want someone who’s not only devoted to producing excellent work but also someone level-headed with interpersonal skills. Ask candidates why they believe they’ve been successful in their careers thus far. The people who thank a mentor or previous manager are the ones you’ll want to get to know because their answer shows they see outside of their egos.

2. Confidence

To identify top talent in your candidate pool, you must look for individuals with high self-esteem and confidence. Confidence shows that they’re happy with themselves and could handle learning a brand new position without experiencing self-doubt. It also shows that they could positively carry themselves in an office full of new faces. You’ll want to stay away from those who appear insecure because such individuals are generally more hesitant at work. If someone is very nervous during the interview, let them know that they’re in a safe space and try to calm them down by saying that you understand and have been in their shoes. If they continue to exhibit signs of insecurity, you might want to move on to the next candidate.

3. Knowledge of the Company

If a person has made it to the second round of interviews, then they must have made it clear that they’ve researched the company on some level. But how much do they actually know? Of course, you don’t expect anyone to know precise figures from your last annual report (although it wouldn’t help if the position is in finance), but they should have a solid understanding of your mandate and trajectory. As you listen to answers, pay attention and see if they align with the company’s values and mission.

Seek Extra Help from a Recruitment Agency

Many organizations work with professional recruiters to help them find the best employees. When you work with a recruitment agency, you don’t have to spend days sifting through resumes and interviewing. A recruiter will handle the entire hiring process for you. There’s also less risk of hiring the wrong person because an agency has the hiring experience and access to exclusive talent.

Hiring is never easy, but by working with an agency and focusing on the right qualities, you’ll find the best candidate in no time.

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