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Ford government to overhaul Blue Bin program

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The Ford government is changing who will be responsible for the Blue Box recycling program as well as expanding the items that can be put into the blue box itself.

CityNews has learned Ontario’s Environment Minister will announce today that producers of products and packaging will be fully responsible for the Blue Box program.

The Blue Box program is currently run by the Ontario Stewardship Council with the cost split among the municipalities. But the Ford government will shift to a new model where producers of the waste – businesses – will provide blue box collection and pay for the entire cost.

The government claims the move will result in an estimated savings of $135 million annually for municipalities.

Government officials say there should not be any interruption to the program during the transition, saying that those who have curbside blue box collection now will continue to have it under the new system. The government also says the Beer Store’s deposit return program can continue under the new producer responsibility model.

The transition is set to take effect at different times across the province.

The government is also set to announce that the list of materials accepted in the blue box will increase to include paper and plastic cups, wraps, foils, trays, bags and other single use items such as stir sticks, straws, cutlery and plates.

The Ford government will also expand blue box services to include apartment buildings, long-term care homes, schools and municipal parks in 2026.

The official announcement is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, and will be the first of a series of announcements as part of Waste Reduction Week.

Ontario is the birthplace of the blue-box.

The curbside recycling program was first introduced in Kitchener in 1981.

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COVID-19 clusters identified at Windsor Regional, Hotel-Dieu Grace hospitals – Windsor Star

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Visits to the floor are not allowed until further notice.

“Both hospitals continue to work with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit to investigate the circumstances of the cluster and we will provide an update when more details become available,” the Windsor Regional release says.

HDGH says the patients in its affected unit are all being tested and staff who worked in the unit are being offered testing. In addition, the hospital is closing the unit to new admissions, enhancing cleaning, reinforcing the importance of PPE use and consistent hand-washing, and suspending a visitation program in the unit that allows designated family members to help with care.

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Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, said the health unit is working closely with hospital officials to investigate the clusters. Due to privacy concerns, he said, the health unit is “unable to disclose publicly any further details about the cases or the number of close contacts at the hospitals.”

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(2) Covid-19 hit 7 members of one family. Now they're speaking out so others don't go through the same pain. – CNN

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Medical workers are seen inside the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on November 11.
Medical workers are seen inside the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on November 11. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Two hospital systems gave Thanksgiving updates on their coronavirus caseloads, both saying that cases are rising in their hospitals but expressing confidence in their ability to deal with the increasing case load.

One hospital system said, the situation now is “nothing approaching what we experienced in March,” and another system echoing that saying they are “well within our ability to handle.” 

Mt. Sinai healthcare system’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vicki LoPachin, said in a note Wednesday, that coronavirus cases continue to rise across the Mt. Sinai health system but that the current number of cases “is still within our projections, and well within our ability to handle.”

 “Our COVID-19 inpatient census remains at less than 10 percent of what we saw at the peak in the spring,” LoPachin said. “And we do not believe we will ever see anything close to those prior numbers.”

Dr. Craig Smith, chair of the department of surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, which is also affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospital system, said in a message Thursday that the new Covid-19 case curve is “unequivocally positive” but nothing approaching “what we experienced in March.”

Smith’s candid updates during the heat of the coronavirus crisis in New York gained a large following in the spring. 

Smith said NYP and CU have a “meticulous plan” for staffing changes if the surge in cases increases quickly, and that at this time, the systems are not close to a level where non-urgent surgeries would need to be canceled in order to deal with an influx of cases.

Smith also said the institutions are in the process of planning “thorough plans” for vaccine distribution.

On Wednesday morning, the system had 157 Covid-19-positive patients admitted to their hospitals, 25 of whom were in critical care.

LoPachin warned Mt. Sinai healthcare workers to “relax, recharge and prepare for the work ahead” as coronavirus case numbers are expected to increase, as some ignore warnings against gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We know that many people will ignore the warnings and gather unsafely with their families tomorrow, and that the patients with new COVID-19 infections resulting from those gatherings will arrive in our hospitals in the next few weeks,” LoPachin said. “Your family needs you, your colleagues need you, and your patients need you, now more than ever.”

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Queen's Park and Ottawa butt heads over COVID-19 vaccine timeline – CityNews Toronto

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  1. Queen’s Park and Ottawa butt heads over COVID-19 vaccine timeline  CityNews Toronto
  2. November 27 coronavirus news  CNN International
  3. Ottawa outlines its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan  CBC News: The National
  4. Hospitals in England told to prepare for Covid vaccine rollout in 10 days’ time  The Guardian
  5. Frankfurt pharma hub prepares for Covid vaccine task  Bangkok Post
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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