Connect with us


Get informed on the top stories of the day in one quick scan –



Good morning! This is our daily news roundup with everything you need to know in one concise read. Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox every morning.

B.C. closes nightclubs, banquet halls after confirming 429 new COVID-19 cases over long weekend

B.C. is ordering nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls closed, ending the sale of liquor at restaurants past 10 p.m. and telling venues to reduce the volume from music or other sources to conversational levels, as cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in the province. Bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m., unless they are serving food.

The amendments to public health orders come as the province reported 429 new cases of COVID-19 from a four-day period over the long weekend, bringing the total to 6,591. Two more people, both in long-term care, have died of the virus. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 123 of the cases were recorded between Friday and Saturday, 116 were reported between Saturday and Sunday, 107 between Sunday and Monday, and 83 new cases were confirmed between Monday and Tuesday.


The amended orders were issued as “a last resort,” Henry said. “We recognize that these venues have tried. We’ve made adjustments but there are still exposures happening.”

“Going to a nightclub, going to a bar, going to somebody’s home — close spaces with face-to-face encounters with people we don’t know … that’s a risk,” Henry said.

She said the province’s philosophical approach to the pandemic has been to issue minimal mandatory restrictions, but that exposures in venues like nightclubs had become a “major source” of transmission, putting strain on public health resources.

Watch | Nightclubs ordered closed in British Columbia after spike in COVID-19:

Jeff Guignard, executive director of the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C., said Tuesday’s announcement was both disappointing and frustrating. “It’s a difficult day,” he said. “Businesses are going to close because of this.”

What’s most frustrating, said Guignard, is that the vast majority of nightclubs were meeting or exceeding safety standards. He blamed the spike in infections on people who think the rules don’t apply to them, referencing recent media coverage of drum circles at the beach and dance parties on Vancouver’s Granville Street. Read more on this story here.

Fully extended

(Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)

Denis Shapovalov of Canada reaches out to hit the ball against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain during their U.S. Open men’s singles quarter-final match in Flushing Meadows, New York. In a contest that lasted more than four hours and ended early Wednesday, Shapovalov took his opponent to five sets before the Spaniard won 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-3. Read more on the match here.

In brief

The Royal Canadian Navy’s move to change the titles of its junior ranks has no legal force, says a former military lawyer. In the interest of making the service more inclusive, the navy is replacing all references to “seaman” in the English-language ranks (ordinary, able, leading and master) with gender-neutral terms. As of last week, the ranks are: sailor third class, sailor second class, sailor first class and master sailor. But according to retired lieutenant-colonel Rory Fowler — a former military lawyer now in private practice who deals with many disciplinary and grievance cases — the Department of National Defence hasn’t gone through the proper channels to change the regulations governing conduct in the ranks. He said the government has failed to issue what’s known as a Governor in Council order — an oversight the department now confirms. Read more about the change in titles here.

A nasal swab isn’t the only way to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 — scientists around the world have been able to track the presence of the novel coronavirus in sewage. Now, a team of researchers at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ont., is monitoring wastewater in Durham Region with the aim of giving public health units around the province a COVID-19 early warning system. One key feature of monitoring wastewater is that it can detect the virus before people show the symptoms that would prompt them to get tested. Such a finding from a particular sewage treatment plant could show the local public health unit which part of its community is seeing evidence of infections. In turn, that could help officials decide where to direct testing resources in an effort to track down individual COVID-19 cases. Read more on this story here.

Drug company AstraZeneca confirmed Tuesday evening that late-stage studies of a possible COVID-19 vaccine are on temporary hold while it investigates whether a report of a patient with a serious side effect is linked to the shot. AstraZeneca said its “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.” The company didn’t reveal any information about the possible side effect except to call it “a potentially unexplained illness.” The news site STAT first reported the pause in testing, saying the possible side effect occurred in the United Kingdom. A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said the pause in vaccinations covers studies in the U.S. and other countries. In late August, the company started recruiting 30,000 people in the U.S. for its largest study of the vaccine. It also is testing the vaccine, developed by Oxford University, in thousands of people in Britain, and in smaller studies in Brazil and South Africa. Read more on the halt of the trial here

A Canadian Ranger group under investigation over ties between one of its members and two far-right militia groups has advertised on its website for years that part of its mission is to guard Canada against illegal immigration. One expert says that language on immigration mirrors the messaging of far-right organizations and could reinforce interest in the Canadian Rangers by members of extremist groups. Minutes after CBC News conducted an interview with Lt.- Gen. Wayne Eyre, commander of the Canadian Army, that reference to “watching for illegal immigrants” disappeared from the 4 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group’s website. “If that is being seen as a way, as a message that attracts that ideology, yes, absolutely, we will address it,” Eyre told CBC News. Read more here about the investigation into the Ranger group.

Hydrogen is having a moment globally, in large part because it’s viewed as a critical component in combating climate change, improving air quality and creating economic growth in a carbon-constrained world. Amid this resurgence of interest in hydrogen, Ottawa has been crafting a long-term strategy aimed at securing a place for a Canadian sector in what’s expected to be a significant, global industry in the decades ahead. The government anticipates it will release its plan this fall. As momentum around hydrogen builds globally and other countries execute their own strategies, Ottawa is under pressure to act. “Things are happening quickly,” said Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan. “It looks like trends we saw before the pandemic have accelerated. We want to be ahead of it.” Read more on Ottawa’s hope to supercharge Canada’s hydrogen fuel sector 

Watch | What it’s like owning a hydrogen car:

Now for some good news to start your Wednesday: In normal times, Kingston, Ont., author Iain Reid would be suiting up for premieres and press junkets to promote the new Hollywood film based on his first novel. But these are pandemic times, so the Ottawa-born writer instead watched I’m Thinking of Ending Things for the first time on his bed with a bowl of popcorn. “It kind of felt like everything came full circle because I wrote most of the book there,” Reid told CBC’s Ottawa Morning. The movie premiered Sept. 4 and is now available for streaming on Netflix. It was directed and written by Charlie Kaufman and stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette and David Thewlis. Reid’s 2016 thriller centres upon a young couple who head off on a road trip to visit the farm of the boyfriend’s parents. Read more about the novel and the launch of the film here.

Front Burner: As B.C. overdose deaths soar, calls for fully regulated addiction treatment

In 2018, a BC Coroners Service panel called for provincial regulations to ensure evidence-based care at addiction recovery facilities. The panel said this system should be developed by September 2019. Now, one year later, more people are dying of overdoses than ever before, but the regulations recommended by the panel still do not exist. 

Today, CBC Vancouver’s Bethany Lindsay tells us about a young woman who died in an addiction facility, how the government currently regulates addiction treatment, and the changes advocates are seeking.

Today in history: September 9

1954: Sixteen-year-old Marilyn Bell becomes the first person to swim across Lake Ontario. Bell started her swim the previous day from Youngstown, N.Y. She swam for almost 21 hours under gruelling conditions, fighting waves and lamprey eels attacking her legs. About 300,000 people were on hand when she came ashore in Toronto. 
1967: The federal Progressive Conservative party ousts John Diefenbaker as leader at a Toronto convention and replaces him with Nova Scotia Premier Robert Stanfield.
2009: In a legal first in Canada, a Quebec court sentences a drunk driver to life in prison. The Crown had been pushing to have 57-year-old Roger Walsh declared a dangerous offender. It was Walsh’s 19th drunk-driving conviction, which left a wheelchair-bound woman dead.

2015: Queen Elizabeth becomes the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who served for 63 years and 216 days from 1837-1901. Elizabeth began her reign upon the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


FDA approves over-the-counter Narcan. Here's what it means – Yahoo Canada Finance



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling naloxone without a prescription, setting the overdose-reversing drug on course to become the first opioid treatment drug to be sold over the counter.

It’s a move that some advocates have long sought as a way to improve access to a life-saving drug, though the exact impact will not be clear immediately.

Here’s a look at the issues involved.



The approved branded nasal spray from Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions is the best-known form of naloxone.

It can reverse overdoses of opioids, including street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl and prescription versions including oxycodone.

Making naloxone available more widely is seen as a key strategy to control the nationwide overdose crisis, which has been linked to more than 100,000 U.S. deaths a year. The majority of those deaths are tied to opioids, primarily potent synthetic versions such as fentanyl that can take multiple doses of naloxone to reverse.

Advocates believe it’s important to get naloxone to the people who are most likely to be around overdoses, including people who use drugs and their relatives.

Police and other first responders also often carry it.



Narcan will become available over-the-counter by late summer, the company said.

Other brands of naloxone and injectable forms will not yet be available over the counter, but they could be soon.

The nonprofit Harm Reduction Therapeutics Inc., which has funding from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, has an application before the FDA to distribute its version of spray naloxone without a prescription.



Even before the FDA’s action, pharmacies could sell naloxone without a prescription because officials in every state have allowed it.

But not every pharmacy carries it. And buyers have to pay for the medication — either with an insurance co-pay or for the full retail price. The cost varies, but two doses of Narcan often go for around $50.

The drug is also distributed by community organizations that serve people who use drugs, though it’s not easily accessible to everyone who needs it.

Emergent has not announced its price and it’s not clear yet whether insurers will continue to cover it as a prescription drug if it’s available over the counter.



It clears the way for Narcan to be made available in places without pharmacies — convenience stores, supermarkets and online retailers, for instance.

Jose Benitez, the lead executive officer at Prevention Point Philadelphia, an organization that tries to reduce risk for people who use drugs with services including handing out free naloxone, said it could help a lot for people who don’t seek services — or who live in places where they’re not available.

Now, he said, some people are concerned about getting naloxone at pharmacies because their insurers will know they’re getting it.

“Putting it out of the shelves is going to allows people just to pick it up, not have stigma attached to it and readily access this life-saving drug,” he said.

But it remains to be seen how many stores will carry it and what the prices will be. The U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which now cover prescription naloxone for people on the government insurance programs, says that coverage of over-the-counter naloxone would depend on the insurance program. The centers have not given any official guidance.

Maya Doe-Simkins, a co-director of Remedy Alliance/For The People, which launched last year to provide low-cost — and sometimes free — naloxone to community organizations, said her group will continue to distribute injectable naloxone.



One concern is whether people who buy Narcan over-the-counter will know how to use it properly, said Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University addiction expert, though the manufacturer is responsible for clear directions and online videos on that.

One benefit of having pharmacists involved, he said, is that they can show buyers how to use it. One key thing people need to be reminded of: Call an ambulance for the person receiving naloxone after it’s been administered.

He also said there are fears that if the drug isn’t profitable as an over-the-counter option, the drugmaker could stop producing it.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Nearly all Canadian adults had COVID antibodies for about half of 2022, most through previous infection: survey



A newly released survey finds nearly all Canadian adults had antibodies against COVID-19 for about half of 2022, with most acquiring them through a previous infection.

The results, released Tuesday by Statistics Canada in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada and COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, show that 98.1 per cent of Canadian adults living in the country’s 10 provinces had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, between April and August 2022.

These individuals acquired antibodies through either vaccination, previous infection or both.

Over that five-month period, 53.9 per cent developed antibodies through a past infection.


This is in comparison to the results of a previous version of the survey done between November 2020 and April 2021 that found 2.6 per cent of Canadians had COVID-19 antibodies due to a previous infection.

A report detailing the findings says while almost 54 per cent of Canadians surveyed had antibodies from an infection, the actual proportion of those infected since the start of the pandemic is likely higher.

“This is due, in part, to the fact that an antibody response to an infection may not always be detectable, especially among those who are vaccinated who may generate fewer antibodies following a subsequent infection. In addition, antibody levels can decrease over time,” the report says.


The survey used a technique known as dried blood spot testing to detect COVID-19 antibodies from vaccination or a past infection, as well as saliva samples to determine a current or recent infection.

A total of 105,998 people were chosen to participate in the survey, of which 30.7 per cent completed a questionnaire asking about general health and exposure to COVID-19. Of those who completed the questionnaire, nearly 54 per cent provided a blood sample and 54.5 per cent provided a saliva sample.

The body produces antibodies to defend against diseases and in response to vaccination.

However, they do decrease over time and the report says some people previously infected with COVID-19 or who have been vaccinated may no longer have detectable levels of antibodies.

But while antibodies may decrease with time, the report says it does not mean a person’s immunity has waned.

Rather, an individual may have developed cell-mediated immunity, which activates specialized white-blood cells called T cells.

The report says dried blood spot testing also does not measure cell-mediated immunity.

Even without detectable antibodies, the report adds that cell-mediated immunity could be enough to protect someone against severe COVID-19 symptoms. The mere presence of antibodies alone also isn’t enough to suggest a person could fend off a new infection or any serious symptoms.


The survey found as many as two out of five Canadians with antibodies from a previous infection were unaware they had been infected, either because they never tested positive or did not suspect an infection.

Among those who previously tested positive for COVID-19, antibody levels were higher between 14 and 90 days post-infection before gradually decreasing over time.

“While this is indicative of decreasing antibodies, there are other factors which could impact this analysis,” the report says.

“For example, since vaccines may lead to a lesser antibody response following an infection, the percentage of Canadians with antibodies from infection may be affected by changing vaccination rates over time. Further, since the survey focuses on first infections, re-infections would also impact this analysis as these could lead to a rebound in antibody levels.”

Canadians with a disability or underlying health conditions were less likely to have antibodies from a previous infection compared to those who did not report a disability or health condition.

Those 18-34 and 35-49 were also more likely to have antibodies from a previous infection than older Canadians were.

Antibody levels from infection varied between population groups, ranging from as low as 53 per cent for Chinese Canadians to as high as 80.7 per cent for Black Canadians.

Across provinces, Nova Scotia had the lowest proportion of residents who developed antibodies from infection at 46.5 per cent, while Quebec (56.5 per cent), Alberta (57.4 per cent) and Saskatchewan (57.4 per cent) had the highest rates.

The survey did not include data from the three territories, those under 18 or people living on reserve, in institutions or Canadian Forces Bases.


Source link

Continue Reading


Healthy Kids, Adolescents May Not Need Covid Shots, WHO Says



(Bloomberg) — Healthy children and adolescents may no longer need Covid shots, the World Health Organization said, updating its guidance on vaccines as the world adjusts to living permanently with the virus.

Older people and higher-risk groups — including those with underlying conditions — should get Covid boosters between six and 12 months after their last injections, the WHO said in a statement announcing a revised vaccine road map for the new stage of the pandemic.

“Countries should consider their specific context in deciding whether to continue vaccinating low-risk groups, like healthy children and adolescents, while not compromising the routine vaccines that are so crucial for the health and well-being of this age group,” said Hanna Nohynek, chair of the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.

The Geneva-based organization’s latest advice comes as booster rates fall in countries from China to the US, with just 16% of Americans lining up for the latest round of shots targeting the omicron variant, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.


The dropoff won’t just have financial consequences for vaccine makers — including Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. — but is also sparking concerns among public health experts who say updated vaccinations are the best way to protect against Covid.

Read more: Covid Boosters Sour for Pfizer, Moderna With Uptake Rate at 16%

Healthy children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years are a low-priority group for vaccination, the WHO said, and primary and booster doses are safe and effective for them. They have typically experienced less severe reactions to Covid than adults.

The WHO said context mattered in deciding whether to inoculate younger people given the lower burden of disease.

The organization “urges countries considering vaccination of this age group to base their decisions on contextual factors, such as the disease burden, cost effectiveness, and other health or programmatic priorities and opportunity costs,” the statement said.

–With assistance from Tanaz Meghjani.


Source link

Continue Reading