At 3 p.m. ET, top provincial health officials are set to provide an update on current COVID-19 modelling in Ontario.
You can watch the news conference live in this story.
Ontario reported another 934 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, pushing the seven-day average of new daily cases to nearly 900.
The new cases include 420 found in Toronto, the most on a single day in the city by a considerable margin. The previous record was 330 infections recorded on Sept. 29.
Additionally, 169 were confirmed in Peel Region, 95 in York Region and 58 in Ottawa.
Several other areas also saw double-digit increase:
- Halton Region: 35
- Hamilton: 28
- Durham Region: 19
- Niagara: 16
- Simcoe Muskoka: 15
- Waterloo Region: 13
- Eastern Ontario: 13
The seven-day average of new daily cases, a measure that helps limit noise in the data to provide a clearer picture of long-term trends, is now about 899, also a new record high since the first case was reported in Ontario in January.
The new infections come with 35,621 completed tests, more than typically done throughout this week but still below capacity, which is about 45,000 daily, according to provincial public health officials.
Further, the number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 jumped 10 up to 322 after two straight days of staying steady. Those being treated in intensive care increased by six, up to 77, while the number of patients on ventilators is 52.
The province also added 10 more COVID-19-linked deaths, bringing the total to 3,118. Some 2,001 of those deaths were residents of long-term care facilities.
There are currently about 7,578 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, the most ever.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found in the Ministry of Health’s daily update, which includes data from up until 4 p.m. the previous day. The number of cases for any particular region on a given day may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, which often avoid lag times found in the provincial system.)
Despite current trends, Premier Doug Ford promised that a “positive” projection report on COVID-19 numbers in Ontario would be released by the province today.
Ford again said Thursday that the province is seeing “a little bit of a decline” in numbers, while adding that people can’t let their guard down.
Amidst this backdrop, Ford and his ministers spent the first 25 minutes of Thursday’s press conference talking about “Ontario made” labels and branding. At one point, Ford told viewers to “buy a BBQ” from the manufacturer hosting the news conference.
“We need to support the local home team as I always say,” Ford said.
Ford was again asked Thursday if he’s anticipating that Ontario regions that are currently in a “modified Stage 2” will be able to go back to Stage 3 of reopening measures once a 28-day period is finished early next month.
The premier said the province is looking at taking a “surgical approach,” in these regions.
“We’re working with our health team, and I can’t give you 100 per cent,” Ford said.
Hand sanitizer recalled
Health Canada has issued an expanded recall notice for a brand of hand sanitizer sold at Dollarama and other locations.
The agency said Daily Shield-branded products are being pulled off store shelves across the country.
Health Canada said the products, manufactured by Mississauga-based Bio Life Sciences Corp., were found to contain methanol, an unauthorized ingredient that can cause severe health issues.
Testing also revealed that the product’s ethanol content is not high enough to be effective in killing germs.
Health Canada said it also discovered a number of code violations at Bio Life and has suspended its product licences.
The Daily Shield brand was at the centre of an earlier recall notice that described one product as a “counterfeit,” but Health Canada said that’s no longer the case.
Ontario reports 1,822 new COVID-19 cases, 29 more deaths – CBC.ca
Ontario reported another 1,822 cases of COVID-19 and 29 more deaths linked to the illness on Saturday.
The new cases include 566 in Toronto, 516 in Peel Region and 145 in York Region. Hamilton and Waterloo saw 105 and 102 additional cases, respectively.
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:
- Halton: 68.
- Windsor-Essex: 57.
- Durham Region: 48.
- Ottawa: 46.
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 25.
- Niagara Region: 21.
- Simcoe Muskoka: 21.
- Middlesex-London: 20.
- Eastern Ontario: 13.
- Huron Perth: 11.
- Grey Bruce: 10.
- Thunder Bay: 10.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ontario health ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its daily epidemiologic summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit because local units report figures at different times.)
The newly confirmed infections push the seven-day average up to 1,523, the highest it has been since the outbreak began in late January. The numbers come after the province set a single-day record for new cases on Friday.
There are currently 13,538 confirmed, active cases of COVID-19 provincewide, a number that is also a new record high.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of labs processed 55,086 test samples for the novel coronavirus and reported a test positivity rate of 3.4 per cent. More than 56,000 tests were added to the queue to be completed. Public health officials said recently that they hope to build capacity in the system for up to 100,000 tests daily.
The number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of the illness jumped 54, up to 595 — nearly double the number one month ago. Those being treated in intensive care increased by four to 155, while those on ventilators dropped slightly to 99.
The additional deaths in Saturday’s update push the official toll to 3,624. So far this month, 479 people with COVID-19 have died in the province.
5 regions moving into more restrictive zones
The provincial government announced yesterday that five more regions will move into more restrictive zones starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday:
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Lambton Public Health
- Northwestern Health Unit
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday – CBC.ca
- Ontario reports 1,822 new COVID-19 cases, 29 more deaths.
- Officials say majority of Canadians could be vaccinated by next September.
- Federal government to enlist the military to help with vaccine distribution.
- Manitoba hospital ICUs operating over capacity due to rise in COVID-19 cases.
- Nearly 100 cases of infection reported at Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre.
- Alberta again breaks records for hospitalizations, ICU patients.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca
Ontario added another 1,822 cases of COVID-19 to its total on Saturday, a day after recording its highest single-day count of 1,855.
The province also reported 29 new deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus after recording 20 deaths on Friday, when health officials said they had completed just over 58,000 tests — the most the province has ever conducted in one day.
Despite the growing number of cases, a majority of Canadians could be inoculated against COVID-19 by September 2021 “if all goes according to plan,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. It’s important the vaccine reaches all Canadians “no matter where they live,” he said.
Trudeau said as Canada prepares for “the biggest immunization exercise in the country,” it will enlist the help of a former NATO commander to lead the distribution effort.
WATCH | Ottawa outlines its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan:
Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the military’s role in co-ordinating logistics, which include cold storage requirements, data sharing and reaching Indigenous communities.
The prime minister said the federal government has already purchased freezers capable of storing vaccine doses at -70 C.
WATCH | Senior military commander to lead vaccine distribution:
Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said as many as six million doses could be deployed in the first three months of 2021. Each patient will need two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, which Health Canada says could win approval next month because its review is in the most advanced stage out of the three leading candidates.
Federal officials warned that any timelines are uncertain and emphasized that no vaccine has been approved for use in Canada.
WATCH | Ontario prepares vaccine plan amid record-high new cases:
Quebec reported 1,269 new COVID-19 infections and 38 more deaths linked to the virus on Friday, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours.
Federal data showed that as of Friday, Alberta had the highest seven-day infection rate in Canada with 209 cases per 100,000 people.
Friday was the last day of in-school classes for junior and senior high school students across Alberta. Students in grades 7 to 12 are all being shifted to remote learning until Jan. 11, in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The province’s new measures also ban indoor social gatherings, limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people, restrict access to some businesses and make masks mandatory at indoor workplaces in Edmonton and Calgary.
Kaycee Madu, Alberta’s minister of justice and solicitor general, said Friday that the province is empowering 700 more peace officers to help enforce COVID-19 public health orders.
Fines for breaking the rules can range from $1,000 to $100,000 in extreme cases that end up in court, Madu said.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 10:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 360,889, with 60,954 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,923.
Manitoba announced 349 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 14 more deaths, the province’s second-deadliest day of the pandemic to date. Intensive care units across the province are operating at 152 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 capacity. A record high 322 people are in hospital with the illness, including 45 patients in ICUs.
WATCH | Manitoba’s top health official on recent COVID-19 deaths:
Officials overseeing the pandemic response on Manitoba’s First Nations say 630 new cases were identified over the last week alone. Nine new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 36.
The province announced stricter COVID-19 measures last week that prohibit businesses from selling non-essential items in stores and further restricted capacity at large retailers.
I repeat the same message daily. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/StayHome?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#StayHome</a>.<br>This it is the action that matters the most right now. Only go out for essential reasons.
The new public health orders also prohibit people from having anyone inside their home who doesn’t live there, with few exceptions.
British Columbia announced a single-day record on Friday with 911 cases of COVID-19.
The latest update also includes a new record of 301 patients in hospital with COVID-19, including 69 in critical care.
Earlier Friday, the Vancouver International Airport announced a pilot project in which volunteer travellers are enlisted to take COVID-19 rapid tests before departing on their domestic flights.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, appealed for people to respect store and restaurant employees as she referred to recent confrontations by aggressive customers who refused to wear masks at indoor public places.
“If you are opposed to wearing a mask, then I ask you to shop online, order takeout or stay outside or stay home and not put other people at risk,” she said.
Eleven more people have died in B.C., bringing the number of fatalities to 395, while a record 301 patients are in hospital.
WATCH | New mask mandate in B.C. a point of contention for some:
Prince Edward Island did not reported any new cases on Friday. Starting Monday, masks will be mandatory for staff and students in Grades 10-12 at all times inside a school building, including while sitting at their desks, with exemptions made for situations such as eating or drinking.
Nunavut reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The territory, which saw its first confirmed case earlier this month, has now seen a total of 159 cases.
The Nunavut government said it plans to spend $1 million toward community food programming, including extra funding for communities affected by the pandemic.
The Northwest Territories reported no new cases on Friday. There have been 15 confirmed cases in the territory since the start of the pandemic, all since recovered.
Yukon reported three new cases late Friday for a total of 45 since the pandemic began.
WATCH | Mental health biggest concern in Nunavut lockdown, community food centre exec says:
Saskatchewan reported 329 new cases and four deaths on Friday. Along with 208 recoveries, that brought the number of active cases to 3,263.
The Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre now has 99 cases of COVID-19 — 80 offenders and 19 staff.
WATCH | Some First Nations in Alberta now experiencing 1st wave of COVID-19:
What’s happening around the world
As of Saturday morning, there were more than 61.7 million cases of COVID-19 recorded worldwide, with more than 39.5 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to a coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The global death toll stood at more than 1.4 million.
South Korea reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the third-straight day on Saturday, the fastest spread of infections the country has seen since the early days of the pandemic.
The recent spike in infections came after the government eased physical-distancing restrictions to the lowest levels in October to support a weak economy, allowing high-risk venues such as nightclubs and karaoke bars to reopen and spectators to return to sports.
Officials reimposed some of the restrictions this week and could be forced to clamp down on economic activities further if transmissions don’t slow.
India‘s coronavirus infections dipped further with 41,322 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, and there were no signs of a resurgence as a result of a major festival two weeks ago.
The high point of new infections this week was 44,739 on Wednesday. Single-day cases have remained below the 50,000-mark for three weeks.
In the United Kingdom, the government is warning lawmakers who oppose strict coronavirus restrictions that the measures are the only way to avoid a surge that will overwhelm the health system.
A four-week national lockdown in England is due to end Wednesday and will be replaced by three-tier regional measures that restrict business activity, travel and socializing. The vast majority of the country is being put into the upper two tiers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces opposition from dozens of his own Conservative Party’s legislators, who say the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits. Some say they will vote against the measures in Parliament on Tuesday.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the measures were “grimly” necessary. Writing in the Times of London, he said there are currently 16,000 coronavirus patients in British hospitals, not far below the April peak of 20,000. Gove said a rise in infections would mean coronavirus patients would “displace all but emergency cases. And then even those.”
Britain has had Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 57,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
What Canadians need to know about COVID-19 before gathering over the holidays – CBC.ca
This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.
Canadians considering gathering with loved ones over the holidays this year need to come to terms with some harsh realities.
But COVID-19 is insidious, an unwanted guest that can slip in unnoticed and wreak havoc despite our best efforts to control it.
“We have to ask ourselves honestly, must we socialize? And the answer is probably no,” said Raywat Deonandan, a global health epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa.
“There is no way to eliminate risk except not to do it in the first place.”
But we’ve learned a lot more about how COVID-19 spreads since it first emerged at the beginning of this year, which can help inform us on where we’re most at risk.
Confusion over holiday guidelines
There’s understandably a lot of confusion about what sorts of holiday gathering might be reasonable to consider this year, especially since depending on where you live in this country the rules and recommendations differ.
The official advice from Canada’s chief public health officer is to avoid large gatherings, non-essential travel and to keep things as small as possible within your household.
Certain provinces, like Ontario, recommend skipping extended family gatherings altogether and taking precautions like self-isolating for 10 to 14 days for those travelling home from away, including colleges and universities.
While others, like Quebec, have put a lot of faith in their population by allowing gatherings of up to 10 people for four days over the holidays after a seven day period of self-imposed quarantine.
But Deonandan says we can’t necessarily rely on people to completely self-isolate on their own — that requires not leaving home for groceries, essential items or even to walk the dog.
WATCH | Dr. Theresa Tam advises no large gatherings or non-essential travel
“You’re also going to have outliers who have infectious periods longer than two weeks,” he said.
“If enough people do this, you’re going to get a sufficient number of people who do not fall under that umbrella who are indeed infectious and who start outbreaks.”
Silent spread a ‘key driver’ of outbreaks
While we weigh whether it’s even possible to gather safely with friends and family in a pandemic, it’s important to keep in mind the unseen dangers we could be inviting in — even in parts of the country that have low rates of COVID-19.
“The problem with this virus is that it’s like many other viruses,” said Dr. Allison McGeer, a medical microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital who worked on the front lines of the SARS epidemic in 2003. “You shed virus before you get sick and some people who get infected don’t develop symptoms.”
“That’s why what has worked is everybody wearing masks and everybody maintaining social distance, because you can’t tell who the next infected person is going to be.”
McGeer says viruses like influenza, chickenpox and measles typically present symptoms in the body before people are infectious — but the virus behind COVID-19 is different.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated scientific guidance this week that acknowledged asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals account for more than half of all COVID-19 transmissions.
“Silent transmission is one of the key drivers of outbreaks,” said Seyed Moghadas, a professor of applied mathematics and computational epidemiology at Toronto’s York University.
“There is an incorrect notion in the general population that if someone feels fine then they are not infected. A person can certainly be infected, infectious, and feel completely fine.”
Moghadas, the lead author of a study published in the journal PNAS on the silent spread of COVID-19 that was cited in the CDC guidelines, says this underscores how difficult the virus is to control, a challenge “magnified” in close quarters.
In Nova Scotia, which has successfully contained the spread of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic despite the bursting of the Atlantic bubble this week, catching those silent spreaders before they unknowingly infect others is key.
Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease specialist at Dalhousie University, has partnered with public health authorities in a pilot project to use rapid COVID-19 tests on people without symptoms in high-traffic areas of Halifax.
It’s only been a few days, but what they’ve found was surprising.
On the first day they tested 147 people and found one asymptomatic case, the second day they tested 604 more and found another one, and on the third day they did 804 tests and found five more.
“We recognized that there are a lot of people out there, even if they’re doing the right thing, that don’t know they’re infected, don’t know they’re infectious and could be spreading to other people,” said Barrett.
“When there’s community spread of a virus that has a long period of time when you can be infectious without symptoms, you have to test broadly in the community or you have no idea what’s going on.”
‘A negative test is not a license to socialize’
One novel approach to avoid meeting with loved ones while unknowingly infectious that has emerged is to get a COVID-19 test beforehand to pre-emptively detect it.
But the timing of that test is incredibly important and there’s a lot of room for error, so it may be a less effective strategy than it first appears.
A new study in the journal Science looked at 1,178 people infected with COVID-19 and more than 15,000 of their close contacts to determine when people were most infectious.
It found most of the transition — 87 per cent — happened in a fairly wide window of time, up to five days before or after symptoms appeared, while 53 per cent was in the pre-symptomatic phase.
“It’s possible to be early in the disease cycle such that you won’t detect any viral presence. But in two days suddenly you’re infectious and now we’re screwed,” said Deonandan, at the University of Ottawa.
“So a negative test is not a license to socialize.”
Still, Deonandan says there will be people who are going to socialize anyway, so it’s better they do so with precautions in place like testing and self-isolating than nothing — even if those precautions aren’t perfect.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the winter solstice, Canadians are being told to consider meeting virtually, avoid risky indoor gatherings without masks and instead find ways to connect while still physical distancing.
“I think the pitch to people is that yes, we’re used to having time off school and we’re used to seeing everybody,” said McGeer. “But this is the year to delay.”
WATCH | Tam on the holiday season and how the pandemic won’t go on forever
“The best advice this year is maybe not to go too far from home,” said Barrett. “Is it worth it to lose control of the virus?”
“We’re hanging on by a thread here. Please don’t let that thread break.”
To read the entire Second Opinion newsletter every Saturday morning, subscribe by clicking here.
It's Cyber weekend, people! Amazon's best TV deals just went live – Yahoo Canada Sports
Positive COVID-19 signs, winter arrives and a councillor caught texting and driving during a meeting: Top stories in Ottawa this week – CTV Edmonton
This contraption, designed by a UVic alum, has been named one of 2020's best inventions – CBC.ca
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
Tech22 hours ago
Black Friday 2020 deals: Sony noise cancelling headphones hit all-time low prices – BGR
Art19 hours ago
Charlottetown's arts advisory board to compile report on public art for city council – The Guardian
Tech23 hours ago
The 3 best Black Friday iPhone deals today: free iPhone 12, 11 Pro, plus more – TechRadar
Sports17 hours ago
Blue Jays off-season FAQ: Rogers Centre replacement far from a done deal – Sportsnet.ca
Art22 hours ago
Charlottetown's arts advisory board to compile report on public art for city council – SaltWire Network
Tech14 hours ago
Apple iPhone 12 Cyber Monday deals 2020: The best deals right now – Tom's Guide
Sports23 hours ago
Rogers Centre plans on hold amid pandemic despite report of possible demolition – CBC.ca
Tech20 hours ago
Black Friday headphones deals: the best wireless earbuds deal is still in stock – TechRadar