When Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered the closure last Friday of restaurants, fitness centres, cinemas and performing arts until at least Nov. 6, he understood the consequences.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, employees in these sectors had already suffered disproportionately. In the national capital region, the first COVID-19 lockdown stripped employment in hotels & restaurants by more than half. With the gradual re-opening of the economy employers started rehiring. But as of September, employment in hospitality-heavy sectors was 25 per cent below where it was in February — compared with a net decline of just five per cent for the rest of the local economy.
Retailers, with the exception of big box stores such as Costco and Walmart, have also been forced to make substantial trims to staff levels. These remain nearly 10 per cent below where they were in February. And that doesn’t begin to cover the economic pain because so many of these employees are working fewer hours.
Restaurants and retailers comprise thousands of small businesses that are the bedrock of Ford’s political base. The premier had vowed earlier in the week not to shut down people’s livelihoods unless he was presented with solid evidence that such a move was necessary.
Such evidence apparently arrived in the form of “alarming public health trends that require immediate attention”, to use Ford’s words.
To some extent this was inevitable: COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly, especially here and in Peel and Toronto. Across the province, the number of confirmed cases over the past week or so has averaged 700 per day — roughly 25 per cent higher than during the peak of the pandemic last April. Over the same period, the tally of active cases in the province climbed seven per cent to 5,540.
Even so, Ontario’s health officials had been somewhat reassured by the fact the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in hospital had actually tumbled 76 per cent to about 200 in early October.
So where’s the alarming trend? Almost certainly, part of it has to do with an accelerating “positivity” rate. While some of the rise in new confirmed cases of COVID-19 is the result of sharply increased testing, the city’s health authorities have been disturbed by the steep climb in the percentage of positive tests.
The ratio during the week ended Oct. 4 was 2.6 per cent. That was well short of the situation last April, when more than 15 per cent of COVID-19 tests were positive — in large part because tests were being allocated for obviously sick people.
Nevertheless, it’s still a marked deterioration from last July, when typically fewer than 0.5 per cent tested positive.
The percentage of positive tests has been rising rapidly in Ottawa since Labour Day — and health officials were keen to avoid another holiday-inspired acceleration.
The other trend being watched carefully by Ottawa Public Health is the rate of infection in the community, otherwise known as R (t) — which measures how many times a single infected individual will forward the pathogen. The last bit of public data from OPH described a seven day average of 0.8 as of Oct. 5. At first glance this suggests a community that is getting control of things, especially compared with the situation immediately after Labour Day, when infected people were passing along the illness to an average of 1.5 people each.
What we don’t know is what happened between Oct. 6 and 11 — transmission data for this period has been suppressed thanks to a larger than normal backlog. This needs to be sorted out before statisticians can properly calculate the new ratio.
Bottom line: the province and OPH alike would like to use the next four weeks to reverse some key trend lines. Which of course leaves many of the region’s small businesses once more in limbo, with many owners hanging on by the thinnest of margins, despite promised financial help from Ontario, Quebec and the federal government. Ontario, for instance has earmarked $300 million to assist businesses affected by the latest shutdowns with fixed costs such as property taxes and energy bills.
The economy for the region as a whole has fared relatively well compared with the country’s other big cities. Indeed, the capital region’s jobless rate in September was 8.6 per cent — making it the only major metropolitan area in single digits. The unemployment rate in the other cities ranged from 10.7 per cent in Montreal to 12.8 per cent in Toronto.
Part of this distinction has to do with our region’s supremely unbalanced economy. Fully 24 per cent of the region’s employment base is in public administration. Of the other big urban centres, only Edmonton, with a 6.2 per cent ratio, relies on government for more than four per cent of its workforce.
Add in a couple of other strong sectors — health services (13.6 per cent of the capital’s employment last month) and education (7.3 per cent) — and it seems likely the capital region’s economy should have sufficient shock absorbers for some time to come.
That’s not much solace for workers in hotels & restaurants (4.6 per cent of employment) and culture & entertainment (3.6 per cent), who must contend with a hugely unequal result from COVID-19.
Nor will it protect Ottawa and Gatineau from the inevitable retracing that will occur down the road, when the federal government must finally address its massive debt.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020
NEW: Economic Comeback Under President Trump Breaks 70-Year Record – Whitehouse.gov
News broke this morning that real GDP grew at an annualized rate of 33.1% in the third quarter of 2020—beating expectations and setting an all-time record.
This jump in GDP is nearly double the previous record set 70 years ago.
Thanks to President Trump’s policies, the American economy is weathering the global pandemic better than any other major Western country, including those of Europe. As the Council of Economic Advisers wrote this morning:
While the pandemic hit every major economy around the world, the United States experienced the least severe economic contraction of any major Western economy in the first half of 2020, with the Euro Area economy’s contraction being 1.5 times as severe as the contraction of the U.S. economy.
Since April, America has gained over 11.4 million jobs, recovering more than half of those lost because of lockdowns. Retail sales are already above pre-pandemic levels, many construction and manufacturing jobs have returned, business activity is at a 20-month high, and new jobless claims fell to their lowest level this week since the beginning of the pandemic.
This “V-shaped” recovery is beating economist predictions and outpacing the slow recovery under former President Obama. After the 2008-09 recession, it took the Obama Administration 4 times as long to regain the same share of lost economic output.
Two big reasons explain President Trump’s success. The first is that his pro-growth, pro-worker agenda made our economic fundamentals stronger. Before Coronavirus swept the globe, American incomes hit a record high in 2019 while poverty rates hit a record low. Median incomes saw their biggest one-year jump ever.
Second, President Trump took targeted action to help American workers and families after the Coronavirus hit. His Administration negotiated the CARES Act, implemented the Paycheck Protection Program to save jobs, extended supplemental unemployment benefits, paused student loan payments, and halted evictions.
Today, the left wants to emulate Europe, issue endless lockdowns, and use the pandemic as an excuse to grow government control of the economy and society. President Trump wants to keep working with the private sector, protect the most vulnerable among us, and safely reopen our economy and schools.
Today’s GDP report makes it clear: The data supports President Trump’s strategy.
The Great American Comeback is well underway—a testament to both President Trump’s policies and the strength and resilience of America’s workers and families.
US economy sees record third-quarter rebound – The Globe and Mail
US economy grew at 33% rate in Q3 but recovery is incomplete – Yahoo Canada Finance
First Patient Cases with PURE EP System Conducted at Deborah Heart and Lung CenterWestport, CT, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BioSig Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: BSGM) (“BioSig” or the “Company”), a medical technology company developing a proprietary biomedical signal processing platform designed to improve signal fidelity and uncover the full range of ECG and intra-cardiac signals, today announced that the Company installed its PURE EP™ System and started conducting patient cases at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey.PURE EP™ System evaluation and clinical data collection is being conducted under the leadership of Raffaele Corbisiero, M.D.“We are pleased to commence our clinical operations at Deborah Heart and Lung Center. As an innovative and rapidly growing company, we are excited to have physicians at Deborah not only utilize our technology, but also contribute to its advancement. Given COVID-19’s detrimental effects on cardiovascular health, this relationship cannot come at a more important time,” commented Kenneth L. Londoner, Chairman, and CEO of BioSig Technologies, Inc. “Intracardiac signals are the foundation of everything we do in EP, but we can’t treat what we don’t see. I am impressed by our early experience with PURE EP™ showing more of the cardiac signals we want to see,” commented Raffaele Corbisiero, M.D., Deborah Heart and Lung Center.BioSig is currently conducting patient cases under the clinical trial titled “Novel Cardiac Signal Processing System for Electrophysiology Procedures (PURE EP 2.0 Study)” at Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Foundation (TCARF) in Austin, Texas and Mayo Clinic Florida Campus in Jacksonville, Florida. The Company recently added Massachusets General Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to its clinical sites. About BioSig Technologies BioSig Technologies is a medical technology company commercializing a proprietary biomedical signal processing platform designed to improve signal fidelity and uncover the full range of ECG and intra-cardiac signals (www.biosig.com).The Company’s first product, PURE EP ™ System is a computerized system intended for acquiring, digitizing, amplifying, filtering, measuring and calculating, displaying, recording and storing of electrocardiographic and intracardiac signals for patients undergoing electrophysiology (EP) procedures in an EP laboratory.Forward-looking Statements This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential” or similar words. Forward- looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified and consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) the geographic, social and economic impact of COVID-19 on our ability to conduct our business and raise capital in the future when needed, (ii) our inability to manufacture our products and product candidates on a commercial scale on our own, or in collaboration with third parties; (iii) difficulties in obtaining financing on commercially reasonable terms; (iv) changes in the size and nature of our competition; (v) loss of one or more key executives or scientists; and (vi) difficulties in securing regulatory approval to market our products and product candidates. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. CONTACT: Andrew Ballou BioSig Technologies, Inc. Vice President, Investor Relations 54 Wilton Road, 2nd floor Westport, CT 06880 email@example.com 203-409-5444, x133
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