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IKEA Winnipeg temporarily closed after worker tests positive for COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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The Winnipeg location of IKEA is closed temporarily for a deep clean after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, the company announced on Saturday.

The employee was last in the store on Thursday, and the company learned of their positive test on Saturday, IKEA Canada says.

“Out of an abundance of caution, IKEA Winnipeg is temporarily closed to complete a thorough deep clean and sanitization by a third-party expert,” the company said on its website.

The company has also identified and notified co-workers who may have been in contact with this employee that they must self-isolate.

A sign outside of the store, located on Sterling Lyon Parkway, said they’re closed due to “technical difficulties,” and redirects customers to the website.

IKEA says it’s taking precautionary measures to reduce further exposure, following the guidelines of Manitoba Health.

“We are supporting the co-worker to ensure they have everything they need,” the statement says.

This is the first case the company has seen of a store employee testing positive for the novel coronavirus since the stores re-opened to customers in late May, according to IKEA Canada.


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Tesla’s Battery Suppliers Feel Shock From Musk’s Cost-Cut Push – Bloomberg

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Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk cast a shadow of uncertainty over the sales prospects of his suppliers in Asia after unveiling a push to lower the cost of batteries for electric vehicles and underscoring the point by signaling that it will eventually start producing its own cells.

Shares of LG Chem Ltd. slid as much as 5.5% in Seoul, while Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. dropped 4.7% in Shenzhen and Panasonic Corp. dropped 4.3% in Tokyo. The world’s three top EV battery makers all supply Tesla, according to Bloomberg’s Supply Chain Analysis.

The maker of the Model S, X and 3 electric cars will still need to increase battery purchases from the trio but still sees “significant shortages” from 2022 if it doesn’t start producing itself, Chief Executive Officer Musk said in a tweet.

Read more: Musk Sets Lofty Goal for $25,000 Model With Tesla-Made Batteries

Speaking at Tesla’s much-awaited Battery Day event at a plant in Fremont, California, Musk also said the company plans to manufacture a $25,000 car in about three years’ time. The substantial discount compared with the company’s currently cheapest model at $37,990 is to be achieved by halving costs for batteries, the most expensive component in EVs.

Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Japan Ltd., lowered his rating on Panasonic to underperform from hold, saying Musk’s announcements increase the downside risks for the Japanese electronics maker’s unprofitable battery business.

“This is likely to put Panasonic (and other suppliers) under pressure to catch up to Tesla’s technology/process and to reduce costs,” he said. “With added pressure to improve efficiency and/or reduce costs, Panasonic may need to step up more R&D and is unlikely to have pricing power, even if Tesla’s in-house cells are not ready to replace Panasonic cells in the immediate term.”

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Panasonic’s shares are down 10% this year, as the coronavirus has hurt profits across its business lines. Meanwhile, CATL Ltd.’s shares are still up 85% and LG Chem’s have almost doubled on high expectations for Tesla-related business. LG Chem’s stock has dipped recently however on its plan to split off its battery business, snubbing retail investors that had bought the stock on the EV theme.

Yayoi Watanabe, a spokeswoman for Panasonic, declined to comment on Musk’s remarks. “We value our relationship with Tesla and look forward to enhancing our partnership,” she said.

— With assistance by Yuki Furukawa

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    Tesla aims to make breakthrough cell at half the cost, could supply other automakers – Green Car Reports

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    Five years ago, Tesla’s collaboration with Panasonic in building its massive Nevada Gigafactory was widely seen as somewhere between an overcommitment and a full-on boondoggle.

    The Gigafactory has already proven to be one of the smartest decisions made by Tesla. It assured control over its electric-car battery cell supply, as it ramped up the Model 3 sedan and then Model Y crossover, and helped isolate Tesla from the cell supply issues that have plagued other EV makers.

    Tuesday, Tesla announced a new kind of leap ahead. It plans to produce 100 Gigawatt-hours of its new cells by 2022, and 3 Terawatt-hours (3,000 GWh) by 2030—numbers that now put the 35-GWh output of Gigafactory 1 in perspective. Furthermore, supplying other automakers with Tesla cells is a long-term possibility.

    As CEO Elon Musk had prefaced on Monday, the company will continue to increase its battery cell purchases from Panasonic, LG, CATL, and possibly other partners supplemental to that ramp-up of Tesla’s own cells—all on the way to what Musk sees as a long-range global target of about 20 million cars per year. 

    Tesla Battery Day vertical integration overview

    However the new cells—conspicuously absent in physical form as they were at Battery Day—are positioned to be a game-changer. Tesla sums that they could result in a 54% boost to energy density and range, a 56% reduction in cost per kWh at the pack level, and a 69% reduction in overall investment per kWh.

    Based on the timing, the gains in energy density, previous hints from Musk, the cells are likely to be installed in the Semi, the Roadster, and possibly the Cybertruck.

    Part of the reason Tesla saw the need to go it alone in reconceiving its cells was that even as its products reached greater scale, the battery cost curve was leveling and not improving quickly enough. As Musk and Drew Baglino, senior VP for powertrain and engineering, explained in their Battery Day presentation, it also saw a future in which battery factories, even at 150 GWh each, couldn’t scale up quickly enough to meet anticipated global demand. 

    Battery Day. - Current Gigafactory scale not sustainable

    Battery Day. – Current Gigafactory scale not sustainable

    Musk called the series of decisions surrounding the new cells as enabling “a new trajectory in the reduction of cell costs,” with differences that the company can start to realize in about 18 months and in fuller effect about three years out. 

    One of those decisions involved focusing on a new larger-format cylindrical cell. Tesla considered that as it made cells larger, Supercharging and thermal issues become more challenging. But it found a sweet spot at the 4680-format—or 46 mm wide by 80 mm long, versus 21 mm by 70 mm for the Model 3 and Model Y—with a shingled spiral material and tabless structure permitting a shorter electron path and easier manufacturing. 

    Cross-section of future Tesla cell

    Cross-section of future Tesla cell

    Tesla says that the 4680 cells offer a better power-to-weight ratio than smaller cells. Each one packs five times the energy and six times the power of Tesla’s smaller cells, with a 16% range boost enabled. Just the form factor itself represents a 14% cost reduction.

    Its cell manufacturing to make these uses an adapted form of the straight-from powder dry-coating process pioneered by Maxwell Technologies, a company acquired by Tesla in 2019, although Tesla says that the process has already gone through four iterations since then. 

    That process alone allows a reduction in footprint to just one-tenth the manufacturing area for the same energy content, and promises to reduce the energy spent in manufacturing by about the same. 

    Tesla also outlined cost reduction and streamlined, vertically integrated processes for obtaining the cathode and anode materials, and noted a simplified pure-silicon anode addition, and a new process through which it hopes to yield refined nickel for the cathode with zero waste water and extract lithium with sodium chloride (table salt).

    Future Tesla battery tech will halve costs

    Future Tesla battery tech will halve costs

    In this quest for greater vertical integration, it’s also transitioning to tackle battery recycling in-house, adjacent to the Nevada Gigafactory. 

    Adding in the savings from other decisions, Tesla says that it is working toward being able to produce a Terawatt-hour in the space that it took to make a Gigawatt-hour previously, and less space than what Tesla was otherwise currently envisioning for 150 GWh. It would also save 18% in costs per kWh at the pack level.

    A so-called pilot facility, capable of producing about 10 GWh of the new cells, is around the corner from Tesla’s Fremont factory, while an actual future plant would make them on the order of 300 GWh. 

    Tesla is aiming for high-speed, continuous-motion assembly, and its ownership of Grohmann and Hibar will allow them to internally design and coordinate all the necessary production machines and processes. 

    Future Tesla cell will make energy, power gains

    Future Tesla cell will make energy, power gains

    Although the Tesla presentation showed whirring cell-making machines and an industrial setting, it didn’t actually show the pilot cell process.

    Later in the presentation, Musk confessed why, perhaps: that the process isn’t quite there yet. He described the manufacturing process as “close to working, but not with a high yield.”

    Those pressures of scaling up amid the challenges of scaling something completely new haven’t stopped Tesla before. And it didn’t stop Musk from suggesting that Tesla could transition to the role of cell supplier in the future.

    “It’s definitely not an intentional effort to keep the cells to ourselves,” he said. “If we can make enough for other companies, we will, we will supply them.”

    “Most companies, things slow down,” Musk said. “In this case, they’re going to speed up.”

    You can see the full presentation below.

    [embedded content]

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    The latest on the coronavirus outbreak for Sept. 22 – CBC.ca

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    U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi waits to speak near a memorial for people who have died as a result of COVID-19 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. (Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images)

    Canada’s top doctor warns of sharp rise in COVID-19 cases if Canadians don’t follow guidelines 

    Canada is at a crossroads in its pandemic battle, and the actions of individual Canadians will decide whether there’s a massive spike in COVID-19 cases coming, according to the latest projections from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Federal health officials presented new modelling Tuesday that shows the epidemic is accelerating nationally. They warned that if Canadians don’t step up preventative measures, the virus could spread out of control and trigger a wave of infections bigger than the first one.

    “With minimal controls, the virus is capable of surging into a very sharp and intense peak because most Canadians don’t have immunity to the virus,” Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam told a news conference in Ottawa. Short-term projections show there could be up to 155,795 cases and up to 9,300 deaths by Oct. 3. If the current rate of infection is maintained, the epidemic is expected to resurge — but if that rate increases, it is expected to resurge “faster and stronger,” she said.

    Rapid detection of new cases and a swift response to outbreaks are both key to controlling the pandemic, PHAC modelling documents show. Tam said there has been a significant demographic shift in the caseload since June: instead of the virus disproportionately affecting elderly Canadians, most infections are now being reported in Canadians aged 20 to 39.

    The last modelling figures were released on Aug. 14. At that time, Canada’s public health officials said they were striving for a best-case scenario but preparing for the worst: a so-called “fall peak” of COVID-19 cases across Canada that would threaten to overwhelm the public health-care system.

    The recent rise in cases coincides with the flu and cold season, which could put added strain on hospitals and other health resources. Health-care workers have been working on the front lines for months now and are bracing for a possible spike in hospitalizations, prompting concerns about potential burnout.

    Click below to watch more from The National

    As cases of COVID-19 rise, there are growing fears that more needs to be done to protect seniors in long-term care homes — places especially hard-hit during the first part of the pandemic. 1:59

    IN BRIEF

    Federal Conservatives make use of a COVID-19 test not sanctioned by Health Canada

    The Ontario caucus of the federal Conservative Party made use of a COVID-19 serological test that has not yet been approved by Health Canada, according to Conservative MP Scot Davidson. Davidson, the Ontario caucus chair, said the caucus used the device “for safety” prior to a recent caucus retreat.

    COVID-19 cases are rising sharply in parts of the country, including Ontario, and party leader Erin O’Toole, his wife and at least one of his staffers have all tested positive for the virus. O’Toole’s wife, Rebecca, received a positive test result late Monday after developing symptoms over the weekend.

    A spokesperson for O’Toole said the Ontario caucus invited a Canadian company that is seeking approvals from Health Canada to distribute its serological test to appear at its regional meeting. Interested MPs were given the chance to take the test after they were shown a presentation by the company promoting the testing device, she said. The spokesperson said the test already has received approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    The tests — which use a blood sample from a finger prick — usually are reserved for people looking to learn whether they’ve been infected by coronavirus at some point in the past. The FDA warns that these kinds of tests can’t “diagnose active coronavirus infection at the time of the test or show that you do not have COVID-19.”

    Canada nails down 5th deal for potential COVID-19 vaccine

    Canada has now committed more than $1 billion to buy doses of COVID-19 vaccines after securing a fifth deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Tuesday. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday that Canada has a deal in place to buy up to 72 million doses of their experimental vaccine candidate, which is just starting the second of three trial phases this month.

    In all, Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies, and most of that money will not be refunded even if the vaccines never get approved. “We need to make a substantial investment in order to ensure that Canada is well positioned to secure access to the successful vaccine or vaccines,” Anand said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “The way in which we are doing that is to bet on multiple horses at the same time in order to ensure that as one or more of those horses crosses the finish line we have access to those vaccines.”

    Canada has signed deals with Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and now Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, all of which are among some of the most promising vaccines, but none of which have completed all the required clinical trials, or been approved for use in Canada.

    Anand said Canada has also signed an agreement with Gilead Sciences and McKesson Canada to get 150,000 vials of remdesivir, the only antiviral drug that has proven effective at treating patients with COVID-19. Health Canada approved the drug for use on COVID-19 patients at the end of July. The doses will begin arriving at Canadian hospitals this month.

    COVID-19 limits possibilities for former prime minister John Turner’s state funeral

    Planning for a state funeral for former prime minister John Turner is proceeding in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic as his family and the government decide how to honour his public life while public events are restricted. Turner died last Friday at 91.

    Typically, a former prime minister would be honoured with a public observance of the highest dignity and pomp. But the prospect of spreading COVID-19 will curtail the possibilities for Turner, as it has for many others who have died during the pandemic. The Turner family’s spokesperson, Marc Kealey, said Tuesday the family is still discussing with government officials the date of the funeral and how many people will attend in person.

    Canadian Heritage spokesperson Amelie Desmarais said all decisions regarding funeral arrangements will be made in accordance with the family’s wishes and following advice from public health authorities. She said Canadians can send their condolences to the family by signing an online book of condolences or by sending their thoughts privately.

    Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from Canada and around the world

    THE SCIENCE

    COVID-19 antibody testing finds ‘significant’ number of cases in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside 

    Since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a heightened level of concern for what might happen to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside if the neighbourhood was exposed to an outbreak of the disease. Many residents of the community live with limited resources, and poverty, drug use and other issues have left a trail of underlying health conditions.

    Yet, while more than 8,200 British Columbians — nearly 3,000 of them within the Vancouver Coastal Health region — have tested positive for the virus, the Downtown Eastside appears to have avoided a major outbreak. But it’s now clear that the neighbourhood hasn’t been spared, according to the Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre (VIDC) — an independent non-profit that provides clinical services, research and outreach on infectious diseases in the Downtown Eastside.

    Bloodwork from residents taken by the VIDC and sent to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control for testing indicates that many have had the disease, VIDC medical director Dr. Brian Conway said. “Our preliminary results suggest that a significant number of residents of the Downtown Eastside carry antibodies to COVID-19, indicating that they were infected at some point,” Conway said.

    Of the few hundred residents Conway’s team tested, a couple of dozen have the antibodies, he said. There appears to be high levels of infection, at least in shelter environments where there is limited ability to maintain physical distancing, he said. Conway’s work is progressing to the contact tracing phase on Tuesday, as he and his team begin to meet with some of the people who tested positive to try to determine how they experienced the disease, when they had it, where they were, and to whom they might have transmitted COVID-19.

    AND FINALLY…

    NFL issues more than $1M US in fines to teams, coaches who didn’t wear masks during games 

    Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a face shield as he looks on from the sidelines during a game in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday. (Harry How/Getty Images)

    NFL coaches thumbed their collective, and exposed, noses at the NFL’s mask mandate in Week 2 of the season. The league responded with hefty fines of $100,000 US per coach and $250,000 per club. The first three to get fined were Denver’s Vic Fangio, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Seattle’s Pete Carroll, according to a person with knowledge of the punishment who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the coaches were not identified.

    The punishment was meted out a week after the NFL reminded team personnel on the sidelines about the rules for wearing face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic, lest they put the fledgling season at risk. More coaches and clubs can expect similar punishments as the memo last week from Troy Vincent, who oversees the league’s football operations, was largely ignored throughout the weekend, with multiple offenders from coast to coast.

    In his strongly worded memo, Vincent said teams “must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments.” The rules don’t apply to players, but all other individuals with bench area access, including coaches and members of the club medical staff, are required to wear face coverings at all times.

    Find out more about COVID-19

    Still looking for more information on the pandemic? Read more about COVID-19’s impact on life in Canada, or reach out to us at covid@cbc.ca if you have any questions.

    If you have symptoms of the illness caused by the coronavirus, here’s what to do in your part of the country.

    For full coverage of how your province or territory is responding to COVID-19, visit your local CBC News site.

    To get this newsletter daily as an email, subscribe here

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