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In wake of Christmas shopping, Toronto sees record high 957 new COVID-19 cases – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Toronto Public Health is reporting a new daily record of close to 1,000 COVID-19 cases as the city sees evidence of increased transmission from Christmas shopping.

The public health unit reported that Toronto logged 957 new cases as of 2 p.m. on Dec. 27 (The province reported a slightly lower number of 895 cases in Toronto due to different cutoff times for data collection).

In an update on Tuesday afternoon, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said that there is some evidence that Christmas shopping has contributed to the rise in cases.

“What we have learned from our colleagues at Toronto Public Health is that the increase in their daily numbers can in part be attributed to pre-Christmas shopping, Christmas shopping trips, often in groups,” Yaffe said.

Yaffe did not elaborate on the data and city officials did not hold a briefing on the virus Tuesday, though they are scheduled to provide an update on Wednesday morning.

Toronto and Peel Region have been under a lockdown that has shuttered non-essential businesses to in-person shopping since Nov. 23.

Big-box retailer that sell groceries and other essential items were allowed to remain open, though some critics said the move produced bigger crowds in those stores.

On Boxing Day, the province tightened the restrictions to 25 per cent capacity per room in big box stores as a province-wide lockdown went into effect.

Easily accessible shopping also remained open in York Region for several weeks after Toronto and Peel went into lockdown, as the province heeded a request by local municipalities not to place them in lockdown as well.

On Tuesday, the city also reported that 58 more people have been hospitalized, bring the total number of people currently hospitalized with the virus in Toronto to 355. There were also 10 new deaths in the city and 554 recoveries.

Yaffe said it’s important to remember while going through numbers that they actually represent human beings.

“While the numbers, the data, the trends are all important to report, we cannot forget that these represent people, people who have been impacted by the virus and in too many cases have lost their lives,” she said. “So while I understand that the lockdown measures that came into effect on December 26 are not what we would want to be living through right now, this is what we need to do, what we must do to slow the transmission of this infection.”

In a tweet, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa sounded a similar note.

“Today’s summary of #COVID19 cases in TO is a new record high. This is why it’s so important for people to stay home & apart as much as possible at this time,” she said.

Province-wide, Ontario also set a new record for daily COVID-19 infections Tuesday, with 2,550 new infections reported.

Toronto reported 2,226 new cases on Monday, accounting for all new infections recorded over a four-day-period from Dec. 24-27, averaging out to around 557 new daily cases over that period.

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How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada's first case – CTV News

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MONTREAL —
On January 25th, 2020, Canadians were still living their lives like they always had: commuting to the office, visiting friends, dining out, hugging loved ones, vacationing. But the announcement that day of Canada’s first COVID-19 case set in motion a chain of events that would soon change everything.

By March, with cases climbing, health officials began implementing a series of measures that would fundamentally alter how many Canadians live. Lockdowns and calls for physical distancing led to companies shifting to work from home, travel restrictions, mask-wearing rules, cancellation of major events, and video meetings replacing in-person interactions as people were asked to avoid seeing anyone, even loved ones.

Jack Jedwab, the president of the Association for Canadian Studies, says the biggest change to Canadians’ daily lives has been the isolation from friends, family and co-workers.

“I think at the root of a lot of that change is these limits on our mobility, which take different forms, whether it’s interacting with family and friends, or seeing people that we’re accustomed to seeing in our daily lives in person as opposed to on screens,” he said.

An online survey conducted for Jedwab’s group in September found that over 90 per cent of the 1,500 people polled said COVID-19 had changed their lives, with most citing the inability to see family and friends as the biggest factors.

While few Canadians have been untouched by the pandemic, Jedwab says women, newcomers to Canada and people who were already economically and socially vulnerable appear to have been among the most deeply affected, particularly by job losses.

Here’s a look at how COVID-19 has changed daily life for some Canadians of different groups:

 

SENIORS

For Bill VanGorder, a retired 78-year-old from Halifax, the pandemic put a temporary halt on his active social life and his favourite pastimes of volunteering in the local theatre and music scenes.

“Theatre people, as you may know, are people who love to hug, and not being able to hug in these times probably has been one of the most difficult things,” he said in a phone interview.

He considers himself lucky, because at least he and his wife Esther have each other, unlike many of his single friends who are completely isolated. Many older people, who are more at risk of severe complications from COVID-19, are struggling to stay connected with family or finding people to help them with household tasks.

VanGorder, who works with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, also believes unclear government messaging, particularly on when older adults will get access to the vaccine, is “creating huge anxiety and mistrust in the system,” among already-nervous seniors.

But while the pandemic has been hard, he says there have also been silver linings. He and many of his friends have been learning to use platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime, which help seniors stay in touch with relatives and connect with their communities.

“We think the positive thing is that, of course, this knowledge will continue after COVID and will be a real step forward, so that older adults can feel more involved in everything that’s going on around them,” he said.

The first thing he’ll do when things get back to normal is to hug his grandchildren and theatre friends, he said.

 

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

As classes have moved online, many students have had to adapt to living and studying in small spaces and being isolated from friends and campus life at a stage when forging lifelong friendships and social networks can be crucial.

Small living quarters, the inability to travel home, financial fears and uncertainties about the job market have contributed to a “greater sense of isolation” for many students, according to Bryn de Chastelain, an Ontario resident studying at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and the chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

While he believes schools have done their best to support students, de Chastelain says many students have seen their mental health suffer.

“A number of students are really struggling with having to learn from home and learn online, and I think that a number of strategies that students are used to taking up are very difficult to replicate in the online environment,” he said.

 

PARENTS

Schools across the country were shut down for several months in the spring, ushering in a challenging time for parents who were suddenly forced to juggle full-time child care, work and keeping their families safe.

The reopening of schools in the fall brought different challenges depending on each province’s COVID-19 situation and approach. In Ontario, some parents opted for full-time online learning, while others were forced into it when Premier Doug Ford chose to extend the winter break. In Quebec, which doesn’t allow a remote option for most students, some reluctant parents had no choice but to send their children back to class.

“I think uncertainty, not only for kids but for everything — work, life relationships and everything — that has certainly been the theme of COVID,” said Doug Liberman, a Montreal-area father of two.

Liberman said the biggest challenge has been trying to balance the health and safety of his family with keeping his food manufacturing business going and maintaining a sense of normalcy for his two girls, ages 10 and 12.

For his family, that has meant trying to spend time outside but also accepting more screen time, and ultimately, taking things day-by-day.

“I certainly think that we certainly don’t have the answer, and I think we’ve done as best as we could, like everybody else has,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020.

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Alberta reports 24 COVID-19-related deaths Sunday, including woman in her 40s – Global News

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Alberta Health reported an additional 24 deaths related to COVID-19 and 463 cases of the virus in the province on Sunday.

The positive cases came from 10,237 new tests over a 24-hour period, giving a provincial positivity rate of 4.4 per cent.

READ MORE: 2 people in their 20s in Calgary zone among Alberta’s COVID-19 fatalities Saturday

The active case numbers in the province sat at 9,727 on Sunday.

Hospitalizations were down slightly, with 652 people in hospital — 111 of whom in intensive care.

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Sixteen of the 24 deaths were reported in the Edmonton zone:

  • A woman in her 40s, a man in his 70s, a man in his 90s and two women in their 80s not linked to an outbreak. Comorbidities were unknown in the case involving the man in his 70s and one of the women in her 80s, while the other three deaths involved comorbidities.
  • A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Misericordia Hospital whose death included comorbidities.
  • A man in his 50s linked to the outbreak at Salvation Army Stepping Stones supportive residence whose death did not involve comorbidities.
  • A man in his 70s and a man in his 80s, both linked to the outbreak at Youville Home. Both had comorbidities.
  • A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Laurier House Lynwood whose death included comorbidities.
  • A woman in her 80s and a woman in her 60s, both linked to the outbreak at Capital Care Lynwood. Both had comorbidities.
  • A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Chartwell St. Albert Retirement Residence whose death included comorbidities.
  • A man in his 80s and a woman in her 80s, both linked to the outbreak at Jubilee Lodge Nursing Home. Both had comorbidities.
  • A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Rivercrest Care Centre whose death included comorbidities.

Five deaths were reported in the North zone, all of which included comorbidities:

  • A woman in her 70s linked to the outbreak at Mayerthorpe Healthcare Centre.
  • A woman in her 90s and a man in his 80s, both linked to the outbreak at Grande Prairie Care Centre.
  • A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Prairie Lake Supportive Living.
  • A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Edson Continuing Care Centre.

There were two deaths in the Calgary zone: a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Revera Edgemont and a woman in her 60s. Both cases included comorbidities.

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A man in his 90s passed away in the Central zone. His death was linked to the outbreak at Seasons Camrose and included comorbidities.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Hinshaw touts safety of both COVID-19 vaccines'



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Coronavirus: Hinshaw touts safety of both COVID-19 vaccines


Coronavirus: Hinshaw touts safety of both COVID-19 vaccines

READ MORE: Alberta received shipment of 21,450 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines this week

According to the provincial numbers, a total of 99,047 Albertans received vaccine doses as of Jan. 23.

Alberta Health confirmed the province received a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine last week. That shipment included 21,450 doses.

“With 96,500 doses of vaccine delivered, thousands of the most vulnerable seniors and health-care workers now have an extra layer of protection,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday.

On Thursday, Alberta’s top doctor reiterated the province would do its “utmost” to ensure “that every individual who’s received their first dose does get their second dose within the 42-day timeline.

“If not, they’ll continue to be eligible and will receive it as soon as possible after that.”

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Hinshaw said Alberta was working with the federal government and other provinces to use current allocations “as wisely as possible.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Doctors reflect on their experience since Canada's 1st COVID-19 case – CBC News: The National

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Doctors reflect on their experience since Canada’s 1st COVID-19 case  CBC News: The NationalView Full coverage on Google News



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