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Kitchener drive-thru COVID-19 testing site to reopen by appointment only on Thursday

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KITCHENER —
Kitchener’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will reopen on Thursday, but people will need to book an appointment to get a test.

Anyone who needs a test should go online, pick a time slot and register with their name and health card.

The site was closed down early on Wednesday morning after staff reportedly faced verbal abuse and threats of violence.

A spokesperson for Grand River Hospital, which runs the site, said that the issue was compounded by traffic issues along the streets around the testing site.

Long wait times and lineups have created tension around COVID-19 testing as more people look to get tested amid fears of a second wave.

Some people arrived at the drive-thru site as early as 2 a.m. in order to secure a place there. Dozens of cars lined up Wednesday morning, and the line’s capacity was full by 7 a.m. Staff don’t start testing until 15 minutes after then.

By around 8:30 a.m., the site had closed for the day. Waterloo regional police posted about the closure on Twitter, asking for people to be patient and avoid the area.

Police said there were no arrests, but they did assist with setting up barricades.

Thirty minutes later, the hospital tweeted about the closure as well, citing “safety concerns.”

Everyone signing up for a COVID-19 test starting Thursday will need to fill out a separate pre-registration form, the Grand River Hospital said in a tweet. Only people who have pre-registered will be able to get a test.

Those who were still in line would still be tested, Grand River Hospital said. By 11 a.m., the site, normally backed up for hours at a time, was completely empty.

The difficulties of getting tested are not unique to Waterloo Region, as thousands of people face the same hurdles daily around Ontario. The calls for more accessible testing has led Premier Doug Ford to partner with pharmacies in order to allow more people to get tested.

On Wednesday, Ford announced that 60 pharmacies would be offering testing soon. None of them are in Waterloo Region.

The tests will be by appointment only for people without symptoms.

St. Mary’s General Hospital said Wednesday that people should only self-refer to the assessment centre if they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they’ve been directed to get a test because they’re a high-risk contact of someone else with the disease.

They said people can also come if they’ve been referred by a medical health professional to meet a ministry guideline, like visiting a long-term care home or having a medical procedure done.

Lee Fairclough, head of the region’s COVID-19 assessment centres and president of St. Mary’s General Hospital, said she’d like to see pharmacies doing tests at local pharmacies.

“We will certainly be open to how we do that within our region,” she said.

Fairclough said the region is also seeking out new locations for additional testing sites, but the main priority is to beef up the existing sites.

“The decision we are making right now is to move nurses, move physicians from other clinical services and practices, to do this testing,” she said. “That’s probably the biggest thing we are sorting through.”

The walk-in centres are busy, but sites offering appointments are also swamped.

“The numbers have gone through the roof,” said Dr. Joseph Lee from KW4 COVID Assessment Centre.

The clinic’s next available appointment isn’t until early October. Lee said he’s proposing turning his other two walk-in clinics into COVID-19 assessment centres as well.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 assessment launched a new phone number on Wednesday to help manage calls for appointments. The new number is 519.740.4975, but the centre said it’s best to reach through email at cmhcovidtesting@cmh.org.

Anyone calling can register for a booked appointment when arriving at the centre, schedule an appointment and cancel an appointment.

The centre said it’s prioritizing people with symptoms and anyone who’s been instructed to get a test by a public health official.

Source: – CTV Toronto

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Ottawa restaurants and bars cry foul about closures in light of new provincial outbreak numbers – Ottawa Citizen

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The provincial figures are “great for us as a reminder that we are doing great. But it is also really frustrating to see that we were bunched in to closures without real merit,”saidCélia Lemieux, co-founder ofOrléans Brewing Company, whose tap room on Innes Road has been shut for almost three weeks.

Lemieux, Shrybman and others noted they had spent thousands of dollars on Plexiglas screening and sanitizing products while ensuring that staff and guests followed pandemic protocols, only to be forced to close.

“We have been operating in a safe manner right from March,” said Gillian Martin, general manager of Mongolian Village West in Bells Corners. While her restaurant used to have customers assemble their own meals from a bar of ingredients, it adapted to COVID-19 by having customers check off their desired ingredients on pieces of paper, Martin said.

She took from the outbreak numbers that Ottawa’s restaurants had been targeted unfairly. “I thought there would be more outbreaks,” Martin said.

At a Friday press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford defended his government’s decision to impose the modified Stage 2 restrictions, saying they were necessary at the time and have proven effective. But they were never intended to be long-term solutions, said Ford.

Furthermore, Martin and Shrybman complained they’ve heard nothing more about the provincial government’s promised $300 million to help pay the fixed costs of businesses that were forced to close.

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Ontario premier says residents now interact with 50 to 100 people, causing 'out of control' COVID-19 contact tracing – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Premier Doug Ford says Ontario residents are now interacting with 50 to 100 people, making COVID-19 contact tracing very difficult.

“What we did see when we did contact tracing at the beginning, we’d be able to contact 10 people and trace them. Now, people are interacting with 50 to 100 and if you have 100 cases times 100, 10,000 contact tracings and then those people contact 100 and then those people – next thing you know it just flies out of control,” Ford said during a news conference held on Friday afternoon.

The premier’s comments come in response to the federal government calling on Canadians to decrease their current number of social contacts by 25 per cent in order to help curb the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While releasing new national modelling on Friday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said if Canadians maintain their current rate of contacts, the epidemic is forecast to resurge. They said if residents decrease their contacts by a quarter, the spread of the novel coronavirus would come under control “in most locations.”

When asked on Friday if the province is considering lowering the limits on social gatherings – currently set at 10 indoors and 25 outdoors – Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health said a review on the matter will take place.

“I think the bottom line is yes, we will review that obviously and consider whether we need to change the guidelines,” she said reminding people to be aware that COVID-19 generally spread between people.

“If you’re with people who are not people in your household, people you live with, you should be careful. You should minimize your contact with other people, especially within two metres, wear a mask and don’t do anything that’s not essential.”

Yaffe added that those who live alone should interact with another household to avoid social isolation.

Back in August, Ford said social circles of up to 10 people will likely be sticking around until 2021.

Ontario logged 896 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the seven-day average above 900 for the first time.

More than 74,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Ontario since the first infection was recorded in late January. That number includes more than 3,100 deaths and nearly 64,000 recovered patients.

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Oil Sees Worst Month Since March – OilPrice.com

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Oil Sees Worst Month Since March | OilPrice.com

Tom Kool

Tom Kool

Tom majored in International Business at Amsterdam’s Higher School of Economics, he is Oilprice.com’s Head of Operations

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    Oil Prices

    Oil prices have hit a 5-month low as COVID cases climb, new lockdowns are put in place and reports emerge that OPEC may not maintain its production cut in 2021.

    For Global Energy Alert members there are now two new free reports available in your dashboard. The first of these reports is on how to interpret stock charts and the second outlines the three biggest mistakes made by traders today. Make sure you become a member to read these reports and many more.

    Friday, October 30th, 2020

    Oil prices plunged this week after spending months trapped in a narrow range around $40 per barrel. Renewed national lockdowns in France and Germany rattled financial markets, while the U.S. case count for covid-19 remained at record levels and may continue to rise. “As lockdowns begin to bite on demand concerns across Europe, the near-term outlook for crude starts to deteriorate,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi. In early trading on Friday, WTI fell to $35 per barrel and Brent was at $37.

    ExxonMobil warns of massive $30 billion write down. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)posted a third-quarter loss of $680 million, or 15 cents per share, a smaller loss than expected. Exxon’s debt has climbed to $68 billion, more than triple since 2014. But the bigger news was that CEO Darren Woods warned that the company may take a $30 billion write-down, largely related to its North American shale gas assets. Exxon overpaid for XTO Energy more than a decade ago, right before a steep drop in natural gas prices. 

    ExxonMobil to cut jobs; keeps dividend flat. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) kept its dividend flat for the first time in nearly 40 years. But with a dividend yield in excess of 10%, the oil major will be under pressure going forward. Exxon will also cut 15% of its workforce, which will translate into job losses of about 1,900.

    Chevron reports small loss. Chevron (NYSE: CVX) reported a $207 million loss in the quarter.  Related: Tesla Is On Track To Deliver 1 Million EVs In 2021

    Total and Shell post small profit. Total (NYSE: TOT) reported earnings of $848 million in the third quarter, down 72% from a year ago. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) reported a small $955 million profit in the third quarter, and hiked its dividend. The performance is dramatically better than the second quarter, but down from the $4.77 billion it earned in the third quarter of 2019. “We are starting a new era of dividend growth,” Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters.

    OPEC members reluctant to extend cuts. Three of the biggest OPEC producers behind Saudi Arabia may not be on board with extending the current cuts into next year. Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kuwait are reportedly not particularly inclined to support a rollover of the cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd), because such cuts are too deep for their economies and budget incomes to sustain.

    Canadian oil companies post big losses. Cenovus (NYSE: CVE) and Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU) both reported modest losses for the third quarter. Husky Energy (TSE: HSE), on the other hand, reported a huge $5.2 billion loss.

    Equinor writes down $2.9 billion. Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) wrote down $2.93 billionthis week after it revised down its assumptions on long-term crude oil and natural gas prices. The largest portion of the impairment came from a $1.38 billion write-down on its U.S. shale assets. 

    The Interior finalizes NPR-A drilling plan. The Trump administration finalized plans to expand drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is the main player in the area.

    Conoco warns Alaska voters not to pass tax. Alaskan voters will weigh a ballot measure that would impose a new tax on oil production. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) said it would stop drilling on the north slope if the tax passes. 

    Environmentalists want Biden to use financial regulation. Environmental groups are urging the Biden campaign to use financial regulation to address climate change. That would include using the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to prioritize climate change. 

    BNEF: Green power to attract $11 trillion by 2050. Renewable energy will draw in roughly $11 trillion in investment by mid-century.

    Energy investment dries up. Energy investment is set to fall by a whopping 35% this year, according to the IEA. And this is just the spending slump in upstream oil and gas.

    Will a fracking boom ever happen in Mexico? Mexico is sitting on top of the sixth biggest collective shale reserve in the entire world. At an estimated total of 545 trillion cubic feet, they’re just a hair behind the United States’ estimated 665 trillion cubic feet. So why hasn’t Mexico had its own shale revolution?

    Related: Washington Greenlights Conoco Oil Project In Alaska

    North Dakota repurposes covid aid for fracking. North Dakota decided to use $16 million given to the state from federal coronavirus relief aid and used the money to subsidize drilling

    Repsol invests more in renewables than oil and gas. Spanish oil giant Repsol (BME: REP) has invested more in renewable energy projects in recent months than it has on oil and gas exploration.

    Asia LNG prices surge, but rally takes a pause. Prices for LNG earlier this year fell below $2/MMBtu (JKM prices), a dramatic collapse due to oversupply. The crash forced widespread LNG cancellations from the United States. JKM prices have since surged above $7/MMBtu, but the rally took a breather this week. U.S. LNG has returned, adding supply to the Asian market. Also, Asian buyers are finishing up their winter purchases, so the demand pressure could ease. 

    Other earnings roundup: Imperial Oil (TSE: IMO) ekes out a small profit; Phillips 66(NYSE: PSX) reported a smaller-than-expected Q3 loss; Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) reported a Q3 profit; Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG) reported a small loss; Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN) reported a worse-than-expected net loss.

    By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com 

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