Connect with us

News

Latest on the coronavirus Oct. 15

Published

 on

 

 

 

A nurse visits a newly opened exhibition on China’s fight against COVID-19 at the Culture Expo Center in Wuhan, which earlier this year was the epicentre of the pandemic. (Getty Images)

 

New COVID-19 rent relief program won’t help struggling businesses until next month, group says

The federal government is prepared to offer small businesses rent and mortgage relief for October — but that money won’t actually get into the hands of business owners until November, according to one prominent Canadian business group. In the meantime, many small businesses are scrambling to make rent or mortgage payments in the midst of the economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s no question that it’s creating some additional stress for business owners,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Last Friday, the federal government unveiled a revamped program to help small businesses cover rent costs during the pandemic. While the previous program depended on landlords applying for the small business rent relief, the new program is supposed to make it easier for businesses to obtain rent and mortgage relief by allowing them to apply directly to the Canada Revenue Agency. Jones said the new program is “so much better” than its previous incarnation — but it needs new legislation to take effect and Parliament isn’t sitting this week.

Even after MPs return on Oct. 19, it will take time for the bill to be debated — including any late amendments — and for it to pass through both the House of Commons and the Senate, writes CBC’s Catherine Cullen. The CFIB has been told by government officials that applications for the program won’t open until November, Jones said. The previous incarnation of the program ended in September. “That leaves people with both their October rent to worry about and also their November 1st rent to worry about,” Jones said.

A spokesperson for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office said the government’s proposal ensures rent and mortgage support will be easy to access because it will go directly to small businesses — not through their landlords. Officials did not respond to repeated questions from CBC News about the application process beginning in November. The only reference to a timeline in any of the comments from Freeland’s office was a commitment to “quickly introduce legislation.” “Businesses will be getting rent relief for the month of October,” Small Business Minister Mary Ng told CBC News Power & Politics last week, adding relief would be backdated.

Jones said her members are pleased the new program will offer a “sliding scale” of rent relief. Businesses that have seen at least a 70 per cent drop in revenues can get up to 65 per cent of their rent covered under the program. Businesses with more modest losses will still be eligible for some relief, although it won’t be quite as much; that subsidy level hasn’t been confirmed yet. Businesses will also be eligible for even more help if they’ve been temporarily shut down by a public health order. While Jones said the new program is a substantial improvement over the old one, she said the government is taking far too long to implement it. “We’re seven months into the crisis and some businesses still don’t have rent relief. That’s too long,” Jones said.

Click below to watch more from The National

 

While the bulk of Canada’s COVID-19 cases remain in Ontario and Quebec, other provinces are facing surging outbreaks of their own and could soon face more restrictions. 2:00

IN BRIEF

Meet the experts trying to change the way we communicate about COVID-19

Keeping up with Canada’s COVID-19 public health information can feel like a full-time job, as ever-changing daily case numbers, countless news conferences, conflicting advice from officials and constantly updated guidelines can be overwhelming at the best of times. A group of experts has stepped up in an attempt to help with information overload by explaining the coronavirus in a clear and concise way that connects with a younger audience. “We need to meet people where they are at,” said Dr. Naheed Dosani, a physician and health-justice advocate in Toronto. “We need to think about what works for them.”

More than 45 per cent of Canada’s COVID-19 cases have occurred in those under the age of 40, and Dosani said the best way to connect with that demographic is through social media, something he called a “lost opportunity” with politicians and public health officials. Dosani, a palliative care doctor, began using platforms like TikTok and Instagram in January to reach a younger audience and share information in an effort to destigmatize the topic of death. When the pandemic struck, he shifted from focusing on palliative care to cutting through the noise about COVID-19. “People were really interested in the message. It was reaching them, and it was effective and it’s been quite a journey,” Dosani said.

Samanta Krishnapillai, an “equity-oriented health scientist” in Markham, Ont., started the On COVID-19 Project after months of feeling frustrated about how “ineffective” public health communication strategies were in reaching younger Canadians. “This isn’t a new problem, but during a global pandemic, it definitely should have been at the forefront of every pandemic plan,” said Krishnapillai, who has a master’s degree in health information science from Western University in London, Ont. The grassroots, youth-led and volunteer-based project, which launched over the summer, doesn’t yet have a huge following but has dozens of contributors, and more than 500 people have applied to join, which, Krishnapillai said, proves “young people want to do more.”

 

Trudeau says pandemic has amplified housing, connectivity gaps in territories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed “the depths” of the gaps facing Canadians living in the territories. “We’re going to need to do a better job of delivering on housing, on things like broadband Internet access, which is no longer a luxury, but now a necessity. That’s what this pandemic has really emphasized,” Trudeau said in an interview with CBC North’s The Trailbreaker. The prime minister also committed to supporting the North’s mining sector and working to settle outstanding land claims in the region.

From 2016 to 2019, statistics show the Northern housing crisis has been getting worse. Those issues include the state of people’s homes, maintenance and a lack of affordability despite the Liberal government’s promises to put money into Northern housing as part of its national housing strategy in 2017. While the government has brought in funds to the North to address mounting problems in housing, Trudeau says he’ll be sitting down with housing experts later on Thursday, along with N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane, to talk about further steps. Trudeau says the federal government has already made $300 million available to the territories for affordable homes, set $100 million for the North in the national housing co-investment fund and pledged millions more in other financial supports.

In the North and across Canada, Indigenous people have expressed for years they do not feel safe or that they’re assured respectful care in the health-care system. Trudeau said the federal government has committed to move forward on Indigenous health legislation that will shift “many of the ways [things are] done to be much more Indigenous-centred, much more Indigenous-led.” He said the government recognizes that the delivery of health care “needs to be anchored in community, and in language in leadership by the community itself and not brought in from outside.” “COVID needs to accelerate that,” Trudeau said. “We need to make sure that there is better health care that is not just better on a pure objective level, but better on a subjective level as well … without the systemic discrimination that unfortunately continues to exist throughout all our institutions across the country.”

 

Quebec conspiracy theorist kicked off YouTube for spreading COVID-19 misinformation

Quebec’s best-known conspiracy theorist, Alexis Cossette-Trudel, lost another media platform on Thursday when YouTube shut down his account, which had more than 120,000 subscribers. YouTube said it was removing Cossette-Trudel’s channel, Radio-Québec, for “repeatedly violating our community guidelines regarding COVID-19 misinformation.” Last week, Facebook shut down both Cossette-Trudel’s personal account and his Radio-Québec account, where he had also gained a large following.

Facebook said it took action against Radio-Québec because of its affiliation with the QAnon conspiracy movement, which believes, among other things, that world events are controlled by a cabal of Satanic pedophiles. YouTube said Thursday it, too, is taking measures to keep QAnon content off its platform. It announced that it will remove videos that target “an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence.” A spokesperson for YouTube told CBC News that 60 channels and 1,800 videos were removed Thursday under the new policy, and more terminations were expected in the coming weeks. The spokesperson, Zaitoon Murji, said Radio-Québec was removed not for its ties to QAnon but for spreading incorrect information about COVID-19.

The number of subscribers to Radio-Québec’s YouTube channel have more than tripled since the start of the pandemic. In his videos, some of which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, Cossette-Trudel repeats groundless claims that the dangers of COVID-19 are being exaggerated as part of a plot to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump. He also routinely maintains — without evidence — that Quebec government officials are manipulating statistics about deaths and hospitalizations. He argues that public health restrictions, such as wearing masks indoors, are unjustified. The Quebec government has expressed growing concern about the influence of conspiracy theories in the province. Premier François Legault said last week they posed a “real problem” to the government’s efforts at curbing the second wave of coronavirus infections.

Read more about what’s happening in Quebec

 

 

Read more about the Canadian housing market, and stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data.

THE SCIENCE

Heavier breathing, spewing droplets, poor ventilation add to gyms’ superspreading risk

A recent COVID-19 outbreak at a southern Ontario fitness studio is illustrating how certain indoor settings can provide a perfect storm for superspreading events. The studio, a downtown Hamilton Spinco location, has been connected to 69 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, despite screening customers, operating at 50 per cent capacity and keeping the recommended two-metre radius around bikes.

So how did so many cases originate there? And does it raise concern about how the novel coronavirus can spread in a gym setting? “I can see where this could lead to perhaps gyms having serious restrictions placed on them if they want to avoid similar superspreading events,” said Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious disease expert at Jewish General Hospital and McGill University in Montreal.

Oughton said gyms and fitness studios have a few strikes against them when it comes to tailoring them for the pandemic.They’re operating almost exclusively indoors, which makes for poorer ventilation, and patrons aren’t usually masked when engaging in strenuous exercise. High-impact activity also leads to heavier breathing, which means droplets are being expelled from peoples’ mouths at an accelerated rate — and being propelled greater distances.

Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, likens it to throwing a ball. The harder you throw, the farther it goes. “We still don’t have a perfect understanding of this,” he said. “But we do know that when people are exercising vigorously, the volume and distance of what comes out of their mouth and their lungs is dramatically different than when somebody is speaking [in a normal way].”

AND FINALLY…

Free rides offered to Winnipeg COVID-19 test sites, but many don’t know about the service

 

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s ride service will take clients to one of the city’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites and wait with them until they get their test. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

 

Getting to one of the six COVID-19 testing site in Winnipeg can be a daunting task for people without access to a vehicle. Anyone who is sick is told to avoid taking public transportation, and cab fare may be too expensive for many. For months, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has offered a free ride service to help people with “very unique needs” get to a site — but many COVID-19 test patients, as well as advocates for people with disabilities and low-incomes, told CBC News they had never heard of the service.

Scott McFadyen, director of development for Inclusion Winnipeg, said many people with intellectual disabilities face barriers to accessing transportation, and could benefit from a service like the one offered by the WRHA through Health Links. A spokesperson for the WRHA said the service, which has been available since April, provides rides for an average of 10 people per day, although the contractor that works with the health agency has as many as 15 vehicles available. The vehicles have shields that separate the driver from the client. The service takes people to one of the city’s drive-thru sites, and the patients wait in the vehicle until they get tested.

“The program has not been promoted through any standalone promotion or advertising specific to the program,” the WRHA spokesperson said in an email statement, “but the public has long been directed [on the province’s website, for example] to contact Health Links–Info Santé if they require assistance in accessing safe transportation for testing.” The spokesperson couldn’t say why fewer than 10 people per day have been using the service. Meaghan Erbus, advocacy and impact manager for Winnipeg Harvest, said she thinks the demand for the service is likely greater than the usage suggests. “I’m sure that there’s a criteria and that’s probably why it’s limited, but I think there’s lots of folks that would benefit from that service,” Erbus said.

 

Source: – CBC.ca

 

Source link

News

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – NEWS 1130 – News 1130

Published

 on


The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 905 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Authorities said today four COVID-related deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations dropped by 13 compared with the prior day, for a total of 540.

The province has reported a total of 98,226 COVID-19 infections and 6,106 deaths linked to the virus.

___

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 826 new cases of COVID-19 today, and nine new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 292 cases are in Toronto, 186 in Peel Region, 87 in Ottawa, and 72 in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 40,019 tests since the last daily report, with another 35,436 being processed.

In total, 276 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care.

___

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – CityNews Toronto

Published

 on


The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

11:20 a.m.

Two more vaccine makers have asked Health Canada to study their product before it has completed clinical trials. 

Both Moderna and Pfizer applied to Health Canada on Oct. 12 to have their vaccine candidates studied by the regulator.

Health Canada is trying to review the vaccines at the same time they are undergoing final clinical tests so they can be approved for use here as quickly as possible. 

AstraZeneca applied for its vaccine candidate on Oct. 1.

All three vaccine candidates are among the ones Canada will get access to if they are deemed safe and effective.

____

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 905 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Authorities said today four COVID-related deaths occurred in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalizations dropped by 13 compared with the prior day, for a total of 540.

The province has reported a total of 98,226 COVID-19 infections and 6,106 deaths linked to the virus.

___

11 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 826 new cases of COVID-19 today, and nine new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 292 cases are in Toronto, 186 in Peel Region, 87 in Ottawa, and 72 in York Region.

The province says it has conducted 40,019 tests since the last daily report, with another 35,436 being processed.

In total, 276 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care.

___

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday – CBC.ca

Published

 on


The latest:

Cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in communities across Canada, with Ontario recording its biggest single-day increase on Saturday.

Ontario reported 978 more cases of COVID-19, with nearly 44,200 tests completed, two weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Saturday’s count of new cases surpassed the previous high of 939, reported on Oct. 9. 

Locally, there are 348 new cases in Toronto, 170 in Peel Region, 141 in York Region, 89 in Ottawa and 51 in Durham Region.

Ontario reported 826 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and nine new deaths linked to the virus.

Quebec on Saturday reported 1,009 new cases and 26 more deaths, after recording 905 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths the previous day.

As of Friday, there were 540 people in hospital, including 99 in intensive care. In its latest projections, the province’s national health institute said hospitals will not reach full capacity in the next four weeks due to the rate of transmission having stabilized in recent days.

WATCH | COVID-19 cases threaten to overwhelm Canadian hospitals, doctor says

CBC medical contributor Dr. Peter Lin stresses the need to make sure hospitals are equipped to deal with the resurgence in coronavirus cases. 8:42

Premier François Legault has said it’s likely the province will have to maintain many public health restrictions currently in place in red zones past Oct. 28, including keeping restaurants and bars closed.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, issued a statement on Saturday reiterating her warning from the previous day that the number of people “experiencing severe illness” due to the pandemic continues to rise.

“As hospitalisations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” Tam said.

“As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the fall and winter, placing increased demands on hospitals. This is why it is so important for people of all ages to maintain public health practices that keep respiratory infection rates low.”

WATCH | Reduce gatherings even more, health experts urge:

British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry expressed concerns around the spread of COVID-19 at social gatherings, something that infectious diseases specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti says is being seen across the country. 1:54

“Over the past seven days, there was an average of just over 1,000 individuals with COVID-19 treated in Canadian hospitals, including over 200 in critical care,” Tam said.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in communities across Canada, with Ontario and Quebec remaining the hardest-hit provinces; however, other provinces are seeing record increases.

Alberta reached the grim figure of 300 COVID-19 deaths on Friday while setting records yet again for new cases and active cases. 

The province reported 432 new cases and 3,651 active cases, the third straight day records were set.

Fifty inmates and five staff members at the Calgary Correctional Centre have tested positive for the infection, according to a statement from Alberta Health Services.

All inmates and staff are being tested, and isolation and monitoring of the positive cases are underway. Contact tracing for anyone potentially exposed to these individuals is ongoing.


What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 212,750 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 179,537 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting rose to 9,920.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau updated Canadians on vaccine development Friday — a day after Canada tallied a record high of new cases in a single day at 2,788 — saying the federal government is spending $214 million toward the development of COVID-19 vaccines, signing deals with two Canadian biotech firms.

Trudeau warned it’s unlikely that any of these candidates will be ready to distribute to Canadians this year or early next year. It’s reasonable to expect that vaccines will start to roll out at some point in 2021, he said, but even then, supply will be limited, and high-risk populations will be prioritized for inoculation.

Trudeau said his government signed a $173 million contract with Quebec’s Medicago to secure the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine, should it meet health and safety standards. The funding will also be used to establish a production facility in Quebec City, he said.

Ottawa is also investing $18.2 million in a potential vaccine from British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems. Meanwhile, the National Research Council is spending $23 million to support other Canadian vaccine initiatives, Trudeau said.

WATCH | Study casts doubt on use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment:

An Indian study is casting doubt on the effectiveness of giving patients sick with COVID-19 the blood plasma of others who have battled it, to transfer antibodies. But Canadian researchers say it could still work, if the antibody levels are tested. 3:27

The prime minister said Canada has signed six agreements with a number of companies taking part in the global race to produce a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 .

Two more American vaccine makers, Moderna and Pfizer, have asked Health Canada to review their products, which are undergoing clinical trials.

In British Columbia, health officials announced 223 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Seventy-five people are in hospital, with 24 in intensive care.

Yukon‘s chief medical officer of health,  Dr. Brendan Hanley, has reported three new cases in Watson Lake, which he says are part of a “family cluster.” They hadn’t travelled outside Yukon, so it’s not known yet where they contracted the virus.

WATCH | Manitoba’s top doctor on the increasing community spread of COVID-19:

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, explains why increasing community spread of COVID-19 makes targeted approaches to control the illness less effective. 0:48

Manitoba reported a total of 163 new infections on Friday, most concentrated in Winnipeg. The province also said a man in his 80s is the latest death linked to an outbreak at Winnipeg’s personal care home Parkview Place, where 15 residents have died of the illness.

The province has announced new rules for northern Manitoba and schools in both the Winnipeg area and the north. Those measures will take effect on Monday.

Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, a day after the province warned residents against unnecessary travel to the Campbellton-Restigouche area of New Brunswick due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The recommendation came after New Brunswick announced new restrictions for the Campbellton region, almost two weeks after it was pushed back to the orange phase of recovery. While Zone 5 will remain in the orange stage, people will be limited to interacting with a single household bubble, N.B. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said.

New Brunswick announced two new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, in addition to two new cases on Friday. That brings the total number of cases the province has recorded to 326, with four deaths.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new confirmed case of COVID-19 on Saturday, a man from the Eastern Health region in his 50s who had returned home to the province after working in Alberta.

Out of an abundance of caution, the province’s Health Department is asking passengers who travelled on Air Canada Flight 690 from Toronto to St. John’s last Tuesday to arrange for COVID-19 testing.


What’s happening around the world

According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 42.2 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 28.5 million have recovered.

In Europe, Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for coronavirus, his spokesperson says. Duda’s diagnosis comes amid a huge surge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths in Poland, pushing the country’s strained health system to the breaking point. The government is preparing to open field hospitals, but it is not sure where it will find the doctors and nurses to staff them.

In the Americas, the U.S. hit a daily record of coronavirus cases on Friday with more than 84,000 reported infections, thousands more than the previous peak in July. The numbers are an ominous sign the disease still has a firm grip on the nation that has more confirmed virus-related deaths and infections than any other in the world. Many states are reporting a surge of cases and say hospitals are running out of space in areas where the pandemic seemed remote only months ago.

People have their temperatures checked as they enter an early voting polling station in New York City on Saturday. (Getty Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In Asia, authorities in Sri Lanka closed at least two fishery harbours and many stalls after a surge of 609 cases linked to the country’s main fish market. Authorities say the outbreak is related to a cluster in a garment factory early this month, which has grown to 3,426 cases, almost half the country’s total of 6,287. Several thousand people have been asked to quarantine at home.

In Africa, the Ethiopian attorney general’s office said authorities can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate restrictions amid concerns that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted. The country has seen more than 91,000 cases and more than 1,300 deaths.

Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending