More than 18,000 people, many of whom were trying to enter Canada from the United States for sightseeing and shopping, have been turned away since the government’s enactment of strict travel restrictions.
Between March 22 and Sept. 2, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) turned back 18,431 people. This includes foreign nationals by boat, land, and air from the U.S.
The largest single reason these attempted travellers were turned back was for tourism or sightseeing, at around 5,300. Another 2,000 were travelling for “recreation” and nearly 1,000 others were attempting to enter Canada for “non-essential shopping.” The remaining travellers had “other” listed as the reason they were denied entry.
The vast majority of those attempting to cross into Canada were Americans, at 87 per cent. Of the 18,431 people, only 2,361 were citizens of countries other than the U.S.
According to the CBSA data, 448 air travellers arriving from other countries were also denied entry into the country between March 22 and Sept. 2, “as they did not meet the respective standards of entry.”
The border closure has been renewed or extended five times since the beginning of the pandemic. Most recently, the restrictions on recreational travel through the border were extended until at least Sept. 21.
The closure still allows for essential trade and commerce, as well as seasonal migrant workers and health-care workers.
“Every month when we evaluate that situation again, we’ll take into account what’s going on, on both sides of the border,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said in August. “But, as you know, as we look at further planning out, we have to look at different options of how we can increase safely—as safely as possible—international travel.”
An exemption introduced in June allowed cross-border families to reunite. Any foreign national aiming to enter Canada to see a family member must be able to prove they will be in Canada for at least 15 days.
Anyone who is allowed to enter Canada for non-optional reasons is required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving.
With files from Rachel Aiello
Source:- CTV News
Canada’s coronavirus cases are surging, but experts reject it’s a ‘second wave’ – Global News
With Canada’s coronavirus cases escalating at a worrying rate, health officials say they are preparing for what many call a “second wave” of the pandemic, with some suggesting it may have already arrived.
But experts say framing the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases in “waves” is inaccurate, and ignores how human behaviour is playing a role — and how it’s critical to controlling the spread of the virus.
The country has seen a dramatic resurgence of the virus in recent weeks, along with long lines for testing in some cities. In the last two weeks alone, the number of cases reported nationwide each day has risen by nearly 50 per cent.
While Canada saw a brief rise in cases earlier this summer, cases have now risen back to levels last seen in late May and early June, when daily cases were falling from their peak in mid-to-late April.
Yet even when the pandemic was at its lowest point during last spring’s widespread economic lockdown, Canada was still reporting over 200 new cases daily — which experts say is proof that we’re still dealing with the first wave.
“It didn’t go anywhere,” said Caroline Colijn, a mathematics professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver who specializes in infectious disease modelling.
“What does a wave do? It comes and then recedes and disappears by itself, not because you jump off the towel and push it back. We haven’t had that sort of natural thing where the infection burns itself out. We brought it down through our own behaviour, but it’s still here.”
Coronavirus: ‘Can’t rule out’ second wave of COVID-19, says Canadian health minister
Sarah Otto, an evolutionary biologist and modelling expert at the University of British Columbia, is even more blunt.
“Technically, we’re nowhere near a ‘second wave’ as it’s defined in terms of a disease,” she said. “The second wave happens when people lose immunity to that disease and it comes back.
“Instead, what we’ve had are ebbs and flows based on how we’ve changed our behaviour to combat the spread of the virus. So as we’ve returned more and more to so-called ‘normal’ behaviour — and especially now that schools have reopened — we’re seeing more cases.”
While younger people have appeared to lead the way in recent infections, older Canadians have also continued to contract the virus at steady rates.
Several provinces have also reported cases in schools among both students and teachers since in-class learning resumed earlier this month, with some schools — including in Winnipeg and parts of Ontario — shutting down and moving classes online.
Health officials and experts say they have yet to see community transmission result from those school outbreaks. However, Colijn and Otto both say their models suggest cases across the country may continue to rise over the short term, particularly in the provinces driving the surge: British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and Ontario.
Concerns of COVID-19 second wave as new cases rise
But Daniel Coombs, a mathematical modelling expert at the University of British Columbia, says that rise could be tempered the same way cases were brought down the first time: by managing our behaviour.
“The problem I have with the language of ‘waves’ is it suggests (the pandemic) is out of control, where I strongly feel that we have the capacity in this country to control it,” he said.
“I think what we’re going to see over the fall and winter is health officials pulling those levers to sort of tune their policies so that schools can stay open — as they’re really critical to our society — while adjusting regulations elsewhere to keep transmission low.”
Coombs pointed to last week’s order in British Columbia that closed nightclubs and banquet halls while putting new restrictions on bars and restaurants. Although it was met with some opposition from owners, he said the order struck a balance between cutting down on large gatherings while doing relatively minimal economic damage.
Cases have continued to climb in that province, however, reaching a new record high on Thursday with 165 new infections.
The premiers of Ontario and Quebec have warned of similar restrictions, along with fines and minimal lockdowns, if behaviour doesn’t change and cases don’t start falling again.
Coronavirus: Legault says Quebec could see second wave if COVID-19 case trend continues
A new Ipsos poll suggests 75 per cent of Canadians would approve a widespread shutdown of non-essential businesses if cases reach another peak like last spring’s. Roughly the same number said they anticipate another rise in cases this fall, which they called a “second wave.”
But Otto says those penalties can be avoided if people remember that they’re part of the solution, and remember their responsibility to their community.
“Especially now that kids are back in school, it’s so critical they get that in-person learning, so I want to reduce my own activities so they can have that opportunity,” she said.
She also suggested keeping an eye on the case numbers and which communities are seeing surges, and adjusting behaviour accordingly if cases start rising closer to home.
“Our health officials are reading the thermometer and saying, ‘Oh, it’s too warm in here, it’s getting out of control there,’” she said. “But we’re the switch on the furnace, and it’s our decision to go, ‘Oh, I have to listen to the thermostat, I better shut off.’ We’re part of the solution.”
“We’ve had some successes in Canada that we can be proud of, and we still have models of clear, compassionate public health messaging,” she said. “We just need to keep listening to them and not be complacent.
“We’re not the kind of society that will nail your door shut to make sure you stay quarantined. We’re not going to have surveillance on people’s indoor parties. This is still a matter of trust, and we need to keep working ourselves while trusting each other. Because this isn’t over.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sept. 17 – CBC.ca
- Quebec urges residents to continue to follow public safety measures this coming weekend.
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford tightens restrictions in some regions amid rise in cases.
- British Columbia confirms record-breaking 165 new cases.
- Officials shut down high school in Ottawa Valley, first in the province to close.
- Ontario health experts struggling to trace the source of new infections.
- Testing priorities will change in Alberta, chief medical officer of health says.
- India has confirmed another record jump in coronavirus cases.
- U.S. economy still struggling to recover, Labour Department says.
- 10 fans told to quarantine after Kansas City Chiefs game
With climbing cases of COVID-19 across Canada, health experts are struggling to trace the source of new infections — raising concerns that several provinces are lacking crucial information to curb a potential second wave this fall.
In Quebec, Health Minister Christian Dubé and chief public health officer Dr. Horacio Arruda held a press conference on Thursday, to encourage residents to continue practising safe social distancing as the weekend approaches. Dubé said this weekend is not the time to go out partying and risk pushing a region into a higher COVID-19 alert level.
He said regions will remain yellow, but will be changed to orange in the coming days depending on the progress and the number of active cases over the weekend.
Dubé also reminded people that bars, even if they sell food, cannot sell liquor after midnight and that includes restaurants and microbreweries.
WATCH | Quebecers warned to heed health measures to slow coronavirus:
As of Thursday afternoon, there are 66,356 confirmed cases in Quebec.
B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have all reported a bump in cases throughout September, and some have paused their reopening plans as a result.
As of 3:40 pm ET on Thursday, Canada had 140,556 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 122,842 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,238.
In B.C. a record number of new cases were confirmed on Thursday, and two new outbreaks have been declared in hospitals in the Lower Mainland.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry urged British Columbians to stick to gatherings with six or fewer people and to keep those groups of six consistent. She said the new restrictions to end the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. is necessary to slow transmission of the disease.
Meanwhile in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford unveiled a series of new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on social gatherings in three regions and significant fines for violating the new rules.
Ford held a news conference Thursday afternoon saying the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases “are concerning,” and that the province has decided to “implement further restrictions,” starting Friday.
He also announced that Ontario will have the “highest fine anywhere in the entire country,” with a minimum amount of $10,000 for organizers of illegal social gatherings, and a $750 fine for individuals who “break the rules and show up to these parties.”
As a result of the growing pandemic in Ontario, health officials have shut down a high school in the Ottawa Valley after a third staff member tested positive for COVID-19 — making it the first school in the province to close since the new school year began.
All in-person classes at Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont., were halted Wednesday after the latest case was linked to two previous ones, also involving staff members.
WATCH | Ford announces new COVID-19 gathering limits, freeze on rent increase:
In an emailed statement to CBC News, Renfrew County District School Board spokesperson Jonathan Laderoute said the closure will remain in place until further notice.
“The decision was made shortly after a third case was confirmed earlier today that was linked to two previous cases,” the email reads. “The school will reopen only with public health approval.”
WATCH | Alarms raised after COVID-19 cases close Ontario high school:
Despite the school closure and an increasing caseload, health officials in Ontario say they can’t trace how roughly half of its latest COVID-19 cases became infected, even as Ford announced new measures to try to slow the pace of spread.
To gain insights into the September surge of COVID-19 in Canada’s largest province, CBC News has analyzed Ontario’s data on active cases — those who have most recently tested positive for the virus and are either hospitalized or still considered to be infectious.
Data suggests that many Ontarians are currently contracting COVID-19 through unmemorable interactions with others in the course of their daily lives. Experts are worried that failing to track the source of so many new infections will hamper efforts to rein in the spread of the virus.
Those under 40 are driving the spread in most provinces. In Ontario, health officials have identified smaller, indoor gatherings as the culprit. Younger people may also be working in precarious jobs where their exposure is increased, or where sick days may not be readily available.
“If we don’t understand how and where people are getting infected, it’s very hard to control this disease,” said Ashleigh Tuite, epidemiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “It suggests that our contact tracing is not up to the level that we wanted it to be.”
Alberta is starting to see a caseload similar to that in Ontario and Quebec, which is concerning as the prairie province has a much lower population, said Dr. Stephanie Smith, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
On Thursday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said testing priorities will change as the province prepares for increasing testing demands.
With flu season upon us, Hinshaw said asymptomatic testing will therefore no longer be recommended for general population.
“We and every other province in Canada must prepare for a surge in demand in tests this winter. We must prioritize our testing, especially as we prepare for the flu system to ensure that testing is scheduled and that results are returned as quickly as possible.”
For the first 15 days of September in Alberta, the province has reported an average of 137 new cases of COVID-19 per day. That’s up from an average of 88 cases for that same period in August, meaning that cases have gone up by about 55 per cent in the last month.
WATCH | Looking back at six months of COVID in Alberta:
The province is also facing widespread community transmission of COVID-19, Smith said, rather than the disease appearing in a few specific hotspots, like a long-term care facility.
While some of the increase in Alberta cases could be attributed to more testing in September with upwards of 30,000 people tested per day, Smith said these jumps in case counts are still concerning.
What’s happening around the rest of Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says dealing with COVID-19 remains his government’s number one job.
Trudeau says Canadians deserve an ambitious plan for a healthier and safer Canada, a country that’s fair and inclusive and clean and competitive.
He made his comments at the end of a two-and-a-half day cabinet retreat.
A COVID-19 testing site is opening up for Indigenous people in Toronto, just in time for the cold and flu season.
“There’s not much trust for some Indigenous folks in our health-care system because of discriminatory practices or blatant racism,” said Steve Teekens, executive director of Na-Me-Res, an emergency shelter and housing organization.
“We have a vacant building here and one of our managers thought this would be a fabulous idea to offer it up as a COVID testing facility for Indigenous people,” Teekens said.
Roughly 250 students have been sent home from John Pritchard School in Winnipeg as the number of COVID-19 cases linked to it climbed to seven, Manitoba’s education minister said on Wednesday.
Students at the North Kildonan school in Grades 6, 7 and 8, as well as those in a split Grade 4/5 class and the Henderson Early Learning Centre (the school’s before and after program), started remote learning on Wednesday, Kelvin Goertzen said at a news conference.
“Of course, we knew that there would be cases within the school system, and we wanted to ensure that there could be quick response when those cases arose,” Goertzen said.
Those students may continue learning from home for up to two weeks, the Winnipeg school said in a letter to parents on Tuesday.
Alberta’s health minister and chief medical officer of health have said they would support repealing a piece of legislation that gives the government the power to make vaccines mandatory.
The Public Health Act currently contains a section that allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council to order Albertans to be immunized or re-immunized against a communicable disease in certain circumstances, like an epidemic.
That power has never been used in the province’s history, nor can Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, imagine a scenario where it would be.
“I think if we have a piece of legislation that we’re unlikely to use, I’m not sure it provides much benefit,” she told the legislative review committee examining the act in August. “I would be comfortable with that particular piece of the legislation being removed.”
Travellers flying out of Halifax will soon have their temperature taken before liftoff to scan for one of the symptoms of COVID-19.
Next Wednesday, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is rolling out temperature screening stations in the departure sections of 11 airports, including Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
WATCH | Rapid rise in cases in many parts of Canada, infectious disease specialist says:
All passengers who have a fever (38 C and above), and don’t have a medical certificate to explain a condition that would result in an elevated temperature, will not be allowed to continue their travel and will be asked to rebook after 14 days.
Leah Batstone, spokesperson for the Halifax International Airport Authority, said they’re happy to have another feature to help ease people’s fears and concerns about air travel.
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 29.9 million. More than 941,000 people have died, while 20.3 million have recovered.
Authorities in Pakistan have closed as many as 22 schools across the country after detecting violation of physical distancing regulations amid a steady decline in COVID-19 cases.
The government action comes only two days after authorities allowed schools to reopen.
Thursday’s announcement by the military-backed command and control centre came after health officials alerted the government that students at some schools were violating distancing guidelines.
The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections have hit a record in the Czech Republic, surpassing 2,000 cases in one day for the first time.
The country’s health ministry said a total of 2,139 cases were registered on Wednesday, about 450 more than the previous number recorded a day earlier.
The ministry said 388 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19, 55 more than the previous day, with 81 in serious condition.
India has confirmed another record jump in coronavirus cases, logging 97,894 cases in the past 24 hours.
The country’s health ministry said on Thursday the new cases raised the nation’s confirmed total to more than 5.1 million since the pandemic began. It said 1,132 people died in the past 24 hours, for a total of 83,198.
At the current rate of infection, India is expected within weeks to surpass the 6.6 million reported cases in the United States, which is currently the country with the most reported infections.
The number of people in the United States applying for unemployment benefits dropped to 881,000 last week, but the Labour Department reported Thursday that the economy is still struggling to recover and rebuild the job market.
Before the pandemic hit the economy, the number signing up for jobless aid had never exceeded 700,000 in a week, even during the depths of the 2007-09 Great Recession. Now they’ve topped 700,000 for 26 straight weeks.
Meanwhile, 10 fans who attended the Kansas City Chiefs game last week have been told to quarantine after one tested positive for COVID-19, Kansas City health officials announced Thursday.
A person who watched the NFL game from the group’s box in Arrowhead Stadium’s lower level tested positive a day later, the health department said.
The health department and Chiefs organization worked together to track down those who had contact with the person.
Coronavirus: Canada adds 870 new cases, 6 deaths in last 24 hours – Global News
Canada added 870 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, but the national case count rose by an extra 248 cases that were delayed in reporting, bringing the national total to 140,752.
Six new deaths were also reported nation-wide in the last 24 hours, plus one from earlier in the week in Quebec, to bring the total to 9,200.
Ontario reported 293 new cases on Thursday, a slight decrease from the 315 reported the day before.
Three more deaths in the province have brought its total toll to 2,825, and resolved cases increased by 179 from the day before.
Fifty-three people are currently hospitalized, up from nine on Wednesday, while 21 patients are in intensive care, up from one on Wednesday, with 12 of them on a ventilator.
Quebec raises coronavirus alert level in several regions including Montreal
Quebec reported 251 new cases in the last 24 hours, but added 499 cases Thursday due to a delay in reporting from earlier in the week, bringing its case total to 66,356.
The province now has been reporting an average of 300 new infections per day the last week.
“It’s everywhere that we have to be careful,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said.
Two deaths occurred in the province in the last 24 hours and one other was recorded that occurred earlier in the week.
The number of hospitalizations in the province shot up since Wednesday, going from six to 136, with 29 patients in intensive care, up from three a day earlier.
Over in British Columbia, 165 new cases of coronavirus were reported, setting a new single-day record over 139 recorded last week. Two of those cases are considered epi-linked.
Strengthening public health in British Columbia by reducing the risk of influenza during the pandemic
There are now 1,705 active cases in the province, a record high for them.
One new death was reported to bring the total to 210.
However, hospitalizations did decrease from 60 patients to 57, with 22 of them in intensive care.
In Alberta, 146 new cases were reported, bringing the province’s active cases to 1,403 with 41 in hospital and eight of them in ICU. No new deaths were reported.
Saskatchewan added seven new cases, while one case from Wednesday had been removed after deeming it to be from a non-Saskatchewan resident.
There are currently 109 active cases and five patients in hospital in the province, all in Saskatoon. No new deaths were reported.
Manitoba reported 11 new cases Thursday, and currently has 293 active cases with 10 in hospital and two in intensive care. No new deaths were reported.
Coronavirus: Manitoba’s top doctor raises alarm over ‘stigmatizing behaviour’ in COVID-19 case
New Brunswick reported no new cases Thursday and said there are currently two active cases there.
Nova Scotia has continued its streak of no new cases, up to 10 days now.
No new cases were reported in the territories.
There have been 30,019,763 confirmed cases globally so far, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 943,515 deaths.
— With files from Global News staff
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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