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N.B. reports 19 new COVID-19 cases Friday; cases in other zones linked to Moncton cluster – CTV News Atlantic



New Brunswick is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, along with three recoveries, as the total number of active infections in the province rises to 84.

Ten of the new cases were identified in the Moncton region (Zone 1) involving:

  • two people 19 and under;
  • an individual in their 20s;
  • four people in their 30s;
  • two people in their 40s
  • an individual in their 50s.

Five are contacts of previously confirmed cases and five cases are under investigation.

Public health says many of the new cases in other zones are linked to the cluster in the Moncton region. As of Friday, 62 of the province’s 84 cases were identified in the Moncton region.

“We are seeing that the Zone 1 cluster is resulting in cases in Zones 2, 6 and 7 in our province right now, so it is imperative for New Brunswickers to get vaccinated,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, said in a news release.

Three new cases were identified in the Saint John region (Zone 2), involving two people ages 19 and under, and an individual in their 30s. Two cases are travel related and one is under investigation. 

Two new cases were identified in the Fredericton region (Zone 3), involving an individual in their 30s and an individual in their 40s. Both cases are under investigation.

Two new cases were identified in the Campbellton region (Zone 5). Both involve people in their 70s and are under investigation.

Two new cases were identified in the Bathurst region (Zone 6). Both involve people ages 19 and under and are contacts of previously confirmed cases. 

There are currently no hospitalizations in New Brunswick due to COVID-19.


As of Friday, 70.9 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 83.2 per cent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 1,068,501 vaccine doses have been administered in New Brunswick.

If you have not yet had your first or second dose, you are encouraged to go to a mobile or walk-in clinic or to book an appointment through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon Health Network clinic.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments now for a date that is at least 28 days after their first dose.

If you have an appointment for a vaccine but were able to get vaccinated sooner elsewhere, please be sure to contact your pharmacy or regional health authority clinic to cancel the appointment you no longer need. This will help ensure that someone else in your community can obtain their vaccination sooner.


New Brunswick has had 2,490 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 2,359 people have recovered, and 46 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Public Health says 1,112 tests were completed in New Brunswick on Thursday. A total of 391,309 tests have been processed since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 592 confirmed cases (62 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 312 confirmed cases (9 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 457 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 755 confirmed cases (no active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 188 confirmed cases (2 active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 142 confirmed cases (6 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 44 confirmed cases (3 active cases)


Anyone with symptoms of the virus, as well as anyone who has been at the site of a possible public exposure, is urged to request a test online or call Tele-Care at 811 to get an appointment. 

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Through good and bad, John Manconi has stood by OC Transpo — but the ride's about to end –



Today’s transit commission meeting was already shaping up to be a testy one.

Six weeks ago, an LRT train derailed at Tunney’s Pasture station due to an axle bearing problem. The Confederation Line shut down for an entire work week, and more than a quarter of OC Transpo’s fleet of 39 light rail vehicles ended up needing repairs.

So when John Manconi takes the virtual stage Monday morning at his last transit commission meeting — and one of the final public appearances in his 30-year career at the city — he’s already expecting to be in the hot seat.

And then, less than 24 hours before Monday’s meeting, another train derailed just west of Tremblay station. No one was hurt, thankfully, but the pictures of a rail car off the tracks, smashing through a fence and hitting a switch box, are shocking.

It can’t be the note on which Manconi wanted to depart.

Three-decade career

Manconi is one of a dying breed.

Born and raised in Ottawa, he’s spent his entire 32-year professional career with the municipality, starting in 1989 inspecting backyard drainage systems in the pre-amalgamation city of Nepean.

Even in that junior job, Manconi says he picked up skills on “creating win-win environments” and dealing with parties in conflict.

“Because where there’s a drainage dispute between two neighbours, it can get very ugly,” he said in an interview last week, before the most recent derailment.

Manconi rose through the ranks over three decades, overseeing road maintenance and snow removal. In 2007, he was named the general manager of public works, where he was successful and well-liked. In 2012, the year council finally decided to move ahead with LRT, he became head of OC Transpo.

John Manconi speaks to reporters in 2014, long before he would become the public face of the city’s LRT network and its many missteps. (CBC)

Face of LRT problems

When a bureaucrat becomes a household name, it’s almost never for good reason.

Manconi managed to sail along for a few years without too much controversy as OC Transpo boss. He even emerged generally unscathed from the Rideau Street sinkhole incident where, miraculously, no one was hurt and most people blamed LRT contractor Rideau Transit Group for tunneling under the road.

But in mid-2017, as it was becoming clear that the LRT wouldn’t meet its contractual due date of May 2018 — it would end up being 465 days late — Manconi started to come under pressure, even though the line was being built by a private consortium. 

The LRT contract gave all communications power about the project to the city, presumably so it could control the messaging. But it also made Manconi the face of both the delays and a seemingly endless list of problems that cropped up after it opened in September 2019.

People have called for his resignation — including a citizen transit commissioner. He’s been verbally abused when he’s been out with his kids.

Asked if he thought it was fair to have been the bearer of repeatedly bad news, Manconi said it goes with the job. 

“I’m pretty recognizable wherever I go,” said Manconi, who’s well over six feet.

It’s with whoever sits in this chair. And you need to be prepared to do that.”– John Manconi on accountability

He says can take it, but wonders how many others are willing to put up with the constant criticism and pressure.

“The phone never stops ringing,” he said. “I don’t think everybody wants that lifestyle because it can be hard on you.”

Still, Manconi says, “you can’t contract out accountability.”

Rideau Transit may have built the Confederation Line, and its maintenance arm is supposed to keep the line in good shape for the next 30 years, but the OC Transpo brand belongs to the city.

“The responsibility and the accountability to the customers, the taxpayers, council, the media, is not with a private consortium,” he said.

“It’s with whoever sits in this chair. And you need to be prepared to do that.”

John Manconi addresses reporters on Sept. 16, 2019, at Blair Station after the first weekday commute on the Confederation LRT line. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

On accountability

Many people don’t directly blame the city for the LRT being late, or even breaking down. But they do blame them — and Manconi as the head of OC Transpo — for not being more upfront about what was happening and not overseeing RTG’s work.

Take September 2018. Councillors running for re-election that fall had been telling their constituents over the summer that the LRT would be launching in November. An August memo from OC Transpo updating the project raised no red flags.

In fact, bus drivers were issued pink slips, buses were taken off the road, routes were redirected, all with the understanding that the LRT was opening imminently.

So imagine the outrage from both councillors and the public when they learned LRT wouldn’t be opening until the following year.

There was one big question on everyone’s mind: how could the city not know the Confederation Line wouldn’t be ready? 

We still don’t have an answer to that, and it’s not clear that the fault lies solely with Manconi. But the fact the city, to this day, still appears to be caught unaware when it comes to issues with the train is a serious problem.

Asked how the city can have better oversight with these sorts of undertakings, Manconi said that “this obsession with when’s it opening has to stop.” Most people “can’t even predict when their kitchen renovations are going to get done,” he said, let alone a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure project.

Perhaps. But there are still dates written into those contracts, and the public should be told when those deadlines won’t be met. 

OC Transpo general manager John Manconi speaks at a transit commission meeting at Ottawa city hall Dec. 18, 2019. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Taking the long view

Asked if it was disappointing to be leaving a long career with the city on a down note, Manconi — whose last day is Sept. 30 — said that until the August derailment, the Confederation Line had been working well for the last year.

Anyway, these days, he’s taking the long view.

Sitting in the concourse at Pimisi station, Manconi said he’s proud of the natural space, public art and involvement of the local Indigenous community there — a first for the city.

He points out that the new central library will be close by, and maybe even one day, an NHL hockey arena. 

The Leitrim station being built as part of the Trillium Line extension is located in an open field, Manconi added, but in a few years it will be “surrounded by houses and a community, and those people are going to be using transit forever.”

That’s city building. It’s messy and there are some pretty big bumps along the way. And Manconi insists that if people just give it time, the Confederation Line will hold up to comparisons with transit networks in places like Toronto, Boston and New York.

“You know, you have to have some glitches, but it’s a phenomenal system,” said Manconi. “And in a few years, people [will] look back and say, ‘Thank goodness we did that.'”

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Stock market news live updates: Stock futures sink amid China's Evergrande default risk, debt ceiling debates – Yahoo Canada Finance



U.S. stock futures sold off Monday morning, tracking declines in overseas equities as investors nervously eyed the potential ripple effects of the default of a major Chinese real estate company and ongoing debates over the debt limit in Washington. 

Dow futures sank by more than 500 points, or 1.6%, in early trading. S&P 500 futures also dropped by more than 1%, adding to losses from last week. The CBOE Volatility Index, or Vix (^VIX), jumped by more than 30% as a confluence of concerns roiled markets.  

Shares of China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) plunged by more than 10% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as fears mounted that the Chinese real estate juggernaut would collapse under a major debt burden, impacting shareholders, bondholders and potentially triggering turmoil elsewhere across global markets. The specter of a broader crackdown by the Chinese government on Hong Kong’s real estate sector further added to concerns. 

Meanwhile, heated debates in Washington over increasing the government’s borrowing limit built on the risk-off tone in markets. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for Congress to raise the U.S. debt ceiling again in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, and suggested that to do otherwise would risk leaving the government to default on payments and generate “widespread economic catastrophe.” The U.S. House is set to vote this week on the debt ceiling and a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating past the end of the fiscal year at the end of September. 

Even heading into Monday’s session, the three major U.S. stock indexes had dipped so far in September amid escalating concerns over the Delta variant, pace of the economic recovery, inflation and path forward for monetary and fiscal policy. Retail sales data last week suggested the consumer was turning back towards goods rather than services spending amid the latest wave of the coronavirus, and still-weak consumer sentiment data suggested many individuals were becoming increasingly concerned about inflationary pressures.

And on the monetary policy front, the prospects of a near-term shift to present ultra-accommodative policy posturing from the Fed has also injected additional uncertainty into markets. The Federal Open Market Committee is slated to hold its two-day policy-setting meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, with the event culminating in a new monetary policy statement, update economic projections, and press conference from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

One of the major focuses at this week’s meeting will be about whether the Federal Reserve ramps up its signaling around when it will begin to taper its crisis-era asset purchase program. The central bank has suggested this quantitative easing — which currently comprises purchases of $120 billion monthly in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities — would begin once the economy made “substantial further progress” toward the Fed’s goals on inflation and employment. 

“While we readily admit that the Committee could make changes to the September statement to signal that tapering is drawing closer, we believe the soft August hiring print and recent surge in COVID cases added enough uncertainty to the economic outlook that would refrain officials from making substantive changes to the wording,” Sam Bullard, senior economist for Wells Fargo, wrote in a note on Sunday. 

“If the economic data improves sufficiently over the coming weeks, then Fed officials could use public comments throughout October to signal that tapering will commence in November,” he added. 

For investors, the Fed’s move on tapering will be closely watched given that the asset purchases were one major tool the central bank used to bolster liquidity and support the economic recovery during the pandemic, and had by extension helped underpin stocks’ rise to record highs. 

Though stocks have lost some of their momentum in September so far, some strategists believe the move may be temporary. 

“You have to look at where the crowding is, and right now, there’s so much negative sentiment with regard to the market. It’s why we have been buying this dip this week and telling our clients that we think the market setup is perfect for a pretty big rally for the rest of September and possibly the beginning of October,” Eddie Ghabour, Key Advisors managing partner, told Yahoo Finance on Friday. “The next big hurdle we have to get through is the Fed meeting on Wednesday. If the Fed doesn’t disappoint, I think it’s a risk-on rally … right now everyone is so pessimistic about the market, and in our opinion markets don’t crash when everyone is positioned for it.” 

6:57 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures plunge, Dow drops 500+ points

Here were the main moves in markets as of Monday morning: 

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): -56.75 points (-1.28%) at 4,365.00

  • Dow futures (YM=F): -541 points (-1.57%) to 34,921.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): -152.25 points (-0.99%) to 15,173.75

  • Crude (CL=F): -$1.43 (-1.99%) to $70.54 per barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$8.20 (+0.47%) to $1,759.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -3.9 bp to yield 1.331%

Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on March 11, 2020 in New York. - Wall Street stocks dove deeper into the red in afternoon trading on March 11, 2020, with losses accelerating after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Near 1710 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial was down more than 1,200 points, or 5.0 percent, at 23,777.17. The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 4.6 percent to 2,749.88, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 4.4 percent to 7,979.15. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on March 11, 2020 in New York. - Wall Street stocks dove deeper into the red in afternoon trading on March 11, 2020, with losses accelerating after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Near 1710 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial was down more than 1,200 points, or 5.0 percent, at 23,777.17. The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 4.6 percent to 2,749.88, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 4.4 percent to 7,979.15. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on March 11, 2020 in New York. – Wall Street stocks dove deeper into the red in afternoon trading on March 11, 2020, with losses accelerating after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Near 1710 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial was down more than 1,200 points, or 5.0 percent, at 23,777.17. The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 4.6 percent to 2,749.88, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 4.4 percent to 7,979.15. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11 – CTV News



Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon — a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.

For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press.

The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects — such as sore arms, fever or achiness — that teens experience, he said.

“I think we really hit the sweet spot,” said Gruber, who’s also a pediatrician.

Gruber said the companies aim to apply to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month for emergency use in this age group, followed shortly afterward with applications to European and British regulators.

Earlier this month, FDA chief Dr. Peter Marks told the AP that once Pfizer turns over its study results, his agency would evaluate the data “hopefully in a matter of weeks” to decide if the shots are safe and effective enough for younger kids.

Many Western countries so far have vaccinated no younger than age 12, awaiting evidence of what’s the right dose and that it works safely in smaller tots. But Cuba last week began immunizing children as young as 2 with its homegrown vaccines and Chinese regulators have cleared two of its brands down to age 3.

While kids are at lower risk of severe illness or death than older people, more than 5 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began and at least 460 have died, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Cases in children have risen dramatically as the delta variant swept through the country.

“I feel a great sense of urgency” in making the vaccine available to children under 12, Gruber said. “There’s pent-up demand for parents to be able to have their children returned to a normal life.”

In New Jersey, 10-year-old Maya Huber asked why she couldn’t get vaccinated like her parents and both teen brothers have. Her mother, Dr. Nisha Gandhi, a critical care physician at Englewood Hospital, enrolled Maya in the Pfizer study at Rutgers University. But the family hasn’t eased up on their masking and other virus precautions until they learn if Maya received the real vaccine or a dummy shot.

Once she knows she’s protected, Maya’s first goal: “a huge sleepover with all my friends.”

Maya said it was exciting to be part of the study even though she was “super scared” about getting jabbed. But “after you get it, at least you feel like happy that you did it and relieved that it didn’t hurt,” she told the AP.

Pfizer said it studied the lower dose in 2,268 kindergarteners and elementary school-aged kids. The FDA required what is called an immune “bridging” study: evidence that the younger children developed antibody levels already proven to be protective in teens and adults. That’s what Pfizer reported Monday in a press release, not a scientific publication. The study still is ongoing, and there haven’t yet been enough COVID-19 cases to compare rates between the vaccinated and those given a placebo — something that might offer additional evidence.

The study isn’t large enough to detect any extremely rare side effects, such as the heart inflammation that sometimes occurs after the second dose, mostly in young men. The FDA’s Marks said the pediatric studies should be large enough to rule out any higher risk to young children. Pfizer’s Gruber said once the vaccine is authorized for younger children, they’ll be carefully monitored for rare risks just like everyone else.

A second U.S. vaccine maker, Moderna, also is studying its shots in elementary school-aged children. Pfizer and Moderna are studying even younger tots as well, down to 6-month-olds. Results are expected later in the year.


AP journalist Emma Tobin contributed to this report.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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