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Ontario health officials to speak as province reports a record-breaking 939 new cases of COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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Ontario health officials are expected to hold a news conference on COVID-19 Friday at 1 p.m. at Queen’s Park.

Premier Doug Ford is expected to hold a second news conference at 2:30 p.m. following an emergency cabinet meeting.

You can watch both news conferences live in this story. 


Ontario reported 939 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday — its highest-ever daily number of new cases.

It is also the second day in a row the province is seeing record-breaking daily figures, trumping the previous record of 797 set Thursday. Doctors are also sounding the alarm about an increased number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to intensive care units.

Friday’s update has prompted Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet to hold an emergency meeting to consider tighter public health measures to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus. That meeting was set to begin at 11 a.m., and Ford is scheduled to hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET, which you’ll be able to watch live in this story.

The increase, while startling, is consistent with modelling from epidemiologists who forecast last month that Ontario’s second wave of the pandemic was accelerating at a pace that put the province on track to hit 1,000 new cases per day by mid-October. 

Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa continue to account for the majority of the province’s daily figures, with 336, 150, and 126 cases respectively, Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a series of tweets.

Other areas that saw double-digit increases include:

  • Halton Region: 59
  • Simcoe-Muskoka: 28
  • Durham Region: 32
  • Hamilton: 40
  • Middlesex-London: 24
  • Waterloo Region: 13
  • York Region: 68
  • Windsor-Essex: 18
  • Niagara Region: 10
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 16

Friday’s update brings the province’s total to 57,681 cases of the virus since the outbreak began in late January. 

There are 225 patients currently hospitalized in Ontario, a significant increase from yesterday’s figure of 206. However, the number of patients admitted to intensive care has remained the same at 47, and the number of patients on a ventilator has nearly halved from 49 to 29.

An additional 724 cases of COVID-19 are now considered resolved, bringing the province’s total number of resolved cases to 49,032.

Sources say restrictions recommended for hot spots

The government’s pandemic advisers will recommend cabinet put Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots under a modified version of the province’s Stage 2 restrictions, according to two sources. 

The measures being recommended to cabinet Friday include the closure of:

  • Indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and food courts.
  • Cinemas, casinos and conference venues.
  • Gyms and fitness centres.

Cabinet is also being urged to put capacity limits on real estate open houses and guided tours and to shutter interactive exhibits at tourist attractions, such as museums where there is a high risk of transmission of the virus. Team sports would be limited to training activities, with no games or scrimmages permitted. 

The recommended closures do not extend to schools, child-care centres, colleges, universities or courtrooms. 

Two additional sources said the recommendation is to apply the stricter measures to Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa. The nation’s capital has seen a sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases over recent weeks, along with outbreaks and deaths in long-term care homes. 

The top health advisers to Premier Doug Ford’s government are recommending that cabinet impose Stage 2-style restrictions on the province’s COVID-19 hot spots, sources tell CBC News. Ford’s cabinet is to consider the recommendation during an emergency meeting Friday morning. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the recent surge in numbers “troubling.”

“The status quo is not acceptable,” he said on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Friday. He said he hopes provincial regulations revert back to “more like what we were doing last spring…with some more latitude to be out and about.”

For Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening plan, which was in place during May and June, bars and restaurants were banned from seating customers indoors, cinemas and gyms were closed and schools remained shut. 

Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, indicated during a news conference Thursday afternoon that he has recommended tighter restrictions to cabinet but declined to offer any specifics. 

Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa asked the province last week to order a 28-day closure of indoor service at restaurants, as well as indoor fitness and recreation facilities, to try to rein in the spread of COVID-19 in the city. 

Under strain

This all comes with many hospitals in the province filled to capacity and intensive care units in some GTA hospitals reporting few available beds.

The Ontario Hospital Association urged the province on Sept. 28 to put the GTA and Ottawa back to Stage 2, with restriction on indoor dining and bars, places of worship, weddings, gyms, movie theatres and other non-essential businesses.   

The province’s COVID-19 testing system is also under strain, with appointments at assessment centres in the hardest-hit areas being snapped up shortly after they become available and some people having to wait days to get tested. The Ministry of Health last week changed the criteria to get a test, limiting eligibility primarily to people with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who’ve been exposed to a confirmed case. 

Nearly one-tenth of Ontario’s 4,800 publicly-funded schools have reported cases of COVID-19, and a similar proportion of the 630 long-term care homes in the province are battling outbreaks of the coronavirus.    


Still have questions about COVID-19? These CBC News stories will help.

What’s the latest guidance from the government and health experts surrounding Thanksgiving celebrations?

Celebrate with those in your household only, officials are urging. Experts warn not doing so could lead to a “runaway train” of infections in the coming weeks

Will Ontario be able to track down everyone who came in contact with those who have COVID-19?

Doctors are warning the surge in cases will strain the contact-tracing system

What’s happening in Ontario schools and child-care centres?

The province just changed its rules around runny noses, and you see what schools have COVID-19 outbreaks on this provincial site

Who is getting COVID-19?

CBC News crunched the data from across Canada to get the clearest picture possible

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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