Ottawa Public Health says 40 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.
The figure comes as 1,185 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across Ontario on Tuesday. Health officials also reported six additional deaths and 972 newly resolved cases. Ontario added 45 new cases of COVID-19 to its count in Ottawa. Figures from OPH and the province often differ due to different data collection times.
No new variants of concern were confirmed in Ottawa on Tuesday. To date, Ottawa has seen eight confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and two confirmed cases of the B.1.351 variant, according to the province.
Ottawa Public Healh’s COVID-19 dashboard shows a total of 15,207 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city since the first case was confirmed on March 11, 2020. Since the pandemic began 444 residents of Ottawa have died.
OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS
Ottawa is in “Orange-Restrict” status under Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.
Ottawa Public Health data:
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 36.8 (down from 37.9 on Monday and 37.3 on Sunday)
- Positivity rate in Ottawa: 2.2 per cent (March 1-7)
- Reproduction number: 1.04 (seven day average)
Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.
The Orange-Restrict category of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework includes a weekly rate of cases per 100,000 between 25 to 39.9, a percent positivity of 1.3 to 2.4 per cent, and a reproduction number of approximately 1 to 1.1.
VACCINES IN OTTAWA
As of March 8:
- Vaccine doses administered in Ottawa (first and second shots): 63,576
- COVID-19 doses received (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna): 71,180
*OPH says staff were able to extract additional doses out of several vials, which were given to residents. In a statement on its dashboard, OPH said, “Vaccine inventory is based on an expected 5 dose per vial supply. Occasionally, an additional dose (6th dose) is successfully extracted and administered to clients.”
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA
There are currently 27 people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 complications, including two in the intensive care unit.
Of the people in hospital, one is in their 20s, one is in their 50s (this person is in the ICU), seven are in their 60s, four are in their 70s, seven are in their 80s (one is in the ICU), and seven are 90 or older.
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA
The number of people with known active cases remains above 500. There are 512 active cases of COVID-19, down from 513 cases on Monday.
Forty more people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health reports 14,251 resolved cases of COVID-19 in the capital.
The number of active cases is the number of total cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.
The Ontario government says 33,264 COVID-19 tests were performed provincewide on Monday.
The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce said Tuesday that 2,378 swabs were processed at assessment centres in Ottawa on March 8 and 2,848 lab tests were performed in Ottawa on that date.
The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at an Ottawa testing site to the result is 23 hours.
COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY
- 0-9 years old: Two new cases (1,137 total cases)
- 10-19 years-old: Three new cases (1,882 total cases)
- 20-29 years-old: 11 new cases (3,318 total cases)
- 30-39 years-old: Seven new cases (2,135 total cases)
- 40-49 years-old: Four new cases (1,951 total cases)
- 50-59 years-old: Five new cases (1,836 total cases)
- 60-69-years-old: Five new cases (1,108 total cases)
- 70-79 years-old: Three new cases (667 total cases)
- 80-89 years-old: Zero new cases (709 total cases)
- 90+ years old: Zero new cases (461 total cases)
- Unknown: Zero new cases (3 cases total)
COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE REGION
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 10 new cases
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health: 1 new case
- Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 7 new cases
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 3 new cases
- CISSS de l’Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 15 new cases
Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 28 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.
One new outbreak was declared at the St. Vincent Hospital. An outbreak at the Maycourt Hospice has ended.
There are four active community outbreaks: one is linked to a construction workplace, one is linked to a restaurant, one is linked to a community organization and one is at a multi-unit dwelling.
The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- École élémentaire catholique La Vérendrye
- École élémentaire catholique Saint-Jean-Paul II
- École secondaire publique Gisele-Lalonde
- Gloucester High School
- Mothercraft Ottawa home childcare – 34081
- Ottawa Islamic School
- Rodnichok childcare – 34075
The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:
- Bearbrook Retirement Residence
- Chartwell Duke of Devonshire
- Extendicare Laurier Manor
- Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
- Forest Hill
- Group Home – 32782
- Madonna Care Community
- Manotick Place Retirement
- Perley Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre – Gatineau Building
- Riverpark Retirement Residence (NEW)
- Rockcliffe Retirement Residence
- Sarsfield Colonial Home
- Shelter – 28778
- Shelter – 29677
- Shelter – 29770
- Shelter – 33435
- Shelter – 33687
- St. Vincent Hospital (NEW)
- The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – A2
- The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – A4 (Medicine)/A5/B5/Ama
- The Ottawa Hospital – General Campus – Single Unit 7Ncc/Ccu
A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.
Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).
Two staff or patient cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a specified hospital unit within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in hospital is considered an outbreak in a public hospital.
CANADA STOCKS – TSX falls 0.14% to 19,201.28
* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.14 percent to 19,201.28
* Leading the index were Stantec Inc <STN.TO>, up 3.4%, Imperial Oil Ltd, up 3.3%, and Corus Entertainment Inc, higher by 2.9%.
* Lagging shares were Aphria Inc, down 14.2%, Village Farms International Inc, down 9.9%, and Aurora Cannabis Inc, lower by 9.4%.
* On the TSX 91 issues rose and 134 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 24 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 228.0 million shares.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Royal Bank Of Canada and Suncor Energy Inc.
* The TSX’s energy group fell 0.32 points, or 0.3%, while the financials sector climbed 2.46 points, or 0.7%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.52%, or $0.31, to $59.63 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.4%, or $0.25, to $63.2 [O/R]
* The TSX is up 10.1% for the year.
Air Canada signs C$5.9 billion government aid package, agrees to buy Airbus, Boeing jets
By David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert
OTTAWA/MONTREAL (Reuters) -Air Canada, struggling with a collapse in traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reached a deal on Monday on a long-awaited aid package with the federal government that would allow it to access up to C$5.9 billion ($4.69 billion) in funds.
The agreement – the largest individual coronavirus-related loan that Ottawa has arranged with a company – was announced after the airline industry criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government for dawdling. The United States and France acted much more quickly to help major carriers.
Canada‘s largest carrier, which last year cut over half its workforce, or 20,000 jobs, and other airlines have been negotiating with the government for months on a coronavirus aid package.
In February, Air Canada reported a net loss for 2020 of C$4.65 billion, compared with a 2019 profit of C$1.48 billion.
As part of the deal, Air Canada agreed to ban share buybacks and dividends, cap annual compensation for senior executives at C$1 million a year and preserve jobs at the current level, which is 14,859.
It will also proceed with planned purchases of 33 Airbus SE 220 airliners and 40 Boeing Co 737 MAX airliners.
Chris Murray, managing director, equity research at ATB Capital Markets, said the deal took into account the “specific needs of Air Canada in the short and medium term without being overly onerous.”
He added: “It gives them some flexibility in drawing down additional liquidity as needed.”
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government was still in negotiations with other airlines about possible aid.
Canada, the world’s second-largest nation by area, depends heavily on civil aviation to keep remote communities connected.
Opposition politicians fretted that further delays in announcing aid could result in permanent damage to the country.
Air Canada said it would resume services on nearly all of the routes it had suspended because of COVID-19.
‘SIGNIFICANT LAYER OF INSURANCE’
The deal removes a potential political challenge for the Liberals, who insiders say are set to trigger an election later this year.
The government has agreed to buy C$500 million worth of shares in the airline, at C$23.1793 each, or a 14.2% discount to Monday’s close, a roughly 6% stake.
“Maintaining a competitive airline sector and good jobs is crucially important,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters, adding the equity stake would allow taxpayers to benefit when the airline’s fortunes recovered.
The Canadian government previously approved similar loans for four other companies worth up to C$1.billion, including up to C$375 million to low-cost airline Sunwing Vacations Inc. The government has paid out C$73.47 billion under its wage subsidy program and C$46.11 billion in loans to hard-hit small businesses.
Michael Rousseau, Air Canada‘s president and chief executive officer, said the liquidity “provides a significant layer of insurance for Air Canada.”
Jerry Dias, head of the Unifor private-sector union, described the announcement as “a good deal for everybody.”
Unifor represents more than 16,000 members working in the air transportation sector.
But the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents roughly 10,000 Air Canada flight attendants, said the package protected the jobs of current workers rather than the 7,500 members of its union who had been let go by the carrier.
($1=1.2567 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney)
U.K. advises limiting AstraZeneca in under-30s amid clot worry
British authorities recommended Wednesday that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine not be given to adults under 30 where possible because of strengthening evidence that the shot may be linked to rare blood clots.
The recommendation came as regulators both in the United Kingdom and the European Union emphasized that the benefits of receiving the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people — even though the European Medicines Agency said it had found a “possible link” between the shot and the rare clots. British authorities recommended that people under 30 be offered alternatives to AstraZeneca. But the EMA advised no such age restrictions, leaving it up to its member-countries to decide whether to limit its use.
Several countries have already imposed limits on who can receive the vaccine, and any restrictions are closely watched since the vaccine, which is cheaper and easier to store than many others, is critical to global immunization campaigns and is a pillar of the UN-backed program known as COVAX that aims to get vaccines to some of the world’s poorest countries.
“This is a course correction, there’s no question about that,” Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said during a press briefing. “But it is, in a sense, in medicine quite normal for physicians to alter their preferences for how patients are treated over time.”
Van-Tam said the effect on Britain’s vaccination timetable — one of the speediest in the world — should be “zero or negligible,” assuming the National Health Service receives expected deliveries of other vaccines, including those produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
EU and U.K. regulators held simultaneous press conferences Wednesday afternoon to announce the results of investigations into reports of blood clots that sparked concern about the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The EU agency described the clots as “very rare” side effects. Dr Sabine Straus, chair of EMA’s Safety Committee, said the best data is coming from Germany where there is one report of the rare clots for every 100,000 doses given, although she noted far fewer reports in the U.K. Still, that’s less than the clot risk that healthy women face from birth control pills, noted another expert, Dr. Peter Arlett.
The agency said most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 within two weeks of vaccination — but based on the currently available evidence, it was not able to identify specific risk factors. Experts reviewed several dozen cases that came mainly from Europe and the U.K., where around 25 million people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The reported cases of unusual blood clotting following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine should be listed as possible side effects of the vaccine,” said Emer Cooke, the agency’s executive director. “The risk of mortality from COVID is much greater than the risk of mortality from these side effects.”
Arlett said there is no information suggesting an increased risk from the other major COVID-19 vaccines.
The EMA’s investigation focused on unusual types of blood clots that are occurring along with low blood platelets. One rare clot type appears in multiple blood vessels and the other in veins that drain blood from the brain.
While the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks, that assessment is “more finely balanced” among younger people who are less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19, the U.K’s Van-Tam said.
“We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group,” said Wei Shen Lim, who chairs Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. “We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns.”
In March, more than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, suspended their use of AstraZeneca over the blood clot issue. Most restarted — some with age restrictions — after the EMA said countries should continue using the potentially life-saving vaccine.
Britain, which relies heavily on AstraZeneca, however, continued to use it.
The suspensions were seen as particularly damaging for AstraZeneca because they came after repeated missteps in how the company reported data on the vaccine’s effectiveness and concerns over how well its shot worked in older people. That has led to frequently changing advice in some countries on who can take the vaccine, raising worries that AstraZeneca’s credibility could be permanently damaged, spurring more vaccine hesitancy and prolonging the pandemic.
Dr. Peter English, who formerly chaired the British Medical Association’s Public Health Medicine Committee, said the back-and-forth over the AstraZeneca vaccine globally could have serious consequences.
“We can’t afford not to use this vaccine if we are going to end the pandemic,” he said.
In some countries, authorities have already noted hesitance toward the AstraZeneca shot.
“People come and they are reluctant to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, they ask us if we also use anything else,” said Florentina Nastase, a doctor and co-ordinator at a vaccination centre in Bucharest, Romania. “There were cases in which people (scheduled for the AstraZeneca) didn’t show up, there were cases when people came to the centre and saw that we use only AstraZeneca and refused (to be inoculated).”
Meanwhile, the governor of Italy’s northern Veneto region had said earlier Wednesday that any decision to change the guidance on AstraZeneca would cause major disruptions to immunizations — at a time when Europe is already struggling to ramp them up — and could create more confusion about the shot.
“If they do like Germany, and allow Astra Zeneca only to people over 65, that would be absurd. Before it was only for people under 55. Put yourself in the place of citizens, it is hard to understand anything,” Luca Zaia told reporters.
The latest suspension of AstraZeneca came in Spain’s Castilla y Leon region, where health chief Veronica Casado said Wednesday that “the principle of prudence” drove her to put a temporary hold on the vaccine that she still backed as being both effective and necessary.
French health authorities had said they, too, were awaiting EMA’s conclusions, as were some officials in Asia.
On Wednesday, South Korea said it would temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in people 60 and younger. In that age group, the country is only currently vaccinating health workers and people in long-term care settings.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it would also pause a vaccine rollout to school nurses and teachers that was to begin on Thursday, while awaiting the outcome of the EMA’s review.
But some experts urged perspective. Prof Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of Britain’s vaccination committee, said that the program has saved at least 6,000 lives in the first three months and will help pave the way back to normal life.
“What is clear it that for the vast majority of people the benefits of the Oxford AZ vaccine far outweigh any extremely small risk,” he said. “And the Oxford AZ vaccine will continue to save many from suffering the devastating effects that can result from a COVID infection.”
Source: – CTV News
Molson Coors’ JV Truss launches 6 pot-infused drinks in Canada
Canada will not restrict AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, says benefits outweigh risk
Canadian retail titan W. Galen Weston dies at 80
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
News17 hours ago
Canadian retail titan W. Galen Weston dies at 80
News18 hours ago
Canadian crude imports fall 20% in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic
Health17 hours ago
Factbox-Some countries limit AstraZeneca vaccine use, US pauses J&J shot
News20 hours ago
Air Canada shares close marginally lower after government takes equity stake
News18 hours ago
Canada’s migrant farmworkers remain at risk a year into pandemic
News20 hours ago
Canada scraps export permits for drone technology to Turkey
News20 hours ago
Novavax CFO Greg Covino to step down
Economy18 hours ago
Canada to go big on budget spending as pandemic lingers, election looms