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Ontario reports 6000+ new COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths over past two days – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario reported more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past two days, as the province entered a month-long shutdown on Saturday to curb rising infections.

Provincial health officials logged 3,009 new cases today and 3,089 cases on Friday.

The Ministry of Health did not report numbers yesterday due to the Good Friday holiday.

The last time the province logged more than 3,000 coronavirus cases was on Jan. 17 with 3,422  infections.

The province reported 2,557 new cases on Thursday, 2,333 on Wednesday and 2,336 on Tuesday. 

The seven-day rolling average of new cases now stands at 2,552, compared to 1,944 seven days ago.

Provincial health officials also reported 39 more virus-related deaths in the past two days. None of the latest fatalities were among long-term care home residents.

Most of the latest deaths were among those 60 and older, with 21 between 60 and 79 years old and 17 aged 80 and up. Ontario’s virus-related death toll now stands at 7,428.

Another 98 lab-confirmed highly-contagious variants of concern were identified over the past two days with 89 of the dominant B.1.1.7 variant, three of the B.1.351 variant and six of the P.1 variant.

In addition, nearly 2,100 cases that have screened positive for a variant of concern are awaiting whole genome sequencing to confirm their lineage, with a total of 24,459 cases waiting for further testing to confirm which variant they are.

More than 3,700 people have recovered from the disease in the past two days, resulting in 23,190 active cases of the virus across the province today.

Ontario labs processed more than 121,400 tests in the past two days.

More than 25,000 tests are under investigation.

The province’s positivity rate stands at 5 per cent, compared to 4.8 per cent two days ago, according to the Ministry of Health.

Most of the new cases continue to be in the Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto logged 954 today, while 434 cases were reported in Peel Region, 348 in York, 138 in Durham and 91 in Halton.

Meanwhile, Hamilton logged 146 new cases, while 145 new infections were reported in Middlesex-London and 205 in Ottawa.

Of Ontario’s 34 public health units, 14 reported 30 or more new COVID-19 cases.

As coronavirus infections continue to climb across the province, hospitalizations continue to remain elevated.

The Ministry of Health says there are currently 796 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection across the province, compared to 1,162 on Friday.

The government has said that hospitalizations are typically under reported on the weekends due to delayed reporting from hospitals and public health units.

Of those hospitalized, 451 are in intensive care units, up by 16 from the previous day, and 261 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital Dr. Michael Warner says the provincial shutdown won’t be effective in driving down case counts and hospitalizations.

“The GTA is on fire with COVID-19, as are the hospitals that serve them and unless something changes now this situation will get so far out of control that I don’t even want to consider what we might have to do if things don’t change,” he said.

To date, there have been over 358,500 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and 327,940 recoveries in the province since the first case emerged in Ontario last January.

More than 321,400 people in Ontario have been fully vaccinated against the disease since mid-December. All vaccines that are currently being administered in the province require two doses for full immunization.

As of Friday evening, over 2.4 million doses have been given to people in the province, with more than 59,500 doses administered yesterday alone.

The latest numbers come as the province entered a four-week shutdown on Saturday to control COVID-19 transmission.

Indoor dining, along with gyms and hair salons must close but essential businesses and non-essential retail are allowed to remain open with capacity limits.

Although a stay-at-home order is not in effect, the government is encouraging people to stay home unless they need to leave for essential reasons, including going to work, buying food, medical reasons and exercise.

Toronto Mayor John Tory told reporters on Saturday that the latest numbers are “deeply troubling” and that Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the right decision in implementing a shutdown.

He added that he’s in favour of considering additional measures to control COVID-19 transmission.

“I just think we’re at a very crucial point right now where the vaccines are getting administered. We had almost 40,000 people sign up [at Toronto vaccination clinics] in the last day or two which is great but we need to get caught up. And in order to get caught up we have to bring the level of infection down and that’s really going to involve people following the rules,” he told reporters while attending the Daily Bread Food Bank’s spring food drive in Etobicoke.

The Ministry of Health will not be releasing COVID-19 numbers tomorrow due to the Easter long weekend but the numbers will be posted on Monday.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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Canadian Business During the Pandemic

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In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.

The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.

More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.

An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.

We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”

He said in a statement.

The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.

In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.

The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.

 

The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.

She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.

There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”

Jones said.

Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”

The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.

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Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures

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By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.

“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.

Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”

Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.

“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.

Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.

“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)

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Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO

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By Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”

“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.

The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.

It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.

Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.

Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.

Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.

($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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