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Ontario reports 865 new COVID-19 cases, more than two-thirds among unvaccinated people –



Ontario reported 865 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with cases now having risen by almost 200 from the same day last week.

Of the 801 cases today with a known vaccination status:

  • 540, or 67 per cent, were in unvaccinated people.
  • 88, or 11 per cent, had a single dose.
  • 173, or 22 per cent, had two doses.

The province’s raw data on the vaccination status of cases does not include breakdowns by age. That, and the fact that the populations of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in Ontario differ greatly by both size and demographics, are important caveats to note when examining cases by vaccination status.


The additional cases include 158 in Toronto, 76 in York Region, 73 in Hamilton, 59 in Peel Region, 50 in Windsor-Essex, 31 in Durham Region, 30 in Middlesex-London, 29 in Halton Region and 26 in Waterloo Region.

This comes after the province unveiled its plans for a vaccine passport yesterday. The “enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate” system will come into effect on Sept. 22. At first, fully vaccinated Ontarians will need their current vaccination receipt with a valid photo identification to dine indoors at restaurants or go to gyms and theatres. Retail locations are exempt from the province’s vaccine passport system.

The system will require residents to be inoculated against COVID-19 to access some non-essential services, unless there’s a medical reason they can’t be vaccinated.

Ontario’s medical regulator is urging doctors to be judicious about handing out medical exemptions to vaccines.

Dr. Nancy Whitmore, registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, says the college has already heard about requests for baseless medical exemptions, and physicians must not give in. She says there are very few legitimate medical reasons not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

They include an allergist-confirmed severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components, and a diagnosis of myocarditis or pericarditis after receiving an mRNA vaccine.

She says those instances are extremely rare.

New modelling suggests higher vaccination rates needed

Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table also released its new modelling yesterday. It shows that 85 per cent of the eligible population needs to be vaccinated to avoid a lockdown this fall due to the highly contagious delta variant. It also recommends that Ontarians reduce contacts to about 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels to reduce the spread. Unvaccinated individuals are at highest risk of getting symptomatic COVID-19, being hospitalized, or requiring intensive care.

Last Thursday, Ontario recorded 678 further infections from roughly the same number of tests. According to the province’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, the doubling time for cases has extended to 32 days, up from just eight days in early August.

The effective reproduction number, a measure of how many people an infected person will go to infect, was 1.09 as of August 28, the table says. That is down significantly from about four weeks ago when the estimated reproduction value was more than 1.6.

As of yesterday, there were 320 people with COVID-19 in hospital in Ontario. Of those, 162 were being treated for COVID-related critical illnesses in intensive care.

The Ministry of Health also reported the deaths of 14 more people with COVID-19 — however, it says that due to a “data clean-up,” four of those deaths happened in the last week, while the other ten happened over a week ago.

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health’s daily provincial update:

Seven-day rolling average of daily cases: 728.

Tests in the last 24 hours: 27,293, with a provincewide positivity rate of 3 per cent.

Active cases: 6,031.

Death toll: 9,530.

Vaccinations: 35,152 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered by public health units on Wednesday. About 76.6 per cent of eligible Ontarians, or those aged 12 and older, have now had two doses. That represents about 67 per cent of the province’s total population.

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The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life




Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.

That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.

What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?

Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.

Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.


Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations

As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.

Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:

  1. Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
  2. Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
  3. Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.

Determining a Fair Payment Plan

Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.

Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.

Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers

When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:

  • Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
  • Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
  • Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
  • Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.


Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.

Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.

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Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home



THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.

The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.

No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.

Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.




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Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister



Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.

Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.

“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”


Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.

“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.

LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.

“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.

The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.

LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.

On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.

“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.

LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.

“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.

She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.

Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.

LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.

“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.

–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News



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