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Ontario reports more than 200 new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 240 more people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19, the highest single-day case count since the start of the pandemic.

The previous watermark was 234 cases reported on Jan. 9, 2021 in the middle of the post-Christmas spike. This also marks the tenth straight day of daily reports of more than 100 cases. 

Ottawa Public Health is reporting a total of 17,825 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. 

One more person has died, bringing the city’s pandemic death toll to 467 residents.

Across Ontario, 3,009 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday, along with 16 new deaths and 1,819 newly resolved cases. The province didn’t provide an official update on Good Friday, but on Saturday said there were 3,089 newly confirmed cases reported on Friday, along with 23 deaths and 1,925 newly resolved cases. Public Health Ontario reported 205 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday. Figures from the province often differ from those provided by Ottawa Public Health in its local update later each day because of different data collection times.

The new figures come on the first day of Ontario’s latest provincewide “shutdown”, which has forced indoor dining, patio dining, gyms and salons closed for at least 28 days.

The key monitoring rate of new cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days is now above 100. 

OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

Ottawa entered Ontario’s COVID-19 “shutdown” at 12:01 a.m. April 3.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (March 26-April 1): 104.3
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 6.5 per cent (March 26-April 1)
  • Reproduction number: 1.13 (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.

VACCINES IN OTTAWA

As of April 2:

  • First vaccine doses administered: 124,462
  • Second vaccine doses administered: 26,824
  • Total doses received: 176,410

OPH says the city received a shipment of 36,270 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on March 29.

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

Ottawa Public Health data*:

  • Total B.1.1.7 (UK variant) cases: 23
  • Total B.1.351 (South Africa variant) cases: 6
  • Total P.1 (Brazil variant) cases: 0
  • Total variants of concern/mutation cases: 596
  • Deaths linked to variants/mutations: 4

*OPH notes that that VOC and mutation trends must be treated with caution due to the varying time required to complete VOC testing and/or genomic analysis following the initial positive test for SARS-CoV-2. Test results may be completed in batches and data corrections or updates can result in changes to case counts that may differ from past reports.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

There are 44 people in Ottawa-area hospitals with COVID-19 related illnesses on Saturday, up from 43 on Friday.

Fourteen people people are in the intensive care unit.

Of the people in hospital, one person is in their 20s, two are in their 30s, one is in their 40s, 11 are in their 50s (five are in the ICU), 10 are in their 60s (four are in the ICU), eight are in their 70s (four are in the ICU), nine are in their 80s (one is in the ICU) and two are 90 or older.

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 1,516 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, up from 1,358 active cases on Friday.

Eighty-one more Ottawa residents have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health reports 15,842 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.

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: 25 new cases (1,374 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: 32 new cases (2,297 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 61 new cases (3,920 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 34 new cases (2,568 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: 37 new cases (2,265 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: 23 new cases (2,132 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: 16 new cases (1,252 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: 8 new cases (742 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: 3 new case (740 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: 1 new case (479 total cases)
  • Unknown: 0 new cases (3 cases total)

COVID-19 TESTING IN OTTAWA

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce’s next update will be released Monday, April 5.

In its most recent update, the taskforce reported 2,664 swabs were processed at assessment centres in Ottawa on March 31.

A total of 6,782 lab tests were performed in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The average turnaround from the time the swab is taken at a testing site to the result is 35 hours.

Across Ontario, 59,117 COVID-19 tests were completed on Friday.

COVID-19 CASES AROUND THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 44 new cases
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 11 new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 9 new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 12 new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 2 new cases
  • Outaouais (Gatineau and western Quebec): 131 new cases

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 37 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

There are three new outbreaks in schools, two new outbreaks in retirement homes and two new outbreaks in hospitals in Ottawa.

Outbreaks have ended at three schools: Franco-Cité, Louis Riel, and Longfields Davidson Heights. An outbreak is also over at a local group home.

There are five active community outbreaks, down from eight on Friday. Two outbreaks are linked to services workplaces, one is linked to a private social event, one is linked to a restaurant, and one is linked to a recreational workplace.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. École élémentaire publique Séraphin-Marion (March 14)
  2. St. Luke’s Childcare Centre (March 15)
  3. Centrepointe Home Daycare (March 26)
  4. St. Peter High School (March 26)
  5. St. Gabriel Elementary School (March 29)
  6. St. Leonard Elementary School (March 30)
  7. St. Isidore Elementary School (March 31) 
  8. Connaught Public School (April 2) [NEW]
  9. Fallingbrook Community Elementary School (April 2) [NEW]
  10. Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School (April 2) [NEW]

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Shelter (Jan. 26)
  2. The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (Feb. 19)
  3. St. Vincent Hospital (March 6)
  4. Extendicare Medex (March 9)
  5. Peter D. Clark LTCH (March 10)
  6. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 12)
  7. Chapel Hill RH (March 13)
  8. St. Patrick’s Home (March 14)
  9. St. Vincent Hospital (March 15)
  10. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 16)
  11. Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital (March 18)
  12. Portobello Retirement Residence (March 18)
  13. Shelter (March 21)
  14. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 21)
  15. Supported Independent Living (March 23)
  16. Timberwalk Retirement Home (March 24)
  17. Longfields Manor (March 24)
  18. University of Ottawa Heart Institute (March 26)
  19. St. Vincent Hospital – 5N (March 26) [NEW]
  20. Jardin Royal Garden (March 27)
  21. Sisters of Charity (March 28)
  22. Landmark Court Retirement Home (March 29)
  23. Hillel Lodge (March 30)
  24. Group Home A-11533) (March 31)
  25. Manotick Place Retirement (March 31) [NEW]
  26. Wildpine Retirement Living (April 1) [NEW]
  27. Queensway Carleton Hospital (April 2) [NEW]

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, two children or staff or household member cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the childcare establishment is considered an outbreak in a childcare establishment.

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.  

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Oil Prices Rise Further On Large Crude Inventory Draw – OilPrice.com

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Oil Prices Rise Further On Large Crude Inventory Draw | OilPrice.com


Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Crude oil prices went up today on bullish news from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which reported a 6.4-million-barrel draw in crude oil inventories and another draw in fuel inventories.

A week earlier, the EIA had estimated a modest 1.3-million-barrel decline in crude oil inventories but a sizeable draw in gasoline pushed prices higher, signaling that strong demand has not wavered amid the latest surge in Covid-19 infections.

For the week to September 10, the EIA reported another draw in gasoline inventories, at 1.9 million. This compared to a draw of 7.2 million barrels a week earlier.

Production of gasoline last week averaged 9.3 million bpd, which compared with 10.1 million bpd a week earlier.

Middle distillate inventories shed 1.7 million barrels in the week to September 10, which compared with a draw of 3.1 million barrels for the previous week.

Production of middle distillates averaged 4.2 million bpd last week, compared with 4.2 million bpd during the previous week.

A day before the EIA reported inventory moves, the American Petroleum Institute had estimated crude oil stocks had shed close to 4 million barrels, pushing prices higher. Since the start of the year, according to API numbers, U.S. crude oil stocks have declined by 70 million barrels.

Meanwhile, production is set to rise as the inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells in the U.S. shale patch declines. This, however, should not be a problem for prices since demand is strengthening, too.

[embedded content]

In its latest monthly oil report, the International Energy Agency forecast a 1.6-million-bpd rebound in global oil demand next month as the Delta variant of the coronavirus releases its grip on economies. It would then continue to grow through the rest of the year, the agency said, before beginning to slow down next year.

“The market should shift closer to balance starting from October if OPEC+ continues to unwind production cuts. Even so, it is only by early 2022 that supply will be high enough to allow oil stocks to be replenished,” the IEA said in its report.

This would provide stable support for prices over the next few months, and it is support that will be needed as U.S. shale drillers ramp up along with OPEC+ to offset depletion from legacy wells.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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Canada's inflation explained: How the surge affects you and what you can do about changing prices – The Globe and Mail

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A man shops at a halal grocery store in Toronto this past May. Rising inflation has had varied effects on the price of consumer goods across Canada.

Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

What is driving inflation?

Probably the biggest factor in this year’s inflation surge is simply the reality that consumer prices fell to unusual lows last year, and it’s against these low prices that we are measuring the current price environment. This is what economists are talking about when they refer to “base effects.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, huge swaths of the global economy were shut down and consumers were told to stay home; demand for many goods and services plunged and prices slumped. Since inflation is typically calculated as a year-over-year change, it’s against these lows that we have been comparing the current prices, which have increased substantially as pandemic restrictions have eased. The pronounced weakness of the year-earlier comparisons have magnified the price gains in the annual inflation rate.

But there’s more to it than just a statistical quirk. The rapid reopening of many sectors of the economy has unleashed a flood of demand from consumers, which has been exacerbated by the unusually large stockpiles of household savings that built up during the pandemic.

Around the world, manufacturers, transporters and retailers have had tremendous trouble keeping up with demand. In addition, the pandemic has shifted consumer preferences to different products – home office equipment, bicycles, bigger houses in the suburbs, just to name a few – and suppliers haven’t been able to keep pace with these rapid shifts. The result has been supply shortages in numerous consumer goods as well as the raw materials to make them – driving up prices.

How does the current Canadian inflation rate compare historically?

The August consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate is 4.1 per cent, up from 3.7 per cent in July. The last time the rate was higher was in March, 2003 (4.2 per cent), during a temporary surge that was another case of base effects – namely, a slump in year-earlier gasoline prices.

But from a broader historical perspective, 4.1 per cent is, comparatively, nothing. Inflation was north of 10 per cent in the mid-1970s and again in the early 1980s. In the early 1990s, when the Bank of Canada formally adopted maintaining low and steady inflation as its primary monetary policy objective, inflation still hovered around 5 per cent. But since the central bank set its inflation target at 2 per cent in 1995 – using interest rates to help steer inflation toward that rate – inflation has averaged very close to that target.

What types of products or services are most affected by inflation?

Main upward contributors to the 12-month change in the consumer price index

Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021

Homeowners’ replacement cost index

+14.3%

Gasoline

+32.5%

Food purchased

from restaurants

+3.2%

Other owned accommodation expenses

+14.3%

Purchase of passenger vehicles

+7.2%

MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

Main upward contributors to the 12-month change in the consumer price index

Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021

Homeowners’ replacement cost index

+14.3%

Gasoline

+32.5%

Food purchased

from restaurants

+3.2%

Other owned accommodation expenses

+14.3%

Purchase of passenger vehicles

+7.2%

MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

Main upward contributors to the 12-month change in the consumer price index

Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021

Homeowners’ replacement cost index

+14.3%

Gasoline

+32.5%

Purchase of

passenger vehicles

+7.2%

Other owned accommodation expenses

+14.3%

Food purchased

from restaurants

+3.2%

MURAT YÜKSELIR /

THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

The August CPI data from Statistics Canada show that goods (up 5.8 per cent year over year) have seen much higher inflation than services (up 2.7 per cent). The big contributor has been gasoline, up more than 32.5 per cent from a year earlier, when prices were severely depressed by pandemic shutdowns. Home replacement costs were up almost 14.3 per cent, reflecting the surge in prices for homes in the past year.

On the other hand, prices for some things have declined significantly in the past year. Mortgage interest costs were down 9.3 per cent in August from a year earlier, reflecting deep rate cuts that the Bank of Canada made last spring to aid the economy in the face of the pandemic. The price of telephone services was down 14.2 per cent. Travel tours are down 20.8 per cent year over year.

Main downward contributors to the 12-month change in the consumer price index

Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021

Passenger

vehicle

insurance

premiums

Mortgage

interest

cost

Travel

tours

Telephone

services

Fresh

vegetables

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

Main downward contributors to the 12-month change in the consumer price index

Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021

Passenger

vehicle

insurance

premiums

Mortgage

interest

cost

Travel

tours

Telephone

services

Fresh

vegetables

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

Main downward contributors to the 12-month change in the consumer price index

Aug. 2020 to Aug. 2021

Passenger

vehicle insurance

premiums

Travel

tours

Telephone

services

Mortgage

interest cost

Fresh

vegetables

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

How can I adjust my spending to avoid the worst of inflation?

If you’re spending, be inflation-aware. Consider planning your renovation for next year or 2023 in hopes prices for building materials ease back. Lumber prices have come back down, but other costs may still be elevated. Prices for new and used cars have been on the rise as people resume driving farther than the local grocery store. Where possible, keep your existing ride for another year or so until the post-pandemic vehicle-buying rush dies down. Grocery inflation is expected to continue through the rest of the year. If you’re able to buy in bulk, you may be able to dodge some future price increases.

Is there a ‘winner’ in inflation?

There are some investments that have performed well in past periods of inflation. Gold is one example, while others are commodities like oil and metals. Real estate is also considered a good hedge against inflation. You can get exposure to real estate by investing in real estate investment trusts.

What will bring inflation down?

Time – at least for a significant portion of the increase. Over the next few months, the year-over-year price comparisons will become less stark, as the price recovery from the earlier COVID-19 shutdowns increasingly works its way into the year-earlier numbers. For example, the average national price of gasoline in August, 2020, was $1.06.6 a litre; by mid-February of 2021, it was $1.20. In addition, we can expect unusual price pressures caused by the sudden reopening of many sectors of the economy to ease, as the initial rush of demand moderates and activity returns to normal.

Many economists believe that the high prices themselves will help solve the inflation situation, as it adds incentive to producers to increase their capacity. This will take time, but as supply catches up with demand, price pressures will dissipate.

From a policy standpoint, the biggest weapon lies with the Bank of Canada. If inflation remains persistently high, the central bank will eventually step in and raise its key interest rate from the current record low of 0.25 per cent. The bank has already taken other actions to reduce the amount of stimulus that its monetary policy is injecting into the economy – specifically, it has gradually reduced the amount of government bonds that it has been buying on the open market since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Interest rates are considered the bigger weapon to slow inflation; but the bank has said that it doesn’t want to turn to rate hikes until the economy has returned to full capacity. Based on the bank’s latest projections, that is unlikely before the second half of next year. In the meantime, the central bank is willing to tolerate inflation in the 3-per-cent range – which actually represents the top end of its tolerance band around its target of 1-to-3 per cent, designed to give it some flexibility when inflation gyrates. But if inflation stays above that band for uncomfortably long, the bank may start leaning toward acting sooner rather than later.

A key question is how much of this is temporary, and how much may be permanent. While economists are generally confident that a substantial portion of the recent inflation surge will pass as things return to something approaching normal in the coming months, it’s clear that at least some of these price pressures may be longer lasting.

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Lumber crash leads to 'blowout' sales as prices crater – CBC.ca

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Homeowners who resisted the urge to renovate during the first 18 months of the pandemic may find now is their chance, as lumber prices that soared to dizzying heights in the spring have crashed back down to earth.

At family-run Peacock Lumber in Oshawa, Ont., owner Glen Peacock said retail prices have “collapsed” in recent weeks. An eight-foot-long, two-by-four inch piece of framing lumber that cost $12.65 on June 1 is now selling for $3.95, Peacock said — basically what it would have sold for before the boom.

“It was amazing it went as long as it did before people said, ‘This is too much money,’ ” Peacock said. “People who waited, if they could, to do their projects are going to be in a much better position.”

A pandemic-driven surge in home renovations and do-it-yourself projects sent shock waves through the home improvement and construction industries earlier this year. North American lumber prices hit record highs of more than $1,600 US per thousand board feet in May — three times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The price roller-coaster had customers pre-ordering lumber months in advance to ensure supply and even resulted in a spate of opportunistic thefts from construction sites across North America.

But the ride has come back down even faster than it went up — and that means many retailers have been stuck trying to get rid of product they purchased at higher prices.

Many lumber yards have drastically cut back on production until the backlog of unsold wood moves. (Robert Short/CBC)

“With lumber prices falling as fast as they did, it forced everybody to sell their overpriced inventory at a loss,” said Joel Seibert, owner of Mountain View Building Materials just outside of Calgary. “What would have been the ideal situation would be for the price to take twice as long to come back down as it did to go up.”

Liz Kovach — president of the Western Retail Lumber Association, which represents retail lumber, building supply and hardware stores in Western Canada — said the pandemic price bubble burst with the arrival of summer. Warmer weather and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the country resulted in Canadians travelling more and spending less time on projects around the house, she said.

Retailers slashing prices

“It’s been a challenge on the retail side,” Kovach said. “We’ve seen a lot of blowout price sales, just so that they can move the materials.”

The plunging prices have already led to curtailments and reduced operations at sawmills. Vancouver-based Canfor Corp. said at the end of August that it will run all of its B.C. sawmills at 80 per cent capacity until market conditions improve. Conifex Timber Inc., also based in Vancouver, announced Aug. 20 that it would curtail lumber production at its Mackenzie, B.C., sawmill for a two-week period.

The rapid rise in lumber costs earlier this year added “tens of thousands of dollars per home” to new home construction costs, said Kevin Lee, chief executive of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. And while consumers may already be benefiting from lower prices at home improvement stores, homebuyers signing new construction purchase contracts are still seeing elevated prices.

WATCH | High lumber prices were adding up to $30K to the price of a new home:

Price of lumber skyrockets after pandemic disrupts supply chain

6 months ago

The pandemic has disrupted supply chains so much that the price of lumber has gone through the roof. 1:58

“Builders still have to clear their inventories of having purchased higher-priced lumber. It takes a while to clear the system,” Lee said. “Yes, lumber prices from the mills came down dramatically over the summer, but that’s unfortunately taken a while to reach the rest of the industry and consumers.”

Lee said when it comes to new home construction, pricing is being complicated by ongoing pandemic-related supply chain challenges. While difficulties related to lumber have eased, home builders are still dealing with delivery delays and price inflation on everything from plumbing and electrical products to kitchen cabinetry.

“It doesn’t compare to the three to five times price increases we saw with lumber, but I’d say on average, we’re seeing 10 per cent increases on everything, including the kitchen sink,” Lee said. “And we are still seeing delays on closings, just because of an inability to get products and materials.”

In a note to clients earlier this week, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Quinn said with the arrival of fall, lumber markets are already beginning to tick slightly higher. Home centres are noticing increased traffic as customers try to finish projects before winter, Quinn said, and retail demand tends to be a leading indicator for lumber pricing.

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