Quebec health authorities reported 187 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, its biggest spike since the end of July.
The announcement brings the total number of cases in Quebec since the start of the pandemic to 62,933.
Quebec hasn’t reported this many new cases in a 24-hour period since July 23, when it reported 189.
No one has died in Quebec due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours. However, three deaths that occurred before Aug. 27 were announced, for a total of 5,767.
There were 41 new cases of COVID-19 reported on the Island of Montreal on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases on the island since the start of the pandemic to 29,936. As for the Quebec City region, 37 new cases have been recorded, bringing the total to 2,153. Quebec City saw a spike this week when an outbreak that began at a karaoke bar spread and infected at least 40 people including children at three schools.
Hospitalizations in Quebec decreased by nine. There are now 100 people being treated for COVID-19 in the province’s hospitals. Of them, 20 are in intensive care, which is the same number that was reported on Wednesday.
As of Thursday, 55,615 people are confirmed recovered from COVID-19, which is an increase of 100 from the day before.
Quebec reported that it completed analyses of 15,277 COVID-19 tests on Sept. 1, an increase of 2,352 from the 12,925 it completed a day earlier (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
Ontario's 2nd wave of COVID-19 forecast to peak in October – CBC.ca
Fresh projections suggest that Ontario’s second wave of COVID-19 will peak in mid- to late October and will likely send enough patients to intensive care that hospitals will need to scale back non-emergency surgeries.
The forecasts come from the COVID-19 Modelling Collaborative, a joint effort of scientists and physicians from the University of Toronto, University Health Network and Sunnybrook Hospital.
Based on how quickly Ontario’s infection rate has been rising in recent weeks, the model projects the province is on track to exceed 1,000 new cases per day by the middle of October, unless stricter public health measures slow the accelerating spread.
The average number of new cases reported daily in Ontario is currently running four times higher than what it was at the end of August. Premier Doug Ford’s government has since shrunk limits on the size of private gatherings, reduced opening hours for bars and ordered strip clubs to close.
On Sunday, Ontario’s Ministry of Health reported 112 patients in hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19, nearly triple the number of two weeks ago. The research team says the impact of the second wave on Ontario’s hospitals will depend on the demographics of who gets infected in the coming weeks.
“We are at this critical moment right now where we see case numbers increase and we don’t quite know yet where it’s going,” said Beate Sander, a scientist at the University Health Network and Canada Research Chair in economics of infectious diseases.
“Right now, we have predominantly younger, healthy people (contracting COVID-19 in Ontario),” Sander said in an interview with CBC News. “But what we’ve seen in other jurisdictions is that it really spills over into other population groups.”
The team of researchers has run four scenarios for how Ontario’s second wave could play out from here.
The best-case scenario would mimic Ontario’s first wave in March and April, when case numbers increased rapidly but were then reined in by a lockdown.
Two moderate scenarios would resemble how a second wave hit jurisdictions comparable to Ontario: the Australian state of Victoria (home to Melbourne, a city of 5 million), and the U.S. state of Michigan.
None of those three scenarios shows COVID-19 patients filling Ontario’s hospital wards or ICUs beyond their capacity. That happens only in the modellers’ worst-case scenario: a second wave as severe as the first wave that hit Italy when the pandemic began.
However, in all but the best-case scenario, the researchers foresee ICU demand that exceeds the capacity required for patients undergoing scheduled surgeries.
“The really high-risk cancer surgeries, for instance, won’t be able to go ahead if the ICUs are overwhelmed with people who are showing up in the emergency department dying of COVID-19 associated pneumonia and respiratory failure,” said Dr. Kali Barrett, a critical care physician at the University Health Network and part of the modelling research team.
The researchers stress that their modelling scenarios are simply forecasts. They use data on the proportion of people who have have ended up in hospital and ICUs while positive for the coronavirus, and project those onto Ontario’s current trend in new cases.
The shifting demographics of who’s getting infected with COVID-19 as the second wave builds makes it challenging for the researchers to forecast just how many people will need hospital treatment.
“The second wave in Spain and France started in the younger populations, but it is spreading to the elderly and the people who are more at risk of ending up in the intensive care unit or in the hospitals,” said Barrett in an interview with CBC News.
“It is just a matter of time until this virus, if it’s affecting the young populations, spreads into the elderly population,” she said. “We’re already starting to see that happening in Ontario.”
The latest figures from the province’s Ministry of Health show 227 people aged 70 or older with an active confirmed case of COVID-19. That number has increased 34 per cent in the space of a week.
Changes in the eligibility criteria for testing can also muddy the forecast. When testing is widespread and captures larger number of mild cases, the percentage who end up in hospital will be smaller than when testing is restricted to priority groups most likely to have the virus, as it was in Ontario in the spring.
Ontario altered its “anyone can get a test” policy on Friday, so far fewer people without symptoms are now eligible for testing.
ICU demand could lengthen surgical backlog
Ontario has around 2,000 intensive care beds, and the province plans to add 139 in October. The province’s ICU beds are typically two-thirds occupied by patients whose cases have nothing to do with COVID-19, whether it’s a heart attack, car accident, or another critical illness.
Since ICUs can’t actually function at 100 per cent occupancy full time, the researchers calculate that Ontario has around 475 beds available for non-emergency surgery patients and COVID patients. When scheduled surgeries are running at full pace, those patients take up all but 100 of those beds.
Their conclusion: if more than 100 people with COVID-19 need ICU care, they’d be competing for space with scheduled surgery cases.
“Then we would have to make decisions in terms of who to treat,” said Sander. “Do we admit COVID patients or do we do (non-emergency) surgery?”
The projections suggest if Ontario’s second wave follows what happened in the Australian state of Victoria — a sharp spike in new infections that drops off quickly after a strict lockdown — some 350 to 400 people will need an ICU bed at peak demand in late October.
If the second wave in this province plays out as Michigan’s did — a rise in new infections that levels off but doesn’t slow down for a long time — the forecast is for more than 200 patients with COVID-19 in the ICUs from late October onwards.
Figures published Sunday by the Ministry of Health show 28 ICU patients with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
In Ontario’s first wave, the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU peaked at 264, while the number of people in hospital at one time peaked at 1,043. Non-emergency surgeries were postponed across the province.
If the majority of Ontario’s second wave infections come among younger healthier people — as has been happening through September — hospitalization rates are expected be lower than in the spring.
The modellers say ICU occupancy numbers will be of more critical concern than total hospitalization numbers because Ontario’s hospital system can far more easily free up general ward beds than it can make space in intensive care.
That’s less about the available beds and ventilators, and more about the having enough doctors and nurses capable of the specialized care that ICU patients need.
“You can’t just train people overnight to do this type of thing,” said Sander. “You can buy a lot of beds and you can buy a lot of ventilators, but you can’t get these highly qualified staff on the ground within a very short period of time.”
Barrett agrees that human resources are the key limiting factor, and is concerned about how the second wave could hit hospital staff and their families.
“The majority of people working in hospitals are in their 30s, 40s and 50s, so many of them have children who go to school,” she said. “If there is a massive outbreak amongst the younger population and school children, that’s a whole sector of our health workforce that won’t be able to come to work.”
Still have questions about COVID-19? These CBC News stories will help.
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What should I do about my COVID bubble?
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Manitoba sees 51 new COVID-19 cases on eve of tightened restrictions – Globalnews.ca
Public health officials in Manitoba are reporting 51 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Sunday, 36 of which are in the Winnipeg health region.
Eight cases have been identified in the Interlake-Eastern health region, four in the Southern Health region, two in the Northern health region and a lone case in the Prairie Mountain Health region.
The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.2 per cent, down from 2.3 per cent on Saturday.
Thirteen people are currently in hospital with six in intensive care.
There are now 589 active COVID-19 cases in the province, 490 of which are in the Winnipeg region, according to provincial data.
The province is also warning of a possible school exposure at École Précieux-Sang on Sept. 18.
Public health officials say the virus was not contracted at school and the risk of transmission is low.
Another warning has been issued at Sisler High School after a possible exposure on Sept. 18.
Contact tracing at the high school is underway, with anyone identified as a close contact expected to be contacted and provided instructions for self-isolation by public health officials.
Starting Monday, people in Winnipeg and 17 surrounding metropolitan communities are required to wear masks while in indoor public places as part of ratcheted-up public health restrictions.
Gathering sizes will be pared down to 10 people both indoors and outdoors.
The new rules come after the province announced Winnipeg, along with the municipalities surrounding the city, will move to a level orange restriction Monday, under Manitoba’s colour-coded pandemic response rating system.
The new restrictions will be in place for at least four weeks, including Thanksgiving on Oct. 12, chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Friday.
Preliminary laboratory testing numbers show 2,234 tests were completed Friday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 175,867, the province said in a news release.
As of Sunday morning, the total number of cases in Manitoba is 1,880.
-With files from Erik Pindera and Elisha Dacey
Coronavirus: Increased number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba linked to Winnipeg bars and restaurants, health official says
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Today's coronavirus news: Toronto public school closed due to outbreak; Staff test positive at two King Street restaurants; Quebec reports 896 new cases – Toronto Star
9:30 p.m.: The Toronto District School Board said Sunday that public health officials have declared an outbreak at Mason Road Junior Public School, in Scarborough, and ordered that it be closed until Friday, Oct. 2, while they investigate. It is the first school to be closed in Toronto due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Toronto’s first school outbreak was declared at Friday at Glen Park Public School, where two students tested positive. As of Sunday evening, a total of 37 public schools across Toronto were reporting infections among students or staff, or both.
7:00 p.m.: As authorities sought to contain COVID-19 outbreaks at British universities Sunday, some students complained they were being “imprisoned” in their dormitories and politicians debated whether young people should be allowed to go home for Christmas.
Students at universities in Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh — who have returned to campus in the past few weeks — are being asked to self-isolate in their residence halls, with security guards at some schools preventing young people from leaving their buildings.
While students at Glasgow University greeted the lockdown with humour, posting signs asking passersby to “send beer,” those in Manchester had a darker message, taping “HMP MMU” in their windows, suggesting the dormitory had become “Her Majesty’s Prison Manchester Metropolitan University.”
The lockdowns come as more students headed back to campuses across the country, and some observers criticized the government’s decision to reopen universities despite forecasts that this would lead to virus outbreaks. The government defended the decision, saying it had put clear guidelines in place to protect students and staff.
5:13 p.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 5:09 p.m. EDT on Sept. 27, 2020:
There are 153,124 confirmed cases in Canada.
- Quebec: 71,901 confirmed (including 5,825 deaths, 61,129 resolved)
- Ontario: 49,831 confirmed (including 2,839 deaths, 42,796 resolved)
- Alberta: 17,343 confirmed (including 261 deaths, 15,585 resolved)
- British Columbia: 8,641 confirmed (including 230 deaths, 7,036 resolved)
- Manitoba: 1,880 confirmed (including 19 deaths, 1,272 resolved)
- Saskatchewan: 1,878 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,710 resolved)
- Nova Scotia: 1,087 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved)
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 272 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 267 resolved)
- New Brunswick: 200 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 191 resolved)
- Prince Edward Island: 58 confirmed (including 57 resolved)
- Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)
- Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
- Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
- Nunavut: No confirmed cases
- Total: 153,124 (0 presumptive, 153,124 confirmed including 9,268 deaths, 131,097 resolved)
2:46 p.m.: Public Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting one new confirmed case of COVID-19 and are urging anyone who shared his flight out of Toronto last week to get tested.
The new case, announced Sunday, involves a man between 20 and 39 years of age who had recently returning home to the province from Manitoba, which announced 51 new cases on Sunday for an active total of 589. Newfoundland now has two active cases.
Officials say the man has been self-isolating since arrival and following Public Health guidelines.
However, the Department of Health and Community Services is asking people who travelled on WestJet Flights 306 and 328 departing Winnipeg and Toronto for St. John’s on Monday, Sept. 21, to call the 811 non-urgent health line to arrange for COVID-19 testing.
They say the request is out of an abundance of caution.
1:34 p.m.: A King Street East restaurant, Reyna, revealed Sunday on Instagram that it has temporarily closed after one of its staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“We are saddened to announce that one of our Reyna on King team members has tested positive for COVID-19. This person last worked at Reyna on King on Wednesday, Sept. 24th, 2020 and is currently self-isolating … we decided to immediately close Reyna on King and neighbouring Reyna Bazaar until further notice. While closed, these actions will be take: 1) Reyna on King and Reyna Bazaar “will be professionally sanitized and deep cleaned to ensure all surfaces are clear of any contamination. 2) The entire Reyna on King and Reyna Bazaar team, as well as anyone from Bar Reyna who came in contact with the infected employee, has self-isolated and is required to get tested for COVID-19 in the next 24 hrs. Nobody will be permitted to return to work without proof of negative COVID-19 test results.”
Reyna, on King Street East, is some distance from the three King Street West restaurants shuttered by Toronto Public Health over the weekend for COVID-19 rule violations. Further down King Street West, an outbreak at Regulars Bar was revealed on Sunday.
1:15 p.m.: Provincial police remain on the scene Sunday in Wasaga Beach where hundreds of modified cars descended this weekend for stunt driving, racing and more.
The town saw a large influx of car enthusiasts starting Friday for what police called an unsanctioned car rally. Late on Saturday, OPP officers set up at the entrances to town and began turning away motorists who were not Wasaga Beach residents.
“There was an overall disregard of any kind of rules at all, so they made the decision in the interest of public safety to shut down the town, for lack of a better word,” said OPP Sgt. Jason Folz.
Folz said there was a lack of physical distancing and complete disregard for the limits on outdoor social gatherings (25 people), which were implemented to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Folz said some vehicles were seized and tickets were issued under the Highway Traffic Act and the Reopening Ontario Act.
Folz said the car “take-over” continued on Sunday and that police maintained an active presence throughout the duration.
OPP were assisted by a helicopter, which Folz said was used to track people fleeing from police, monitor gatherings, and collect evidence. Police from York Region and Peel Region also assisted.
Folz said information on the number of tickets and charges handed out over the weekend was not available yet.
12:05 p.m.: Toronto Public Health stated on Sunday that it’s notifying staff and patrons who visited the Regulars Bar on King St. W. between Sept. 13 and 22 about a potential exposure to COVID-19 after three bar employees have tested positive.
TPH says it has followed up with all known close contacts, who have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and to go for testing. If you were at Regulars, 668 King St. W., at Bathurst, during this time but haven’t been contacted by TPH, you are not identified as a close contact and are viewed as low risk, but as a precaution, TPH asks you to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after their visit.
TPH estimates approximately 600 people may have been at the venue during this time.
11:27 a.m.: Quebec is reporting 896 new cases of COVID-19 today, the highest single-day tally since May.
Health officials say four additional deaths were also reported: two in the past 24 hours, and two that took place between Sept. 20 and 25.
Authorities say hospitalizations went down by one in the past 24 hours for a total of 216.
Of those, 41 people are in intensive care — a drop of four from the previous day.
The province has now recorded a total of 71,901 COVID-19 cases and 5,825 total deaths attributed to the coronavirus.
Health Minister Christian Dube says the increase in cases is primarily due to community transmission of the virus, and the province is asking Quebecers to limit their contact with others over the next few weeks.
11:21 a.m.: The Correctional Service of Canada says it is suspending visits to federal prisons in Quebec to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
The agency says temporary absences and work releases from institutions and community correctional centres in the province are also suspended. Quebec has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, reporting 896 new cases on Sunday.
CSC says health services in its Quebec facilities will continue and temporary absences will be allowed on medical and compassionate grounds. For now the restrictions do not apply to facilities in other provinces.
The agency says there are no active cases of COVID-19 among inmates in its 43 institutions across Canada.
10:21 a.m.: Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott stated on Twitter on Sunday that the province is reporting 491 new cases of COVID-19 after more than 42,500 tests were completed. Locally, there are 137 new cases in Toronto with 131 in Peel, 58 in Ottawa and 58 in York Region.
Two more deaths were recorded on the province’s tracking site, and 289 more recoveries. The net result is that Ontario’s active case total climbed by 200 to 4,196. The most recent numbers from the City of Toronto put the local active-case count at 1,421.
The number of Ontarians hospitalized increased by 12 to 112.
The provincial new-case number — the highest since May 2, during the first wave — compares to 435 new cases reported on Saturday and 409 on Friday. Ontario’s death toll stands at 2,839.
10:13 a.m.: Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins in about two months are being forced to balance profits with protecting the health of their guests in view of the pandemic. Although medical experts agree there’s little chance of infection while flying through the powder on a steep double-black-diamond ski run, they say the risk increases dramatically when riding a packed gondola to the top of the hill or enjoying an apres-ski cocktail in a jammed resort bar.
Resorts say skiers and snowboarders will have to wear masks on lifts and gondolas and when indoors and social distancing will be encouraged by removing tables and chairs in bars and restaurants. They are vowing more frequent cleaning and sanitizing.
But few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill, a prospect that worries Dr. Stephen Freedman, a researcher and professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. “The ski hills have a responsibility to control the number of people that are on the hill and that number cannot be as high as it was pre-COVID,” he warned.
Gondola loading is particularly tricky for Sunshine Village ski resort in Banff National Park, where the only way for guests to get from the parking lot to the main ski area is by taking a 17-minute ride in an eight-person gondola car.
“As the gondola is our main lifeline, when it is busy we will be loading it to capacity,” said spokeswoman Kendra Scurfield in an interview. “We tried limiting capacity in the spring prior to being closed for COVID and we found the lineup was more of a hazard. People weren’t social distancing in line, it backed onto to the road, it just became more dangerous than loading people up.”
Meanwhile, at destination resort Whistler Blackcomb, 120 kilometres north of Vancouver, no formal limits have been placed on the number of guests allowed on the hill but the expectation is that numbers — which can reach 35,000 people on busy days — will be 10 to 20 per cent lower, said spokesman Marc Riddell.
8:02 a.m.: CERB payments will begin to wind down starting this weekend. In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on, and a new suite of benefits that won’t exist unless approved by Parliament.
As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people, or roughly two in every five members of the nearly 20.2 million-strong labour force in August.
Benefits were paid up front, which won’t be the case for those in the first wave of being transferred to the new system: The government says the first payment will come the week of Oct. 11. About 80 per cent are expected to receive payments by Oct. 14; a further 10 per cent within the first two weeks.
The $500-a-week floor on benefits in EI, or $300 per week floor for new parents using the extended-leave option, will be taxable. Jobless benefits through this EI program will be available for at least 26 weeks, and claimants will be allowed to earn more than they did under the CERB, up to $38,000 annually, before being completely cut off.
Employers will also be allowed to use “supplemental unemployment benefits” to top up EI payments.
The threshold to qualify for EI has been reduced to 120 hours of insurable work for those coming back into the system that has been nearly dormant since March.
The government says 2.8 million people will qualify for EI as of Monday. But many may not do so automatically.
7:37 a.m.: A former Lebanese foreign minister and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Sunday.
The statement from his office said Gebran Bassil, who also heads the Christian Free Patriotic Movement party, will isolate until he recovers, adding that the infection level is still “low and acceptable.”
The announcement comes amid an alarming surge in coronavirus cases in Lebanon, with record numbers registered almost every day for the past week.
The Health Ministry confirmed Saturday 1,280 new coronavirus cases, bringing the overall number of infections in Lebanon to 33,162. The government has recorded 317 deaths from COVID-19 since the first case was reported in late February.
Sunday 7:34 a.m.: There are 151,671 confirmed cases in Canada.
Quebec: 71,005 confirmed (including 5,821 deaths, 60,660 resolved)
Ontario: 49,340 confirmed (including 2,837 deaths, 42,507 resolved)
Alberta: 17,343 confirmed (including 261 deaths, 15,585 resolved)
British Columbia: 8,641 confirmed (including 230 deaths, 7,036 resolved)
Saskatchewan: 1,863 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,705 resolved)
Manitoba: 1,829 confirmed (including 19 deaths, 1,265 resolved)
Nova Scotia: 1,087 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved)
Newfoundland and Labrador: 272 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 267 resolved)
New Brunswick: 200 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 191 resolved)
Prince Edward Island: 58 confirmed (including 57 resolved)
Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)
Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
Nunavut: No confirmed cases
Total: 151,671 (0 presumptive, 151,671 confirmed including 9,262 deaths, 130,327 resolved)
Correction (Sept. 27): This article has been corrected from a previous version. The 1:34 p.m. news item mistakenly said that Bar Reyna in Yorkville was temporarily closed. In fact, only Reyna on King Street East and the neighbouring Reyna Bazaar are temporarily closed for cleaning after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Bar Reyna in Yorkville is not affected.
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