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Quebec to hand out $2M in prizes to boost vaccination rates – CBC.ca

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Quebec will hold draws for $2 million in cash prizes and bursaries this summer in a bid to get as many people vaccinated as possible before September.

Starting Aug. 6, weekly draws will be held. Those over 18 could win up to $1 million in cash, and bursaries of up to $20,000 will be awarded to lucky 12- to 17-year-olds.

Health Minister Christian Dubé stressed that the province wants to do everything it can to encourage inoculation against COVID-19.

“Every additional per cent would be a win,” he said at a news conference Friday.

Quebecers ages 18-34 are still about 80,000 people short of reaching the province’s goal of 75 per cent getting their first dose this summer. Across all eligible age groups, 82 per cent of Quebecers have received their first shot.

Dubé said the spread of the delta variant in other countries pushed the province to launch the campaign, called Gagner à être vacciné! (“Vaccination has its benefits”) in partnership with Loto-Québec, to prevent the spike in hospitalizations that has accompanied the rise in delta cases in populations with low vaccination rates.

Lacking concrete data on the effects such campaigns, Daniel Paré, who is running Quebec’s vaccination campaign, said Quebec will be watching for any impact a lottery has on vaccination trend lines.

Vardit Ravitsky, a bioethethicist and professor at the University of Montréal, says that there are encouraging signs that incentives — “between a million dollars and a chocolate bar” — might be helping encourage some people to get their vaccine.

“We don’t have robust data from all over the world, but locally in the U.S. and in France where it has been implemented, it seems to be working,” she said. Vaccination lotteries are also being held this summer in Alberta and Manitoba.

But Ravitsky says such incentives are unlikely to convince “long-term anti-vaxxers.” Where it could help is with those who don’t see a big rush in getting their shot, haven’t put aside the time or are squeamish about needles, she said.

“For those people, and it seems like there are many, many thousands of them, this could be the last push,” she said.

Big prize is $1M

The first of four weekly draws for Quebecers with their first dose will take place on Aug. 6, when one cash prize of $150,000 will be drawn for those 18 and older, and two $10,000 bursaries will be drawn for those aged 12-17.

On Sept. 3, a $1-million prize will be drawn for fully vaccinated adults, and 16 $20,000 bursaries will be drawn for fully vaccinated teens.

All Quebecers who have been previously vaccinated, either in the province or elsewhere (with proof they received a Health Canada-approved shot) are eligible.

Quebec’s proof of vaccination portal will have the option to opt in to the contest as of July 25, and participants must consent to having their name made public if they win one of the draws.

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Blizzard's President Brack Steps Down – Dark Horizons

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Blizzards President Brack Steps Down

J. Allen Brack, president of “Warcraft” and “Overwatch” creator Blizzard Entertainment, is leaving the company “to pursue new opportunities”.

Brack’s exit comes less than two weeks after Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over the company’s alleged “pervasive frat boy workplace culture.”

In recent days, multiple horrific stories have emerged in the press of explosive allegations by employees who claimed to have been continuously subjected to sexual harassment, psychological harassment and discrimination within the company. A large crowd of more than a thousand employees rallied outside the company’s campus this past week, the incident making headline news around the world.

Brack was named in the lawsuit as being among the company executives who were allegedly aware of the systemic misconduct.

EVP of development Jen Oneal and EVP of platform and technology Mike Ybarra have now been appointed co-leaders of Blizzard. Oneal joined Blizzard in January, Ybarra came onboard from XBOX in 2019. Both have more than three decades of gaming industry experience between them.

A short statement released by the company’s COO Daniel Alegre says: “Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead to ensure Blizzard is the safest, most welcoming workplace possible for women, and people of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background; to upholding and reinforcing our values; and to rebuilding your trust.”

Source: Kotaku

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Ontario reports single new COVID-19 case in Ottawa Tuesday – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Public Health Ontario is reporting a single new case of COVID-19 in Ottawa Tuesday.

A full, local snapshot from Ottawa Public Health is due this afternoon. Daily case counts from OPH often differ from those provided by Public Health Ontario because the two health agencies pull data for their respective daily snapshot reports at different times of the day.

Across the province, Public Health Ontario added 164 new infections on Tuesday and said one more Ontarian had died due to COVID-19. Another 151 cases are now considered resolved.

There was no formal update on the holiday Monday, but the province released the figures Tuesday, reporting an additional 168 new cases and another new death.

Across eastern Ontario, provincial health officials added five additional cases in the last two days.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health updates vaccine numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As of Monday:

  • Ottawa residents with 1 dose (12+): 767,352 
  • Ottawa residents with 2 doses (12+): 661,965 
  • Share of population 12 and older with at least one dose: 83 per cent
  • Share of population 12 and older fully vaccinated: 72 per cent
  • Total doses received in Ottawa*: 1,333,790

**Total doses received does not include doses shipped to pharmacies and primary care clinics, but statistics on Ottawa residents with one or two doses includes anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario. 

CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: One new case Monday, zero new cases Tuesday
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: Zero new cases Monday, two new cases Tuesday
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: One new case Monday, zero new cases Tuesday
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: Zero new cases Monday, one new case Tuesday
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Zero new cases Monday and Tuesday

This story will be updated. CTV News Ottawa will have the latest as it becomes available.

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COVID-19: Ottawa reports seven new cases, fatal cases decline sharply in July – Ottawa Citizen

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Vaccinations have slowed considerably in the capital since the peak week in early July when nearly 133,000 doses were administered.

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Ottawa is reporting seven new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday as severe cases, hospitalizations and fatal outcomes continue to sharply decline in Ottawa while vaccination rates gradually climb.

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No deaths have been reported since early July, and there were two COVID-related deaths in the city during the month, while there were 14 deaths in June and 56 deaths in May. There have been 593 COVID-related deaths in the city since the beginning of the pandemic and 27,827 total cases.

There are currently no patients in local hospitals or in intensive care wards. Of Ottawa’s total cases, 27,184 people have now recovered.

There have been 49 cases in the last seven days at a rate of 4.6 cases per 100,000 population. That key indicator has remained relatively flat this week.

The virus reproduction rate, which measures the number of secondary cases generated by each COVID-19 case in the community, has a weekly R(t) value of 1.15. Any number above 1.0 indicates the virus is spreading in the community, while any value below that threshold indicates it is receding.

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The R(t) value was below that threshold during May and June, but has remained above 1.0 since mid-July. There has also been a slight rise in the viral signal in Ottawa’s wastewater over the last seven days, which typically signals a corresponding rise in daily case counts.

Ottawa’s test positivity average is 0.5 per cent for the past week.

Vaccinations have slowed considerably in the capital since the peak week in early July when nearly 133,000 doses were administered. There were 33,212 doses administered in Ottawa last week and 104,906 the week before.

Vaccinations so far in August have followed a similarly slowing pace with 4,277 doses administered on Sunday.

The city continues to outpace the provincial vaccination rate with 1,450,733 doses administered, with 799,882 first doses and 650,851 second doses administered. That represents 83 per cent of the eligible population (12-plus) with one dose and 72 per cent of eligible residents with both doses.

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Public Health Ontario did not release provincial data on the Civic Holiday Monday, and said the compiled data will be available during the regular morning update Tuesday.

There were 154 new cases in Quebec reported in the past 24 hours and no deaths in the province.

There are 61 patients in Quebec hospitals, one more admission since Friday, with 17 patients in ICU.

Another 38,883 vaccine doses were administered in the past 24 hours, and according to Monday’s provincial update, a total of 11,330,968 vaccine doses have been administered in Quebec, representing 74 per cent of the population.

Ontario reported 218 new cases on Sunday and two deaths, and as of the last update, the province had reported 550,654 total cases and 9,347 deaths. There were 78 patients in hospital and another 110 in ICU, with 78 requiring a ventilator.

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COVID-19 BY THE NUMBERS

Ottawa

(Reported Monday)

7: New cases

27,827: Total cases

0: New deaths

593: Total deaths

50: Active cases

0: In hospital

0: In ICU

4.6: Rolling seven-day average of cases per 100,000 people

0.5: Per cent test positivity, previous seven days

1.15: Estimated R(t), seven-day average. A number greater than one indicates the virus is spreading.

Ontario

(Reported Sunday. Due to Civic holiday, Monday’s data will be included in Tuesday’s update.)

218: New confirmed cases

550,654: Total cases

2: New deaths

9,347: Total deaths

78: Currently in hospital

*110: In intensive care

*78: On a ventilator

(*Note: Ontario Public Health statistics of ICU hospitalizations and ventilator cases contain some patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19, but who are being treated for conditions caused by the virus.)

60,583: Daily doses administered

19,519,781: Total doses administered

14,122: Tests conducted in previous 24 hours

1.4: Per cent positivity in cases

1.0: Estimated reproductive number, R(t). A number lower than one indicates the virus is receding.

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