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Stock markets sell off after Trump coronavirus diagnosis adds to uncertainty –



Stock markets around the world moved lower on Friday after word that the U.S. president has contracted the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the broader S&P500 and the technology-focused Nasdaq were all down by about one per cent nearing midday. In Toronto, the TSX’s main index held up comparatively better, down 80 points, or about half a per cent.

News of Donald Trump’s positive test came out overnight Thursday, and the initial market reaction was sudden and sharp, with futures selling off sharply. But by the time the trading day opened on Friday, cooler heads were starting to prevail, as losses were pared.

“To say this potentially could be a big deal is an understatement,” Dutch financial services company Rabobank said in a commentary. “Anyway, everything now takes a back seat to the latest incredible twist in this U.S. election campaign.”

The so-called “fear gauge” of Wall Street, known as the VIX, rose five per cent to 29. The VIX rises during times of uncertainty and falls when things calm down. It peaked at more than 80 in March, as the pandemic first started.

Jobs numbers discouraging

Prior to the Trump news, the biggest expected news event of the day was set to be the monthly U.S. jobs number, which showed the world’s largest economy added 661,000 jobs last month. That’s down from 1.5 million added the previous month, and a discouraging sign that the economic recovery is running out of gas just as a second wave of the pandemic seems to be hitting in various places.

The unemployment rate declined to 7.9 per cent from 8.4 per cent mainly because people left the workforce, Scotiabank economist Derek Holt noted. At first blush it sounds like good news that the number of people who were on “temporary layoff” because of COVID-19 fell by more than a million, but “the issue is whether they all get called back or just get converted to permanent layoffs and whether they give up searching for work,” Holt said.

Just this week, Disney announced it is laying off 28,000 people at its various theme parks as demand for that sort of leisure activity hasn’t rebounded.

Word on Friday morning that Trump is experiencing “mild symptoms” from the virus added to the gloom and worry over the jobs report.

“The announcement has lobbed a monkey wrench into an already uncertain and volatile political environment, which not only includes the U.S. election campaign and upcoming debates, but also ongoing EU-U.K. trade talks,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist with SIA Wealth Management in Toronto.

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Coronavirus exposure warning issued for Japanese restaurant in Surrey | Dished – Daily Hive



Fraser Health has issued a warning about a possible coronavirus exposure at a restaurant in Surrey.

A warning has been issued to those who were at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant at #106 2828 152 Street in Surrey on October 16, 17, and 19.

The specific times for possible exposure are as follows:

  • October 16 from 11 am to 10 pm
  • October 17 from 11 am to 10 pm 
  • October 19 from 4 to 9:30 pm

While this exposure is believed to be low risk according to Fraser Health, the authority is asking anyone who may have visited this restaurant on these specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms.

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Nearly a dozen workers at Calgary and area supermarkets and pharmacies sick with coronavirus – CTV Toronto



Loblaw and Sobeys, the two companies that own and operate most of the major supermarkets in Alberta, have confirmed 11 new cases of COVID-19 in locations in Calgary and area this week.

On its website, Loblaw said seven workers at various locations in Calgary as well as a No Frills store in High River, tested positive this week:

  • Team member at Merv’s No Frills, 4501 17 Ave. S.E., tested positive on Oct. 31 (last day worked was Oct. 27)
  • Team member at Andrew & Jessica’s No Frills, 1103 18 St. S.E., High River, Alta., tested positive Oct. 31 (last day worked was Oct. 28)
  • Team member at Shoppers Drug Mart, 6455 Macleod Tr. S., tested positive Oct. 31 (last day worked was Oct. 27)
  • Two team members at Real Canadian Superstore, 540 Third St. S.E., tested positive Oct. 31 (last day they worked were Oct. 25 and 26)
  • Two team members at Shoppers Drug Mart, 3012 17 Ave. S.E., tested positive Oct. 30 (last day they worked were Oct. 24 and 25)

Loblaws says it is continuing to work with public health officials during the pandemic and has taken precautions to protect their workers and customers.

“In all of our stores, we encourage our colleagues and employees to wear masks, particularly where physical distancing is not always possible. Many local government authorities have mandated that our staff and customers wear masks within our stores,” the company said in a statement.

A full list of stores where mandatory mask rules are in place is available online.


Four additional cases of coronavirus have also been found in workers at Sobeys locations in southern Alberta since Tuesday.

Three of the new cases are in Calgary while the fourth involved a worker at an IGA in Claresholm, Alta.

  • Team member at Sobeys, 20 McKenzie Towne Ave. S.E., tested positive Oct. 27 (last day worked was Oct. 23)
  • Team member at IGA, 4920-First St. W., Claresholm, Alta., tested positive Oct. 30 (last day worked was Oct. 25)
  • Team member at Safeway, 3550-32 Ave. N.E., tested positive Oct. 30 (last day worked was Oct. 22)
  • Team member at Safeway, 1200-37 St. S.W., tested positive Oct. 30 (last day worked was Oct. 23)

“We will continue to update (advisories) to be transparent with you where we have been notified of cases of COVID-19 in our stores,” Sobeys wrote in a statement.

“Where required, we will communicate with customers who have shopped in the impacted location, with store signage, outlining our steps to manage the situation.”

No personal information about the employees, including in what areas they worked in the stores, is being released out of a respect for the privacy of those workers and their families.

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Province reminds about rules for Halloween gatherings, Airbnb enforces booking ban – CTV Toronto



Health officials in Alberta have set out clear guidelines for residents to follow for Halloween, but Airbnb has taken a harder line with anyone planning to rent their properties out for events.

As soon as Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced that the spookiest season of the year could move ahead without a problem, many Albertans turned to their schedules to find out where they could celebrate the season.

However, with the pandemic continuing in the province, officials say strict rules must remain in place.

“Halloween gatherings must adhere to all of the public health measures in place,” said Tom McMillan, assistant director of communications for Alberta Health in an email to CTV News.

“If they are at a restaurant or pub, they must follow the public health guidance and limits in place. If they are at a household or other setting, there is a 15-person limit in Calgary and Edmonton.”

That means, as long as business owners play ball, costume contests and other events can go ahead without any problems.

That doesn’t mean the fun will be limitless on Saturday night, McMillan says.

“The limit applies to social gatherings are characterized by people from multiple cohorts coming together for the purpose of social activity, with people moving freely to associate, mix or interact with other cohorts; having two-way conversations amongst members from multiple cohorts; and sharing food, laughing and group activities.”

Those who do break the rules could face enforcement under the Public Health Act by any police agency in the province of Alberta.

“Complaints can also be directed to the Alberta Health Services for an investigation. The first focus will always on public education and to work with owners/operators before moving to enforcement action, which could ultimately include fines up to $1,000,” McMillan says.


Airbnb issued a reminder to all of its clients who were planning to post their properties for rent for a one-day period in order to help crack down on parties and events that could encourage the spread of COVID-19.

The company installed the ban on Aug. 20 and said it is still in force for the entire Halloween weekend throughout Canada and the U.S.

“The great majority of guests are respectful of our hosts’ homes and neighbors, and we understand that this initiative will disrupt many one-night reservations that might not have led to parties. This action is designed to help protect our hosts and the communities they live in,” the company said in a release.

The prohibition from Airbnb also capped occupancy at 16 people, which includes both overnight guests and visitors.

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The province says evidence shows 45 per cent of current active cases in Alberta have come from household gatherings and private events.

Alberta Health has set out more specific rules regarding Halloween on its website, but the core principles of the guidelines are the same as they’ve always been during the pandemic – wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer and, if you’re feeling sick, stay home.

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