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The latest coronavirus news: Ottawa to spend $1.1-billion on vaccine work, tracking – The Globe and Mail

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Latest headlines:
  • Toronto Transit Commission to lay off 1,000 drivers, 200 office staff
  • Saskatchewan to outline plan for ‘gradual’ restart to economy
  • Ottawa to announce new measures to mobilize scientists in COVID-19 fight

How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada, by province, and worldwide? The latest maps and charts


11:40 a.m. EDT

Canada Post sees ‘Christmas-level’ package volumes during COVID-19

Canada Post says it is experiencing Christmas-level parcel volumes as Canadians do more of their shopping online due to COVID-19.

The postal service says it delivered more than 1.8 million parcels to Canadians on Monday, similar to the biggest delivery days it sees during the holiday season.

Canada Post is advising customers to expect delays because it takes longer to process the heavy, incoming parcel volumes.

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Canadian Press


11:30 a.m. EDT

Feds pour $1.1-billion into COVID-19 vaccine work, tracking

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will spend more than $1-billion to help develop, test and manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as to determine how widely the virus has spread through Canada.

The cash announced today is on top of $275-million in research funding the Liberals announced in March at the outset of the pandemic.

Most of the new money is aimed at funding vaccine development and clinical trials, including $600-million over two years through a federal innovation fund that the government says could help the country’s biomanufacturing sector.

Smaller amounts will go to tracking and identifying different strains of the virus and the different health impacts it has had on different patients.

Trudeau also says the government will create a task force of public health experts that includes Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. David Naylor, who has advised Liberal and Conservative governments on health and science issues.

The task force will be asked to oversee country-wide blood test surveys to get a better handle on potential immunity and vulnerabilities in Canada.

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Canadian Press


11:15 a.m. EDT

Advocacy group files rights complaint on behalf of long-term care residents

A patients’ rights group has filed a human rights complaint on behalf of long-term care residents in Quebec.

The complaint filed today is for alleged discrimination and exploitation of those who live or have lived in long-term care or seniors homes since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Quebec Council for the Protection of Patients, headed by long-time advocate Paul Brunet, requests financial compensation for residents.

It alleges they have been deprived a right to receive “dignified and safe care” since last month.

The council says provincial authorities should have known long-term care homes and residences for the elderly would be at the heart of the COVID-19 fight, given what had happened elsewhere.

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The province’s seniors homes have been the epicentre of the fight against novel coronavirus, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of deaths.

Canadian Press


10:45 a.m. EDT

Ontario reports latest coronavirus figures

Ontario is reporting 634 new cases of COVID-19 today and 54 more deaths. That brings the total number of cases in the province to 12,879 — a 5.2 per cent increase over Wednesday. The total includes 713 deaths and 6,680 cases that have been resolved. Meanwhile, the province has extended a number of pandemic emergency orders that had been set to expire. The orders mean the closure of parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces and restaurants will continue until at least May 6. The extension also keeps in place restrictions that limit staff to working in only one long-term care or retirement home. –Canadian Press


10:26 a.m. ET

Municipalities ask for emergency funding

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is asking the federal government to give local governments billions in emergency funding to stave off financial ruin. The organization says local governments need between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next six months to pay for services while they see revenue declines. Transit ridership, for instance, is down as people stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and municipal councils are considering or have approved delays in collecting property taxes to give residents a financial break. That’s why they’re asking for $2.4 billion for cities with transit systems. –Canadian Press


4:08 a.m. ET

New measures to boost COVID-19 research coming

OTTAWA – The federal government is expected to announce today new measures aimed at mobilizing the country’s scientists and researchers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scientists around the globe are scrambling to come up with tests, treatments to lessen the severity of the disease and, ultimately, a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus that has killed almost 2,000 Canadians and almost 200,000 people worldwide.

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Today’s measures bolster previous efforts by the Trudeau government to marshal Canada’s scientific community in the battle against COVID-19.

In mid-March, it committed $275 million for research, as part of the first emergency aid package.

That was supplemented later in the month with the creation of a new strategic innovation fund, which provided another $192 million to specific companies and research institutions working on the development of drugs and vaccines.

As well, the government has provided $52 million through national granting councils to almost 100 research teams across the country.

With several provinces beginning to talk cautiously about re-opening the economy, which has been virtually shut down since mid-March, the pressure is on to find reliable, rapid tests to determine who is infected with the virus and who has developed immunity to it.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is poised to announce today a five-phase plan to re-open his province.

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Public health experts say mass testing will be required to detect who is carrying the disease without showing symptoms, to prevent them spreading it to others and triggering a second surge in infections.

Canada is currently testing fewer than 20,000 people a day. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Wednesday that 60,000 a day would be an initial target to aim for.

She also pointed out that reliable serology tests are needed to detect who has acquired an immune response to the virus. That will help determine who can safely return to work and when the population has developed “herd immunity.”

“Serologic testing offers the opportunity to get a handle on what the level of immunity may be in Canada,” Tam said.

“That’s definitely one of the key objectives. Our lab is working hard at validating the serologic tests that are being presented. Internationally we’re aware that some of them don’t work so we want to make sure the ones that we have actually are effective and can detect the antibody response in the Canadian population.” -Canadian Press


4:04 a.m. ET

Virtual commemoration planned for second anniversary of Toronto van attack

Mayor John Tory is set to deliver a statement on YouTube this morning and an online vigil is planned for tonight.

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The city has asked mourners to follow physical distancing orders and avoid gathering or placing flowers and other items near the site of the attack.

Alek Minassian drove a rented van down a busy sidewalk on April 23, 2018, killing 10 people and injuring 16 others.

He told police he committed the attack for retribution against society after being shunned by women for years.

The judge overseeing the trial, which has been delayed due to the pandemic, says it will turn on Minassian’s state of mind — not whether he carried out the attack.


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Ford says he is considering regional reopening of Ontario as new testing strategy rolled out – CBC.ca

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he’s considering a regional, phased approach to reopening the province amid the COVID-19 pandemic — an option he had previously resisted.

“Everything is on the table,” Ford said at his daily briefing on Friday. “It’s an option that we are looking at. I know other jurisdictions have done this. I want to know how this has gone in other areas, what lessons we can learn.”

Ford said the province’s expanded testing guidelines, released this morning, will help public health officials better understand trends and hot spots.

“Now that our testing is getting to where we need it, I am now comfortable with asking our officials to look at a regional approach for a staged reopening.”

Ford has previously said he wouldn’t consider a regional reopening, opting instead for a blanket policy despite considerable differences in the number of active cases in various parts of the province. For example, a CBC News analysis found that the per capita rate of active cases is four times higher in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area than elsewhere in Ontario.

Ford cautioned that an ultimate decision will be based on advice from public health officials.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said a regional approach presents challenges with public messaging and how to safely delineate various regions.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said Friday afternoon that the reopening of any region needs to depend on public health numbers.

“We have a different situation here because of the size of the population,” Tory said, adding that the size of Toronto’s transit system alone makes it very different than the rest of the province.

344 new cases

Meanwhile, Ontario reported 344 additional cases of COVID-19 on Friday and said it surpassed its testing benchmark for a second straight day.

The news comes as the province revealed its new testing strategy will focus on communities with relatively high numbers of cases and certain high-risk workplaces while also boosting Ontario’s contact-tracing work. (You can read the full provincial strategy at the bottom of this story.)

The new cases bring the total in the province since the COVID-19 outbreak began in January to 27,210. Slightly more than 77 per cent of those cases are now resolved.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of labs processed 18,525 tests yesterday, the most since May 15. The current daily target is 16,000, though the system has the capacity to handle more than 20,000 on any given day.

The backlog of samples waiting to be processed grew to 13,351, meaning more than 20,000 tests were added to the queue yesterday. 

The overall number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 fell again — down seven to 826 — and remained at its lowest level seen in about a month.

The death toll from COVID-19 currently sits at 2,275, according to data compiled by CBC News. About 78.5 per cent of all deaths in the province were residents in long-term care homes.

Pop-up testing centres

Ontario’s Ministry of Health is helping to run pop-up COVID-19 assessment centres in one of the province’s hardest-hit areas.

In a news release issued Friday morning, the Scarborough Health Network said it is working in conjunction with the ministry and Toronto Public Health to operate the first of the pop-up facilities at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, in the northeastern part of the city.

Officials are encouraging anyone in those communities who thinks they may have been infected with the novel coronavirus, even if they are asymptomatic, to get tested.

Front-line health-care staff conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing at a specially built facility near Etobicoke General Hospital in Toronto. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

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The assessment centre will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET today. Two more days of pop-up testing are scheduled in Scarborough thus far, though the ministry says there will be a total of days at five different locations.

The next is scheduled for June 1 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, while a third will be held at Global Kingdom Ministries on June 2.

North Scarborough is among the three areas of Toronto with the most COVID-19 cases, according to data released by Toronto Public Health earlier this week. Northern Etobicoke and parts of North York also have a high number of cases. All three areas are home to relatively low-income neighbourhoods with dense multi-unit residences.

The pop-up assessment centres are part of the province’s updated testing strategy, which is set to ramp up in earnest next week. 

Expanded testing strategy

The revised plan was detailed by public health officials at a technical briefing for media this morning. It aligns closely with what Ford has hinted at over the past several weeks. 

The strategy includes a directive, outlined in a memo from the Ministry of Health last weekend, that anyone who is concerned they may have COVID-19 is not to be refused a test at any of the province’s 131 assessment centres.

There will be “targeted campaigns” aimed at testing employees in key sectors identified by the province, including the agri-food, auto and retail industries. Officials are working with individual employers to put those campaigns in motion in the coming weeks. 

Ontario will also establish mobile testing units — buses or vans equipped with supplies and staffed by health-care workers — that could be used to test those living in particularly hard-hit communities.

There are currently more than 20 public, commercial and hospital labs processing testing samples. The revised strategy does not include any new targets for daily capacity, because the situation is too fluid to provide an accurate benchmark, officials said.

Some infectious disease experts have been critical of the province’s messaging on testing, saying it has thus far left room for confusion about who actually qualifies for an assessment.

The province has failed to reach its daily testing target more than half the time in May. Levels dropped sharply once a blitz of nearly all long-term care residents and staff was completed over the long weekend, but they have picked up again in recent days after Ontario relaxed criteria for members of the public to be tested.

Public health officials have said that ramping up testing in the general public will be essential as Ontario looks to further loosen restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

You can read the province’s presentation on its updated testing strategy below:

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Coronavirus: What's happening across Canada on Friday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Canada approached 7,000 COVID-19-related deaths and the total number of cases passed 88,000 on Thursday as both Quebec and Ontario reported hundreds of new cases and New Brunswick faced a fresh outbreak linked to a health-care worker.

As of 7:30 a.m. ET Friday, Canada had 88,512 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 46,853 of them considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional information and CBC’s reporting stood at 6,963.

New Brunswick, which has been ahead of most other provinces in its reopening given its relatively low case numbers, announced a new outbreak this week in Campbellton, which is near the Quebec border in the province’s north. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, said there are a total of six cases, including a health-care worker who failed to self-isolate after travel.

The province said in a statement Thursday that the current active cases “appear to have a connection to a health-care professional who worked in the Restigouche area.”

“Based on the contact tracing and the testing that we are doing, we will see more cases,” she said Thursday. Premier Blaine Higgs, who has called the health worker “irresponsible,” said that information has been passed along to RCMP, “to determine exactly what took place and whether charges are warranted.”

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories 

British Columbia health officials said Thursday that an outbreak at the Mission Institution, a medium security correctional facility, is over. The Correctional Service Canada reported 120 positive COVID-19 tests at the facility, with one death. Read more about what’s happening in B.C, which reported two new long-term care deaths linked to COVID-19, for a total of 164 deaths.

Alberta is allowing preschools to open as of June 1 under tighter public health guidelines. The province reported two more COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing its total to 143. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta, where there have been a total of 6,955 cases, with 6,160 considered resolved or recovered.

Saskatchewan reported two more coronavirus cases on Thursday, one in the far north and one in the Saskatoon area. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.

WATCH | An infectious disease specialist answers questions about COVID-19, including whether someone who has recovered can stop physical distancing:

An infectious disease specialist answers viewer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, including whether someone who has recovered from COVID-19 can stop physical distancing. 2:46

Manitoba reported two more cases on Thursday, bringing the provincial total of confirmed and presumptive cases to 294, with 273 considered resolved. The province, which is preparing to reopen schools for limited programming including one-on-one and small group instruction on June 1, has reported seven deaths. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

Ontario’s long-term care minister said 19 long-term care homes are still considered “red” or “high risk,” but would not say if the province will identify them publicly. “If you really look at the dynamic nature of what’s happening in our homes, our homes are shifting,” Merrilee Fullerton said, noting that their status can change daily. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the government should release the list so that families can know which homes are struggling. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.

WATCH | Lack of data hampers Ontario’s fight against COVID-19:

Issues continue to surround Ontario’s failure to gather and share data about COVID-19, which many say is key to controlling outbreaks. 1:44

Quebec reported 563 new COVID-19 cases and 74 new deaths on Thursday, bringing its death toll to 4,302. The province has reported a total of 49,702 cases, with 15,618 of the cases listed as resolved. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

In New Brunswick, the threat of a growing COVID-19 outbreak forced the adjournment of the provincial legislature Thursday and delayed by a week the planned loosening of some restrictions in the province’s recovery plan. The moves came a day after officials confirmed a health-care worker who travelled outside New Brunswick had failed to self-isolate upon their return and subsequently infected other people in the Campbellton area. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.

Dr. Jennifer Russell announced three new COVID-19 cases in the Campbellton area on Thursday, bringing the province’s active case number up to six. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Nova Scotia reported two new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its total to 1,055, with 977 considered resolved. The province has reported 59 deaths to date, with most linked back to the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.

People who live in Prince Edward Island’s long-term care homes will be able to see visitors again as of June 1. The visits will be by appointment, will have time limits and will happen outside in a bid to prevent infection, officials said. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.

WATCH | Buying or selling a home during the pandemic — what to expect:

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what happens when you buy or sell a house. Andrew Chang walks through what’s changed in the real estate game. 1:48

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new coronavirus case on Thursday after going 20 days without any new cases. The case is related to travel, health officials said. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

Nunavut, which is the only province or territory in Canada that has no confirmed COVID-19 cases, has extended its public health emergency until June 11. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said Thursday that the territory’s border won’t be reopened soon. “Right now, travel into Nunavut from outside of the territory represents the highest risk,” he said. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

WATCH | Italians nervous as regional borders reopen:

Many Italians are concerned about the potential for more COVID-19 spread as the country reopens its borders to free travel and people start returning to workplaces. 1:58

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada on May 28 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

As Canada’s total number of COVID-19 cases climbed to more than 88,500 on Thursday, New Brunswick began ramping up testing in a region of the province where it’s feared a new cluster of three cases could grow.

At least 150 people have been exposed to a medical professional in the Campbellton region who has COVID-19 and saw multiple patients over a two-week period following his return to New Brunswick from Quebec. Gilles Lanteigne, head of the Vitalité Health Network, said those exposed include 50 health-care workers at the Campbellton Regional Hospital and 100 people in the community.

“We could see some transmission around the province,” Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, told a briefing on Thursday, adding that two of the three new cases of COVID-19 are health-care workers.

Quebec and Ontario remain the hardest-hit provinces in terms of the number of cases and the daily increases.

Innis Ingram sits chained to a tree Thursday near crosses identifying the lives lost to COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community centre in Mississauga, Ont. Ingram’s mother is inside the facility, and he says he won’t unchain himself until an inspector arrives or management from Trillium Health Partners, a hospital system serving Mississauga and west-end Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Quebec has reported 563 new cases, while Ontario has reported 383 new cases. As of 5:50 p.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had 88,504 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 46,844 considered resolved or recovered. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial health data, regional information and CBC’s reporting stood at 6,961.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the country is seeing a “series of regional epidemics” with Quebec and Ontario experiencing the vast majority of cases and severe outbreaks.

Within those provinces, you have to home in on certain areas and offer assistance to hard-hit areas, said Tam, who praised a move by the health officials in Toronto to release more “granular data” about COVID-19 cases.

When asked about a recent decision in New Brunswick to reimpose some restrictions on one region after new cases emerged linked to a returning traveller who didn’t self-isolate, Tam said she thinks every medical officer of health agrees on the need to be “really careful” as activities resume and restrictions are lifted.

WATCH | RCMP to look into new cluster of cases in New Brunswick:

Premier Blaine Higgs says police will determine whether charges are warranted after a health-care professional with COVID-19 did not self-isolate after returning to New Brunswick from Quebec. 0:56

“I think there’s always been the message in different jurisdictions that there’s a flexibility in the public health system to reinstate or pull back on some of the measures as they see fit, based on their own epidemiologic context,” she said at a Thursday briefing.

New Brunswick had gone an extended period with no new cases, but with the new cases, it’s now rolling back the easing of some restrictions in Zone 5, an area that’s home to 25,000 people and includes the Campbellton-Dalhousie Region. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not hold his daily briefing on Thursday because he was opening a UN conference on financing issues around health and development and how they have been affected by COVID-19, including questions about liquidity and debt.

Trudeau told heads of state and government that “our citizens need to have confidence in international institutions that leave no one behind and are capable of overcoming global challenges.”

Read on for a look at what’s happening in your region, and to get the latest details on how provinces are handling the pandemic and the tentative process of lifting restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the novel virus.

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia reported nine new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday — including one new outbreak at Nicola Lodge, a long-term care home in Port Coquitlam — for a total of 2,558 cases in the province. There have been 164 COVID-19-related deaths in B.C., including two more in long-term care homes in the Fraser Health region.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s health officer, announced the outbreak of COVID-19 at Mission Institution, where dozens of inmates had fallen ill, has now ended. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers are trending in the right direction but urged continued adherence to public health guidelines. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

Alberta reported 29 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and two new deaths. That brings the province’s total number of confirmed cases to 6,955 with 143 deaths.

On Wednesday, the province reported its lowest number of active cases since the end of March, at 679. That number was down to 652 on Thursday. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta, where health officials are investigating a possible case of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), an inflammatory syndrome associated with the novel coronavirus.

Saskatchewan announced two new cases of COVID-19, one in the province’s northern region and one in the Saskatoon area. There are now 61 active cases out of 639 cases and 568 recoveries, with four people in hospital for treatment of the disease. Ten people in the province have died of the illness. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba is on track to enter the next phase of its reopening on Monday, when it will allow restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses shuttered by COVID-19 restrictions to open with stepped-up public health measures in place.

There were two new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Thursday, bringing the province’s total to 294. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

WATCH | Brian Pallister talks about moving Manitoba into the next phase of reopening:

Premier Brian Pallister says the slow and careful Phase 2 reopening is the result of the low incidence of COVID-19 in Manitoba and the province will look closely at any resurgence in cases. 1:15

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford said Thursday that he’s sick of “taking bullets” for unionized government inspectors who, he said, refused to go into the province’s long-term care homes to carry out inspections in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic because of safety concerns.

WATCH | Release of COVID-19 hot spot data in Toronto can help prevent spread of coronavirus, says epidemiologist:

Dr. David Fisman says lowering infections in hot spots will help the city and province continue with reopening plans.  6:45

On Wednesday, the province announced it’s taking over the management four of the five long-term care homes that were the subject of a Canadian Armed Forces report alleging “horrific” conditions, including poor hygiene and aggressive behaviour toward residents. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.

In Quebec, Premier François Legault talked more about plans to recruit and train 10,000 support staff, or orderlies, to work in long-term care homes. He said they would be full-time positions with pensions and benefits.

Provincial Justice Minister Sonia LeBel confirmed that courthouses in Quebec would reopen on June 1. She said there will be a limited number of people allowed inside, physical distancing rules and Plexiglas barriers for judges.

Many long-term care homes in Quebec are in desperate need of medical personnel and continue to struggle to bring down the number of COVID-19 infections, a military report on its mission inside the province’s seniors’ residences says. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec, which has had 49,702 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

WATCH | Military reports staffing, PPE issues in Quebec long-term care homes:

The Canadian military’s report into Quebec’s long-term care homes during the COVID-19 crisis found ongoing staff shortages and issues with the use of personal protective equipment. 2:00

In New Brunswick, officials say they expect hundreds of people to be tested within the next couple of days after a new cluster of COVID-19 cases in the Campbellton region. Premier Blaine Higgs on Thursday said the development is “very concerning,” but he remains optimistic that with contact tracing, the province will be able to curb the spread of the respiratory illness. Read more about what’s happening in N.B., where the legislature, which just reopened on Monday, has been adjourned until June 9 in a bid to ensure MLAs don’t contribute to spreading the virus.

New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, both with low numbers of COVID-19, were considering a proposed interprovincial bubble that would see travel resume across the Confederation Bridge in late June or early July. Higgs, New Brunswick’s premier, told CBC News such a plan now depends on what health officials learn about the new cluster of cases in northern New Brunswick in the next couple of weeks.

Nova Scotia is set to allow more businesses to reopen next week, saying everything from restaurants and bars to gyms and personal services like hair salons can open on June 5 under enhanced public health protocols. “We are still moving slowly, but this is a good first step,” Premier Stephen McNeil said Wednesday. Read more about what’s happening in N.S., which reported two new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

Prince Edward Island’s state of emergency has been extended until June 14Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I., which has no active cases of COVID-19.

Newfoundland on Thursday reported one new case of COVID-19, ending the province’s 20-day streak of zero new cases. The Department of Health says the new case, affecting a man between 40 and 49 years old, is related to travel. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

The chief public health officer of the Northwest Territories said she “wholeheartedly” supports the idea of people taking staycations this summer, including visits to regional hubs. But Dr. Kami Kandola said people in the territory need to “stay on our game,” as the risk associated with COVID-19 has not passed. Meanwhile, in Nunavut, the public health emergency has been extended until June 11. Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has not had a confirmed coronavirus case. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

The novel coronavirus, which causes an illness called COVID-19, causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. The virus labelled SARS-CoV-2 first emerged in China in late 2019, before spreading around the world.

WATCH | Why Iceland has been so successful at contact tracing:

Coronavirus contact tracing in Iceland is a collaborative effort between health-care workers and the police, creating a ‘force to be reckoned with,’ says one of the detectives in charge. 4:47

According to a Johns Hopkins University case tracking tool, as of Thursday afternoon there were more than 5.9 million coronavirus cases worldwide, with nearly 358,000 deaths reported. 

The U.S. accounts for almost 1.7 million of the cases and more than 100,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

WATCH | COVID-19: What parts of the world are big concerns right now?

A panel of experts answer questions about what’s happening with COVID-19 around the world and how it impacts Canada. 6:20

WATCH | COVID-19: What parts of the world are big concerns right now?

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