OTTAWA — The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):
Alberta is reporting 931 new daily cases of COVID-19.
The province says 676 variant cases have been identified.
It says nearly 43 per cent of the 10,809 active infections are variants.
There are 328 people in hospital with the illness and 76 of them are in intensive care.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is reinstituting some public-health restrictions, saying that variant cases of COVID-19 continue to soar and are on track to swamp the health system by mid-May.
Kenney says that as of Friday, restaurants must close to in-person dining.
Retail stores will be allowed 15 per cent customer capacity rather than the current 25 per cent, and low-intensity group fitness activities are once again banned.
Kenney says Alberta is now seeing a third wave of COVID-19, driven mainly by the more contagious and dangerous variants.
The province averaged about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day during the Easter long weekend, and the death total has now surpassed 2,000 in the province.
British Columbia is reporting 1,068 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province’s total to 105,988.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says three more people have died.
Officials have administered 912,056 COVID-19 shots, 87,474 of which were second doses.
Testing has confirmed 207 cases involving variants of concern and all but one are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
Less than two weeks after easing restrictions, Quebec is reversing its decision to reopen gyms and to bring back all high school students to in-person classes.
Premier Francois Legault says students in grades 9, 10 and 11 in red zones, including Montreal, will return to alternative schedules of in-person learning one day out of every two, starting next Monday.
Legault says gyms in red zones will be forced to close on Thursday.
Health Minister Christian Dube says vaccination appointments will be open to all Quebecers 60 and over by the end of the week.
He says anyone as young as 55 can book an appointment for an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by this Thursday.
Starting tomorrow, Nunavut will ease restrictions in its central Kivalliq region.
Masks remain mandatory in Arviat, the last Nunavut community to have an outbreak of COVID-19, while gatherings in homes will be limited to five people.
Outdoor gatherings in Arviat will be limited to 50 people, while indoor gatherings in community spaces will also be limited to 50 people.
Schools in Arviat will operate using a blend of in-person and remote learning.
In the rest of the Kivalliq, up to 15 people can gather in homes and up to 100 people can gather in community spaces indoors.
The last case of COVID-19 in Nunavut was declared in Arviat on March 20 and there are currently no active cases in the territory.
Saskatchewan is reporting 217 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths.
The province says nearly half of the new infections are in the Regina zone.
There are 202 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 44 of them are in intensive care.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his government will be implementing further public health restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Ford says the situation with variants of concern of the virus is changing day to day and people are not following a request to stay at home.
He did not provide any specific details about the additional measures or when they might be imposed.
His comments come a day after top doctors of three COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario urged the province to impose tougher restrictions, including a stay-at-home order.
Manitoba health officials are announcing 62 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths from the virus.
Screening has also found five additional cases that are variants of concern.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says people need to avoid non-essential travel as the number of variants has significantly risen in neighbouring provinces.
Public health orders require anyone returning to the province to isolate for two weeks.
The age eligibility for vaccines remains at 64 and older and 44 and older for First Nations people.
New Brunswick is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 today.
Health officials say the Saint John, Fredericton and Edmundston regions each have one case.
Officials are also confirming that the seven cases reported Monday in the Moncton region are connected and are travel-related.
The Vitalite Health Network says the intensive care unit at the Edmundston Regional Hospital is at capacity and new patients will be diverted to other hospitals.
There are 162 active reported cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and 18 patients are hospitalized with the disease, including 12 in intensive care.
Canada’s chief public health officer is advising Canadians to avoid interprovincial travel amid concerns COVID-19 vaccines might not be fully effective against new variants of the disease.
Dr. Theresa Tam says she is concerned about people travelling as tourists and gathering for leisure activities.
With new variants of concern now being identified in provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, there is concern Canadians could further spread these strains of the virus across the country.
Tam says some laboratory tests show the P1 variant, in particular, might elude a person’s immunity response.
This means people who have been vaccinated or who have contracted COVID-19 could still get sick or reinfected by the virus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says most provinces have made it clear they don’t need Ottawa’s help when it comes to getting COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of Canadians, but he adds the federal government will be there if needed.
He says political leaders are just as exhausted as Canadian families, business owners and frontline workers, which he believes is why some premiers, including Ontario’s Doug Ford, have been critical of the vaccine rollout in Canada.
Trudeau says that when he speaks with Ford later today, he hopes to determine how the federal government can assist Ontario with the third wave of COVID-19 now sweeping the province.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is delivering the final instalment from billions of dollars announced last summer to help provinces and territories through the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says the federal funding has been used to bolster the capacity of Canada’s health-care systems, secure personal protective equipment for essential workers and protect the most vulnerable.
It has also helped support child-care needs during the pandemic and keep municipalities and public transit operating.
Trudeau now says $700 million, the final instalment from the Safe Restart Agreement, will help provinces and territories with efforts including testing and contact tracing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will speak today with Ontario Premier Doug Ford about the COVID-19 situation in Ontario.
He says he expects to discuss what the spike in cases in Ontario means for hospitals and the importance of vaccinating as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
Trudeau says he will also speaks to all provincial and territorial premiers Wednesday about their efforts to protect and support Canadians from the new variants and rising cases in areas across the country.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the federal government to do more to help provinces get vaccinations into the arms of essential workers.
Singh says a priority should be workers who cannot stay home and toil in industries where the virus is known to be spreading.
He says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can help by offering assistance from the military and pushing for paid sick leave.
Singh says he won’t accept the excuse that administering vaccinations is a provincial responsibility.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is pressing the government to ask the auditor general to appoint a “special monitor” to track the federal pandemic response as it happens to glean lessons promptly.
O’Toole also says a Conservative government would call a public inquiry to study the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says the federal Liberals “dropped the ball” on vaccines and Canadians need to know what worked and what didn’t.
Quebec is reporting 1,168 new cases of COVID-19 today and four additional deaths, including one within the previous 24 hours.
The provincial Health Department says hospitalizations rose by 11 to reach 514, with 121 patients in intensive care, a drop of two.
Public health authorities say 39,816 doses of vaccine were administered in the province yesterday, bringing the total to 1,592,197.
Quebec has reported 318,532 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 10,701 deaths since the pandemic began.
Nova Scotia is reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today and a total of 36 active cases.
Five cases have been identified in the Halifax area with one related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, three close contacts of a previously reported case, and one case under investigation.
There is also one case in the province’s eastern health zone identified as a close contact of a previously reported case.
Health officials say that unrelated to the new cases are four new cases of the variant that first emerged in the United Kingdom that have been identified in the Halifax area and have since been resolved.
Prince Edward Island is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says there are eight active reported cases on the Island.
Morrison says two cases reported on March 26 have been confirmed as the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.
She says both variant cases are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.
Ontario reports 3,065 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths linked to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 955 of those new cases are in Toronto, 561 are in Peel Region, and 320 are in York Region.
She also says there are 165 new cases in Ottawa and 132 in Niagara Region.
More than 76,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since Monday’s report.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Quebec students in grades 3-5 in red zones will return to alternative schedules of in-person learning one day out of every two. In fact, it is students in grades 9-11.
Canada COVID-19 booster update coming 'very shortly': Tam – National | Globalnews.ca – Global News
Canadians can expect an update on the potential use of additional COVID-19 shots for the most at-risk “very shortly,” the country’s top doctor says.
Speaking at a news conference Friday morning, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters she expects the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) will make recommendations on whether or not additional doses for those at the highest risk are needed.
In particular, the committee is looking at those who received a COVID-19 vaccine around the beginning of the year, Tam added.
“So that includes, for example, those in long-term care homes or congregate living for seniors,” she said. “So I expect the committee to have their deliberations completed on this group … very shortly.”
Biden says ‘majority of Americans’ who received Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eligible for booster shot 6 months after 2nd shot
Tam did not elaborate on a timeline further, but her comments come after the United States approved booster shots for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk settings, like a workplace or congregate living.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the plan on Thursday, which is in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of the extra shot earlier this week.
Pfizer-BioNTech is the vaccine of choice. The extra shots will also be rolled out in long-term care facilities and are open to more than 20 million Americans who received their second Pfizer shot more than six months ago.
Tam said in addition to looking at American data on boosters, Canada has its own measures to follow as its vaccine approach is different.
“For example, while we use the mRNA vaccines that are the same as the United States, many Canadians actually had an extended interval compared to the United States, and what the data is showing us is that the extended interval produces a more robust immune response and vaccine effectiveness is better with a longer interval,” she said.
“So the Canadian data must be analyzed on top of what we’re gathering from the international community as well, and we are taking a thorough, thoughtful and phased approach to looking at additional doses.”
Canada has already OK’d additional doses for some immunocompromised individuals, announcing the new measure on Sept. 10.
“NACI continues to examine the need for booster doses, which unlike additional doses are intended to restore initially adequate immune protection that may have waned over time,” Tam said at the time.
Booster shots, however, continue to be a divisive issue among health experts and internationally.
Vaccine inequity was among the agenda items at the United Nations’ annual meeting this week. The leaders of many African countries, whose populations have little to no access to the shots, spoke out.
It is “of great concern” that the global community has not supported the principles “of solidarity and co-operation in securing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines,” Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, said.
“It is an indictment on humanity that more than 82 per cent of the world’s vaccine doses have been acquired by wealthy countries, while less than one per cent has gone to low-income countries.”
U.S. to donate half a billion additional Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines
On Wednesday during a global COVID-19 summit, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would double its purchase of Pfizer’s shots to share one billion doses with the world, in an effort to vaccinate 70 per cent of the global population within the next year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was also in attendance, committed to that goal.
“In order to get this done, Canada will build on the important progress we have made so far, and focus on increasing the production, availability, and delivery of vaccines,” a read-out of the summit said.
“To date, Canada has contributed more than $2.5 billion to help address this crisis globally. We have also committed to sharing tens of millions of vaccine doses with the rest of the world, including through the COVAX facility.”
Tam said on Friday that more than 80 per cent of Canada’s eligible population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to Johns Hopkins University, 32.71 per cent of the world’s population is fully inoculated.
Earlier this month, University of Toronto bioethics professor Kerry Bowman told Global News that Canada needs to fight the pandemic with a global approach.
“Booster shots may well be required for immunocompromised people and a subset of people, (but) I think in the short term, we should not have widespread booster shots — meaning third doses — at all, for ethical reasons and epidemiological reasons,” he said.
“We really have to start making a deeper commitment to the larger world to protect ourselves and because it’s the right thing to do.”
–with files from Reuters and The Associated Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Friday – CBC.ca
New Brunswick has reinstated its COVID-19 state of emergency as the province’s chief medical officer of health warned the province is at a “tipping point.”
“The pace of the fourth wave is beyond what we had anticipated,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell at a briefing Friday as the province reported a single-day record of 78 new cases and three additional deaths.
As part of the mandatory order, which will take effect at 11:59 p.m. AT Friday, residents must stick to their household bubbles and a “steady 20” of close contacts.
The order will be reviewed every two weeks and come into effect whenever there are 25 people hospitalized with COVID-19, said Premier Blaine Higgs. The number of people hospitalized currently stands at 31, including 15 in intensive care, he said.
Dr. Gordon Dow, infectious disease specialist with the Horizon Health Network, said the lifting of health-protection measures almost two months ago was an error.
“Many other jurisdictions made the very same mistake,” he said at a technical briefing earlier Friday, citing Alberta, Saskatchewan, the U.S. and the U.K.
Dow said the province’s previous efforts to combat the virus focused on a successful “elimination strategy” that was used to rapidly shut down seven distinct outbreaks. But the province wasn’t ready for the delta variant, he said.
“Did we under-call this one? I would say yes, and I think most New Brunswickers would agree with that,” he said. “But I would also say that we got it right 85 per cent of the time.”
Meanwhile, Ontario is easing capacity limits at certain venues where proof of vaccination is required, including sports facilities, cinemas and concert venues.
The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, says the province’s COVID-19 cases and health indicators have been stable recently, though it doesn’t mean the province can let its guard down in the face of the delta variant.
Ontario on Friday reported 727 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths. There are 193 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19.
— From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
Canada’s chief public health officer says the country is seeing about 4,300 new cases of COVID-19 per day, up from about 3,500 per day three weeks ago.
The bulk of cases and severe outcomes are among the unvaccinated, Dr. Theresa Tam said at a news briefing Friday.
From early August to early September, the average weekly rate of new COVID-19 was 11 times higher in those who were unvaccinated than in fully vaccinated people, she said, while hospitalization was 38 times higher.
While more than 80 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, more than six million people still have not received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, Tam said.
— From The Canadian Press, last updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of Friday afternoon, more than 230.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s case tracking tool, which collects data from around the world. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus since the start of the pandemic as people returned from the country’s biggest holiday of the year.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 1,750 of the 2,434 new cases reported Friday were from the greater capital area, where officials have raised concern over an erosion in citizen vigilance despite the enforcement of the strongest physical distancing rules short of a lockdown since July.
In the Americas, a live televised interview with U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris was slightly delayed Friday after two hosts of the The View learned they tested positive for the coronavirus just before she was to join them on the set.
Co-host Sunny Hostin and guest host Ana Navarro were at the table for the start of the show, but were pulled from the set. Harris, who had planned to join the table, instead was interviewed remotely from a different room in the ABC studio in New York.
In Europe, Portugal is scrapping many of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions after becoming the world leader in vaccination rollout. The country has fully vaccinated nearly 85 per cent of the population, according to Our World in Data.
The government says starting Oct. 1, it will remove limits on how many people can be in cafés and restaurants, at weddings and baptisms, shopping malls, concerts and cinemas. Bars and discos will reopen, although only for vaccinated people and people with negative coronavirus tests.
Meanwhile, Norway’s government says the country will reopen society on Saturday, ending pandemic-curbing restrictions that have limited social interaction and hobbled many businesses.
“It is 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime …. Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference.
The decision to no longer require physical distancing will allow culture and sports venues to utilize their full capacity, rather than just a portion of seats, while restaurants can fill up and nightclubs reopen.
About 76 per cent of all Norwegians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 67 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Institute of Public Health.
In the Middle East, Yemen received its third batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme, the health ministry said
In Africa, Egypt has authorized Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine against COVID-19, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which markets the shot abroad, said on Friday. The country approved Russia’s two-dose Sputnik V vaccine in February.
— From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 5:30 p.m. ET
BENANTHONY LAVOZ AND DELON OM GET RAW WITH “The Gentleman and Scholar”
Toronto, ON – Canadian Latin Pop sensations BenAnthony Lavoz and Delon Om, dropped their new EP “The Gentleman & Scholar.” Coming off the success of their summer hit single “One More Time” the pop sensations went dark for their new project. The multi-talented artists wanted the lyrics of their new EP to describe the struggles we keep to ourselves, the ones that lead us to walk in the darkness. Lavoz and Om brought in some heavy hitters to produce “The Gentleman and Scholar.” The EP was produced by David Neale (Karl Wolf, Danny Fernandes, Peter Jackson) and multi-platinum Grammy award winning producer, Sensei Musica (Fat Joe, Pitbull, and Shakira). The project serves as an emotional outlet for Lavoz and Om, who bring to the table a genuine connect and passion. “The Gentleman and Scholar” reminds us that there are many parts that make up who we are, but at the heart of it all … is our truth. Do we own it, or do we hide? One of the singles on the EP, “Follow the Leader” features Canada’s own Danny Fernandes. The three artists connected over their dark pasts to create the song about vulnerability, redemption and finding a new and forgiving path to walk.
BenAnthony Lavoz, a Toronto native and Latin Grammy award winner has performed with Prince Royce, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny and Ozuna. Delon Om, is a former Canadian Idol contestant, song writer and music producer signed to Ultra Records. Om’s single, “Someone Special To Me” was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary “This is for Toronto.” Together they produced an EP that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit, in hopes that lessons learned, and paths walked will give others hope and encouragement to step out of the dark and into the light.
“The Gentleman and Scholar” is raw and ready. Step into the light on all music platforms today…
FOLLOW Delon OM:
FOLLOW BENANTHONY LAVOZ:
Sasha Stoltz Publicity & Management:
Sasha Stoltz | Sasha@sashastoltzpublicity.com | 416.579.4804
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