The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Health officials in Saskatchewan are diverting hundreds more staff to fight COVID-19 as daily cases are forecast to exceed 500 in two weeks.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority expects the number of people in hospital and receiving intensive care could soon double.
Officials are planning for the surge by redeploying 600 health-care staff, which means other health services will be temporarily suspended.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says people who don’t think COVID-19 is real are idiots.
Pallister says he knows he is unpopular in some quarters because of the restrictions his government has imposed on public gatherings and businesses.
But he says the rules are needed to save lives, and everyone needs to work together to reduce the spread of the virus.
Public health officials in Prince Edward Island announced one additional positive case of COVID-19 in the province Thursday.
The individual is a man in his 20s, a rotational worker who recently travelled to P.E.I. from outside of the Atlantic region and has been in self-isolation since arriving.
This case is not related to any of the other recent positive cases of COVID-19 in the province.
P.E.I. currently has five active cases of COVID-19, and there have been 73 positive cases since the onset of the pandemic.
Saskatchewan is announcing 259 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death.
Health officials say the person who died was in their 80s.
Most of the new infections are located in and around Regina and Saskatoon.
There are 104 people in hospital, with 24 people receiving intensive care.
The seven-day average of new daily cases sits at 269.
Nunavut is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat today, bringing the community’s active case count to 68.
All cases in Rankin Inlet have now recovered.
There are seven active cases in Whale Cove.
Nunavut has 75 active cases of COVID-19 and 123 recovered cases.
Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting six new cases of COVID-19 in the province Thursday.
There is one new case in the Moncton region, three new cases in the Saint John region and two in the Fredericton area.
There are now 111 active cases in the province.
New Brunswick has had a total of 520 cases and seven deaths since the pandemic began.
Manitoba is reporting 367 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional deaths today.
The province continues to have a high rate of people testing positive — 13 per cent, on average, over the last five days.
The Quebec government is cancelling its plan to allow gatherings over four days at Christmas.
Premier Francois Legault announced today the province will no longer permit multi-household gatherings of up to 10 people between Dec. 24 and 27, as had been planned.
Legault first announced the Christmas plan on Nov. 19, saying people could get together as long as they quarantined for a week before and a week after the holiday period.
But with COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise and a health system deemed fragile due to a lack of staffing, Legault says it’s not realistic to think the numbers will go down sufficiently by Christmas.
Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, says she expects to get some final documents from Pfizer on Friday that will provide information on the manufacturing process and which lots of vaccine doses will be sent to Canada.
That is the final thing needed before Canada can approve the vaccine.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, says he fully expects the decision to be “favourable.”
Moderna’s vaccine is to be delivered to one site in Canada rather than to each province and Canadian logistics will then distribute it to the provinces as required.
Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says while initial supplies of vaccines will limit vaccinations to three million people, there will eventually be a COVID-19 vaccine for every Canadian.
Pfizer’s vaccine is expected to start being delivered first in January, and will be sent by the manufacturer to predetermined points in each province.
Nova Scotia is reporting 11 new cases of COVID-19 today.
The number of active cases in the province s now stands at 119, that’s down from the 127 cases reported on Wednesday.
Nine of the new cases are in the central health zone, which includes Halifax, while the other two cases are in the northern zone.
The province has had a total of 1,342 cases, while 1,159 are resolved and there have been 65 deaths.
The Quebec government is reporting 1,470 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional deaths linked to the pandemic.
Twelve of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours, while the rest happened earlier.
Hospitalizations declined by three to 737, while the number of people in intensive care remained unchanged at 99.
There have been a total of 146,532 cases and 7,155 deaths in the province since the pandemic began.
Ontario is reporting 1,824 new cases of COVID-19, and 14 new deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 592 new cases in Peel Region, 396 cases in Toronto, and 187 cases in York Region.
The province says it has conducted 52,873 tests since the last daily report.
In total, 666 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 195 in intensive care.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec 3, 2020.
You Can Take Shawn Mendes or Dolly Parton on Your Walk With New Apple Fitness+ Feature – Billboard
“I’ve loved walking ever since I was a little girl in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton said in the official Apple press release. “I think it’s so important to be able to get out and walk if we can during this time. I do my best thinking when I walk. And while many of us feel confined during this time, I’m hopeful that people will take a walk down memory lane with me and we can all feel a little more freedom taking the time to walk together.”
“Taking a walk is a great way to clear your mind,” Mendes said in the release. “It’s the most simple thing you can do to calm the body and soul, reflect, and slow down. I hope people get to feel the same sense of calm I do while walking and can bring that to their own experiences.”
Fitness+ subscribers can enjoy Time to Walk episodes on their Apple Watch with AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones. New episodes will automatically appear on the Workout app on Apple Watch and on the Fitness+ tab in the Fitness app on the iPhone. Apple Watch users who use a wheelchair will have access to Time to Push, which automatically starts an Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace workout.
Apple shifts hardware execs as mysterious new project looms – MobileSyrup
Dan Riccio, who has worked as Apple’s senior vice-president of engineering since 2012, is stepping back from leading Apple’s hardware division.
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that Riccio is working on a mysterious “new project” and will continue to report directly to Tim Cook, its CEO. Riccio has worked on several notable projects, including Apple’s ARM-based M1 processor, the AirPods Max, the iPhone 12 and even the original iMac.
“Working at Apple has been the opportunity of a lifetime, spent making the world’s best products with the most talented people you could imagine,” said Riccio in a recent press release.
“After 23 years of leading our Product Design or Hardware Engineering teams — culminating with our biggest and most ambitious product year ever — it’s the right time for a change. Next up, I’m looking forward to doing what I love most — focusing all my time and energy at Apple on creating something new and wonderful that I couldn’t be more excited about.”
John Ternus will take on Riccio’s former role of senior vice-president of engineering. Ternus has served as Apple’s VP of hardware engineering since 2013 and played a significant role in the release of the first iPad and, more recently, the first-generation AirPods.
Apple’s ‘Time To Walk’ Reveals Monopoly Power – Forbes
It was harder to start a workout on my Apple Watch this morning. Not much harder, maybe just 5% or so, but harder. And a bit more annoying.
Today Apple launched Time to Walk, a podcast series with famous people about walking. It’s included with Apple Fitness+, a subscription service that costs $80/year, and I learned that it launched by not being able to start a walking “workout” the ordinary way on my Apple Watch. Instead of a list of possible workouts in the Apple Watch workout app, there’s now a big “Time to Walk” image with musician Shawn Mendes at the top of the list. The Apple Fitness+ video podcast series will include episodes with Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green, country music legend Dolly Parton, and Emmy award-winning actor Uzo Aduba.
Somewhat disconcerting, when you don’t expect it.
To select the workout you want, of course, you simply have to scroll past it. As I did again at lunchtime for my strength training workout. And as I’ll have to do again this afternoon for another walk. And 10 or 12 more times this week.
Hopefully, if I don’t use it, Time to Walk will go away. But I have no idea if it will or won’t: there’s no option to remove it or delete it.
Big deal? Not really, to be honest.
Unless you’re a podcaster doing fitness-oriented episodes. Or a fitness app competitive to Apple’s Fitness+. Now you’re not only competing with the owner of the platform that you’re delivering your services to (which is hard enough) you are also competing with some aspects of that platform owner’s service mixed in with potential customers’ everyday experience of that service in places most wouldn’t expect.
(At least, I didn’t.)
I think I have Fitness+ for three months free due to purchasing a new Apple Watch. Or I’m on a free one-month trial. Or maybe I bought it. I honestly don’t really remember: I must have hit “Yes” somewhere. (That alone, of course, is another competitive challenge for anyone offering a non-Apple fitness subscription, app, or experience on iPhone: the ability for Apple to just start a service on an iPhone as a result of a hardware purchase, or offer it with a single-click assent.)
Apple says that Time to Walk is “an inspiring new audio walking experience on Apple Watch for Fitness+ subscribers, created to encourage users to walk more often and reap the benefits from one of the healthiest activities.”
That’s great. It really is. I absolutely 100% agree with Apple that walking is therapeutic and healthy. As my mother never fails to remind me, it’s “good for your body and good for your soul.”
For once, Apple agrees with mom.
“Walking is the most popular physical activity in the world, and one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies,” Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of Fitness Technologies, said in a statement. “A walk can often be more than just exercise: It can help clear the mind, solve a problem, or welcome a new perspective.”
But I’d much rather experience it intentionally as the result of a choice.
The way to launch a new service like this is simple: a notification on my phone or watch that Apple has a new service, with details about what it does and where it lives, insight into why Apple is sending this to me (example: “you’re getting this notification because you have the Apple Fitness+ one month free trial”), and how I can ignore it, opt out, or delete it after trying it.
It should not just show up, unannounced, undeletable, unskippable, on my device.
Small detail? OK: you’re not wrong if you think so.
But sometimes the small details are important, especially when you want to maintain a level playing field on your platform, silence the growing monopoly chorus, and simply be user-focused rather than push-all-the-subscriptions focused.
Apple competes with Amazon Halo, Google’s Fitbit premium memberships, Peloton, and dozens if not hundreds of other fitness, wellness, and health services. All of them should compete, as much as possible, on a level playing field. That’s not always 100% possible, but in an ideal world, an Apple service on an iPhone should be as easy to access and use as an Apple service on an Android.
And vice versa.
Again, not totally realistic for plenty of software, hardware, and ecosystem reasons. But certainly an ideal to aim for.
Player with Kamloops Blazers critically injured in weekend snowboard accident – The Globe and Mail
With COVID-19 cases trending down in Ontario, could small businesses see the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel? – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com
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