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Today's coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 1487 new cases Monday; Moderna COVID-19 vaccine candidate reports early success in U.S. tests; 3 GTA regions join COVID-19 red zone – Toronto Star

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KEY FACTS

  • 8:35 a.m. New COVID-19 restrictions for Toronto expected within days

  • 7:14 am.: Moderna’s vaccine reports early success in U.S. tests

  • 5:15 a.m.: Hamilton, York, Halton regions enter COVID-19 red zone

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

11 a.m. Home sales in October set a record for the month, even as they fell back from the all-time monthly high set in September, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Monday,

The association said October sales were down 0.7 per cent from September.

However, sales last month still set a record for October as they gained 32.1 per cent compared with October last year.

The national average home price also set another October record at $607,250, up 15.2 per cent from the same month last year. Excluding sales in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of the most active and expensive housing markets, lowers the national average price by more than $127,000, CREA said.

The housing market has been playing catch up this summer and fall from COVID-19 shutdowns that dampened the usually busy spring housing market. Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist, said that realtors may also be seeing a lot of moves, or “churn in the market,” that would not have happened if not for COVID-19.

“As we’ve moved through the last few months of headline-grabbing data, we’ve seen sales activity for the year-to-date not just catch up with last year, which was surprising enough, but at this point activity in 2020 has a real shot at setting an annual record,” said Cathcart.

“Many reasons have been suggested for why this is when many traditional drivers of the market, economic growth, employment and confidence in particular, are currently so weak. Something worth considering is how many households are choosing to pull up stakes and move as a result of COVID-19.”

The association noted that some 461,818 homes were sold over Canadian MLS systems in the first 10 months of the year, up 8.6 per cent from the same period in 2019.

10:33 a.m. The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, including at least one cluster of infections, an internal email obtained by The Associated Press shows, despite the agency’s public assertions that there has been no transmission at the Geneva site.

The revelation comes amid a surge of cases in Europe, host country Switzerland, and the city of Geneva, in particular, and the email said about half of the infections were in people who had been working from home. But 32 were in staff who had been working on premises at the headquarters building, indicating that the health agency’s strict hygiene, screening and other prevention measures were not sufficient to spare it from the pandemic.

Raul Thomas, who heads business operations at WHO, emailed staff on Friday noting that five people — four on the same team and one who had contact with them— had tested positive for COVID-19. While the email did not use the term “cluster,” one is generally defined as two or more cases in the same area and the five cases indicate basic infection control and social distancing procedures were likely being broken.

A previous email he sent on Oct. 16 indicated that no clusters had been found at the site.

“As per standard protocols, these colleagues are receiving the necessary medical attention and are recovering at home,” the email Friday said. “These last five cases bring the total reported number of affected members of the Geneva based workforce to 65 since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Farah Dakhlallah, a WHO spokeswoman, confirmed the accuracy of the information about the case count in an email to the AP.

Thomas’ email did not specify who was infected, but a WHO staffer with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the press said the cluster included a member of the WHO director-general’s leadership team who is also an infection control specialist.

10:04 a.m. (will be updated) Ontario is reporting another 1,487 new cases Monday and 10 new deaths. The seven-day average is up 35 to a new high of 1,443 cases/day or 69 cases weekly per 100,000. Locally, there are 508 new cases in Toronto, 392 in Peel and 170 in York Region. Almost 33,400 tests were completed.

10 a.m. Gains in the energy and financial sectors helped lift Canada’s main stock index higher, while U.S. stock markets also rose in early trading in the wake of positive test results for a second potential COVID-19 vaccine.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 68.73 points at 16,744.37.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 321.57 points at 29,801.38. The S&P 500 index was up 25.49 points at 3,610.64, while the Nasdaq composite was up 53.41 points at 11,882.70.

The Canadian dollar traded for 76.44 cents US compared with 76.06 cents US on Friday.

9:20 a.m. Over a third of Canadians are planning to drastically reduce what they would normally spend this holiday season. And another third are seriously considering making cuts.

Spending less is actually a good thing and trust me, no magic will be lost in the process.

What a reduced budget will do is help you and your family focus on helping others, safely connecting with loved ones and giving, though smallish, from the heart.

Here’s how to keep the magic on a tight budget.

8:43 a.m. The United States’ top infectious disease expert says news from Moderna that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5 per cent effective “is really quite impressive.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s “Today” on Monday that Moderna’s finding, along with similar results from Pfizer last week for its vaccine, “is something that foretells an impact on this outbreak.”

“So now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective, so I think this is a really strong step forward to where we want to be about getting control with this outbreak,” Fauci said.

Asked about the timeline for vaccinating people, Fauci projected that by the end of December, there will be doses available for people at high risk from the coronavirus.

Fauci said the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have different platforms than other vaccines now in the pipeline. But he said the other vaccine platforms are using the “spike protein” of the coronavirus which has been researched very intensively, giving him hope that more than two of these vaccines will also be effective.

8:35 a.m. New COVID-19 restrictions for Toronto expected within days could include capacity limits on stores and malls, Mayor John Tory told CP24 on Monday.

Tory elaborated on comments to the Star a day earlier, saying city and Toronto Public Health officials talked to provincial counterparts over the weekend about new measures to halt “alarming” spread of the virus and an increase in deaths.

“I am trying my best with the medical officer, as are all the other people including the premier, to keep people healthy and to stop this very alarming situation from turning into a much worse disaster that would would take more lives,” he said.

“It’s getting into long-term care again and that would make many more people sick. And we want to keep the schools open too, that’s what we’re really trying hard to do because it’s good for the kids.”

Tory told CP24 that “a number” of measures are under discussion.

Read the full story from the Star’s David Rider

8:30 a.m. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he hopes that all nursing homes in England will be able to test visitors for coronavirus to allow them to see their loved ones “by Christmas.”

A pilot program in 20 nursing homes in the southern counties of Cornwall, Devon and Hampshire began Monday. Under it, regular testing will be offered to one family member or friend per resident, which the government hopes will support visits when combined with other COVID-prevention measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.

Hancock told BBC radio that the rollout will be “a challenge but we’ve got to make sure the right rules and protocols are in place so that the testing keeps people safe.”

Around 20,000 people are thought to have died in Britain’s nursing homes during the first wave of the pandemic. Most of the country’s nursing homes are run by the private sector.

8:25 a.m. Coronavirus infections in Russia have hit a new record as a region in Siberia has shut down some non-essential businesses for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 22,778 new coronavirus cases on Monday and a total of over 1.9 million confirmed infections. The task force has also registered nearly 33,500 COVID-19 deaths. The resurgence of the virus has swept through the country since September, with the number of daily new cases increasing from roughly 5,000 in early September to over 22,000 this week.

Russian authorities have said there were no plans to introduce a second nationwide lockdown, but on Monday the Siberian republic of Buryatia became the first region to close a wide range of non-essential businesses.

Buryatia authorities have ordered shut cafes, restaurants, bars, malls, cinemas, beauty parlours and saunas starting Monday and until the end of the month. Grocery stores, pharmacies and shops selling essential goods will be allowed to operate.

8 a.m. President-elect Joe Biden’s scientific advisers plan to meet with vaccine makers in coming days even as a stalled presidential transition keeps them out of the loop on government plans to inoculate all Americans against COVID-19.

President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept that he lost the election means that the Biden team lacks a clear picture of the groundwork within the government for a mass vaccination campaign that will last the better part of next year, says Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain.

“We now have the possibility … of a vaccine starting perhaps in December or January,” Klain said. “There are people at HHS making plans to implement that vaccine. Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th.”

A lack of co-ordination between outgoing and incoming administrations would be especially problematic in a worsening public health crisis, said the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“Of course it would be better if we could start working with them,” said Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been through multiple presidential transitions during 36 years of government service.

7:35 a.m. At the Bay Street private equity firm, it’s known as the Ontario-focused investment fund.

Inspired by a powerful demographic trend, Arch Corporation’s current venture aims to “generate stable long-term cash returns.”

The fund has already attracted $7.5 million from a Canadian “ultra high net worth family office” and another $25 million from “one of the largest, independent family-owned multinationals in the GCC” — an apparent reference to an economic alliance of Middle Eastern nations including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

What provincial industry is captivating exclusive investors?

Long-term care.

Read the full story from the Star’s Moira Welsh

7:05 a.m: For the second time this month, there’s promising news from a COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Moderna said Monday its shots provide strong protection, a dash of hope against the grim backdrop of coronavirus surges in the U.S. and around the world.

Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study. A week ago, competitor Pfizer Inc. announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared similarly effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S.

Dr. Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s president, welcomed the “really important milestone” but said having similar results from two different companies is what’s most reassuring.

“That should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives,” Hoge told The Associated Press.

“It won’t be Moderna alone that solves this problem. It’s going to require many vaccines” to meet the global demand, he added.

A vaccine can’t come fast enough, as virus cases topped 11 million in the U.S. over the weekend — 1 million of them recorded in just the past week. The pandemic has killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide, more than 245,000 of them in the U.S.

6:44 a.m. Olympic “participants” and fans arriving for next year’s postponed Tokyo Games will be encouraged to be vaccinated to protect the Japanese public, IOC President Thomas Bach said Monday.

Bach said it won’t be mandatory, but he left no doubt it will be strongly pushed.

Bach campaigned across Tokyo on Monday, his first visit to Japan since the Olympics were postponed almost eight months ago amid the coronavirus pandemic. He met support at all stops; from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Yoshiro Mori, the head of the local organizing committee and also a former prime minister.

“In order to protect the Japanese people and out of respect for the Japanese people, the IOC will undertake great effort so that as many (people) as possible — Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here (with a) vaccine, if by then a vaccine is available,” Bach said after talks with Suga.

“We want to convince as many foreign participants as possible to accept a vaccine,” Bach added later after meeting with Mori. “This makes us all very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympic stadia next year and that spectators will enjoy a safe environment.”

Bach lauded new advances in rapid testing as a boost to hold the games. He said Olympic participants would not be a priority for a vaccine ahead of “nurses and doctors and people who keep our society alive.” And he repeated several times that next year’s Olympics would be the “light at the end of this dark tunnel.”

Bach suggested the IOC would cover at least some of the costs of vaccination. But he said he did not yet know how much the one-year delay would cost. Reports in Japan estimate it will be $2 billion to $3 billion.

“This will take time,” he said. “It’s impossible now to have a sound figure.”

The most pointed question at a news conference with Bach went to Mori concerning a reported $1 million payment from the Tokyo bid committee — which landed the Olympics in 2013 — to the Jigoro Kano Memorial International Sports Institute. Mori heads the body.

Sitting next to Bach, Mori said he did now know about the body’s finances.

“That is not something that I directly oversee,” he replied.

French authorities have been investigating a bribery scandal linked to Tokyo’s winning bid. Last year, Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda was forced to resign after he acknowledged signing off on a $2 million payment to a consulting company based in Singapore. The consultant is believed to have channeled money to influence IOC votes.

Takeda denied any wrongdoing.

Monday was the first of two days of non-stop meetings for Bach in Tokyo; photo opportunities and meetings with politicians and organizers aimed at persuading a skeptical Japanese public that it’s safe to hold the Olympics during a pandemic.

The Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021, and Bach said he hoped to have a “reasonable number” of spectators at the venues. How many and from where is a decision that is still down the road.

A possible vaccine was announced last week by Pfizer Inc., which could greatly help the IOC and local organizers stage the Olympics. There have also been advances in rapid testing.

All of this is taking place as cases around the world surge heading into the Northern Hemisphere winter. Bach travelled to Tokyo on a chartered flight. He called off a trip last month to South Korea because of the virus’ spread in Europe.

Some athletes and fans from abroad may oppose any suggestion to take the vaccine, which Bach has hinted previously could be key for Olympic “solidarity.”

Japan has held baseball games recently with near-capacity crowds of 30,000 fans at some stadiums. It has also held an exhibition gymnastics meet with 22 athletes entering from abroad, attended by several thousand fans.

Japan has been largely spared during the pandemic with about 1,900 deaths attributed to COVID-19. It has also sealed off its borders until recently, and has almost 100% mask-wearing by the public.

Several polls have shown the Japanese public is ambivalent about the games, facing larger concerns like a slumping economy.

“Our determination is to realize the Tokyo Games next summer as proof that humanity has defeated the virus,” Suga said.

The Olympics and Paralympics involve 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and tens of thousands of coaches, officials, judges, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters entering Japan.

The IOC gets 73% of its income from television, which is a critical factor in its drive to hold the Olympics. American network NBC pays well over $1 billion for every Olympics.

Costs are also an issue with the Japanese public. A government audit report last year said the bill for preparing the Olympics could reach $25 billion. All but $5.6 billion is public money.

6:35 a.m.: In the early days of 2020, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic would take hold in Toronto and around the world, the Daily Bread Food Bank was concerned about its rising numbers.

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Food bank visits in Toronto were up five per cent over the previous year, and the numbers kept climbing.

By February, demand had reached levels not seen since the 2008-09 financial crisis.

The uptick — even as the economy was strong — was a major concern to Daily Bread’s board of directors, and at a February meeting they discussed ways to meet demand in the event of an unexpected economic shock.

“None of us had any concept of what was to happen,” said Neil Hetherington, Daily Bread’s CEO.

That unexpected shock arrived just one month later with the onset of COVID-19, and demand at food banks soared and have remained high throughout the crisis.

At the current rate, there will be more food bank visits in Toronto this year than ever before.

“They’re just crazy numbers right now,” Hetherington said.

Read the full story by the Star’s Brendan Kennedy here: Food bank visits were already up before COVID-19. Now they’re reaching record highs

6:21 a.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday he is “fit as a butcher’s dog” and firmly in control of the government, despite having to self-isolate because a contact has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Johnson, who is trying to suppress a new surge in U.K. coronavirus infections, quell turmoil within his Conservative Party and secure a trade deal with the European Union, said in a video message on Twitter that he had no COVID-19 symptoms. He said he would continue to govern using “Zoom and other forms of electronic communication.”

Johnson met with a small group of Conservative lawmakers for about 35 minutes on Thursday. One, Lee Anderson, subsequently developed coronavirus symptoms and tested positive.

Johnson said he was contacted by the national test-and-trace system Sunday and was following its order to self-isolate for 14 days even though he is “bursting with antibodies” after recovering from the virus earlier in the year.

“It doesn’t matter that we were all doing social distancing, it doesn’t matter that I’m fit as a butcher’s dog, feel great — so many people do in my circumstances,” he said.

Johnson said the fact he had been “pinged” by the test-and-trace network was evidence the much-criticized system was working. The system routinely fails to contact more than a third of infected people’s contacts.

Britain has recorded almost 52,000 deaths of people who tested positive for the virus, the highest toll in Europe.

Johnson spent a week in hospital with the coronavirus in April, including three nights in intensive care. He later thanked medics for saving his life when it “could have gone either way.”

Several other government ministers, officials and Downing Street staff also became sick with COVID-19 in the spring, including Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Officials say Downing Street is now a “COVID-secure workplace,” with staff observing social distancing measures and some working from home. But a photo released of Johnson’s meeting with Anderson shows the two did not wear masks and appear to be less than the recommended 2 metres (6 1/2 feet) apart.

People who recover from the virus are thought to have a level of immunity, but it’s unclear how long it lasts.

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said there have been more than 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reinfection globally, and that the actual reinfection rate is “quite a lot higher than that, but not enormous.”

Johnson had planned a series of meetings and announcements this week intended to reboot his premiership after losing two top aides in messy circumstances.

Chief adviser Dominic Cummings and communications director Lee Cain quit last week amid reports of power struggles inside Downing Street. Cummings and Cain were key players in the 2016 campaign to take Britain out of the European Union, and helped Johnson win a decisive election victory in December 2019.

But their combative style toward civil servants, lawmakers and the media made many enemies, and Johnson is likely to use their departure as a chance to rebuild relations.

He was also due to lead meetings to decide the next steps in Britain’s response to the coronavirus. A four-week nationwide lockdown for England is due to end Dec. 2, but it’s unclear whether it will have been enough to curb a surge in infections.

Meanwhile, U.K. and EU negotiators are meeting in Brussels try to seal a last-minute trade deal before Britain makes a financial break from the bloc on Dec. 31. The two sides have said a deal needs to be sealed within days if it is to be ratified by year’s end, but big differences remain on issues including fishing rights and competition rules.

If there is no deal, businesses on both sides of the English Channel will face tariffs and other barriers to trade starting Jan. 1. That would hurt economies on both sides, with the impact falling most heavily on the U.K., which does almost half of its trade with the 27-nation bloc.

Johnson had also planned this week to lead a televised news conference, announce new environmental policies including a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and meet with restive Conservative lawmakers from northern England, who want to see progress on promises to close the north-south economic divide.

5:15 a.m.: Three regions in the Toronto area join the COVID-19 red zone today.

The stricter public health measures come into effect in Hamilton, York and Halton regions.

Toronto joined Peel Region in the red alert level — the highest short of a full lockdown — on Saturday.

Another six regions, such as Durham and Waterloo, will move to the orange alert level, and six more, including Windsor-Essex and Sudbury, will join the yellow alert level.

Today’s developments come just days after Premier Doug Ford lowered the thresholds for his colour-coded restrictions system.

He said on Friday that recent COVID-19 projections show the province is “staring down the barrel of another lockdown.”

4:56 a.m. Amnesty International said Belgium authorities “abandoned” thousands of elderly people who died in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic following an investigation published Monday that described the situation as “human rights violations.”

One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported more than 531,000 confirmed virus cases and more than 14,400 deaths linked to the coronavirus. During the first wave of the pandemic last spring, the European nation of 11.5 million people recorded a majority of its COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes.

Between March and October, Amnesty International said “a staggering” 61.3% of all COVID-19 deaths in Belgium took place in nursing homes. The group said authorities weren’t quick enough in implementing measures to protect nursing home residents and staff during this period, failing to protect their human rights.

Amnesty International said one of the reasons so many people died in homes is because infected residents weren’t transferred to hospitals to receive treatment.

“The results of our investigation allow us to affirm that (care homes) and their residents were abandoned by our authorities until this tragedy was publicly denounced and the worst of the first phase of the pandemic was over,” said Philippe Hensmans, the director of Amnesty International Belgium.

When the virus struck Europe hard in March, Belgium was caught off guard and unprepared, faced with a critical shortage of personal protective equipment. As infections surged across the country, nursing homes were quickly overwhelmed by the frenetic pace of contamination as local authorities even requested the help of Belgian armed forces to cope.

Belgium had one of the highest death rates worldwide during the first wave. But while nursing home staff was overwhelmed, the country’s hospitals weathered the crisis, as their intensive care units never reached their 2,000-bed capacity. Vincent Fredericq, the general secretary of the care homes federation Femarbel, told Amnesty International that many residents in need of medical assistance were left behind.

“Everyone was struck by the images of the Italian and Spanish hospitals,” he said. “These situations had a great impact on our federal decision-makers, who said from the outset that it was absolutely necessary to avoid overloading intensive care. Nursing homes have been relegated to second line and residents and staff have been the victims.”

Amnesty International based its investigation on testimonies from nursing home residents and staff, employees of non-governmental organizations defending residents’ rights and directors of nursing homes. The group also spoke with families of elderly people currently living in homes or who died during the pandemic. Most of the people interviewed asked to remain anonymous so that they could speak freely.

Quoting figures released by Doctors Without Borders, the group said only 57% of serious cases in care homes were transferred to hospitals because of “a harmful interpretation of sorting guidelines.”

“Some older people have probably died prematurely as a result,” Amnesty International said. “It took months before a circular explicitly stated that transfer to hospital was still possible, if it was in accordance with the patient’s interests and wishes, regardless of age.”

Maggie De Block, the former Belgian health minister in charge during the early months of the pandemic, refuted last month accusations that access to hospitals was denied to nursing home residents.

“There has never been a message either from the federal government or from my regional colleagues saying that we should not hospitalize people who need it, or that we can refuse elderly or disabled people,” she told local media RTBF.

The prime minister’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

More than half of the care providers quizzed during the group’s investigation said they didn’t receive training on how to use protective equipment and weren’t sufficiently informed about the virus. Amnesty International said systematic testing of nursing home employees in Belgium wasn’t introduced before August, with only one test per month.

One nursing home resident identified as Henriette told Amnesty International that she was afraid every time a care worker came in that they would bring the virus in with them.

The group also noted that the restrictive measures limiting family visits had negative repercussions on many residents’ health. Some relatives told Amnesty International that when they were allowed back, they realized their loved ones had been neglected because staffers were overwhelmed.

“It was very difficult for my husband to eat alone. As time went by, he lost weight,” the wife of one resident said. “When I asked the staff about it, a care worker told me: ‘We can’t feed everyone every day.”

4:00 a.m. New measures take effect in Saskatchewan today to fight COVID-19.

Effective Monday and continuing for the next 28 days, masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces in any community with a population of more than 5,000.

Restaurants and bars must also stop selling alcohol by 10 p.m. and make sure everyone has finished their drinks by 11.

Rules are also being tightened for gyms, and schools with more than 600 students are being asked to reduce in-class learning.

After the new measures were announced on Friday, hundreds of doctors who signed a letter earlier in the week urging stronger action penned a new letter saying the rules are not enough.

Premier Scott Moe said in a tweet Sunday that “further measures are being considered” in consultation with public health officials.

Sunday 9:11 p.m. A massive surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days wasn’t enough to deter some revelers in Brampton from gathering in large groups to celebrate Diwali on Saturday night.

Peel police Const. Akhil Mooken said the city’s bylaw office and police dispatchers received several complaints from residents about large gatherings in violation of COVID-19 laws.

“We did receive several complaints in regard to noise complaints (and) breaching of the provincial guidelines when it comes to gathering limits,” he said.

“Our partners from the municipal bylaw team are primarily responsible for enforcing those, but we were called up on by them to assist at several places of worship to assist them in dispersing the large crowds that had gathered,” Mooken added.

Read the full story here.

Catch up on Sunday’s developments here

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Goff throws for three touchdowns in Rams’ win vs. Buccaneers – Sportsnet.ca

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TAMPA, Fla. — Jared Goff threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns, and Matt Gay kicked a 40-yard field goal with 2:36 remaining to give the Los Angeles Rams a 27-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

Goff completed 39 of 51 passes, including short scoring throws to Robert Woods, Van Jefferson and Cam Akers. The Rams’ defence pressured Tom Brady all night and sealed the win with rookie safety Jordan Fuller’s second interception of the six-time Super Bowl champion.

“I was just in my zone, and the quarterback ended up throwing it in my direction,” Fuller said. “I was just telling myself, `Don’t drop it, don’t drop it, don’t drop it.’ The second one was kind of the same. I was just reading the quarterback’s eyes and was able to go out there and get it.”

Cooper Kupp had 11 receptions for 145 yards and Woods finished with 10 catches for 130 yards to help the Rams climb back into first place in the NFC West. Both caught passes on the eight-play, 53-yard drive Goff led to move Los Angeles into position for Gay’s winning kick.

Brady was 26 of 48 for 216 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams sacked him once after getting to Russell Wilson six times in the previous week’s 23-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

“Disappointed. I have to do a better job,” Brady said.

Tampa Bay was limited to a touchdown and field goal in the second half, both set up by interceptions thrown by Goff.

“They did a good job preventing (the big play),” Brady said. “They play a defence that makes them tough to hit. Not impossible, but we didn’t hit any.”

Gay, a 2019 Bucs draft pick who was released after a rookie season marked by inconsistency, is the Rams’ third kicker in four weeks.

“I found out on Monday that the Rams were bringing me in,” Gay said. “It was a quick flight so I could begin testing so I could be eligible for the game. Saturday was the first day I could be in the building. Luckily we played Monday night.”

The Bucs (7-4) fell to 1-3 in four prime-time games despite avoiding the type of slow start that hurt them in losses to the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints and nearly cost them in a narrow victory over the New York Giants.

Coach Bruce Arians adjusted the team’s preparation schedule last week, holding two practices at night — one at Raymond James Stadium.

“Everybody is disappointed. Everybody was ready to play,” Arians said. “We played a good football team. Nobody’s head is down.”

Brady answered a 10-play, 80-yard, 7-minute, 55-second drive Goff led to give the Rams a 7-0 lead with a couple of long scoring drives of his own to put the Bucs up 14-7 with a 9-yard TD pass to Mike Evans.

Goff threw first-half TD passes to Woods and Jefferson, then used Woods’ 20-yard catch and run to the Tampa Bay 20 to set up Gay’s 38-yard field goal as time expired to give Los Angeles a 17-14 lead at halftime.

With the Bucs trailing 24-17, Brady took advantage of Goff throwing his second interception of the night. Chris Godwin’s 13-yard TD catch made it 24-all, setting the stage for Goff to move the Rams downfield for the go-ahead field goal.

HISTORIC CREW

An all-Black officiating crew worked an NFL game for the first time in league history.

Referee Jerome Boger led the crew, which also included umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, field judge Dale Shaw, side judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.

The members of Monday night’s officiating crew have a combined 89 seasons of NFL experience and have worked six Super Bowls.

The first Black official in any major sport was Burl Toler, hired by the NFL in 1965.

INJURIES

Rams: Did not announce any injuries during the game.

Buccaneers: LG Ali Marpet missed his third consecutive game due to a concussion. … LT Donovan Smith injured his left ankle on the first offensive play of the game, but returned. … CB Jamel Dean left in the third quarter with a concussion.

UP NEXT

Rams: Host NFC West rival San Francisco next Sunday.

Buccaneers: Remain at home to host defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City on Sunday.

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Goff, defence leads Rams to win over Brady and Bucs – TSN

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TAMPA, Fla. — Jared Goff likes how the Los Angeles Rams are shaping up.

“We can be as good as we want to be, honestly,” the fifth-year quarterback said after Monday night’s 27-24 victory over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We’ve got it all in front of us. Everything is there for us to take.”

Goff threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns, and Matt Gay kicked a 40-yard field goal with 2:36 remaining to lift the Rams back into first place in the NFC West.

Goff completed 39 of 51 passes, including short scoring throws to Robert Woods, Van Jefferson and Cam Akers. The Rams’ defence pressured Brady all night and sealed the win with rookie safety Jordan Fuller’s second interception of the six-time Super Bowl champion.

Goff threw a pair of interceptions, too, helping the Bucs remain close in the second half.

But when the Rams (7-3) needed him to stand tall, he rebounded to lead them right down the field to retake the lead after Brady tied it with his second TD pass.

“I’ve always believed in myself in any situation, but when you actually do it in a tough environment, it makes you feel good,” Goff said.

“Jared just continued to demonstrate resilience,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I love the fact he was outstanding from the jump. We had that one little mistake, and he just kept competing. What he did in terms of leading us down the field at the most important moment was critical.”

Cooper Kupp had 11 receptions for 145 yards and Woods finished with 10 catches for 130 yards. Both caught passes on the eight-play, 53-yard drive Goff led to move Los Angeles into position for Gay’s winning kick.

Brady was 26 of 48 for 216 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams sacked him once after getting to Russell Wilson six times in the previous week’s 23-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

“Disappointed. I have to do a better job,” Brady said.

Tampa Bay was limited to a touchdown and field goal in the second half, both set up by interceptions thrown by Goff.

“They did a good job preventing (the big play),” Brady said. “They play a defence that makes them tough to hit. Not impossible, but we didn’t hit any.”

Gay, a 2019 Bucs draft pick who was released after a rookie season marked by inconsistency, is the Rams’ third kicker in four weeks.

“I found out on Monday that the Rams were bringing me in,” Gay said. ”It was a quick flight so I could begin testing so I could be eligible for the game. Saturday was the first day I could be in the building. Luckily we played Monday night.”

The Bucs (7-4) fell to 1-3 in four prime-time games despite avoiding the type of slow start that hurt them in losses to the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints and nearly cost them in a narrow victory over the New York Giants.

Coach Bruce Arians adjusted the team’s preparation schedule last week, holding two practices at night — one at Raymond James Stadium.

“Everybody is disappointed. Everybody was ready to play,” Arians said. “We played a good football team. Nobody’s head is down.”

Brady answered a 10-play, 80-yard, 7-minute, 55-second drive Goff led to give the Rams a 7-0 lead with a couple of long scoring drives of his own to put the Bucs up 14-7 with a 9-yard TD pass to Mike Evans.

Goff threw first-half TD passes to Woods and Jefferson, then used Woods’ 20-yard catch and run to the Tampa Bay 20 to set up Gay’s 38-yard field goal as time expired to give Los Angeles a 17-14 lead at halftime.

With the Bucs trailing 24-17, Brady took advantage of Goff throwing his second interception of the night. Chris Godwin’s 13-yard TD catch made it 24-all, setting the stage for Goff to move the Rams downfield for the go-ahead field goal.

Fuller, a sixth-round draft pick who came off injured reserve last week, ensured Los Angeles improved to 32-0 when leading at halftime under McVay.

“I was just in my zone, and the quarterback ended up throwing it in my direction,” said Fuller, who interestingly — like Brady — was selected 199th overall in the draft.

“I was just telling myself, ‘Don’t drop it, don’t drop it, don’t drop it.’ The second one was kind of the same,” Fuller added. “I was just reading the quarterback’s eyes and was able to go out there and get it.”

HISTORIC CREW

An all-Black officiating crew worked an NFL game for the first time in league history.

Referee Jerome Boger led the crew, which also included umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, side judge Dale Shaw, field judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.

The members of Monday night’s officiating crew have a combined 89 seasons of NFL experience and have worked six Super Bowls.

The first Black official in any major sport was Burl Toler, hired by the NFL in 1965.

INJURIES

Rams: Did not announce any injuries during the game.

Buccaneers: LG Ali Marpet missed his third consecutive game due to a concussion. … LT Donovan Smith injured his left ankle on the first offensive play of the game, but returned. … CB Jamel Dean left in the third quarter with a concussion.

UP NEXT

Rams: Host NFC West rival San Francisco next Sunday.

Buccaneers: Remain at home to host defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City on Sunday.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Raptors smoothly mix present and future in pivoting from Gasol and Ibaka to Baynes, Len – Toronto Sun

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The Bucks, finalist Miami, Raptor-beaters Boston, a more balanced Philadelphia squad and Brooklyn should all be solid and another team or two usually are a lot better than expected, but this Raptors group should be in the mix in the East.

Of course getting back to where they want to be, contenders again for the NBA title, will take that second part of the plan paying off next off-season.

In the meantime, expect a competitive, fundamentally sound, reasonably deep Toronto Raptors team to take the court in Tampa Bay in 2020-21.

Considering who has exited, that doesn’t sound too bad.

BOOSTING THE BENCH

The Raptors should have an intriguing bench after adding centre Alex Len and guard/forward DeAndre Bembry to the mix.

Len, a 7-footer who split last season with Atlanta and Sacramento, was once highly-regarded enough to be in contention for the first pick of the 2013 draft by Cleveland. He ended up going fifth to Phoenix and has averaged eight points and 6.3 rebounds in 467 games. Injuries have been a major factor for the Ukraine native, but when he plays he has shown he can defend, rebound, score inside and step out with mixed success.

He’ll backup fellow newcomer Aron Baynes, with Canadian Chris Boucher likely to split time between power forward and centre.

Bembry, 6-foot-5, is known for his effort level, defence and athleticism. He can handle the ball a bit and create, but has struggled to shoot from everywhere on the floor aside from right at the rim, where he’s a good finisher. Bembry has shot just 27% from three in 189 career games, but with the status of two other potential Nick Nurse options uncertain, could be in the mix for some playing time.

Guard Terence Davis is facing legal issues and the Raptors will make a call on whether to cut or keep him by Nov. 29. Nurse favourite Patrick McCaw has not played since March due to a knee issue.

@WolstatSun

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