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Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 105 new cases’ Canadian MPs, medical experts urge Ottawa to give green-light to human vaccine ‘challenge trials’ – Toronto Star




  • 10:20 a.m.: Ontario reports 105 new cases

  • 6:20 a.m.: Ottawa urged to allow trials of unproven vaccines

  • 6:16 a.m.: South Korea counts 11th straight day of triple-digit jumps

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.

10:20 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 105 cases of COVID-19, a 0.3 per cent increase as the province processed nearly 18,800 tests. Locally, 30 of Ontario’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 19 reporting no new cases.

9:42 a.m. An appeal hearing for former FIFA official Ricardo Teixeira to challenge his life ban for bribery was delayed because his lawyers face a 10-day quarantine in Switzerland if they arrived from Brazil.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it was unclear when the hearing scheduled for Monday could go ahead.

Teixeira’s legal team wants to present his case in person, though the former 2014 World Cup organizing committee leader was not expected to attend. He faces arrest in Switzerland nearly five years after being indicted on financial conspiracy charges by the U.S. Department of Justice. Teixeira has evaded extradition to the United States.

Arrivals in Switzerland from around 50 countries, including Brazil, are currently required to quarantine.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Brazil of more than 114,000 people is second only to the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.

9:34 a.m. Parents living in low-income highrises in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park community are worried about sending their children back to school this fall.

Not only are they fretting over the possibility their youngsters could come in contact with the coronavirus in class, they’re also concerned about getting their kids to school on time, given the new rules about social distancing in their buildings’ elevators.

Residents are already accustomed to packed elevators at the best of times. Social distancing rules calling for no more than two or three people in an elevator at a time will only exacerbate problems when school resumes, parents in the highly populated Thorncliffe Park community say.

There are about 35 mid-rise and highrise buildings in Thorncliffe, an area near Eglinton Avenue East and Overlea Boulevard, with a population of just over 21,000, according to census figures. The median household income is about $47,000 a year compared to $66,000 annually for all of Toronto.

Some residents who reached out to the Star recently said that before COVID, they often left earlier in the morning with their children for school, because the elevators are so slow and unreliable.

Read the full story from the Star’s Donovan Vincent

9:30 a.m. Having more kids in a classroom could exponentially increase the number of COVID-19 cases, says new mathematical modelling by researchers at Waterloo and Guelph universities.

The modelling was based on classes of eight, 15 and 30 students in a small primary school, with children attending either full time or on a hybrid schedule that mixes in-class and online instruction.

The researchers concluded that in a low-transmission situation — with social distancing, masks and stringent cleaning in place — a small school of 50 students with classes of eight students attending full-time could expect five cases, resulting in 9.5 days of lost instruction per student during an outbreak.

In the hybrid scenario, where students attend halftime, four cases would be expected, resulting in 9.25 missed days per student.

When class is bumped up to 15 students attend full-time, the modelling suggests some 14 cases would lead to 18 instructional days lost per student.

Read the full story from the Star’s Kris Rushowy

9:28 a.m. In case you missed it, earlier this month Canadian researchers demoted the BMI (Body Mass Index) as a diagnostic tool.

The news came in the form of a publication in the Canadian Medical Association Journal called “Obesity in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline,” co-authored by over 60 practitioners, advocates and researchers from a range of fields who recommended doctors change the way they diagnose and, by extension, treat obesity.

The upshot? Tired: BMI; Wired: Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS).

What’s the difference between the two classification systems? More than you think. The EOSS isn’t a tweak or an update, it’s actually an overhaul that could change the way we think about fat and a signal that we might finally rid ourselves of BMI, a controversial diagnostic tool that has been under fire for decades.

Read the full story: Why BMI is outdated and what that means for COVID-19

9:25 a.m. The Tokyo Skytree was lighted in red, green and blue on Monday to mark one year to go for the opening of the Paralympic Games.A man was infected with the coronavirus after recovering from an initial bout in April in what scientists said was the first case showing that re-infection may occur within a few months.

The Olympics and Paralympics were to take place this year but have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tokyo Olympic organizers have also announced that the Olympic flame that has been in Tokyo since it arrived from Greece in March will go on display beginning on Sept. 1 at the Japanese Olympic Museum in Tokyo.

Organizers say the flame will remain there until Nov. 1. It is not clear where it will be located after that.

The Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021, with the Paralympics opening on Aug. 24.

9:21 a.m. The 33-year-old’s second SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected via airport screening on his return to Hong Kong from Europe this month. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong used genomic sequence analysis to prove that he had been infected by two different strains. The information technology worker didn’t develop any symptoms from his second infection, which might indicate any “subsequent infections may be milder,” the researchers said.

“Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in humans,” Kwok-Yung Yuen and colleagues said Monday in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The findings are reminiscent of the coronaviruses that cause the common cold, and suggest SARS-CoV-2 may continue to circulate “even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection or via vaccination,” they said.

While some patients have tested positive for the virus over many weeks, even after their symptoms have resolved, scientists haven’t fully understood whether these cases reflect lingering traces of the virus, a re-eruption of an infection, or a new infection.

This is “the world’s first documentation of a patient who recovered from Covid-19, but got another episode of COVID-19 afterwards,” the researchers said in an emailed statement.

9:08 a.m. Anxiety over the uncertainties of going back to school or participating in sports or other extracurricular activities is hitting young people in the gut. Children’s Health in Dallas is currently seeing an increase in patients with stomach issues, including chronic diarrhea and constipation, caused by high levels of anxiety.

And experts say that as parents weigh whether to send their children back to school or get involved in sports, they should consider the emotional health of the child as well as the physical risks.

Some children will get “very, very stressed out” at the prospect of going back to school and attending in-person classes “because the anxiety of ‘Oh, I’m going to get COVID and die,’ is just so pervasive,” said Dr. Rini Sanghavi, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Health.

The anxiety-induced, or psychosomatic, painSouth Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases , can take the form of headaches, as well as abdominal or lower back distress. In extreme cases, the pain causes havoc in the lives of those affected. Some are elite athletes, who can’t go back to their sport or dance. And some even become wheelchair-bound because the pain is so crippling.

Stomach problems are a common symptom of stress and anxiety. Everybody at some point feels “butterflies in the stomach,” but severe anxiety can cause debilitating pain that limits mobility.

Read the full story

8:30 a.m. (updated) Monday and health officials pleaded for people to follow guidelines or risk further restrictions or strains on hospitals.

Most of the 266 new cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, but new infections were also reported in other major cities, including Busan, Daejeon and Sejong.

KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it’s likely the country will continue to report huge infection numbers in coming days as health workers scramble to trace and test contacts of virus carriers.

She pleaded people to stay home unless for essential reasons, wear masks if they do, and maintain distance between other individuals so that “students could continue to learn, small merchants could continue to do business and to prevent the medical system from collapsing.”

The 397 new cases reported on Sunday was South Korea’s highest single-day total since March 7, during an outbreak that was largely limited to its southeastern region and was stabilized by April. Officials consider the current outbreak South Korea’s biggest crisis since the emergence of COVID-19, given the population density of the capital region and the spread of the virus among more varied sources.

The country since Sunday has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide.

7:44 a.m. A tsunami of job cuts is about to hit Europe as companies prepare to carry out sweeping downsizing plans to offset a collapse in business from the outbreak. Government-backed furlough schemes that have helped keep around one-third of Europe’s workforce financially secure are set to unwind in the coming months.

As many as 59 million jobs are at risk of cuts in hours or pay, temporary furloughs, or permanent layoffs, especially in industries like transportation and retail, according to a study by McKinsey & Co.

Governments are warning that millions will soon lose paychecks, and the European Central Bank last week said unemployment was likely to surge and stay high even when a recovery from the pandemic unfolds.

“Europe has been successful at dampening the initial effects of the crisis,” said John Hurley, senior research manager at Eurofound, the research arm of the European Union. “But in all likelihood, unemployment is going to come home to roost, especially when the generous furlough programs start to ease off,” he said.

“There’s going to be a shakeout,” he added, “and it’s going to be fairly ugly.”

Compared with the United States, which lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone, the furlough programs in the EU have prevented unemployment from going off the charts. Germany, France, Denmark and Britain are among countries that have employed so-called short-work schemes, effectively nationalizing the paychecks of about 60 million private-sector employees.

7:22 a.m. Global stocks and U.S. equity futures advanced Monday, putting the S&P 500 index on track to hit an all-time high, as investors’ optimism about a potential treatment for the coronavirus buoyed markets.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.9 per cent, suggesting that the U.S. stocks benchmark may open higher after closing at a record on Friday. Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 1.7 per cent, while most major Asian markets closed higher.

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday said it authorized use of convalescent plasma, the antibody-rich blood component taken from recovered Covid-19 patients, for the treatment of serious coronavirus cases. The emergency-use authorization falls short of a full approval, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said, adding that the agency will evaluate more evidence.

Investors and economists also continue to weigh data on new coronavirus infections in a bid to determine how sustainable any economic recovery may prove. The number of new cases in the U.S. declined from a day before, reaching its lowest level in more than two months and notching a ninth straight day with fewer than 50,000 new cases.



6:22 a.m.: When demand for PPE was at its highest, the pandemic had compromised global supply chains, but these Hamilton scientists stepped up. Now this innovative centre at McMaster University is paving the way for what the future of masks, shields and gowns should look like.

Read the full story from the Star’s Johanna Chisholm.

6:21 a.m.: A lack of child care and a culture that praises perfect attendance made toughing it out, from kindergarten on, the norm in a pre-COVID world.

But those days are over. The threat of outbreaks looms over this September, especially as nearly two-thirds of GTA families plan to send kids back to in-person learning.

A student with even one minor symptom — from a sore throat to an upset stomach — could jeopardize an entire school. A new zero-tolerance regime will mean many more absences and huge challenges for families as they try to navigate the shift. But it could also bring some unexpected silver linings if school boards, and employers, can be flexible.

Read the full story from the Star’s May Warren here.

6:20 a.m.: Canadian health authorities should allow controversial human “challenge” trials of unproven COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the global search for a vaccine that works, says a group of MPs and Canadian medical experts.

Nearly a dozen infectious disease specialists and members of Parliament — some also physicians — signed an op-ed published Monday by the Toronto Star urging Ottawa to give the green-light to human “challenge trials” that would deliberately expose healthy volunteers to the coronavirus after being injected with as-yet unapproved vaccines.

Although medical ethicists question the risks to participants and the overall value of such trials, advocates argue it could lead to swifter conclusions about the effectiveness of vaccine candidates and prevent millions of deaths that could occur while the world awaits the results of conventional clinical research trials.

“Being overly cautious can also cost lives,” they wrote.

Read the story from the Star’s Tonda MacCharles here.

6:18 a.m.: A young child died due to complications from coronavirus in June, the first confirmed death of a minor in Iowa during the pandemic, the state health department belatedly announced Sunday evening.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said the state medical examiner’s office concluded its case investigation Aug. 6 into the death of the child, who was under the age of 5. But the death wasn’t reported in the state’s statistics until Saturday, more than two weeks later.

“The child’s death was publicly reported this weekend after ensuring the individual’s identity would remain protected and notifying the family,” the department said in a statement. “We have made every effort to protect the identity of this child, while the family grieves this devastating loss. Again, we send our sincerest condolences.”

The confirmation of the state’s first child death comes one day before dozens of school districts are prepared to begin the school year on Monday — a development that has many educators and parents already on edge.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered schools to reopen for at least 50 per cent in-person instruction, despite a pandemic that has already killed 1,036 people and seen infections soar in recent days.

6:20 a.m.: India registered 61,408 additional cases Monday, driving the country’s virus tally past 3.1 million. The Health Ministry also reported 836 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 57,542.

India has been recording at least 60,000 new infections per day from the last two weeks. Western Maharashtra state and three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are the worst-hit regions. The country has largely reopened its economy, though with restrictions mainly in place for infection hot spots.

6:17 a.m.: The lockdown of New Zealand’s largest city has been extended by four days as authorities try to stamp out a coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the two-week lockdown of Auckland, which was due to end Wednesday, will continue through Sunday. She said authorities need to be sure they have found the perimeter of the outbreak and that few cases occur outside of those detected by contact tracing. Masks will be mandated on public transit beginning next week. Ardern said the restrictions in place for the rest of the country would continue for now. New Zealand went 102 days without any community transmission of the virus before the Auckland cluster surfaced this month. Health authorities on Monday reported nine new virus cases.

6:16 a.m.: South Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases Monday after social distancing restrictions were tightened nationwide.

Most of the 266 new cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, but new infections were also reported in other major cities, including Busan, Daejeong and Sejong.

KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it’s likely the country will continue to report huge infection numbers in coming days as health workers scramble to trace and test contacts of virus carriers.

Officials consider the current outbreak South Korea’s biggest crisis since the emergence of COVID-19, given the population density of the capital region and the spread of the virus among various sources.

The country since Sunday has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide.

6:15 a.m.: Masks will be mandatory in most indoor public spaces across Newfoundland and Labrador starting today.

The rule applies to retail stores, public transportation, fitness centres and movie theatres, among other places where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The province says anyone above the age of five will need to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth in these settings.

Authorities have set out some exemptions to the rule, including for people with health conditions.

The mandatory mask regulation aims to stem the potential spread of COVID-19.

Newfoundland and Labrador last reported a case of COVID-19 on Aug. 10 and there were no active cases in the province as of Sunday.

5:34 a.m. Chicago’s tourism season may wrap up early as hotels and some city attractions, struggling with fewer visitors and revenue losses, consider shutting down for the remainder of the year.

The Chicago Athletic Association hotel has shut down again, with plans to reopen in the first quarter of 2021. Wendella Sightseeing Co. said it’s considering winding down its seasonal boat tours early. And on Tuesday, Navy Pier announced it would close Sept. 8 until the spring. Industry leaders say the effect of the early closures will ripple through the local economy.

Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, said Navy Pier’s closure is a “precursor to other tourism entities.”

“As in the case with Navy Pier, they tried to reopen but the math doesn’t add up. We’re heading into the winter months, and it won’t make sense for some of these places to stay open,” he said.

Jacobson said social distancing recommendations, which are likely to continue through the end of the year, and the coming colder weather will make it harder to attract travelers. Chicago’s quarantine rules regarding states with high infection rates further hinders hotels’ chance to rebound, he said.

“It won’t surprise me if they don’t open until next year. Some might choose not to reopen until the demand is there. Hotels might be losing more money to stay open,” Jacobson said.

Read Sunday’s rolling file

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Canada adds 1,796 new coronavirus cases, highest total yet for second wave



Canada reported a total of 1,796 new cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, the highest daily total seen since the spring and proof that the second surge of the pandemic may be just beginning.

The country has now seen a total of 158,592 COVID-19 infections to date. Of those, 134,971 patients have since recovered — 1,234 of them over the past 24 hours, according to provincial health officials.

Six more deaths were also reported Wednesday, bringing the national death toll to 9,297.

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned the country last week that the four biggest provinces have entered a second wave, cases have only escalated.

Ontario and Quebec, in particular, have returned to levels seen during the pandemic’s peak in April, with Ontario surpassing those record daily totals this week. British Columbia has also surpassed its springtime peak, although the number of active cases has started to trend slightly downward again.

Ontario, which reported 625 new cases and four new deaths Wednesday, released new modelling the same day projecting the province could see up to 1,000 cases a day in October unless people adhere to stricter measures.

The province has seen a total of 51,710 cases and 2,848 deaths to date, while 43,907 patients have recovered.

Quebec reported 838 new infections, one of its highest daily counts ever, and one additional death that occurred last week. The province continues to lead the country in cases, at 74,288, and deaths, which have hit 5,834. A total of 62,564 people have recovered.

Montreal, Quebec City and parts of the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec are going into “red zone” partial lockdowns at midnight Thursday, meaning bars, restaurants and other public spaces will be closed for 28 days in an effort to drive down infections.

In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador each reported one new case, while New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had no new cases to report.

Nova Scotia has now seen a total of 1,088 cases and 65 deaths to date, while Newfoundland and Labrador has reported 274 cases and three deaths. New Brunswick, which has seen two deaths, and P.E.I. are sitting at 200 and 59 cases, respectively.

Nearly all of those Atlantic cases have recovered, leaving just 12 active cases across four provinces.

In Manitoba, 40 new cases were reported, bringing its total to 1,993. Twenty people have died in the province to date, while 1,374 have recovered.

Saskatchewan saw 14 new cases Wednesday. A total of 1,913 cases and 24 deaths have been recorded since March, with 1,750 recoveries.

Further west, Alberta reported 153 new cases and one more death, taking the province’s totals to 18,062 infections and 267 fatalities. To date, 16,213 patients have recovered.

In British Columbia, officials announced 124 lab-confirmed cases and an additional “epidemiologically linked” case, meaning it has not been confirmed by laboratory testing.

The province has now seen 8,972 confirmed cases and 166 epi-linked cases, along with 234 deaths and 7,591 recoveries.

None of the three territories reported cases Wednesday.

The Yukon has seen 15 cases and the Northwest Territories has a total of five, yet all of those recovered months ago. The Northwest Territories is approaching six full months without reporting a new case.

While Nunavut remains the only jurisdiction without any local confirmed cases of COVID-19, the territory has not fully escaped the virus. Three confirmed cases and seven presumptive cases have been reported among workers at local mines who are based out of province, with health officials considering them part of their home provinces’ numbers.

As provinces wrestle with additional measures and restrictions to try and contain the spread of the virus, the federal government is attempting to provide support through testing and contact tracing.

Under fire for not answering the call for rapid test expansion sooner, Health Canada on Wednesday approved a rapid coronavirus test that can detect the respiratory illness in as few as 13 minutes.

The news comes one day after Ottawa announced it had signed a deal securing up to 7.9 million Abbott ID Now COVID-19 rapid tests once they were approved by Canadian health officials.

When the tests will be in the hands of health professionals — and how they will be distributed — is not yet known.

Global cases approach 34 million

Worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic is showing few signs that is slowing its spread, recording hundreds of thousands of new cases daily.

Globally, over 33.8 million cases and more than 1.01 million deaths have been reported in nearly 190 countries since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, over nine months ago, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Click to play video 'Canadians fear impact of second wave of COVID-19'

The United States continues to lead the world in cases, with over 7.2 million, while its death toll also leads the world with nearly 207,000.

India, which has seen over 6.2 million cases and nearly 97,500 deaths, and Brazil’s 4.7 million cases and 142,900 deaths, round out the top three hardest-hit countries on the planet.

The World Health Organization has said it’s “not impossible” to see another million deaths from the virus by the time an effective, readily available vaccine is introduced, which experts have said may not happen until next year.



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Health Canada approves rapid COVID testing device as Canada braces for caseload spikes –



Health Canada regulators today approved the ID NOW rapid COVID-19 testing device for use in this country — a move that could result in millions more tests for communities grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases.

The Abbott Laboratories-backed point-of-care devices can be administered by trained professionals at places like pharmacies, walk-in clinics and doctors’ offices without the need for a laboratory to determine if someone is infected with the virus.

The approval comes only a day after the federal government announced that it would buy some 7.9 million ID NOW tests from the U.S.-based firm for distribution in Canada.

A nasal or throat specimen is collected from a patient on a swab and plugged into the ID NOW’s analyzer, which can detect the presence of the virus. The molecular devices can produce COVID results in 15 minutes.

To date, the vast majority of tests have been done at public health clinics, with samples then sent to laboratories for analysis — a process that can take days.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday that the purchase was designed to help the provinces and territories offer more testing options as some cities face hours-long lines at public health testing centres.

Speaking in question period today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is expecting to receive the first batch of these Abbott tests “in the coming weeks.”

Abbott has already shipped more than seven million ID NOW tests to all 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories.

Trudeau said the government has earmarked more money for Health Canada to expedite the approvals process for “new technologies” like these diagnostic devices.

Health experts and the opposition Conservatives have said Health Canada’s regulatory process has been too slow to this point. Other Western nations have had such tests for months.

WATCH: Conservatives call on Trudeau to approve more rapid tests

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner questioned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the testing approvals. Trudeau confirmed that Health Canada has approved the Abbott Labs rapid test. 2:34

Trudeau said his government put “science first” to protect Canadians from faulty devices. He said regulators were not pressured to approve the device after the multi-million dollar order for Abbott’s test.

The United States Food and Drug Administration first issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Abbott for the ID NOW device at the end of March — just one of 248 such authorizations the U.S. has issued for testing devices since the onset of the pandemic. Only three point-of-care tests have been authorized for use in Canada.

Some researchers have said this Abbott device has led to false positives in a small number of cases. The FDA re-issued a revised EUA on Sept. 18, saying that the test should be administered within the first seven days of the onset of symptoms.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford: “Health Canada [has] got to move faster, quicker, please. We’re in a crisis.” (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford praised Abbott as a group of “incredible folks.”

The premier also said he’s eager to see Health Canada approve another form of testing that could be used outside of health care settings: antigen devices which — like the ID NOW device — can produce COVID results in minutes.

The regulator hasn’t yet approved any antigen tests. In fact, Health Canada only posted guidance for antigen device manufacturers to its website yesterday, seven months into the pandemic.

Ford said he wants to send antigen tests to high-risk places — such as some workplaces and schools — to identify positive cases early enough to avoid further spread.

“I think it’s an absolute game-changer for the education system, for long-term care. It’s absolutely critical. My frustration is, how can regulatory authorities in countries around the world approve this? How can the U.S. regulatory bodies approve this, and everyone’s getting it, and it’s taking this long to go through Health Canada?” Ford said.

“People can know in 15 minutes. Imagine that. Think about going to a pharmacy, getting the test, waiting outside, and coming back in in 15 minutes and you have your results. Why it’s taking so long is just beyond me.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to always pick on Health Canada but they’ve got to move faster, quicker, please. We’re in a crisis.”

Ford said he was told Health Canada is reluctant to approve rapid testing devices after the botched approval of the Spartan Bioscience testing product early in the pandemic.

The device was found to be faulty after it was subjected to efficacy testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory. Health Canada had to issue a recall on the device in May after the federal government already had placed an order for 40,000 tests.

Antigen tests — which, depending on the device, use matter collected from a nasal or throat swab — don’t require the use of a lab to generate results.

While much faster, these tests are considered by some to be less accurate than the “gold standard” — the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing process currently in use across Canada.

Antigen testing devices like Quidel Corporation’s Sofia 2 SARS, which received emergency authorization from the U.S. FDA in May, can produce results in less than 20 minutes.

As of Tuesday, Quidel’s device was still listed as “under review” by Health Canada.

Antigen tests have been used in thousands of U.S. long-term care homes for months.

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Canada's GDP grew by 3% in July as more sectors reopened –



Canada’s economy continued its recovery in July from the first wave of COVID-19, with the country’s gross domestic product expanding by three per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that all 20 sectors of the economy grew as businesses continued to reopen and tried to get back to some sense of normal after lockdowns in March and April.

Output in agriculture, utilities, finance and insurance businesses, as well as real estate rental and leasing companies, clawed back to where it was before the pandemic struck. Retail trade businesses accomplished the same feat the month before, in June. But despite July’s growth, all other types of businesses still have yet to get back to their previous highs.

The biggest expansions in the month were in hotels/restaurants (up 20.1) and arts/entertainment/recreation (up 14 per cent), but those figures come off a very low base and are still facing the deepest slump versus year-ago levels, Bank of Montreal economist Benjamin Reitzes said of the numbers.

All in all, GDP was six per cent below February’s level, Statistics Canada said.

GDP july (Scott Galley/CBC)

The three per cent gain was in line with what economists had been expecting. It was about half as much as the 6.5 per cent increase seen in June.

While StatsCan is still calculating the final numbers, its early projection for August shows an expansion of just one per cent, which suggests that Canada’s economic recovery is running out of steam as it appears a second wave of the virus is hitting some parts of the country.

TD Bank economist Sri Thanabalasingam said based on the July numbers, those fears are well founded.

“Slowing and uneven growth are indications that the Canadian economy is transitioning from the rebound phase to a more challenging stage of the recovery,” he said.

“Even without restrictions, consumers and businesses may rein in spending activity in response to rising caseloads. The second wave is now upon us, and the course of the recovery will depend on our success in containing it.”

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