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Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 112 new cases, one new death; Possible COVID-19 exposure on Calgary-Halifax flight; Global virus tally tops 25 million – Toronto Star

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

7:52 p.m.: Covid-19 infections worldwide surpassed 25 million, as the U.S.’s tally approached the 6 million mark and India reported a global record for daily cases.

Indonesia saw infections spike over the weekend. The U.K. added the most cases since early June amid slumping approval ratings for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.

New Zealand’s largest city exited lockdown after the government said the outbreak there has been brought under control. Hong Kong has embarked on the world’s biggest experiment in voluntary testing, with more than 300,000 people already signed up for the free tests.

5 p.m.: Saskatchewan reported no new cases of COVID-19 for the second time in five days on Sunday.

Of the 1,615 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 42 are considered active after one more recovery was reported.

3:19 p.m.: Public health officials in Nova Scotia say passengers on a recent flight from Calgary to Halifax may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The province says the potential exposure occurred on WestJet flight WS-232 on Aug. 24, which landed in Halifax at 5:14 p.m. that day.

Authorities say passengers in rows 20 through 24, seats A, B, C and D, are more likely to have been exposed to COVID-19.

They say those passengers should call 811 for advice and that all passengers on the flight should self-monitor for any symptoms.

1:32 p.m.: Quebec is reporting 120 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths.

Public health officials say the deaths took place between Aug. 23-28.

The province has now reported 62,352 cases of COVID-19 and 5,758 deaths since the pandemic began.

The number of hospitalizations went down by one over the past 24 hours, for a total of 116.

Of that, 16 people are in intensive care, a decrease of one from the previous day.

The province says it carried out 13,543 COVID-19 tests on Friday, the last date for which the testing data is available.

1:30 p.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally has topped 25 million, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. leads the count with 5.9 million cases, followed by Brazil with 3.8 million and India with 3.5 million.

The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.

Global deaths from COVID-19 stand at over 842,000, with the U.S. having the highest number with 182,779, followed by Brazil with 120,262 and Mexico with 63,819.

11:15 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 112 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death related to the coronavirus.

There were also 78 cases newly marked as resolved in today’s report.

The total number of cases now stands at 42,195, which includes 2,810 deaths and 38,204 cases marked as resolved.

The province says 51 people are currently in hospital with the virus, with 20 in intensive care and 10 on ventilators.

It notes that about 35 hospitals did not submit daily bed census data for the period, as is often the case on weekends. Those numbers will be reflected in the coming days.

The province was able to complete 24,970 tests in the previous day.

10:15 a.m.: As the back-to-school season looms with fears of a second wave of the pandemic, a recent Angus Reid survey indicates that while most Canadians are following all or most advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, there is a skeptical cohort that defies guidance on group size, bubbles, handwashing, distancing and masks.

The polling company labelled them “cynical spreaders.” They are more likely to be young, more likely to live in the western part of the country, more likely to believe that current restrictions go too far.

While “cynical spreaders” are in the minority, their reaction to public-health advice and rules is far from original.

Read the full story from the Star’s Katie Daubs here.

10:15 a.m.: South Korea has reported 299 new cases of the coronavirus as officials placed limits on dining at restaurants and closed fitness centres and after-school academies in the greater capital area to slow the spread of the virus.

The 17th consecutive day of triple-digit increases brought the national caseload to 19,699, including 323 deaths.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 209 of the new cases came from capital Seoul, nearby Gyeonggi province and Incheon, a region that had been at the centre of a viral resurgence this month.

Thirty cases were also reported in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicentre of the previous major outbreak in late February and March.

Churches have emerged as a major source of infections in the Seoul region and elsewhere, with many of them failing to properly enforce masks and allowing worshippers to sing and eat together. Clusters have also popped up from restaurants, schools, nursing homes and apartment buildings.

Health authorities have ordered churches and nightspots to close and shifted more schools back to remote learning nationwide as infections spiked.

For eight days starting Sunday, restaurants in the Seoul area are allowed to provide only deliveries and takeouts after 9 p.m. Franchised coffee shops like Starbucks will sell only takeout drinks and food.

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10:13 a.m.: India registered 78,761 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the biggest single-day spike in the world since the pandemic began, just as the government began easing restrictions to help the battered economy.

The surge raised India’s tally to over 3.5 million, and came as the government announced the reopening of the subway in New Delhi, the capital. It also will move ahead with limited sports and religious events next month.

A country of 1.4 billion people, India now has the fastest-growing daily coronavirus caseload of any country in the world, reporting more than 75,000 new cases for four straight days.

One of the reasons is testing: India now conducts nearly 1 million tests every day, compared with just 200,000 two months ago.

10:12 a.m.: Back in early March, as Ontario’s colleges and universities scrambled to prepare for government shutdown orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ilene Sova packed up as many art supplies as she could in anticipation of the months of isolation that would follow.

Sova, an instructor at OCAD University in Toronto, said art was her only remedy as the world became more distant and uncertain times emerged.

She would later turn her home office into a makeshift art studio and begin her creative process, but one thing she could not shake off was the thought of her students going through similar emotions.

“While I was making collages one day in early April, I realized that our students might also want to make art about this unprecedented time, and may also benefit from responding creatively,” Sova said in an interview.

That’s when the idea to create a course in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic was born, and Sova approached the school with her plans.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 10:25 p.m. EDT on Aug. 29, 2020:

There are 127,673 confirmed cases in Canada.

-Quebec: 62,232 confirmed (including 5,755 deaths, 55,235 resolved)

-Ontario: 42,083 confirmed (including 2,809 deaths, 38,126 resolved)

– Alberta: 13,476 confirmed (including 237 deaths, 12,054 resolved)

– British Columbia: 5,496 confirmed (including 204 deaths, 4,310 resolved)

– Saskatchewan: 1,615 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,548 resolved)

– Manitoba: 1,151 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 693 resolved)

– Nova Scotia: 1,083 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,013 resolved)

– Newfoundland and Labrador: 269 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 265 resolved)

– New Brunswick: 191 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 183 resolved)

– Prince Edward Island: 44 confirmed (including 41 resolved)

– Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)

– Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

– Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

– Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Total: 127,673 (0 presumptive, 127,673 confirmed including 9,113 deaths, 113,501 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2020.

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Kitchener drive-thru COVID-19 testing site to reopen by appointment only on Thursday – CTV Toronto

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KITCHENER —
Kitchener’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will reopen on Thursday, but people will need to book an appointment to get a test.

Anyone who needs a test should go online, pick a time slot and register with their name and health card.

The site was closed down early on Wednesday morning after staff reportedly faced verbal abuse and threats of violence.

A spokesperson for Grand River Hospital, which runs the site, said that the issue was compounded by traffic issues along the streets around the testing site.

Long wait times and lineups have created tension around COVID-19 testing as more people look to get tested amid fears of a second wave.

Some people arrived at the drive-thru site as early as 2 a.m. in order to secure a place there. Dozens of cars lined up Wednesday morning, and the line’s capacity was full by 7 a.m. Staff don’t start testing until 15 minutes after then.

By around 8:30 a.m., the site had closed for the day. Waterloo regional police posted about the closure on Twitter, asking for people to be patient and avoid the area.

Police said there were no arrests, but they did assist with setting up barricades.

Thirty minutes later, the hospital tweeted about the closure as well, citing “safety concerns.”

Everyone signing up for a COVID-19 test starting Thursday will need to fill out a separate pre-registration form, the Grand River Hospital said in a tweet. Only people who have pre-registered will be able to get a test.

Those who were still in line would still be tested, Grand River Hospital said. By 11 a.m., the site, normally backed up for hours at a time, was completely empty.

The difficulties of getting tested are not unique to Waterloo Region, as thousands of people face the same hurdles daily around Ontario. The calls for more accessible testing has led Premier Doug Ford to partner with pharmacies in order to allow more people to get tested.

On Wednesday, Ford announced that 60 pharmacies would be offering testing soon. None of them are in Waterloo Region.

The tests will be by appointment only for people without symptoms.

St. Mary’s General Hospital said Wednesday that people should only self-refer to the assessment centre if they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they’ve been directed to get a test because they’re a high-risk contact of someone else with the disease.

They said people can also come if they’ve been referred by a medical health professional to meet a ministry guideline, like visiting a long-term care home or having a medical procedure done.

Lee Fairclough, head of the region’s COVID-19 assessment centres and president of St. Mary’s General Hospital, said she’d like to see pharmacies doing tests at local pharmacies.

“We will certainly be open to how we do that within our region,” she said.

Fairclough said the region is also seeking out new locations for additional testing sites, but the main priority is to beef up the existing sites.

“The decision we are making right now is to move nurses, move physicians from other clinical services and practices, to do this testing,” she said. “That’s probably the biggest thing we are sorting through.”

The walk-in centres are busy, but sites offering appointments are also swamped.

“The numbers have gone through the roof,” said Dr. Joseph Lee from KW4 COVID Assessment Centre.

The clinic’s next available appointment isn’t until early October. Lee said he’s proposing turning his other two walk-in clinics into COVID-19 assessment centres as well.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 assessment launched a new phone number on Wednesday to help manage calls for appointments. The new number is 519.740.4975, but the centre said it’s best to reach through email at cmhcovidtesting@cmh.org.

Anyone calling can register for a booked appointment when arriving at the centre, schedule an appointment and cancel an appointment.

The centre said it’s prioritizing people with symptoms and anyone who’s been instructed to get a test by a public health official.

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Shopify says it notified privacy commissioner of breach involving 'rogue' staff – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Shopify Inc. says it has notified Canada’s privacy commissioner about a recent data breach it says was carried out by two “rogue” employees.

“In accordance with Canadian law, we promptly notified all affected merchants,” a spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email.

“We have subsequently provided information regarding the incident to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.”

Earlier Wednesday, the commissioner’s office said it hadn’t yet received a report about the breach.

“Our office is reaching out to Shopify, given the potential seriousness of the breach, to request more information about the matter,” Vito Pilieci, a senior communications adviser wrote in an email.

Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, it is mandatory for companies to report breaches to the privacy commissioner’s office, “where it is reasonable to believe that the breach creates a real risk of significant harm to an individual,” Pilieci said.

Shopify spokeswoman Rebecca Feigelsohn said the two employees involved in the breach were fired.

On Tuesday, the Ottawa-based company first revealed on an online discussion board that it had identified two workers involved in illegitimately obtaining records connected to some of its merchants.

“We immediately terminated these individuals’ access to our Shopify network and referred the incident to law enforcement. We are currently working with the FBI and other international agencies in their investigation of these criminal acts,” the company said.

“While we do not have evidence of the data being utilized, we are in the early stages of the investigation and will be updating affected merchants as relevant.”

The customer data the employees were accessing was linked to fewer than 200 merchants, who Shopify has declined to identify but says have been notified.

The improperly accessed data includes basic contact information such as emails, names and addresses, as well as order details, such as what products and services were purchased.

Shopify said complete payment card numbers and other sensitive personal or financial information were not part of the breach and it has yet to find evidence that any of the data was used.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 23, 2020.

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The latest on the coronavirus outbreak for Sept. 23 – CBC.ca

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A coronavirus sniffer dog named E.T. receives a cuddle from trainer Anette Kare at the Helsinki airport in Vantaa, Finland, on Tuesday. E.T. is trained to detect arriving passengers with COVID-19. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

We looked at 120,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada. Here’s what we found 

The coronavirus has been confirmed in more than 146,600 people across the country since the first case was detected. CBC News has dug deep into the data collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to examine how COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, affects the young, the elderly, men and women in order to better understand what’s most likely to land you in hospital — or worse. The data contains details on 121,795 cases up to the first week of September.

Some of our findings:

CBC’s analysis reveals that since mid-August, infections among young people (under 30) have surged and now, after a summer of provincial reopenings and expanded testing, cumulatively outnumber the elderly. COVID-19 infections are also on the rise among the very youngest (under 20) as schools, colleges and universities reopen.

The 9,000 cases that list symptom details suggest that people with COVID-19 suffer differently depending on age and symptoms. Chills, sore throat and runny nose were reported more frequently among those under 50. Cough and fever were common among all age groups.

Close to 10 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus ended up in hospital, according to the cases tracked by PHAC. Two per cent of cases landed in intensive care units (ICU) across all ages but mostly among people over 50. In people admitted to hospital, shortness of breath and fever were more common symptoms, while headaches, sore throat and runny nose were seen more often in less severe cases.

More than 9,200 people have died in Canada with COVID-19. Of all confirmed infections in Canada, six per cent, or 9,274 cases, have been fatal, with the elderly hit the hardest. Only two people under 20 are known to have died from the disease so far. More women in Canada have died from COVID-19, especially in the 80+ age group, where they outnumber men. Outside that age group, more men are dying from the virus.

Click below to watch more from The National

A runny nose and sore throat can be symptoms of COVID-19, but they’re also common symptoms of a cold or flu. British Columbia has removed them from a list disqualifying children from in-class learning, calling it a minor symptom of coronavirus, while other provinces are considering following suit. 2:01

IN BRIEF

Trudeau to make rare address to the nation amid COVID-19 fight; throne speech promises more support for affected Canadians

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make a rare address to the nation Wednesday evening on the fight against COVID-19 as confirmed cases continue to climb in Canada. Trudeau is also expected to summarize the government’s plans laid out in the throne speech, which included a promise to extend emergency support to people affected by the pandemic.

Two of Trudeau’s rival party leaders, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, have tested positive for the virus and have been forced to delay their responses to the throne speech until their self-isolation periods have ended.

CBC News will carry Trudeau’s address at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by analysis and reaction. Watch, listen and follow live on cbcnews.ca, the CBC News app, CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem and CBC Radio, as well as on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Ontario to launch COVID-19 testing in pharmacies Friday

Ontario will begin offering COVID-19 testing in pharmacies Friday, beginning with up to 60 pharmacies around the province, Premier Doug Ford says. The testing will be available by appointment only, for those not experiencing symptoms of the virus, and is expected to roll out to further locations in the coming weeks, the province says.

In addition, three hospitals will be offering saliva testing starting this week. Those hospitals include Women’s College, Mount Sinai and University Health Network―Toronto Western Hospital. The saliva-based tests will at first be conducted alongside the usual nasal-pharyngeal testing to assess their accuracy, Health Minister Christine Elliott said at a news conference Wednesday.

The testing initiative is the second part of the government’s fall pandemic preparedness plan. The first piece involved purchasing millions of seasonal flu shots that the government is encouraging all residents to get.

“We have prepared for the worst,” Elliott said. The province has seen modelling of various scenarios including a slow burn of little peaks and valleys in the daily numbers to more dramatic increases, the minister said. Elliott said further details about those models will be unveiled as the province continues to roll out its fall plan.

120 active COVID-19 cases reported on First Nations reserves across Canada 

There are currently 120 active cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves across Canada, according to data from Indigenous Services Canada. New cases since last week were primarily reported in Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. One death was reported, bringing the total of deaths on-reserve from COVID-19 to 10.

There have been 616 cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves as of Sept. 21, as well as 51 hospitalizations. A total of 486 First Nations people have recovered. Cases on First Nations reserves reported per region as of Sept. 21:

  • British Columbia: 132
  • Alberta: 265
  • Saskatchewan: 96
  • Manitoba: 8
  • Ontario: 68
  • Quebec: 47

Read CBC Indigenous’s weekly roundup of COVID-19 news in Indigenous communities here. 


Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from Canada and around the world

THE SCIENCE

Johnson & Johnson begins final phase of single-shot COVID-19 vaccine study

New Jersey-based drug conglomerate Johnson & Johnson is beginning a huge final study to try to prove if a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the coronavirus, The Associated Press reports. The study starting Wednesday will be one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine studies so far, testing the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the United States, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

In August, Canada signed a deal with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson to secure up to 38 million doses of the company’s potential vaccine.

A handful of other vaccines in the U.S. — including shots made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. — and some in other countries are already in final-stage testing. Hopes are high that answers about at least one candidate being tested in the U.S. could come by year’s end, maybe sooner.

Many vaccine specialists question whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will move at a safe pace under intense pressure from the current U.S. administration. U.S. President Donald Trump has consistently presented a faster timeline for a new vaccine than experts say is adequate to fully test the candidates. On Wednesday, he tweeted a link to news about the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine study and said the FDA “must move quickly.”

“We feel cautiously optimistic that we will be able to have a safe and effective vaccine, although there is never a guarantee of that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

AND FINALLY…

Preserving your pandemic harvest? Start slow, say experts

In this file photo, pickling jars are seen at a culinary event in New York City in 2011. This year saw an explosion of interest in gardening as the pandemic forced people to stay closer to home. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for International Culinary Center Catering & Events)

Canadians who grew their own gardens this pandemic summer and are looking to try pickling their bounty for the first time should start small, says an Edmonton woman who has been canning for years.

“You don’t have to take the whole weekend,” said Johwanna Alleyne, who teaches canning courses and runs a pickling business in Edmonton called Mojo Jojo Pickles, which produces everything from ketchup to jelly and relish. “Start with single jars, like make one or two jars of something that you’re really proud of…. You’ll catch on pretty quickly.”

This year saw an explosion of interest in gardening as the pandemic forced people to stay closer to home. Similar to the early rush for toilet paper and flour, people are now facing a shortage of Mason jars used to preserve their homegrown fruits and veggies.

Alleyne said she’s certainly noticed people getting into canning and pickling for the first time this year. “I didn’t know that pickles were an essential service, but it seems like they are,” she told CBC Radio’s The Current. “I think we’ve all appreciated just slowing down a little bit. And fresh, real food and good flavour and the comfort of good flavours become really important.”

With pickling, the amount of acid in the jar and how you fill it is important, as is the processing time, said Alleyne. That’s because canning gone wrong can lead to spoilage or cause botulism. If jars meant to preserve peaches or nectarines aren’t prepared properly, for example, you may notice air bubbles, which will cause the preserved fruit to slowly spoil.

Find out more about COVID-19

Still looking for more information on the pandemic? Read more about COVID-19’s impact on life in Canada, or reach out to us at covid@cbc.ca if you have any questions.

If you have symptoms of the illness caused by the coronavirus, here’s what to do in your part of the country.

For full coverage of how your province or territory is responding to COVID-19, visit your local CBC News site.

To get this newsletter daily as an email, subscribe here

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