The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
5 p.m. Ontario’s regional health units are reporting another 147 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the Star’s latest count.
As has been the case in recent days, most new cases in the province were reported in the GTA and Ottawa.
Toronto, with 33 new infections, Peel Region, with 27 cases, Ottawa, at 22, and York Region, 14, all reported in the double digits Thursday.
Windsor-Essex also reported 12 cases, well above that region’s recent trend.
The seven-day average for daily case reports in Ontario has been rising in recent days. On Thursday, it jumped to an average of 117 cases daily over the last week.
Even with the recent increases, the rate of infection remains well below the worst of the pandemic; Ontario saw the same average reach a mid-April peak of nearly 600 cases daily.
No new fatal cases were reported Thursday; one previously listed death was removed from the tally in Peel, where the region has reported a total of 326 fatal cases.
The province has now seen a total of 43,943 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,839 deaths.
The vast majority of the province’s COVID-19 patients have since recovered. The Province lists slightly more than 1,000 active cases of the disease, although that total has been going up in recent days.
The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases. This means they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.
The province cautions its separate data, published daily at 10:30 a.m., may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system. In the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”
4:04 p.m. There are 126,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, according to The Canadian Press, including 9,099 deaths, (and 112,644 have been resolved).
This breaks down as follows (NOTE: The Star does its own count for Ontario; see elsewhere this file):
- Quebec: 62,056 confirmed (including 5,750 deaths, 55,008 resolved)
- Ontario: 41,813 confirmed (including 2,803 deaths, 37,940 resolved)
- Alberta: 13,210 confirmed (including 235 deaths, 11,799 resolved)
- British Columbia: 5,304 confirmed (including 203 deaths, 4,199 resolved)
- Saskatchewan: 1,609 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,527 resolved)
- Nova Scotia: 1,081 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,011 resolved)
- Manitoba: 1,064 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 643 resolved)
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 268 confirmed (including three deaths, 265 resolved)
- New Brunswick: 190 confirmed (including two deaths, 178 resolved)
- Prince Edward Island: 44 confirmed (including 41 resolved)
- Yukon: 15 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
- Repatriated Canadians account for 13 confirmed cases, all of which have been resolved
- Northwest Territories: five confirmed, all of which have been resolved
- Nunavut reports no confirmed cases.
4:01 p.m. The Supreme Court of Canada will resume in-person hearings next month, The Canadian Press reports.
The fall session will begin Sept. 22 — earlier than expected, so the court can hear the cases delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before moving on with its original schedule, CP reports.
There will be physical distancing measures in place in the courtroom, and lawyers who cannot come to Ottawa will be able to participate via video conference.
The court has long embraced technology by livestreaming proceedings on its website.
But this spring, it was plunged into the world of virtual video hearings to keep the wheels of justice moving during the shutdown.
The top court also says the pandemic-related suspension of deadlines for civil legal proceedings such as bankruptcy or divorce cases will expire Sept. 13.
2:50 p.m.: Two fathers have filed an injunction application demanding the B.C. government implement tougher safety measures aimed at protecting kids from the risks of COVID-19 before schools reopen.
The application filed Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court on behalf of Bernard Trest of White Rock and Gary Shuster of Vancouver names the ministers of health and education as respondents.
It alleges they have interfered with the suppression of the virus by opening schools in a manner that ignores evidence that people with underlying health conditions may be at risk for severe illness.
None of the claims in the application have been tested in court and ministries have yet to file a legal response to it, nor did they immediately respond to a request for comment.
The application says Trest has asthma and his 10-year-old son suffers from asthma that arises when he gets a respiratory infection.
It says Shuster, who has two school-age daughters, was born with a genetic disorder causing muscle damage that can be triggered by fever and viral infection.
It alleges the back-to-school plan endangers the lives of students, teachers and the broader community by wrongly presuming that learning groups of 60 to 120 students are safe so-called bubbles, in which physical distancing is not necessary.
The lawsuit claims the province is conducting a “science experiment in which students and teachers are the guinea pigs” by refusing to implement tougher preventative measures, such as physical distancing among students in the same learning group, stricter mask rules and reduced class sizes.
Kailin Che, a lawyer for the applicants, said the injunction application was filed in Chilliwack to avoid delay. It indicates Trest and Shuster will appear before a judge on Sept. 14.
2:45 p.m.: The federal government is under fire for what critics say has been a delayed response in getting back-to-school funding to First Nations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Ottawa announced $2 billion in back-to-school funding for provinces and territories, and another $112 million specifically for First Nations.
The announcement came after Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 Ontario First Nations, released a number of public statements accusing the government of dragging its feet on the issue.
Last week, NAN said the government had rejected its request for $33 million in funding, designed to get its nearly 9,000 students back to school safely by providing them with adequate personal protective equipment and sanitization supplies.
12:47 p.m.: A Statistics Canada report suggests that more than half of Canadians with disabilities who participated in a crowdsourced survey are struggling to make ends meet because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
The findings, published on Thursday, were gathered from approximately 13,000 Canadians with long-term conditions or disabilities who voluntarily filled out an online questionnaire between June 3 and July 23. Unlike most Statistics Canada studies, the survey wasn’t randomly sampled and therefore isn’t statistically representative of the Canadian population.
The responses indicate that 61 per cent of participants aged 15 to 64 said the pandemic has had a major or moderate impact on their ability to fulfil at least one financial obligation or essential need.
Forty-four per cent of respondents reported concerns about paying for groceries, while 40 per cent were worried about the costs of personal protective equipment.
12:35 p.m.: The Toronto District School Board says elementary students will be able to opt-in or out of in-person classes at three points during the academic year.
The TDSB says parents can shift students on Oct. 13, Nov. 23 and Feb. 16, 2021.
They will need to apply to make the move with a deadline set approximately two weeks before each date.
The board says it’s not possible to switch immediately because of the impact that would have on staffing, physical distancing and space allocation.
The decision comes a day after the province introduced new guidance to help school boards prevent and manage COVID-19 outbreaks.
12:35 p.m.: The Saskatchewan government is projecting a slightly lower deficit than initially feared in its June budget and an economic bounce back to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
The Ministry of Finance’s first-quarter update predicts $2.1 billion in red ink, down from the $2.4 billion predicted earlier this summer.
The province expects to run deficits for the next three years before squeezing out a $125-million surplus in 2024-25.
The outlook for the year indicates revenues are expected to increase by nearly $400 million, mostly due to federal funding to help provinces restart their economies after COVID-19.
Expenses are also projected to be higher than at budget time because of spending on health, municipalities and the tourism industry.
Finance officials say the overall fiscal outlook has improved as many businesses continue to reopen and oil prices hover above US$40.
“The path to fiscal balance laid out in this report is based on the assumption that public health efforts around the world continue at the current pace and are successful in limiting the economic impact of future COVID-19 resurgences, and that the provincial economy returns to its pre-crisis level in 2022,” the report reads.
12:15 a.m. (updated): The number of Ontarians fighting COVID-19 has reached its highest level in three weeks and hospitalizations are creeping up, the latest Ministry of Health statistics show.
With another 118 cases of the virus reported Thursday, up 34 per cent from 88 the previous day, the province has 1,070 residents with active infections — the most since August 7 and well above a recent low of 891 early this month. The 48 people in hospital is the highest since August 12.
The cases remain concentrated in Toronto with 36 new infections, 19 in Peel, and Ottawa with 22, while Windsor-Essex increased to 12 and Durham had 10. In the Windsor area, for example, officials said seven of the new cases are close contacts who tested positive, two are agri-farm workers and three remain under investigation.
11:25 a.m.: Quebec is reporting 111 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.
Health authorities said today one death occurred in the past 24 hours while two others occurred before Aug. 20.
The province now has reported 62,056 total COVID-19 cases and 5,750 deaths since the pandemic began.
Authorities say hospitalizations increased by five since Wednesday, for a total of 115. Of those, 15 patients are in intensive care, an increase of three from the previous day.
The province says it carried out 16,020 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday, the last day for which testing data is available.
11:20 a.m. (updated): There was a mixture of anxiety and regular back-to-school excitement Thursday morning as tens of thousands of Montreal-area children returned to class for the first time since the emergence of COVID-19.
A long lineup of parents and students formed outside Philippe-Labarre elementary school in the city’s east-end, with many parents expressing mixed feelings about the return to class.
“I think we all have a little bit of fear of what’s unknown, but I don’t freak out about it,” said Cora Bridgeo, who has children going into first and third grade.
“I have confidence in the government. I have confidence in our school system, they put a lot of measures in place.”
11 a.m.: Canadians are more likely than residents of many countries to feel as though the global pandemic has united them, a survey suggests.
Released Thursday, the survey interviewed 14,276 adults in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and South Korea between June 10 and Aug. 3.
Overall, 46 per cent of respondents told the Washington-based Pew Research Centre that they felt more unity now than before the coronavirus outbreak — while 48 per cent thought divisions have grown.
10:20 a.m. (updated): Ontario is reporting 118 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death related to the coronavirus.
The total number of cases now stands at 41,813, which includes 2,803 deaths and 37,940 cases marked as resolved.
There were 77 cases newly marked as resolved in today’s report.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 28 of Ontario’s 34 health regions are reporting five or fewer new cases.
She says 18 of those reported no new cases at all.
The province was able to complete 28,625 tests in the previous day.
8:45 a.m. France midfielder Paul Pogba has tested positive for COVID-19 and been left out of the national team squad, coach Didier Deschamps said Thursday.
“I had to make a change at the last minute because Paul Pogba was supposed to be in the squad,” Deschamps said. “Unfortunately for him, he had a test yesterday which was positive this morning.”
The Manchester United midfielder’s place in the squad will be taken by 17-year-old Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga ahead of upcoming Nations League qualifiers against Sweden and Croatia.
8:41 a.m.: Just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the coronavirus outbreak continues to threaten jobs in the U.S even as the housing market, auto sales and other segments of the economy rebound from a springtime collapse.
The number of people seeking jobless aid last week dropped by 98,000 from 1.1 million the week before. The number of initial claims has exceeded 1 million most weeks since late March. Before the coronavirus pandemic, they never topped 700,000 in a week.
More than 14.5 million are collecting traditional jobless benefits — up from 1.7 million a year ago — a sign that many American families are depending on unemployment checks to keep them afloat.
8:22 a.m.: Born from a desire to know more about a new town before packing up and leaving, and from the mobility that working from home during COVID-19 offers, new website Ninety minutes from Toronto maps out 55 towns and cities outside Toronto along with everything you could want to know about them.
The site is the brainchild of Audra Williams and her partner, Haritha Gnanaratna. The pair often take day trips to smaller towns throughout southern Ontario and fantasize: about a new life, in a new town, in an affordable home.
7:48 a.m. A Europa League game in Israel on Thursday was postponed because visiting soccer players from Bosnia-Herzegovina tested positive for COVID-19.
It’s the fifth Champions League or Europa League qualifying game this month to be postponed at least once by virus cases. All involve infected players on teams from eastern Europe.
Maccabi Haifa and Željeznicar both published statements Thursday to say their game was postponed by the Israeli health ministry.
The Bosnian club said five of its players were positive for the coronavirus in pre-game tests Wednesday that are mandatory for UEFA-organized matches during the pandemic.
7:24 a.m. Italy, Spain and France saw the number of new coronavirus cases rise further Wednesday as outbreaks among returning tourists and party-goers continue to expand.
Despite the grim numbers, Italy joined France and Spain in rejecting the possibility of reintroducing the nationwide lockdown that clobbered the economy. Health minister Roberto Speranza ruled out the measure in an interview earlier Wednesday.
“I exclude the hypothesis of a lockdown for our country now,” the minister said. “We have few cases and the situation is under control, with pressure on hospitals that is very low, minimal.”
Italy, the original European epicenter of the pandemic, registered 1,367 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, the most since May 12. France reported 5,429 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, a four-month high that comes after important surges in recent days. Spain reported 3,594 infections, close to the four-month high of 3,715 recorded earlier this month.
The Spanish government has announced that it is ready to make 2,000 soldiers available for contact tracing if requested by regional authorities, who oversee health policy. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday that another lockdown is not on the table. Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron had ruled out another general lockdown, saying though that targeted, local confinements could be implemented.
7 a.m.: The National Arts Centre is working with theatre companies across Canada to bring the performing arts to the public square.
The Grand Acts of Theatre initiative, announced on Thursday, will see large-scale outdoor works staged in 11 communities from coast to coast as the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered live venues.
NAC English Theatre artistic director Jillian Keiley hopes the project will help prop up Canada’s struggling theatre sector while appealing to a whole new audience.
“We have the opportunity to reach a public who might not even enter a theatre,” Keiley said in a recent phone interview.
“Maybe this is part of how people might think of theatre from now on.”
Keiley partnered with Vancouver theatremaker Sherry Yoon to find companies up for the creative challenge of putting on a show that could weather the natural elements and COVID-19 constraints.
The results outperformed Keiley’s expectations.
Audiences in Barrie will be invited to a wedding celebration attended by well-dressed guests in inflatable plastic orbs in “Something Bubbled, Something Blue” from Talk Is Free Theatre in association with Outside the March.
6:37 a.m.: Doctors don’t understand why some COVID-19 patients aren’t recovering, and as the first wave of people living with lingering impacts of the new virus, they could hold some of the keys for unlocking some of its mysteries. But many feel ignored by the medical establishment, uncounted in official case tallies, and falling through the cracks of care, instead turning to online communities to crowdsource their own recoveries.
Demand has been growing around the world for special post-COVID centres, which have already been set up in New York City, and the U.K. In Canada, a major research study is tracking survivors and can assist in connecting them to help.
6:36 a.m.: No lockers, assemblies or agendas. Libraries and cafeterias closed.
The return to school this fall is going to be like no other for students in the GTA’s 10 public and Catholic boards, as well as throughout the province.
With the school year about to begin, we took a look at the plans of the 10 GTA boards to make schools safe for kids, from cleaning to way-finding and everything else in between.
6:33 a.m.: The UN children’s agency says at least a third of children couldn’t access remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, creating “a global education emergency.”
At the height of lockdowns meant to curb the pandemic, nearly 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, UNICEF said.
“For at least 463 million children whose schools closed due to COVID-19, there was no such a thing as remote learning,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.
“The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global education emergency,” she said in a statement. “The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come.”
6:27 a.m.: Australia’s hot spot Victoria state recorded its third deadliest day of the pandemic as well as the lowest tally of new infections in more than eight weeks. The 23 dead followed 24 deaths on Wednesday.
Victoria’s Health Department said 22 of the most recent deaths were related to aged care. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 8 per cent of Australia’s aged care homes had residents or staff infected with the virus. But he said the outcomes in four Melbourne aged care homes were “unacceptable.”
Those four were “acutely effected,” he said. “My fear when the COVID pandemic hit in Victoria was that we could have potentially seen far more.” The 113 new cases reported on Thursday was the lowest count since July 5.
6:27 a.m.: North Korea told the World Health Organization it tested 2,767 people for the coronavirus as of Aug. 20 and all have tested negative.
In an email to The Associated Press, Edwin Salvador, WHO’s representative to North Korea, said the country is monitoring 1,004 citizens under quarantine.
Edwin Salvador said the North told WHO it has released 29,961 people from quarantine, including 382 foreigners. The North has yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19, but outsiders doubt its virus-free claim.
6:26 a.m.: India recorded its highest single-day increase with 75,760 new coronavirus cases as it ramps up testing, raising the country’s total virus tally to over 3.3 million.
The Health Ministry on Thursday also reported 1,023 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 60,472. India has been recording more than 60,000 new infections per day for the last two weeks.
With more than 800,000 average tests every day, India has scaled up testing per million to more than 27,000, the ministry said.
6:25 a.m.: South Korea reported 441 new cases of the coronavirus, its highest single-day total in months, making lockdown-like restrictions look inevitable as transmissions slip out of control.
The country has added nearly 4,000 infections to its caseload while reporting triple-digit daily jumps in each of the past 14 days, prompting health experts to warn about hospitals possibly running out of capacity.
The 441 cases reported Thursday was the biggest daily increase since the 483 reported on March 7. South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 315 of the new cases were from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, where health workers have struggled to track infections linked to various sources, including churches, restaurants, schools and workers.
The National Assembly in Seoul was shut down and more than a dozen ruling party lawmakers were forced to isolate Thursday following a positive test of a journalist who covered a ruling party leaders’ meeting.
6:25 a.m.: The Saskatchewan government will provide its first update on the size of a budget deficit it says is a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s also the last time residents will get a look at the government’s books before voters go to the polls in a general election this October.
Finance Minister Donna Harpauer will today deliver the first quarter results for the 2020-21 fiscal year — including the updated deficit number.
Premier Scott Moe’s government delivered a provincial budget in June that projected a $2.4-billion deficit it says was a result of the economic shutdowns from the health crisis.
6:24 a.m.: Virus or no virus, European authorities are determined to put children back into classrooms, to narrow the learning gaps between haves and have-nots that deepened during lockdowns — and to get their parents back to work.
Facing a jump in virus cases, authorities in France, Britain, Spain and elsewhere are imposing mask rules, hiring extra teachers and building new desks en masse.
While the U.S. back-to-school saga has been politicized and chaotic, with a hodgepodge of fast-changing rules and backlash against U.S. President Donald Trump’s insistence on reopening, European governments have faced less of an uproar.
And even though the virus has invaded classrooms in recent days from Berlin to Seoul, and some teachers and parents warn that their schools aren’t ready, European leaders from the political left, right and centre are sending an unusually consistent message: Even in a pandemic, children are better off in class.
6:23 a.m.: Albertans are to get a look at the province’s biggest deficit in history when the government releases its financial update today.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been warning that the deficit in the first quarter of the fiscal year will be “well north of $20 billion” and won’t be improving any time soon.
He says the province has suffered a “double whammy” — a total collapse of energy prices that has “clobbered” the oil and gas industry and a global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
6:22 a.m.: Thousands of Quebec schoolchildren are heading back to class today, putting the provincial government’s controversial back-to-school plan to the test.
As Montreal’s French-language schools open their doors, kids can expect fewer hugs but lots of handwashing, some mask-wearing and schoolyards sectioned off with tape to prevent extra mingling.
Each roomful of kids will be kept in a separate bubble and masks will be required in hallways and in common areas for children in Grade 5 and up.
The government has faced criticism from groups who say the plan doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t include a distance-learning option for parents who prefer to keep their children home.
More than 150 doctors and scientists also published an open letter this week urging François Legault’s government to require social distancing within classrooms, mask-wearing for all students, and to oblige schools to screen children for symptoms of COVID-19.
6:11 a.m.: The federal Conservatives are calling on a speaking agency through which WE Charity paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s family to hand over all documents about the arrangements.
The request is contained in a letter from Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett to Speakers’ Spotlight on Thursday that notes the agency was first asked by the House of Commons ethics committee to produce the documents last month.
The initial deadline was July 29 for all records pertaining to speaking appearances by Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, mother Margaret Trudeau and brother Alexandre Trudeau at different WE events dating back to October 2008.
The agency subsequently asked for an extension and the committee agreed to a new date of Aug. 19. Trudeau prorogued Parliament one day before that new deadline, ending the committee investigations that were underway into the WE controversy.
Parliament is set to return Sept. 23 with a new speech from the throne.
In his letter, Barrett said the committee agreed to the request for an extension “in good faith,” and that the decision to prorogue Parliament represented “an attack on our democracy and the ethics committee’s duty to Canadians to pursue truth and justice.”
Despite prorogation, however, Barrett said there was nothing to stop the agency from “doing the right thing” and delivering the documents.
Wednesday 5 p.m.: As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting another 119 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the Star’s latest count.
As has been the case in recent days, the vast majority of new cases in the province were reported in the GTA and Ottawa. Among Ontario’s 34 health units, just Toronto, with 33 new infections, Peel Region, with 29, and Ottawa, with 16, reported in the double digits Wednesday.
The three units were also the only ones to report more than 10 cases Tuesday.
The seven-day average for daily case reports in Ontario has been rising in recent days. On Wednesday, it jumped to an average of 110 cases daily over the last week.
Even with the recent increases, the rate of infection remains well below the worst of the pandemic; Ontario saw the same average reach a mid-April peak of nearly 600 cases daily.
Another three fatal cases were reported Wednesday, two in Peel and one in Toronto.
The province has now seen a total of 43,796 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,840 deaths.
The vast majority of the province’s COVID-19 patients have since recovered; the province lists slightly more than 1,000 active cases of the disease.
The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.
The province cautions its separate data, published daily at 10:30 a.m., may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”
Canada at 'crossroads' in battling COVID-19 as cases accelerate nationally, officials say – CBC.ca
Canada is at a “crossroads” in its pandemic battle and the actions of individual Canadians will decide whether there’s a massive spike in COVID-19 cases coming, according to the latest projections from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
Federal health officials presented new modelling today that shows the epidemic is accelerating nationally. They warned that if Canadians don’t step up preventative measures, the virus could spread out of control and trigger a wave of infections bigger than the first one.
“With minimal controls, the virus is capable of surging into a very sharp and intense peak because most Canadians don’t have immunity to the virus,” Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam told a news conference in Ottawa today.
Short-term projections show there could be up to 155,795 cases and up to 9,300 deaths by Oct. 3.
If the current rate of infection is maintained, the epidemic is expected to re-surge — but if that rate increases, it is expected to resurge “faster and stronger.”
Rapid detection of new cases and a swift response to outbreaks are both key to controlling the pandemic, PHAC modelling documents show.
Tam said there has been a significant demographic shift in the caseload since June: instead of the virus disproportionately affecting elderly Canadians, most infections are now being reported in Canadians aged 20 to 39.
Tam and her deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo, are joined by Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand at the news conference.
CBC News is carrying it live.
The last modelling figures were released on Aug. 14. At that time, Canada’s top doctors said they were striving for a best-case scenario but preparing for the worst: a so-called “fall peak” of COVID-19 cases across Canada that would threaten to overwhelm the public health care system.
PHAC officials said they were aiming for a “slow burn” scenario, in which the number of cases remains low enough for the public health care system to keep ahead of the influx of patients.
But officials also were planning for a “reasonable worst-case scenario” — a fall spike in infections followed by ongoing peaks and valleys that put excessive pressure on the health care system.
The recent rise in cases coincides with the flu and cold season, which could put added strain on hospitals and other health resources.
Health care workers have been working on the front lines for months now and are now bracing for a possible spike in hospitalizations, prompting concerns about potential burnout.
Canada sees 1,307 new COVID-19 cases, marking highest daily increase since early May – Global News
Canada added 1,307 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, fueling worries that the country could be headed towards a second wave of the virus.
Provincial and territorial health officials also said 11 new fatalities had occurred, bringing Canada’s death toll to 9,228.
Monday marked the third straight day the country has reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19.
The new infections also reflect the highest daily increase since May 6 when more than 1,400 new cases were reported.
Ontario reported 425 new cases of the virus on Monday, and health officials said two more people had died.
The new infections bring the province’s total caseload to 47,274.
Since the pandemic began, a total of 3,580,343 tests have been administered in Ontario, and 41,146 have recovered after falling ill.
Quebec saw 586 new cases of COVID-19, and provincial officials said two more people had died after testing positive for the virus.
The new fatalities bring Quebec’s death toll to 5,804.
Coronavirus: Canadians should ‘redouble their efforts’ at preventing COVID-19 spread as national case count rises, Tam says
However, 59,131 have recovered from the virus, and more than 2,067,000 tests have been conducted.
New Brunswick added two new cases of the virus on Monday, but health officials confirmed no additional deaths had occurred.
So far, 191 people have recovered after contracting the virus, and 70,268 have been tested.
Health officials in Nova Scotia reported no new cases and said no new deaths had occurred.
A total of 1,021 people have recovered after contracting COVID-19 and 89,014 tests for the virus have been conducted in Nova Scotia.
Newfoundland did not report any new cases of the virus on Monday, either, and health authorities said the province’s death toll remained at three.
Thus far, 38,118 tests for the virus have been administered, and 268 people have recovered.
The latest data released by Prince Edward Island on Sept. 15 said the province has seen a total of 57 cases of COVID-19 but no deaths.
Saskatchewan health officials said seven new cases of the novel coronavirus were detected, but no one else had died.
The province has seen 24 deaths since the pandemic began.
A total of 1,645 have recovered after falling ill with the respiratory illness, and 173,764 tests for the virus have been conducted in Saskatchewan.
In Manitoba, 22 new novel coronavirus infections were detected, and health officials said two more people had died.
Since the virus was first detected 1,227 have recovered from COVID-19 infections.
Over 165,990 people have been tested for the virus in Manitoba.
Further west in Alberta, 137 new infections were reported, bringing the province’s case count to 16,739.
Health officials also said one new death associated with COVID-19 had occurred.
Since the pandemic began, 1,215,672 people have been tested for the virus, and 15,024 have recovered.
British Columbia health authorities reported 128 new cases of the novel coronavirus, and said four additional deaths had occurred since Friday.
Coronavirus: Dr. Tam explains what ‘manageable levels’ of COVID-19 in Canada might mean
The new infections bring the province’s total case load to 8,079. However, 5,797 have recovered from the virus.
So far, 455,395 tests for COVID-19 have been administered in British Columbia.
All five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories are considered to be resolved.
Health authorities have administered a total of 4,732 tests for the virus in the territory.
Similarly, in the Yukon, all 15 people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus have recovered.
The latest data released by health officials on Thursday said 3,049 people have been tested for the virus.
Nunavut has seen three cases of the virus, however, each have been tied to workers from other parts of the country.
The territory says the infections will be counted in the totals for the workers’ home jurisdictions, meaning Nunavut still considers itself free of COVID-19 cases.
Global cases top 31 million
The United States remained the epicentre of the virus on Monday, with more than 6.8 million confirmed cases.
As of 8 p.m. ET, COVID-19 had claimed 199,816 lives in the U.S.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Student visa limbo leaves thousands unable to start school in Canada – CBC.ca
Gustavo Camelo is one of thousands of international students stuck in limbo, ready to start college or university but missing one thing — a Canadian student visa.
The delays in documentation are due to travel restrictions brought in to protect Canadians from the spread of COVID-19. A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said the ministry is trying to smooth the process and reduce delays for international students.
International education as a sector contributes $21 billion a year to the Canadian economy.
Camelo completed his undergraduate degree at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and was all set to start his masters degree in chemistry at the University of Victoria this month.
He and his partner rented a $1,800-a-month Victoria apartment and couldn’t wait for September.
But then came COVID-19. The border closed and new rules came into play for student visas as of March 18.
Even international students approved before March are not automatically allowed to travel to Canada. Foreign nationals with a valid study permit or letter of introduction dated before March 18 may still be denied entry if their reason for travelling is deemed “discretionary.”
Students must prove it’s necessary for their program for them to be on campus.
Approved for online studies
When Camelo applied on May 15, he said he faced a 27-week wait for processing. So far he has only been approved to begin studies online, but he said he needs to be on campus to do research in order to complete the program. He said if he doesn’t get to Victoria soon, he could lose his spot in the program.
IRCC confirmed there are delays and, right now, restrictions are not being eased — that will depend on how well the virus is contained.
“In regards to processing times, COVID-19 has meant significant challenges continue to affect processing timelines and we are doing our best within existing limitations. Because there are so many different variables involved, we are unable to provide specific timelines at this time,” a spokesperson said Monday in an email.
“It’s very stressful. It’s hard to have your plans frustrated,” Camelo said in a phone interview from the U.K., where he and his dual-citizen partner, Tom Crocker, are waiting for word from Canada.
In July, the pair spent thousands of dollars on flights from Brazil and Canada to meet up in London, as the U.K. was one of the only places they could get in and face only a 14-day quarantine.
They had been separated since December 2019 and the border restrictions kept being extended.
“The U.K. is the only country that has its borders open for anyone,” said Crocker.
After reuniting at an Airbnb in London, where they quarantined for 14 days, the couple are staying with Crocker’s family near Dorchester until they can finally move back to B.C., where Camelo’s British-born partner has lived for a decade.
Camelo said he has about a month before he loses his spot in the UVic program, despite his acceptance and the fact that he’s paid his tuition.
“I can lose the offer for sure. The university is expecting me to get there in a month or so. No one knows exactly what’s going to happen,” he said.
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