By The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says some COVID-19 vaccine candidates expected in the new year will pose significant logistical and distribution challenges.
Trudeau says he hopes a viable vaccine will be available to Canadians in the spring but notes some of the initial doses will require special handling that could complicate distribution efforts.
“We know that some of the first vaccines to come out have extremely high degrees of logistical support necessary — things like freezers that can keep the vaccines down at -80 degrees Celsius for example, which doesn’t lend itself to mass distribution in pharmacies across the country, for example, but later vaccines that will be arriving will be able to do that,” Trudeau said Friday.
“So we have to have a very sophisticated plan to be able to roll out vaccines the right way; the right vaccines in the right place to the right people.”
Earlier this week, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization outlined four key groups that should be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Trudeau said those include populations with “a high degree of vulnerability,” such as Indigenous peoples and front-line health workers.
The prime minister’s comments came as Canada recorded more than 255,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday, with especially alarming daily totals emerging across the country.
Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced a record-breaking 802 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. On Friday, she reported another 609 infections.
Premier Jason Kenney said the province is at “a turning point” and called on Albertans to stop having house parties.
He also said more contact tracers are being hired.
Because tracers are unable to keep up with new cases, Alberta Health Services said that starting Friday staff would only notify close contacts of infections confirmed in health-care workers, minors and those who live or work within congregate or communal facilities. Others must notify their own close contacts.
Meanwhile, Manitoba health officials increased restrictions in the southern health region, following a similar move recently in Winnipeg.
Restaurants and bars will have to close except for takeout and delivery, and capacity limits will be reduced for religious services and other gatherings.
Provincewide, Manitoba reported 242 new cases and five additional deaths, with a testing positivity rate of 9.1 per cent.
Quebec announced 1,133 new cases and 25 additional deaths while Ontario reported 1,003 new cases and 14 new deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said 300 cases are in Toronto, 280 in Peel Region and 125 in York Region.
And in Nunavut, the chief public health officer confirmed the territory’s first case of COVID-19 — located in the Hudson Bay community of Sanikiluaq, home to about 850 people.
Trudeau urged the nation to maintain vigilance against further COVID-19 spread, saying “this situation is serious” and now is not the time to let down our guard.
He said surging counts should remind us of loved ones we all must protect. For him, that includes his godfather and uncle Tom Walker, who has been in and out of hospital and had to be readmitted to hospital Thursday.
Trudeau also pointed to increasing evidence of aerosol spread and urged Canadians to do everything possible to reduce outbreaks before the weather turned cold.
“Winter is coming. That means we’re going to have to get into more enclosed spaces, we’re not going to be able to open windows wide in rooms, ventilation is going to become much more important. We need to remember to be careful.”
'We are on the verge of significant bankruptcies': Restaurants and pubs struggle under B.C.'s new restrictions – CTV News Vancouver
New measures introduced last Thursday by Dr. Bonnie Henry meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social interactions appear to be having the desired effect, to the detriment of businesses.
At a news conference on Nov. 19, Henry ordered B.C. residents to limit social gatherings to their immediate household, or a small pandemic bubble for those living alone.
“This applies in our homes, vacation rentals and in the community and in public venues, including those with less than 50 people in controlled settings,” Henry said.
She made no specific mention of restaurants or pubs, and Ian Tostenson with the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association said there has been confusion about who can dine out.
“We haven’t seen the latest health order, it hasn’t been written from last week, so as far as we’re concerned, we’re telling people go to a restaurant but go to a restaurant in the spirit of hanging with people you trust in a small bubble,” Tostenson said.
Tostenson estimates over the last 10 days, restaurants have lost about 30-40 per cent of their pandemic sales as those who were confused by the orders chose to stay home.
Henry’s order was an expansion of a previous regional order that only applied in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. During prior news conferences, Henry made clear that while dining out was encouraged, people should only do it with their households.
On Monday, Henry clarified again that she wants British Columbians to spend the next two weeks only socializing in person with others from their household, or a bubble of one or two designated people for those who live alone. That applies to going to restaurants.
The restrictions are also hitting bars and pubs hard. Jeff Guignard with the Alliance of Beverage Licensees estimated business dropped by 50 per cent of pandemic levels.
“So you have people who are down to 25 per cent of where they were in 2019 and that’s just not sustainable. We’re on the verge of significant bankruptcies right now,” he said.
Restrictions are scheduled tin place until Dec. 7.
Here are all the events that are affected by the new COVID-19 orders in B.C. – BC News – Castanet.net
Last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a host of new restrictions in the wake of surging cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province.
B.C.’s top doctor stated that all British Columbians are ordered to stop any non-essential travel outside of their respective health regions until Dec. 7. Several other indoor activities will be put on hold, as well as all community-based gatherings.
Today, Henry clarified what events and gatherings must be postponed under the new order during the daily COVID-19 news briefing. She underscored that all events are postponed, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor. That said, these events aren’t cancelled, but “on pause.”
She added that many of the province’s beloved Christmas and holiday events will be postponed, too.
“If we are able to get into a place of control, then some of these lower-risk events may happen again,” said Henry. “But right now, we need to stop all of those opportunities for us to congregate, to go out and do things socially.”
Movie theatres have also been suspended, as well as events at bars and restaurants. However, bars and restaurants will remain open because they offer important ways to ensure that people get meals, explained Henry.
Art galleries are permitted to have people browsing their collections on a daily basis as long as they have strict COVID-19 safety plans in place. But exhibition openings, larger gatherings and events at galleries must also be postponed.
What is considered an event?
In the updated public health order, “event” refers to anything which gathers people together whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis. All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order are temporarily suspended.
The following events are not permitted under the new health order:
- a gathering in vacation accommodation
- a private residence
- banquet hall or another place
- a party
- worship service
- ceremony or celebration of any type
- wedding (unless fewer than 10 people)
- funeral (unless fewer than 10 people)
- celebration of life (unless fewer than 10 people)
- musical, theatrical or dance entertainment or performance
- live band performance, disc jockey performance
- strip dancing
- comedic act
- art show
- magic show
- puppet show
- fashion show
- book signing
- educational presentation (except in a school or post-secondary educational institution)
- fundraising benefit
- sporting or other physical activity
- market or fair, including a trade fair, agricultural fair, seasonal fair or episodic indoor event that has as its primary purpose the sale of merchandise or services e.g. Christmas craft markets, home shows, antique fairs and the like and for certainty includes a gathering preceding or following another event.
Social gatherings and events
No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:
- Do not invite friends or extended family to your household
- Do not host gathering outdoors
- Do not gather in your backyard
- Do not have playdates for children
All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended. For example:
- Musical or theatre performances
- Seasonal activities
- Silent auctions
The order is in effect from Nov. 19 at midnight to Dec. 7 at midnight.
Earlier today, Henry announced 1,933 new cases of COVID-19 in the province over three days, as well as 17 fatalities.
More Pressure Put on Businesses As Covid Cases Rise in NB – Huddle Today
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick faced another bleak day in terms of Covid-19 news on Monday. Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell confirmed that the province has 15 new active cases of Covid-19 and one more person has died because of the virus.
“I want to send my sincere condolences to the family and the friends of this individual,” said Higgs. “Our thoughts are with you and our province grieves your loss.”
Monday’s press conference came in wake of the huge news the PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador are opting out of the Atlantic Bubble for at least two weeks. Higgs assured people that New Brunswick, for the time being, will remain in the bubble with Nova Scotia.
But even though New Brunswick remains in the bubble, Higgs pleaded with his residents not to travel anywhere unless it is absolutely required. Under the circumstances, Higgs said this is an opportunity to support local businesses for holiday shopping this year.
“Now is not the time to travel to other areas, or do to your holiday shopping,” said Higgs. “We need to shop local. It’s not only time to protect ourselves… it’s a time to support businesses in each of the provinces.”
Higgs may be asking for folks to support businesses financially, but in recent days he has come down hard on the business community, warning business owners that they can be fined or shut down if rules aren’t followed. On top of that, Higgs, on Monday, told restaurants that they are responsible for making sure that they “don’t seat people together who don’t live together.”
Restaurants and other establishments will have the additional responsibility of asking customers for identification, in order to ensure that people are staying within their bubbles when going out to eat. It will also allow contact tracing to be easier if a patron contract Covid-19.
“It’s disappointing to learn that during contact tracing some people have not been giving their real names and contact information when they’ve been asked,” claims Higgs.
Higgs also said that inspectors and police officers are making sure businesses and other establishments are following public health guidelines. The Premier said more than 30 people have already been issued fines recently, most for not wearing a mask.
For parents wondering whether schools will soon be shut down, Dr. Russell said that won’t be happening yet. Those closures would happen if an area was moved to the “red” stage. She also said risk assessments are done on a school-by-school basis.
Higgs was also questioned on Monday about the concerns people have over getting evicted in the middle of the pandemic. Reports have recently surfaced of people losing their homes and having nowhere to turn. When pressed, Higgs said the government has no plans to bring back a ban on evictions.
“We caution that landlords should be very prudent in the exercise of such activities because this is a unique situation, especially being in ‘orange’…and we don’t need to add strain and stress into the community… but at this stage, we don’t have a particular change in our rules to govern that.”
'We are on the verge of significant bankruptcies': Restaurants and pubs struggle under B.C.'s new restrictions – CTV News Vancouver
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