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Twelve new cases reported Thursday, Health Unit wants people to get back to basics – Owen Sound Sun Times

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This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S.

The Canadian Press

Twelve new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the Grey Bruce Health Unit Thursday as public health officials implored residents to get back to the basics of fighting the virus.

According to Thursday’s report, there are 17 probable cases and 211 high-risk contacts to go along with the 53 confirmed active COVID-19 cases now in the region.

The new cases were reported in Southgate (6), Hanover (2), Owen Sound, The Blue Mountains, Kincardine and Grey Highlands.

The health unit also announced Thursday that there is a COVID-19 case associated with Sacred Heart High School in Walkerton. Staff and students who have had close contact with the affected case have been notified by public health and are isolating. The school is not under a COVID-19 outbreak because there has so far been no evidence of transmission within the school.

A media release distributed by the health unit moments before Thursday’s summary of cases said that if this trend continues, case management and contact tracing used to maintain control of the situation will be challenged.

“Based on the increase in numbers, most likely, the Grey Bruce Health Unit will be moving from the Green to the Yellow level of Ontario’s COVID-19 colour-coded framework in the imminent future. This means greater restrictions and enhanced enforcement – including operational restrictions on bars and restaurants, sports and recreational facilities, personal care services, retail spaces and other businesses – an outcome that none of us desires. Collectively, it is in our control to change course,” the release said.

Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce’s medical officer of health, said COVID-19 fatigue is partly to blame for the trend. He wants Grey-Bruce residents to refocus on the basic measures of preventing transmission such as washing hands, wearing a mask in public places, avoiding crowds, keeping a safe distance and staying home when sick.

“Hopefully with the increased number of cases, people are going to become more concerned and the engagement will be invested, or people will be more mindful,” Arra said.

So far, Arra said, the health unit has been able to make contact with all positive COVID-19 cases within 24-hours, but as cases become more varied and spread out that may be more difficult.

The health unit is also suggesting people avoid travel to COVID-19 hotspots and minimize non-essential travel altogether.

“People need to go back to the basics. If there is no essential reason, people really shouldn’t just be going somewhere for the sake of visiting or any other reason,” Arra said.

He said that about half of the cases in the past four or five weeks have been related to somebody travelling to a different health unit or hot-spot, or having a friend from another area visit them.

Of the 256 people in Grey-Bruce to contract COVID-19, 189 have recovered and 14 have been referred to other health units.

Two patients are currently hospitalized in Grey-Bruce with confirmed cases of COVID-19. No deaths have been attributed to the disease locally, and there are currently no COVID-19 outbreaks at any local long-term care facilities, daycares of schools in Grey-Bruce.

Public health units throughout Ontario reported 1,210 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Most of the new cases were reported in Peel Region (361) and Toronto (346). There were 143 cases reported in York Region. Eleven additional health units reported new cases in the double digits.

There are at least 526 people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 88 on ventilators.

Twenty-eight more deaths were linked to the disease Thursday.

Bruce Power has launched a $1 million commitment to help Grey-Bruce double down in its efforts to limit transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

“Focused on Grey, Bruce and Huron counties, the company will make a $1 million commitment and work with public health, county and municipal governments, chambers of commerce, hospitals, local MPs and MPPs, and community organizations to redouble efforts to battle the pandemic,” the company said Thursday in a news release.

The “Be a Light: Beating COVID-19 Together” campaign will focus on five areas: public awareness, providing protection, buying local, mental and physical health and lending a helping hand.

“In the coming days, Bruce Power will be announcing specific contributions and initiatives associated with each of these five areas as time and action is of the essence to respond to the urgent situation Ontario and our communities face,” the release stated.

Bruce Power said it will utilize community media to help reinforce guidance from local public health officials while continuing to help source personal protective equipment and monitoring equipment.

Bruce Power also announced a $50,000 investment to leverage the Grey-Bruce-Huron Strong platform to support local businesses.

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Moderna chairman says Canada near front of line for 20M vaccine doses – 680 News

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The chairman of American vaccine maker Moderna says Canada is near the front of the line to receive 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it pre-ordered.

Noubar Afeyan offered that assessment today in an interview with CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live.

Afeyan’s remarks come as the Trudeau government has come under fire this past week for its ability to deliver a timely vaccine to Canadians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made.

Afeyan was asked whether the fact that Canada committed to pre-purchase its doses before other jurisdictions means it will get its supply first.

Afeyan confirmed that was the case.

“The people who are willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to,” he said.

“In the case of Canada, that number is about 20 million doses. But the Canadian government, like others, have also reserved the ability to increase that amount. And those discussions are ongoing,” he added.

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Shares take a breather after stellar month, China data upbeat – reuters.com

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – World shares paused to assess a record-busting month on Monday as the prospect of a vaccine-driven economic recovery next year and yet more free money from central banks eclipsed immediate concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Passersby wearing protective face masks are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage, in Tokyo, Japan November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Helping sentiment was a survey showing factory activity in China handily beat forecasts in November, and the country’s central bank surprised with a helping of cheap loans. That left blue chips up 1.3% on the day and 7.4% for the month.

The rush to risk has also benefited oil and industrial commodities while undermining the safe-haven dollar and gold.

“November looks set to be an awesome month for equity investors with Europe leading the charge at a country/regional level,” said NAB analyst Rodrigo Catril.

Many European bourses are boasting their best month ever with France up 21% and Italy almost 26%. The MSCI measure of world stocks is up 13% for November so far, while the S&P 500 has climbed 11% to all-time peaks.

Early Monday, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.4%, to be up almost 11% for the month in its best performance since late 2011.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 eased 0.4%, but was still 15.4% higher on the month for the largest rise since 1994.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.4%, and EUROSTOXX 50 futures 0.6%.

“Markets are overbought and at risk of a short term pause,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital.

“However, we are now in a seasonally strong time of year and investors are yet to fully discount the potential for a very strong recovery next year in growth and profits as stimulus combines with vaccines.”

Cyclical recovery shares including resources, industrials and financials were likely to be relative outperformers, he added.

The surge in stocks has put some competitive pressure on safe-haven bonds but much of that has been cushioned by expectations of more asset buying by central banks.

Sweden’s Riksbank surprised last week by expanding its bond purchase program and the European Central Bank is likely to follow in December.

DOLLAR IN DECLINE

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies to Congress on Tuesday amid speculation of further policy action at its next meeting in mid-December.

As a result U.S. 10-year yields are ending the month almost exactly where they started at 0.84%, a solid performance given the exuberance in equities.

The U.S. dollar has not been as lucky.

“The idea that a potential Treasury Secretary (Janet) Yellen and Fed chair Powell could work more closely to shape and coordinate super easy monetary policy and massive fiscal stimulus that could drive a rapid post pandemic recovery saw the dollar under pressure,” said Robert Rennie, head of financial market strategy at Westpac.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar index was pinned at 91.771 having shed 2.4% for the month to lows last seen in mid-2018.

The euro has caught a tailwind from the relative outperformance of European stocks and climbed 2.7% for the month so far to reach $1.1967. A break of the September peak at $1.2011 would open the way to a 2018 top at $1.2555.

The dollar has even declined against the Japanese yen, a safe-haven of its own, losing 0.7% in November to reach 103.89 yen, though it remains well above key support at 103.16.

Sterling stood at $1.3334, having climbed steadily this month to its highest since September, as investors wagered a Brexit deal would be brokered even as the deadline for talks loomed ever larger.

One major casualty of the rush to risk has been gold, which was near a five-month trough at $1,771 an ounce having shed 5.6% so far in November.

Oil, in contrast, has benefited from the prospect of a demand revival should the vaccines allow travel and transport to resume next year. [O/R]

Some profit-taking set in early Monday ahead of an OPEC+ meeting to decide whether the producers’ group will extend large output cuts. Brent crude futures fell 52 cents to $47.66, while U.S. crude eased 60 cents to $44.93 a barrel.

Editing by Lincoln Feast & Simon Cameron-Moore

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Alberta reports 1,608 new cases of COVID-19, second highest number during pandemic – CBC.ca

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Alberta reported 1,608 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths on Sunday.

The total number of active cases in Alberta grew to 15,692, according to the province. There are 435 people in the hospital and 95 in intensive care. 

According to the province there is a “brief delay in a death being reported to Alberta Health or in a death being confirmed post-mortem as having COVID-19 as a contributing cause”.

The nine deaths brings the provincial total to 533. Five of which are linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre in Edmonton. They include a man and woman, both in their 80s who died on Nov. 25. They had underlying conditions along with COVID-19. A man in his 70s who died on Nov. 26 who also had underlying conditions. Another man and woman in their 90s who died on Nov. 27 also had one or more additional conditions.

The remaining deaths include a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Westlock Continuing Care Centre in North Zone. The province did not confirm if he had underlying conditions. Another man in his 90s in south zone who died on Nov. 28 also with underlying conditions. 

Another man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Laurel Heights Retirement Residence in Edmonton Zone who died on Nov. 28, and a man in his 80s who died on Nov. 29 due to the outbreak at Clifton Manor in Calgary Zone. The province could not confirm underlying conditions for either. 

A regional breakdown of cases as of Saturday shows the impact of COVID-19 in different parts of the province:

  • Calgary zone: 5,756 active cases

  • South zone: 642 active cases

  • Edmonton zone: 7,230 active cases

  • North zone: 857 active cases

  • Central zone: 1,101 active cases

  • Unknown: 106 active cases

The majority of people in the hospital and ICU are from the Edmonton zone. There are 222 people hospitalized in Edmonton and 50 in intensive care. In comparison, Calgary has 138 people in hospital and 33 in intensive care. The remaining zones’ hospitalizations are in double digits.

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