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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Saturday, Oct. 31 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

  • Halloween is going ahead amidst the pandemic, and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says there are ways to ensure you have a safe and happy holiday.
  • Alberta’s data system will be undergoing some maintenance over the weekend, meaning no new numbers will be reported this weekend or on Monday. Data updates are set to resume on Tuesday.
  • Starting next Monday (Nov. 2), the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.
  • Alberta reported 622 new cases on Friday, bringing the total active cases in the province to 5,172 — another new high after hitting record numbers nearly every day for the past week.
  • Five more people have died, bringing total deaths in the province to 323. 
  • There are 140 people in hospital, 25 of whom are in intensive care.
  • If you’re wondering how to handle Halloween this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some ideas on how to trick-or-treat, give out candy or celebrate in a different way — without the fear of catching or spreading the coronavirus.
  • The province has brought in new mandatory limits of 15 people at most social gatherings in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • The province is also recommending voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 
  • It also recommends that people in Edmonton and Calgary limit themselves to no more than three social cohorts.

(CBC)

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Alberta set another record on Friday with 5,172 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 251 from the day before.

The death toll now sits at 323, up five from Thursday.

Five more deaths were reported on Friday. They involved:

  • A man in his 70s from Edmonton zone, not linked to continuing care.
  • Two men, one in his 80s and another in his 90s, linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton.
  • A man in his 80s linked to the South Terrace Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton Zone.
  • A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary.

Starting Monday, the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said the changes to the symptom list are intended to get children and teenagers back into child care or classrooms as quickly and safely as possible, while minimizing the risk of COVID-19.

In the last week, she said, more than 3,400 children and youth who were tested for COVID-19 reported having a sore throat. Just over 700 of them had a sore throat as their only symptom, and less than one per cent of their tests came back positive.

Meanwhile, the number of cases of COVID-19 among school-aged children in Alberta has again surged to a new high, while the number of kids and teens being tested continues to decline.

Data from Alberta Health shows the number of new daily cases has continued to rise among five- to nine-year-olds and has again shot up, especially, among 10- to 19-year-olds.

Over the past week on record, an average of 85 cases were recorded per day among school-aged kids and teens.

Alberta has reported a total of 27,664 cases since the pandemic began. Before this past week, which set new records on multiple days in a row, the highest active case total was 3,022, which was reported on April 30 at the peak of the first wave.

The active case rate per 100,000 people is 130.8 in Calgary and 185 in Edmonton. 

A snapshot of the active COVID-19 cases by health district in Calgary as of Oct. 28. (CBC)

A new temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

The province is also recommending two voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 

The federal minimum security Pê Sâkâstêw Centre in Maskwacis has been locked down after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Another three staff members are self-isolating at home. 

A spokesperson for Correctional Service Canada told CBC News they don’t believe the infected employees were in close contact with any of the inmates.

An outbreak at the Calgary Correctional Centre has gotten bigger, according to new numbers provided by Alberta Health Services. As of Friday, 104 inmates and 20 staff members have tested positive.

Albertans have been administered more than 597,000 doses of the flu shot so far this year, an increase of more than 50,000 when compared to the same time period last year.

“Thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of influenza, and helping our health system stay focused on the pandemic response,” Hinshaw said Thursday.

Health officials have said this year it is more important than ever to get the flu shot because of the pandemic. 

Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Friday.

  • Edmonton zone: 2,312,  an increase from 2,277 the day before.
  • Calgary zone: 2,034, an increase from 1,879 the day before.
  • North zone: 353, an increase from 325 the day before.
  • South zone: 276, an increase from 256 the day before.
  • Central zone: 178 an increase from 162 the day before.
  • Unknown: 19, a decrease from 22 the day before.  

Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean

Dr. Neil Collins gives CBC Calgary’s Rob Brown an update on the hospital capacity in the city. 4:50

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 11:20 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 234,083 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases, with 28,230 of those active. Provinces and territories listed 195,719 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,134.

On Friday, health officials in Canada reported a record-breaking number of new cases, totalling 3,457.

Manitoba saw 480 new cases on Friday, representing its highest single-day spike. Winnipeg will be placed under “red alert” pandemic restrictions starting on Monday.

Saskatchewan reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the record for the highest single-day jump in new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Quebec reported 1,064 new cases on Saturday, which was down from 1,108 new cases on Friday.

The province will receive about 453,000 in total, with a little less than half of that order expected to arrive by the end of this week. That means Quebec will receive about 37 per cent of the 1.2 million kits being deployed across Canada by the federal government.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadians suffering from mental illness, opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems, says a new study released today by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which confirms anecdotal reports warning that the pandemic’s health consequences extend well beyond the novel coronavirus itself.

(CBC News)

Self-assessment and supports:

With winter cold and influenza season approaching, Alberta Health Services will prioritize Albertans for testing who have symptoms, and those groups which are at higher risk of getting or spreading the virus.

General asymptomatic testing is no longer available to anyone, but voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to:

  • School teachers and staff.
  • Health-care workers.
  • Staff and residents at long-term care and congregate living facilities.
  • Any Albertans experiencing homelessness.
  • Travellers requiring a test before departure.

Additional groups can also access asymptomatic testing if required.

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

You can find Alberta Health Services’ latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Scotiabank CEO 'cautiously optimistic' about COVID rebound, reports $1.9B Q4 profit – Yahoo Canada Finance

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GlobeNewswire

Apple Rush Company seeing continued success with Element C through its distributor Botanaway, Inc. in Virginia

TITUSVILLE, Fla., Dec. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Apple Rush Company, Inc. (US OTC PINK: APRU), announces that it has shipped additional pallets of Element C to Botanaway, Inc. in Virginia. Element C continues to prove itself in the territories it is represented in. Sales have been solid and we believe it is the best in class of CBD beverages. It is one of a kind in taste, efficacy, and value. Depending on the market, pricing at retail is falling between $5.99 and $7.99 per can with 25mg of CBD. We have a new production run scheduled for next week and are excited about the reorder rate from retailers in the Midwest as well. Tony Torgerud, CEO of Apple Rush, said, “each of our distributors is proving that Element C is a top notch product that consumers love. We are receiving testimonials from consumers that can’t believe the difference Element C has made in their lives and expect that will continue as we expand to additional territories.”David Reynolds Derian, CEO of Botanaway, Inc., commented, “Element C is an amazing CBD beverage. We are seeing success with it throughout our thousands of retail stores and have our sights on several other functional beverages in the near future. The technology in formulation that APRU utilizes has proven to be a great differentiator from the other CBD infused beverages on the market.”Tony Continued, “we are excited to have David and his team on board for Element C. His support has been invaluable in what we do in research and development for new products. Our production runs will continue to increase in size as we expand across the country. I would expect to be making some announcements in the near future on new product development expanding the Element Brands line. We have been receiving calls from other parts of the country for distribution and will be adding those as production increases.”   About The Apple Rush Company, Inc. The Apple Rush Company, Inc., through its subsidiary APRU, LLC, is a distributor of CPG products under the trademarked Apple Rush brand, Element brand and other labels. The Apple Rush brand has more than 47 years of existence in the natural beverage industry. As a historical leader in the organic and natural beverage sector our goal is to now become a leader in the distribution of anhydrous hemp oil products nationwide. For more information, please go to www.applerush.com, www.aprubrands.com, and www.mistyk.com with our expanded product portfolio.Safe Harbor Act: Forward-Looking Statements are included within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements regarding our expected future financial position, results of operations, cash flows, financing plans, business strategy, products and services, competitive positions, growth opportunities, plans and objectives of management for future operations including words such as “anticipate,” “if,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “will,” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements and involve risks, uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control, which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance, or achievements. We are under no obligation to (and expressly disclaim any such obligation to) update or alter forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Investor Relations Contact: Tony Torgerud  888-741-3777 x 2

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Scotiabank beats as international unit rebounds, provisions fall – BNN

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Bank of Nova Scotia kicked off earnings season for Canada’s Big Six lenders by handily beating profit expectations amid a sharp drop in funds set aside for loans that could go bad.

Scotia said Tuesday its fiscal fourth quarter net income was $1.9 billion, compared to $2.3 billion a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.45 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.22.

In a potentially encouraging signal about credit quality trends amid the second wave of COVID-19, the bank booked $1.13 billion in provisions for credit losses during the three months ending Oct. 31. While that was a 50-per-cent increase from a year earlier, it was a significant decline from the $2.18 billion that had been set aside in the previous quarter.

Scotia’s core Canadian banking operations struggled in the quarter compared to the same time in 2019, with revenue falling four per cent year-over-year and adjusted profit sliding 13 per cent. The bank pointed out its net interest income came under pressure because of the Bank of Canada’s rate cuts. On a sequential basis, the unit’s profit surged 81 per cent.

The bank’s sprawling international operations rebounded in the quarter as adjusted profit hit $353 million from just $4 million in the fiscal third quarter.

Scotia’s other primary operating units – wealth management and global banking and markets – each delivered year-over-year growth in adjusted profit.

“As we look forward to 2021, we will continue to put customers first and we remain cautiously optimistic that better times lie ahead as we continue to grow our presence as a leading bank in the Americas,” said CEO Brian Porter in a release.

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Ottawa must be more transparent regarding COVID-19 vaccine rollout: expert – Canada News – Castanet.net

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As some provinces push for clarity on when they will receive their share of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccines, one expert said Monday the government should be more transparent about the terms of its contracts with the companies making the shots.

Kerry Bowman, who teaches bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto, said it’s likely Ottawa doesn’t have the information the provinces are seeking regarding the timing and quantity of vaccine deliveries, particularly if its contracts with drugmakers are conditional.

But if that’s the case, he said, the federal government should state it clearly or risk eroding public trust in its system.

While news that COVID-19 immunizations could begin in some countries in a matter of weeks is good for Canada in the long term, it will lead to widespread frustration in the near future if the country is lagging behind, he added.

“There’s benefits to all of humankind, no matter who’s getting it,” he said.

Still, “if two weeks from now, the news is full of us watching people all over the world being inoculated, including the United States, and we’re not, there’s going to be some very unhappy Canadians.”

As well, he said, any delay in immunization translates to more COVID-19 cases and deaths, and mounting economic strain.

“People will die and other people’s lives will continue to be ruined until we pull out of it. And so, to me, whether it’s this month or that month (that we get the vaccine) is not irrelevant — it’s highly relevant,” he said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford renewed his calls Monday for a clear delivery date for the province’s share of vaccines, stressing that “the clock is ticking” when it comes to fighting the novel coronavirus.

Ford said he was set to speak to Pfizer, one of the drugmakers that has entered into an agreement with Canada, on Monday afternoon but expected to be told the information must come from Ottawa.

The premier cited reports that other countries, such as the United Kingdom, are on track to start COVID-19 immunizations soon, adding Ontarians “need answers.”

Meanwhile, the American biotech company Moderna said Monday the first 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped to the United States next month.

The chairman of the American vaccine maker told the CBC on Sunday that Canada is near the front of the line to receive the 20 million doses it pre-ordered, confirming that the country’s early commitment to purchasing the shots means it will get its supply first.

Moderna is one of several companies to have already submitted partial data to a “rolling review” process offered by Health Canada. Rather than presenting regulators with a complete package of trial results, the would-be vaccine makers file data and findings as they become available. Canada has been looking at Moderna’s first results since mid-October.

The issue of when Canada will receive its orders came to the forefront last week when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country will have to wait a bit because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made.

Trudeau has repeatedly defended his government’s vaccine procurement policy, saying Ottawa has secured multiple options for the country.

The federal government was pressed on the matter further during Monday’s question period, as some MPs called for greater transparency regarding vaccine rollout, noting other countries such as Australia have made their plans public.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government has been working with the provinces and territories to ensure the plan is robust.

“Canada is well-served by the diversity of vaccines we have purchased early and in fact in great quantity. Canadians can be assured they too will have access to these vaccines that will bring us to the end of COVID-19,” she said.

Case counts remained high in several provinces Monday.

Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, reported 1,746, 1,733 and 1,333 new infections respectively. Together, the three provinces had 39 new deaths related to the virus.

Toronto, one of two Ontario hot spots currently under lockdown, recorded a daily high of 643 new infections.

In Manitoba, health officials stressed residents must limit their contact with others in order to bring down the numbers, as the province reported 342 new cases and 11 additional deaths.

The provincial government imposed strict measures on business openings and public gatherings more than two weeks ago, but officials said the test positivity rate remains at 13 per cent.

Nunavut, however, will begin to lift the lockdown measures it enacted in mid-November on Wednesday, as more people recover from the illness.

Only Arviat, which has 86 active cases, will continue to be in lockdown for at least another two weeks, with travel restrictions in place, Nunavut officials said.

The territory reported four new cases Monday, bringing the total to 181.

In British Columbia, the province announced the highest number of deaths for a three-day period as it recorded 46 fatalities over the weekend.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry became emotional Monday as she expressed her condolences to families and thanked caregivers for their dedication.

“Health-care workers have been at the front lines, or maybe the last line of defence right now,” she says. “I know how challenging it is and I’m with you every single day, supporting you in admiration for the work that you’re doing.”

Out east, six new infections have been recorded in New Brunswick today, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported one.

Nova Scotia reported 16 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total of active cases to 138.

On Sunday, the federal government announced it will extend a series of travel restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 into January, in light of the steady rise in case counts across the country.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Hajdu said in a statement the measures, which were first enacted near the start of the global health crisis, would be in effect until Jan. 21, 2021, for travellers entering Canada from a country other than the United States.

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