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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 13 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments:

What’s the latest?

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths Friday. Provincewide, health officials reported 1,396 cases Friday.

The province also made changes to its colour-coded COVID-19 system today, and put several regions into its red “control” zone which has more severe restrictions. Ottawa remains in the orange “restrict” zone.

Public health officials in Ottawa have announced two more assessment centres in the city’s core.

The new testing sites, which will be operated by The Ottawa Hospital and OPH, will be located at the National Arts Centre (NAC) parking garage and the McNabb Recreation Centre on Percy Street.

Ottawa-area health officials have begun discussing what a potential COVID-19 vaccine rollout could look like, while also urging people to keep their expectations in check.

WATCH | Alarming new modelling projections, especially for Ontario, frustrating for many doctors:

Canada’s COVID-19 second wave is accelerating. Frightening new modelling projections, especially for Ontario and B.C., make it more frustrating for many Canadian doctors who say health guidelines are still contradictory, vague or just plain weak. 2:01

How many cases are there?

As of Friday, 7,766 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 493 active cases and 6,917 resolved cases.

The city’s death toll has now climbed to 356.

Public health officials have reported more than 12,100 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 10,600 resolved cases.

Eighty-six people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 63 in western Quebec. 

(The Eastern Ontario Health Unit decreased their death count by five Friday, due to a change in how they define a COVID-19 death. The health unit said that some of the positive patients died of something other than COVID-19.)

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19, starting with one of the city’s youngest victims. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Ottawa is in orange in its provincial pandemic scale, meaning  larger organized gatherings are allowed and restaurants, gyms and theatres can reopen.

Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches has said people should focus on managing risks and taking precautions, such as seeing a few friends outside at a distance.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is in yellow, with slightly different measures such as later alcohol serving hours and more people allowed at restaurant tables.

The rest of eastern Ontario is green, the lowest level.

The medical officer of health for the Kingston, Ont., area is flagging a bump up in its curve and asking residents to stay within the region to avoid more “spillover” from Toronto and Ottawa.

In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec’s red zones, health officials say the situation is stable, but now needs to improve. They are still asking residents not to leave home unless it’s essential.

Indoor dining at that area’s restaurants remains prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.

The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — with more in seated venues.

Travel to another region is discouraged throughout the Outaouais. Ontario says people shouldn’t travel to a lower-level region from a higher one.

What about schools?

There have been about 200 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there’s a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

Alarming projections from Ontario’s new COVID-19 modeling show hospitals could be dangerously overloaded with cases in just weeks. Premier Doug Ford defends his ‘balanced’ approach to managing COVID-19, as doctors and medical groups call current measures inadequate. 2:05

This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don’t live with — even with a mask on.

Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.

Etches says people should be wary of blind spots, like taking a lunch break at work with colleagues or carpooling.

A cyclist in Major’s Hill Park in downtown Ottawa in November 2020. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can’t distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. 

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province.

Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, says optimistic news about a COVID-19 vaccine may offer hope for residents who are tired of pandemic restrictions, though loosening those measures too early would lead to a rapid rise in cases. 1:03

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.

Ottawa has eight permanent test sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.

Kingston’s test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area’s other test site is in Napanee.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly. There are none on Remembrance Day.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.

They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne now has 30 known active cases of COVID-19, its highest of the pandemic.Ten of them are on the Canadian side of the international border. 

Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

Aswesasne schools are temporarily closed to in-person learning and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre has also closed. It has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.

Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte reported its first confirmed case last week.

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. 

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

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Asian shares open higher following stellar month of gains – Reuters

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Healthcare

Paulina Duran
Jessica DiNapoli

(Corrects to China’s index, not futures, in paragraph 3)

SYDNEY/NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Asian share markets opened slightly higher on Tuesday buoyed by the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccine, reversing the previous day’s dips as investors took profits at the end of a record-breaking month.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.26% on Tuesday after closing the month 9% higher, the best November since 2001. Japan’s Nikkei and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 were each 0.9% higher, while South Korea was up 1.4%.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was 0.72% higher on Tuesday, after data on Monday that pointed to a continued recovery in the world’s second-largest economy against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve seen clearly a huge wave of liquidity coming to equities in response to the vaccine news and in response to U.S. election news,” said Hamish Tadgell, a portfolio manager at SG Hiscock & Company.

“But there are still risks, and as a result we could see the market pull back, I think, particularly as we come into sort of the Christmas period.”

Wall Street was weaker on Monday, partly driven by a rebalancing of portfolios, as investors cashed in on gains after a strong month punctuated by updates of COVID-19 vaccines progressing and hopes of a swift economic rebound next year.

“There was profit taking around the world so we ended a record month with a whimper not a bang, and you know, taking a little bit of a breather,” said Interactive Brokers Chief Strategist Steve Sosnick.

“I think that markets are pricing in, if not fully pricing a recovery, they are pricing in the vast majority of it (and) it’s very hard to meet these elevated expectations.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe was roughly flat. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures were down 0.36%, while China’s CSI 300 futures were 0.36% higher.

In the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.91% on Monday while the S&P 500 lost 0.46%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended down 0.06%.

Moderna Inc applied for U.S. emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine after full results from a late-stage study showed it was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns.

“U.S. markets were a little bit lower, that’s what was holding us back a little bit,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone. “People are pretty optimistic for a good 2021.”

The dollar was under pressure on Tuesday, after closing out its worst month since July with a little bounce and as investors reckon on even more U.S. monetary easing.

Oil prices were slightly lower on uncertainty about whether the world’s major oil producers would agree to extend deep output cuts at talks this week.

U.S. crude eased back 11 cents to $45.23 a barrel on Tuesday, while Brent crude futures were largely unchanged at $47.86.


© 2020 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

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Housing growth, auto loans drive up demand for credit in third quarter: Equifax – Business News – Castanet.net

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Consumer demand for credit intensified in the third quarter, driven chiefly by increases in mortgage balances and new auto loans, according to data released Monday by credit reporting agency Equifax.

Mortgage balances and new auto loans were up 6.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent year over year, respectively, according to Equifax. Overall average consumer debt increased 3.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of last year.

Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, said in an interview that growth in mortgages last quarter was especially high, with the largest increase among people under 35. That trend comes even as economic fallout from the pandemic and associated lockdown measures hit young people especially hard.

“In terms of new mortgages, that could be refinancing, or it could be brand-new, first-time homebuyers or it could be people moving house,” Oakes said. “That was actually the highest value that we’ve seen ever.”

The increased demand for auto loans in the third quarter could have been a result of pent-up demand from people who had to wait to buy cars later in the year, Oakes said.

The figures in Equifax’s report are drawn from banks and other lenders that provide data to the credit rating agency.

Equifax pegged total consumer debt at $2.04 trillion, while Statistics Canada reported in June that household debt had reached $2.3 trillion, with $1.77 in debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

More than three million consumers have chosen to use payment deferral programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Equifax. Since the start of this year, some banks have offered consumers the option to suspend their loan payments for several months, in recognition of the financial strain the pandemic has created for many households.

However, under the payment deferral programs, interest continues to accrue during the months for which payments are suspended.

The percentage of balances where credit users have missed three or more payments was at its lowest level since 2014, with deferral programs likely masking the true delinquency rates, according to Oakes.

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Housing growth, auto loans drive up demand for credit in third quarter: Equifax – Business News – Castanet.net

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Consumer demand for credit intensified in the third quarter, driven chiefly by increases in mortgage balances and new auto loans, according to data released Monday by credit reporting agency Equifax.

Mortgage balances and new auto loans were up 6.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent year over year, respectively, according to Equifax. Overall average consumer debt increased 3.3 per cent compared with the third quarter of last year.

Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, said in an interview that growth in mortgages last quarter was especially high, with the largest increase among people under 35. That trend comes even as economic fallout from the pandemic and associated lockdown measures hit young people especially hard.

“In terms of new mortgages, that could be refinancing, or it could be brand-new, first-time homebuyers or it could be people moving house,” Oakes said. “That was actually the highest value that we’ve seen ever.”

The increased demand for auto loans in the third quarter could have been a result of pent-up demand from people who had to wait to buy cars later in the year, Oakes said.

The figures in Equifax’s report are drawn from banks and other lenders that provide data to the credit rating agency.

Equifax pegged total consumer debt at $2.04 trillion, while Statistics Canada reported in June that household debt had reached $2.3 trillion, with $1.77 in debt for every dollar of household disposable income.

More than three million consumers have chosen to use payment deferral programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Equifax. Since the start of this year, some banks have offered consumers the option to suspend their loan payments for several months, in recognition of the financial strain the pandemic has created for many households.

However, under the payment deferral programs, interest continues to accrue during the months for which payments are suspended.

The percentage of balances where credit users have missed three or more payments was at its lowest level since 2014, with deferral programs likely masking the true delinquency rates, according to Oakes.

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