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Happening across Canada on Friday

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Canada approached 7,000 COVID-19-related deaths and the total number of cases passed 88,000 on Thursday as both Quebec and Ontario reported hundreds of new cases and New Brunswick faced a fresh outbreak linked to a health-care worker.

As of 7:30 a.m. ET Friday, Canada had 88,512 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 46,853 of them considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional information and CBC’s reporting stood at 6,963.

New Brunswick, which has been ahead of most other provinces in its reopening given its relatively low case numbers, announced a new outbreak this week in Campbellton, which is near the Quebec border in the province’s north. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, said there are a total of six cases, including a health-care worker who failed to self-isolate after travel.

The province said in a statement Thursday that the current active cases “appear to have a connection to a health-care professional who worked in the Restigouche area.”

“Based on the contact tracing and the testing that we are doing, we will see more cases,” she said Thursday. Premier Blaine Higgs, who has called the health worker “irresponsible,” said that information has been passed along to RCMP, “to determine exactly what took place and whether charges are warranted.”

Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories

British Columbia health officials said Thursday that an outbreak at the Mission Institution, a medium security correctional facility, is over. The Correctional Service Canada reported 120 positive COVID-19 tests at the facility, with one death. Read more about what’s happening in B.C, which reported two new long-term care deaths linked to COVID-19, for a total of 164 deaths.

Alberta is allowing preschools to open as of June 1 under tighter public health guidelines. The province reported two more COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing its total to 143. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta, where there have been a total of 6,955 cases, with 6,160 considered resolved or recovered.

Saskatchewan reported two more coronavirus cases on Thursday, one in the far north and one in the Saskatoon area. Read more about what’s happening in Saskatchewan.

An infectious disease specialist answers viewer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, including whether someone who has recovered from COVID-19 can stop physical distancing. 2:46

Manitoba reported two more cases on Thursday, bringing the provincial total of confirmed and presumptive cases to 294, with 273 considered resolved. The province, which is preparing to reopen schools for limited programming including one-on-one and small group instruction on June 1, has reported seven deaths. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.

Ontario’s long-term care minister said 19 long-term care homes are still considered “red” or “high risk,” but would not say if the province will identify them publicly. “If you really look at the dynamic nature of what’s happening in our homes, our homes are shifting,” Merrilee Fullerton said, noting that their status can change daily. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the government should release the list so that families can know which homes are struggling.

Issues continue to surround Ontario’s failure to gather and share data about COVID-19, which many say is key to controlling outbreaks. 1:44

Quebec reported 563 new COVID-19 cases and 74 new deaths on Thursday, bringing its death toll to 4,302. The province has reported a total of 49,702 cases, with 15,618 of the cases listed as resolved. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.

In New Brunswick, the threat of a growing COVID-19 outbreak forced the adjournment of the provincial legislature Thursday and delayed by a week the planned loosening of some restrictions in the province’s recovery plan. The moves came a day after officials confirmed a health-care worker who travelled outside New Brunswick had failed to self-isolate upon their return and subsequently infected other people in the Campbellton area.

Dr. Jennifer Russell announced three new COVID-19 cases in the Campbellton area on Thursday, bringing the province’s active case number up to six. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

 

Nova Scotia reported two new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing its total to 1,055, with 977 considered resolved. The province has reported 59 deaths to date, with most linked back to the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax.

People who live in Prince Edward Island’s long-term care homes will be able to see visitors again as of June 1. The visits will be by appointment, will have time limits and will happen outside in a bid to prevent infection, officials said. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what happens when you buy or sell a house. Andrew Chang walks through what’s changed in the real estate game. 1:48

Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new coronavirus case on Thursday after going 20 days without any new cases. The case is related to travel, health officials said. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.

Nunavut, which is the only province or territory in Canada that has no confirmed COVID-19 cases, has extended its public health emergency until June 11. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said Thursday that the territory’s border won’t be reopened soon. “Right now, travel into Nunavut from outside of the territory represents the highest risk,” he said. Read more about what’s happening across the North.

Here’s what’s happening around the world

 

Many Italians are concerned about the potential for more COVID-19 spread as the country reopens its borders to free travel and people start returning to workplaces. 1:58

Source: – CBC.ca

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Canada not ready for second wave of COVID-19, Senate committee says – CBC.ca

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Canada is ill-prepared for a second wave of COVID-19, says a Senate committee, calling on the federal Liberals to deliver a plan by Labour Day to help people and communities hit hardest by the pandemic. 

Seniors, in particular, are a focus of the report from the Senate’s social affairs committee, from those in long-term care homes to those with low incomes. 

Just this week, the Liberals rolled out one-time special payments of $300 to the more than six million people who receive old-age security, and $200 more for the 2.2 million who also receive the guaranteed income supplement. 

The income supports are meant to help seniors facing increased costs as a result of the pandemic, such as more frequent prescription fees and delivery charges for groceries.  Senators on the committee wrote of evidence of “financial insecurity and increased vulnerability” for low-income seniors as a result of the first wave of the novel coronavirus. 

A potential second wave, which could coincide with the annual flu season that starts in the fall, would make the situation even worse for these seniors “without concrete and timely government action,” the report says. 

Senators say the Liberals should deliver a plan to help low-income seniors, among other populations vulnerable to economic shocks like new immigrants, no later than the end of August, and contain short- and long-term options. 

The report also says the federal government needs to pay urgent attention to seniors in long-term care homes where outbreaks and deaths in the pandemic have been concentrated. 

The document made public Thursday morning is the committee’s first set of observations on the government’s response to the pandemic, with a final report expected later this year. 

Before then, the Liberals are planning to provide another economic update like the one delivered Wednesday, or possibly a full budget. 

Healthcare and pharmacare

The government shelved plans to deliver one at the end of March when the House of Commons went on extended hiatus due to the pandemic. 

The long-awaited economic “snapshot,” as the Liberals styled it, said federal spending is closing in on $600 billion this fiscal year. That means a deficit of $343 billion, fuelled by emergency pandemic aid that the government budgets at over $230 billion. 

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada said the spending figures demand a “full and transparent assessment” to see what worked, what didn’t and what needs to change for an economic recovery. 

Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said the Liberals should take back up their promise to create a national pharmacare system as the government considers its next steps. 

A federal advisory council last year calculated the cost of a program at over $15 billion annually, depending on its design. 

“The last thing we want to have is Canadians in frail health as we’re dealing with this pandemic and I think the government really needs to think of that,” Yussuff said in an interview Wednesday. 

“Had it not been for the health care system we have right now,” he added later, “think of how this country would have fared in this pandemic.” 

The Senate committee’s report also notes the national emergency stockpile of personal protective gear like masks, gowns and gloves wasn’t managed well over the years, nor sufficiently stocked when the pandemic struck. 

Committee members added concerns that military members could be deployed without sufficient personal protective equipment because of “inconsistencies from international procurement.”

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Coronavirus: Canada adds 370 new cases, 12 deaths Thursday – Global News

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Canada’s total coronavirus case count went up by 370 Thursday and its deaths by 12.

The country now has 106,783 cases total with 27,460 of them active, and 8,749 deaths total.

Quebec, the hardest-hit province in Canada, reported 137 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 56,216.

Read more:
Quebec bans bars from selling alcohol after midnight to limit coronavirus outbreaks

Six new deaths were also reported, though four of them occurred before July 1. There have now been 5,609 deaths due to the virus in the province.

There are currently 308 people hospitalized in the province, down 23 from Wednesday, and 27 are in intensive care.

Ontario reported 170 new cases on Thursday, with 86 of them originating in the Windsor-Essex region as the province targets temporary farmworkers for testing.

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Coronavirus: Federal health officials say ‘limit or no transmission’ of COVID-19 in most parts of Canada


Coronavirus: Federal health officials say ‘limit or no transmission’ of COVID-19 in most parts of Canada

The province now has 36,348 cases total with 31,977 of them recovered, or 88 per cent. Overall, the new daily infection numbers have been on the decline over the past several weeks.

There are currently 123 patients hospitalized, with 31 of them in intensive care (down by four the previous day) and 23 patients on a ventilator (down by three).

Ontario has seen 2,703 deaths after three more were reported Thursday.

Read more:
Ontario reports 170 new coronavirus cases, 86 from Windsor-Essex; total cases at 36,348

In Alberta, meanwhile, three new deaths were announced Thursday, all linked to a coronavirus outbreak at Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital.

The deaths bring the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in the province to 161, while 37 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the province over the past 24 hours. Currently, there are 584 active cases in Alberta.

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Of the total 8,519 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 7,774 have recovered.






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Canada’s greatest coronavirus threat comes from U.S.


Canada’s greatest coronavirus threat comes from U.S.

British Columbia reported 20 new cases Thursday, bringing its total to 3,028, nine of which were not tested but are considered epidemiologically-linked.

More than 88 per cent of those patients have fully recovered, while 175 cases remain active.

Seventeen of those cases are in hospital, four of them in critical care.

Read more:
20 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., no new deaths

In Saskatchewan, five new cases were added to bring its total to 813, while 750 of them have recovered, up by four from yesterday.

There have been 15 COVID-19-related deaths in the province.

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There are currently 48 active cases in the province, health officials said. Active cases are total cases less recoveries and deaths.

For the ninth straight day, no new COVID-19 cases were reported in Manitoba, keeping its total cases to 325 — 11 of which are presumptive cases — with four active cases. Seven Manitobans have died.

Read more:
Manitoba sees 9 straight days with no new coronavirus cases reported

New Brunswick reported one new case of the coronavirus on Thursday in the Fredericton region, and said it was a travel-related case and the individual is self-isolating.

The province said the number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 166 and 163 people have recovered. There have been two deaths, and there is one active case.

No new cases or deaths were announced in the rest of the Atlantic or Canada’s territories.

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— With files from Gabby Rodrigues, Phil Heidenreich, Thomas Piller, Shane Gibson, Kalina Laframboise, Aya Al-Hakim and Simon Little

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada pushes back on U.S. Congress members’ call to reopen border amid coronavirus – Global News

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The federal government is softly pushing back against an effort from U.S. Congress members to reopen the border with Canada amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying any decision will be made “by Canadians, for Canadians.”

A bipartisan group of 29 federal lawmakers led by New York representatives Blaine Higgins and Elise Stefanik sent a letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf late last week, urging both countries to “immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border.”

Read more:
Coronavirus: U.S. sets single-day record with 60,000 new cases of COVID-19

The group also calls for interim measures to ease restrictions on family members and property owners, particularly those with property only accessible through cross-border travel, and “restore the social bond that unites our two nations.”

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“We hope that our legacy of binational cooperation would lend to the development of a thorough plan to protect the health of our shared communities and reinvigorate them in this time of recovery,” the letter reads.

The Canada-U.S. border was shut down to all but essential travel, including transportation of goods and work-related travel, on March 21. The closure has been extended by 30-day periods after assessments of the COVID-19 pandemic in both countries, pushing the deadline most recently to July 21.






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‘We’re very concerned’: Dr. Bonnie Henry on COVID-19 transmission coming from U.S.


‘We’re very concerned’: Dr. Bonnie Henry on COVID-19 transmission coming from U.S.

The Congress members argue those regular extensions have created “unnecessary tension” and uncertainty for individuals and the shared economy,

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“Continuing to extend border restrictions at 30-day intervals is untenable for the communities that have been separated from family and unable to tend to their property for over three months,” the group argues.

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Read more:
As travel increases, Canada boosting presence of health officials at airports, U.S. border

Higgins, a Democrat, and Republican member Stefanik are co-chairs of the Northern Border Caucus, which focuses on cross-border commerce and investment as well as border infrastructure.

In response to the letter, a spokesperson for the office of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said while conversations between Canada and the U.S. about the border are ongoing, “both sides agree that the current measures in place” have “worked well.”

“Our absolute priority is the health and safety of Canadians,” Katherine Cuplinskas said in an email. “That is why we want to be clear that decisions about Canada’s border are made by Canadians, for Canadians.”






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Coronavirus: Why reopening the Canada-US border too soon could mean a ‘second wave’


Coronavirus: Why reopening the Canada-US border too soon could mean a ‘second wave’

Cuplinskas did not give any suggestion either way as to whether the July 21 deadline will be extended yet again.

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Public polling has suggested Canadians are mostly supportive of the decision to keep the U.S. border closed to limit the spread of COVID-19, and has remained steadfast as cases have surged south of the border at an alarming rate.

Read more:
Canadians living in U.S. hunker down as coronavirus cases surge

The U.S. topped three million infections Wednesday, just 28 days after crossing the two-million mark — cutting by nearly half the time it took to grow from a million to two million cases.

Spikes in several states have lead to continuous record-breaking daily case counts, which have been blamed in part on aggressive moves to reopen local economies.

A Globe and Mail/Nanos poll released Monday, three days after Higgins’ and Stefaniuk’s letter was sent to Blair and Wolf, found 81 per cent of those surveyed want the border to remain closed “for the foreseeable future.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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