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Why Canada's seniors need the coronavirus vaccine so urgently – CBC.ca

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The rising number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Canada, coupled with the new threat from mutant variants, makes it more urgent to vaccinate our oldest and most vulnerable, experts say.

Vaccine supplies are now coming into Canada, and doctors say we need to get them into many more arms. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he plans to raise accelerating vaccine rollout with provincial and territorial leaders on Thursday.

More than 70 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada have been among those aged 80 and older, according to an epidemiology update by the federal government. In Ontario, the province reported more than 2,700 pandemic-related deaths in long-term care homes as of Dec. 30.

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, a professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Montreal, usually treats outpatients as a geriatrician at Montreal’s geriatrics research institute. But during the spring wave of COVID-19, she joined the front lines at one of the city’s hardest-hit nursing homes.

“It was equally tragic and frustrating,” Tannenbaum recalled. “We had 150 deaths in our centre. Our seniors were isolated, depressed, dying.”

The “bodies in the hall,” she said, were grim proof that the oldest have borne the brunt of the coronavirus.

Crosses are displayed in November in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility in Mississauga, Ont. As of Dec. 30, Ontario has reported more than 2,700 pandemic-related deaths in long-term care homes. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

And now Tannenbaum faces a hospital at capacity, which means there won’t be staffed beds available for more patients sick with COVID-19 and other illnesses — a reality that makes vaccinations all the more pressing.

“I’d be happy to get in my car and start driving around vaccinating older adults if asked to do that by the government. That’s how seriously I think it’s needed,” Tannenbaum said. “But of course, I can’t do that because I don’t have a –80 degree freezer [needed for Pfizer-BioNtech’s vaccine], so it has to be more co-ordinated.”

To Tannenbaum, there’s a path forward to get more shots into arms more quickly.

Israel offers a role model. The country has vaccinated more than a quarter of its seniors, a feat credited in part to its small size, dense population and centralized medical services.

WATCH | Lessons from Israel’s vaccination success:

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has gotten off to a sluggish start, but there could be lessons to learn from countries such as Israel, which has vaccination clinics operating around the clock. 3:11

“We could do this with army-like efficiency if we got organized,” Tannenbaum said.

“We have the doses here to get our seniors vaccinated, and let’s do it. I think it’s a duty. I think it’s respectful. I think it’s a combination of science, and it reflects our societal values.”

Role of community connections

Tannebaum said she’s concerned not only about residents in long-term care facilities but also about some older adults who live independently in the community and are now isolated.

The first step, she said, is to make lists of those who receive home care or who needed help getting groceries delivered to them in the spring.

Residents at the St-André residence for seniors in Saint-André-Avellin, Que. Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, a geriatrician in Montreal, says she’s concerned not only about residents in long-term care homes but also about some older adults who live in the community. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

She suggests that pharmacies could compile such lists from their clientele, given that nine out of 10 seniors take prescription medications, and pharmacies may be physically closer than a doctor’s office.

The second part is facilitating delivery of vaccines into arms. If mobile vaccination isn’t available, working-age adults could volunteer to drive seniors to the locations where the shots are given by health-care workers, Tannenbaum said.

People 60 years of age and older are also a priority for receiving the vaccine in a computer model developed by Madhur Anand and Chris Bauch’s that still needs to be checked for errors before publication.

Anand, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, and Bauch, a professor of applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo, both in Ontario, helped to develop a computer model to determine the best vaccine deployment.

Public health measures ‘are essential’

Anand said what makes their model unique is the way it includes elements of game theory on how people interact in a group.

“Any interventions — whether it’s wearing a mask, keeping your contacts to an absolute minimum and getting the vaccine when it is offered to you — are all protecting not just you but everybody else in your community,” she said.

Madhur Anand, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, says it’s easy to forget how physical distancing, wearing masks and vaccines protect others, not just yourself, from COVID-19. (University of Guelph)

Anand acknowledged that lesson is easy to forget because everyone faces so many other competing problems during the pandemic.

But to eliminate COVID-19, the public health measures “are essential, and it’s something that absolutely can be done at the individual level,” she said.

Anand and Bauch adapted the susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) modelling approach to vaccination to protect against COVID-19. (Susceptible refers to the group of people who haven’t gotten the disease before and can now get sick; infected includes those who are sick now; and recovered includes those who’ve recovered from the illness.)

“We talk about pandemic waves,” Bauch said. “These are like ocean waves that expand and move past you. These are kind of waves of our own creation that will continue to move through populations as long as there are susceptibilities and as long as our infection control doesn’t work as well as it could.”

More than 70 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada have been among those aged 80 and older, according to the federal government, making vaccinations for older adults a priority, geriatricians say. (Jean-Claude Taliana/CBC/Radio-Canada)

The mathematical reality behind the model adds to what Bauch called the “ground truth” that the virus will continue its insidious spread as long as there are more people susceptible to infection — unless stopped in its tracks by vaccination.

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Why you need to eat fewer ultra-processed foods like frozen pizza and even granola bars – The Globe and Mail

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A customer pushes a shopping cart through the frozen food aisle inside a Kroger Co. grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on June 14, 2017.

Luke Sharrett/bloomberg

Grocery stores are flooded with foods produced by extensive industrial processing. Examples: granola and protein bars, margarine, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, breakfast cereals, pretzels, instant noodles, muffin and cake mixes, mass-produced packaged breads and soft drinks.

A steady intake of ultra-processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of chronic health problems such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Now, findings from a large Italian study add to mounting evidence that ultra-processed foods should be limited. Added sugars in these foods, as well as the processing methods used to make them, may contribute to their harmful effects.

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What are ultra-processed foods (UPFs)?

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, nearly 50 per cent of the calories in our diet come from UPFs, and Canadian kids, ages 9 to 13, consume even more.

UPFs are formulations of substances derived from foods plus numerous additives used to flavour, bleach, colour, emulsify, texturize and preserve. They contain little, if any, real food at all.

These foods are typically high in calories, unhealthy fats, added sugars and sodium and are lacking fibre and protective phytochemicals.

The altered taste and texture of UPFs make them highly palatable and habit-forming.

The new findings

The latest study, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed the eating habits and health outcomes of 22,475 citizens of Italy, with an average age of 55 years, over eight years.

Participants who consumed the highest amount of UPFs (14 per cent of total food intake versus 6.6 per cent) had a 26-per-cent increased risk of dying from any cause, and a 58-per-cent greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The greater the intake of UPFs, the greater the risk of death.

The researchers accounted for other risk factors including age, sex, smoking status, physical activity, body mass index, health history, calorie intake and diet quality.

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Processed meats, pizza, cakes and pies were the largest contributors to ultra-processed food intake.

Limitations of the study include its observational design (it can’t provide that eating UPFs causes premature death) and the use of self-reported questionnaires (which are subject to error) to collect dietary data.

Still, the researchers collected detailed information on lifestyle and health factors to help rule out other possible reasons for the findings. It was also the first study to look at nutrients that may link UPFs to death.

Added sugars explained nearly 40 per cent of the association between UPFs and cardiovascular death. This is in keeping with the theory, and findings from a recent randomized controlled trial, that UPFs promote excessive calorie intake and weight gain.

How UPFs may cause harm

Besides added sugars, other components of UPFs may cause unfavourable health effects. Components introduced during processing may promote inflammation by altering the composition of our gut bacteria.

Ultra-processing strips foods of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals. It also changes the structure of foods in a way that spikes blood sugar and insulin and also makes them less satiating, which can promote overconsumption.

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Heating and processing can also lead to the formation of compounds that may have harmful effects, especially with respect to cardiovascular disease.

Tips to eat fewer UPFs

Make a list of the UPFs you eat on a regular basis and put strategies in place to buy them less often.

Make a meal plan for the week to avoid reaching for highly processed prepared foods when pressed for time. Keep staples on hand that you can quickly turn into a healthy meal (e.g., canned fish and beans, canned tomatoes, frozen edamame, frozen vegetables).

Make homemade versions of the UPFs you rely on such as granola and energy bars, pasta sauce, soups, salad dressings and muffins. Roast a turkey breast for sandwiches and salads.

Replace highly processed snacks with whole and minimally processed ones. Kale chips, popcorn, unsweetened dried fruit and nuts and plain yogurt and berries are examples.

Read ingredient lists when buying packaged foods. As often as possible, choose ones with ingredients you’d find in your own pantry.

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Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private practice dietitian, is director of food and nutrition at Medcan. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieBeckRD

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 – SooToday

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021.

There are 747,383 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Canada: 747,383 confirmed cases (63,668 active, 664,621 resolved, 19,094 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 4,852 new cases Sunday from 51,308 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. The rate of active cases is 169.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 37,536 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,362.

There were 120 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,054 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 151. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.4 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 50.8 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 17,050,539 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 398 confirmed cases (eight active, 386 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday from 346 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 78,133 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 110 confirmed cases (seven active, 103 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.46 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of six new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 88,407 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,571 confirmed cases (19 active, 1,487 resolved, 65 deaths).

There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 1.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 14 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 200,424 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 1,124 confirmed cases (335 active, 776 resolved, 13 deaths).

There were 20 new cases Sunday from 819 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.4 per cent. The rate of active cases is 43.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 177 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 25.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.67 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 135,109 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 253,633 confirmed cases (16,940 active, 227,215 resolved, 9,478 deaths).

There were 1,457 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 199.65 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,719 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,531.

There were 41 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 423 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 60. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.71 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 111.7 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 2,695,925 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 255,002 confirmed cases (24,153 active, 225,046 resolved, 5,803 deaths).

There were 2,417 new cases Sunday from 48,947 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.9 per cent. The rate of active cases is 165.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17,216 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,459.

There were 50 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 394 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 56. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.39 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 39.84 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 8,944,809 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 28,697 confirmed cases (3,521 active, 24,377 resolved, 799 deaths).

There were 221 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 257.11 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,186 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 169.

There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 30 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.31 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.34 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 448,638 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 22,177 confirmed cases (3,251 active, 18,673 resolved, 253 deaths).

There were 260 new cases Sunday from 1,196 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 276.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,905 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 272.

There were three new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 38 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.46 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 21.54 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 329,702 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 120,793 confirmed cases (9,511 active, 109,733 resolved, 1,549 deaths).

There were 463 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 217.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,956 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 565.

There were 24 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 113 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 35.44 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 3,061,844 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 63,484 confirmed cases (5,901 active, 56,455 resolved, 1,128 deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 116.36 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,338 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 334.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 55 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 22.24 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 1,044,931 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (zero active, 69 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 6,216 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 31 confirmed cases (seven active, 24 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 15.62 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 9,064 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 280 confirmed cases (15 active, 264 resolved, one deaths).

There were 13 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 38.68 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 7,261 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 – Humboldt Journal

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021.

There are 747,383 confirmed cases in Canada.

article continues below

_ Canada: 747,383 confirmed cases (63,668 active, 664,621 resolved, 19,094 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 4,852 new cases Sunday from 51,308 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. The rate of active cases is 169.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 37,536 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,362.

There were 120 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,054 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 151. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.4 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 50.8 per 100,000 people.

There have been 17,050,539 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 398 confirmed cases (eight active, 386 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday from 346 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people.

There have been 78,133 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 110 confirmed cases (seven active, 103 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.46 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of six new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 88,407 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,571 confirmed cases (19 active, 1,487 resolved, 65 deaths).

There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 1.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 14 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people.

There have been 200,424 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 1,124 confirmed cases (335 active, 776 resolved, 13 deaths).

There were 20 new cases Sunday from 819 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.4 per cent. The rate of active cases is 43.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 177 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 25.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.67 per 100,000 people.

There have been 135,109 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 253,633 confirmed cases (16,940 active, 227,215 resolved, 9,478 deaths).

There were 1,457 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 199.65 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,719 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,531.

There were 41 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 423 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 60. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.71 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 111.7 per 100,000 people.

There have been 2,695,925 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 255,002 confirmed cases (24,153 active, 225,046 resolved, 5,803 deaths).

There were 2,417 new cases Sunday from 48,947 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.9 per cent. The rate of active cases is 165.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17,216 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,459.

There were 50 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 394 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 56. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.39 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 39.84 per 100,000 people.

There have been 8,944,809 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 28,697 confirmed cases (3,521 active, 24,377 resolved, 799 deaths).

There were 221 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 257.11 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,186 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 169.

There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 30 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.31 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.34 per 100,000 people.

There have been 448,638 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 22,177 confirmed cases (3,251 active, 18,673 resolved, 253 deaths).

There were 260 new cases Sunday from 1,196 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 276.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,905 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 272.

There were three new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 38 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.46 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 21.54 per 100,000 people.

There have been 329,702 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 120,793 confirmed cases (9,511 active, 109,733 resolved, 1,549 deaths).

There were 463 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 217.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,956 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 565.

There were 24 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 113 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 35.44 per 100,000 people.

There have been 3,061,844 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 63,484 confirmed cases (5,901 active, 56,455 resolved, 1,128 deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 116.36 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,338 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 334.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 55 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 22.24 per 100,000 people.

There have been 1,044,931 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (zero active, 69 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people.

There have been 6,216 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 31 confirmed cases (seven active, 24 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 15.62 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 9,064 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 280 confirmed cases (15 active, 264 resolved, one deaths).

There were 13 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 38.68 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people.

There have been 7,261 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

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