Coronavirus | Latest News and Updates
Latest news and updates on the global coronavirus pandemic. Keep up-to-date on numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, analysis of the government's response and other stories from the Canada and around the world.
COVID-19 Around the World
- Yahoo News
Seeking to address “unsettling gaps” in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low, the Biden administration has launched advertising campaigns aimed at white evangelicals, African Americans and other populations that it believes have not yet fully accepted the coronavirus vaccine.
- The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — Non-essential travel is being restricted between three regional zones in British Columbia to try to curb the spread of COVID-19. The government is using the boundaries of three health authorities to prohibit travel between them. The three regional zones are: the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley; Vancouver Island; and the northern and Interior regions. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, who is also the minister of public safety, says the new orders are being brought in using the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Program Act. The order went into effect Friday and is to expire on May 25. "We know this virus needs people to transmit, and the people travelling outside of communities increases COVID-19's ability to spread," Farnworth told a news conference. "The surest path to the success of these measures is voluntary compliance. If a friend or family member is planning to break the rules, let them know that now is not the time to travel. Help spread the word." Farnworth said the restrictions are necessary to fight new variants of the COVID-19 virus that are infecting more people and causing a record number of hospitalizations. The order targets travel across regional zones for recreational purposes. It is OK to travel for essential reasons, including to attend school or work, transport commercial goods, return to a principal residence, get access to child care, use health care or assist someone in obtaining health care. Farnworth said the province is working with police to establish enforcement measures in the coming days, but officers will not be asked to do random checks and measures will be taken to limit the effect on racialized communities. The province said in a news release that it wants to establish periodic road checks at key points used for leisure travel to "discourage" people from travelling. Police will have discretion to issue $575 fines under the act. Earlier this week, the National Police Federation said it had "grave concerns" about police taking part in enforcing a COVID-19 ban on non-essential travel. The province is also looking at using signs on highways and increasing signage at the Alberta boundary to remind travellers of the restrictions. It plans to work with BC Ferries to "deter" non-essential travel bookings, and with those in the tourism and accommodation sectors to encourage them to decline bookings from outside their regional travel zones as well as to cancel existing bookings. BC Parks is to inform the public of the restrictions and refund bookings where it is necessary. In a statement, Farnworth said advice from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also remains in effect — stay close to home. "Do not go to Whistler or Tofino — even on a day trip," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
- The Canadian Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 1:25 p.m. Rotational workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. The province’s eastern health authority has announced an open call for rotational workers, truck drivers, ferry workers and flight crews to sign up for a shot. Meanwhile, the province is reporting one new case and 23 active reported cases of COVID-19. Officials say contact tracers are still trying to determine the source of this new infection. --- 1 p.m. Non-essential travel is being restricted between three regional zones in British Columbia to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, who is also the minister of public safety, says the new orders are being brought in using the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Program Act. The government is using the boundaries of three health authorities and prohibiting travel between them for non-essential purposes. The order goes into effect today and expires on May 25. --- 1 p.m. All adults who live in three areas of Winnipeg are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone 18 and older who lives in Downtown East, Point Douglas South and Inkster East can sign up for an appointment. Adults who don't live in those areas but work there in certain jobs that deal with the public are also eligible. The areas are being targeted because of high COVID-19 case counts and socio-economic factors that lead to a greater risk of transmission. --- 12:55 p.m. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada is looking to help India as the country grapples with a devastating third wave of COVID-19. Anand says Canada is in touch with India about a number of options that may be on the table to assist and Canada is standing ready with ventilators, personal protective equipment and other items that might be useful. She notes she has a personal connection with the country, but on a broader level Canada is prepared to help any country in need. Anand adds that Canada has procured 2.5 billion items of PPE, of which it has received 1.5 billion, so it has PPE that it can share with India and other governments. --- 12:10 p.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has reached an agreement with Pfizer for 35 million booster doses for next year, and 30 million in the year after. He says the deal includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024. Booster shots are expected to be important as the virus continues to mutate, similar to how the flu shot is altered every year to be effective against the most dominant strain. Trudeau says these boosters will be the latest version of the Pfizer vaccine based on research and testing, and they will help Canada keep the virus under control. --- 12:05 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19 including 33 cases in the Halifax area which is under nearly full lockdown. The Halifax total includes five school-based cases identified by health officials late Thursday. Five other cases have been identified in the eastern health zone along with four in the western zone and two in the northern zone. The province has a total of 150 active infections. --- 11:35 a.m. Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Thunder Bay, Ont. A spokesman for Hajdu says the minister received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this morning in her northern Ontario riding. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau were set to receive their first shots of AstraZeneca later in the day in Ottawa --- 11:15 a.m. Nunavut is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 and eight recoveries today. There are now 37 active cases in the territory, 33 in Iqaluit and four in Kinngait. Premier Joe Savikataaq says all those infected are in isolation and doing well. Both Iqaluit and Kinngait are under strict lockdowns, with all schools, non-essential businesses and workplaces closed. To date, 14,915 people in the territory of about 40,000 have had one dose of the Moderna vaccine and 11,940 have had both doses. --- 11:10 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,043 new cases of COVID-19 today and 15 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 27, to 684, and 172 people were in intensive care, a drop of two. The province says 88,006 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered Thursday, for a total of 2,679,907. Quebec has reported a total of 342,688 COVID-19 infections and 10,860 deaths linked to the virus. --- 10:45 a.m. Canada's top public health doctor says there's been an increase of more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases since last month, but there are signs that the spread of infections is slowing down. Dr. Theresa Tam says average case counts have more than doubled over the past month, with upwards of 8,400 infections reported daily over the last week. But Tam says there's reason for hope as Canada's declining reproduction rate, which represents how many people are infected by each new case. She says this measure has fallen below the key threshold of one for the first time in weeks, meaning the rate of transmission is trending downwards. --- 10:30 a.m. Ontario is reporting 4,505 new cases of COVID-19 and 34 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 1,257 new cases in Toronto, 1,232 in Peel Region, and 412 in York Region. She also says there are 247 new cases in Ottawa and 224 in Durham Region. The province says nearly 134,000 people received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine since Thursday's report. --- 10:25 a.m. Ontario is reporting its first case of a rare blood clot in a person who received the Oxford-AstraZenenca COVID-19 vaccine. The province's top doctor says the patient is a man in his 60s who had received his first dose. Dr. David Williams says the man has been treated and is recovering at home. Ontario says it's the fourth case of the rare clotting condition in Canada out of more than 1.1 million Oxford-AstraZeneca doses administered across the country. --- 9:20 a.m. Pregnant women in Ontario are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The province says the change is in light of new information showing women who are pregnant are at high risk of severe illness. The health minister's office says pregnant women are now considered among those with highest need for shots. They can now book through the provincial call centre — at 1-888-999-6488 — or through local public health units. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
- The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — All adults who live in three areas of Winnipeg are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.Anyone 18 and older who lives in Downtown East, Point Douglas South and Inkster East can sign up for an appointment.Adults who don't live in those areas, but who work there in certain jobs that deal with the public are also eligible.Those jobs include school workers, grocery store employees and restaurant staff.In other areas of the province, the age for vaccine eligibility remains at 30 and up for First Nations people and 40 and up for others.The province has said the targeted areas were chosen because of high COVID-19 case counts and socio-economic factors that create a higher risk of transmission.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
- The Canadian Press
Canada's largest private sector union is urging all provinces to mandate paid time off for workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying most employers won't provide it unless government forces them to. Provincial legislation would be similar to legislating time off to vote in elections, Unifor said in a statement. "We all know that vaccination is key to paving the way for the safe reopening of businesses, and the economic recovery we are all waiting for," said union president Jerry Dias. "Employers who are advocating for lifting restrictions must also do their part and remove all barriers to workers to get the vaccine." The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have already mandated up to three hours of paid time off for workers getting inoculated. British Columbia, which allows workers to take unpaid time off to receive the vaccine, plans to also amend its employment act to ensure up to three hours of paid leave for each vaccine dose. Meanwhile, workers from the rest of Canada would have to depend on their employers to let them take time off work to get immunized against COVID-19. Companies including Canada Goose, Bank of Montreal, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Staples Canada have said they're offering employees at least three hours of paid leave to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. "While there is no plan for BMO to mandate employees to receive a vaccination, I strongly encourage you to receive it if you’re able," the bank's CEO, Darryl White, wrote in a memo. Ontario crown company Metrolinx also said it's providing employees, including bus operators and transit officers, three hours of paid time off to get vaccinated. In January, at least 35 tech companies in the country, including SkipTheDishes, Borrowell, and FreshBooks, signed a pledge vowing to let their staff slip out of work to get a jab. “We want to send a message to our workforce, to our employees’ families, and to Canada as a whole that … the vaccination effort needs to be a top priority for Canada," the companies said in the pledge. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press
- Yahoo News UK
Parks plan to sell the rights to shoot up to 500 elephants at £50,000 per animal to help recoup funds lost to pandemic.
Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, are to deliver the third live update this week on COVID-19 in New Brunswick when they hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Friday. The briefing will be live streamed here and at CBC New Brunswick on Facebook and Twitter. So far this week, New Brunswick has recorded 35 new cases of the respiratory illness, one death, the first detected case of blood clot caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine, and outbreaks at two special care homes, Pavillon Beau-Lieu in Grand Falls abd Murray Street Lodge in Grand Bay-Westfield. On Thursday, Higgs reminded people of the importance of self-isolating when entering the province. He also pointed out that there is a lower percentage of vaccinated long-term care home employees compared to other healthcare sectors. Russell said the new variants detected in the province are spreading faster and they're more contagious. As of Thursday, there have been 34 deaths, and the number of active cases is 146. Fifteen patients are hospitalized, including five in an intensive care unit. About 228,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered provincewide. Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador had 3 new cases Thursday, with 26 active cases. Prince Edward Island reported one new case of COVID-19 Thursday, connected to travel. There are 12 active cases in that province. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: Fever above 38 C. New cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
As Newfoundland and Labrador reports one new case of COVID-19, Eastern Health has opened vaccination appointments to rotational workers. In a media release Friday afternoon, the health authority said eligible workers include Marine Atlantic employees, truck drivers and flight crews who regularly travel to and from the province for work. Workers who are self-isolating must select that option when booking their appointment. Vaccination in self-isolation clinics will be drive-up or drive-thru, and will take place outside vaccination clinics or inside the person's car. Self-isolation vaccination clinics will be offered at the following locations: The Village Mall in St. John's. Danny Cleary Stadium in Harbour Grace. Old Scotiabank in Clarenville. The Lions Club in Bonavista. Wamic Holdings in Marystown. Workers who are not in self-isolation, or modified self-isolation, who have a negative COVID-19 test completed a days seven to nine can book their appointments at any available clinic. New case Friday's new case is in a man in his 40s in the Western Health region. In a media release the Department of Health said the case is under investigation. Contact tracing is underway and anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine. There have been four new recoveries, one in Eastern Health and three in Western Health, leaving 23 active cases in the province. No one is in hospital due to the virus. To date, 131,140 people have been tested for the virus, including 231 since Thursday's update. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Ottawa is reporting 254 new COVID-19 cases. Key numbers measuring the illness's spread are dropping. One-quarter of Ottawa residents have had at least one vaccine dose. Today's Ottawa update Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 254 new COVID-19 cases and no more deaths Friday. Another 362 cases are now considered resolved, leaving 3,071 known active cases in the city. Active cases are among the key indicators that rose to record levels during this third wave of the pandemic. Some of those numbers are now beginning to decline. Numbers to watch 10.9%: The rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive, down from Wednesday's record high. 170: The weekly incidence rate, the rolling seven-day total of new COVID-19 cases expressed per 100,000 residents, has dropped for the sixth straight day. 0.9: The number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t), is also ticking down. The spread of the coronavirus is considered under control if that figure is kept below one. 266,359: The number of Ottawa residents who have received their first vaccine dose, an increase of about 18,000 since Wednesday. 25%: The percentage of Ottawa residents who have received at least one vaccine dose. 26,862: The number of Ottawa residents who have received their second vaccine dose, about three per cent of the city's population. The blue lines represent times when the spring runoff may have affected Ottawa's wastewater testing.(613covid.ca) Across the region Public health officials in the Outaouais are reporting 54 COVID-19 cases. The region is under Quebec's strictest measures until at least May 3. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is reporting 10 more COVID-19 cases. Ontario is under a provincewide stay-at-home order until at least May 20.
Saskatchewan doctors are sounding numerous alarm bells about the province's fight against COVID-19, including an expected increase in hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks. "We have not yet seen the peak of this surge," read one slide presented Thursday night during a virtual Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) town hall attended by physicians. One of those doctors immediately shared the information with CBC News because "we need the public to know how dire the situation is and how much worse it will get in the very near future." "This was a devastating, heartbreaking meeting," the physician said, adding that presenters were on the verge of tears. The slides, which are typically posted online by the health authority the next day but sometimes later, catalogued a host of ongoing concerns, including: Low testing numbers in some areas of the province. The aftereffects of people travelling in and out of communities on Easter weekend. An increase in deaths among people aged 39 and younger. "Large" outbreaks at correctional centres and an unnamed mining site. Youth gatherings that break current public health rules. Inconsistent mask use and distancing in nearly all workplace outbreaks. "Vaccine selection anger" at immunization clinics. More people in Saskatchewan have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the first three months of 2021 than in the 10 months of the pandemic in 2020. (Saskatchewan Health Authority) "Increased hospitalizations and deaths will occur [in the] next two to four weeks," according to one slide contained in a presentation by Dr. Johnmark Opondo, a medical health officer with the SHA specializing in communicable diseases. Intensive-care wards in Regina are already over capacity, with 94 people in ICU across the province as of Thursday. The province's ICU capacity is normally 79. Citing the presence of more transmissible variants of concern — which officials have already acknowledged account for a high proportion of Saskatchewan's new cases — Opondo noted that "if the Regina situation unfolds province-wide, ICUs will be overwhelmed." Some triaging of ICU patients is already required, according to another slide. (Government of Saskatchewan) Opondo's presentation also underscored the need for stronger actions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. One slide showed how, one month after restrictions were tightened in Regina, ICU cases continue to remain high. "We need to strengthen and use every layer of protection," according to Opondo. (Saskatchewan Health Authority)