Ontario sets one-day record 700 new COVID-19 cases as calls mount to revert to tighter restrictions
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday called the province’s new record number of COVID-19 cases “of great concern,” but did not announce any new public health measures, despite calls from a group of doctors and medical experts calling for a return to tighter restrictions.
The 700 new cases of COVID-19 in the province are the most reported in a single day since the start of the epidemic in late January. Speaking to reporters, Ford said Ontario is indeed embarking on its second wave, which will be “more complicated, more complex – it will be worse” than the first wave. Monday’s tally exceeds the previous high of 640, which took place on April 24, when community transmission of the new coronavirus was believed to be at its peak in the province.
Still, when asked about calls by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) to reinstate restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, Health Minister Christine Elliott said: “We don’t want to go back unless we absolutely have to. As to how much the number of cases needs to increase to get to this point, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams would not say. Williams suggested the province consider “targeted” measures, but did not specify what measures might be considered, where and when they might be implemented.
Elliott said in a series of tweets that about 60% of new cases on Monday were found in people under the age of 40. Thirty-six are “school-related,” and a total of 224 of Ontario’s 4,828 state-funded schools, or 4.64%, reported at least one case of illness. Meanwhile, 44 long-term care facilities across the province are reporting outbreaks, a figure that has slowly increased in recent weeks.
The number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise steadily and now stands at 128. Twenty-eight of these patients are being treated in intensive care, while 17 are on ventilators. .
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As COVID-19 cases increase, Montreal and Quebec prepare to enter the highest alert level
On Monday, Quebec’s two largest cities are expected to be placed under the province’s highest COVID-19 alert level, which will lead to new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. Premier François Legault was scheduled to hold a press conference at 5:30 p.m. ET to describe the change. Quebec reported 750 new cases on Monday, including 245 on the island of Montreal.
Health Minister Christian Dubé announced on Sunday Everybody talks about it, a talk show on Radio-Canada, that the two cities would go from orange alert level to red in the coming days. “Montreal and Quebec are the hardest hit areas right now. They are very close to the red zone, ”he said. “We are going to announce it in the next few days because I think we are at this point. We are there and we must act because people expect us to be transparent. ”
Dubé said tough decisions lay ahead and strongly hinted bars and restaurants in both cities may face more restrictions. Last week, he urged the public to stop socializing next month in order to slow the spread of the virus, but said he was hesitant to close bars and restaurants as it would lead people to congregate in their homes.
Provincial officials have said they hope to keep schools open even if an area is moved into the red. Dr Horacio Arruda, the province’s health director, said the outbreaks in schools had been minimal compared to the spread in the community, and the benefits of closing schools should be weighed against the balance sheet of families.
COVID-19 could delay Liberal commitment to end long-term boil water advisories on First Nations
The pandemic has put some of the Liberal government’s key deadlines in its reconciliation agenda at risk, including the promise to end all long-term First Nations boil water advisories by next March. Last week’s Speech from the Throne indicated a change of language around the commitment to eliminate long-term notices. He dropped the reference to the 2021 deadline, which was clearly spelled out in the previous Speech from the Throne in 2019.
A high-level government source told CBC News that the Liberals were not as comfortable with the March 2021 target date as they set before COVID-19 arrived. The virus has added an extra layer of complications for the government to keep its promise made in the 2015 election.
Ottawa was already facing short construction seasons in communities that depend on road transport of ice for heavy equipment and resupply. Now, some communities are not allowing outside contractors to protect themselves from COVID-19, which could push construction deadlines even further.
Currently, 61 long-term water advisories are in effect on First Nations reserves. Eighty-eight have been lifted since November 2015.
Canadian ski resorts grapple with pandemic vs profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists
Canadian ski resort operators planning a season that begins in about two months are forced to balance their profits with protecting the health of their customers due to a COVID-19 pandemic showing few signs of ending , reports The Canadian Press. While medical experts agree that there is little risk of infection when flying in powder snow on a steep double black diamond ski slope, they say the risk increases dramatically when you drive a crowded gondola to the top. from the hill or sip a cocktail at a blocked resort. bar.
Resorts say skiers and snowboarders will need to wear masks on and indoors on ski lifts and gondolas, and physical distancing will be encouraged by removing tables and chairs in bars and restaurants. They promise more frequent cleaning and disinfection. But few actually limit the total number of skiers allowed on the slope.
The lockdowns last March wiped out up to 25% of the season for some hill stations, said Christopher Nicolson, CEO of the Canada West Ski Resorts Association, which represents 92 ski resorts west of the Manitoba-Ontario border. The limits of international travel pose a major challenge because 10 to 30 percent of skiers come from outside of Canada, he said. On the other hand, Canadians will find it more difficult to travel outside the country this winter, which could lead to more ski tours in the country.
Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from Canada and around the world.
Ontario’s second wave of COVID-19 is expected to peak in October
New projections suggest that the second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario will peak between mid-October and the end of October and will likely send enough intensive care patients that hospitals will need to reduce elective surgeries. The predictions come from the COVID-19 Modeling Collaborative, a joint effort of scientists and doctors from the University of Toronto, the University Health Network, and Sunnybrook Hospital.
Given how quickly Ontario’s infection rate has increased in recent weeks, the model predicts the province is on track to surpass 1,000 new cases per day by mid-October , unless stricter public health measures slow the acceleration of the spread.
The best-case scenario would mimic Ontario’s first wave in March and April, when the number of cases rose rapidly but was subsequently held back by a lockdown. Two moderate scenarios would look like how a second wave hit jurisdictions comparable to Ontario: the Australian state of Victoria (home to Melbourne, a city of five million people) and the US state of Michigan. None of these three scenarios show that patients with COVID-19 are filling Ontario’s hospital wards or intensive care units beyond their capacity. This only happens in the modelers’ worst-case scenario: a second wave as bad as the first wave that hit Italy when the pandemic began.
However, in all but the best-case scenarios, researchers predict a demand for intensive care that exceeds the capacity required for patients undergoing scheduled surgeries.
Lights, Camera, COVID Compliance: How Movies and TVs Approach Filming Safety in a Pandemic
There’s a new job on film and TV sets: COVID compliance officials. They make sure the cast and crew wear personal protective equipment, practice physical distancing, and wash their hands.
Josh Van Altenberg, typically a paramedic on film and television sets in Toronto, has broadened the scope of his work. This now includes performing temperature checks and ensuring that the actors and the team adhere to safety protocols, regardless of their fame. “COVID doesn’t care which tax bracket we are in,” Van Altenberg told CBC News.
If anyone falls ill on the set, they will be immediately isolated. Productions are advised to monitor where people have gone and who they may have worked with. In this way, some parts of the assembly can be thoroughly cleaned and others must be isolated, if necessary.
Scott Thom, a carpenter working on productions in Sudbury, Ont., Sits on the leadership of his local union, representing film technicians in northern Ontario and Ottawa. He helped craft the framework for getting the industry back to work – and believes these new rules will help them keep working. “It’s a bit difficult to try to understand. We’re so used to just shuffling and zigzagging in and out of the workspace, ”he says.
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