Coronavirus News Today: Ontario Health Measures Slack In Several COVID-19 Hotspots; Ontario’s new tiered system takes effect; President Donald Trump’s chief of staff has coronavirus

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The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

7h38: There are 255,809 confirmed cases in Canada.

Quebec: 112,189 confirmed (including 6,403 deaths, 95,956 resolved)

Ontario: 81,693 confirmed (including 3,209 deaths, 70,086 resolved)

Alberta: 31,858 confirmed (including 352 deaths, 24,684 resolved)

British Columbia: 17,149 confirmed (including 275 deaths, 13,035 resolved)

Manitoba: 7,419 confirmed (including 96 deaths, 3,037 resolved)

Saskatchewan: 3,623 confirmed (including 25 deaths, 2,634 resolved)

Nova Scotia: 1,121 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,040 resolved)

New Brunswick: 350 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 320 resolved)

Newfoundland and Labrador: 294 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 285 resolved)

Prince Edward Island: 66 confirmed (of which 64 resolved)

Yukon: 23 confirmed (including 1 death, 20 resolved)

Canadian returnees: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

Northwest Territories: 10 confirmed (including 10 resolved)

Nunavut: 1 confirmed

Total: 255,809 (0 presumption, 255,809 confirmed including 10,436 deaths, 211,184 resolved)

7h37: British Columbia’s provincial health official and health minister are holding a rare weekend press conference today amid a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix will speak at 1 p.m., although it is not yet clear what will be announced.

At a press conference earlier this week, Henry said they were discussing with health officials the possibility of introducing region-specific restrictions, if necessary.

British Columbia reported 589 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, up from 425 on Thursday and 334 on Wednesday.

The province also reported two new deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 275.

Less than two weeks ago, Henry imposed new restrictions limiting the number of people in the homes to the occupants plus their “safe six” when cases began to climb in the Fraser Health area.

7h36: Health measures are slackening in several COVID-19 hotspots today as Ontario’s new tiered system takes effect.

The color-coding system – which classifies each public health unit in a red, orange, yellow or green zone based on the number of cases and levels of transmission – came into effect at midnight, while previous measures imposed on a handful of hot spots had to expire.

Only Peel Region, which has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks, has been considered a red zone, while other hot spots like York Region and Ottawa have been labeled as orange.

The red category regions have, among other things, indoor restaurants limited to 10 people and gymnasiums limited to 10 people indoors.

The orange level limits bars and restaurants to 50 people indoors, with no more than four seated together.

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Peel health officials had requested that the area remain under a modified Stage 2 – the restriction classification system previously used by the government – which involves stricter rules such as a ban on eating indoors in restaurants and bars.

Toronto will stay in modified Stage 2 for another week.

7h35: The Malaysian government said on Saturday it would extend movement restrictions to most parts of the country, with coronavirus cases nearly tripling in the past month.

An additional 1,168 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing Malaysia’s total to 39,357 – up from 13,993 a month ago.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the entire Malaysian peninsula except three states would be placed under a conditional movement control order from Monday to December 6.

7h34: The German Center for Disease Control reports a new daily record for new coronavirus infections as the pandemic continues to spread across the country.

The Robert Koch Institute said on Saturday that German states reported 23,300 new cases overnight, surpassing the record of 21,506 set the day before, which was the first time the country had recorded more than 20,000 daily cases.

He said 130 more people had died from the virus, a number that also tended to rise but remains well below the peak of 315 deaths reported on an April day.

Alarmed by the rapid increase in staff numbers, Germany has imposed significant new restrictions to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed. A four-week partial shutdown went into effect on Monday, with the closure of bars, restaurants, leisure and sports facilities and new contact restrictions imposed. Shops and schools remain open.

Germany has globally recorded 642,488 coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic with 11,226 deaths.

7h33: The Australian state of Victoria saw its eighth consecutive day without new cases of the virus or death, before another return to normal life, with no travel limits outside Melbourne and flights resumed to New Zealand.

Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews is expected to announce another loosening of the rules on Sunday, including the removal of Melbourne’s so-called “steel ring”. No longer confined to a 25-kilometer (15-mile) radius, city residents will be allowed statewide travel.

Freedom to travel is set to expand again when the border with the state of New South Wales reopens to Victorians on November 23.

“These will be big steps, they will bring us closer to where we were for six or seven months, which is very important,” Andrews said.

On Monday, the state will see the resumption of direct flights from New Zealand, the first international flights to Melbourne since June 30.

7h31: President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with the coronavirus as the country sets daily records for confirmed cases of the pandemic.

Two senior administration officials confirmed on Friday that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far this year. They gave no details on when the chief of staff contracted the virus or his current condition. Her diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg.

Meadows traveled with Trump in the run up to election day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask after Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count. He had been one of the close associates around Trump when the president caught the virus over a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.

Read Friday’s coronavirus news.



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