Today’s coronavirus news: Thousands of students absent from Toronto schools cause ‘logistical nightmare’; Opioid overdose deaths in Canada are increasing; Seven dead in outbreak at Scarborough nursing home


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

8:30 a.m .: Amid the chaos of this unprecedented year, Ontario’s education system has been hit hard – from COVID-19 outbreaks and technology shortages to staffing issues and retention issues of class size to a safe level. The overwhelming number of unsuccessful students presents one more challenge in a year that has already had far more than its share.

“It never happened, when so many kids didn’t show up,” Toronto District School Board chair Alexander Brown told The Star. “It’s a logistical nightmare. And no one knows how to navigate. “

The TDSB reported that it has lost around 5,500 students – more than double the number of no-shows in a typical year, when about one percent of the board’s roughly 240,000 students do not show up to class, according to a spokesperson. The Toronto Catholic Council told The Star its enrollment was also down this year from 2,000 to 2,500 students. And the Peel District School Board is missing about 2,800 students who were expected in class.

All of these children were either registered and did not show up for school, or had to go, but did not.

Read Michele Henry’s full story here.

7 h 00: John Tory is entering the second half of his second term as mayor of Toronto, devoured by an enemy that didn’t even exist a year ago.

“In March on a Saturday morning about six of us got a presentation from Dr de Villa on screenings for (COVID-19) and there was the case, if we didn’t do anything, how many would die, and I think that the median number was 8,000 people in the city of Toronto, between that date and the end of the year, and it could go up to 10,000, ”Mayor Tory told Star’s City Hall bureau chief, David Rider.

“If someone told you that a lot of people were going to die in Toronto, barring an explosion or a terrible earthquake, I was just puzzled.

We spoke to him about how COVID-19 has changed his job and whether seeking a third term is a possibility.

Read John Tory’s full interview here.

7 h 00: During the coronavirus crisis, current economic data shows that the pre-pandemic well-off benefit while the pre-pandemic marginalized suffer greatly, write contributors Ronald Meng and Imran Abdool. In short, we are experiencing a K-shaped recovery: the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

Winston Churchill said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” COVID-19 and its accompanying economic crisis is an opportunity to implement key changes that will put Canada’s economic trajectory on the right track.

Specifically, three things need to be done: a universal basic income with automatic stabilizers; high quality and affordable child care services; and a well-designed wealth tax.

Read the full column here.

7 h 00: Discreet online mourning is among the new realities of life – and death – for local and international organized criminals during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, experts say the smartest organized criminals are now bouncing back and even expanding after their initial pandemic alert.

“Crime tends to be a precursor, seeking new opportunities whenever a crisis like COVID-19 strikes,” writes Misha Glenny, a member of the Berggruen Institute think tank, on her blog. “They are very enterprising.”

“The bad news is that the surge in online activity during the lockdown has increased the opportunities for the ever-growing cybercriminal fraternity,” he continues.

For some, the new opportunities lie in a new division of law enforcement resources, weakened enemies, legitimate business failures, and sloppy online security.

Read Peter Edwards’ full story here.

6h10: The COVID-19 crisis has eclipsed an equally grim pandemic of opioid overdoses, which have risen sharply since March as border closures and limited access to services increase deadly risks for drug users.

British Columbia saw more than 100 “illicit toxicity deaths” each month between March and August, with the death toll surpassing 175 in May, June and July, according to figures compiled by the Public Health Agency of Canada on last month.

The 181 deaths recorded in June were a 138% increase from 76 deaths in the same period a year earlier.

The situation is no better in Ontario, where about 50 to 80 people per week die of overdoses, according to the Office of the Chief Coroner. The numbers have increased 35 to 40 percent year over year since the start of the pandemic.

Read the full story here.

6 h: Several thousand supporters of President Donald Trump in Washington protested the election results, then greeted Trump’s motorcade before nightly clashes with counter-protesters sparked brawls, at least one stab and at least 20 arrests.

Several other cities also saw rallies of Trump supporters on Saturday refusing to accept Democrat Joe Biden’s constituency and popular vote victory as legitimate. The “Stop the Steal” and “Count Every Vote” cries continued despite the absence of evidence of electoral fraud or other issues that could reverse the outcome.

After dark, the relatively peaceful protests in Washington turned from tense to violent. Videos posted to social media showed brawls, projectiles and clubs as Trump supporters clashed with those demanding to take their MAGA hats and banners and leave. Tensions continued until Sunday morning. Various charges, including assault and possession of weapons, have been filed against those arrested, officials said. Two police officers were injured and several firearms were recovered by the police.

6 h: Mexico surpassed 1 million recorded coronavirus cases on Saturday and nearly 100,000 test-confirmed deaths, although officials agree the number is likely much higher.

How did Mexico get here? By walking resolutely, if not defiantly, against many internationally accepted practices in pandemic management, from wearing a face mask to lockouts, testing and contact tracing.

Additionally, Mexican officials say science is on their side. According to Assistant Secretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell, any larger test would be “a waste of time, effort and money”. Face masks, says López-Gatell, “are an auxiliary measure to prevent the spread of the virus. They don’t protect us, but they are useful in protecting others. “

5:30 am: India has reported 41,100 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the country’s overall tally since the start of the pandemic to 8.79 million per day after celebrating Diwali, a major Hindu festival.

On Sunday, the health ministry also reported 447 deaths during the same period, bringing the total number of deaths to 129,635.

India is second in the world in terms of reported cases behind the United States, but daily infections have been on the decline since mid-September. However, there has been a surge in infections in New Delhi, which has seen an upsurge in recent weeks, recording more new cases than any other Indian state.



In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– Sri Lankan officials say around 400 inmates and officers in heavily crowded prisons across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus as infections rise in the capital and its suburbs. Twelve of those who tested positive are officers, while the rest are inmates.

4 am: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada at 4:00 a.m. EST on November 15, 2020:

There are 291,845 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 122,643 confirmed (including 6,611 deaths, 103,668 resolved)

_ Ontario: 92,761 confirmed (including 3,332 deaths, 77,241 resolved)

_ Alberta: 38,338 confirmed (including 401 deaths, 28,321 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 20,895 confirmed (including 290 deaths, 14,901 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 10,453 confirmed (including 152 deaths, 3,891 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 4,820 confirmed (including 29 deaths, 3,100 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1142 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1056 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 364 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 339 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 301 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 289 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 68 confirmed (including 64 resolved)

_ Yukon: 24 confirmed (including 1 death, 22 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed (including 10 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Nunavut: 8 confirmed

_ Total: 291,845 (0 presumption, 291,845 confirmed including 10,891 deaths, 232,915 resolved)

4 am: The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has cut support for children with autism and their caregivers, leaving them feeling abandoned by the BC government, advocates and researchers say.

The neglect of neurodiverse children with special needs has been “so overwhelming that something pretty drastic must be done by this new government if families are to rebuild trust,” said Deborah Pugh, executive director of ACT – Autism Community Training.

“It’s not just about spending money,” Pugh said in an interview. “We need a change in the overall attitude towards children with special needs and their families in the province. “

Pugh’s organization partnered with the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University to survey 238 caregivers of children with autism in British Columbia, asking for their experiences from March to June.

The survey showed that the majority of caregivers said that their child’s anxiety, temper tantrums, routines and quality of sleep had deteriorated, while parental well-being declined and supports provinces in response to COVID-19 were insufficient to meet their needs.

Previously: Seven residents of a Scarborough long-term care home have died following an outbreak of COVID-19 that reportedly began on November 2.

Over 80 percent of Rockcliffe Care Community residents at 3015 Lawrence Ave. E., west of McCowan Road, tested positive for the virus.

A statement to the Star from Rockcliffe Care owner Sienna Senior Living on Saturday confirmed that in addition to the seven deaths, 136 residents and 66 staff and temporary workers have tested positive.

Read Saturday’s developments brief here.


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