The latest coronavirus news in Canada and around the world on Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
8h24: As the reopening quickly approaches and the province considers whether to let students return to schools, staff fear Ontario is on the brink of a fourth wave. If this happens, they fear that they don’t have the stamina to cope.
Recently, the Star entered the Brampton Civic, part of the William Osler Healthcare System. Here’s a look at what it’s like to work in a hot-spot hospital barely retreating from the abyss.
Read and watch the full story of the star here.
8h22: For 2,500 hockey fans with tickets to Game 6 on Saturday between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, entering the Bell Center will be a dreamlike moment.
The indoor rally – though capped at 12% of its capacity – would have seemed impossible even a month ago at the height of the third wave of the pandemic, but falling case rates in Quebec and elsewhere have made it look a live hockey game a reality. Yet while the demand for resale tickets shows a desire to return to a life that resembles pre-pandemic normalcy, some Canadians are far from ready to return to their old lives just yet.
The caution in emerging from the pandemic has been called “restart anxiety” by some, and many Canadians are feeling it. A recent poll by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 52% of respondents felt some sort of anxiety about the reopening. This anxiety is highest among 18-24 year olds, 68% of whom felt uncomfortable.
Read the full story of star Nadine Yousif.
8h21: Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued an executive order on Friday repealing a mask warrant ban put in place while out of state by the lieutenant governor, describing his actions as a tyrannical abuse of power and a “Irresponsible and selfish political coup. ”
The Republican governor had so far been reserved in his comments on Republican Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin, a member of the far right who has worked to undermine Little’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week she announced her gubernatorial candidacy, challenging first-term incumbent Little. Her executive decree on Thursday banning mask warrants in schools and public buildings is widely seen as part of that campaign, and she is already using that executive decree in her fundraising efforts.
Little never issued a statewide mask warrant, but counties, cities, and schools have issued their own guidelines. Many were lifted because more Idaho residents were vaccinated, but two counties and 10 cities still have them in place, as have several schools.
8h20: Children at US summer camps may avoid wearing masks outdoors, with a few exceptions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the guidelines on Friday. Children who are not fully immunized should always wear masks outside when they are in a crowd or in close and sustained contact with others – and when they are indoors.
But fully immunized children don’t need to wear masks, inside or out. This is the first in a wave of advice updates that seek to incorporate recent CDC rulings to tell Americans they should not be so careful about the use of masks and social distancing at outside.
8h19: The Philippines lifted the ban on deploying workers to Saudi Arabia, which it imposed after receiving reports that workers were being asked to bear the costs of the COVID-19 test and quarantine in the oil-rich kingdom .
Filipino Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that after Saudi Arabia officially notified his country on Saturday that Saudi recruitment agencies and employers would cover the costs of the tests and 10 days of quarantine for them. Filipinos, he had decided to lift the ban.
The ban, imposed by Bello on Thursday, prevented more than 400 Filipino workers from boarding their Philippine Airlines flights to Saudi Arabia on Friday. Many were stranded at Manila airport, with some tearfully begging the government to lift the ban immediately.
“I apologize for the inconvenience and momentary anguish this may have caused our dear Filipino workers overseas,” Bello said, adding that “our workers to Saudi Arabia will no longer be at a disadvantage” .
The Philippines is one of the main sources of the world’s labor force. Its regulations force recruitment agencies and foreign employers to cover the costs of COVID-19 tests and quarantines, which would be a financial burden for mostly poor workers.
8h15 : Pharmacists are rushing this weekend to administer thousands of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine before they expire in a few days.
Ontario has tried to redistribute a stock of 45,000 doses expiring Monday and another 10,000 that deteriorate in June.
But quality checks delayed the delivery of thousands of shots, and many were only delivered yesterday.
Justin Bates, the head of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, said participating pharmacies will work hard over the weekend to avoid waste, with three full days to complete vaccinations.
The province suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this month due to an increase in reports of rare but fatal blood clots.
This week, the province began offering it for a second injection to people who received the dose between March 10 and 19 at pharmacies in Toronto, Windsor and Kingston, and in some primary care offices.
About 90,000 people participated in the AstraZeneca pilot between March 10 and 19.
4 am: The last number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 29, 2021.
There are 1,374,275 confirmed cases in Canada (39,903 active, 1,308,932 resolved, 25,440 deaths). The total number of cases includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travelers.
There were 3,206 new cases on Friday. The rate of active cases is 104.99 per 100,000 people. In the past seven days, there have been a total of 22,154 new cases. The seven-day moving average of new cases is 3,165.
There were 31 new deaths reported on Friday. In the past seven days, a total of 278 new deaths have been reported. The seven-day moving average of new reported deaths is 40. The seven-day moving average death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 66.94 per 100,000 people.
34,550,157 tests were performed.
4 am: The latest COVID-19 immunization figures in Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 29, 2021.
In Canada, provinces report 463,184 new vaccines administered for a total of 22,809,939 doses administered. Nationally, 1,877,968 people, or 5.0% of the population, have been fully immunized. The provinces administered doses at a rate of 60,185.684 per 100,000.
There have been 9,700 new vaccines delivered to provinces and territories for a total of 25,994,734 doses delivered to date. The provinces and territories used 87.75 percent of their available vaccine supply.