The latest coronavirus news from Canada and the world on Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
11:47 am: Quebec is today reporting another jump in COVID-19 cases with 1,512 infections and another death attributed to the virus.
The Health Ministry says 225 people are hospitalized, a drop of five, including 60 people enrolled in intensive care, an increase of three patients.
The province has not reported more than 1,500 daily infections since mid-April, and the seven-day average for new cases is 1,089.
More than half of the new cases were in people unvaccinated or within two weeks of receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
Quebec has reported 453,380 cases of COVID-19 and 11,586 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Due to a technical error, the province was unable to provide an update on immunizations today.
10h49 : Rio de Janeiro canceled its New Years party on Saturday due to renewed fears of COVID-19.
Rio mayor Eduardo Paes announced the decision on social media.
Paes had previously promised the biggest New Year’s party ever, with multiple fireworks displays and artists performing on a dozen stages across town. He said there was no decision regarding the carnival to be held in March.
The annual celebration on Copacabana Beach has in the past brought together over a million locals and tourists.
Other Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo and Salvador, have also canceled New Year’s celebrations over fears of the omicron variant. So far, the Ministry of Health has confirmed five cases of omnicron in Brazil.
9h51 : Ontario reported 1,053 more cases and eight deaths on Saturday.
People who are not fully vaccinated represent 23.4% of the total population of Ontario, or 494 of the 1,053 new cases reported in Ontario, and 60 cases involve people with unknown vaccination status.
The current seven-day average is 894 cases per day, an increase of 22.7% in one week, or a doubling of the rate every 24 days.
In addition, 23,913,372 doses of the vaccine were administered across the province – 90% of Ontarians aged 12 and over received one dose and 87.3% received two doses.
There are 284 people hospitalized with the virus, of whom 220 are not fully vaccinated or have unknown vaccination status and 64 are fully vaccinated.
In the ICU there are 160 people due to COVID-19 – 136 are not fully vaccinated or have unknown vaccination status and 24 are fully vaccinated.
8h08 : Sudbury & Districts Public Health says it is doing everything it can to help curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases in local schools.
With more than 3,000 immunization appointments booked in Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts for children aged 5 to 11 and hundreds of rapid antigen testing kits distributed to students this week, it is hoped that cases will decrease beforehand. Christmas holidays.
While it’s too early to tell if these “extra layers of protection” are doing the trick, a public health promoter said she was confident the measures would help protect the school community.
Joëlle Martel added that the local response to these programs has been positive so far and that the health unit has been on hand to answer any questions parents / guardians may have.
“Right now, the goal is to keep the kids in school,” said Martel, who works in Public Health’s school health, vaccine-preventable diseases and COVID prevention division.
“If we start to see the number of cases go down and the trend continues, then we can slowly start removing some of these measures, but our goal remains to keep children in school as much as possible. ”
Saturday 8 am: Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel made what is likely her last appeal on Saturday before stepping down next week for Germans to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Merkel gave what is expected to be her last weekly video message two days after federal and state leaders decided on a series of measures intended to break a wave of coronavirus infections.
The measures include the exclusion of unvaccinated people across the country from non-essential shops, restaurants and sporting and cultural venues. In the longer term, Parliament will consider a general mandate on vaccines.
At least 68.9% of Germans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, falling short of the government’s target of a minimum vaccination rate of 75%. The number of unvaccinated residents has been blamed as a key factor in a wave of new cases of the virus in recent weeks.
Official figures suggest the infection rate may now stabilize, but at too high a level.
Read Friday’s coronavirus news.