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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Chronic understaffing and heavy workloads push nurses to breaking point
  2. Amid rising infections, New Brunswick reimposes state of emergency order
  3. Alberta already using a triage system in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients

In the past seven days, 29,614 cases were reported, down 5 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 250 deaths announced, up 25 per cent over the same period. At least 2,343 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 12th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopening

Photo of the day

Sarasota Hospital worker Larry Hammers, 62, sits waiting after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination as a registered nurse applies a dose to registered nurse Aimee Brooks at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida, U.S., September 24, 2021.SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

  • In Alberta, the head of the provincial medical association says hospitals have started using a triage system to decide which critically ill COVID-19 patients will be moved to ICUs and put on ventilators. The province is reporting more than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections each day.
  • New Brunswick has reimposed its state of emergency order as the province reports 866 new COVID-19 cases so far this month. A senior health official says New Brunswick got it wrong when the province dropped all of its COVID-19 restrictions on July 30.
  • Ontario reported a record spending increase in the first fiscal year of the pandemic. But that figure was still $5.6-billion lower than forecast. Critics say the government held back funds that could have been used in response to COVID-19.
  • In Quebec, a rise in COVID-19 infections in private seniors residences throughout the province has prompted the Health Department to mandate masks in common areas. Meanwhile, the province reported 727 new infections and eight deaths from COVID-19 on Friday. And, families of Herron long-term care residents denounced for-profit homes.

Across Canada, nurses are warning that high workloads and chronic understaffing are pushing them to the brink.

  • Canada’s nursing shortage is a long-standing problem that has been exacerbated by COVID-19. With anti-vaccine sentiment weighing on morale, health officials fear the problem will worsen.
  • “We’re seeing governments across the country doing patch work … and it’s not going to fix the shortage, because what nurses are telling us is, it’s the workload that is keeping them away,” said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.
  • Elizabeth Saewyc, a professor and director of the University of British Columbia’s nursing school, said there are thousands of unfilled nursing positions across the province.

Also today: School disruption, the possibility of “long COVID,” along with the safety data for vaccines, will all be factors in the parents’ decisions to vaccinate young kids, said chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Coronavirus around the world

  • In the United States, two hosts of the morning show “The View” tested positive for COVID-19 just before a planned in-studio interview with Vice-President Kamala Harris. Hosts Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin were asked to leave the set and the interview was conducted remotely “because they don’t want to take a chance” with Harris appearing on stage.

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Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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