Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- According to a Globe and Mail analysis, despite thousands of COVID-19 vaccine passport inspections in Ontario, few businesses have faced fines
- Federal employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are now on unpaid leave as of today, unless they were granted an exemption
- A Quebec judge has refused an injunction against the province’s abandoned vaccine mandate for health-care workers
In the past seven days, 17,606 cases were reported, up 7 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 190 deaths announced, up 12 per cent over the same period. At least 1,555 people are being treated in hospitals.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 15th 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.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Starting today in Alberta, immunization records without a scannable QR code, including those from vaccine providers or saved from the province’s MyHealth Records, will no longer be accepted as proof of vaccination under the Restrictions Exemption Program.
- A Quebec judge has refused an injunction against the province’s scrapped vaccine mandate for health care workers. Quebec abandoned its Nov. 15 deadline for health care staff to be vaccinated on Nov. 3.
- In Ontario, fewer than a dozen nursing homes needed staffing help from the provincial government as the deadline for workers to get a first COVID-19 vaccine dose passed today. The government said 98 per cent of workers had received a first shot as of Monday. Today, the government reported 552 new cases and three deaths from the virus.
The vaccine mandate for federal employees goes into effect today – potentially leaving more than 1,000 workers without pay and unable to access employment insurance benefits.
- Employees in the core federal public sector who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and who have not been granted an accommodation, will be put on unpaid leave today.
- Several federal public-sector unions have said they plan to file grievances if they feel an employee’s human rights were not respected.
Coronavirus around the world
- China is currently battling its most widespread COVID-19 outbreak of the Delta variant, which has affected 21 provinces, regions and municipalities. It is smaller than many outbreaks in other countries, but authorities in China are anxious to block the transmission under the government’s zero-tolerance guidance.
- The Netherlands has returned to a partial lockdown after the government ordered restaurants and shops to close early and barred spectators from major sporting events. The number of COVID-19 patients in Dutch hospitals increased to around 2,000 today, including almost 400 in intensive care – reaching the highest level since May.
- As of Monday, India is now allowing fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter the country on regular commercial flights. Tourists must also test negative for the virus within 72 hours of their flight.
Coronavirus and business
According to a Globe and Mail analysis, inspectors have visited thousands of businesses in Ontario to enforce vaccine passport rules and have issued fines or charges in only a few dozen cases.
- The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, which leads provincial enforcement, said as of Nov. 8 its officials had conducted a total of 5,637 visits to businesses and issued 61 tickets. Those tickets were related to failure to screen for vaccination and other safety measures, such as failure to wear a mask.
- Some public-health advocates say this data could indicate that enforcement has been lenient because the number of fines is such a small percentage of the complaints that have been registered.
Also today: WeWork reports a smaller loss in its first quarterly result since going public last month as demand for office space increases in the United States with restrictions easing.
And: The world’s second-biggest cinema chain, Cineworld, neared pre-COVID sales in October.
- André Picard: Childhood vaccination is a pathway out of the pandemic and parents should embrace it
- Patrick Brethour: When it comes to CEWS, it’s your money – but none of your business
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Waiting for a second dose? We answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions
- What is and isn’t ‘paid sick leave’ in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine ‘hangover’? Here’s why
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.