Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- In Alberta and Saskatchewan, per capita COVID-19 fatality rates are more than three times the national figure
- Major-General Dany Fortin’s bid to lead the federal vaccine rollout again has been quashed
- The Quebec Order of Nurses is suspending licences for members who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning Friday
In the past seven days, 24,138 cases were reported, down 12 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 239 deaths announced, down 20 per cent over the same period. At least 2,342 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,601,901 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th 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
- Quebec’s nurses order says it will suspend licences for thousands of its members who are not vaccinated, starting Friday, a few days ahead of the province’s Oct. 15 deadline. After Friday, unvaccinated employees in the health sector face suspension without pay. Health Minister Christian Dubé said it’s still too early to say how Quebec’s health care system will be affected by a vaccine mandate that could lead to thousands of workers suspended. Meanwhile, the province will begin administering COVID-19 booster shots at a long-term care centre in Montreal.
- Manitoba is tightening COVID-19 rules in the southern health region, where vaccination rates are low and case counts are high. People will now be required to self-isolate if anyone in their home shows COVID-19 symptoms or is deemed a close contact of a case.
- British Columbia’s top doctor says the province is preparing to vaccinate about 340,000 children as young as five years old, pending Health Canada approval as early as next month.
- Hospitals in New Brunswick are moving to a “Red Alert” level and postponing some non-urgent procedures because of a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. There are more than 1,000 active reported cases of COVID-19 in the province.
- Several Ontario hospitals have placed staff on unpaid leave or terminated them owing to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. Meanwhile, Toronto Public Health has ordered a high school to move to remote learning because of an outbreak of COVID-19. The province reported 458 new cases of COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Monday and 390 new cases on Tuesday.
- Saskatchewan has set a new record for the most COVID-19 patients in its intensive-care units – most of whom are unvaccinated.
A surge of infections has overwhelmed hospitals in Alberta and Saskatchewan, leaving those two provinces with the country’s highest COVID-19 death rates.
- Alberta alone accounts for more than a third of all deaths in Canada in the past two weeks – despite having less than 10 per cent of the population.
- In Saskatchewan, about 40 people a week have been dying of COVID-19, though the per capita rate is even higher than in Alberta. The death rate in Saskatchewan is 21 times higher than in Nova Scotia.
Military ruling: The Federal Court has denied Major-General Dany Fortin’s bid to be reinstated as the leader of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. He is still facing a charge of sexual assault.
Coronavirus around the world
- The U.S.’s Food and Drug Administration will decide this week whether extra doses of the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be dispensed. And, as the COVID-19 pandemic passes the 18-month mark, a global chip shortage and an ebullient economy have created a shortage of workers in the U.S. so severe it has driven industries to unusual methods.
- A Parliamentary inquiry reports that Britain’s initial pandemic response was, “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced.”
Coronavirus and business
Canada’s fine-dining industry has taken such a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic that many high-end restaurants have considered closing down.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed restaurants to the brink, coping with challenges such as high food and labour costs, and a heavy reliance on in-person dining rooms that have been subject to months of shutdowns and capacity limits.
- Also, when indoor dining vanished, high-end restaurants were less suited than others to providing takeout. They often make money by selling alcohol: The markup on a bottle of wine offsets the cost of the food on a plate.
Also today: The International Monetary Fund is slightly downgrading its outlook for global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic recession, and emphasized the need for a more equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
And: What is driving the decline in self-employed workers? In September, the number of self-employed workers fell to its lowest level during the pandemic.
- André Picard: New Zealand’s ‘COVID Zero’ approach succeeds in its so-called failure
- Jennifer Moss: In the move to remote work, we are losing our sense of connection to the workplace
- Rob Carrick: Why variable-rate mortgages rule in the pandemic housing market – and maybe afterward, too
- J. Kelly Nestruck: Ontario theatres lift capacity limits on short notice, meaning more tickets for Follies starring Eric McCormack
- Basketball’s Brooklyn Nets say Kyrie Irving won’t play until he meets COVID-19 vaccine requirement
- Music legend Gordon Lightfoot postpones tour dates in Western Canada because of COVID-19 in the region
- 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.