Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- After being unable to enter the United States by land for non-essential travel for 19 months, the states will welcome fully vaccinated Canadians beginning in November
- Baby bust: Family planning took a detour for many Canadians as the pandemic continued to drag on
- Time for a booster shot? Rolling out third vaccine doses too quickly will do more harm than good, experts say
In the past seven days, 23,090 cases were reported, down 15 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 254 deaths announced, down 20 per cent over the same period. At least 2,430 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,605,860 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
- Alberta has revised its COVID-19 triage strategy to ensure children are not denied critical care after ongoing discussions with pediatric teams. The province’s triage plan will take effect should occupancy in its ICUs exceed 90 per cent. Meanwhile, an Alberta judge is handing out fines instead of jail time for COVID-19 violations to prevent flouters from gaining notoriety.
- Quebec will delay its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers until Nov. 15. Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said 14,000 health-care workers in the public and private systems still aren’t fully vaccinated.
- Several Ontario hospitals are enacting mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for visitors, in addition to mandates for their staff. University Health Network in Toronto is planning to ask visitors for proof of full vaccination starting Oct. 22.
- In British Columbia, 95 per cent of employees at long-term care and assisted living facilities have been vaccinated. About 2,000 people, however, have been placed on unpaid leave because they did not receive their COVID-19 shots by the province’s Tuesday deadline.
- Saskatchewan is preparing to send some of its critical COVID-19 patients to Ontario as its hospitals are over capacity. Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said Wednesday that the province is preparing air ambulance flights.
The United States is reopening its land border to fully vaccinated Canadians in early November.
- Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced the development in a news release, but did not provide an exact date for lifting the border restrictions.
- The question remains, however, whether U.S. border officials will recognize Canadians who have received mixed vaccine doses from two different manufacturers. More than 3.9 million Canadians have received mixed doses, according to data from Health Canada.
Family planning put on hold: In the first wave, some observers mused that couples locked down together at home would spell a pandemic baby boom nine months into the crisis. Instead, Canada saw a baby bust: 13,434 fewer children were born in 2020 than in 2019.
Long-term care outbreaks: Across Canada, the number of long-term care and assisted living homes battling COVID-19 outbreaks is rising.
COVID-19 booster shots: A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet needed for most Canadians, health experts say.
- 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.