- Ontario COVID-19 cases top 1,000 for the first time.
- Saskatchewan reports new single-day high of coronavirus cases.
- Aide to U.S. vice-president tests positive for COVID-19.
- Spain to impose nationwide curfew under new state of emergency.
- Italy orders bars, restaurants to close early as COVID infections surge.
- Hindu festival season scaled down due to infections.
Ontario reported 1,042 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, setting a new single-day high for the province since the pandemic began in January and breaking the previous record for a daily count set on Saturday, at 978 new cases.
The latest number comes a day after Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, again sounded the alarm that the most critical health consequences of rising cases across the country have yet to emerge.
Tam said health officials are watching the number of hospitalizations and deaths, which tend to lag behind an increase in cases by one to several weeks.
WATCH | Pandemic adds to mental stress for some heading into winter:
The number of active COVID-19 cases rose 16 per cent week over week, according to figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The sharp uptick left an average of 1,010 patients being treated in hospital each day over the past week, about 20 per cent of whom were in intensive care, Tam said on Saturday.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 215,880 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 181,381 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting rose to 9,940.
In British Columbia, polling stations were equipped with personal protective equipment, plastic barriers and other now-usual preventative pandemic measures as residents cast their ballots on Saturday, re-electing the NDP under John Horgan, who had called a snap election.
In Alberta, a lawyer is calling for action after an outbreak at a Calgary jail leapt to 55 cases, a notable increase after the outbreak was initially reported Thursday.
Saskatchewan reported 78 new cases, the highest single-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic. Meanwhile, three more cases have been recorded at two Regina schools and an outbreak has been declared at Saskatoon’s largest shelter.
Quebec added 879 new cases to its tally on Sunday for a total 100,114 cases. There were 11 new deaths from the respiratory illness, for a total of 6,143.
On Saturday, the province reported 1,009 new cases and 26 more deaths. The average daily case count in Quebec has been higher than any other province but appears to have plateaued for the time being since a peak of 1,364 on Oct. 6, the same week that tight new restrictions went into effect.
Despite the rising number of cases in Ontario, politicians from the province’s Halton Region published a letter Saturday pleading for an exemption from stricter public health measures.
The mayors of Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills and Milton, along with Halton’s regional chair, said they “prefer a measured, targeted approach over a blanket approach that unfairly punishes small businesses.”
The provincial government has already moved the long-standing hot spots of Ottawa, Toronto and the neighbouring regions of York and Peel to a modified Stage 2, which includes suspension of indoor dining at bars and restaurants.
However, rising case numbers elsewhere prompted Ontario Premier Doug Ford to announce Friday that officials would review the situation in Halton, Durham Region and other areas.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new confirmed case on Saturday, a man from the Eastern Health region in his 50s who had returned home to the province after working in Alberta.
Nova Scotia reported three new cases, all related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.
New Brunswick announced two new cases in the province, both in the Campbellton region.
In Prince Edward Island, residents of Charlottetown-Winsloe strapped on their masks, sanitized their hands and marked their ballots in the province’s first taste of pandemic-era voting.
2/2 Over the past week, an average of over 74,719 people have been tested for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> daily across Canada, with 3.1% of these people testing positive as <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/publichealth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#publichealth</a> continues to <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TestandTrace?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TestandTrace</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/ZArmpJMAM3″>https://t.co/ZArmpJMAM3</a>
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 42.7 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 28.8 million have recovered.
The colourful Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Dussehra have been scaled down this year in India, amid fears among health experts that the festive season might lead to a cascade of new coronavirus infections.
The towering displays of religious sculptures are rare, and at many places, prayers have gone virtual, with organizers live streaming the sessions for the devotees.
In many states, police barricades have been erected around the usually buzzing places of worship to avoid large gatherings.
India has the second-largest coronavirus outbreak in the world, after the United States.
Last month, India hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but since then daily infections have fallen by about half and deaths by about a third.
In the United States, Marc Short, the chief of staff for U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson for the vice-president said on Saturday.
Devin O’Malley said Pence himself remains in good health, has tested negative and will maintain his schedule “in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.”
In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has declared a second nationwide state of emergency, which goes into effect Sunday, in a bid to stem a resurgence in coronavirus infections.
His government will use the state of emergency to impose new measures, including a nationwide nightly curfew, except in the Canary Islands.
This past week, Spain became the first European country to surpass one million officially recorded COVID-19 cases. Sanchez said on Friday the true figure could be more than three million, due to gaps in testing and other factors.
Italy on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close by 6 p.m. and shut public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools — staring Monday — to try to halt a rapid resurgence in the coronavirus.
The decree encourages people not to go out and to limit contacts at home with anyone outside their immediate family, but it does not impose a mandatory nationwide curfew or lockdown and allows shops and most businesses to remain open. Up to three-quarters of high school teaching is to move online to limit the number of pupils in school buildings.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said it’s hoped the measures will bring the rising curve of cases under control in the next few weeks. On Saturday, Italian authorities reported a new record daily total of 19,644 infections, as well as 151 deaths from the respiratory disease.
France on Saturday reported 45,422 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, a new record, after reporting 42,032 on Friday.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, 75, of Algeria, is self-isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19, he said in a tweet on Saturday.
The country has officially confirmed more than 55,000 cases of the novel coronavirus with nearly 2,000 deaths.
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