Businesses May Not Reopen Businesses On The 26th – Full COVID-19 Update

Businesses May Not Reopen Businesses On The 26th – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario’s top doctor says he can’t yet guarantee that current COVID-19 public health restrictions on businesses will be lifted on January 26th. Chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore says he understands that business groups have been calling for greater clarity on the restrictions, with schools re-opening for in-class learning next week. But he says that will depend on when COVID-19 admissions to hospitals and intensive care units peak during the Omicron wave. Moore says he expects to get greater clarity on that early next week but cautions restrictions will be slowly and carefully rolled back to ensure the province doesn’t see another jump in cases.

Feds Reverse Course Again And Say Unvaccinated Truckers Aren’t Welcome: 

The federal government is clearing up any confusion — Ottawa says its plan to impose a vaccine mandate on all truckers crossing into Canada from the US will go into effect this Saturday as planned. Confusion stemmed from a statement from the Canada Border Services Agency on Wednesday that said Canadian truck drivers would be exempt. But Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, along with the transport and public safety ministers clarified on Thursday that info was provided in error. Their statement said Canadian truckers must be vaccinated if they want to avoid quarantine and a pre-arrival molecular test, starting this weekend. Unvaxxed American truckers will be turned back at the border. The US is preparing to impose similar restrictions on Canadian truckers on January 22nd.

Moore Will Investigate The True COVID Death Toll:

Ontario’s top doctor says the province is trying to ascertain true mortality data from COVID-19 by telling hospitals to document whether deaths were caused by or associated with the virus. Dr. Kieran Moore says he has recently met with the chief coroner’s office and will be sending memos to hospitals to ensure that death is documented appropriately to further clarify the cause of death for the public. Ontario has been reporting relatively high numbers of COVID-19 deaths this month – double digits each day since January 4th, including two days with more than 40 new deaths reported. The province reported 35 new deaths from the virus yesterday.

Fourth Dose Shots Open Today for Some Ontarians: 

Immunocompromised Ontarians can book appointments for a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine starting today. Officials say people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised can book a fourth dose starting at 8am through the provincial vaccine contact centre. Ontario has already started administering fourth doses in long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings.

The Therapeutics Are Still Over a Week Away:

Health Canada should be ready to make an authorization decision about Pfizer’s anti-viral treatment for COVID-19 in a week to 10 days. The US approved the American-made Paxlovid three weeks ago, and the UK approved it December 31st. But our country’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, tells The Canadian Press the Canadian submission was incomplete. It’s still unclear when shipments would start or how much Canada will initially receive.

Novak Djokovic Facing Deportation From Australia Again:

Novak Djokovic faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday he used his ministerial discretion to revoke the Serb’s visa on public interest grounds three days before the top seed was set to start defence of his Australian Open title. Unvaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic’s visa was first cancelled by border guards upon his arrival in Melbourne last week for declaring a medical exemption that failed to meet the country’s vaccination requirement. His lawyers are expected to appeal the second cancellation in a federal court as they successfully did after the first one.

Quebec Lifts Curfew:

Premier Francois Legault says the number of daily COVID cases in Quebec appears to have peaked. Health experts in the province say virus-related hospitalizations — which were at an unprecedented 2,994 Thursday — should peak in the coming days. Legault says this will allow him to lift the 10pm to 5am curfew, imposed New Year’s Eve to keep people off the streets. Quebec is the only province to prohibit people from leaving their homes at night as a way to control transmission. 

O’Toole Says The Quebec Tax Tax is Wrong:

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he opposes Quebec’s plan to tax and target the unvaccinated. The province has announced that unvaccinated adult Quebecers who don’t have a medical exemption can expect to start paying a significant financial penalty. The legislation to introduce the measure is coming next month. O’Toole, who encourages vaccinations but opposes vaccine mandates, calls it unfair, predicting it won’t persuade those who are hesitant to get a shot to finally roll up their sleeves. 

New Canadian Research Also Finds a Link Between Cannabis Use And COVID Protection:

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have discovered that a non-psychoactive compound, found in the cannabis plant, appears to prime your immune system of cells, potentially offering protection against pathogens such as COVID-19. That compound is … Synthetic cannabidiol or “CBD”. Researchers found that CBD augments the anti-viral response of cells to three key proteins produced by the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The lead researcher, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, says that in cells that had not been exposed to the COVID proteins, CBD in therapeutic amounts seemed to prime the innate anti-viral system of cells, increasing their readiness to respond to viral infection – and that this happened without activating apoptosis in healthy cells.

Waterloo Region / Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health says our hospital numbers remained stable yesterday, with 99 COVID-19 patients being treated. 15 are in the ICU. There was a new death yesterday, raising the local total to 321 since the start of the pandemic. 

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is reporting 35 patients in hospital. Only 3 of them are in the ICU.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

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