Calls Growing Louder To Reopen The Border – Full COVID-19 Update

Calls Growing Louder To Reopen The Border – Full COVID-19 Update

A coalition of leaders from US states and some Canadian provinces is asking both Ottawa and Washington to re-open the border to fully vaccinated citizens of both countries. The Midwestern Legislative Conference has passed a formal resolution at its annual meeting. Lawmakers from across the Midwest say what qualifies as essential travel has been left up to the discretion of individual border agents, creating widespread confusion. The travel restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis for more than a year, and are currently set to expire July 21st.

Here is the Prime Minister talking about it yesterday:

Restrictions Will Loosen For Visits To Long Term Care Homes:

Ontario is lifting COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated visitors, caregivers and staff at long-term care homes as long as they aren’t showing any symptoms of the virus. The new guidance from Ontario’s chief medical officer of health also recommends exempting fully vaccinated people from routine testing. The change takes effect tomorrow as the province lifts public heath restrictions on other sectors under the third step of its reopening plan. Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people will still need to be tested for COVID-19 before entering the homes.

Peel Hosting a Transportation Vaccine Clinic:

Peel Region says it’s hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic this Saturday and Sunday specifically for people that work in the transportation sector. Truck drivers, taxi and bus drivers, as well as couriers and those that work for rideshare companies can get their first or second doses at the International Centre in Mississauga. The clinic will operate from 1pm to 8pm on both days. Organizers say the location was chosen for its proximity to the 401 and its ability to allow truck drivers to park their vehicles.

The Royal Winter Fair is Cancelled Again:

Toronto will go another year without an in-person Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The annual event, which usually runs in November, is moving online only. This year is the fair’s 99th anniversary. It bills itself as the largest indoor agricultural and equestrian event in the world. Organizers say it will go ahead as an education-focused online experience.

Interest Rates Remain Frozen:

The Bank of Canada says it sees the risks from COVID-19 waning but not enough to change its trendsetting interest rate. The central bank held it’s the rate target at 0.25 per cent as it lowered expectations for economic growth this year to six per cent from its previous estimate of 6.5 per cent. It cited a weaker first half of the year than expected as the economy was hampered by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. But with public health restrictions partially or entirely lifted across the country, it has boosted its growth outlook for next year to 4.6 per cent from its earlier forecast of 3.7 per cent.

Black Vaccine Hesitancy:

Black Canadian leaders say governments must do more to help overcome vaccine hesitancy in their communities. An online survey conducted by the Innovative Research Group in early June found Black Canadians were far less likely to report getting their first shot than white respondents. They were also far more likely to express hesitation at getting the jab. Toronto orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ato Sekyi-Otu with the Black Opportunity Fund, says governments need to take immediate steps to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate delivery and education about vaccines in Black communities.

Retail Is Facing a Labour Shortage:

Canadian retailers looking to hire new workers are offering extra perks and benefits as a labour crunch increases competition for employees. An exodus of workers left the retail industry when most non-essential stores were shuttered or forced to operate at strict capacity limits for months due to the pandemic. Now the economy is reopening, industry experts say retailers are struggling to gain a full complement of staff after many laid off workers went back to school or sought more stable employment in another field. Retail Council of Canada CEO Diane J. Brisebois says some members are offering workers greater schedule flexibility, more benefits and in some cases, higher wages.

A COVID Comeback Is Happening:

COVID-19 deaths and cases are on the rise again globally in a dispiriting setback that is triggering another round of restrictions and dampening hopes for an almost normal summer. One of the biggest spikes is in the Netherlands.  The World Health Organization is reporting that deaths climbed last week after nine straight weeks of decline. It recorded more than 55,000 deaths, a three per cent increase from the week before. Cases rose last week by 10 per cent to nearly three-million.

A Lawsuit Has Been Filed Against Florida By A Cruise Line:

Norwegian Cruise Line is challenging a new Florida law that bans cruise companies from requiring passengers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. It filed a lawsuit in Miami Federal Court asking a judge to lift the law imposing a $5,000 fine each time a passenger is asked for proof of vaccination. Norwegian argues the ban on proof of vaccination jeopardizes safe operation of cruise vessels by increasing the risk of contracting the virus. It intends to re-start cruises from Florida ports in mid-August and is asking the judge to lift the ban by August 6th.

Ontario Numbers:

There were 153 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and seven more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there were 28 new cases in Toronto, 23 in the Region of Waterloo, and 20 in Grey Bruce Region. She says there were also 19 new cases in Peel Region and 12 in Middlesex-London. 179,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the reporting period, for a total of more than 17.4 million doses in the province.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Region of Waterloo Public Health confirmed just 22 new cases yesterday and no new deaths. Active cases are down by 17 to 262. There are still 25 people hospitalized in the Region.

10 new cases were confirmed yesterday by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. 8 were in Guelph and 2 were in Dufferin. Active cases are up to 49. There are now just 4 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

 

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