Judge Orders Novak Djokovic’s Visa For Australia Be Reinstated – Full COVID-19 Update

Judge Orders Novak Djokovic’s Visa For Australia Be Reinstated – Full COVID-19 Update

An Australian judge has reinstated tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa, which was cancelled last week because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. However, that doesn’t guarantee Djokovic will be able to play in next week’s Australian Open. A government lawyer says the minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation of the visa, which would mean Djokovic could again face deportation and a 3-year ban from the country.

More Vax Clinics Opened For Education Workers:

The provincial government is working to get COVID-19 booster shots into the arms of Ontario’s education workers. It’s setting up an additional 10 vaccine clinics in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. The clinics will be located in Toronto — including one at the Toronto Zoo — as well as in Mississauga, Vaughan, Pickering, Hamilton, Oakville and Brampton. A government release says they’ll offer dedicated time slots for booster appointments for school and child-care staff. Eligible workers can book now.

Hospital CEO Says Hospitals Are Great But Upstream Care Needs Work:

A former Ontario deputy health minister and CEO of Toronto’s University Health Network says Canada has a solid health-care system when it comes to quality of care, and has adapted to the pandemic by adding critical care beds, ventilators and moving surgeries. But Doctor Bob Bell says where Canada tends to fall down on international comparisons is access to primary care. He says stressed hospitals can be a symptom of inadequate upstream care like access to family doctors, home care and community care, sending people to emergency departments when those services aren’t available. Hospitals across the country have warned they are reaching capacity as a result of COVID-19 admissions, and staff shortages due to virus exposure or infection. Hospital CEO’s are on the defensive about how prepared hospitals were to handle this surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Go Service Continues to Struggle:

Metrolinx says it’s cutting back on GO Transit service for the time being because of worker absenteeism. Go says 20 to 30 per cent of the workforce is off because they’ve been exposed to the Omicron variant. It also says that number is expected to keep rising. Metrolinx says that starting today it’s reducing service by about 15 per cent across the system.

Public Health Asks Scientists to Work From Home:

Starting today, staff at National Microbiology Laboratory facilities across the country are being asked to work from home if possible. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the move is meant to protect the essential workforce conducting critical on-site diagnostic and lab research. The work from home order covers staff at the lab sites in Winnipeg, Guelph, Ontario, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec and Lethbridge, Alberta.

Parts of China Go Into Lockdown In Preparation for the Olympics:

A major Chinese city near Beijing has placed its 14 million residents on partial lockdown. This after 41 children and adults tested positive for COVID-19 in Tianjin, including at least two with the Omicron variant. China has stepped up its zero tolerance anti-virus strategy in the runup to the Winter Olympics, which open February 4th in Beijing.

Atlantic Canada Numbers Rising:

COVID-19 numbers continue to climb throughout Atlantic Canada, with hospitalizations also on the rise due to the Omicron variant. New Brunswick is reporting 79 people in hospital as a result of the virus, including 16 people in intensive care, and 10 on ventilators. Nova Scotia reported 837 new cases yesterday, while Newfoundland and Labrador confirmed 367 new patients. Meanwhile, PEI will reopen COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Charlottetown and Summerside today. 

Alberta Students Go Back To School Today:

Alberta students are returning to in-person classes today, which the province’s chief medical health officer says is important for their mental wellness. But some say they are concerned about their physical well-being, as COVID-19 cases surge due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. One 12-year-old in Calgary says he personally knows of classmates who travelled internationally or attended unsafe family gatherings over the holidays, and he feels there aren’t enough precautions in place in classrooms to keep everyone safe. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced last week that students will get more medical masks and COVID-19 rapid test kits.

BC Students Go Back to Class Today:

After being delayed for a week due to the fast-spreading Omicron COVID variant, students in BC are heading back to class today. Despite the fifth wave of the pandemic, provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry has said schools need to remain open for the emotional, physical and intellectual well-being of children. The back-to-class plan includes mandatory three-layer masking in indoor areas, staggered start and break times, and measures to reduce crowding in common areas.

Ontario & Quebec Numbers:

COVID-19 continues to sweep through Quebec and Ontario. Quebec reported a sharp jump in hospitalizations yesterday. The figure climbed by 140 and now stands at 2,436. The province reported over 11,000 new infections.

Ontario announced 412 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units yesterday; a jump from 385 on Saturday. However the number of patients hospitalized due to the virus ticked down from the nearly 2,600 reported Saturday to 2,419 on Sunday. Provincial data showed 11,959 new COVID-19 cases yesterday.

Waterloo Region / Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health no longer report their numbers on weekends. We will get a look at the local hospitalization numbers later today. 

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Novak Djokovic via Twitter

After 9 Podcast - 91.5 The Beat