Lots Of Charges Laid This Weekend – Full COVID19 Update

Police and bylaw officers fined businesses, charged anti-maskers and busted at least one big party in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area over the weekend. Peel Regional Police say bylaw officers broke up a party at a short-term rental unit with 60 attendees — and they issued 27 fines of $880 dollars each, plus three summons. Bylaw officers in York Region conducted a blitz over the weekend to ensure businesses were keeping up public health measures, and they issued 16 charges yesterday alone. Meanwhile, Hamilton police say they fined three people at a “Hugs over Masks” anti-mask protest — including the organizer.

Travel Ban Rules Have Been Extended into 2021:

The federal government is extending the myriad of travel restrictions and rules meant to curb the spread of COVID19. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patty Hajdu say the rules, first imposed near the beginning of the global outbreak, will now be in effect until January 21st, 2021 for travellers entering Canada from a country other than the United States. Among the rules is a requirement for anyone entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days. The announcement comes as COVID19 case counts continued to mount, though at levels slightly below the record-setting daily tallies in recent weeks.

Why Did Trudeau Bet on the Chinese Vaccine and Delay a Deal with Pfizer and Moderna?

Yesterday Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole accused the Liberal government of putting too much emphasis on partnering with a Chinese company for a COVID19 vaccine in what turned out to be a failed deal. The deal with vaccine-maker CanSino has finally collapsed after months of delays. Speaking in Ottawa yesterday, O’Toole wanted to know why the Liberals made that deal? O’Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies like Pfizer and Moderna in August.

Here is Erin O’Toole’s news conference from yesterday:

More Confusion About When Canada will get Vaccines:

The chair of American vaccine maker Moderna says Canada is near the front of the line to get 20 million doses of the COVID19 vaccine. Noubar Afeyan offered that assessment yesterday in an interview on the CBC. Afeyan’s remarks come as the Trudeau government has come under fire this past week for its ability to deliver a timely vaccine to Canadians. Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole is accusing Ottawa of banking on China to deliver a vaccine and only inking deals with companies like Moderna once that arrangement fell through.

Dr Tam Very Concerned About the Numbers:

Canada’s chief public health officer says the country is averaging 76 COVID19 related deaths a day and more than 2,100 people in hospital, as infection rates continue to soar across the country. Saturday, Canada recorded more than 5,700 new cases of the virus, and 82 additional fatalities, including a Manitoba boy under the age of 10. Alberta and Quebec both recorded new single day highs on Saturday, with 1,731 and 1,480 new cases, respectively. Doctor Theresa Tam has warned if we don’t make some immediate changes to our behaviour, Canada is on track to hit as many as 10,000 new daily cases next month.

Ford Says The Feds Need to Start Talking:

Premier Ford is calling on Ottawa to provide details as soon as possible about when Ontario can expect to receive doses of an anti-COVID vaccine. The premier says that information is critical to planning a vaccine rollout. On Friday Ford announced that former chief of national defence staff General Rick Hillier will oversee a vaccine distribution task force. With the COVID crisis deepening, the premier is warning against planning Christmas or other celebrations.

Here is Premier Ford discussing the vaccines:

Ontario Numbers:

Across Ontario there were 5,385 new COVID19 cases announced this weekend. There were also 73 new deaths. So far in the month of November, 512 Ontarians have lost their lives due to COVID19. Over 150,000 tests were conducted over the 3-day period. Hospital capacity remains a concern for public health officials, particularly in southern Ontario. There are currently 586 people hospitalized and about 150 people in intensive care due to COVID. The bulk of those patients are in the GTA.

Ford Takes Aim at Protesters and Randy Hillier:

Premier Ford has lashed out at anti-lockdown protesters outside his home — accusing them of intimidating nearby residents and calling them buffoons. The premier apologized to his neighbours on Friday and slammed the protesters for threatening them. He said he couldn’t fathom how anyone could still view COVID19 as a hoax. Ford also denounced Independent politician Randy Hiller as “irresponsible” for leading an anti-lockdown protest at the legislature on Thursday. Police ticketed Hiller for his role in the protest.

Here is Premier Ford discussing the situation:

New Restrictions in Parts of Ontario:

Public health measures are ramping up in five regions across Ontario today. Windsor-Essex is entering the red alert level of the province’s tiered pandemic response plan. Haldimand-Norfolk enters the orange level, while Hastings Prince Edward, Lambton and Northwestern enter the yellow zone. The province says the regions will stay in their new categories for at least 28 days, or two COVID19 incubation periods, before a change is considered.

Toronto School Outbreak:

A school in Toronto has recorded 19 cases of COVID19 — 18 of which are among students. The Toronto District School Board says Thorncliffe Park Public School was part of a pilot project to test asymptomatic students, faculty and staff. It says the elementary school will remain open, because only four per cent of tests came back positive, compared to 16 per cent in the neighbourhood’s general population. But 14 classes that were exposed to the virus have been ordered to self-isolate.

Operations are Being Taken Over at Two More Long Term Care Homes:

The province says new management will take over two more long-term care homes experiencing COVID19 outbreaks. The two homes are entering into the management agreements voluntarily. Scarborough Health Network will temporarily take over Rockcliffe Care Community in east-end Toronto, and Mackenzie Health will support Langstaff Square Care Community in Richmond Hill.

Montreal LTC Infections:

Twenty residents of a Montreal long-term care home have been transferred to two city hospitals after testing positive for COVID19. The local health agency says the outbreak at Maimonides Geriatric Centre began after an asymptomatic caregiver entered the facility. As of November 28th, ten residents had died at Maimonides during the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic.

Atlantic Canada Infections:

Atlantic Canada is seeing its COVID19 case count continue its steady climb. Fourteen new cases were reported Sunday in New Brunswick alone — most of them in the Saint John Region. Nova Scotia saw 10 infections in the central zone, which includes Halifax. Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases, all in the Eastern Health region. PEI was the lone province not to report any new infections.

Church in Manitoba Fined:

The battle over worshipping during a pandemic is heating up in Steinbach, Manitoba. Mounties were on hand yesterday, a week after the Church of God Restoration was slapped with a fine for holding a service that allegedly violated provincial COVID19 health orders. The church decided to slap back — posting videos on its Facebook page of RCMP officers stationed at the church’s parking lot entrances to remind would-be churchgoers of the current public health rules. In one video, Pastor Tobias Tissen accused the officers of “blocking God”.

Food Bank Demand:

There was a surge in demand for food banks across Ontario as the COVID19 pandemic took hold. This according to a new study from Feed Ontario, released today. The organization included a special analysis of the impact of the pandemic alongside its usual report on annual food bank use, which gathers data from 130 member food banks and 11-hundred affiliate agencies. It says all food banks reported a significant increase in the number of first-time users in the first four months of the pandemic.

Northern Judge Calling on Ottawa to Clarify Jail Sentences:

A Nunavut judge wants Parliament to weigh in how the courts should sentence offenders to jail time during the pandemic. Justice Paul Bychok says Parliament needs to provide clarity on the issue. But Joao Velloso, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, says the Criminal Code already spells out how to deal with extraordinary events like that.

Fauci Says America Will Soon Start Seeing The Aftermath of Thanksgiving:

America’s top infectious disease expert — Dr. Anthony Fauci says a post-Thanksgiving surge of COVID19 infections is coming. He made the prediction while speaking on ABC’s “This Week.” According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the number of new COVID19 cases reported in the U-S reached over 205,000 this weekend. The total number of coronavirus cases in America has topped 13 million.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

The COVID19 situation in Waterloo Region has become critical. Yesterday Public Health announced 65 new cases. On Saturday it was 86 new infections and a new death. On Friday there were 75 cases added to the Region’s dashboard. Heading into this week there are 520 active cases in the Region. 29 people are hospitalized, including 8 in the ICU. Based on the latest numbers, the Province and the Region’s medical officer of health will be discussing the possibility of moving Waterloo Region to the “Grey Zone”, which means a lockdown. Typically the Premier makes those announcements on Fridays.

Waterloo Region Infections:

  • The 10th COVID19 case this month has been confirmed at the University of Waterloo. No details were released. The two latest infected persons are now self isolating.
  • Three staff members at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener have tested positive for COVID19. Testing amongst the inmates is now underway and in-person visits are temporarily suspended.
  • Another student at William G Davis Public School in Cambridge has tested positive for COVID-19. An outbreak has been declared. Public health will be contacting the classroom cohort to provide guidance on the revised self-isolation date.
  • A student at Riverside Public School in Elmira tested positive. The student was last in the building Nov. 20. This is the school’s second case.
  • A student at Galt Collegiate Institute in Cambridge has tested positive. They were last in the building Nov. 18.

Contains files from the Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Peel Regional Police

 

 

Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan