Toronto moved into a modified version of Ontario’s red zone COVID19 restrictions on Saturday. But the city’s public health agency has implemented its own set of rules that are even stricter than those for red zones. Today Hamilton, Halton and York Region will also move to the red alert level. The development comes days after Premier Doug Ford lowered the thresholds for his colour-coded system of public health restrictions on Friday. Peel Region was already in the red zone. Red is the most restrictive level under the province’s new risk assessment system short of a full lockdown, but it’s come under fire from critics for allowing indoor dining. Seven other regions, including Durham, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and Niagara will move to the orange alert level today. At least six more, including Windsor-Essex and Sudbury, will join the yellow alert level.
To see all of the Regions and what restrictions are in place: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from Friday:
Ontario set records this weekend for daily new infections of COVID19. Between Friday and yesterday there were 4,225 new cases and 70 new deaths. Heading into this week there are 479 Ontarians hospitalized with COVID19. 118 people are in the ICU and 67 people are on ventilators.
As a result of rising COVID-19 numbers, I am asking everyone to limit their trips outside of the home, except essential reasons like going to work, school, getting groceries, or for medical appointments. Families should not allow visitors to their homes & avoid social gatherings. pic.twitter.com/DpeQJ2HWAO
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) November 15, 2020
Dr Tam is Concerned About Hospital Capacity:
Rising COVID19 infections across much of the country are threatening to swamp a hospital system that’s already under strain. That’s the warning from chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, as provinces continue to post record-high daily case counts. Tam says the number of people with severe cases of COVID19 continues to increase with a daily average of more than 1,400 people being treated in hospitals over the past week. Unless everyone does their part to stop the spread of COVID19, Dr. Tam is predicting 10,000 cases per day within two to three weeks.
1/4 #COVID19 key concerns in 🇨🇦: the number of people with severe illness continues to ↑, with an avg. >1,400 people w COVID-19 being treated in hospitals, incl. 280 in critical care, and 55 deaths reported each day over the past 7 days. https://t.co/1iI5Q4JnU0
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) November 14, 2020
2/3 ⚠️#COVIDTrap: In more relaxed settings, such as family get-togethers, birthday parties, holiday celebrations and recreational activities, it is natural to relax, but this can mean it is easy forget or let our guard down on essential precautions.
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) November 15, 2020
Vaccine Developer Very Optimistic About An Eventual Return to Normal:
One of the scientists behind the experimental COVID19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer says he’s confident that it could cut the transmission of the virus in half. The chief executive of Germany’s BioNTech says that it is crucial to have a high vaccination rate before next autumn to ensure a return to normal life next winter. Ugur Sahin says if everything continues to go well, deliveries of the vaccine will start late this year or in early 2021. Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that interim results showed the vaccine was 90 per cent effective.
Canada Experiencing an Opioid Overdose Crisis:
Opioid overdose deaths are on the rise again, reversing a decline between 2018 and last year. BC officials are reporting more than 100 deaths each month between March and August, and more than 175 overdose deaths in May, June and July. Social isolation tends to worsen addiction, and experts say that means people using drugs may be alone when they overdose and can’t get help.
Cadillac Fairview Cancels In-Person Mall Visits with Santa:
One of Canada’s largest mall operators is canceling in-person Santa visits amid increasing COVID19 cases in provinces including Ontario. Cadillac Fairview is suspending physical experiences with Santa in all 19 of its shopping centers, including the Eaton Centre and Fairview Mall in Toronto. The mall operator had been offering in-person Santa visit reservations as recently as Thursday. It’s now offering Santa storytime sessions in French and English on Facebook and will allow people to book one-on-one video chats with the jolly man from the North Pole.
As part of our efforts to keep guests & their families safe, we’re moving all Santa experiences to online & virtual only. Learn more: https://t.co/r1FQdLBXVb
— Cadillac Fairview (@CadFairview) November 13, 2020
Celebrities Getting False Positives:
Singer Erykah Badu is tweeting about her experience of getting conflicting results from a COVID19 test. She says the machine produced a positive reading on her left nostril and a negative on the right and that the doctor only reported the positive result. SpaceX Founder Elon Musk tweeted the same thing happened to him. Officials say false positives in COVID19 tests can and do happen.
Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2020
Hamilton Anti-Masker Charged:
Police say the 26-year-old organizer of an anti-mask protest held in Hamilton last weekend has been charged under the Reopening Ontario Act. They say more than 100 people attended the event — called Hugs Over Masks — that was held outside city hall to protest COVID19 restrictions. The limit for outdoor public gatherings in Hamilton at the time was 100 people.
Hamilton Police have charged a 26-year-old male who organized a Hugs Over Masks event in #HamOnt under the Reopening Ontario Act. The organizer faces a minimum $10,000 fine and will appear in court in February. Read More: https://t.co/nGPTGaEBWf
— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) November 13, 2020
Farm Ordered to Pay Migrant Worker:
An Ontario farm has been ordered to pay $25,000 dollars to a migrant worker who was fired after speaking out about working conditions during a COVID19 outbreak. The Ontario Labour Review Board says Scotlynn Sweetpac Growers in Norfolk County sent Gabriel Flores back to Mexico in June after he expressed his concerns privately and publicly. It notes Flores confronted a supervisor about living in close quarters after he was diagnosed with COVID19 and a co-worker died of the virus. The payment ordered includes lost wages and $5,000 dollars for pain and suffering.
New Mom from BC Still in a Coma:
The husband of an Abbotsbord, BC woman in a coma due to complications from COVID19 is urging people to take the virus more seriously. Dave McIntosh says his wife Gill (Jill) gave birth via emergency C-section last week but remains on a ventilator and in an induced coma. He says they both wore masks and took precautions — but it simply wasn’t enough. Now, McIntosh is left waiting and wondering when his wife will be brought out of her coma.
Alberta Goes Over 1,000:
Alberta’s latest COVID19 case count climbed above 1,000 this weekend, pushing the province’s overall number to 38,338 Officials say there were also three new deaths on Saturday, for a total of 401. The new tally comes just days after calls for the province to reinstate public health enforcement powers and boost contact tracing efforts. In response, Alberta Health said the government prefers to focus on educating the public about COVID19.
If you reside in a community on the enhanced list, refrain from any social gatherings inside your home, wear a mask in all indoor workplaces, and limit your cohorts to 3. For more information on these measures and others, visit https://t.co/jZFSkTqvIy (3/3)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) November 15, 2020
New Infections in Nova Scotia:
Nova Scotia is reporting two new cases of COVID19. Health officials say both cases reported yesterday are in the central health zone, which includes Halifax. Both are connected to previously reported cases, including one linked to the city’s cluster in the Clayton Park area. The new cases are still under investigation. Nova Scotia has 21 active cases of novel coronavirus and has recorded a total of 1,144 positive cases, 1,058 cases are considered recovered, and there have been 65 deaths. The province reported a total of eight new cases over the weekend.
COVID’s Emotional Impact on High Needs Children:
The COVID19 pandemic has touched everyone in one way or another. Now, a new survey shows that kids and youth with autism are suffering from heightened anxiety, poorer sleep quality and a significant disruption to their routines. Deborah Pugh, the executive director for ACT — Autism Community Training — says many high-needs children aren’t able to understand the health measures and restrictions that have taken so many familiar things from them.
DoorDash Going Public:
Delivery giant DoorDash is planning to sell its stock to the public, capitalizing on an explosion in demand for delivery due to the COVID19 pandemic. The company filed papers in the US on Friday signalling its intent for an initial public offering. Last year, DoorDash generated $885-million dollars in revenue but that more than doubled to $1.9-billion during the first nine months of 2020. It has still lost money each year since its founding, and the company warned potential investors the losses could continue.
DoorDash was founded with a mission to grow and empower local economies, and we recognize that our commitment to supporting them has never been more important. That is why we’re excited to announce our five-year, $200 million Main Street Strong Pledge. https://t.co/OsjNF8KI51
— DoorDash (@DoorDash) November 12, 2020
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
It was a bad weekend for COVID19 infections in Waterloo Region. On Friday Public Health announced 46 new cases. Saturday there were 62. Yesterday it was a new record; 67 new infections. In total that is 175 new cases in just 3-days. The number of hospitalized increased substantially this weekend. There are now 12-people requiring COVID19 treatment in the Region’s hospitals. The Number of active cases sits at 361.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph still does not report numbers on the weekend. On Friday Public Health announced 10 new cases, bring the number of active to 100 with one person being treated at Guelph General Hospital.
Hey @CityKitchener! These new thresholds impact cities like ours. Tonight, @ROWPublicHealth moves from Yellow to Orange, but our data actually has us between orange & red. We all need to do our part to #FlattenTheCurve as a further move to red is a strong possibility this week. https://t.co/u1lhmwbbfY
— Berry Vrbanovic (@berryonline) November 15, 2020
Waterloo Region Infections:
- A outbreak of COVID19 has been declared at Cambridge Memorial Hospital in the ‘Wing B – Level 4 – Medicine B Unit.’ Enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures are now in effect in the area.
- A staff member at Mary Johnston Public School in Waterloo has tested positive for COVID19. That person was last at the school on November 6. No other staff members or students were exposed.
- A staff member at Elgin Street Public School in Cambridge has tested positive for COVID19. They were last in the building on Monday, November 9 and are now self-isolating.
- A student at St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Elementary School in Cambridge has tested positive for COVID19. No other details were released.
- A staff member at Sir Adam Beck Public School in Baden has tested positive for COVID19. That person was last in the building November 10. Several staff and some students have been directed to self isolate.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Government of Ontario