Starting today, most travellers arriving in Canada by air will be required to quarantine for three days in a federally approved hotel, as Ottawa works to prevent further spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 variants. In addition to footing the bill for the mandatory hotel stay, travellers will also have to complete multiple COVID-19 tests in the days after they arrive in Canada. Those arriving at land borders will be given self-swab kits, and testing will be provided on-site at five high-volume border crossings, with a second required test on Day 10 of their self-isolation period. For full details on the new measures: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)
Starting February 22, new testing and quarantine rules will be enforced for people flying or driving back to Canada. Learn more about the new border measures that will help stop the spread of #COVID19 and new variants: https://t.co/5SsT46wQS5 pic.twitter.com/QqzM4BM3QZ
— CanadianPM (@CanadianPM) February 20, 2021
York Region Has Now Moved To The Red Zone:
Non-essential businesses in York Region are now allowed to reopen. The long-time COVID-19 hot-spot has rejoined Ontario’s tiered pandemic response framework at the red level. Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound will remain under a stay-at-home order until at least March 8th.
#Vaughan residents, we have moved to the Red – Control zone. We must continue to act responsibly as we have done throughout #COVID19. We must continue to follow the rules. Thank you for being exceptional citizens. https://t.co/GsDAHy8APo @CP24
— Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua (@mbmayor) February 19, 2021
Dr Williams Will Speak Today About Long Term Care Homes:
Ontario’s top doctor will be speaking today to a commission examining how the province’s COVID-19 response affected long-term care residents. Doctor David Williams’ testimony will not be livestreamed, but the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission is expected to release transcripts at a later date. Later in the week, the ministers of health and long-term care will be interviewed by the commission.
America Likely To Hit Half-A-Million COVID-19 Deaths Today:
With the US expected to cross the 500,000 COVID-19 death mark today, President Joe Biden will mark the grim milestone with a moment of silence and candle lighting at the White House. Biden will deliver remarks honouring those who lost their lives to the virus at a sunset ceremony, where he’ll be joined by first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband.
Dr Tam Urging Caution to Avoid a Third Wave:
Canada’s top doctor says the continued rise of more contagious variants of COVID-19 across the country means it’s more important than ever to maintain personal COVID-19 precautions. Dr. Theresa Tam says the presence of more than 700 cases of coronavirus variants in Canada could fuel a deadly third wave of the pandemic. Tam stressed the need to stay home if symptoms emerge and to reduce non-essential activities and outings. Federal projections released Friday suggest COVID-19 variants could fuel 20-thousand new cases per day by mid-March if public health restrictions are relaxed.
2/2 We’re at a critical juncture with #VariantsOfConcern – we’ve worked hard but need to keep going to protect our progress & each other. Let’s all #BePartOfTheSolution, see the latest updates to our #COVIDKnowHow info & resources:https://t.co/w27G7rHASE
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) February 21, 2021
Canadians Frustrated by Vaccination Numbers South of the Border:
The US is vastly outpacing its northern neighbour in its COVID-19 vaccination rollout. Some Canadians are wondering why distribution here is lagging so far behind. While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, the US was vaccinating an average of 1.7-million Americans per day last week. Canada has been plagued by shipment delays from manufacturers, and has doled out just 1.4-million doses since its rollout began mid-December. Prime Minister Trudeau has said that vaccine delivery is set to rapidly increase. Provinces are preparing to roll out almost a million and a half doses over the next three weeks.
The UK is Speeding Up Vaccinations:
The British government is speeding up its vaccination campaign. Officials are now aiming to give every adult in the country a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by July 31st. The plan delays administration of second doses until 12-weeks after the first. The idea is to quickly give partial protection to as many people as possible. The country has had more than 120,000 coronavirus deaths — the highest toll in Europe.
Another Toronto Pandemic Party:
Toronto police have laid criminal charges after being called to a party at a short-term rental unit. They allege four people tossed bottles off a 35th-floor balcony in the downtown core, narrowly missing police. Seven people are also facing provincial charges for attending a gathering, which is forbidden under the stay-at-home order currently in effect in Toronto.
Today we responded to a call re: partiers throwing liquor bottles off a 35th floor balcony, narrowly missing and endangering officers on the ground. Three were arrested on criminal charges.14 fined for gathering.Thanks to the public for photo/video images. News release to follow.
— Chief James Ramer (@jamesramertps) February 21, 2021
Women Owned Business Hit Hard by COVID:
There’s research suggesting that businesses owned by women have been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than those owned by men. Even industries that are normally dominated by women are seeing male-owned businesses recovering significantly faster. The study from accounting software firm FreshBooks says women have more often been saddled with child and elder care as well as household chores during the pandemic.
The Long-Term Impact of Fighting COVID-19:
Hand-sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and physical distancing have been important tools in limiting the spread of COVID-19. But scientists say the measures may have long-term impacts on the diversity of important microbes that live on and inside our bodies. University of British Columbia microbiologist Brett Finlay says a limited microbiome is linked to conditions including obesity, asthma and cardiovascular and brain diseases. Finlay and other experts recommend boosting your microbiome by getting outdoors, eating a healthy diet and having physical contact with members of your household and pets.
2,315 new COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend in Ontario, along with 41 new deaths. Heading into this week there are 660 people hospitalized in the Province. 277 are in the ICU and 181 of those are on a ventilator.
Ontario is reporting 1,087 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 48,200 tests completed. Locally, there are 344 new cases in Toronto, 156 in Peel and 122 in York Region.
As of 8:00 p.m. yesterday, 556,533 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) February 21, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Yesterday Region of Waterloo Public Health announced 56 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths. On Saturday there were 47 new cases. Active cases now sits at 310. That’s down 20 from Friday morning. There are currently 18 people hospitalized with COVID-19. 7 of them are in the ICU. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health public health announced 11 new cases on Friday. We will get their weekend numbers today.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Greater Toronto Airports Authority via Twitter