Ontario Students Could Have An Extended Christmas Break – Full COVID19 Update

Ontario students may be kept out of school longer than usual in January to help slow the spread of COVID19 after the holidays. A group representing school board CEOs has proposed resuming classes virtually to allow students and staff to isolate after any potential holiday celebrations. Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he’s looking at solutions that may include some period out of class at the beginning of January. He says no decisions have been made yet but he will announce a plan in the next week or two to allow parents to prepare.

Here is Premier Ford talking about schools:

Health Minister Says Christmas Will Likely Be Different This Year:

Health Minister Christine Elliott says people shouldn’t count on all of Ontario being in the least restrictive green zone of its COVID19 response system by the holidays. Chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams said Monday that could happen if everyone follows public health guidelines to get rising cases under control. But Elliot said yesterday that Williams was being “very optimistic.” She said guidance for holiday celebrations is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Here is the discussion about Christmas:

PM Says We Need to Double Down on Public Health Measures:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says all Canadians, regardless of their age, need to double down on caution until a COVID19 vaccine is widely available. He is warning young people in particular to remember the pandemic is not simply a concern for their grandparents. And he’s also urging those who do test positive to look after their mental health as well as their physical well-being. Trudeau says he knows from personal experience that a positive test result — either your own, or a loved one’s — can be scary.

Trudeau Considers Calling in the Military:

The Canadian military could play a part in the roll out of any approved COVID19 vaccines when they become available. Speaking with the media yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that getting the vaccines to Canadians right across the country would be a significant logistical challenge — involving multiple government agencies, private contracts and even the Armed Forces. Anticipation around the potential vaccines continues to grow as case counts tick upward and hospitalizations increase west of the Maritimes.

Trudeau Says Snowbirds Should Not Head South This Winter:

Prime Minister Trudeau says all Canadians should avoid international travel, although he acknowledges the decision is in the hands of individuals. He is warning snowbirds that the COVID19 pandemic continues to rages across large sections of the US, including in the south. Trudeau says the safest place for Canadians to be right now is at home. But he encourages those who still decide to head stateside to get comprehensive health and travel insurance, and make sure health-care facilities near their destination are not overwhelmed.

Here is the Prime Minister’s news conference from yesterday:

Ontario Numbers:

Testing was down substantially in yesterday’s provincial COVID19 update. There were 1,249 new cases from just 26,500 tests. Toronto lead the way with 569 new infections, follow by Peel Region which had 256 new cases. 12 new deaths were reported. The number of people in Ontario hospitals increased substantially. 29 more people were admitted in the 24-hour period. 2 more patients were sent to the ICU and 5 more patients were put on a ventilator. Offsetting the new infections were 1,135 more recovered patients.

Ontario and Quebec Continue to Lead Canada with New Cases:

Two provinces reported a combined total of over 2,000 new COVID19 cases yesterday, a day after Canada passed the 300,000 case mark. The majority of yesterday’s new cases were in Ontario. Quebec reported 982 new cases and 24 more deaths attributed to the virus.

Hamilton Restaurant Called Out for COVID19 Infractions:

A local restaurant has been singled out by Hamilton’s public health officials after several alleged COVID19 infractions. Krown Kafe in Stoney Creek, Ontario, was named by Paul Johnson, director of Hamilton’s Emergency Operations Centre, during an update to reporters on Monday. Johnson says he felt it was necessary to refer to Krown Kafe specifically because its four infractions led to a change in Hamilton’s policy about naming businesses that broke COVID19 restrictions.

Manitoba Hires a Private Security Company to Help Enforce COVID Measures:

Manitoba has hired a private security company to support police, provincial conservation officers and others enforcing public health orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID19. Premier Brian Pallister says G4S may be better equipped than some provincial workers to deal with threatening situations while handing out fines for infractions. He says there must be consequences for those who put the health of others at risk by flouting the rules.

COVID Cases Rising Rapidly in Nunavut:

Cases of the coronavirus are rising rapidly in Nunavut. The territory recorded 34 new infections yesterday, more than doubling its number of active cases. Nunavut’s Health Department says 26 new cases have been confirmed in Arviat, a community of about 28-hundred in western Nunavut. That brings the total in Arviat to 46. Nunavut avoided any COVID19 cases until November 4th.

Nova Scotia Now Seeing Community Spread:

Five new cases of COVID19 have been reported in Nova Scotia, and the province is confirming it is now dealing with a community spread of the virus. Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, says travel is no longer the primary cause of the cases. Strang says there are seven cases where a source couldn’t be clearly identified that linked the infections to travel, and it has to be concluded that it may be from local transmission.

New Brunswick Reporting Gym Exposures:

Health officials in New Brunswick are alerting the public of a new potential COVID19 exposure. They are pointing to a local Fit 4 Less gym in the city of Moncton, located on Main Street. Potential exposure dates include November 6th to the 12th, at various times. The exposure notice comes as the province also reported four new cases of COVID19, bringing its total active case count up to 32.

Walmart Thriving in the Pandemic:

Walmart turned out another stellar quarter as the world’s largest retailer powers through the COVID19 pandemic while others struggle. The retailer delivered a 56 per cent increase in its fiscal third-quarter profits while revenue rose 5.3 per cent. Online sales spiked nearly 80 per cent. The results offer the latest evidence that Walmart’s efforts to expand online grocery services are widening the gap between itself and traditional rivals.

Americans Stockpiling for a Second Lockdown:

Toilet paper, disinfectant and groceries are once again flying off the shelves across the U.S. with states forced to impose stricter lockdowns and the number of new COVID19 cases spiking to 166,000 Monday.   Pictures taken in recent days show stores in Washington, California, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Michigan and Missouri have all been affected by the rush.  It’s the second time this year that shoppers appear to be panic buying; stores were left scrambling to restock shelves wiped out in response to COVID-19 back in March.    But experts say the run is likely to be less severe this time as stores and shoppers are more prepared.

New Orleans Says No to Mardi Gras:

Mardi Gars parades in New Orleans will be on hold for 2021, the city’s website confirmed yesterday.  The Louisiana city has officially announced that its annual parades, which were previously scheduled for January and February, will be canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.   “The City of New Orleans cannot cancel Mardi Gras because it is a religious Holiday, however we will not be able to celebrate the Holiday this year as we have in the past,” reads a statement posted by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office.  “Parades of any kind will not be permitted this year because large gatherings have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID19 virus,” the office further specified.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

53 new COVID19 cases got added to the Region of Waterloo Public Health dashboard yesterday. 52 of them were from the 24-hour period. The number of hospitalized patients went up to 14 and the number of active cases increased to 354. In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph there were only 5 new infections reported yesterday and the majority were in Wellington. The number of hospitalized increased to 3. The Region now has 119 active cases.

Waterloo Region Infections:

  • A student at St. Daniel Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener  has tested positive for COVID19.
  • A staff member at Our Lady of Grace in Kitchener has tested positive.
  • A student at MacGregor Public School in Waterloo has tested positive for COVID19. That student was last in the classroom on Friday.
  • A student at Elmira District Secondary School has tested positive. The student was last at the school on Nov 6.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot



Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan