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Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 1,969 additional cases with 36 more deaths; Mandatory testing of international travellers takes effect in Ontario – Toronto Star

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 1,969 additional cases with 36 more deaths; Mandatory testing of international travellers takes effect in Ontario – Toronto Star

KEY FACTS

  • 11:50 a.m.: Roberta Place facing proposed class-action lawsuit

  • 11:10 a.m.: Province to allocate $381 million in for schools

  • 10:12 a.m.: Ontario reporting 1,969 additional cases, 36 more deaths.

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

3:45 p.m.: An outbreak of COVID-19 at a meat production plant in Toronto is being linked to a variant of the disease that is estimated to be as much as 50 per cent more contagious, Toronto Public Health reported today.

There are 78 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak at Belmont Meats. Of the confirmed cases, two have screened positive for the more contagious B.1.1.7. variant, which was also linked to a recent outbreak at a nursing home in Barrie.

“At this time, there is no indication that any cases identified in the outbreak had recently travelled or had contact with a person who travelled recently,” according to the release.

Belmont Meats voluntarily closed on Jan. 28.

More transmissible variants can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 between people, and faster spread makes it more likely that more people will become sick, increasing the strain on the health care system.

Disease modelling has shown that if the transmission of COVID-19 were to increase by 20 per cent, we could expect three times more cumulative deaths, said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, speaking at Monday’s COVID-19 briefing at city hall.

She urged people to now more than ever, practice social distancing; leave home only when necessary and wear a face mask in public.

“To replicate, viruses need human cells. So our job is not to give it to them,” she said.

3:20 p.m.: Ontario has first case of South African variant of COVID-19, in a Peel resident with no travel history or contacts, says chief medical officer Dr. David Williams.

2:40 p.m.: Saskatchewan is reporting 147 new cases of COVID-19, and two more deaths due to the virus.

There have been 306 deaths in Saskatchewan so far during the pandemic.

Nearly half the deaths have come in January.

The province says there are currently 202 people in hospital with COVID-19, and 30 of them are in intensive care.

2:30 p.m.: Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19 and now has 10 active infections.

Health officials say the new case is in the western zone and is a contact of a previously reported case.

Two people are currently in hospital, including one in intensive care.

As of Friday, the province says 14,906 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 2,729 people having received a required second dose.

2:15 p.m.: Toronto is reporting 961 additional cases and 18 more people have died.

The higher number of cases is attributed to the changeover to a data reporting system with the province.

2:10 p.m.: York Region is reporting 39 new cases of B.1.1.7, up from 15 last week — more than doubling in less than a week, and the majority have no links to international travel.

2 p.m. (updated): Toronto Public Health is announcing a COVID-19 outbreak believed to be linked to the B.1.1.7 variant at meat production facility Belmont Meats, near Highway 400 and Steeles Avenue West.

Currently, there are 78 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to this outbreak. Of those cases, two have screened positive for the B.1.1.7 variant.

“There is also evidence of secondary transmission of the variant in household member cases associated with an employee of the workplace . . . no indication that any cases identified in the outbreak had recently travelled or had contact with a person who travelled recently,” the agency said in a news release.

1:50 p.m.: The deadliest month yet of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. drew to a close with certain signs of progress: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are plummeting, while vaccinations are picking up speed.

The question is whether the nation can stay ahead of the fast-spreading mutations of the virus.

The U.S. death toll has climbed past 440,000, with over 95,000 lives lost in January alone. Deaths are running at about 3,150 per day on average, down slightly, by about 200, from their peak in mid-January.

But as the calendar turned to February on Monday, the number of Americans in the hospital with COVID-19 fell below 100,000 for the first time in two months. New cases of infection are averaging about 148,000 day, down from almost a quarter-million in mid-January. And cases are trending downward in all 50 states.

1:45 p.m.: Manitoba health officials have announced three more deaths and 89 new infections of COVID-19.

Forty-two are in the northern health region.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says there are still too many people travelling between Winnipeg and the north, despite restrictions for non-essential travel.

There have been 41,817 doses of vaccine given out to people in Manitoba.

Of those, 32,461 were first doses and 9,356 were second doses.

1:40 p.m.: The pre-eminent infectious disease expert in the United States is urging people not to sell short the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine has virtues beyond an efficacy rate that lags that of its predecessors.

The vaccine, which has proven 72 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in the U.S., also helps to prevent death and hospitalization, needs only basic refrigeration and requires just one dose.

Fauci says some people may find it a good alternative to the current crop of double-dose, deep-freeze vaccines, which are 95 per cent effective at preventing infection.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has yet to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but is likely to be next in the pipeline.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, says time will tell whether different vaccines should be aimed at different demographic groups.

1:30 p.m.: Canada is putting together possible options for leverage if Europe breaks its promise not to cut off Canada’s shipments of COVID-19 vaccines.

International Trade Minister Mary Ng said Monday that multiple European leaders have promised Canada that new export controls on vaccines will not prevent Canada’s shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna from going out as planned.

The European Union threw down the new policy last week, mostly amid a fight with AstraZeneca over its inability to fill Europe’s contract for its vaccine in the first three months of the year. But Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are also cutting back some shipments to Europe because of production delays.

Europe invested more than C$4 billion to help get COVID-19 vaccines developed and mass produced and the world’s largest trading bloc says that while it is committed to global supply chains for vaccines, it is will also ensure Europe gets what it is owed.

1:15 p.m.: Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 today.

Five of the new cases are in the Edmundston region, the northwest part of the province that has been under lockdown for more than one week.

The other three new cases are in the Moncton area, which remains under the red pandemic-alert level, while the rest of the province is under the lower, orange level.

Officials say there are 273 active reported cases and three patients in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care.

New Brunswick has reported a total of 1,264 infections and 18 COVID-related deaths.

1:05 p.m.: Ontario’s education minister says the province is still evaluating whether schools that are closed for in-person learning can reopen next week.

Stephen Lecce says the government is considering various factors, including COVID-19 case counts and local preparedness plans, and hopes to announce more in the coming days.

Schools in five hot spots as well as several other regions are currently teaching students entirely online and the province previously said they would reopen for in-person learning by Feb. 10.

Ontario’s chief medical officer says the province needs to do more work with public health units before those schools can reopen.

Dr. David Williams says the province wants to ensure local health officials are comfortable with reopening their schools before proceeding.

12:40 p.m.: English teachers are deciding which books to skip. History teachers are condensing units. Science teachers are often doing without experiments entirely.

With instruction time reduced as much as half by the coronavirus pandemic, many of the middle school and high school teachers in the U.S. have given up on covering all the material normally included in their classes and instead are cutting lessons. Certain topics must be taught because they will appear on exit exams or Advanced Placement tests. But teachers are largely on their own to make difficult choices — what to prioritize and what to sacrifice to the pandemic.

12:25 p.m. Canadians determined to fly to sunny destinations are still able to do so despite new travel restrictions announced by the federal government last week.

Though Canadian airlines have temporarily suspended flights to Mexico and the Caribbean, flights departing Canadian cities to sun destinations are available aboard U.S. carriers.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, for example, are selling tickets for flights from Toronto to Cancun, with passengers connecting through U.S. cities like Charlotte, NC, and Philadelphia, PA, an online search shows.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that Canadian airlines had agreed to suspend flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30, in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

The prime minister announced the suspensions along with stricter measures aimed at reducing international travel, including a requirement that entrants to Canada quarantine in a hotel at their own expense.

On Monday, Bloc Quebecois transport critic Xavier Barsalou-Duval highlighted the loophole, saying in a statement that the flight suspensions put Canadian companies at a disadvantage.

11:50 a.m.: Quebec is reporting fewer than 1,000 daily COVID-19 infections for the first time since early November.

Health officials reported 890 new cases today and 32 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 14 that occurred in the past 24 hours.

The province says hospitalizations rose by eight, to 1,144, and 183 people were in intensive care, a drop of eight.

Officials say 796 doses of vaccine were administered yesterday, for a total of 239,023.

Quebec’s public health institute reported 1,435 more recoveries today, bringing the total number of people recovered from the disease to 240,083. There are 13,564 active reported cases in the province.

The province has reported a total of 263,473 cases of COVID-19 and 9,826 deaths linked to the virus.

11:50 a.m.: A central Ontario long-term care home devastated by an outbreak of a highly contagious variant of COVID-19 is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from residents’ families who allege their loved ones were neglected by those charged with keeping them safe.

The unproven statement of claim filed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleges Roberta Place, a long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., failed to take basic precautionary measures to protect against the novel coronavirus 10 months after the pandemic took hold in Canada.

“As a result of the defendants’ failures to adequately and properly plan, prepare and respond to the COVID-19 virus, the virus has run rampant through the Roberta Place Long Term Care Home,” the statement of claim reads.

“They failed to rectify a pattern of mismanagement, misallocation of resources and staffing, and repeated violations and cited deficiencies of infection control and prevention requirements.”

11:50 a.m.: Two men are facing charges after police say a church in Aylmer, Ont., held an in-person service this weekend, in violation of provincial pandemic rules.

Police say the men — a 57-year-old and a 26-year-old whose names have not been released — are charged with hosting an event exceeding the number of people permitted.

Investigators say a charge has also been laid against the church corporation.

They say other evidence is being reviewed that could lead to additional charges.

Police say the service was held Sunday at the Church of God.

Last week, police said they had identified 47 people alleged to have breached emergency orders during an indoor and outdoor gathering at the same church on Jan. 24.

11:50 a.m.: Ontario says it will allow students in teacher-education programs to work in supply positions this year.

The province says it is making the temporary change to its teacher certification program to address educator shortages and absenteeism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The teacher candidates must be enrolled in a current program and have successfully completed a portion of it.

They must also be scheduled to complete the program by Dec. 31, 2021.

The province says the temporary certificate changes will expire at the end of the year.

It hopes the changes will mean up to 2,000 additional supply teachers will be available for positions across the province.

11:50 a.m.: Health officials in British Columbia say specific students and staff at a Maple Ridge high school will receive COVID-19 tests after a person at the school had close contact with someone carrying a new strain of the virus that causes the illness.

Fraser Health says Garibaldi Secondary School remains open while efforts are underway to manage the exposure because the variant strain is not one currently in the community.

Mutations of COVID-19 are known to spread more quickly, but doctors say they do not seem to cause more severe illness, interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines or affect testing for the virus.

The health authority says the person who originally developed the variant version does not attend Garibaldi Secondary and all affected individuals at the school have been told about the need for a test.

A statement from Fraser Health says it is working to identify any other connected cases and ensure immediate isolation of those involved to prevent further transmission.

Chief health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are set to provide an update on COVID-19 cases in British Columbia after confirming 514 new cases of the virus on Friday, and five more deaths .

11:10 a.m.: The province will allocate $381 million in federal funding for schools on personal protective equipment, summer learning for kids who’ve fallen behind or need a refresher on key concepts, portable air filters and also give boards money to buy more devices for students for virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement Monday morning, as well as the government’s move to help boards in their struggles to find occasional teachers by allowing upper-year university students in education programs to fill empty supply positions.

That change, first reported by the Star, is unprecedented, and in order for university students to qualify for the newly created temporary teaching certificate, they must be doing well in their teacher education program, already have some practicum (in-class) experience and be on track to graduate by the end of 2021.

Faculties of education have agreed to be flexible when their students — who must be in the second-year of the now two-year teaching degree — miss university classes to take on teaching positions. Students will be paid at the going rate for beginners, and the hours logged can also count toward their practicum days.

The Star’s Kristin Rushowy has more details.

10:35 a.m.: Ontario is also reporting 14 more residents have died in long-term-care homes for a total of 3,543 since the pandemic began.

The province says that 230 long-term-care homes are in outbreak, or 36.7 per cent of all LTC homes in the province. That number stayed the same from the previous day.

10:30 a.m.: Ontario reports that 2,256 vaccine doses were administered since the last daily update for a total of 341,900 given out.

The province reports that 70,293 people are fully vaccinated, meaning they got both shots.

10:25 a.m. (updated): Locally, there are 886 new cases in Toronto, 330 in Peel and 128 in York Region.

A spokeswoman for Ontario’s Ministry of Health says that as Toronto migrates to the provincial data system, additional records were reported for the local public health unit, resulting in an overestimate of today’s daily counts.

10:12 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 1,969 additional cases with 36 more deaths.

The seven-day average is up slightly, for the first time since Jan. 11, to 1,889 cases daily or 91 weekly per 100,000.

The seven-day average for deaths is down to 54 per day.

There were 30,359 completed tests with 5.5 per cent positivity rate.

9:40 a.m.: Canada’s national vaccine rollout seems poised to dominate COVID-19 discussions in the coming week as the country enters the 11th month of life during a global pandemic.

The federal government, which is overseeing the countrywide effort, has been facing strong criticism as it struggles to ensure there are enough immunization doses to go around.

The two companies whose vaccines have been approved for use here recently complicated matters by saying they wouldn’t immediately be able to deliver their promised number of doses due to production delays in Europe.

The Liberal government has repeatedly said both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna still intend to fulfil their promised delivery schedules and that current delays are temporary.

At least three other companies, Novavax, Astra-Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson, have all launched the process of having Health Canada approve their vaccines.

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9:22 a.m. South Africa is preparing a hero’s welcome Monday for the delivery of its first COVID-19 vaccines — 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be part of the red-carpet welcome at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport for the shipment of the vaccines, which will be followed up later this month by another 500,000 doses of the vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccines will be used to inoculate South Africa’s frontline health workers, which will be the start of the country’s vaccination campaign. The first jabs are expected to be administered in mid-February, after the vaccines are tested and approved by South Africa’s drug regulatory authorities.

The government intends to inoculate 40 million people, representing 67% of the country’s population of 60 million, by the end of the year.

South Africa’s scramble to acquire adequate vaccines to reach that ambitious target received a substantial boost with the news that it has acquired 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. They are expected to arrive in the second quarter of the year, the government confirmed to The Associated Press.

Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize will announce the cost of the Pfizer vaccines at a later date, said Lwazi Manzi, spokeswoman for the health ministry.

In the coming months, South Africa is expecting to receive 6 million vaccine doses from the international COVAX facility, 9 million of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when it is approved, and an additional 20 million from the African Union’s vaccine acquisition task team. Further acquisitions of vaccines will be needed to meet the government’s inoculation target.

8:48 a.m. (updated) Minister of Education Stephen Lecce will be joined by Dr. David Williams to make an announcement at 11 a.m. Monday; 280,000 students in Ontario are back in class Monday. Students in Ontario hotspots are scheduled to go back to school on Feb. 10.

8 a.m. This is a city budget year unlike any other.

In normal times, the city would be dealing with growing inequities, ongoing gun violence and a looming climate crisis. In other words — an incredibly difficult budget year.

Add to that a global pandemic and Toronto’s finances are, well, a mess.

“This is the toughest budget year the city has ever faced in its entire history. Period. Full stop,” Mayor John Tory said this week. “Never before has a mayor and council been faced with a situation where we lost virtually overnight, and then for a long period of time, hundreds of millions of dollars from transit and other sources of revenue.”

Over two days of meetings where the public could present their views of the budgets and requests for funding, three things were heard by council members loud and clear: Defund the police, invest more in climate change action and deal with structural inequities that hurt the most vulnerable Torontonians.

Read the full story from the Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro

7:45 a.m. For the two-and-a-half decades Pete Lilly has been in the bicycle business, he’d been praying for a year like 2020.

Lilly, the owner of the popular Sweet Pete’s bike shop in Toronto’s west end, first noticed COVID-19 was driving a spike in demand last spring when parents came in to buy rides for kids who suddenly had no recreation programs to go to. Later in the year when workplaces started to open back up, it was commuters wary of taking the TTC coming through his doors.

Bike shops across North America “sold basically down to the studs,” said Lilly, who has two retail locations on Bloor Street West. “We sold every piece of inventory we had.”

Read the full story from the Star’s Ben Spurr

7:40 a.m. The Ontario government has given the go-ahead for university students in teacher education programs to work in schools — an unprecedented move meant to help boards as they struggle with a shortage of educators during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Star has learned.

In order to qualify for the newly created temporary teaching certificate, the university students — who can be hired for supply jobs when boards can’t find fully certified teachers — must be doing well in their teacher education program, already have some practicum (in-class) experience and be on track to graduate by the end of 2021, a government source said.

“There’s just not enough (teachers) with what’s going on right now,” said the source. “This is really going to help with the problem boards are having” by adding up to 2,000 educators to school board rosters.

Read the full story from the Star’s Kris Rushowy

7:20 a.m. India’s government has proposed to increase spending on health care in a $477 billion budget for 2021-22 that promises extra help for weathering the coronavirus pandemic.

India is in its worst economic slowdown in a decade. The budget proposal presented to parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday also focuses on developing financial institutions and shoring up of infrastructure to get the pandemic-ravaged nation back on track as the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

“India is well well-poised to be the land of promise and hope,” she said in explaining the budget for the fiscal year that begins April 1.

Contrary to expectations, the proposed budget did not promise extra support for the country’s farmers who have been protesting for more than two months against new agricultural laws which they say will favour large agribusiness and corporations.

Those protests have posed the biggest political challenge for Modi since he took office in 2014, in part because farmers are the most influential voting bloc in the country.

7:10 a.m. Jade plants in yogurt containers, vintage clothing, even barenaked (wood) ladies: They’ve all been the source of easy money for those with an urge to purge during the pandemic.

Steve Townson saw dollar signs pretty fast after putting an ad for jade cuttings on Facebook Marketplace.

“I could have sold 100 if I’d had them,” says the almost-retired rural resident of Erin, northwest of Toronto.

University student Bianca Tomori discovered a ready market for surplus fashions from her overstuffed closets. With pieces priced at $10 to $40 on Instagram, “you can easily make a few hundred dollars here and there,” she says.

Getting rid of stuff has become a profitable pastime for enterprising types using stay-at-home time to declutter, downsize or dig up old relics. With the range of social media and marketing platforms available, everything from oddities to entire contents can be peddled online. (Sellers and buyers are urged to delay in-person transactions until lockdown restrictions ease.)

Read the full story from Carola Vyhnak

7:05 a.m. For weeks, Ciara Blair has watched the endless stream of COVID-19 patients flowing into the intensive care unit with mounting fear.

With each patient admitted, the registered nurse worries whether ICU staff at North York General Hospital have the stamina to endure this second pandemic wave.

“We’re all so tired; you can see and feel the burnout.”

As bad as it was in the spring, when so much was unknown about the virus, this winter is even worse: Many COVID-19 patients in the ICU are young, in their 40s or 50s. They seem sicker — the infection tearing through their bodies faster — than those who filled hospital beds in April and May. And they are arriving to the ICU at relentless speed.

It all takes a toll.

Read the full story from the Star’s Megan Ogilvie

6:30 a.m.: Canada’s hopes of speeding up COVID-19 vaccinations brightened slightly over the weekend as regulators began work to approve a new inoculation, even as the federal government sought to head off any restrictions on vaccine shipments from Europe.

Pharmaceutical company Novavax quietly submitted its COVID-19 vaccine to Health Canada for regulatory approval on Friday, less than two weeks after Ottawa finalized a deal with the Maryland-based company for 52 million doses of the shot.

Because of the emergency nature of the pandemic Health Canada is accepting applications for vaccines before the final trial data is ready, allowing the review team to start poring over the documents on an ongoing basis, rather than waiting until everything is finished.

The rolling review allows for much faster approval once the final results from clinical trials are complete.

“Health Canada is expediting the review of all COVID-19 vaccines,” Health Canada spokesman Andre Gagnon said in an email. “This is being done through rolling submissions, where data is being reviewed as it becomes available from the manufacturer.”

Novavax is the fifth vaccine maker to submit an application for rolling review. AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna all submitted in early October, and Johnson and Johnson followed suit at the end of November.

5:23 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden is set to meet Monday with a group of 10 Republican senators who have proposed spending about one-third of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking in coronavirus aid, though congressional Democrats are poised to move ahead without Republican support.

An invitation to the White House came hours after the lawmakers sent Biden a letter Sunday urging him to negotiate rather than try to ram through his relief package solely on Democratic votes. The House and Senate are on track to vote as soon as this week on a budget resolution, which would lay the groundwork for passing an aid package under rules requiring only a simple majority vote in the closely divided Senate.

The goal is for passage by March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires. The meeting to be hosted by Biden would amount to the most public involvement for the president in the negotiations for the next round of virus relief. Democratic and Republican lawmakers are far apart in their proposals for assistance.

5:15 a.m.: Chancellor Angela Merkel and German state governors were planning to talk Monday with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry on ways to beef up the country’s sluggish vaccination campaign.

Monday’s videoconference, which also will involve the European Union’s Executive Commission, comes as finger-pointing in the bloc’s most populous country mounts over who is to blame for the slow vaccine rollout.

By Friday, 1.85 million people had received a first vaccine dose in Germany — a country of 83 million — and more than 461,000 had a second dose. In comparison, Britain, a country of 67 million, has given nearly 9 million people a first vaccine shot.

A slew of bad news about delays to vaccine deliveries was alleviated only somewhat by news Sunday night that AstraZeneca has agreed to supply 9 million additional doses of its vaccine to the EU during the first quarter — bringing the total to half what the company originally aimed for.

Pfizer, which developed the first widely tested and approved coronavirus vaccine together with German firm BioNTech, has said it expects to increase global production this year from 1.3 million doses to 2 billion doses. BioNTech said Monday that up to 75 million of those additional doses will be delivered to the EU in the second quarter.

4:30 a.m.: Some of Canada’s top airlines, banks, telecommunications companies and sports teams have formed a consortium piloting rapid tests to identify COVID-19 in workplaces and help reopen offices.

The 12 companies including Air Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia are experimenting with antigen tests as part of a program being run by the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab.

Lab founder Ajay Agrawal says the pilot centres around companies asking employees to go through COVID testing twice a week when they appear at work.

He says it takes about 90 seconds to administer the rapid tests and about 15 minutes for them to detect whether someone has COVID-19.

Agrawal says Rogers Communications Inc. and Air Canada were the first two companies to begin the testing and were joined by Suncor Energy Inc. and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in late January.

Bank of Nova Scotia, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Magna International Inc., Nutrien Ltd. and Canada Pension Plan Investments are also part of the consortium

4:02 a.m.: Canada’s national vaccine rollout seems poised to dominate COVID-19 discussions in the coming week as Canada enters the 11th month of life during a global pandemic.

The federal government, which is overseeing the nationwide effort, has been facing strong criticism as it struggles to ensure there are enough immunization doses to go around.

The two companies whose vaccines have been approved for use here recently complicated matters by saying they wouldn’t immediately be able to deliver their promised number of doses due to production delays in Europe.

The Liberal government has repeatedly said both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna still intend to fulfill their promised delivery schedules and that current delays are temporary.

At least three other companies, Novavax, Astra-Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson, have all launched the process of having Health Canada approve their vaccines.

Canada officially recorded more than 20,000 deaths caused by COVID-19 as of Sunday and is still logging high daily case counts in several provinces, though Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says overall totals are trending downward.

4:01 a.m.: International travellers will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Ontario starting today in a bid to stop contagious new variants of the virus from further infiltrating the province.

The provincial government announced the plan on Friday, the same day the federal government announced a similar program that’s to take effect in the coming weeks.

Premier Doug Ford praised the prime minister for announcing the new federal testing plan, but said Ontario would conduct its own traveller testing until Ottawa’s program kicked in.

The testing order comes into effect today at Toronto’s Pearson International airport, and will also eventually apply to the province’s land border crossings to the United States.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Monday Feb. 1, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 5,017 new vaccinations administered for a total of 957,229 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,525.718 per 100,000.

There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,124,816 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 85.1 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Newfoundland is reporting 1,531 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,080 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.25 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 16,500 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 61.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 985 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,510 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.343 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 9,225 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 4,014 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 14,589 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 14.949 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 28,850 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 50.57 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 3,821 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 14,257 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 18.277 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 21,675 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 65.78 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 84 new vaccinations administered for a total of 238,227 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 27.841 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 238,100 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 2,816 new vaccinations administered for a total of 339,644 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 23.122 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 411,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.51 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 1,495 new vaccinations administered for a total of 40,785 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 29.619 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 55,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 120 new vaccinations administered for a total of 35,359 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 29.987 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 35,091 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 502 new vaccinations administered for a total of 106,254 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 24.137 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 122,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.58 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 129,241 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 25.185 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 144,550 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 6,496 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 155.664 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 45.11 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 9,471 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 209.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 32 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 65.77 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 5,316 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 137.272 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 12,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 31 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 44.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Click here to read more of Sunday’s COVID-19 coverage.

Published at Mon, 01 Feb 2021 15:33:45 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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