Check out this week's Fantasy Baseball Fearless Forecast
Check out this week's Fantasy Baseball Fearless Forecast
An influential Canadian doctor and top adviser to the World Health Organization has come under fire from international experts for his controversial comments downplaying the risk of airborne spread of the coronavirus. Dr. John Conly, an infectious diseases physician and professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, not only denied that aerosol transmission is a primary route of transmission, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, but also said that N95 masks can cause "harms" — including acne. "Any time you look at benefits, you need to look at harms, of which there are many harms with N95s — and I think to ignore them you are at your peril," Conly told a panel discussion at the University of Calgary on April 9 on the role of airborne transmission in the COVID-19 pandemic. "There is acne, also issues with eczema, conjunctivitis, CO2 retention; there has been decreased O2 concentrations in pregnant women — many side-effects to this." His comments on oxygen and carbon dioxide have been largely discredited, with a 2014 study in the American Journal of Infection Control showing no significant differences in levels between pregnant and non-pregnant women wearing N95 masks. The WHO's position is there's a possibility that aerosol transmission can lead to outbreaks of COVID-19 in certain situations. A change in stance from the WHO on aerosol transmission as the main driver would have huge implications on the need for increased air ventilation and better personal protective equipment for health-care workers and essential workers around the world. Conly is one of Canada's most experienced infectious diseases experts who was once head of the department of medicine at the University of Calgary and the medical director for infection prevention at Alberta Health Services. He also holds considerable global influence in the pandemic as the chair of the WHO's Infection Prevention and Control Research and Development Expert Group for COVID-19, which makes key decisions on the research that informs the WHO's recommendations. "We absolutely know there are situational airborne settings," he added during the panel discussion. "But to be able to say that it is the only and predominant means, I think we need better scientific evidence." Conley carries 'a lot of weight' with WHO The WHO has been criticized in the past for its reluctance to acknowledge aerosol transmission — or microscopic airborne particles — as a primary driver of the pandemic, and experts say Conly is at the heart of the issue within the organization. "Frankly, I think he just can't admit he's wrong," said Linsey Marr, one of the top aerosol scientists in the world and an expert on the airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. "He does carry a lot of weight with WHO, and unfortunately I think his thinking is still stuck in what we knew 20 or 30 years ago and hasn't updated with what we've learned since then — and especially what we've learned over the past year." WATCH | Scientists suggest coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to change recommendations: Global acknowledgement of airborne spread The United Nations agency also came under fire in July after 239 scientists from 32 countries wrote an open letter calling on it to update its messaging on the risk of airborne transmission of the coronavirus. The WHO amended its guidelines days after the letter and acknowledged the possibility that aerosols can lead to outbreaks of COVID-19 in places such as choir practices, restaurants and fitness classes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines in early October to include that COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission, after mistakenly posting and later removing a draft version of guidelines in late September. The CDC also updated its guidelines to say the risk of COVID-19 infection from surfaces is now officially considered low — meaning disinfecting groceries, wiping down packages and cordoning off playgrounds are likely unnecessary. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) then quietly updated its guidance without notice in November, weeks after other countries and international health organizations, making mention of the risk of aerosol transmission for the first time. PHAC went another step further and released further recommendations for Canadians on April 12 aimed at reducing the spread of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 and the need for adequate ventilation and air filtration to reduce the number of virus particles in the air. An update to Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines on the risk of aerosol transmission came after Dr. Theresa Tam, the country's chief public health officer, recommended the use of three-layer non-medical masks in November to prevent the spread of COVID-19.(Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press) Science 'very strong' in favour of aerosol transmission "The science is very strong to support aerosol transmission," said infectious diseases specialist and medical microbiologist Dr. Raymond Tellier, who is also an associate medical professor at McGill University in Montreal. "We keep having example after example, and the objections are becoming increasingly unconvincing." After the University of Calgary panel discussion, CBC News spoke to Conly, who said he was just one voice among many at the WHO. He stressed that the way the virus transmits is "very complex" and that the "majority" of transmission occurs through "close contact." WATCH | Should Canadians be wearing N95-style masks?: "Social distancing, or physical distancing as some call it, and hygiene, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. That's where our focus should be," he said. "The science about how it's transmitted and where it goes, it will get itself sorted out." Conly was an author of a recent preprint study funded by the WHO that refuted the notion of aerosols as a primary mode of spread for the virus because "the lack of recoverable viral culture samples" from the air "prevents firm conclusions on airborne transmission." But in response to that study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, a group of researchers — including Canadian epidemiologist Dr. David Fisman — published a comment in The Lancet that called into question its conclusion. The researchers present 10 reasons why they conclude the virus that causes COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through the air, including superspreading events, long-range infections, the higher risk of indoor transmission and the fact that virus particles have been detected in the air. The paper concludes that casting doubt on airborne transmission of the virus amounts to "scientific error" and that there is "consistent, strong evidence" that it spreads via aerosols, which are "likely to be dominant" over droplet and surface transmission. "If you don't include airborne, how are we in the middle of the global pandemic?" said Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist and aerosol scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, Calif. WATCH | Being outdoors reduces, doesn't eliminate, COVID-19 risk, experts say: "How do you explain outdoor versus indoor? How do you explain superspreader events? How do you explain everyone that shares the room and never touches each other or gets close to each other gets infected? I mean, you can't." Prather, who went head-to-head with Conly at the University of Calgary panel earlier this month in favour of airborne transmission, was one of the co-authors of The Lancet comment that argued against his preprint article and a signatory of the letter to the WHO in July. "The evidence just keeps coming in every day ... there has not been a single paper that has pointed out why it isn't aerosols," she said. "The fact that the [WHO] is not just shouting that from the mountaintops to save lives is, quite frankly, disappointing." Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist and aerosol scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says the evidence on aerosol transmission continues to grow and that Conly's reluctance to acknowledge it, combined with his influence at the WHO, has implications for global public health guidelines.(Ben Nelms/CBC) A recent study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that a singer at a church in Australia in July was able to infect several others from a distance of more than 15 metres indoors, while a second CDC study found an infection occurred in a New Zealand quarantine hotel in September after an exposure time of less than a minute in an open doorway. And a recent outbreak at a gym in Quebec City where physical distancing and mask use were not enforced has been linked to more than 500 COVID-19 cases and become one of the largest recorded superspreading events in Canada. Prather said Conly's reluctance to acknowledge aerosol transmission as a main driver of the pandemic, combined with his influence at the WHO, has implications for global public health guidelines — such as for hospitals or schools. "He has tremendous power," she said. "What else is it going to take? Because just the amount of evidence in this short of a time period is incredible."
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. There are 1,139,043 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,139,043 confirmed cases (87,872 active, 1,027,458 resolved, 23,713 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 7,276 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 231.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 60,487 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 8,641. There were 46 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 321 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 46. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 62.39 per 100,000 people. There have been 30,168,562 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,048 confirmed cases (31 active, 1,011 resolved, six deaths). There were two new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 5.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 235,541 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 174 confirmed cases (13 active, 161 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 8.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 135,297 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,831 confirmed cases (68 active, 1,696 resolved, 67 deaths). There were nine new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 6.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 50 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.01 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 6.84 per 100,000 people. There have been 468,265 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,797 confirmed cases (140 active, 1,624 resolved, 33 deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 17.91 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 61 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.22 per 100,000 people. There have been 285,774 tests completed. _ Quebec: 339,180 confirmed cases (12,363 active, 315,984 resolved, 10,833 deaths). There were 1,136 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 144.18 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,708 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,387. There were 17 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 77 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 126.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 7,878,652 tests completed. _ Ontario: 424,911 confirmed cases (42,941 active, 374,213 resolved, 7,757 deaths). There were 3,469 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 291.44 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30,232 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 4,319. There were 22 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 175 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 25. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 52.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 13,424,896 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 36,470 confirmed cases (1,783 active, 33,727 resolved, 960 deaths). There were 211 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 129.27 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,017 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 145. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of nine new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 69.6 per 100,000 people. There have been 635,043 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 38,651 confirmed cases (2,640 active, 35,546 resolved, 465 deaths). There were 249 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 223.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,759 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 251. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of eight new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 39.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 729,935 tests completed. _ Alberta: 173,531 confirmed cases (18,481 active, 153,002 resolved, 2,048 deaths). There were 1,345 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 417.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,412 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,487. There were five new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 27 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 46.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,957,488 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 120,889 confirmed cases (9,377 active, 109,973 resolved, 1,539 deaths). There were 849 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 182.16 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,187 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,027. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 24 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 29.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,381,346 tests completed. _ Yukon: 77 confirmed cases (two active, 74 resolved, one death). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 4.76 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,822 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 43 confirmed cases (zero active, 43 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 17,005 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 428 confirmed cases (33 active, 391 resolved, four deaths). There were five new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 83.86 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 33 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,422 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published April 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan doctors have been advised by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to refrain from writing patients notes recommending a specific COVID-19 vaccine brand. The SHA said that at clinic locations, there are patients saying their physicians are recommending they only receive a specific brand. For example, Pfizer over Moderna, or Moderna over AstraZeneca. "There is no clinical evidence to support this recommendation," the SHA said in a statement. Those who may get a specific type of vaccine include people who have extremely vulnerable conditions, but those conditions have already been approved and listed by the Ministry of Health. All vaccines in Canada are safe and approved for use said the Saskatchewan Health Authority. It is encouraging people to get the first shot that is offered to them. (Leah Hennel/AHS) The SHA said physician support on this issue is "critical to ensure overall vaccine uptake and protecting people as quickly as possible." It also helps the vaccination process run more smoothly. "This becomes very confusing and anxiety-provoking for our patients, but also for our immunization staff who are showing up to work to do the best that they can and are often put in very difficult situations when they have to challenge a patient on their eligibility," physician executive Dr. Kevin Wasko said on April 15 during a physician's town hall meeting. "Please, follow the science." Not the time to vaccine shop: Shahab Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said all COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada are safe and effective. "This is not the time to hesitate or vaccine shop," said Shahab, who got the AstraZeneca shot. "The vaccine only works once it's in your arm and has the two to three weeks to work." Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer, received AstraZeneca-Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine at Regina's drive-thru clinic. (CBC) Health Minister Paul Merriman said people don't get an advanced warning of the brand they'll receive. Despite this, he said "we have had very minimal people that did not want to take a specific vaccine." "We don't have the amount of vaccines to pick and choose right now," Merriman said Saturday during a scrum with reporters at the Saskatchewan Legislature. "Every vaccine is a good vaccine."
Toronto reached a grim new high Wednesday, reporting 1,010 people with COVID-19 are in hospital and 194 are in the intensive care unit. "Today's numbers reflect the seriousness of the situation in which we find ourselves," said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, warning the city is on track to reach the milestone of 3,000 COVID-19 related deaths. The city reported 27 more deaths Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,970, along with 1,302 new cases of the virus. Toronto will ramp up vaccinations further in the 13 "hottest" of the hot spot neighbourhoods, as part of a "sprint strategy" Mayor John Toronto said on Wednesday. Tory said Toronto will be "significantly" increasing vaccination capacity at city-run clinics by 20 to 25 per cent. "We have dramatically increased available capacity but we don't have the supply," the mayor said. A woman is vaccinated with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto's Jane and Finch neighbourhood, in the M3N postal code, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Despite rates of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations far exceeding other areas of the city, residents of the M3N postal code continue to struggle with the lowest vaccination rates in Toronto. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press) The city expects that situation to change in about three weeks when the province increases supply of doses to more than 60,000 doses per week, up from 56,000. To match supply forecasts, 231,000 additional appointment spots will soon be available for May 10 through June 6, said Toronto Fire Chief and head of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg. As the city expands its mobile vaccination clinic efforts, it's enlisting the help of paramedics and firefighters, Pegg said. "This will further assist some of our most vulnerable residents, such as those experiencing homelessness, those who rely on shelters and drop-in centres and those living outdoors," Pegg said. The city vaccinated over 25,600 people yesterday, with thousands of doses administered at pop-up and mobile clinics in hot spot neighourhoods, according to Toronto Public Health, noting only a small number of appointments are available at city-run clinics for the next two weeks. A pop-up clinic for residents 18 years and older will run at Jane and Finch for postal codes M3L, M3N and M3M, the city said. A mobile clinic will operate in postal code M3N. Doctors say a record number of patients in the Toronto area are being transferred to other regions as the third wave puts incredible strain on the health-care system. There's concern about what would happen if there's a further spike in COVID-19 cases. "I am very concerned about the potential for us to not be able to meet the demand of the pace at which patients will present through the front doors of our hospital," said Dr. Andrew Healey, chief of emergency services and an emergency and critical care doctor at William Osler Health System, a network of hospitals in Toronto and Peel Region. "We are dangerously close to not being able to provide typical care in typical spaces to the patients who present with COVID-19 infection and others in our hospital system."
In the mythology of Quebec nationalists, the "night of the long knives" refers to an all-night bargaining session at Ottawa's Château Laurier hotel during the constitutional talks in the fall of 1981. That night, provincial representatives reached an agreement among themselves to support Pierre Trudeau's wide-ranging reforms. Then Quebec premier René Lévesque, for reasons that are still debated, was not present and felt betrayed, and ultimately refused to sign the Constitution. But it was at that meeting that the provinces made their support for the reforms contingent on the inclusion of a "notwithstanding clause." Leery about losing autonomy to a federal charter of fundamental rights, the provinces extracted a compromise from Trudeau allowing them to override parts of the charter for renewable, five-year periods. Jean Chrétien, who was then Trudeau's justice minister, downplayed its importance at the time. It would only be used to "correct absurd situations," he told the House of Commons. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stretches to shake hands with Quebec Premier René Lévesque at the start of the meeting of the first ministers in Ottawa Nov. 2, 1981.At this set of talks, the provinces made their support for constitutional reforms contingent on the inclusion of a 'notwithstanding clause.'(Bill Grimshaw/The Canadian Press) Indeed, at one point in the 1990s, the clause was so little used that some jurists wondered if it was, effectively, dead. Since then, however, it has been invoked occasionally. Fast forward to June 2019. Quebec's nationalist premier, François Legault, passes his government's flagship piece of legislation, a ban on religious symbols in large parts of the civil service. Muslim women, in particular, feel targeted. Civil rights groups accuse the government of discriminating against minorities. But in passing the Laicity Act, Legault invoked the notwithstanding clause, hoping to protect it from claims the ban violated rights now protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And if the law, cherished by Quebec's nationalists, is mostly still intact today, it is largely because of the notwithstanding clause — that bargain agreed to behind Lévesque's back. Legally violating rights, or saved by the clause On Tuesday, a Quebec Superior Court judge ruled on the first set of constitutional challenges launched against the Laicity Act, widely known as Bill or Law 21. In a 240-page decision, Justice Marc-André Blanchard upheld most of the provisions that ban public employees such as teachers, police officers and prosecutors from wearing religious symbols at work. But at several points, Blanchard also says the law violates the basic rights of religious minorities in the province. "[Bill 21] brings about serious and negative consequences for all people who display religious symbols in public," he writes at one point. WATCH | A Sikh teacher reacts to the ruling: Elsewhere he notes, "the evidence undoubtedly shows that the effects of Law 21 will be felt negatively above all by Muslim women," adding that it violates both their religious freedom and freedom of expression. The notwithstanding clause, however, prevents the plaintiffs from appealing to those charter rights that protect religious freedom, freedom of expression or gender equality. As Blanchard explains, it doesn't matter what rights are overridden by the clause. All that matters is that proper procedure is followed when invoking it, which Quebec did. Among supporters of the law, there was a sense that had it not been for the clause, the ban on religious symbols would have been declared unconstitutional. "Thanks to the notwithstanding clause, it's the choice of legislator that won out. It's a victory for the notwithstanding clause," said Guillaume Rousseau, a law professor who advised the government on the legislation and represented a pro-secularism group at the trial. The one, albeit significant, set-back for the pro-Bill 21 side was Blanchard's decision to exempt English schools from the religious symbols ban, citing their minority language education rights. Those rights, Section 23 in the charter, can't be overridden by the notwithstanding clause. Law at 'all costs' Blanchard deferred to legal precedent in his interpretation of what the notwithstanding clause permits. But he also underscored, at length, his reservations about how the Quebec government used it in this case. In the past, the notwithstanding clause has usually been invoked in cases where a provincial legislature disagreed with a court decision, and a limited number of charter rights were overridden. Bill 21, however, invoked the clause preemptively, meaning a court is blocked from first determining if a basic rights violation has occurred. And the law also contains a blanket suspension of all rights in Sections Two and Seven to 15 in the charter, even those rights that have nothing to do with secularism. Blanchard calls this "troubling," pointing out the law suspends things like the right to an attorney and attorney-client privilege. In seeking to ensure the law applies at "all costs," the government displayed an "indifference toward the rights and liberties of those affected," he said. Some readers of the decision were left feeling that Blanchard exposed, whether deliberately or not, the far-reaching consequences of the notwithstanding clause. In passing the Laicity Act, Premier François Legault invoked the notwithstanding clause, hoping to protect it from claims the ban violated rights now protected by the charter.(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) "He seems to invite … closing some of the holes that he points to in his decision," said Louis-Philippe Lampron, a professor of constitutional law at the Université Laval. Robert Leckey, a constitutional expert and dean of the McGill law faculty, said the decision highlights the fragility of minority rights in Canada when "a legislature doesn't have the instinct to check its power." He said adding limits to the use of the notwithstanding clause wouldn't necessarily require a constitutional amendment. Courts could, for example, be more willing to issue injunctions against laws that use the notwithstanding clause too broadly. But altering the scope of the notwithstanding clause would endanger that bargain at the heart of the constitutional compromise struck in 1981, said Patrick Taillon, a law professor at Université Laval who testified for the Quebec government at the Bill 21 trial. At its core, that bargain was about giving elected legislators — not judges — the final say over how society should be governed. "We might be in an era when public trust in politicians is eroding. But what's the alternative? The judge is always right in all circumstances," Taillon said. "We have to think twice about that."
Nearly three-quarters of Health PEI's 6,000 staff members have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Prince Edward Island's premier said in the legislature Wednesday. A Summerside native who's managing a health-care team at a west Toronto hospital says fears of not being able to cope with COVID-19 patients were not realized last year, but the third wave of the pandemic is proving they were justified. COVID-19 logistics have led to too many moves for Queen Elizabeth Hospital patients living with dementia, says a Liberal MLA. The North Shore community of North Rustico is cancelling most of its major Canada Day events this year to comply with public health restrictions. This year's UPEI nursing graduates have a lot of options to choose from as they enter the workforce. Michael MacKinnon, who is about to graduate from the UPEI nursing program, has accepted a job at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Unit 1.(Submitted by Michael MacKinnon) Nurses in Atlantic Canada are being asked to help as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits Ontario hard — and some on P.E.I. are starting to step forward. The child who was hospitalized due to COVID-19 has been discharged, the Chief Public Health Office confirmed. It also reported one new case of COVID-19. The 2021 edition of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival has been cancelled, after organizers decided public health requirements would still not permit a large-scale event by the time the July 9-11 weekend rolled around. About 25,000 people attended the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in 2019.(Tracy Lightfoot/CBC) Nova Scotia is placing new restrictions on who can travel to the province, with exceptions for residents of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, where COVID-19 case counts are low. A P.E.I. tourism operator is concerned that the federal budget is decreasing support for the industry. Liberal MP Sean Casey says the support will be there if it is needed. The Island has seen 174 cases of COVID-19. Thirteen are considered active. There have been two hospitalizations and no deaths. Elsewhere in the Atlantic region Wednesday: Also in the news These Islanders are currently eligible for a vaccine People over 50. Frontline workers over the age of 40 who interact with the public and cannot work virtually. People providing health care services to the public — including optometrists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists — and their support staff. Non-frontline health care workers needed to maintain health care system capacity Firefighters, police officers, power-line workers. Residents and staff of long-term care homes. Adults living in Indigenous communities. Residents and staff of shared living facilities. Truck drivers and other rotational workers. You can find more information about how to get a vaccine here. Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 240,000 new vaccinations administered for a total of 10,483,418 doses given. Nationwide, 944,342 people or 2.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 27,661.261 per 100,000. There were 1,198 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 13,304,460 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 78.8 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 26,085 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 138,422 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 264.35 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,674) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 173,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.63 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 7,925 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 43,018 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 271.186 per 1,000. In the province, 6.04 per cent (9,579) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 53,545 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 34 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.34 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 60,428 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 218,018 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 223.402 per 1,000. In the province, 3.31 per cent (32,255) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 320,200 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 42,913 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 204,576 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 262.263 per 1,000. In the province, 2.44 per cent (19,028) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 255,205 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 48,475 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,448,409 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 286.141 per 1,000. There were 1,198 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 3,042,405 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 36 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.48 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 90,409 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,995,187 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 271.984 per 1,000. In the province, 2.37 per cent (347,597) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 5,242,495 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 36 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 9,051 new vaccinations administered for a total of 350,977 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 254.885 per 1,000. In the province, 5.08 per cent (69,997) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 479,010 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.27 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 5,278 new vaccinations administered for a total of 357,447 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 303.139 per 1,000. In the province, 3.64 per cent (42,950) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 397,575 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 34 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.91 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 31,205 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,196,428 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 271.789 per 1,000. In the province, 5.44 per cent (239,277) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 1,456,295 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 34,484 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,414,644 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 275.674 per 1,000. In the province, 1.72 per cent (88,263) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 1,731,470 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 34 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.7 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 580 new vaccinations administered for a total of 45,971 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,101.603 per 1,000. In the territory, 49.74 per cent (20,755) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 54,320 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 84.63 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 44,646 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 989.517 per 1,000. In the territory, 42.71 per cent (19,271) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 56,300 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 120 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 79.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 487 new vaccinations administered for a total of 25,675 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 662.991 per 1,000. In the territory, 29.13 per cent (11,282) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 41,800 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 110 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 61.42 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published April 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
BILLINGS, Mont. — Grizzly bears are part of life in the gateway communities around Yellowstone National Park, and backcountry snowmobile guide Charles “Carl” Mock knew well the risks that come with working, hiking and fishing among the fear-inspiring carnivores, his friends said. Mock was killed after being mauled by a 400-plus pound (181-plus kilogram) male grizzly while fishing alone at a favourite spot on Montana's Madison River, where it spills out of the park and into forested land that bears wander in search of food. The bear had a moose carcass stashed nearby and wildlife officials say it likely attacked Mock to defend the food. The grizzly was shot after charging at a group of seven game wardens and bear specialists who returned the next day. Bear spray residue found on Mock's clothing suggested he tried to ward off last week's attack using a canister of the Mace-like deterrent, considered an essential item in the backcountry. He usually carried a pistol, too, but wasn't on the day he was killed just a few miles north of the small town of West Yellowstone where he lived, according to two friends. While some on social media questioned the inherent perils of such a lifestyle in the wake of Mock's death, those who knew him said he accepted the risk as a trade-off for time spent in a wilderness teeming with elk, deer, wolves and other wildlife. “People don't understand that for us who live here, that's what we do every day,” said Scott Riley, who said he fished, hunted, hiked and kayaked numerous times with Mock over the past decade. West Yellowstone has just over 900 full time residents but gets throngs of summer tourists at one of the main entrances to the park. “We had a bear in town two nights after Carl was mauled. It's not like we're just running around in the forest tempting them. They are everywhere," said Riley, who manages a snowmobile dealership in West Yellowstone. Mock, 40, managed to call 911 following the mauling and was found by rescuers propped against a tree with the cannister of bear spray in one hand, his father, Chuck Mock, told the Billing Gazette. His other hand had been “chomped off” as he tried to protect himself. One of the animal's teeth punctured his skull and Mock died two days later in an Idaho hospital after undergoing extensive surgery. The Yellowstone region that spans portions of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming has more than 700 bears. Fatal attacks on humans are rare but have increased in recent decades as the grizzly population grew and more people moved into rural areas near bear habitat. Since 2010, grizzlies in the Yellowstone region killed eight people including Mock. The last fatality around West Yellowstone that town Mayor Jerry Johnson could recall happened in 1983, when a 600-pound (272-kilogram) bear dragged a Wisconsin man from his tent and killed at the Rainbow Point campground north of town. Grizzlies are protected under federal law outside Alaska. Members of the region’s congressional delegation have introduced legislation to lift protections and allow grizzly hunting. Mock had been “in awe” of Yellowstone from a young age, according to his father, and moved from Idaho to West Yellowstone about 10 years ago. For the past five years he worked as a guide for a snowmobile touring company owned by Johnson. He was known for being helpful to friends and his love of outdoor adventure, Johnson said. A community memorial service for Mock, is scheduled for Saturday at West Yellowstone's Union Pacific Dining Lodge. His relatives will hold a private funeral, Johnson said. Riley said he and Mock came upon bears in the wild numerous times. Sometimes a grizzly would make a bluff charge, running at Riley and Mock but always backing down before last week's attack. “I've held my bear spray 100 times but never had to use it,” Riley said. “What happened to Carl could happen to anybody that walks into these forests at any given time ... I would say if the forest kills me, the forest kills me." Matthew Brown, The Associated Press
Penticton city council voted unanimously Tuesday to sue the B.C. government after the province overruled the city's decision to close a temporary winter homeless shelter. The Okanagan city council approved court action after hearing a staff presentation on two city-commissioned surveys of about 4,000 local residents regarding the 42-bed downtown shelter at 352 Winnipeg Street. Council also voted in favour of an immediate closure of the shelter and transfer of all 42 residents from the shelter to other housing options. More than 60 per cent of respondents to the survey conducted from March 31 to April 10 said the shelter should be closed down and the province shouldn't overrule the council's decision. Slightly over 50 per cent of participants said the city should take legal action against the province — which could cost taxpayers between $200,000 and $300,000. Housing Minister David Eby, right, said in March the province may exercise the power of paramountcy to circumvent Penticton city council's decision of closing the temporary shelter. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) Last month, Housing Minister David Eby said the province would exercise the power of paramountcy to prevent the shelter from closing down at the end of winter, as originally planned. The lease for B.C. Housing to operate the shelter expired on March 31, but the province stepped in to circumvent council's decision to shut the shelter at that time. The Crown corporation is currently running the shelter without a city permit. Eby said at that time he was "incredibly disappointed" with council and predicted homeless people would move into the city's parks if the shelter closed. He added the province was preparing to face a court challenge. Penticton's mayor and councillors are increasingly frustrated with issues they say are caused by the city's homeless population and B.C. Housing's three supportive housing projects. Early February, Mayor John Vassilaki attributed the Penticton RCMP's heavy caseload and an influx of homeless people to these supportive housing projects. On Tuesday, Coun. Judy Sentes said the council has no option but to take drastic action against the province, which she said had failed to recognize community concerns around the shelter's downtown location close to seniors housing. "If the province could have continued their previous actions of consulting with us [and] joining in conversations with us, perhaps we wouldn't have come to this," Sentes said. "The city has no choice but to stand up for the betterment of our entire community." Penticton Coun. Judy Sentes says the council wouldn't have taken a drastic action against the province if the province had been willing to engage the council over the temporary shelter issues. (City of Penticton) The council also approved city staff's recommendation to formally request Premier John Horgan's intervention in the dispute after about 80 per cent of survey participants said they supported that approach. They also agreed to continue negotiations with B.C. Housing and to increase bylaw enforcement in response to nuisance complaints around the shelter.
New Brunswick has lost another resident to COVID-19. Public Health confirmed Wednesday that an individual between the ages of 60 and 69 in the Saint John region, Zone 2, has died as a result of the disease. This brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in the province to 34. In a news release, Dr. Jennifer Russell and Health Minister Dorothy Shephard extended their sympathies to the victim's loved ones. "I am saddened to learn that another individual has lost their life as a result of COVID-19," Shephard said. "On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I share my sincere condolences with the family and friends of this person." There are currently 138 active cases in New Brunswick.(CBC News) Seven new cases reported Seven new cases were reported, affecting four zones, on Wednesday. The cases break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, one case: an individual 20 to 29. This case is travel-related. Saint John region, Zone 2, two cases: an individual 50 to 59. an individual 90 or over. Both of these cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases. Edmundston region, Zone 4, three cases: an individual 19 or under. an individual 40 to 49. an individual 50 to 59. Two of the three cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases and the other one is under investigation. Miramichi region, Zone 7, one case: an individual 40 to 49. This case is travel-related. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,804. Since Tuesday, seven people have recovered for a total of 1,631 recoveries. There have been 34 deaths, and the number of active cases is 138. Fifteen patients are hospitalized, including five in an intensive care unit. A total of 278,711 tests have been conducted, including 1,005 since Tuesday's report. Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada: Outbreaks declared at two homes Outbreaks have been declared at two special care homes following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at each facility. The affected facilities are Pavillon Beau-Lieu, a special care home in Grand Falls in the Edmundston region, and Murray Street Lodge in Grand Bay-Westfield in the Saint John region. Members of the provincial rapid outbreak management team have been sent to provide support for residents and the facilities' care teams, Public Health said in a news release Wednesday. Possible exposure at child-care facility A possible exposure to a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Garderie Happy Feet Daycare in Grand Falls, in the Edmundston region. Families who have been affected have been notified, Public Health said Wednesday. "If you do not hear directly from Public Health, you have not been identified as a close contact," the department said in a news release. Health Minister Dorothy Shephard asked New Brunswickers to "be patient" as the province begins to vaccinate its largest age demographic, those 65 and older. "These appointments can fill up quite quickly," she said.(Government of New Brunswick) Why this next stage of the rollout will take some time If you're 65 or older, you can now book an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination. Odds are, you've already tried doing just that — and might have had a little trouble booking one. That's not a surprise to Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Russell and Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, who have both made a point of asking this particular age group to pack a little patience as they queue up for the jab. The 65-and-up group is the largest demographic group in the province, so the sheer volume of callers and online bookers will mean it takes longer to get through this stage of the rollout. "These appointments can fill up quite quickly," Shephard said Tuesday in announcing the new age group's eligibility. "We know that the phones start ringing from the time we announce it at this press conference." But there are other reasons booking an appointment might take a few tries. "Keep in mind this is a really complex rollout," Russell told Information Morning Moncton Wednesday. "There are a lot of moving parts, recommendations change, prioritizations change." Russell noted there are "things we don't have control over, such as a Moderna shipment being delayed," as well as the fact that many pharmacies are already fully booked for appointments through the next few weeks. However, she said, the province is still on track for administering a first dose to every New Brunswicker who wants one by July 1. "We do ask people to be patient," Russell said. "I don't imagine that once an age category is introduced it will take more than a few weeks to get it done." If you are 65 or over and want to book a vaccine appointment, there are several ways you can do so. Here's how: Book online at gnb.ca/bookavaccine Call 1-833-437-1424 Contact a participating pharmacy New possible exposure warnings Public Health has identified potential public exposures to the virus at the following locations: E.& P. Sénéchal Center, Vitalité Health Network vaccination clinic, 60 Ouellette St., Grand Falls, on Monday, April 19 between1:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. Holy Spirit Parish (Saint Matthews worship site), 45 Dollard Dr., Saint John, on Sunday, April 18 between 11 a.m. and noon. Previous potential exposure notifications Public Health has identified recent possible public exposures to COVID-19 in Edmundston: Familiprix, 131 de l'Église St., on April 8, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jean Coutu, 77 Victoria St., Edmundston on April 16, between 1: 30 p.m. and 2 p.m.; on April 14, between noon and 12:45 p.m.; and on April 12, between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Public Health also identified a traveller who may have been infected while on the following flights on April 14 and 15: Air Canada Flight 8970 – from Ottawa to Montreal, departed at 6:28 a.m. on April 14. Air Canada Flight 8898 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 8:14 a.m. on April 14. Air Canada Flight 318 – from Calgary to Montreal, departed at 11:53 a.m. on April 15. Air Canada Flight 8906 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:08 p.m. on April 15. People who were at these areas are eligible to be tested for COVID-19, even if they are not experiencing symptoms. Corrected possible exposures The dates and times for some recent possible public exposures in Saint John have changed on the government's website. "Through follow-up tracing work [Monday], it turns the individuals provided the wrong dates by mistake," Department of Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane said in an email. The new information information includes: Service New Brunswick, 15 King Square North, on April 15 between 3 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Rocky's Sports Bar, 7 Market Square, on April 15 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: Fever above 38 C. New cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
At least 24 COVID-19 patients in western India died on Wednesday when the oxygen supply to their ventilators ran out, amid a nationwide shortage of the gas and a surge in infections. Maharashtra State Health Minister Rajesh Tope confirmed the deaths at a hospital in Nashik city and said the hospital's oxygen supply ran out because a tanker refilling it suffered a leak. Hospitals in Delhi, the capital, and elsewhere have warned that their supplies of medical oxygen given to severely ill COVID-19 patients are running low.
Travellers coming to Canada from the U.S. are avoiding hotel quarantine by taking flights close to the border, then walking or driving into Canada. Some snowbirds say there should be different rules for people who spend months at a time in the U.S. and are fully vaccinated.
A B.C. nurse is pleading with people to do a few "simple things" to get the pandemic under control after an emotionally crushing shift in the COVID-19 ward. Kendall Skuta, who works at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, posted a photo of herself sobbing to Instagram on Tuesday morning after what she described as a "particularly hard shift." She explained that she had just watched a patient die of COVID-19 not long after he was transferred out of the intensive care unit. She described watching the patient go into cardiac arrest and people running from all over the hospital to take turns doing CPR. "After his death was pronounced, we all stood there for a minute. Silent. Exhausted. Heartbroken. Lumps formed in our throats, tears filled our eyes. We looked at each other, trying to find the words — any words. There wasn't a thing anybody could say," she wrote. "The amount of death I've seen in the last year weighs on me every day." Skuta said she constantly asks herself when the B.C. public will begin taking the pandemic seriously. "Please, I'm begging you all. Stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated if you're eligible. We are all exhausted, and I don't know how much more pain my heart can take," she wrote. Heartbroken by person's age In an interview with CBC News on Tuesday evening, Skuta said this death hit her harder than most. One reason is the patient's age — not yet 60 years old, and with no major underlying conditions. She said her parents are around the same age, and it breaks her heart to think of them getting sick and dying from the novel coronavirus. "A lot of people ... think everybody who's got COVID or is dying from COVID is old. He wasn't," Skuta said. She'd also thought the patient was out of danger once he was transferred from the ICU. It was a reminder that during this pandemic, even positive developments can quickly turn into bad news. Skuta said she felt compelled to go public with her experience after watching Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announce the extension of B.C.'s "circuit breaker" restrictions and hearing Premier John Horgan say restrictions on travel are coming later this week. "I feel like every time Dr. Henry comes on and announces things, people either argue it or they want something different or they just blatantly ignore the things that she's saying," Skuta said. "I just don't think people realize that the simple things she's asking for, like wearing a mask and staying home and not travelling if you don't need to, really will fix the problem. It's very simple, [they're] small things to ask, and I just wish more people would be able to see that."
A South Korean court on Wednesday upheld Japan's state immunity to dismiss a lawsuit raised by a group of women who were forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels, contradicting a ruling in a separate earlier case that ordered Tokyo to compensate victims. Remnants of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula remain contentious for both sides, with many surviving "comfort women" - a Japanese euphemism for the sex abuse victims - demanding Tokyo's formal apology and compensation. Diplomatic tension flared in January when another judge at the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favour of other women in a separate case, ordering Japan to pay compensation for the first time.
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Iran's support for Yemen's Houthi movement is "quite significant and it's lethal," U.S. special envoy on Yemen Tim Lenderking said on Wednesday, as he called a battle for Yemen's gas-rich Marib region the single biggest threat to peace efforts. Lenderking told U.S. lawmakers that Iran supports the Houthis in several ways including through training, providing lethal support and helping them "fine tune" their drone and missile programs.
Test positivity rates for COVID-19 reached 22.4 per cent in Brampton this week, officials say, with that troubling marker an indicator of just how dire the situation has become. "This is unfortunately the crisis that we feared," said Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel region, at a news conference Wednesday morning. There are now a record 200 COVID-19-positive patients admitted at Brampton Civic Hospital. "The patients fighting for their lives are our most vulnerable, our elderly, but also our essential workers who are increasingly younger, and are often our newest Canadians and our racialized residents," Loh said. This week, he said, Brampton's test positivity is at 22.4 per cent — that's more than double the province's highest rate at 10.5 per cent, which was recorded on Monday. Mississauga also reported a worrisome test positivity rate of 14.5 per cent on Wednesday. The goal set by the World Health Organization is to keep positive test rates below five per cent. At the news conference, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown urged the provincial government to prioritize the city for vaccines in pharmacies. "If you look at every piece of medical advice in the province, it says focus on the hotspots. Focus on the areas that are facing the greatest transmission of this virus," Brown said. Right now, he said, Brampton has eight pharmacies offering vaccines per 100,000 residents. Toronto has nine, he added, and Mississauga has 10. Kingston, by contrast, has 26 pharmacies per 100,000 people offering vaccines, Brown said. "I would plead with the provincial government to continue to expand the pharmacy rollout in Brampton," Brown said. "It makes no sense that the city that has the highest positivity rate, that is a clear hot spot, wouldn't be getting the same vaccine pharmacy resources as other municipalities that are not in a predicament as difficult as Brampton." Loh said that Peel region hit 400,000 vaccine doses administered on Tuesday. He urged people to book appointments and seek them out at pharmacies where possible. "But we cannot vaccinate our way out of this third wave," he said. Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel region, issued an order that will force businesses with five or more COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks to close.(CBC) At a news conference Wednesday, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said Peel Region's seven-day moving daily average of cases is now up to 801 from 747 last week. She said in Mississauga the daily cases are now averaging 275 per 100,000, up from 226. "ICU doctors fear hospitals across Ontario will soon be in a situation where gut-wrenching decisions will have to be made," Crombie said. Both Peel and Toronto are now issuing orders to force businesses with five or more COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks to close. Loh has previously said the closures will last 10 days if it is found that those infected "could have reasonably acquired their infection at work" or if "no obvious source" for transmission is identified outside of the workplace. Loh said Wednesday that he knows this measure could be tough for businesses and residents, but added that it is necessary at this stage of the pandemic. "We are seeing more and more workers who cannot work from home sickened and ending up in hospitals and on ventilators," he said. "I ask employers to support this measure, by making any such leave paid for impacted employees. It's the right thing to do," Loh said. He added that he is hopeful that changes to sick pay are on the horizon in Ontario. The provincial government has long resisted instituting any paid sick days in Ontario, saying it doesn't want to duplicate the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). Medical experts and Opposition parties, meanwhile, have been adamant that the province needs to institute its own program if Ontario is to have any hope of curbing transmission of the virus. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott suggested the province might be rethinking its position. "It was apparent yesterday with the federal budget that they weren't making any amendments to their sick benefits program and so those gaps still remain and that is what we are going to be addressing," Elliott said.
The reigning Mrs World, Caroline Jurie, has resigned her title, the organisation running the pageant said late on Tuesday, weeks after she was involved in a controversy at the Mrs Sri Lanka event. Jurie was arrested and released on bail this month after a fracas at the Mrs Sri Lanka pageant in Colombo, where Jurie forcibly removed the winner's crown, claiming the other woman was a divorcee and not qualified to win the title. "Her voluntary resignation decision was made solely by Caroline herself," Mrs World Inc said late on Tuesday, in a news release on social media.
Fredericton psychologist Joan Wright is disputing many of the findings in a decision by the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick last week that saw her suspended for "professional misconduct, incompetence and violating the boundaries of the psychologist-client relationship." Her lawyer, Kelly Lamrock, filed an application for a judicial review and a request for an injunction with the Court of Queen's Bench on Tuesday to pause the suspension and allow Wright to continue to practise. In an affidavit, Wright said the decision by the college had done irreparable harm to her and could also cause irreparable harm to her many patients who are now without a therapist. "The scarcity of psychologists in New Brunswick is well-known, and this is particularly true in specialized areas like PTSD," Wight said in the affidavit. The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick was not immediately available for comment. Wright has two clinics in the Fredericton area, Joan Wright & Associates, on Brunswick Street, and Mindshift clinic, in Lincoln. "The Mindshift clinic takes on the most complex cases involving post-traumatic stress disorder," Wright said. A patient with complex needs Wright said she was notified of the complaint in October 2018 by a former patient who had been referred by the mental health clinic at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. The former patient had a complex set of needs, said Wright, and she treated him for PTSD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and borderline personality disorder from 2006 to 2018. Another practitioner, who works in the same area, was a co-complainant and treated the former client after he left Wright. Wright said that during the years of treatment, the client made "sporadic progress, followed by regression." She said she recalled it being a difficult case. Wright also said the patient left her care after he had a "negative reaction" toward her because of her advice. She said that in a fit of anger, he'd described his new partner's young daughter in profane terms. "When I urged him to apologize and consider how abandoned this made her feel, he became very angry and approached me in a physically aggressive way. He is a larger man and at some point I did have to raise my voice to tell him to move away from me because I was getting physically afraid. This seemed to break the trust we had and I could not figure out how to restore it.He left the practice." Accused of 'experimental interventions' The college's decision, dated April 14, outlined a list of several failings on Wright's part, including "using experimental and non-evidence-based interventions" for PTSD and administering therapy she was not trained to provide, asking a client to "remove articles of clothing" to take photos of the client's "naked body parts," and massaging the client's neck, and recommending the client purchase and use an "anal device." Wright's affidavit said the committee used "hypersexualized language" to describe mundane details, making them seem worse. "For example, the taking of photographs of how the patient stood barefoot became the repeated phrase 'pictures of naked body parts," light and brief pressure, not [massage], on the neck to release muscle tension, while fully clothed became "touching various body parts" and the request that he remove his socks became "he was asked to remove articles of clothing in the Member's presence,' all of which appear to show an inexplicable determination by the Committee to sexualize, exaggerate, and defame my practice." Wright also said the areas of psychology she used to treat PTSD were cognitive behavioural therapy and bioenergetics analysis therapy, or BAT, which combines mind and body work to deal with emotional problems, when the cognitive therapy was not effective. Wright said the treatment "is not radical or new." She said she spent more than 500 hours in training to administer BAT and stopped using it around 2016. Although her own practice is suspended, Wright's colleagues in Fredericton and Lincoln are still able to practise. The hearing on the injunction is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m.
LAS VEGAS — A convicted killer who is fighting a possible June execution date that would make him the first person put to death in Nevada in 15 years is calling for the state to consider the firing squad as an option, a rare method in the United States. Attorneys for Zane Michael Floyd say he does not want to die and are challenging the state plan to use a proposed three-drug lethal injection, which led to court challenges that twice delayed the execution of another convicted killer who later took his own life in prison. “This is not a delaying tactic,” Brad Levenson, a federal public defender representing Floyd, said Monday. But a challenge of the state execution protocol requires the defence to provide an alternative method, and Levenson said gunshots to the brain stem would be “the most humane way.” “Execution by firing squad ... causes a faster and less painful death than lethal injection,” the attorneys said in a court filing Friday. Nevada once allowed firing squads, but state law now requires the use of lethal injection in sentences of capital punishment. Three U.S. states — Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah — and the U.S. military allow capital punishment by gunfire. The last time that method was used in the United States was in Utah in 2010. Floyd's attorneys are asking a federal judge in Las Vegas to stop Floyd from being put to death until prison officials “devise a new procedure or procedures to carry out a lawful execution.” Levenson said he and attorney David Anthony are fighting multiple issues in state and federal courts, with the possibility that Floyd’s death could be set for the week of June 7. Prosecutors will seek an execution warrant at a state court hearing next month. The 45-year-old was convicted in 2000 of killing four people with a shotgun in a Las Vegas supermarket in 1999 and badly wounding a fifth person. Floyd appeared to exhaust his federal appeals last November, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear his case. Floyd wants a chance to seek clemency at a June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said. Floyd's attorneys argue that a three-drug injection combination the state wants to use — the sedative diazepam, the powerful synthetic painkiller fentanyl and a paralytic, cisatracurium — would amount to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his constitutional rights. Anthony made similar arguments on behalf of Scott Raymond Dozier before Nevada's last scheduled execution was called off in 2017 and 2018. Dozier killed himself in prison in January 2019. A judge blocked the first date after deciding that use of the paralytic might cause painful suffocation while Dozier was aware but unable to move. Pharmaceutical companies that made the three drugs stopped the second date with arguments against using their products in an execution, an issue several states are facing. Floyd would be the first person executed in Nevada since 2006, when Daryl Mack asked to be put to death for his conviction in a 1988 rape and murder in Reno. Nevada has 65 inmates awaiting execution, a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman said. ___ This story was first published on April 19, 2021. It was updated on April 21, 2021, to correct the number of Nevada inmates awaiting execution based on information from the Department of Corrections. There are 65 inmates, not 72. Ken Ritter, The Associated Press
When Delio Delgado turns 51 on Wednesday, he'll be inside a Hamilton hospital battling COVID-19. "I was hoping that tomorrow would be a happier day," he said. But his birthday almost didn't come. Since mid-March, he's been fighting a virus that nearly killed him. And while he's on a long road to recovery now, when Delgado leaves the hospital, he'll have another uphill battle — the Dominican-born Hamiltonian is months behind on rent and car payments. "I'm not doing very well," Delgado said about his finances from his hospital bed during an interview on Tuesday morning. "I had to stop the lease of the car, I had to stop insuring the car ... I'm an industrial and residential painter ... my car gets me my income." Delio Delgado lives in a hotspot in Hamilton and wishes vaccines could have come sooner. Now, he's in the hospital with COVID-19 and will return home in debt.(Submitted by Delio Delgado ) And Delgado said his driver's license was suspended because he was unable to do a required physical exam, which he worries will jack up his insurance when he's ready to drive. But Delgado said he is thankful to be breathing, even if it doesn't come easy. From home to induced coma in a matter of days Delgado said he worked at Hamilton General Hospital as a painter during most of the pandemic, which allowed him to learn a lot about the virus and staying safe. He eventually stopped working there and was on unemployment insurance before his life changed in March. Delgado isn't sure how he got the virus, but he lives in one of Hamilton's hot spot neighbourhoods. His area, with the L8N postal code, was recently given vaccine priority. WATCH: Hamilton man describes emotional moments in ICU with COVID On March 13, after feeling a few symptoms he thought could be COVID-19, Delgado said he had uncontrollable diarrhea. That's when he said he decided to go to the emergency room at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. Delgado said he was immediately given oxygen and put into the intensive care unit (ICU). "I got into ICU and it was like a hurricane, I got like four or five nurses around me and everyone is doing a different task, and I remember, 'What is his oxygen level? What is his oxygen level? He's not doing very well,' that's what I'm hearing," Delgado recalls. "I spent three or four days like that." Staff at Hamilton Health Sciences don personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.(Hamilton Health Sciences) While he was in the ICU, Delgado said he had a quiet moment with his doctor. "My doctor at the time, she stopped at the door of the ICU, it was all glass, she can see through ... I was just passing out almost and I put my hand on my heart and I tapped it like ... 'I appreciate what you're doing, saving my life,'" Delgado said, tearing up. "The beautiful thing, that gave me a smile on my heart, was she [pulled down] her mask and gave me a smile and she also tapped her heart back." Shortly after, Delgado entered an induced coma. He's unsure when he woke up, but Degaldo said he was on a ventilator and a liquid diet. Then he said doctors told him he'd be leaving the ICU and beginning his road to recovery. Delgado said his cousin came to visit him that day and said they heard on March 27 he only had half an hour to live. "Miraculously, I got out of the dark days," he said. Province should've rolled out vaccines sooner, Delgado says Now he's thinking about leaving the hospital — but he'll have to deal with those missed payments, which he said are roughly $1,250 a month. In Delgado's case, a group of friends and local artists started a fundraiser to help him avoid being overwhelmed with debt when he leaves. Ingrid Mayrhofer, one of his friends who started the GoFundMe page, said it's been four days and they've raised nearly $4,000 of their $5,000 goal. "He's the first person I actually know who was infected ... it's definitely hit home," she said. "I'm really grateful for how the arts community has come together in support of Delio." WATCH: Ford blames lack of vaccines for COVID-19 crisis, should he? Delgado said the Ford government needs to do more to help COVID-19 survivors avoid financial hardship. "I don't know what the measures could've been because everybody's situation is different ... I don't think they're doing the best job with this pandemic either," he said. One thing he wishes happened sooner was lowering the age limits for people to get doses of vaccines like AstraZeneca and reaching hot spot communities sooner. "We know this pandemic is affecting more marginalized and people of colour than any other demographic," he said Tuesday. "Everything should've happened sooner." Family, painting and religion fuel for recovery Delgado said he became religious because of his time in the ICU. After he's back home, Delgado said he wants to spend time with his mother, who plans on coming from the Dominican Republic. He also said he's excited to see his American bulldog, Useey, his 10-year-old son, Samuel, and start painting again. "That's my fuel," Delgado said.