Health-care workers at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre are stretched to the limit in the battle against COVID-19. Take a look behind the scenes at Manitoba's largest hospital.
Health-care workers at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre are stretched to the limit in the battle against COVID-19. Take a look behind the scenes at Manitoba's largest hospital.
Law enforcement officers far outnumbered protesters at state capitol grounds on Sunday, as few Trump supporters who believe the president's false claim that he won the 2020 election turned out for what authorities feared could be violent demonstrations. More than a dozen states activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday Jan. 17, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 35,604 new vaccinations administered for a total of 543,291 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 1,433.513 per 100,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 761,500 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 71.34 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,506 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,291 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.104 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 47.35 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,502 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,102 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.163 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 8,250 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 61.84 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 3,769 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,600 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.788 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 23,000 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 33.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 2,713 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,732 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 17,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 43.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 10,783 new vaccinations administered for a total of 137,856 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 16.111 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 162,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 14,460 new vaccinations administered for a total of 189,090 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 12.873 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 277,050 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,539 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.832 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 33,625 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 40.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 2,910 new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,927 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 14.355 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 24,400 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.37 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 7,451 new vaccinations administered for a total of 81,561 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 18.528 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 84,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 96.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 75,914 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 14.794 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 99,475 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.31 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,184 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 28.372 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 17 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 16.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 512 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.348 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 16 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 7.111 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 983 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 25.383 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 6,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 15 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 16.38 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. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Staff in long-term care homes across Canada are struggling to isolate elderly residents with dementia during COVID-19 outbreaks, accelerating the deadly spread of the virus, experts say. These vulnerable residents have a tendency to wander as well as a need for social connection and physical touch, leading them to enter other patients' rooms or common areas where they could contract or transmit the virus, say doctors and advocates. "It's a significant problem in the time of COVID-19 and long-term care," said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge, a national seniors advocacy group. "It's also quite inhumane to be locking people up in their rooms. Older people with dementia in long-term care are not prisoners," she added. "The good news is there are some things we can do to help support infection prevention and control while at the same time not isolating seniors exclusively in their rooms." The novel coronavirus has taken a lethal toll on Canadians living in long-term care homes. More than 3,000 of Ontario's over 5,000 deaths have been in these facilities, as have more than 600 of British Columbia's roughly 1,000 fatalities. Overall in Canada, residents of these homes account for 10 per cent of total cases and 72 per cent of deaths. A woman whose grandmother died of COVID-19 in a Vancouver care home has raised the alarm about residents wandering during outbreaks. Parbs Bains said she was on a Zoom call with her sick grandmother when another resident entered the room and began hugging her and kissing her on the forehead, remaining for several minutes before a nurse arrived to usher her out. The care home, Little Mountain Place, is the site of B.C.’s deadliest outbreak in such a facility, with 41 dead. But in all long-term care homes with outbreaks in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, keeping residents with cognitive impairments isolated has been a challenge, said chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly. The health authority advises staff to monitor residents who wander but not to lock them in rooms or restrain them, Daly said. Tamblyn Watts said 80 per cent of residents of long-term care homes in the country have some form of cognitive impairment such as dementia. Keeping them in one room without social engagement, exercise or daily routines has a negative effect, she said. She said more staff, not necessarily with medical training but with dementia training, are needed to compassionately intervene when they see a resident wandering and redirect them to a safe area. Ideally, there would be a separate room where residents could walk to other than their own, Tamblyn Watts added. "It does, however, mean that you need to have people on deck to be able to help with that," she said. Quebec announced last year it would hire 10,000 patient attendants to work in care homes and train them over last summer. B.C. and Ontario have also created new jobs in care homes for people without prior experience, but much more hiring needs to be done, Tamblyn Watts said. She also said more infection control, cleaning, testing and now vaccines are needed, in order to prevent COVID-19 from getting inside care homes to begin with. Dr. Roger Wong, clinical professor and vice dean in the University of British Columbia faculty of medicine, said people with dementia need a lot of hands-on care. "Clearly, we always need more staffing," he said. But he said there are some ways to help residents with cognitive impairments stay in their rooms, including placing a stop sign by the door or hanging a curtain over the doorway. In some secure units, seniors wear wristbands that ring an alarm when they leave, Wong said. It's also technologically possible, though not common practice, to place GPS trackers in residents' footwear, he said. Playing a familiar piece of music in their rooms can be comforting and help them remain in that space, Wong added. He said families could plan to speak to their loved ones virtually at times when they are more likely to get confused and wander, often in the late afternoon or evening for Alzheimer's patients. However, it can be a challenge to ensure that residents understand the people on their screen are their loved ones, he said. Jennifer Stewart, manager of advocacy and education for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., acknowledged that virtual visits can be helpful for some and confusing for others. Patients may not be able to understand or retain the information about why they need to be separated from others or be able to follow protocols, such as frequent hand washing, she added. "I think we're in a really tough spot," she said. "I don't think anyone's found a perfect solution here." However, Stewart said person-centred care is key: looking at each patient as a unique individual and speaking with their families about how to provide them with safety, comfort and meaning. B.C. seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie said the primary way that the virus is spreading in care homes is from staff to residents, rather than from resident to resident. Staff are in close physical contact with many different patients, she noted, and many residents are not mobile. She said, though, that immediately after a single positive case, all residents and employees should be tested and residents should be isolated. Every patient positive for COVID-19 should be kept not only in their room, but as much as possible in a certain section of the home, she said. Daly of Vancouver Coastal Health said care homes in the region do not automatically do mass testing after a single staff member tests positive. She said testing depends on the likelihood the employee transmitted the virus to others in the home as well as the timing of transmission. Mackenzie has also called for frequent, routine testing of staff, which B.C. does not do. Ontario tests staff at least every two weeks and has also deployed some pilot projects for rapid testing. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. considered whether to periodically send staff to a testing site, as is done in Ontario, but that is very "low yield" and challenging to do. As for rapid testing at care homes on a daily basis, that is "not feasible" with the tests that the province has, she said. "Our focus has been instead on making sure we have the resources to ensure staffing, particularly if an outbreak has been identified. When an outbreak is identified, testing is done," Henry said. The seniors advocate said understaffing is "absolutely" still an issue. "I think there have been additional strains on an already strained staffing system," Mackenzie said. She said family members can be designated essential visitors to be the eyes and ears of a loved one within the care home and flag problems for staff. Some residents don't have family members who are able to play this role but many do, she said. Mackenzie added that even when dementia patients are isolated, they should be receiving physical touch from staff. Care providers should also use gentle persuasion and de-escalation techniques to assuage any anxieties residents are experiencing, she said. "If they're mobile enough that they're individually ambulating out of their room in the common areas, they've got some capacity. That is not a person in end-stage Alzheimer's with no capacity to understand anything," she pointed out. "It's easy to throw up our hands and say we couldn't do anything, we can't isolate these people because they wander. That is not true of every resident or even of most residents. It might be true of some and we know how to manage that." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Laura Dhillon Kane, The Canadian Press
This workweek will kick off with what's fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history.Experts say Blue Monday may be a little more than a marketing gimmick, but the pseudo-scientific concept speaks to the real struggles weighing on Canadians between the doldrums of winter and the pandemic's second wave.But the national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association says one of the best salves for this contagion-fuelled seasonal slump is as simple as getting up on your own two feet."Our physical well-being really impacts our mental well-being," Margaret Eaton said. "There is a very well documented connection showing that increasing your physical activity definitely impacts your mood."There's no evidence to support the notion that the third Monday of January is the glummest date on the calendar, but Eaton said the concept of Blue Monday may especially resonate this year.In a spring survey of more than 1,800 participants, 84 per cent of Canadians reported that their mental health had worsened since the outbreak hit, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.Eaton suspects that moods haven't improved as the COVID-19 crisis has dragged on, and with the onset of seasonal affective disorder, she said many Canadians are contending with a potent confluence of psychological stressors.The weather is getting colder. The holidays are over, and bills are coming due. Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts. It's been nearly a year since people have been able to safely socialize with their friends.And forget about those New Year's resolutions to go to the gym. That's not even an option in many parts of the country. Some people are also indulging in "temporary fixes" such as food and alcohol to distract themselves from the dolor of the pandemic, Eaton said, rather than engaging in diversions that have been proven to lift people's spirits."Canadians are not turning to physical activity to help with their mental health," said Leigh Vanderloo, an exercise scientist with non-profit Participaction. "There seems to be a disconnect. We know it helps, but we don't necessarily do it."According data collected by Participaction, Canadians are more likely to cope with the anxieties of life under lockdown through sedentary activities, such as increased screen time, rather than by getting active.But research suggests that all it takes is a single bout of physical activity to release neurochemicals that lift one's mood, Vanderloo said.You don't have to commit to an intense training routine or invest in expensive equipment to see the benefits of exercise, she said. The key is to find an activity you enjoy, whether that's a stroll outdoors or a brief dance break.Vanderloo said it's also important to spend a few minutes moving for every hour you spend sitting. She encouraged desk dwellers to find ways to sneak in steps during the workday, such as pacing while on phone calls.The key is consistency, said Vanderloo, and in such uncertain times, an exercise routine can offer some much-needed structure."It might take a little bit of trial and error. But there's certainly an activity out there for everyone."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020. Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
Susan Walsh isn't a documentarian nor an experienced renovator of historic homes, but in the last few months she has become both — and if her Facebook posts are a testament, she's pretty darn good at them. Walsh and her husband own and run a mixed farm of beef cattle, poultry and grains in Burnt Point, P.E.I., near Georgetown. She's also a part-time librarian. When their long-time neighbour's farm property became available for sale this summer, they decided to buy it, including the more than 120-year-old house. "Originally, we didn't even know what we would do — keep the land and then resell the house? I took a walk through its extensive grounds and the house itself, just an old house, great bones and great atmosphere and I went, 'No, I think we need to keep this house,'" Walsh said. It's called the Mair homestead, and was last owned by Colin (Collie) Mair, who died this past June at age 87. He'd grown up in the home with his six brothers and sisters. Many Mair descendants are still living, and Walsh has invited them and anyone else who is interested to watch and weigh in on renovations as she documents them on a Facebook page, Mair Homestead. My cousins and I are very happy to see the house we spent so much time in as children being restored by loving hands. — Jayne Ings "There was an older house on the farm that burned, this house was built around 1890," said descendant Jayne Ings, whose mother Connie grew up in the house. "James and Margaret Allen Mair were the first Mairs on the farm. She was from Boughton Island. Their son George married my grandmother, Doris Hearn, who emigrated from England in 1925," Ings said. Their children were Connie, Allen, George Keith and Anna Rosemary (George and Anna were nicknamed Jack and Jill because they were twins), Charles (Tim), and Colin. Doris Mair died in 2003. 'A very personal thing' Walsh is happy to have an ongoing conversation with the Mair descendants, she said. "It's really awesome, it just really makes the house — it brings it back to life," Walsh said. "That was a big thing right from the beginning, when we decided to purchase the house and the land, was to speak to the extended family just to make sure that they were OK that we were going to do some work, out of simple respect ... it was a very personal thing for me." Walsh grew up in neighbouring Nova Scotia and her parents only recently decided to sell the farm that had been in her family for 170 years, so she said she has a tender spot for historic family homes. "It was almost like losing one special old home and gaining another," Walsh said. "We just saw the potential in it." Walsh said it's important to her to respect and honour what the house stood for and the Mair family "who loved that house for over 100 years." While updating things like wiring, plumbing and insulation, Walsh said they are trying to keep the renovation authentic in look and spirit, keeping "the heart and the spirit of the house intact." 'I think it's wonderful' Ings has fond memories of visiting the Mair homestead and her grandparents George and Doris over the years. "My cousins and I are very happy to see the house we spent so much time in as children being restored by loving hands. We can also go visit!" Ings said, adding the Walsh family has a long history of farming and friendship with the Mair family, as both spent several generations there. I've had lots of people follow along and lots of people with really good ideas! — Susan Walsh Ings follows the renovations on Facebook, commenting on Walsh's posts about people whose names turn up written on layers of old wallpaper or on handwritten letters found in the walls. "I think it's wonderful," Ings said of the ability to see and comment on the renovations. 'I'm all about the sharing' The sale to the Walshes went through in September, and they began renovations shortly thereafter. With the help of a couple of hired hands and helpful friends along the way, Walsh has been actively tackling the renovation herself, including swinging a sledge hammer and putting on a proper mask for removing fibreglass insulation mixed with decades of dust. What else would you expect from a woman who climbed partway up Mt. Everest in Nepal a couple of years ago? "I just had a maul and crowbar and started gutting it," she said. "We've just kind of been winging it." Walsh decided to document the home's journey on Facebook, sharing with friends and strangers far and wide — New Zealand, the U.S. and Europe, as well as all over Canada — and also as a sort of personal journal of the work and the transformation, she said. "I know a lot of people enjoy that kind of thing — I thought, why not share this journey?" she said. "I've had lots of people follow along and lots of people with really good ideas! "It's just made it lots of fun, and I'm all about the sharing." With people unable to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, connections like this are even more important, Walsh said. Stripping 8 layers of wallpaper Walsh said she also wants to show that saving an old house isn't that difficult. One man from the U.S. who used to come to visit the area every summer and was friends with Collie Mair has joined in the page's discussion. He used to take Mair for drives, and said Mair was dismayed when he'd see old Island homesteads falling to ruin, and said he hoped that never happened to his house. Walsh said if she hadn't started the page, she wouldn't have known that. So far, they've trimmed hundreds of trees on the property to enhance the sightline to the Northumberland Strait and hung an outdoor swing. The house's classic exterior white clapboard and black shutters will remain largely the same for now, Walsh said. Inside the house, most rooms have been demolished to the studs, wallpaper stripped and plaster and lath (thin wood strips that held plaster in place) removed, then spray-foam insulated and drywalled. Ceilings and floors have been removed, and plywood sub-floor laid. A wall was removed in the kitchen to expand it, and upstairs three small bedrooms have become two larger ones, with ceilings removed to allow light from attractive original third-floor windows. Beams that once supported the attic are now exposed for a rustic touch in the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom. The one piece of furniture that remained in the house, a vintage pump organ, has pride of place in the front formal parlour where the Mairs would have entertained the local minister or ladies' groups. With its wooden mantelpiece, the room will likely become a quiet library, Walsh said. They are saving all of the hand-hewn beams that were removed from the house, as well as the laths — Walsh said they plan to repurpose them into furniture and other creations. They've also saved bits of patterned linoleum flooring, and wallpaper — eight layers in one room — and plan to frame some of the pretty, historic pieces. 'Just to show respect' During demolition, Walsh and her crew have discovered a treasure trove of P.E.I. history in the walls and hidden under floorboards. She has documented the many finds, including coins dating back more than 100 years, silver spoons, handwritten letters, cigarette packages, pieces of furniture, magazines and many old glass bottles. The biggest thing is just to be very present in the moment with a project like that — you can't look at the big picture. — Susan Walsh There was even a book from 1916 that in its dedication spelled the name Miar rather than Mair, which a descendant commented on Facebook may have been the original spelling back then. Walsh has placed some of the finds on the parlour mantel, along with offerings of fresh flowers and candy to honour the Mair ancestors. "I know some people think that's a bunch of hogwash, but for me it was just a nice thing to be able to do," she said. "Just to show respect." 'Super overwhelming' Walsh said she is not sure what exactly they plan to do with the house and grounds, which include many large shade trees, a view of the Northumberland Strait, and a large barn from the 1940s which they'd also love to restore someday. They might rent it out as a venue for events like weddings, or keep it in their family— they have three children — for when guests come to visit. Walsh said she and her husband might move into it too. They're planning for the renovations to be complete in the spring or summer, but she's not rushing anything. "For me the biggest thing is just to be very present in the moment with a project like that — you can't look at the big picture, because it becomes super overwhelming," Walsh said. She said she considers one project at a time, like painting a room, and tries to enjoy it. More from CBC P.E.I.
The debate about the U.S. Electoral College pits those who think the president should be chosen via popular vote versus those who believe the interests of small and large states must be balanced.
Britain's government hopes to ease some lockdown restrictions in March as it presses ahead with Europe's fastest rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday. "What we want to do is get out of this national lockdown as soon as possible," Raab told Sky News television. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a target of vaccinating the oldest age groups, the clinically vulnerable and frontline workers - roughly 14 million people - by the middle of February.
BEIJING — The coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in eastern China, prompting a recall of cartons from the same batch, according to the government. The Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. in Tianjin, adjacent to Beijing, was sealed and its employees were being tested for the coronavirus, a city government statement said. There was no indication anyone had contracted the virus from the ice cream. Most of the 29,000 cartons in the batch had yet to be sold, the government said. It said 390 sold in Tianjin were being tracked down and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas. The ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said. The Chinese government has suggested the disease, first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food, though foreign scientists are skeptical. The Associated Press
NAIROBI, Kenya — From “emaciated” refugees to crops burned on the brink of harvest, starvation threatens the survivors of more than two months of fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The first humanitarian workers to arrive after pleading with the Ethiopian government for access describe weakened children dying from diarrhea after drinking from rivers. Shops were looted or depleted weeks ago. A local official told a Jan. 1 crisis meeting of government and aid workers that hungry people had asked for “a single biscuit.” More than 4.5 million people, nearly the region's entire population, need emergency food, participants say. At their next meeting on Jan. 8, a Tigray administrator warned that without aid, “hundreds of thousands might starve to death” and some already had, according to minutes obtained by The Associated Press. “There is an extreme urgent need — I don’t know what more words in English to use — to rapidly scale up the humanitarian response because the population is dying every day as we speak,” Mari Carmen Vinoles, head of the emergency unit for Doctors Without Borders, told the AP. But pockets of fighting, resistance from some officials and sheer destruction stand in the way of a massive food delivery effort. To send 15-kilogram (33-pound) rations to 4.5 million people would require more than 2,000 trucks, the meeting's minutes said, while some local responders are reduced to getting around on foot. The spectre of hunger is sensitive in Ethiopia, which transformed into one of the world's fastest-growing economies in the decades since images of starvation there in the 1980s led to a global outcry. Drought, conflict and government denial contributed to the famine, which swept through Tigray and killed an estimated 1 million people. The largely agricultural Tigray region of about 5 million people already had a food security problem amid a locust outbreak when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Nov. 4 announced fighting between his forces and those of the defiant regional government. Tigray leaders dominated Ethiopia for almost three decades but were sidelined after Abiy introduced reforms that won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict. More than 50,000 have fled into Sudan, where one doctor has said newer arrivals show signs of starvation. Others shelter in rugged terrain. A woman who recently left Tigray described sleeping in caves with people who brought cattle, goats and the grain they had managed to harvest. “It is a daily reality to hear people dying with the fighting consequences, lack of food,” a letter by the Catholic bishop of Adigrat said this month. Hospitals and other health centres, crucial in treating malnutrition, have been destroyed. In markets, food is “not available or extremely limited,” the United Nations says. Though Ethiopia's prime minister declared victory in late November, its military and allied fighters remain active amid the presence of troops from neighbouring Eritrea, a bitter enemy of the now-fugitive officials who once led the region. Fear keeps many people from venturing out. Others flee. Tigray’s new officials say more than 2 million people have been displaced, a number the U.S. government’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance calls “staggering.” The U.N. says the number of people reached with aid is “extremely low.” A senior Ethiopian government official, Redwan Hussein, did not respond to a request for comment on Tigray colleagues warning of starvation. In the northern Shire area near Eritrea, which has seen some of the worst fighting, up to 10% of the children whose arms were measured met the diagnostic criteria for severe acute malnutrition, with scores of children affected, a U.N. source said. Sharing the concern of many humanitarian workers about jeopardizing access, the source spoke on condition of anonymity. Near Shire town are camps housing nearly 100,000 refugees who have fled over the years from Eritrea. Some who have walked into town "are emaciated, begging for aid that is not available,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Thursday. Food has been a target. Analyzing satellite imagery of the Shire area, a U.K.-based research group found two warehouse-style structures in the U.N. World Food Program compound at one refugee camp had been “very specifically destroyed.” The DX Open Network could not tell by whom. It reported a new attack Saturday. It's challenging to verify events in Tigray as communications links remain poor and almost no journalists are allowed. In the towns of Adigrat, Adwa and Axum, “the level of civilian casualties is extremely high in the places we have been able to access,” the Doctors Without Borders emergency official Vinoles said. She cited the fighting and lack of health care. Hunger is “very concerning," she said, and even water is scarce: Just two of 21 wells still work in Adigrat, a city of more than 140,000, forcing many people to drink from the river. With sanitation suffering, disease follows. “You go 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the city and it’s a complete disaster,” with no food, Vinoles said. Humanitarian workers struggle to gauge the extent of need. “Not being able to travel off main highways, it always poses the question of what’s happening with people still off-limits,” said Panos Navrozidis, Action Against Hunger’s director in Ethiopia. Before the conflict, Ethiopia’s national disaster management body classified some Tigray woredas, or administrative areas, as priority one hotspots for food insecurity. If some already had high malnutrition numbers, “two-and-a-half months into the crisis, it’s a safe assumption that thousands of children and mothers are in immediate need," Navrozidis said. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network, funded and managed by the U.S., says parts of central and eastern Tigray are likely in Emergency Phase 4, a step below famine. The next few months are critical, John Shumlansky, the Catholic Relief Services representative in Ethiopia, said. His group so far has given up to 70,000 people in Tigray a three-month food supply, he said. Asked whether combatants use hunger as a weapon, one concern among aid workers, Shumlansky dismissed it by Ethiopian defence forces and police. With others, he didn’t know. “I don’t think they have food either, though,” he said. Cara Anna, The Associated Press
BELGRADE, Serbia — Vaccines from the West, Russia or China? Or none at all? That dilemma faces nations in southeastern Europe, where coronavirus vaccination campaigns are off to a slow start — overshadowed by heated political debates and conspiracy theories. In countries like the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania and Bulgaria, vaccine skeptics have included former presidents and even some doctors. Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic was among those who said he did not want to be forced to get inoculated. False beliefs that the coronavirus is a hoax or that vaccines would inject microchips into people have spread in the countries that were formerly under harsh Communist rule. Those who once routinely underwent mass inoculations are deeply split over whether to get the vaccines at all. “There is a direct link between support for conspiracy theories and skepticism toward vaccination,” a recent Balkan study warned. “A majority across the region does not plan to take the vaccine, a ratio considerably lower than elsewhere in Europe, where a majority favours taking the vaccine.” Only about 200,000 people applied for the vaccine in Serbia, a country of 7 million, in the days after authorities opened the procedure. By contrast, 1 million Serbians signed up for 100 euros ($120) on the first day the government offered the pandemic aid. Hoping to encourage vaccinations, Serbian officials have gotten their shots on TV. Yet they themselves have been split over whether to get the Western-made Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or Russia’s Sputnik V, more divisions in a country that is formally seeking European Union membership but where many favour closer ties with Moscow. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Saturday greeted a shipment of 1 million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, saying he will receive a shot to show that it is safe. “Serbs prefer the Russian vaccine,” read a recent headline of the Informer, a pro-government tabloid, as officials announced that 38% of those who have applied to take the shots favour the Russian vaccine, while 31% want the Pfizer-BioNTech version — a rough division among pro-Russians and pro-Westerners in Serbia. In neighbouring Bosnia, a war-torn country that remains ethnically divided among Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats, politics also are a factor, as the Serb-run half appeared set to opt for the Russian vaccine, while the Bosniak-Croat part likely will turn to the Western ones. Sasa Milovanovic, a 57-year-old real estate agent from Belgrade, sees all vaccines as part of the “global manipulation” of the pandemic. “People are locked up, they have no lives any longer and live in a state of hysteria and fear,” he said. Djokovic has said he was against being forced to take a coronavirus vaccine in order to travel and compete but was keeping his mind open. The top-ranked tennis player and his wife tested positive in June after a series of exhibition matches with zero social distancing that he organized in the Balkans. They and their foundation have donated 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to buy ventilators and other medical equipment for hospitals in Serbia. Serbian Health Ministry official Mirsad Djerlek has described the vaccine response as “satisfactory,” but cautioned on the state-run RTS broadcaster that “people in rural areas usually believe in conspiracy theories, and that is why we should talk to them and explain that the vaccine is the only way out in this situation.” A study by the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group, published before the regional vaccination campaign started in December, concluded that virus conspiracy theories are believed by nearly 80% of citizens of the Western Balkan countries striving to join the EU. About half of them will refuse to get vaccinated, it said. Baseless theories allege the virus isn’t real or that it’s a bioweapon created by the U.S. or its adversaries. Another popular falsehood holds that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is using COVID-19 vaccines to implant microchips in the planet's 7 billion people. A low level of information about the virus and vaccines, distrust in governments and repeated assertions by authorities that their countries are besieged by foreigners help explain the high prevalence of such beliefs, according to the Balkans think-tank . Similar trends have been seen even in some eastern European Union countries. In Bulgaria, widespread conspiracy theories hampered past efforts to deal with a measles outbreak. Surveys there suggested distrust of vaccines remains high even as coronavirus cases keep rising. A recent Gallup International poll found that 30% of respondents want to get vaccinated, 46% will refuse and 24% are undecided. Bulgarian doctors have tried to change attitudes. Dr. Stefan Konstantinov, a former health minister, joked that people should be told neighbouring Greece would close resorts to tourists who don't get vaccinated, because “this would guarantee that some 70% of the population would rush to get a jab.” In the Czech Republic, where surveys show some 40% reject vaccination, protesters at a big rally against government virus restrictions in Prague demanded that vaccinations not be mandatory. Former President Vaclav Klaus, a fierce critic of the government's pandemic response, told the crowd that vaccines are not a solution. “They say that everything will be solved by a miracle vaccine,” said the 79-year-old Klaus, who insists that people should get exposed to the virus to gain immunity, which experts reject. “We have to say loud and clear that there’s no such a thing. … I am not going to get vaccinated.” Populist authorities in Hungary have taken a hard line against virus misinformation, but rejection of vaccines is still projected at about 30%. Parliament passed emergency powers in March that allows authorities to prosecute anyone deemed to be “inhibiting the successful defence” against the virus, including “fearmongering” or spreading false news. At least two people who criticized the government's response to the pandemic on social media were arrested, but neither was formally charged. Romanian Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu said he is relying on family doctors to “inform, schedule and monitor people after the vaccine” and that his ministry will offer bonuses to medical workers based on the number of people they get onboard. Asked if such incentives would fuel anti-vaccination propaganda, Voiculescu said: “I am interested more by the doctors’ view on the matter than I am about the anti-vaxxers.” Dr. Ivica Jeremic, who has worked with virus patients in Serbia since March and tested positive himself in November, hopes vaccination programs will gain speed once people overcome their fear of the unknown. "People will realize the vaccine is the only way to return to normal life,” he said. ___ Associated Press writers Veselin Toshkov in Sofia, Bulgaria; Karel Janicek in Prague, Czech Republic; Justin Spike in Budapest, Hungary; and Vadim Ghirda in Bucharest, Romania, contributed. —- Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Dusan Stojanovic And Jovana Gec, The Associated Press
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. U.S. defence officials told The Associated Press those troops would be vetted by the FBI to ward off any threat of an insider attack on the inauguration. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. "I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities "continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah's new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups" had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon's Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada's Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer's knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building's first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. "The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press
This story is part of Stopping Domestic Violence, a CBC News series looking at the crisis of intimate partner violence in Canada and what can be done to end it. Ashley McVean wasn't quite ready to go to police about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former partner. But when she went to the emergency room with neck pain and evidence of strangulation, she hoped someone would notify law enforcement for her. That never happened. Strangulation is one of the most dangerous types of abuse that victims of intimate partner violence can endure. But doctors, nurses, paramedics and other first responders are not required to tell police if they suspect a person has been choked. Members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's intimate partner violence unit say reporting suspected cases of strangulation should be mandatory. "It can just be seconds between life and death," said Malin Enström, crime analyst with the IPV unit. "It's a great concern." There is currently no federal or provincial legislation that requires first responders to report cases of domestic violence involving adults to a relevant third party. There is, however, a legal obligation under Newfoundland and Labrador's Children, Youth and Families Act to report incidents that place children at risk of abuse or neglect. People present at the emergency rooms are crying out for help but they don't get it because it's not mandatory for them to report it to us. - Const. Lindsay Dillon In this province, emergency rooms are obliged to notify police about stabbings and shootings. Const. Lindsay Dillon and Const. Nadia Churchill say that doesn't go far enough to protect victims of abuse at home. "Anything to do with the neck is a lethality factor when it comes to domestic violence," Churchill said. If the unit receives a new case involving a couple and a neck injury is involved, it automatically is given a higher priority. "The issue with strangulation and choking is that you come very close to death sometimes, and there are many studies out there that show the long-term effects of strangulation," said Dillon. "When someone presents with a gunshot wound and stab wound and it's reported to us, great, but choking and strangulation should be up there too because when you look at the dangers involved in that, it's huge." Dillon said they often hear of cases similar to McVean's, where the victim isn't ready to speak to police but hopes the attending medical staff will pass along their findings to the RNC. "People present at the emergency rooms are crying out for help but they don't get it because it's not mandatory for them to report it to us." The IPV unit has been working to address strangulation being included in mandatory reporting on both provincial and federal levels of government, including community partners. 'A very complex issue' The mandatory reporting of gunshots and stab wounds has been in effect in Newfoundland and Labrador since 2015. The House of Assembly passed the law in 2011, but it was not enacted until four years later. In a statement, the province's Department of Justice said, "The idea of adding strangulation to that list is a very complex issue and one that requires more research and consultation with stakeholders before legislative changes are considered." The department highlighted a series of other recent initiatives aimed at reducing violence, including electronic monitoring and a suite of legislative changes. Provincial officials said they are "watching with great interest" the progress of Bill S-249, and noted that the federal approach "will inform our analysis here." That bill — called the National Strategy for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act — was introduced in the Senate in 2018. It was a private member's bill spearheaded by Newfoundland and Labrador Senator Fabian Manning, and would have resulted in the creation of a national strategy or blueprint dealing with the issue of intimate partner violence. One of the things Manning highlighted during debate was reporting regulations for potential cases of abuse. He noted that if a woman arrives at a hospital in many parts of the country with a gunshot wound or has been stabbed, it is mandatory to call the police. "If that same woman arrives at a hospital tonight with two black eyes, a broken nose, her front teeth missing, and evidence of choking or strangulation from the physical abuse of her partner, there is no obligation or law to call the police," Manning said during debate in the Senate in 2018. "I find that absolutely absurd." Bill S-249 made it to second reading in the Senate, before being dropped from the order paper when Parliament dissolved in advance of the 2019 federal election. Manning told CBC News he has since drafted a new bill, along the same lines of the one that had previously been introduced. But it hasn't been tabled yet, and may not be any time soon, because of the pandemic and possibility of a looming federal election that would send the process back to the drawing board. He said he continues to meet with individuals who are advocating for legislation to tackle domestic violence. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ If you need help and are in immediate danger, call 911. To find assistance in your area, visit sheltersafe.ca or endingviolencecanada.org. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
When Masjid Toronto first agreed to host seminars on addiction back in 2015, organizers weren't sure anyone would show up. "When we started off, there was skepticism," said Mohsin Syed, then the assistant manager of the downtown Toronto mosque. In fact, the subject was considered so delicate that participants were not told what the specific topic being discussed would be. To Syed's surprise, as the seminar series continued, the number of attendees grew and grew. In fact, "we were ... so packed in that basement that our air conditioning was not enough," he told CBC Toronto. Masjid Toronto was one of nine GTA mosques that hosted the seminar series, which aimed to tackle misconceptions and reduce stigma around addiction in Muslim communities. "After each seminar, we would get a lineup of people asking for resources, or discussing their cousin, their family, their friends," said Dr. Ahmed Hassan. Hassan, an addiction psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, spearheaded the events and then wrote about them in a study published this month in the Community Mental Health Journal. He lists several reasons why stigma around addiction can be prevalent in Muslim communities, including belief that addiction is sinful and shameful. "We wanted to address the stigma through this psycho-educational program," said Hassan of the 90-minute sessions. "We would dig deep in the content, and integrate Islamic teachings." For Syed at Masjid Toronto, that integration of a religious lens was critical. "Because these acts are already a sin — people are very afraid to talk about it," he explained. By having religious leaders participate in the seminars, Syed said, it "created a sense of comfort for the community. This is not just coming from a medical doctor who wants to do a diagnosis." Study hopes to inspire more outreach Religious teaching "agrees with science. And then [participants] see it more as a disease rather than a sin," said Hassan. According to his study, the approach was successful, resulting in a "significant reduction" of stigma. Post-seminar, nearly half of participants said they were interested in learning more about addiction science, and two-thirds felt more motivated to help family and friends dealing with substance-use disorder. Hassan hopes the study could open the door to more outreach inside of mosques, potentially tackling an even wider range of topics. "Trauma, PTSD ... I don't think [those issues] have been openly discussed in the community," said Hassan.
Why is the National Capital Commission going ahead with plans to open the Rideau Canal Skateway? What clinic for Ottawa's homeless people has had to temporarily close? And what aspect of the COVID-19 response is frustrating the chief of Kitigan Zibi? These are just a few of the questions designed to vex and perplex you in this week's CBC Ottawa news quiz. On a desktop computer? For the best quiz-taking experience, click on the arrows in the bottom right-hand corner of the quiz widget to expand it.
India's COVID-19 vaccination drive was still facing some delays on Sunday after it hit a bump on the first day due to glitches in an app used to coordinate the campaign, according to officials in some states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on Saturday what his government has described as the "world's largest vaccination programme". It aims to vaccinate around 300 million people to curb the pandemic in India, which has reported the second highest number of coronavirus cases after the United States.
At least 56 people have died in the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which hit Sulawesi island on Friday nightView on euronews
KABUL — Gunmen fired on a car in northern Kabul on Sunday, killing two women judges who worked for Afghanistan's high court and wounding the driver, a court official said. It was the latest attack in the Afghan capital during peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government officials in Qatar. Supreme Court of Afghanistan spokesman Ahmad Fahim Qawim, said the women were judges who worked for the high court but he did not identify them by name. No one claimed responsibility for the attack and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group wasn't responsible. The Afghan government has repeatedly blamed the Taliban for targeted killings in recent months and the insurgent group accuses the government of staging the killings to spoil the peace process. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital in recent months, including on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students. IS has also claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in December targeting the major U.S. base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties. The Taliban and the Afghan government earlier this month resumed peace talks in Qatar. Negotiations were off to a slow start as the insurgent group continues attacks on Afghan government forces while keeping their promise not to attack U.S. and NATO troops. Tameem Akhgar, The Associated Press
Recent developments: Another 123 cases of COVID-19 and one death were recorded in Ottawa on Sunday, Some 9,000 road tests have been cancelled in eastern Ontario. The province is pushing back the timeline for the second dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. What's the latest? Health officials in the nation's capital recorded 123 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the second lowest daily-case total of the past seven days. The virus has also killed another person, according to Ottawa Public Health (OPH), raising the city's death toll to 403. Another 22 cases and three more deaths were also recorded in the Outaouais. With Ontario under a stay-at-home order, some 9,000 road tests have been cancelled in eastern Ontario — and licence-seekers are facing long waits to get those tests rebooked. Provincial health officials say the second dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will now be pushed back from 21 to 27 days for those in long-term care or retirement homes or those caring for seniors — and possibly even longer for other recipients. The change is because Pfizer-BioNTech will delivering fewer vaccines to Canada in the near future as it reworks some of its production lines. Those who've received the Moderna vaccine will see no change. How many cases are there? As of Sunday, 12,286 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic. There are 1,274 known active cases, 10,609 resolved cases and 403 deaths from COVID-19. Public health officials have reported more than 21,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 19,000 resolved cases. One hundred and three people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 142 people have died in western Quebec. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch. What can I do? Ontario says people must only leave home when it's essential to avoid more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. People who leave home for non-essential reasons can now be fined, though police won't be stopping people just for being outside. Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning. Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five. It's strongly recommended people stick to their own households. People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household. Outdoor recreation venues remain open. In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery. The province will announce by Wednesday which schools can offer general in-person learning. The Ottawa-Carleton School Board has said it won't bring that back for secondary schools until at least Feb. 1. Child-care centres remain open. The lockdown rules are in place until at least Feb. 11. WATCH | 'We cannot police our way out of this pandemic,' says doctor In western Quebec, residents are also being asked to stay home unless it's essential and not see anyone they don't live with, with an exception for people living alone. They can visit one other home. Quebec's 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is now in effect, with fines of up to $6,000 for breaking the rules. The province has shut down non-essential businesses and has extended secondary school closures until later this week. Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged. Those rules are in place until Feb. 8. Distancing and isolating The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms. This means it's important to take precautions like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with — even with a mask on. Masks, preferably with three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Ontario and Quebec. Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands. Anyone returning to Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days. Air travellers have to show recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Symptoms and vaccines COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children can develop a rash. If you have severe symptoms, call 911. Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help. COVID-19 vaccines have been given to health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the Ottawa-Gatineau area. The exception for now is Renfrew County, which says it expects its first doses in early February. Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15. In Ottawa, it's now expected the second phase of vaccination, which includes older adults and essential workers, will begin closer to April. The province is aiming to have vaccines widely available to the public in August, and Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by then. Quebec has a somewhat controversial policy of giving a single dose to as many people as possible rather than giving fewer people two doses. It says people will get their second dose within 90 days. As of Jan. 14, western Quebec's health authority had given out about 4,400 doses. It says it will have reached all of its long-term care homes by early this week. Where to get tested In eastern Ontario: Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment. Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you've been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria. People without symptoms but part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one. Ottawa has 10 permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. Its Alexandria and Casselman sites are temporarily closed. People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile clinic. Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions. Kingston's main test site is at the Beechgrove Complex, another is in Napanee. In western Quebec: Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts. Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave. Buckingham. They can check the wait time for the Saint-Raymond site. There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation. Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby. First Nations, Inuit and Métis: Akwesasne has had at least 116 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and five deaths. More than 230 people have tested positive across the community. Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Kitigan Zibi logged its first case in mid-December and has had a total of 18. The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte had its only confirmed case in November. People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603. Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays. For more information
TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $5 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw. However, the draw's guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in Ontario. The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Jan. 20 will be approximately $6 million. The Canadian Press
The demonstrations in Siliana and other cities began after a video posted on social media showed a police officer shouting and pushing a shepherd whose sheep entered the local government headquarters.View on euronews