New modelling data presented by federal officials today shows that the coronavirus is travelling farther, faster in Canada. The numbers are bleak in the short term: as many as 100,000 infections and 2,000 deaths in the next 10 days.
New modelling data presented by federal officials today shows that the coronavirus is travelling farther, faster in Canada. The numbers are bleak in the short term: as many as 100,000 infections and 2,000 deaths in the next 10 days.
Police were out in force early and opened fire in different parts of the biggest city of Yangon after stun grenades, tear gas and shots in the air failed to break up crowds. Several wounded people were hauled away by fellow protesters, leaving bloody smears on pavements, media images showed. "Police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force that – according to credible information received by the UN Human Rights Office – has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded," the U.N. human rights office said.
(Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/The Associated Press - image credit) Health Canada's approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India's version to prevent COVID-19 in adults follows similar green lights from regulators in the United Kingdom, Europe Union, Mexico and India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, called ChAdOx1, was approved for use in Canada on Friday following clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil that showed a 62.1 per cent efficacy in reducing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 cases among those given the vaccine. Experts have said any vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50 per cent could help stop outbreaks. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said the key number across all of the clinical trials for those who received AstraZeneca's product was zero — no deaths, no hospitalizations for serious COVID-19 and no deaths because of an adverse effect of the vaccine. "I think Canada is hungry for vaccines," Sharma said in a briefing. "We're putting more on the buffet table to be used." Specifically, 64 of 5,258 in the vaccination group got COVID-19 with symptoms compared with people in the control group given injections (154 of 5,210 got COVID-19 with symptoms). Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, called it a positive move to have AstraZeneca's vaccines added to Canada's options. "Even though the final efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine appears lower than what we have with the mRNA vaccines, it's still reasonably good," Hota said. "What we need to be focusing on is trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated so we can prevent the harms from this." Canada has an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 20 million doses as well as between 1.9 million and 3.2 million doses through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX. WATCH | AstraZeneca vaccine overview: Canada will also receive 2 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the government announced Friday. Here's a look at some common questions about the vaccine, how it works, in whom and how it could be rolled out. What's different about this shot? The Oxford-AstraZeneca is cheaper and easier to handle than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at ultracold temperatures to protect the fragile genetic material. AstraZeneca says its vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C) for at least six months. (Moderna's product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures for 30 days after thawing.) The ease of handling could make it easier to administer AstraZeneca's vaccine in rural and remote areas of Canada and the world. "There are definitely some advantages to having multiple vaccine candidates available to get to as many Canadians as possible," Hota said. Sharma said while the product monograph notes that evidence for people over age 65 is limited, real-world data from countries already using AstraZeneca's vaccine suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups. "We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that would have been over 80 and that has shown significant drop in hospitalizations," Sharma said, based on a preprint. Data from clinical trials is more limited compared with in real-world settings that reflect people from different age groups, medical conditions and other factors. How does it work? Vaccines work by training our immune system to recognize an invader. The first two vaccines to protect against COVID-19 that were approved for use in Canada deliver RNA that encodes the spike protein on the surface of the pandemic coronavirus. Health-care workers Diego Feitosa Ferreira, right, and Clemilton Lopes de Oliveira travel on a boat in the state of Amazonas in Brazil, on Feb. 12, to vaccinate residents with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures, which facilitates its use in remote areas. In contrast, the AstraZeneca vaccine packs the genetic information for the spike protein in the shell of a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. Vaccine makers altered the adenovirus so it can't grow in humans. Viral vector vaccines mimic viral infection more closely than some other kinds of vaccines. One disadvantage of viral vectors is that if a person has immunity toward a particular vector, the vaccine won't work as well. But people are unlikely to have been exposed to a chimpanzee adenovirus. AstraZeneca is working on reformulating its vaccine to address more transmissible variants of coronavirus. How and where could it be used? Virologist Eric Arts at Western University in London, Ont., said vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, which is also under review by Health Canada, and Russian Sputnik-V vaccines all have some similarities. "I do like the fact that AstraZeneca has decided to continue trials, to work with the Russians on the Sputnik-V vaccine combination," said Arts, who holds the Canada Research Chair in HIV pathogenesis and viral control. Boxes with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at St. Mary's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Health Canada says the vaccine is given by two separate injections of 0.5 millilitres each into the muscle of the arm. "The reason why I'm encouraged by it is I think there might be greater opportunity to administer those vaccines in low- to middle-income countries. We need that. I think our high-income countries have somewhat ignored the situation that is more significant globally." Researchers reported on Feb. 2 in the journal Lancet that in a Phase 3 clinical trial involving about 20,000 people in Russia, the two-dose Sputnik-V vaccine was about 91 per cent effective and appears to prevent inoculated individuals from becoming severely ill with COVID-19. WATCH | Performance of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far: There were 16 COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group (0.1 per cent or 16/14,964) and 62 cases (1.3 per cent or [62/4,902) in the control group. No serious adverse events were associated with vaccination. Most adverse events were mild, such as flu-like symptoms, pain at injection site and weakness or low energy. Arts and other scientists acknowledged the speed and lack of transparency of the Russian vaccination program. But British scientists Ian Jones and Polly Roy wrote in an accompanying commentary that the results are clear and add another vaccine option to reduce the incidence of COVID-19.
The Canadian Medical Association has nominated its first Indigenous president-elect. Dr. Alika Lafontaine of Grand Prairie, Alta., is set to be confirmed as the CMA's president-elect at an annual general meeting in August. The association's presidency is rotated among the provinces, and Alberta's doctors chose Lafontaine, who has Anishinaabe, Cree, Metis and Pacific Islander ancestry. The CMA says he was born in Treaty 4 territory in southern Saskatchewan. The association notes that Lafontaine co-led the Indigenous Health Alliance from 2013 to 2017, a "health transformation project" involving 150 First Nations and several national health organizations. Once Lafontaine's nomination is ratified at the August meeting, he will officially become president-elect. His presidency is set to begin in August 2022. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the office of an Opposition legislature member. His denunciation came on Saturday shortly after Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words "Antifa Liar." Kenney issued a social media post Saturday saying that while there are "countless ways" to register disagreement with a lawmaker, but "vandalism is not one of them." He also noted that "many other MLA offices have been vandalized in recent months" and condemned those responsible. The premier was criticized for taking days to denounce anti-lockdown demonstrators who marched in Edmonton last weekend, some carrying tiki torches, which Opposition Leader Rachel Notley said are widely considered symbols of white supremacy and racism in that context. The NDP leader issued a tweet of her own some time after Kenney's, saying all forms of racism, misogyny and hate should be called out and she was proud to have Irwin on her team. Irwin, who is her party's critic for women and LGBTQ issues, said on Twitter that the vandalism has left her "sad and angry," but added her feelings are just "a fraction" of what members of racialized groups and other marginalized communities feel every day. Irwin said she's reported the incident to police and plans to talk with them about the possibility it may be connected to previous hateful messages she's received. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
TUCSON, Ariz. — Mike Weir went on a back-nine birdie binge to take control of the Cologuard Classic. Phil Mickelson waded into the mud for the second straight day and will have to dig out of a deep hole if he’s going to make history. Weir shot a 5-under 67 to build a two-shot lead in the Cologuard Classic on Saturday, leaving Mickelson with a lot of ground to make up to win his third straight PGA Tour Champions start. “I can’t recall a time where I’ve hit so many shots close to the hole,” Weir said. “I’ve hit really a lot of shots that have been almost tap-in to just outside of tap-in. My wedges have been very good, even mid iron game’s been very good, and I’m driving it good.” Weir shot 66 in the opening round and had eight birdies in breezy conditions at tricky Tucson National. The Canadian left-hander was at 13 under, with Kevin Sutherland second heading into the final round. Tim Petrovic became the second player in PGA Tour Champions history to have a hole-in-one in consecutive rounds with an ace on No. 14. He was 8 under after a 67. Mickelson is bidding to become the first player to win his first three career starts on a PGA Tour-sanctioned tour. The five-time major champion was nine shots back after a 72 that included a second straight day of hitting out of the mud on No. 15. Mickelson was the last amateur to win a PGA Tour event as 20-year-old in Tucson 30 years ago, but has burned the edges of holes through two days in his return. “I really don’t know what to say other than it just was fractionally off the whole time,” he said. “I thought I hit a lot of good shots that just weren’t ending up close and I just wasn’t able to score. I scored terribly today, obviously, and relative to how I play.” Lefty hit into the large wash dissecting the course for the second straight day, pulling a drive on the par-5 second after doing the same on No. 13 Friday. He had a stretch of three birdies in four holes after the double bogey on No. 2 and another on the par-5 12th when he got up and down from a greenside bunker. Mickelson hit out of the mud on the par-5 15th in Friday's opening round after a 5-iron rolled farther than he expected and trickled into the pond on the dogleg right. He hit driver in the second round and ended up with the same result when his ball landed on the fairway and caromed hard right. Mickelson left his shoes on for his mud shot in Friday's round and made a 4-foot birdie putt after slopping it out. He opted to take his shoes off for his second muddy go-round and had another birdie chance despite spraying himself with mud, only to watch the putt slide by the hole. “I’m doing something wrong, so I've got to fix that,” he said. “I don’t know what to say. I hit two really good shots that have both ended up in the water. I can easily play more left, but then I can’t get there. Then I can’t get that second shot there and I’m trying to make a 4.” Weir shot 1-under 35 on the front nine before going on a birdie binge. The 2003 Masters champion ran off a string of seven birdies in eight holes to start the back nine, but a pulled approach shot on the par-4 18th led to a bogey. Petrovic had an ace on No. 16 in the opening round and pulled off rare consecutive-day aces on the 186-yard 14th Saturday. Petrovic raised his hands in the air as the handful of fans cheered, then curled up into a fetal position on the tee box after watching another improbable ace. The only other PGA Tour Champions player with aces in consecutive rounds was Graham Marsh at the 2004 Senior British Open. “I heard someone say, “Go in,” and I’m like, `No, it can’t -- there’s no way, I just had one yesterday, and it’s been six years since I had the one before that,'” Petrovic said. “I just flopped on the ground and then I kind of got in the fetal position. That’s all I could do.” Sutherland had four birdies and eagled the par-5 17th to shoot a bogey-free 67. Scott Parel was three shots off the lead after a bogey-free 67 that included five birdies. John Marshall, The Associated Press
LAGOS, Nigeria — Students, teachers and relatives abducted two weeks ago from a school in northern Nigeria have been freed. The students, teachers and family members were abducted Feb. 17 by gunmen from the Government Science College Kagara. Niger State Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello said he received 24 students, six staff and eight relatives on Saturday after they were released early in the morning. This number released differed from the 42 people that the governor had originally said were kidnapped by the attackers, indicating some may still be missing. The discrepancy was not explained. One of the students has been hospitalized for excessive exhaustion, he said, adding that the released will be medically checked and monitored for a few days before being reunited with family. Sani Bello said that joint efforts of security, traditional leaders and stakeholders helped secure the release. Their release was announced a day after police said gunmen had abducted 317 girls from a boarding school elsewhere in northern Nigeria, in Zamfara state. One resident said the gunmen also attacked a nearby military camp and checkpoint, preventing soldiers from interfering with the mass abduction. Several large groups of armed men operate in Zamfara state, described by the government as bandits, and are known to kidnap for money and to push for the release of their members from jail. Masauda Umar, 20, managed to escape from the school when the men arrived Friday. She told The Associated Press the bandits came to their sleeping quarters and after knocking on the main door, they hit the people who answered it and made everyone gather. “I was coming out from the door and I met somebody but ran back and hid under my bed,” she said. “I’m scared of going back to school because of what happened really got me scared but I will go back if the government tackles insecurity.” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday the government’s primary objective is to get all the school hostages returned safe, alive and unharmed. “We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he said. “Let bandits, kidnappers and terrorists not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government.” Nigeria has seen several such attacks and kidnappings over the years, notably the mass abduction in April 2014 by jihadist group Boko Haram of 276 girls from the secondary school in Chibok in Borno state. More than a hundred of the girls are still missing. In December, 344 students were abducted from the Government Science Secondary School Kankara in Katsina State. They were eventually released. Sam Olukoya, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Saturday it will appeal a judge’s ruling that found the federal government’s eviction moratorium was unconstitutional. Prosecutors filed a notice in the case on Saturday evening, saying that it was appealing the matter the to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevented had overstepped its authority and that the moratorium was unlawful. “Although the COVID-19 pandemic persists, so does the Constitution,” the judge wrote. The CDC eviction moratorium was signed in September by President Donald Trump and extended by President Joe Biden until March 31. Barker, who was nominated by Trump in 2018 to serve in the Eastern District of Texas, stopped short of issuing an injunction in the case. Several property owners had brought the litigation arguing that the federal government didn’t have the legal authority to stop evictions. “The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium,” Barker wrote. “It did not do so during the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic. Nor did it invoke such a power during the exigencies of the Great Depression. The federal government has not claimed such a power at any point during our Nation’s history until last year.” State and local governments had approved eviction moratoriums early in the pandemic for many renters, but many of those protections have already expired. To be eligible for protection, renters must have an income of $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate they’ve sought government help to pay rent; declare that they can’t pay because of COVID-19 hardships; and affirm that they are likely to become homeless if evicted. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
One of the provinces that's largely escaped the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly moved to stem a burgeoning outbreak on Saturday, while Canada's two long-standing virus hot spots marked a grim anniversary and braced to pass some sobering milestones in their respective fights against the pandemic. Prince Edward Island's newly announced "circuit-breaker" measures, which limit gathering sizes and social circles, are meant to clamp down on an outbreak of COVID-19 that officials believe is linked to the variant of the virus that first emerged in the United Kingdom. "We do seem to be stuck in this tangled spider's web of COVID and it won't really let us out of its grip," P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said Saturday. The measures come into effect Sunday and are set to last two weeks. They also prohibit indoor dining and receptions for weddings and funerals, while limiting occupancy in retail stores and gyms. The province counted six new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, all among people in their 20s. None of the cases are linked to travel outside the province. P.E.I. has had 127 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, 10 per cent of which are currently active. Ontario, meanwhile, is poised to cross the 300,000 case threshold on Sunday after the 1,185 new infections counted Saturday pushed the overall tally to 299,754. The province has been logging roughly 1,000 new cases per day in recent weeks. Ontario is also approaching 7,000 total deaths linked to the virus, with 6,960 recorded as of Saturday. Meanwhile Quebec, Ontario's neighbour to the east, marked one year since detecting its first case of COVID-19. In that time, it's seen 287,003 cases of the virus, including 858 that were announced Saturday. It also logged 13 more deaths for a total of 10,385. Elsewhere, New Brunswick reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, while Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador each added four. Manitoba recorded 88 new cases of the virus and four more deaths, while Saskatchewan counted five added deaths and 162 new cases. Alberta, meanwhile, reported six new deaths linked to COVID-19 and 415 new diagnoses. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — An Ontario cottage-country mayor called for a more flexible approach to COVID-19 containment on Saturday ahead of both new lockdown measures for his municipality and a sobering milestone in the province's efforts to curb virus transmission. The province's overall case count since the onset of the global pandemic inched towards 300,000, driven in part by rising numbers of infections linked to virus variants of concern. The 1,185 new infections added to the provincial total on Saturday pushed the overall tally to 299,754. The province, which has been logging around 1,000 new cases a day in recent weeks, is poised to cross the 300,000 threshold on Sunday. The rising number of cases tied to virus variants, which grew by 31 on Saturday, prompted the province to trigger a so-called "emergency brake" in the Thunder Bay and Muskoka Simcoe public health units on Friday in a bid to limit further transmission. The move didn't sit right with Bracebridge, Ont., Mayor Graydon Smith, who said the decision doesn't account for differences in infection rates within the Muskoka region. Smith wants the county's medical officer of health to treat Muskoka differently, saying most of the elevated infections are in the southern portion of the county in cities like Barrie, Ont. "While we recognize we're all one health unit, there are certainly different conditions and situations within that health unit that make us feel like we might be unduly affected by that blunt an instrument," Smith said in a telephone interview. Smith said the broad brush the government is deploying stands to harm local businesses struggling to get back on their feet after a provincewide stay-at-home order that only lifted two weeks ago. "I think business owners who have just been given an opportunity to get open and start functioning a little bit closer to normal right now are seeing that go away again, especially in the restaurant, beauty salon, gym side," he said. But another affected mayor said there were statistically sound reasons for a shift to the grey phase of the province's colour-coded pandemic response plan. Speaking ahead of the government's Friday announcement, Thunder Bay, Ont., Mayor Bill Mauro said the local public health unit had recorded more COVID-19 cases in February than throughout all of 2020. "We're in a difficult spot right now,'' he said at the time. "Clearly there is a situation here that we don't see ending in the near term.'' But even as two units prepare to see tighter public health restrictions take effect, such measures are set to ease in several other regions. The Niagara Region, Chatham-Kent, Middlesex-London, Southwestern, Haldimand-Norfolk, Huron Perth, and Grey Bruce will all move to less restrictive tiers of the province's pandemic response framework. Saturday's case counts showed long-standing COVID-19 hot spots continuing to lead the province in new infections. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Toronto saw 331 new cases in the past 24 hours, nearby Peel Region recorded 220 and York Region logged 119. Hospitalizations in the province declined by three to 680, with 276 patients in intensive care and 182 on a ventilator. Ontario is also nearing 7,000 total pandemic-related deaths, with the 16 reported on Saturday pushing the provincial total to 6,960. The province reached 200,000 cases 54 days ago on Jan. 5. Infection rates have slowed somewhat during that period — it took the province 47 days to progress from 100,000 to 200,000 total cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press
NEWCASTLE, England — Newcastle was denied a crucial win in its relegation battle in the English Premier League as Ruben Neves earned Wolverhampton a 1-1 draw on Saturday, the same score as the previous four matches between the teams. After Miguel Almiron struck the post for Newcastle in the first half, Jamaal Lascelles headed the hosts in front from Ryan Fraser's cross in the 52nd minute at St. James' Park. Neves replied with a header of his own in the 73rd, meeting Pedro Neto's cross with an effort that beat recalled Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. Newcastle moved level on points with Brighton but was only four ahead of third-to-last Fulham, whose game in hand is against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Both teams had chances to snatch victory in a late flurry, during which Wolves defender Romain Saiss unwittingly blocked Joelinton’s shot on the line and saw the ball spin agonizingly over the crossbar. Dubravka then turned substitute Fabio Silva’s point-blank header on to the crossbar in stoppage time. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
(CBC - image credit) The high number of reported sexual assaults in Regina in 2020 is worrying, but the head of the Regina Sexual Assault Centre says an increase in reporting is often a sign of increased awareness around sexual violence. The Regina Police Service released its year-end crime statistics for 2020 on Tuesday, listing 186 reported sexual assaults. That number is higher than the 10-year average of 149, but the numbers were already high in 2018 (when 200 sexual assaults were reported) and 2019 (189 sexual assaults). "There was a considerable increase in sort of that 2017, 2018 time period, which was … related to a lot more conversation in our communities about sexual violence, including the MeToo movement," said Lisa Miller, executive director of the Regina Sexual Assault Centre. "Oftentimes what we see is ... some spikes in reporting when there's public awareness around sexual violence, and then we will see it returning to a baseline again." According to the police statistics, the total number of sexual offences, which includes sexual assaults and other sex crimes, was up from 253 in 2019 to 264 in 2020. The Regina Sexual Assault Centre works often with people who never report the assault, according to Miller. The organization has been working with the Regina Police Service to determine what obstacles exist for people to reporting sexual assault. Regina police Chief Evan Bray says working with community partners might help people feel more comfortable coming forward. "We bring in people that work in the sexual assault field who will help people that are survivors of that crime, and will look at our investigations and provide input and advice to us," said Bray. COVID-19 and sexual violence While the high number of reported sexual assaults may suggest more people feel confident reporting these crimes, the COVID-19 pandemic might make others feel more vulnerable. "Predominantly women are making choices about whether it feels safer to stay in an abusive home or to go to a shelter where you're living communally with other people," said Miller. "We know that this increased risk for people considerably." The Regina Sexual Assault Centre offers help for people who have experienced sexual violence, including a 24-hour crisis line (306-352-0434), advocacy, and advice for people who are concerned or uncertain about reporting.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday Feb. 27, 2021. There are 864,196 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 864,196 confirmed cases (30,864 active, 811,372 resolved, 21,960 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,726 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 81.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,391 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,913. There were 45 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 330 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 47. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.78 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,328,440 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 981 confirmed cases (274 active, 701 resolved, six deaths). There were four new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 52.48 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 80 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 11. There was one new reported death Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 195,286 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 127 confirmed cases (13 active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There were six new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 8.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 101,073 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,638 confirmed cases (39 active, 1,534 resolved, 65 deaths). There were four new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 3.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 326,109 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,430 confirmed cases (42 active, 1,362 resolved, 26 deaths). There were two new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 5.37 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.33 per 100,000 people. There have been 235,465 tests completed. _ Quebec: 287,003 confirmed cases (7,973 active, 268,645 resolved, 10,385 deaths). There were 858 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 92.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,547 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792. There were 13 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 93 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 13. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 121.11 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,250,877 tests completed. _ Ontario: 299,754 confirmed cases (10,479 active, 282,315 resolved, 6,960 deaths). There were 1,185 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 71.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,755 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,108. There were 16 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 112 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.24 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,790,098 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,809 confirmed cases (1,208 active, 29,708 resolved, 893 deaths). There were 90 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 87.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 69. There were four new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 528,966 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,506 confirmed cases (1,548 active, 26,573 resolved, 385 deaths). There were 162 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 131.33 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,068 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 153. There were five new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 17 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 570,478 tests completed. _ Alberta: 133,203 confirmed cases (4,546 active, 126,774 resolved, 1,883 deaths). There were 415 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 102.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,468 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 353. There were six new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 65 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,387,838 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 79,262 confirmed cases (4,719 active, 73,188 resolved, 1,355 deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 91.67 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,923 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 418. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,910,966 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. 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 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,142 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 6.64 per 100,000 people. 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 14,451 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 356 confirmed cases (20 active, 335 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 50.82 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,615 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
Toronto police say a 37-year-old man has been charged in the death of his mother, who they allege died after calling first responders seeking help while walking in a west-end park. They say Kathleen Hatcher of Toronto was located in the trail area of King's Mill Park on Friday morning with significant injuries. Hatcher was transported to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Police spokesman Const. Alex Li says Colin Hatcher, the victim's son, is now facing a charge of second-degree murder in the case. He declined to release the cause of Kathleen Hatcher's death and says the investigation is ongoing. Li says anyone who may have witnessed the incident, which he says took place along a popular walking route, is being urged to come forward. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
A survey on experiences of racism in policing by the Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) was launched to mark Indigenous Justice Awareness Day. The survey is open to all Manitoba First Nations and will report on experiences of racism when dealing with police services across the province. “I’m proud to be launching this important and much-needed survey to better understand racism experienced by First Nation citizens in their encounters with police services in Manitoba,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels in a press release. “One of the great injustices is that the systems that are supposed to protect us can be themselves perpetrators of violence.” Indigenous Justice Awareness Day came from the fatal shooting when John Joseph (J.J.) Harper, a 37-year-old member of the Wasagamack Indian Band in the Island Lake area, was killed by the Winnipeg police in March 1988. Since 2017, an Indigenous person in Canada is 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than a non-racialized Canadian, according to a recent analysis. In the spring of 2020, three Indigenous people in Winnipeg were reported to have been fatally shot by Winnipeg police officers over the span of 10 days. On Feb. 14, William Ahmo from Sagkeeng First Nation died due to an incident with correctional officers at Headingley Correctional Institute. Through the survey, the SCO plans to examine the larger, systemic issue that has resulted in many of these unfortunate deaths. “We know that good data and reporting can lead to understanding and real change, which are both greatly needed,” said Daniels. “We have faced systemic racism for centuries now. It’s time for it to end. Indigenous lives matter, and we cannot take one more phone call or one more announcement of our people suffering or dying at the hands of the justice system.” All First Nations in Manitoba can access this survey at www,scoinc.mb.ca. The survey will only be open for six weeks starting Feb. 26. Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth acknowledged the police in Winnipeg have not always been on the right path and that their past actions and procedures have contributed to harming Indigenous people in the community. “Earlier in my tenure as chief, I formally apologized to the Indigenous community while testifying at the national MMIWG Inquiry. Accountability is necessary if there is to be reconciliation,” said Smyth on Friday. “There are many other community organizations and leaders who work tirelessly to provide services in our community. This is the kind of community engagement I see as important. Partnering with and supporting groups like this is the true essence of crime prevention through social development.” Smyth ensures that the police service will reflect the needs and expectations of the community through continued recruitment making sure the Winnipeg police reflect the diversity of the community, along with continued partnership and support of Indigenous service providers. Continued training and education will also take place to ensure Winnipeg police understand the generational trauma inflicted on people who have experienced colonization. “We are not perfect, and we will make mistakes, but we are on the right path to combat racism,” he added. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
People can view a spectacular projection display on the exterior of the two connected Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) - Qaumajuq buildings. The outdoor projections will feature contemporary artwork and imagery by Inuit artists along with Northern footage by Destination Nunavut, Travel Manitoba, and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Leading up to the Qaumajuq’s grand opening in late March, the display will be played between 6 and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays every 30 minutes until March 27. “We wanted to do something that would get the community excited about this historic opening, something that Winnipeggers could be inspired by during lockdown, all while showcasing Inuit artists,” said Amy Rebecca Harrison, Engagement Supervisor of the WAG on Tuesday. “The projections can be enjoyed outside from a safe distance while strolling past the gallery. Now that we're able to be open to the public again, visitors can enjoy both.” The series is curated by Jocelyn Piirainen, WAG-Qaumajuq Assistant Curator of Inuit Art, with video work by Glenn Gear and Zacharias Kunuk who are Inuit artists featured in Qaumajuq’s inaugural exhibition INUA. A video that uses archival footage from the NFB collection will also be displayed to show travellers coming together, children tending to the dog team, drum dancing as well as other Inuit artists and artworks. “It shows the importance of the qamotik ("sled") and the vastness and harshness of the arctic as crucial elements to the Inuit cultural heritage,” said Harrison. “Artist Geronimo Inutiq uses these archives as an opportunity to reconnect to Inuit heritage. These clips were selected by Geronimo to honour the ancestors and family members of artists and community members.” Inuk multimedia artist Geronimo Inutiq has also provided a dynamic soundscape throughout the display. The illumination will be on the WAG exterior wall facing Memorial Boulevard and the Qaumajuq facade facing St. Mary Avenue in downtown Winnipeg. Following the projections, a Northern Lights-inspired display will be presented outside the WAG-Qaumajuq buildings starting Feb. 28 on Sunday to Thursday nights until March 31. As well, the public can also enjoy two newly unveiled sculptures placed outside the buildings. One of the sculptures, Tuniigusiia/The Gift by Goota Ashoona, is a marble statue that is meant to reflect knowledge transfer through education and storytelling, as well as the important role played by teachers. The other sculpture is the Time to Play by Abraham Anghik Ruben, a large limestone carving of a family of bears playing. Visitors are advised to dress warmly as it might be cold while they walk around the buildings. This showcase is part of #Qaumajuq365, the Inuit art centre’s inaugural year. Qaumajuq aims to provide a new home for the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. “Qaumajuq is all about celebrating the North in the South, and this series of projections is an amazing example of that,” said Stephen D. Borys, Director & CEO of Winnipeg Art Gallery in a press release. “The light of Qaumajuq is shining brighter as we get closer to the opening of the Inuit art centre in just a few weeks, and we invite everyone to come out for this safe outdoor activity.” Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
Two regions in Ontario are being placed back into lockdown shortly after leaving the province’s strictest pandemic measure. This comes after a rise in the number of COVID-19 and B.1.1.7 variant cases. As Morganne Campbell reports, business owners appear to be at their wits end over the province's approach to managing the pandemic.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading. “The more vaccines that have high efficacy that we can get into play, the better,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said ahead of the FDA’s ruling. Shipments of a few million doses to be divided among states could begin as early as Monday. By the end of March, J&J has said it expects to deliver 20 million doses to the U.S., and 100 million by summer. J&J also is seeking authorization for emergency use of its vaccine in Europe and from the World Health Organization. Worldwide, the company aims to produce about 1 billion doses globally by the end of the year. On Thursday, the island nation of Bahrain became the first to clear its use. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Lauran Neergaard And Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press
(CBC - image credit) Stephen Welch has been in the book business for almost 40 years. For the last 15, he's operated his store on Saint-Viateur Street in Mile End, catering to the intellectuals and artists who make the neighbourhood a cultural hub. But now, facing a significant commercial rent hike, Welch says he's being forced out of his space. "At a certain point a buzz happens. And that's when large developers start to see that there's something going on on the street and want to get in on the action," he told CBC News. "You can be paying a fairly low rate as I was and then, when the lease is up, they can put it up as much as they want." Welch said his current lease ends in August, but when he tried to negotiate with the building's owner, real estate developer Shiller Lavy, they weren't able to come to an agreement. "I just said I want the same deal for two years and they said no, no no, we want the moon," said Welch. "I understand that Shiller Lavy is a business and they want to make money, that's what they're doing. But it doesn't have to be predatory and profits don't have to be so high as to alter and change the street." Developer Danny Lavy told CBC News in a phone interview that Welch's rent was originally low because he had a long-term lease with an outdated rate. He said the current hike amounts to an increase of about $1,500 per month. Lavy said he had no choice but to up the cost of rent for the bookstore because of what he pays in property taxes and insurance on the building. The storefront of S. W. Welch bookstore now has a 'for rent' sign in the window. For Welch, the hike comes after a particularly difficult financial year for non-essential businesses. "It's a pandemic, there's no tourists on the street, I was closed three months last year," he said. It's also the second time Welch has had to move because of increasing commercial rents. Welch was priced out of his previous location on St-Laurent Boulevard as real estate on the strip became more in demand. He added that small, independent shops like his give character to the neighbourhood and make it a destination. "You go to anywhere in Canada or the U.S., you go to the main strip, you're going to see exactly the same thing, the same big box stores, the same fast food stores. There's very little diversity. Holding onto diversity is a great thing if you can." Stephen Welch said he tried to negotiate with his landlord, but they were not able to come to an arrangement. More protections needed, says city councillor Welch said he'd like the province to bring in new legislation to protect small businesses from being driven out of trendy areas. Richard Ryan, city councillor for Mile End, told CBC News that there is a provincial registry designed to monitor commercial rent increases but it's not mandatory. He said making this registry mandatory was a key recommendation following city consultations on vacant storefronts in commercial areas. Ryan added that this is not the first time businesses in the area have suffered and closed due to sudden rental increases. He gave the example of the indie cafe and event space Le Cagibi, which was formerly located at the corner of St-Laurent Boulevard at St-Viateur Street. The business was forced to close and relocate to Little Italy due to a similar substantial rent increase. Lorraine Lévesque is the owner of Bohême Vintage in Mile End. Across the street from S. W. Welch, a vintage clothing store owner said she's worried the Mile End is losing a lot of the character that makes it unique. Lorraine Lévesque has been in business in the same spot since 1997, and has seen a shift recently. "It's been really bad. Because you can see vacant stores all the time, and it's just, it's killing the neighbourhood," said Lévesque. Lévesque said if the Mile End is to retain its characteristic charm, there needs to be limits on commercial rents the way there are on residential properties in Quebec. "We would wish that someone with some power could do something."
CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island is introducing what it describes as new "circuit-breaker measures" to try to curb a recent spike in COVID-19 diagnoses that cannot be linked to travel outside the province. "We need to wrap our arms around this virus and prevent it from spreading to the full extent that we can," Premier Dennis King said at an unscheduled briefing late Saturday. "We will continue to ask people to stay apart as much as possible while at the same time being as active socially and physically as possible because we have learned over time how important both those aspects are to our overall well-being." The new restrictions, which take effect on Sunday, will limit gatherings to an immediate household, plus a consistent circle of 10 contacts. Sporting events, tournaments and competitions will be banned but team practices can continue. Organized gatherings for concerts, worship services and movies will be limited to 50 people while gyms, museums, retail stores and libraries can operate at 50 per cent capacity with additional cleaning. Restaurants can remain open for takeout and delivery only, while personal services may operate on an appointment basis provided masks are worn. The tighter restrictions are needed to "interrupt the chain of transmission," said Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief medical officer of health. "As this outbreak continues to evolve in the coming days, we are expecting to receive more positive cases," she said. "This outbreak is likely going to get worse before it begins to get better." Her comments came as the province reported six new COVID-19 infections, all among patients in their 20s. The province has recorded 14 new cases in four days – 12 of which have no connection to travel outside the province. Prince Edward Island has remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic, going long stretches without new infections. King said the current outbreak is not only disappointing but also worrisome, as the province is operating under the assumption that the new cases are a more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus. "It's discouraging from the perspective of all Islanders simply because we've done very, very well to date and we can see the finish line but we do seem to be stuck in this tangled spider's web of COVID and it won't really let us out of its grip." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
All households in England with school or college aged children will be offered two rapid COVID-19 tests per person per week to support the government’s priority to get young people back in the classroom, the health ministry said on Sunday. Last week British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a phased plan to end England's latest COVID-19 lockdown, offering a "cautious" approach to try to prevent a return to wholesale restrictions that have hobbled the economy. The health ministry said rapid test kits would be made available to collect from Monday at more than 500 locations, or through workplace testing and local community testing services.