Canada Opioid deaths skyrocket, mental health suffers due to pandemic restrictions, new federal report says
Coronavirus live updates: Quebec reports 1,038 new cases, 6 more deaths
Welcome to our live coverage of COVID-19 in Quebec for Oct. 19, 2020. Send your tips and questions to email@example.com Top Stories: Quebec reports 1,038 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths Canada-U.S. border restrictions extended Pandemic sees Quebec deaths outpace births for first time 11 a.m Quebec reports 1,038 new cases, 6 more deaths Quebec reported 1,038 new cases on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 94,429. The province also Send your tips and questions to jmagder@postmedia.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadians suffering from mental illness, opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems, says a new study released today by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which confirms anecdotal reports warning that the pandemic's health consequences extend well beyond the novel coronavirus itself.
Efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and shutdowns have kept the Canadian caseload relatively low compared to other jurisdictions globally. But the overall health of the population has deteriorated over the last eight months, with more people turning to drugs, alcohol, tobacco and screen time over physical exercise to cope with the stress.
COVID-19: Ontario reports 821 new cases, 78 new cases in Ottawa
What you need to know, at a glance Ontario reported 821 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday: 326 in Toronto, 136 in Peel and 64 in York, the province’s four COVID-19 hot spots There were three new deaths reported. Tuesday’s total was up 16 per cent from the 704 cases reported Monday Ontario now has 65,896 confirmed cases since the pandemic began The province conducted more than 24,000 tests on Monday, a significant drop from the more than 31,000 tests completed the day before “I’m not cancelling Halloween,” Premier Doug Ford says. “What we’re highly recommending is that you don’t go door-to-door in the hot spot areas.
"This year's annual report describes the heavy toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Canadian society, both directly and indirectly," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Wednesday as she released her agency's annual report.
"These findings are more than just uncomfortable facts about our country during this pandemic. They're the lived realities of countless Canadians."
One pandemic, different levels of risk
Confirming what has been well-documented already, PHAC found that long-term care (LTC) homes have been the epicentre of COVID-19-related deaths because "pandemic preparedness did not extend into these settings." The report said LTC facilities' limited supplies of personal protective equipment, old infrastructure, poor ventilation and chronic understaffing led to more infections.
COVID-19: Ontario reports 821 new cases, 78 new cases in Ottawa
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers reporters' questions about what his ministers were doing before the N.S. lobster fishery dispute turned violent.
Racial minorities in Canada also have been far more likely to contract the virus, PHAC found. The report says Arab, Black, Middle Eastern, Latin American, South Asian and Southeast Asian Canadians accounted for more than 80 per cent of the cases in Toronto, despite collectively making up slightly more than half of the city's population.
While the reasons for this minority/majority split in the caseload numbers are unclear, PHAC suggested that pre-existing health disparities, the stress of racism and the preponderance of low-wage work in high-risk places could be to blame.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is still in the grips of an opioid crisis — a crisis that is now much worse than it was just a year ago. With travel and border restrictions in place, the local opioid supply has grown more toxic and dangerous, PHAC said.
Coronavirus live updates: ‘Chances are low’ that restaurants in red zones can reopen on Oct. 29, Legault says
Check this post throughout the day on Thursday, Oct. 22. Questions/comments: firstname.lastname@example.org Top updates ‘Chances are low’ that restaurants in red zones can reopen on Oct. 29, Legault says 54 workers at Quebec meat plant test positive Quebec deploys emergency teams to 4 CHSLDs struggling with outbreaks Plante offers free parking to spur local holiday shopping Quebec reports 1,033 new cases, 20 more deaths Without financial aid, Tourism Montreal fears hotels will permanently close Subscribe to our nightly newsletter More below 4:20 p.m.
While Canada made meaningful progress in reducing the rate of overdoses in 2018-19, the number of deaths has increased significantly since the start of this year.
A surge in opioid deaths
In B.C., there were more than 100 "illicit drug toxicity" deaths per month for six consecutive months from March to August 2020, and more than 175 such deaths each month in May, June and July, according to data compiled by PHAC.
B.C.'s highest monthly opioid death toll, in June 2020, was 181, up from 76 in June 2019. First Nations people account for a disproportionate number of these deaths — they were nearly six times more likely to die from an overdose than other B.C. residents.
In July, B.C. paramedics responded to a record high number of overdose calls — a 75 per cent spike in calls compared to the same month last year. Paramedics in B.C. also responded that month to an average of 87 overdose calls a day, or 2,706 calls in total.
Last week, the B.C. Coroners Service said 1,202 people have died of fatal overdoses so far this year, compared to just 983 deaths in all of 2019. The death toll in B.C. in September was more than double the 60 fatalities recorded in the same month last year.
COVID-19 Update: 432 new cases, four deaths | 55 cases in outbreak at Calgary Correctional Centre
With news on COVID-19 happening rapidly, we’ve created this page to bring you our latest stories and information on the outbreak in and around Calgary. What’s happening now The province reported Friday 432 new cases of COVID-19 from 15,208 tests and four additional deaths. There are 3,651 active cases in Alberta and 1,307 in Alberta Health Services’ Calgary zone. There are now 55 cases — 50 in inmates and five in staff — connected to the outbreak at the Calgary Correctional Centre. Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Tom Sampson is “highly concerned” with the rise of COVID-19 cases.
Preliminary data from Ontario also show that the number of confirmed and probable deaths from opioid-related causes has increased by almost 50 per cent, from 148 deaths in January to 220 deaths in May.
Video: Toronto issues dire warning as COVID-19 positivity rate jumps (Global News)
Alberta also experienced a dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths in the three-month period from April to June 2020 — 302 deaths, up from the previously recorded high of 211 deaths in a three-month period in 2018.
PHAC heard from frontline workers who said that, because of social restrictions, many more people have been using opioids alone, "decreasing the chance of intervention if they overdose and contributing to the increase in overdose-related fatalities."
Physical distancing measures at safe-consumption sites designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also resulted in more opioid-related deaths.
At least one supervised consumption site in Ottawa did away with physical distancing measures after several clients overdosed while waiting in line to get in.
We're drinking and smoking more, moving less
Meanwhile, many Canadians have increased their use of alcohol, cannabis and tobacco during this pandemic.
Long-term care deaths surged in COVID-19 first wave, Tam hopeful it won't repeat
Long-term care deaths accounted for nearly 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Canada during the first wave of the pandemic, but the country's chief public health officer thinks a repeat can be avoided amid a new spike in cases. A snapshot of Canada's COVID-19 situation during the first wave of the pandemic was outlined in Dr. Theresa Tam's annual report released Wednesday, one day after Canada passed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths. "Everything has beenA snapshot of Canada's COVID-19 situation during the first wave of the pandemic was outlined in Dr. Theresa Tam's annual report released Wednesday, one day after Canada passed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths.
By early summer, based on, alcohol consumption was up 19 per cent, cannabis use jumped 8.3 per cent and tobacco smoking rates were up by 3.9 per cent over pre-pandemic levels.
CBC North has documented ain Canada's northern territories thanks in part to more bootlegging and access to cash through the Canadian emergency relief benefit (CERB) and other relief supports.
WATCH: Dr Theresa Tam says pandemic exposed existing inequities in Canadian society
The pandemic and its resulting restrictions on social and economic life have had a lasting impact on mental health.
PHAC found that, due to shelter-in-place restrictions, more women have had to stay with abusive partners and LGBTQ kids have been confined to homes with homophobic and transphobic parents and caregivers.
Child welfare agencies are reporting a drop in abuse or neglect reports — but they fear it's because fewer cases are being reported now that more school-age children are stuck at home without access to school or sports.
"This may be the result of fewer detection opportunities, as children are likely to be isolated at home and without community involvement," PHAC said.
But it's not just the vulnerable and marginalized among us who have seen notable drops in mental wellness.
Canada has gone from one of the happiest countries in the world — ninth out of 156 countries according to a 2019 UN report — to one that is noticeably less so.
Less happy, more anxious
In 2018, 68 per cent of Canadians age 15 years and older reported excellent or very good self-perceived mental health. This figure dropped to 54 per cent in late March and early April 2020 before going lower still to 48 per cent in early May, according to Statistics Canada data.
COVID-19 Update: 622 new cases, five deaths | Blood Tribe reports case in reserve school | Calgary jail outbreak poorly managed, union says
With news on COVID-19 happening rapidly, we’ve created this page to bring you our latest stories and information on the outbreak in and around Calgary. What’s happening now The province reported 622 new cases of COVID-19 on 12,938 tests and five additional deaths. There are 5,172 active cases in Alberta and 2,034 in Alberta Health Services’ Calgary zone. The union representing Alberta jail workers said Friday the COVID-19 outbreak at the Calgary Correctional Centre has been badly mismanaged. The outbreak now has 132 cases — 112 in inmates and 20 in staff.
Indigenous people, the disabled and low-income Canadians also have reported experiencing more suicidal thoughts since the outbreak, PHAC found.
While thousands of Canadians have died from COVID-19 — nearly 80 per cent of them in long-term care homes, as of August— there were also more deaths in general this year than last.
"Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec all showed increased numbers of deaths compared to the same time period over the past five years. Some of these additional deaths are directly related to COVID-19, however contributions from other causes not directly linked to COVID-19 cannot be excluded," PHAC concluded.
Hospitals have seen a drop in walk-in patients for other maladies in emergency rooms. Surgeries have been cancelled or postponed due to capacity restraints, and health professionals fear that people may be avoiding necessary medical care because of pandemic-related worries.
With gyms closed in many jurisdictions and recreational sports leagues on pause, some Canadians are less active. Those who weren't particularly active before March 2020 lockdown reported being even less so in the months that followed.
More than 60 per cent of Canadians reported spending more time using the internet and watching TV during the pandemic in early April.
"Limited physical activity as a result of public health measures to physically isolate may also have an impact on mental health. Research has demonstrated that people who were able to engage in physical activity outdoors were more likely to report excellent or very good mental health," PHAC said.
The results of the Covid-19 pandemic at 11:00 GMT .
© Martin BUREAU Passengers on line 13 of the Paris metro, November 4, 2020 The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 1,215,957 people around the world since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December, according to a report established by AFP from official sources Wednesday at 11:00 GMT. More than 47,520,750 cases of infection have been officially diagnosed since the start of the epidemic, of which at least 31,414,400 are now considered cured.