Canada Further COVID-19 restrictions likely for Ontario as 3rd wave worsens
Why Canada is losing the race between vaccines and variants as the 3rd wave worsens
Much of Canada is in the grips of a worsening third wave as COVID-19 vaccinations slowly ramp up, and experts say the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants is throwing gasoline on an already-raging fire. "We have a lot of virus moving around the country and escalating very, very quickly," said Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of viral pathogenesis at the University of Manitoba and Canada Research Chair of emerging viruses. "Vaccinations are certainly starting to pick up, but we're nowhere near where we need to be to get this thing under control.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet are set to meet again Friday morning to consider further COVID-19 restrictions to combat a worsening third wave that is pushing the province's health-care system to the breaking point.
The meeting comes ahead of a scheduled briefing from the province's COVID-19 science advise table that is expected include stark new forecasts for the weeks ahead.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 13
Here's CBC Ottawa's latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.Ontario is closing schools and moving all students to online learning amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
A government source told CBC News revised modelling suggests Ontario could see up to 18,000 daily cases of COVID-19 by the end of May if current trends continue unabated, even with help from the province's ongoing vaccination campaign.
The projections show that cases could be limited to about 10,000 per day if additional public health measures are implemented, however they would have to be considerably more restrictive than what's currently in place to curb the rate of infection, the source said.
The source said cabinet is debating the following proposals on top of the stay-at-home order and shutdown already in place:
- Closing all non-essential retail, no curbside pick-up or delivery.
- Further restricting retail hours of operation.
- Restricting curbside pick-up (only permit non-essential retail to deliver).
- Shutting down non-essential construction, warehouses and manufacturing not related to health, food or automotive.
- Prohibiting all outdoor gatherings for non-family members in the same household.
- Tightening capacity of indoor events like places of worship, weddings and funerals.
- Increasing fines, increase policing powers.
Ford and his ministers met late into the night Thursday. Sources with knowledge of the ongoing discussions said cabinet talked about the option a curfew but ultimately decided against it.
Playing Russian roulette with COVID-19: How fatigue, frustration are affecting some mindsets
Over a year into the pandemic, some Canadians say their fear and vigilance has waned, leading them to make their own risk assessments.In the beginning, the 45-year-old Edmonton-area pastor was doing the opposite. He sanitized all his groceries. He and his wife changed their clothes every time they went inside. For months, with his two churches closed, he rarely left the house.
Ontario reported itson Thursday. According to Critical Care Services Ontario, a government agency that compiles a daily report for hospitals, 74 more people with COVID-19 were admitted to ICUs yesterday alone, again the most-ever on a single day in the province.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said this week that the province is trying to open up hundreds of additional ICU beds in coming days and weeks.
The government source said Ontario intends to make a formal request to the federal government for more than 600 critical care staff to support front-line efforts in hospitals.
"We have received Ontario's draft letter," said Mary-Liz Power, spokesperson for federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
"We are currently in discussions with the province to determine how best we can support them with more resources," she said, adding that the federal government is working closely with all provinces and territories to help support them amid the pandemic.
Last night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he had spoken with the mayors of Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga — cities home to many communities severely impacted by COVID-19 — about further supports that could be available, particularly with respect to vaccinations.
This week has seen three major health networks in Toronto.
NHL evaluating alternate plans for North Division's playoff setup .
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs creep closer and closer and there has been no change at the Canadian border, it is seeming more and more likely that there will be some form of relocation in the postseason. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the NHL is not rushing to any conclusions, waiting to see if border policies are relaxed, but have to evaluate alternative plans for the North Division winner to be able to compete in the semifinals and Cup Final this season.