Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Nov. 6


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The latest:

  • Canada’s job market recovery slows in October, with only 84,000 new jobs.
  • Trudeau says first vaccines will need special handling, logistical support.
  • Another region in Manitoba moves to the red level.
  • First COVID-19 case confirmed in Nunavut.
  • Quebec reports 1,133 new cases of COVID-19.
  • Ontario reports 1,003 new cases as 7-day average climbs to new high.
  • Manitoba extends state of emergency for 30 more days.
  • Alberta premier rejects further restrictions despite reporting 609 new cases.
  • PBO says federal government can spend more — but it’s running out of room to manoeuvre.
  • Polypropylene is now recommended in masks. Should I be concerned? Your mask questions answered.
  • Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca.

As the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Canada, provincial leaders in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have decided to implement new restrictions, while one province has chosen to reject any further public health measures.

In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney urged residents to “press pause on hosting any gatherings” at home but steered away from enforcing stricter provincial health measures on Friday.

The province reported 609 new cases of COVID-19, after recording 802 new cases on Thursday. Currently, 171 people are in hospital with the disease — 33 of them in ICU. Nine people have died over the last two days.

WATCH | Alberta will have to consider new restrictions if cases don’t go down, says Hinshaw:

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has issued a warning that if COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise more public health measures will be coming to the province. 4:01

Despite calling the numbers “concerning” on Friday, Kenney rejected any further public health restrictions.

“We’ve seen other jurisdictions implement sweeping lockdowns, indiscriminately violating people’s rights and destroying livelihoods,” he said a news conference. “Nobody wants that to happen here in Alberta.”

He said the province’s data indicates it’s safer to eat out at a restaurant at a table than to attend a private gathering at someone’s home.

British Columbia saw another grim COVID-19 case count on Friday as the province reported 589 new cases.

Its provincial health officer has also called for a news conference on Saturday, an unusual weekend occurrence for Dr. Bonnie Henry. There were no hints given about what will be announced, although Henry did say earlier this week that they were consulting with regional health authorities on more specific restrictions as case counts rise.

Most of the new cases reported by B.C. health officials were in the Fraser Health region, which covers an area east of Vancouver and includes communities such as Burnaby and Surrey.

WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about COVID-19 in Fraser Health region:

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there are a number of factors, including a large number of essential workers and multigenerational families. 1:50

Manitoba reported 243 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths on Friday, while another region in the province moves to the red, or critical, level of its pandemic response system.

The Southern Health region will move into the red on Monday, said Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief public health officer.

Southern Health — which includes larger population centres like Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, Winkler and Morden — has seen 293 new cases since Oct. 31, including 52 new cases on Friday.

The region will be under restrictions similar to those currently in place in the Winnipeg area, which moved to the red level earlier this week. 

The province also announced it will be extending the state of emergency for 30 more days. A state of emergency was first declared on March 20 to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday, Premier Brian Pallister said 277 more personnel, including fire safety inspectors and municipal bylaw officers, will help make sure public health orders are followed. That brings the total number of enforcers to more than 3,000.

In Nunavut, residents in the community of Sanikiluaq are being asked to stay home and avoid mingling with other residents, including family members not residing in the same home, after confirming the first case of COVID-19 on Friday.

Dr. Michael Patterson said contact tracing in the community, which is located on the northern tip of Flaherty Island in Hudson Bay, is underway and the territory’s rapid response team is “on standby to help manage the situation should it become necessary.”

“It is important that health measures are followed by everyone and that we all do our part to quickly contain a potential spread in the community,” Patterson said in a news release.

All travel to and from Sanikiluaq is restricted to cargo and emergency travel, the release said.

Emergency services are to remain open, while grocery stores are to implement reduced hours and shoppers are now required to wear masks in stores.

Residents in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, are being asked to stay home and avoid mingling with other residents after the territory’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed on Friday. (Submitted by Kaitlyn Grabove)


What’s happening across Canada

As of 8:11 p.m. ET on Friday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 255,809 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 211,237 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,436.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday urged Canadians to be careful as winter approaches and people spend more time inside.

“We need to make sure we’re making it into winter on a good footing so we can hold on through winter.”

He said he hopes a viable vaccine will be available to Canadians in the spring but notes some of those initial doses will require special handling that could complicate distribution efforts.

WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo discusses vaccine approvals:

Canada’s deputy chief public health officer spoke with reporters at the pandemic briefing in Ottawa on Friday. 3:17

“We know that some of the first vaccines to come out have extremely high degrees of logistical support necessary — things like freezers that can keep the vaccines down at –80 C for example, which doesn’t lend itself to mass distribution in pharmacies across the country, for example, but later vaccines that will be arriving will be able to do that,” Trudeau said Friday.

In Ontario, case numbers continued to rise a day after Premier Doug Ford’s government unveiled a much-anticipated budget after months of delay attributed to the global pandemic. 

On Friday, the province reported 1,003 new cases and 14 more deaths, as the province prepares to roll back restrictions in a number of public health units starting Saturday.

Peel Region will be moved to the red zone, or highest, level of restrictions, meaning restaurants and bars can serve indoors but only with a maximum 10 customers inside. Gyms can reopen, with restrictions, and no dining is allowed in shopping mall food courts.

Ford said the numbers in Peel, specifically in the city of Brampton, “are just going through the roof. It’s out of control right now and we have to react.”

WATCH | Peel Region to move to Red–Control level:

Earlier this week, the province rolled out its new tiered, colour-coded COVID-19 restriction framework. The red zone is less restrictive than the current modified Stage 2: restaurants and bars can serve indoors but only 10 customers are allowed inside, and gyms can open with restrictions. 0:56

Provincial figures updated Friday put the number of people in hospital at 380, with 86 in intensive care.

Quebec on Friday reported 1,133 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths — including five in the last 24 hours. According to the data on the provincial dashboard, there were 539 people in hospital, with 77 in ICU.

In Saskatchewan, new public health orders were announced on Friday after the province reported 87 new cases.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. The province has also reduced the allowable size of private gatherings provincewide to 10 from 15.

The mandatory mask order will be in place for 28 days before getting reviewed by the province’s top doctor, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

The province said that much of the recent spread of COVID-19 has occurred in private settings and in homes.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported one new case of COVID-19 on Friday. It brings the province’s total number of active cases to 24.

There were no new cases reported in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, health officials are asking people who are returning from work at Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask Generating Station to self-isolate after news of an outbreak at the site earlier this week.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Newfoundland and Labrador has five active cases, with a total of 294 confirmed cases.

Nova Scotia reported two new cases on Friday. There are now 16 active cases in the province.

Prince Edward Island also reported two new cases of the coronavirus on Friday. 

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said the individuals are men — one in his 20s and the other in his 50s — who recently travelled outside of the Atlantic region.

One of the men travelled from Montreal to Charlottetown on Air Canada on Nov. 1, and passengers on that flight are being advised to monitor for symptoms of the virus.

There are now a total of 66 positive cases of COVID-19 in P.E.I since the start of the pandemic, all of which have been travel-related.

Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.


What’s happening around the world

Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment prepare a mass COVID-19 testing site in Liverpool, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

As of Friday evening, more than 49.2 million of COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with more than 32.4 million of those listed as recovered, according to a coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.2 million, the U.S.-based university reported.

The World Health Organization is looking at biosecurity around mink farms in countries around the world to prevent further “spillover events” after Denmark ordered a national mink cull because of an outbreak of coronavirus infections in the animals.

In the Americas, the U.S. has been dealing with a surge in cases, reporting more than 100,000 new daily cases two days in a row, according to numbers reported by the New York Times.

The American job market showed a burst of strength in October, with employers adding 638,000 jobs and the unemployment rate tumbling to 6.9 per cent. Still, the pace of hiring isn’t enough to rapidly soak up the millions of Americans who were thrown out of work by the pandemic recession.

It’s far from clear that employers can maintain — let alone increase — their pace of hiring. The job market and the overall economy are under intensified pressure from the accelerating pandemic.

On Thursday, the country broke another record in the seven-day rolling average for new cases, hitting nearly 90,000. Daily new cases were also on track for another day above 100,000, with surging numbers reported all around the country, including a combined nearly 25,000 in Texas, Illinois and Florida.

A shopper wearing a face mask walks by the Christmas decorations at the Grove outdoor shopping centre in Los Angeles on Thursday. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Latin American countries, including those that have brought down coronavirus transmission rates, should take heed of the second wave hitting much of Europe, a Pan American Health Organization official said.

In Europe, Portugal’s parliament approved a new state of emergency starting on Monday to fight the spread of the coronavirus that has put the health-care system under pressure.

The initial state of emergency, which under Portuguese law is limited to 15 days but can be extended indefinitely in 15-day periods, was declared in March and lasted six weeks. It restricted the movement of people and led thousands of businesses to suspend activities.

A nurse puts on a second pair of gloves before tending to COVID-19 patients in negative pressure rooms at the Curry Cabral hospital in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday. (Armando Franca/The Associated Press)

Germany’s health minister has warned of hard times ahead unless the country can “break” the rising trajectory of coronavirus cases. Jens Spahn told lawmakers in parliament on Friday that “the situation is serious,” noting that the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in the country’s intensive care units has doubled in the last 10 days.

“As of today, the health system can cope with this,” he said. “But a doubling every 10 days is something the best health system in the world can’t cope with in the long term.”

Germany’s disease control agency reported a new record of more than 21,500 confirmed infections in the country in the past day, and 166 further deaths.

Russia’s daily number of new coronavirus infections topped 20,000 Friday, setting a new record since the beginning of the pandemic. Russia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases — currently the fourth largest in the world — has exceeded 1.7 million following a quick spread of contagion since September. The government’s coronavirus task force has reported 29,887 deaths since March.

Despite new daily records, authorities insist there is no need to impose a second lockdown or shut down businesses nationwide. They argue that the health-care system is capable of handling a surge in infections. Russian media, however, have reported on overwhelmed hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers in some regions, indicating that the health-care system is under significant strain.

Austria warned that all its COVID-19 intensive care beds could be full within two weeks because of the “much stronger, more serious” second wave of infections.

Italian taxi drivers and co-operative taxi workers demonstrate in Rome on Friday as part of a national strike against the government’s restriction measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

Oslo has shut down restaurants, cafés, bars, gyms, cinemas and theatres to help curb the coronavirus. On Friday, officials in the Norwegian capital introduced what they called a “social closure of Oslo.”

Mayor Raymond Johansen said that to bring down the infection rates, “we must shut down where people gather.” However, schools will remain open.

Slovenian police said they detained 10 people following violent protests in the capital Ljubljana against lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea has alerted about 1,000 people who attended the memorial of the late Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee last week to get tested for the coronavirus after one person at the event tested positive.

India has recorded 47,638 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 8.4 million.

Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, driving total fatalities to 124,985 on Friday, the health ministry data showed. India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States. Even though the country has seen a steady dip in cases since mid-September, its capital is witnessing a surge in infections.

Health authorities in Thailand on Friday announced the country’s 60th death from COVID-19, a 66-year-old Thai man who was diagnosed with coronavirus after he returned from the United Kingdom. It was Thailand’s first coronvirus death since mid-September.

The U.S. mission in Geneva urged World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday to invite Taiwan to a major meeting the body is hosting next week that is expected to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Africa, the coronavirus pandemic is having a knock-on effect on other vital health services as countries are forced to redirect already stretched resources, a regional head of WHO said on Thursday. Lockdowns imposed by countries to halt the spread of the virus in May, June and July contributed to a more than 50 per cent drop in services monitored by WHO.

In Nigeria, for example, more than 362,000 pregnant women missed their antenatal care between March and August.

Iran remained the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. The country had more than 663,000 reported cases, with more than 37,400 deaths recorded.

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