Coronavirus: What’s Happening in Canada and Around the World on Sunday
Atlantic Canadian health officials say hospitals approach or exceed capacity as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
Nova Scotia reported 1,145 new laboratory-confirmed cases on Saturday. The province is issuing abridged updates over the weekend that do not include current hospitalization figures.
Dr Kirk Magee, who oversees emergency care at hospitals in the Halifax area, said that while the Omicron variant may not be sending more people to the hospital, it left the system health system “stretched to its limits”, in large part because of the hundreds of hospital staff. who have been reassigned or sidelined due to COVID-19 infection or the need to self-isolate.
Nova Scotia Public Health says it is now limiting contact tracing to long-term care facilities, health care facilities, correctional facilities, shelters and other group settings.
“Omicron is having a significant impact on our healthcare workforce,” Dr Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said at a press conference on Wednesday, referring to the most contagious variant of the coronavirus. “Our hospitals are overcrowded, and for Nova Scotians that means waiting too long for care or having long-awaited tests or procedures canceled.
“The reality is that there is very little flexibility in our health care system right now.”
Meanwhile, in New Brunswick, the province updated the figures on Saturday to show it had 421 new confirmed cases and one new death.
The number of people hospitalized rose from 69 to 80, including 17 in intensive care and 11 on a ventilator.
Dorothy Shephard, New Brunswick’s health minister, said on Friday that she believed it was likely the health care system would soon be “tested like never before” as nearly 350 health workers across the province are in. stoppage of work because of the virus.
Vitalité Health Network said half of its hospitals have an occupancy rate of over 100%. The Miramichi Regional Hospital is also running overcapacity, with other Horizon Health Network hospitals saying their capacity levels ranged from 90 to 97 percent.
What’s happening across Canada
With a deeply strained and increasingly constrained laboratory testing capacity, experts say the actual number of cases is likely much higher than reported. Regional hospitalization data is also changing, with several provinces saying they will release numbers that separate the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 from those hospitalized for another medical condition who also test positive for COVID-19. .
For more information on what’s going on in your community, including details on outbreaks, testing capacity, and local restrictions, click on the regional coverage below.
You can also read more about the Public Health Agency of Canada, which provides a detailed overview of each region – including seven-day mean test positivity rates – in his daily epidemiological updates.
Ontario confirmed at least 11,959 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, as experts continue to warn that the actual number would be significantly higher given reduced access to PCR testing.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus now stands at 2,419, down slightly from Saturday’s pandemic peak of 2,594. However, that number is potentially lower than reality given that not all provincial hospitals are releasing no numbers on weekends. The number of people in intensive care units due to COVID-19 is now 412, up from 385 on Saturday.
In Quebec, number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations increased by 163 to a total of 2,296 on Saturday. Health officials have reported 245 intensive care patients, an increase of 16 from Friday.
The province also reported 44 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus on Saturday, the highest daily death toll in nearly a year.
In British Columbia, officials said the children would return to classroom learning on Monday as part of increased safety measures, despite an increase in transmission caused by Omicron.
In the Prairies, the Saskatchewan government refuses to limit gatherings despite warning from Chief Medical Officer of Health; more than 900 health workers in Manitoba tested positive during the holidays, according to the provincial health organization; and the projections of Alberta The health services early warning system suggests that the current wave could, within weeks, send more people to hospital than at any time during the pandemic.
In the Atlantic provinces, visitor restrictions have been extended to inpatients and long-term care residents at several hospitals in New Scotlandfrom the north zone. The new restrictions in the province come as Prince Edward Island announced an outbreak at a care facility in Miscouche that has so far affected three staff and eight residents. Meanwhile, trade union groups Newfoundland and Labrador are asking for 10 days of mandatory paid sick leave for workers as thousands of people across the province are sick with COVID-19 or are isolating themselves.
In the North, there is a mixture of relief, resignation and disappointment on the part of students, parents and teachers as schools across the Northwest Territories back to online learning this week.
What is happening in the world
As of Sunday morning, more than 305.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at more than 5.4 million.
In Asia, the main port of Tianjin could face the first outbreak of Omicron of any size in China, less than four weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics in neighboring Beijing.
The city began mass testing its 14 million residents on Sunday after a group of 20 children and adults tested positive for COVID-19, at least two of them with the Omicron variant. Officials said the virus was circulating, so the number of cases could increase.
China has stepped up its strict zero tolerance strategy ahead of the Olympics, which open on February 4. The Chinese capital is 115 kilometers northwest of Tianjin, and many people regularly make the round trip by car or high speed rail that takes less than an hour.
In Europe, UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that reducing the self-isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 from seven to five days would help the UK workforce who have been hit hard by absences.
As Omicron continues to spread in Britain, many businesses, schools and hospitals are grappling with staff shortages, fueling calls for further reduction in isolation rules after a positive test.
Italy, meanwhile, will tighten its COVID-19 restrictions for those unvaccinated on Monday. Anyone who wants to eat out, take a public bus or go skiing will need to show proof of vaccination or have recently recovered from illness.
In the Asia Pacific region, the Australian government says it had not given tennis star Novak Djokovic assurance that a medical exemption that he said he had to enter Australia without a COVID-19 vaccination would be accepted, officials said on Sunday. government lawyers in a court case.
The case filed ahead of a court hearing on Monday defended the government’s decision to bar entry to the world’s No.1 player due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.
Djokovic hopes to win his 21st Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open, which kicks off in Melbourne on January 17. But instead of training, he was confined to a hotel used for asylum seekers. He is challenging the decision to cancel his visa after being arrested upon arriving at Melbourne Airport early Thursday.
A staunch opponent of vaccination warrants, Djokovic had refused to reveal his vaccination status or the reason he had requested a medical exemption from Australian vaccine rules. But his legal team said in a court case on Saturday that the Serb had been granted an exemption due to the contraction and recovery of the virus in December.