B.C.’s top doctor says the province is facing its “most challenging” period of the pandemic to date as hospitalizations climb and transmission in long-term care increases.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that “we are all feeling the strain” as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on.
“This virus doesn’t pause, though, when we’re tired and frustrated and we want it to be over,” she said. “It spreads quickly and doesn’t wait for us to catch up.”
Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 1,933 new cases of COVID-19 over three days, along with 17 additional deaths, bringing the province’s pandemic death toll to 348.
Monday’s update brought the number of active cases in the province to 7,360. Of those, 277 were in hospital and 59 were in critical care or ICU.
The chief public health officer said over the next two weeks, people in the province need to “urgently” work to reduce transmission in order to keep schools and workplaces open and relieve the “very real stress” on the health-care system.
Health officials in the province recently put out provincewide health orders, including a mask mandate for indoor public spaces, to try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 337,555, with 56,832 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,521.
Alberta‘s chief medical officer of health said Monday the province has hit a “precarious point” in the pandemic and must take action.
“Waiting any longer will impact our ability to care for Albertans in the weeks and months ahead,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday, as the province reported 1,549 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths.
In Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe is self-isolating after a potential COVID-19 exposure at a restaurant in Prince Albert. A spokesperson for the premier said Moe was not experiencing symptoms but was tested out of an abundance of caution. Saskatchewan reported 235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and four additional deaths.
Manitoba on Monday reported more than 540 new cases of COVID-19 — a record high in the Prairie province. The province also reported seven additional deaths.
Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said as of Nov. 1, the province had reported a total of 75 deaths due to COVID-19. As of Monday, that figure stood at 236.
“It might be easy just to think of these as numbers, but we all know these are Manitobans,” he said. “These are people who are loved, who are missed right now.”
Ontario also reported a record high daily case number on Monday with 1,589 cases. The province, which reported 19 additional deaths, also saw hospitalizations increase to 507, with 156 in ICU.
Quebec, another province hit hard by the pandemic, reported 1,164 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 more deaths on Monday. Hospitalizations stood at 634, with 98 in ICU, the province reported.
Premier Blaine Higgs said New Brunswick won’t be making any changes to its participation in the Atlantic bubble “for the time being.” The province reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 and one death on Monday.
Nova Scotia reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. One of the cases was detected over the weekend as part of a rapid COVID-19 testing program for employees and patrons at a bar in downtown Halifax.
Across the North, there were four new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut and six in Yukon. Yukon increased restrictions last week as infection rates jumped in jurisdictions around it, requiring all but critical services workers to self-isolate for two weeks when they enter the territory.
Nunavut is in the midst of a lockdown to try to beat back an increase in cases. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson cautioned on Monday that case numbers will “go up and down from day to day regardless of what’s happening in the community” because of the timing of testing and “variability of flights.”
There were no new COVID-19 cases reported in the Northwest Territories on Monday, leaving its total case number at 15.
What’s happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, there were more than 59.2 million cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide with more than 37.9 million of them considered recovered or resolved, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll was approaching 1.4 million.
In the Americas, new cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. have rocketed to all-time highs, averaging more than 170,000 per day, and deaths have soared to over 1,500 a day, the highest level since the spring. The virus is blamed for more than a quarter-million deaths in the U.S. and over 12 million confirmed infections.
“There is so much community transmission all over the United States that the chances of you encountering somebody that has COVID-19 is actually very, very high, whether it’s on an airplane, at the airport or at a rest area,” said Dr. Syra Madad, an infectious-disease epidemiologist for New York City hospitals.
The largest county in the U.S. is on the brink of a stay-home order after a coronavirus surge surpassed a level set by Los Angeles County public health officials to trigger such an action. A swell of new cases Monday put the county over an average of 4,500 cases per day.
In Mexico, church and civic leaders cancelled an annual gathering that attracts massive crowds of Catholic pilgrims to protect people.
In Europe, state and federal health authorities in Germany say they are shortening quarantine periods for people who have come into contact with a confirmed COVID case from 14 days to 10, if they provide a negative test.
The European Medicines Agency could produce a scientific opinion on COVID-19 vaccines seeking regulatory approval by the end of the year in a best-case scenario.
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In the Asia-Pacific region, China has reported new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones.
The National Health Commission said Tuesday that there were two new locally spread cases in the previous 24-hour period, one in each city. It also reported 20 cases among people who had arrived from overseas.
Malaysia said it would close some factories of the world’s biggest rubber glove maker as more than 2,000 of its workers had tested positive for COVID-19.
Hong Kong, meanwhile, will close bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues for the third time this year.
In Africa, Nigeria will bar passengers who fail to follow the country’s COVID-19 protocol from flying for six months.
In the Middle East, Iran reported a record high 13,721 new cases and a near-record 483 deaths in the past 24 hours.
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