Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday

Saskatchewan is making masks mandatory provincewide in public indoor spaces while Manitoba is stepping up enforcement against COVID-19 rule breakers, as officials attempt to slow a surge in coronavirus infections that is putting pressure on health-care systems.

Saskatchewan imposes new COVID rules while Manitoba steps up enforcement

Manitoba may use ice rinks as COVID-19 wards as hospitals run out of space

2 years ago
Duration 2:00
Manitoba's continued surge in COVID-19 cases has left the premier frustrated and doctors pleading with the public to follow public health directives. And with hospitals running out of space, health officials are considering turning hockey rinks into COVID-19 wards.

The latest:

Saskatchewan is making masks mandatory provincewide in public indoor spaces while Manitoba is stepping up enforcement against COVID-19 rule breakers, as officials attempt to slow a surge in coronavirus infections that is putting pressure on hospitals.

Saskatchewan's move on Tuesday to expand its mask mandate follows calls from doctors and health-care workers to do more to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"COVID-19 is now present in every part of the province, and you should wear a mask in every part of the province," said Premier Scott Moe during a news conference.

Originally, Saskatchewan's mask mandate covered Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert. That was expanded last week to include communities surrounding those three urban centres and communities with populations of at least 5,000 people. Tuesday's announcement puts all Saskatchewan residents under the same restriction.

The province also announced other new restrictions, including suspending visitations to all long-term and personal care homes except for "compassionate reasons" and reducing private indoor gathering sizes to a five-person max from 10.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said the measures announced Tuesday are an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 by Christmas, so 'some degree of visitation' can be allowed during the holidays. (Kayle Neis/The Canadian Press)

The new measures come as health officials reported 240 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 2,055.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has said that, based on the test positivity rate, it's preparing for more people to be hospitalized and to need intensive care over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Manitoba has hired private security officers to crack down on COVID-19 rule breakers as the province's top doctor urged residents to trust only credible sources of information amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Premier Brian Pallister said Tuesday that security firm G4S Canada will boost Manitoba's enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, with personnel slated to be handing out tickets by this weekend.

He also said the province is filing charges in addition to levying fines against those who took part in a rally in Steinbach, Man., last weekend where protestors flouted COVID-19 regulations.

The crackdown comes as the province reported 270 new cases and seven deaths, including a woman in her 30s, on Tuesday. The provincial test positivity rate is at a record-high 13.6 per cent.

There are 240 people in hospital with the coronavirus illness, with 41 in intensive care. Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer on Monday warned that the province "can't sustain this number of cases in our health-care system," and on Tuesday, he stressed the importance of turning to credible sources of information.

"As much as we'd all love to put our heads in the sand and ignore what's going on, you can see from our hospitals, you can see from these deaths that I am announcing every day, that we can't ignore COVID-19," Dr. Brent Roussin said. 

The government last week closed restaurants, bars, gyms, non-essential retail stores and other facilities in an attempt to reduce the increasing caseload. But even with public health orders and enforcement, Roussin has said the province needs "buy-in" from residents to get case numbers moving in the right direction.

North of Manitoba, Nunavut announced 34 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday — more than doubling the territory's total case count overnight. It now has 60 confirmed cases, all announced in the last 11 days.

Twenty-six of the new cases are in Arviat — bringing the total in the hamlet to 46 — and the other eight are in Whale Cove, the first cases to be identified in that community.

The territory is tightening up restrictions to try to clamp down on the virus: schools will close, as will recreation facilities, bars and restaurants.

In neighbouring Northwest Territories, which has seen 15 cases to date, health officials are revising rules around travel to require most people coming from Nunavut to self-isolate for 14 days. The two northern governments had formed a "travel bubble" in the summer allowing for easy movement between the territories.

What's happening across Canada

Canada's COVID-19 case count — as of 7:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday — stood at 306,468, with 51,230 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 11,086.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said Tuesday that the number of people experiencing severe illness "continues to increase."

"Over the past seven days, there were on average 1,675 individuals with COVID-19 being treated in Canadian hospitals, including over 330 in critical care," Tam said, noting that an average of 66 deaths had been reported each day.

Tam said the country was at a critical juncture in the pandemic and again urged Canadians to "plank the curve."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said even with positive developments in clinical trials, vaccines are still "many months away." For now, he said, Canadians need to focus on getting through the difficult winter ahead and beating back the second wave of COVID-19.

British Columbia set several sombre new records for the pandemic on Tuesday as it announced 717 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 11 more deaths.

Provincial officials said there are now 6,589 active cases in the province, with 198 people in hospital, 63 of them in intensive care.

Tuesday's numbers mark the highest single-day totals for new cases and deaths, the greatest number of people in hospital and the heaviest active caseload to date.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has said it's the "expectation" that people will wear masks in indoor public spaces but has not ordered it, said Monday that a provincewide mask mandate wouldn't address one of the main areas of concerns around transmission: social settings.

"Many of the settings that we are talking about are settings where people would not naturally wear a mask, like in your home or at a party."

WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about COVID-19 in B.C. and why she's not pushing for a mask mandate:

Why a provincial mask mandate wouldn't necessarily curb transmission

2 years ago
Duration 2:06
Dr. Bonnie Henry says current coronavirus transmission is largely driven by social gatherings in private spaces where a mask mandate would not have an impact.

Alberta reported 773 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths on Tuesday, bringing its total number of active cases to a record-high 10,068.

Across the province, 268 people were being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, 57 of whom were in intensive care.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Monday said the province has entered a "deeply concerning" period of "exponential growth" of COVID-19 and is in a "second wave at this point in time.

"But again it's up to us where that wave peaks and how quickly we can bring it down."

In northeast Calgary, about 1,300 students at a high school have moved to online learning for 14 days due to staffing issues after the school was notified about a number of positive COVID-19 cases.

Ontario reported 1,249 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 3,383. There were 569 new cases in Toronto, 256 in Peel Region and 94 in York Region, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

The province's COVID-19 website on Tuesday put the number of hospitalizations at 529, with 127 people in intensive care.

Wait times for test results continue to be an an issue in the province, with Premier Doug Ford telling reporters that his wife had to wait a week before getting the results of her COVID-19 test.

"It's unacceptable that it's taking a week," he said, adding that he will be looking into the situation and wants to see "hard-core data" on the problem.

WATCH | Premier Ford says wife had to wait a week for COVID-19 test results:

Weeklong wait for COVID-19 test results 'unacceptable,' Ford says

2 years ago
Duration 1:41
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said people should get COVID-19 test results back within 24 to 48 hours, and he committed to sharing raw data on wait times with the public.

Ford opened his news conference by noting the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and announced the province will spend $37 million to "significantly" increase mental health resources. 

In Quebec, the number of daily COVID-19 cases dropped below 1,000 as health officials reported 982 new cases. The province reported 24 deaths, including five reported to have occurred in the last 24 hours.

COVID-19 hospitalizations were on the rise, though, reaching 638 with 100 in intensive care.

Premier François Legault said he plans to give guidelines in the coming days for how loved ones can gather, in limited numbers, over the winter holidays.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

In Prince Edward Island, which announced no new cases on Tuesday, officials said that the province will be introducing a mask mandate for indoor public spaces. P.E.I. has just three active cases, but Premier Dennis King urged Islanders to continue following pandemic protocols as "things outside our province's borders and outside our Atlantic bubble are hitting a critical point."

Newfoundland and Labrador, meanwhile, reported two new cases on Tuesday.

Nova Scotia reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, in addition to the two cases related to Dartmouth-area schools that were announced late Monday. Those two cases — in Cherry Brook and Cole Harbour — marked the first school-related cases in the province.

    Yukon reported one new COVID-19 case on Tuesday, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to 25.

    What's happening around the world

    From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

    As of Tuesday evening, more than 55.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 35.6 million of those cases considered recovered, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The COVID-19 tracking tool put the global death toll at more than 1.3 million.

    WATCH | Hang in a bit longer, Fauci tells Americans in throes of 2nd wave of COVID-19:

    Hang in there a bit longer, Fauci tells Americans. Help is on the way

    2 years ago
    Duration 1:27
    Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is telling Americans to see encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccines as motivation to be patient and follow basic public health advice, such as wearing a mask.

    In the Americas, U.S. doctors and nurses, in a letter published on Tuesday, urged the Trump administration to share critical COVID-19 data with president-elect Joe Biden's transition team to avoid unnecessary delays in tackling the pandemic as states crack down on skyrocketing infections.

    Members of several medical associations made the plea for co-operation a day after Biden warned that "more people may die" if outgoing President Donald Trump continues to block a smooth transition following his defeat in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

    "Real-time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation's assets needs to be shared to save countless lives," said the letter, signed by the leadership of the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Hospitals Association.

    The soaring rate of new infections this fall, even in states that had managed to keep the virus at bay over the summer, has prompted health officials to sound the alarm and government officials in at least 15 states to issue sweeping new public health mandates this month.

    A large container of hand sanitizer sits on a desk for students to use in Grade 2 instructor Marisela Sahagun's classroom at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, Calif., on Monday, where pre-kindergarten to Grade 2 students in need of special services returned to the classroom for in-person instruction. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

    Forty-one U.S. states have reported record increases in COVID-19 cases in November, 20 have seen a record rise in deaths and 26 reported record hospitalizations, according to a Reuters tally of public health data.

    Twenty-five states reported test positivity rates above 10 per cent for the week ending on Sunday, Nov. 15. The World Health Organization considers a positivity rate above five per cent to be concerning.

    Ohio and Maryland on Tuesday became the latest states to announce curfews aimed at reducing the virus's spread this winter.

    In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea said it will tighten physical distancing rules in the greater Seoul area and some parts of eastern Gangwon province to try to suppress a coronavirus resurgence there.

    Tuesday's announcement came as South Korea's daily virus tally stayed above 200 for a fourth straight day. The country has been experiencing a steady increase in virus infections since it relaxed its physical distancing guidelines last month.

    Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said it was necessary to adjust the distancing rules for two weeks.

    Australia's fifth most populous state reported one new COVID-19 case overnight, dampening fears of another deadly cluster emerging.

    New Zealand, meanwhile, has made masks mandatory from Thursday for users of public transport in Auckland as well as on all domestic flights.

    People wearing masks for protection against the spread of the coronavirus walk in the Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Market, in Istanbul on Tuesday. Turkey is re-introducing partial weekend lockdowns in a bid to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases. (Emrah Gurel/The Associated Press)

    In the Middle East, Turkey is re-introducing a series of restrictions, including partial weekend lockdowns, in a bid to slow a surge of coronavirus cases.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said people can venture out of their homes between 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on the weekend, after which a curfew would come into effect. Restaurants and cafés can serve takeaway meals only, while shops, markets and hairdressers can operate until 8 p.m. Cinemas will close, and schools will continue online education until the end of the year.

    Meanwhile, Zehra Zumrut Selcuk, the minister for family, labour and social services, became the second member from Erdogan's cabinet to test positive for the virus.

    Turkey reported 3,819 new patients and 103 deaths on Tuesday, taking the confirmed death toll since the start of the outbreak to 11,704.

    In Lebanon, Beirut's popular Sabra market teemed with shoppers this week, some of them unmasked, in apparent defiance of a full national lockdown imposed on Saturday to stem a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

    The Lebanese government ordered the two-week restrictions, including a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on Sundays, as new daily infections rose above 1,000.

    Lebanon reported 1,016 new infections on Monday, bringing its total to 106,446 cases and 827 deaths since Feb. 21.

    WATCH | Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shows positive early results:

    Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shows positive early results

    2 years ago
    Duration 3:25
     A COVID-19 vaccine from biotech company Moderna has shown promising early results, appearing to be 94.5 per cent effective, and the company says that it may apply for emergency use in the U.S. within weeks.

    Iran's health minister warned that coronavirus deaths may more than double if Iranians flout COVID-19 restrictions, as the country reported a record 13,352 new cases on Tuesday, according to state television. Iran has now seen more than 788,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 42,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

    South Africa remained the hardest-hit country in Africa, with more than 752,000 cases reported and more than 20,000 deaths.

    In Europe, the British government said another 598 people across the U.K. have died after testing positive for the coronavirus, the highest daily figure since May. Daily death figures released on Tuesday have invariably been higher than the seven-day average because of an evident weekend reporting lag effect. The country's total deaths now stand at 52,745, the highest virus-related death toll in Europe.

    The government also said another 20,051 people tested positive for the virus. That is the lowest level in two weeks and marks the fifth straight daily decline. There have been signs in recent days that the restrictions imposed across the U.K., particularly the current lockdown in England, are helping to suppress the virus's spread.

    Austria has started a new tough lockdown meant to slow the surging spread of the coronavirus in the Alpine nation. As of Tuesday, people are only allowed to leave their homes to purchase groceries, to go to jobs deemed essential, to exercise or to help people who need assistance.

    Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Monday ahead of the lockdown, which is to run through Dec. 6, that "all of social and public life will be brought down to a minimum."

    Windows of a fairground ride are closed at the Wiener Prater amusement park on Tuesday in Vienna. Austria is toughening its anti-coronavirus restrictions, shutting schools and shops until Dec. 6 to get spiralling numbers of infections under control. (Philip Stotter/APA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Austria is currently registering more than 527 new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days — more than 10 times the rate that authorities say is sustainable. Over the last seven days, it has reported 46,946 new coronavirus infections.

    Italian authorities have inspected more than 230 nursing homes as part of the Health Ministry's anti-coronavirus controls, identifying 37 with violations and flagging 11 people to law enforcement for possible prosecution.

    The violations included lack of protective equipment and training for health-care workers, insufficient hygiene and missing anti-COVID protocols. In addition, inspectors found other underlying violations of health norms, including overcrowding, abusive treatment of the elderly, expired medicine, poor food safety and unqualified staff.

    With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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