Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday
Household transmission, private gatherings continue to be source of outbreaks in several provinces
- Conservative leader demands changes to COVID-19 business support programs.
- Saskatchewan makes masks mandatory in public spaces in certain regions.
- Alberta reports four straight days of more than 500 daily infections.
- B.C. dance studio outbreak connected to 30 cases.
- Ontario creates new set of criteria for imposing COVID-19 restrictions in different regions.
- Jason Kenney calls on Albertans to stop partying amid rise in COVID-19 cases.
- Dr. Theresa Tam announces new recommendations around the type of mask to wear.
- Manitoba premier calls for volunteers to help at health-care facilities.
- Supermarkets in France banned from selling flowers, books under new restrictions.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca.
Alberta is reporting four days straight of more than 500 new COVID-19 cases per day — and household transmission, along with private gatherings continue to fuel the province's infections, health officials say.
The province added 2,268 new cases over the last four days, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Tuesday. The lab positivity rate for the province also inched up to 6.8 per cent on Monday. The daily breakdown was:
- Friday, Oct. 30: 581 cases.
- Saturday, Oct. 31: 525 cases.
- Sunday, Nov. 1: 592 cases.
- Monday, Nov. 2: 570 cases.
She said at a news conference that transmission within households is becoming a major problem, as infected family members are not isolating properly from other people who live in the same home.
Hinshaw said if you have COVID-19, the proper way to isolate is to stay in one bedroom and use a separate bathroom if possible. If this level of distancing is not possible, she said to wear a mask at all times, disinfect common surfaces and do not eat with other family members.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also urged people to avoid large private gatherings as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the province climbs, saying "COVID-19 loves parties."
Kenney, who said Monday that health officials could be forced to cancel elective surgeries if case numbers keep rising, called on people to follow public health guidance and respect restrictions.
"We're all fed up with this, but now more than ever we need to take this seriously — and the single biggest thing people could do is just stop with the private parties and the social gatherings."
Private gatherings are also a major concern in Saskatchewan, as the province announced mandatory mask policies for Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert regions on Tuesday and changed gathering size rules for the entire province.
The maximum allowable gathering size for private gatherings in the home will decrease from 15 to 10. Those rules will come into effect on Friday.
Transmission trends in smaller, rural communities have been linked to private gatherings while the source of transmission in bigger cities is due to exposure in public spaces, along with private gatherings.
The issue of large gatherings was also flagged by the premier in Manitoba, who said Monday the province is seriously considering a temporary curfew as part of its plan to try to tackle growing case numbers.
The province reported 103 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday along with five more deaths. While the new case count is lower than figures seen Monday and compared to a high of 480 on Friday, the number of hospitalizations have continued to climb.
WATCH | Manitoba considers curfew as new restrictions begin:
There are 130 people in hospital — six more than on Monday, and a record high — and 20 in intensive care, up from 18.
Brian Pallister said Monday there have been reports of large parties being promoted online in Winnipeg, which is now considered a red zone on the province's pandemic response scale.
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In British Columbia, which is also seeing rising COVID-19 case numbers, Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke out after social media postings showed a large number of Halloween partiers gather in a Vancouver neighbourhood.
"It's a very irritating event because I think it was a visible symbol of people not following the rules of gathering, which are limited to 50 people," Dix said.
On Tuesday, B.C. reported 299 new cases of COVID-19 along with three new deaths. Currently, 27 long-term care homes in the province are experiencing outbreaks and there is a new outbreak at a dance studio that's connected to 30 cases.
Most of the recent transmission of COVID-19 is due to social gatherings, Dr. Réka Gustafson, deputy provincial health officer, and Dix said in a joint statement.
"That is why it is so important to keep our groups small," they said.
"This is particularly important in the Fraser Health region where public health teams are asking everyone to avoid all social gatherings in your home right now — even those that are within the restrictions of the provincial health officer order."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday again urged people to limit their contacts, follow public health guidelines and download the COVID Alert app. He pointed to increasing case numbers in several European countries, saying surges there show how quickly things can escalate.
Trudeau said he knows the situation is tough now, but cautioned that it's "going to be even tougher if we give up now."
Canadians flattened the curve this spring, he said, adding it's time to do it again this fall.
On Tuesday, new recommendations from the federal government on masks were outlined by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is now recommending that Canadians wear three-layer non-medical masks with a filter layer to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, Tam said at a news conference.
WATCH | Canada's top doctor gives new guidance on the type of mask to wear:
The recently updated guidelines recommend that two layers of the mask should be made of tightly woven fabric like cotton or linen and the middle layer should be a filter-type fabric, like non-woven polypropylene fabric.
Tam says she's not suggesting that Canadians throw out masks they currently own, stating that adding a filter could help.
The World Health Organization has recommended three layers for non-medical masks since June.
What's happening in Canada
As of 7:30 p.m ET on Tuesday, provinces and territories in Canada had reported a cumulative total of 244,935 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 203,509 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 10,279.
Ontario announced Tuesday that it is launching a new system of criteria for imposing health restrictions on different areas in the province, as a record 1,050 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. Most of those infections are in Toronto and the surrounding regions. Another 14 deaths were also announced.
The seven-day average of new cases of COVID-19 increased to 950.
Ontario is reporting 1,050 cases of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a>. Locally, there are 408 new cases in Toronto, 212 in Peel, 86 in Halton, 76 in York Region and 57 in Durham. There are 837 more resolved cases and nearly 25,300 tests completed.—@celliottability
The new colour-coded model provides clarity on how decisions about restrictions for different industries and businesses are being made at the provincial level, said Premier Doug Ford.
The announcement also means that changes are being made to the modified Stage 2 restrictions for Ottawa, Peel and York regions.
As a result, Ford said that at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 7, those regions will be moved out of the Stage 2 designation and gyms and indoor dining will be allowed again. Those businesses will also reopen in Toronto but a week later, on Nov. 14.
WATCH | Dr. David Williams explains Ontario's new COVID-19 criteria:
"Mayor Tory has asked us for a little more time in Toronto," Ford said.
You can read more about the new framework and how businesses have reacted to increased shutdowns this month here.
The number of people in hospital stood at 357, with 73 in intensive care and 47 on a ventilator, the province reported.
Quebec reported 871 new cases on Tuesday and added 34 deaths to its count of COVID-19 fatalities, with five of those reported as occurring in the previous 24 hours.
The province, which has recorded more than 108,000 cases since the pandemic began, reported 526 COVID-19 hospitalizations with 85 in ICU.
The Quebec government said Tuesday that regions including Quebec City and Montreal are improving but others, such as Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Mauricie and Lanaudière, are seeing increased levels of COVID-19 transmission.
Dr. Horacio Arruda said at a news conference that Quebec is looking at its own recommendations for masks, as the federal Public Health Agency recommended Canadians choose three-layer non-medical masks on Tuesday.
In Atlantic Canada, there was one new COVID-19 case reported in Nova Scotia on Tuesday. There were no new cases in New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador.
In Prince Edward Island, which has no active cases, a state of emergency was renewed on Tuesday for another 30 days.
Premier Dennis King urged people to maintain their efforts at keeping the province safe, saying the "simple things" Islanders are enjoying right now "could be very quickly and easily ripped from us if we aren't vigilant."
Saskatchewan reported 81 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. A total of 28 people are in hospital, with 21 of them receiving in-patient care, the province announced on its website.
Across the North, there were no new cases reported in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut on Monday.
In Manitoba's update Tuesday, Premier Brian Pallister called on residents to volunteer at COVID-19 testing sites and within the province's health-care facilities to help with the response to the virus.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew criticized Pallister's need for volunteers, saying the government should instead be spending the money needed to hire more health-care workers.
When asked about this at the news conference, Pallister said the province is looking to access help quickly and volunteers are more readily available to assist with low-skills tasks.
WATCH | Manitoba's premier explains why the province is considering a curfew:
The Assembly of First Nations regional chief in Alberta says First Nations' capacities to respond to COVID-19's second wave are dwindling because of health, social and economic inequities.
Marlene Poitras of the Mikisew Cree First Nation told the House of Commons Indigenous and northern affairs committee that First Nations are facing housing shortages, lack of access to drinkable water and poor access to health services.
If "meaningful investment" in those communities were made earlier, First Nations would not be as vulnerable as they are now, she said.
The federal government says 1,610 COVID-19 cases have been reported in First Nations communities and about 500 of those were active cases as of Monday.
What's happening around the world
As of Tuesday morning, more than 47 million cases of the novel coronavirus had been reported worldwide since the pandemic began, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The tool maintained by the U.S.-based university listed more than 31 million of those as recovered and put the global death toll at more than 1.2 million.
In the Americas, huge voter turnout was expected in the U.S. despite mounting cases of the novel coronavirus and political rancour.
In and around polling places across the country, reminders of an election year shaped by a pandemic, civil unrest and bruising political partisanship greeted voters, although more than 90 million ballots already have been submitted in an unprecedented wave of early voting.
- ANALYSIS | A nation on edge: Uncommon threats, fears mark this U.S. election day
- America Votes | How to follow U.S. election day coverage on CBC
Many wore masks to the polls — either by choice or by official mandate — with the coronavirus outbreak raging in many parts of the country.
As of Tuesday afternoon, lines already extended by physical distancing rules could get worse if large numbers of voters who requested a mail ballot show up at the polls after deciding they would rather vote in person.
WATCH | U.S. COVID-19 management a 'mess' at several levels, infectious disease expert says:
In Nebraska alone, the surge in COVID-19 cases has led to record-high hospitalizations that are straining the state's health-care system, officials said Monday.
Dr. Cary Ward, chief medical officer for CHI Health's network of 14 hospitals across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, said during a video call with reporters that there had been a doubling of COVID-positive patients in the last several weeks in the network. He said if the trend continues "every hospital in the state could be at capacity in a very short period of time."
Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo has began self-isolating after a close coworker tested positive for the coronavirus.
Colorado is also reporting 775 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 — the highest numbers seen since April. Gov. Jared Polis said Monday that he's concerned about "alarming" trends in the state but did not issue any new public health orders.
In Europe, the French government will reimpose an evening curfew on Paris, and possibly the Ile-de-France region around the capital, to tackle worsening COVID-19 figures, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said on Tuesday.
Supermarkets in France are banned from selling flowers and books but can sell essential products like items used for baby care, according to new rules imposed Tuesday.
The decree outlines how only essential items are allowed to be sold as France is in the midst of a strict lockdown that requires residents to stay in their homes at all times, with a few exceptions, including an hour of exercise per day.
Small businesses like florists and bookstores say they are being unfairly punished because they were forced to close. The country is reporting tens of thousands of new cases per day and COVID-19 patients occupy 73 per cent of ICU beds.
Greece announced it will impose a two-week lockdown in northern regions and suspend flights, while Italy will tighten restrictions but is holding back from reintroducing a nationwide lockdown as infections, hospital admissions and deaths surge.
Russia's coronavirus cases could peak in the middle of November, the country's consumer health watchdog estimated on Tuesday, as authorities reported more than 18,000 new infections nationwide.
The peak would be roughly mid-November, Alexander Gorelov, deputy director of a research institute at Rospotrebnadzor, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
"It is difficult to give a more accurate forecast as many factors affect the development of the epidemiological process," he said.
Officials have repeatedly said that Russia does not intend to reimpose the strict lockdown restrictions that were in place in the spring, despite a surge in cases and deaths across the country.
The situation with the coronavirus in Ukraine is close to catastrophic and the nation must prepare for the worst, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said on Tuesday, as the country registered a record 8,899 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.
In England, a half-million people in the city of Liverpool will be regularly tested for COVID-19 in Britain's first citywide trial of widespread, rapid testing the government hopes will be a new weapon in combating the pandemic.
Testing will begin later this week at sites throughout the city and will also include newer, rapid testing methods that provide results in an hour or less.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes mass testing will provide a way out of the coronavirus crisis, which has killed more than 46,000 people across the U.K. in Europe's deadliest outbreak.
England is also scheduled to enter a second national lockdown on Thursday.
In Africa, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has tested positive for COVID-19, but his condition is gradually improving as he receives treatment in a German hospital, the presidency said on Tuesday.
Mozambique will receive €100 million in coronavirus-related aid from the European Union, EU Ambassador Antonio Sanchez-Benedito Gaspar said. South Africa remained the hardest-hit country in Africa, with more than 727,000 cases recorded and more than 19,400 deaths.
In the Asia-Pacific region, authorities in Sri Lanka have extended the school holidays for two more weeks, postponing the opening of classes amid a surge of COVID-19 patients from two clusters in Colombo and the capital's suburbs.
Schools were suddenly closed last month as a precautionary measure after a new cluster of coronavirus infections centred on a garment factory erupted in the densely populated Western province, where the capital is. Another cluster centred on the country's main fish market arose later.
India has registered 38,310 confirmed coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, maintaining an overall downturn even as fresh infections continue to appear in its capital, New Delhi. The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 490 more fatalities from COVID-19, raising the overall death toll to 123,097.
With a total of 8.2 million coronavirus cases during the pandemic, India is the second-worst-hit country behind the United States. But it has been witnessing a steady fall in daily cases.
Still, health officials say New Delhi remains in the grip of its third and worst wave of infections yet. In the past week, there were more than 5,200 cases on average every day. The Health Ministry attributes the city's surge to the festival season, with people crowding markets for shopping.
In the Middle East, Iran reported on Tuesday a record daily total of 8,932 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the overall figure to 637,712 for detected infections in the Middle East's worst-hit country, the Health Ministry said.
Health Ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari told state television that 422 patients had died in the past 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 36,160.
With files from The Associated Press, The Canadian Press and Reuters