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

Tougher restrictions are coming to Winnipeg as Manitoba's COVID-19 caseload ticks upward while Ontario reports more than 700 new cases for the fifth straight day. Here's the latest about COVID-19 from Canada and around the world.

Gathering size limits dropping to 5 in Winnipeg area; Ontario puts new rules on another region

People make their way down St. Catherine Street in Montreal on Thursday. Tightened restrictions imposed earlier this month in the greater Montreal and Quebec City areas are to last until at least Oct. 28. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

Ontario reported more than 700 new COVID-19 cases for the fifth straight day on Friday, and said another region will move into a modified Stage 2 with more restrictions.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province had another 712 new infections, marking a decrease from the 783 cases logged a day earlier. The daily number of infections remained above the 700 mark all week, with 807 cases on Monday, 746 on Tuesday and 721 on Wednesday.

There are 261 people hospitalized, 67 of them in intensive care, 36 of those on a ventilator.

Last Saturday, the province imposed new restrictions in three hot spots: Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region. As of Friday, residents of long-term care homes in those regions are not allowed to go out for social or personal reasons.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that York Region, which is dealing with a surge in new COVID-19 cases, will join those regions in moving into a modified version Stage 2.

WATCH | Ontario tightens rules for York Region:

York Region moving to modified Stage 2 of COVID-19 restrictions was a decision made after seeing concerning trends and looking at multiple indicators, including community transmission, says Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. 3:46

That means that gyms, indoor dining rooms and movie theatres will be closed in the region. The changes will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and stay in place for at least 28 days.

The province also announced work with businesses and the manufacturing sector to expand production of domestic personal protective equipment (PPE). Greenfield Global is investing $75 million at its facility in Johnstown, Ont., to produce medical-grade alcohol used to make hand sanitizers in Ontario. 

The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund in support of this project.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 1,055 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 more deaths on Friday, one of which occurred in the last 24 hours. Since the start of the pandemic, 6,018 people in the province have died.

There are 507 people in hospital, including 87 in intensive care.

Tightened restrictions imposed earlier this month in the greater Montreal and Quebec City areas, as well as the Chaudière-Appalaches region south of the provincial capital, are to last until at least Oct. 28.

But Premier François Legault said it's "likely" some of the stricter rules will last longer in those regions.

Bars, casinos, concert halls, cinemas, museums and libraries are shuttered, and restaurants are limited to takeout.

Private gatherings are prohibited, and people cannot have any visitors from another address at their homes, with few exceptions.

Legault said he hopes Quebecers will be able to see their friends and families at Christmas.

"It's too early to say what form that might take, but it won't be large gatherings."

Legault said Halloween is a go for trick-or-treaters, as long as children stay with the people they live with. Parties, however, are out.

WATCH | Latest COVID-19 restrictions paying off, Legault says:

Halfway through a month of new red zone restrictions, Premier François Legault says Quebec has reached a plateau in COVID-19 cases. 1:42

Meanwhile, Manitoba said the limit on gatherings will drop to five people in the Winnipeg area for two weeks starting Monday, following several days of record-breaking case counts.

The 75 new cases the province reported on Friday ended a three-day streak of triple-digit increases. The Winnipeg health region had 63 of those new cases.

The percentage of people testing positive has jumped sharply in recent days. On Friday, the overall test positivity rate in the province was 5.2 per cent, and 6.8 per cent in the Winnipeg metropolitan region.

In addition to the smaller limit on gatherings, Manitoba's chief public health officer also said Winnipeg-area stand-alone nightclubs, bars and beverage rooms will be closed, as will casinos, video lottery lounges and bingo halls.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 outbreak at Parkview Place long-term care home in Winnipeg has grown to 94. To date, 70 residents and and 24 staff have contracted the virus, and at least nine residents have died.

WATCH | How one Manitoba gathering led to 40 cases:

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, explains how one person going to a gathering while sick led to dozens of people being infected and hundreds having to self-isolate. 2:05

In Ottawa, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the government knows of 209 active COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities — the highest figure to date.

Miller says that number may seem small in the context of 20,000 active cases nationally, but he calls it "alarming."

"Every active case that starts spreading in a community requires a huge mobilization that [it] wouldn't necessarily in an urban centre," he said. "So, there is a very real and present logistical challenge."

Heading into winter, 144 mobile structures have been procured for communities where overcrowding is a concern. Miller says they have inserts that can provide warmth down to –40 C.

WATCH | Remote First Nation community dealing with quarantine challenges:

A lack of infrastructure is making it hard for people to quarantine under proper guidelines in Kasabonika Lake First Nation in northern Ontario, according to local pandemic lead Keith Mason.   1:12

"It's not obviously ideal — it's not even ideal during the summer — but we are moving to ensure that we do have the capacity to deal with those acute situations."

Miller said Indigenous communities in the United States have been hit about three-and-a-half times harder than their non-Indigenous counterparts. But in Canada, the COVID-19 rate during the first wave was a third of that of non-Indigenous Canadians.


What's happening across Canada

As of 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 194,106 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 163,644 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 9,722.

New Brunswick continues to try to contain two ongoing outbreaks, one in Moncton and the other in Campbellton. The province announced no new cases Thursday for the first time since Oct. 4 but reported another five cases on Friday, all in the Campbellton region.

The province has 92 active cases.

In the rest of the so-called Atlantic bubble, Nova Scotia reported one new case Friday, and Newfoundland and Labrador reported three. P.E.I. has not made any announcements.

WATCH | WestJet slashes routes in Atlantic bubble:

WestJet has slashed its routes to Atlantic Canada by 80 per cent, putting much of the blame on quarantine restrictions in the Atlantic bubble. The Calgary-based airline has promised to restore service, but there are doubts about how quickly that will happen after the pandemic. 1:59

Saskatchewan reported 40 new cases and 12 new recoveries on Friday, bringing the total known active cases in the province to 299. The province has reported a total of 2,270 cases since the pandemic began.

The province also said two additional fines have been issued for failure to abide by public health orders — one to a person and one to a corporation.

Alberta reported 332 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, but no additional deaths. Currently, 117 people are in hospital with the disease; 11 of them are in intensive care.

The number of active cases in the province is now 2,836. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said she continues to be concerned about the situation in the Edmonton zone, which has 54 per cent of the province's active cases.

WATCH | Costco executives mistakenly given quarantine exemption, Ottawa says:

CBC News has learned that Costco executives from the U.S., including the CEO, were given an exemption to Canada’s quarantine rules by border officers in August, which Canada Border Services Agency now says was an error. The exemption happened on the same day another group of U.S. executives received an exemption. 2:03

British Columbia announced 155 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Friday. There are currently 1,513 active cases, 72 of whom are in hospital with 26 in intensive care.

The province on Thursday revealed its first confirmed case of multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare condition found in children that has been linked to COVID-19 through laboratory tests. The child has since recovered. 

In the Northwest Territories, one person from Inuvik and two from Yellowknife have received presumptive positive COVID-19 tests. Followup tests will be done by the territory's partner public health laboratory in Edmonton.


What's happening around the world

According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 39.2 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 26.9 million have recovered.

Gilead Sciences has questioned the findings of a World Health Organization (WHO) study that concluded that its COVID-19 drug remdesivir does not help patients who have been admitted to hospital.

The American company told Reuters the data appeared inconsistent, the findings were premature and that other studies had validated the drug's benefits.

WATCH | Remdesivir has little effect on COVID-19 mortality, says expert:

A World Health Organization study found that four drugs, including Remdesivir taken by U.S. President Donald Trump, showed little effect on COVID-19 mortality but might reduce symptoms for people needing only oxygen in hospital, says infectious disease specialist Dr. Zain Chagla. 3:11

In a blow to one of the few drugs being used to treat people with COVID-19, the WHO said its "Solidarity" trial had concluded that remdesivir appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or length of hospital stays among patients with the respiratory disease.

In the United States, COVID-19 cases are surging in Wisconsin ahead of a planned campaign rally there by President Donald Trump.

On Friday, the state's department of health services reported grim records as daily COVID-19 cases reached 3,861 and the seven-day average of new confirmed cases topped 3,000 for the first time.

Trump plans on Saturday to make a campaign stop in Janesville as he seeks to make up for time lost during his own bout with the coronavirus earlier this month.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has passed eight million, with over 218,000 deaths.

Mexico's Health Ministry on Friday reported 6,751 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 419 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to more than 841,000 cases and more than 85,700 deaths.

People follow preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus at Victoria Stadium in Aguascalientes, Mexico, as Liga MX allowed clubs to reopen their stadiums to fans after seven months of a government-ordered lockdown. (Omar Martinez Martinez/Getty Images)

The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Earlier in the day, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he will take the vaccine for COVID-19 in public if doctors approve the treatment for him.

Germany has confirmed more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections for the first time, its second consecutive daily record.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease control centre, said early Friday that 7,334 new cases were confirmed in the previous 24 hours. That compares with 6,638 a day earlier.

Until this week, Germany's highest recorded figure was nearly 6,300 in late March, though testing has expanded vastly since then. Figures tend to peak around the end of the week, but the latest reading underlines a sharp upward trend in recent weeks.

WATCH | Virus not spreading equally across Europe, WHO says:

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in 80 per cent of European countries, according to the World Health Organization's Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, with local 'hot spots' the driving force.   1:56

Earlier this week, the federal and state governments agreed to toughen mask-wearing rules and make bars close early in areas where infections are high.

Coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic have set a new one-day record for the second straight day.

Health Ministry figures show the day-to-day increase reached 9,721 on Thursday, 177 more than the previous record set a day earlier.

The nation of more than 10 million has had a total of 149,010 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Almost 50,000 of them were registered last week. It has also seen 1,230 deaths.

The Czech military will start building a field hospital at Prague's exhibition centre over the weekend for 500 patients. A similar plan is ready for the second largest city of Brno, while the government is negotiating with neighbouring Germany and some other countries for Czechs to be treated there if the local health system is overwhelmed.

Australia's largest city, Sydney, lifted quarantine restrictions on travellers from New Zealand on Friday while the second largest city, Melbourne, marked the 100th day of one of the world's longest pandemic lockdowns.

More than 350 passengers are scheduled to take three flights from Auckland on Friday and will not have to undergo hotel quarantine on arrival in Sydney.

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "This is great news for tourism. It's also great news for family reunification and grateful businesses."

New Zealand will continue to insist that travellers from Australia quarantine in hotels for 14 days on arrival.

The Victoria state government has resisted pressure from businesses and the federal government to relax a second lockdown that began when stay-at-home orders took effect in Melbourne on July 9.

Victoria recorded only two new COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour period. The state last recorded such a low number on June 8, with daily tallies peaking at 725 on Aug. 5.

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

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