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

Provinces are reimposing restrictions on gatherings as health officials worry that the new increases in COVID-19 cases could lead to an equivalent spike in hospital patients or deaths in the coming weeks. 

Provinces reimpose restrictions as officials worry about potential spike in hospitalizations

Paramedics administer nasal swabs at a drive-thru pop-up COVID-19 testing centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

Provinces are reimposing restrictions on gatherings as health officials worry that the new increases in COVID-19 cases could lead to an equivalent spike in hospital patients or deaths in the coming weeks. 

As of 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 145,415 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 125,714 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 9,268.

Over the past week, as Premier Doug Ford and his government slapped new restrictions on private gatherings, Ontario reported an average of 335 new confirmed COVID-19 infections daily. That's triple the pace of the last week of August. 

On Monday, Ford claimed that Ontario was "doing more testing ... than every province combined in the entire country."

WATCH | Ontario doing 'fabulous' on COVID-19 testing, Ford says:

Premier Doug Ford claims Ontario is now doing more daily COVID-19 tests than all of the other provinces combined. 0:53

So far, the rise in hospitalizations is nowhere near as steep as it was. There were 63 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals as of Sunday. The hospitalization rate hit its low ebb in the third week of August, with a daily average of 38 patients in beds around the province.

Ontario reported an additional 425 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the most on any single day in three-and-a-half months.

Consistent with recent trends, the majority of new infections were concentrated in three public health units. Toronto saw 175, while Peel confirmed 84 and Ottawa 60. 

However, hospitalizations and deaths are what epidemiologists call "lagging indicators" of the impact of a pandemic: you don't see those numbers rising until well after the infections were transmitted. 

"It's just unfortunately a matter of time," said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease physician at Toronto General Hospital. 

In Alberta, three units at a local hospital declared a COVID-19 outbreak over the weekend.

On Monday the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said 14 patients and four staff members at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary had tested positive. 

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said all at-risk patients are being offered testing and that contact tracing is ongoing.

"While we appreciate it may be difficult for some, visitors to the units are limited to only end of life situations until further notice," AHS said in a statement.

WATCH | One patient dead after COVID-19 outbreak at Alberta hospital:

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared on three units at Foothills Medical Centre in Alberta. One patient has died and 14 other patients and four staff have been tested positive for the coronavirus and are told to self-isolate. The province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced on Monday that an investigation on how the virus entered the unit is being made. 1:21

Two more schools in Alberta have been identified for in-school transmission on Monday, according to Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

Vimy Ridge school in Edmonton and Springfield elementary school in Peace River are under watch status, Hinshaw said during Monday's news conference. A school that is under watch status is defined when there are five or more outbreaks where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school.

"As I stressed on Friday, this is not unexpected and is not a cause for alarm," Hinshaw said at her news conference. "As we have seen transmission in other settings, we will see some cases where this happens in classrooms. We are working with schools and Alberta Health Services to keep these numbers as small as possible and prevent broad spread within a school.

But Hinshaw stressed that in the vast majority of cases linked to schools the illness was acquired elsewhere in the community.

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her COVID-19 update on Monday. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Meanwhile in British Columbia, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced a series of new COVID-19 measures over the weekend that are enforceable with a fine.

The expanded list of provincial health orders, mostly centred around the restaurant and bar industry, comes after the province ordered the closure of banquet halls and nightclubs earlier this month.

Operators and organizers who are caught violating the health orders could be fined $2,000, while patrons could face a $200 ticket.

On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province has more than 8,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Over 300 of those cases were from this past weekend.

The number of cases of active infection in B.C. has hit another record high: 1,987, out of a total 8,208 cases to date. A total of 227 people have died.

WATCH | Quebec is entering second wave, says Arruda

Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda said on Monday that Quebec is already experiencing the beginning of the second wave of COVID-19. 1:00

Quebec reported 586 new cases on Monday, the highest daily increase since late May.

On Sunday, the province reported 462 new cases of COVID-19 and 427 new cases on Saturday. Hospitalizations have been increasing at a slower rate and are now at 138, up from 124 a week ago.

During a news conference on Monday, public health officials urged people to reduce their social activities as much as possible in the weeks ahead.

"With today's numbers, I'm still very, very, very concerned about the situation, to the point that I consider that we are now at the start of the second wave," said provincial Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda at a news conference in Quebec City.


What's happening around the rest of Canada

A student at Riverside Public School in Elmira, Ont., has tested positive for COVID-19, the Waterloo Region District School Board says.

The case is the third one in a school in Waterloo Region. There is also a student case at St. Anne Catholic Elementary School in Cambridge, Ont., and a staff member at Edna Staebler Public School in Waterloo tested positive for the virus.

Seven residents of Winnipeg's Parkview Place personal care home and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two residents of the downtown care home tested positive for the novel coronavirus over the weekend and five residents tested positive on Monday, according to a letter signed by Dr. Rhonda Collins, chief medical officer of Revera Inc., the company that oversees the home.

In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, residents who have tested positive are eating their meals in their rooms and the care home management has restructured meal and recreation times to promote physical distancing, Collins said.

According to data from Ottawa Public Health, 66 per cent of people who've tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa are Black people or others from non-white backgrounds. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Race-based data is confirming what some on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic have been saying for months — that the novel coronavirus affects communities of colour at a disproportionate rate.

According to early data from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), 66 per cent of people who've tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa are racialized, a term OPH is using to refer to Black people and others from non-white backgrounds.

The term does not include people who identify as Indigenous.

"We know that there are systemic inequities for these communities," said Naini Cloutier, executive director of the Somerset West Community Health Centre, in an interview with CBC. 

"With COVID, the cracks are becoming bigger and you're seeing the very negative impact."

Only 25 per cent of Ottawa residents identified as being a visible minority in the 2016 census, according to Statistics Canada.


What's happening around the world

According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 31 million. More than 960,800 people have died, while 21.2 million have recovered.

Health officials in the United Kingdom have issued a dire warning as the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase.

According to week-old data, new cases are rising by at least 6,000 per day with hospital admissions doubling every eight days.

Chris Whitty, the U.K.'s chief medical officer, and Patrick Vallance, its chief scientific adviser, cautioned that if left unrestricted, the epidemic would reach 50,000 new cases per day by mid-October.

"If this continued along the path … the number of deaths directly from COVID … will continue to rise, potentially on an exponential curve," Whitty said. "That means doubling and doubling and doubling again, and you can quickly move from really quite small numbers to really very large numbers."

WATCH | U.K. cases doubling roughly every 7 days:

Experts in the United Kingdom are issuing a dire warning about the number of COVID-19 cases in the coming months. Fifty-thousand new cases per day are possible by mid-October, leading to 200 deaths per day a month later. 2:46

The United Kingdom already has the biggest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe and the fifth largest in the world.

Meanwhile, Scotland first minister Nicola Sturgeon says there is a need to move "sharply" now to curtail the explosive growth of the coronavirus.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus four additional areas, have all been put under restrictions preventing people from entering those areas without a reasonable reason, such as education or work. People are also only allowed to meet those they don't live with outdoors.

"I need to be absolutely straight with people," Sturgeon said. "Across Scotland, additional restrictions will almost certainly be put in place … over the next couple of days." 

WATCH | Scotland sees tougher COVID-19 restrictions on the way:

Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, says there is a need to move 'sharply' now to curtail the explosive growth of the coronavirus. 1:04

A total of 156 countries have joined the global COVAX scheme intended to ensure fair distribution of supplies of future vaccines against COVID-19, an alliance led by the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The goal of COVAX is to deliver two billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2021, with health-care workers prioritized initially, followed by the most vulnerable 20 per cent of people in every participating country, regardless of income level.

While many lower-income nations are seeking assistance via COVAX, some richer countries had been reticent in confirming their intentions. Some of those who have secured their own future supplies through bilateral deals, including the United States, do not plan to join COVAX.

All remaining virus restrictions will be lifted across much of New Zealand from late Monday with the exception of the largest city, Auckland, which will continue to have some restrictions for at least another 16 days.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement Monday after meeting with top lawmakers.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that most of the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from the country. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The nation of five million reimposed some restrictions last month after an Auckland outbreak, which now appears to be under control.

Lebanon registered a record 1,006 cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the government announced Sunday, amid a sharp increase in infections and deaths due to the coronavirus.

Health Minister Hamad Hassan recommended a total lockdown for two weeks to stem the alarming rise in daily detected infections, but authorities will find it difficult to impose another lockdown amid an unprecedented economic collapse.

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech resigned on Monday following criticism of his handling of the pandemic after a surge in cases.

WATCH | Epidemiologist on people's own power to change the course of COVID-19:

Dr. Christopher Labos says Quebecers can limit the damage from a second wave of the coronavirus by following basic health guidelines. He also paints a vivid picture of the virus's transmission while stressing the importance of masks. 4:44

Before the start of the summer, the government lifted almost all restrictions imposed during the first wave of the pandemic. The number of infections has doubled this month and has grown at the second fastest rate in Europe in recent weeks, behind Spain.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis thanked Vojtech for his work in a Twitter message. Vojtech had been heavily criticized over the new wave of infections, although some opposition politicians saw him as a scapegoat for the government.

"The prime minister is more responsible as he strongly and incompetently interferes with Health Ministry work," Marian Jurecka, chairman of the opposition Christian Democrats, wrote on Twitter.

A migrant woman washes her face at a communal standpipe behind barbed wire at a quarantine area in the new temporary camp near Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos, as more than 200 people were diagnosed with coronavirus. (Manolis Lagoutaris/AFP/Getty Images)

Greece's government spokesperson says more than 200 people have tested positive for the coronavirus among thousands of asylum-seekers admitted to a new camp on the island of Lesbos after the previous camp burned down.

Speaking during a regular briefing Monday, Stelios Petsas said 7,064 people who entered the new camp at Kara Tepe had been tested, and 243 of them received positive results.

The average age of those confirmed positive was 24, and most were asymptomatic, Petsas said. A further 160 people, mainly police and administrative staff who had come into contact with the migrants were tested, and were all negative.

Petsas said the positive cases from Lesbos would be added to Greece's official coronavirus figures on Monday. Health authorities release daily statistics of the virus's spread every evening.

With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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