Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Nov. 30
Alberta, B.C. set grim new COVID-19 records as new measures take effect, enforcement continues
- Record high of 46 people die of COVID-19 in B.C. over the weekend.
- Alberta sets records for new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and number in ICU.
- Feds to spend up to $100B to jolt post-pandemic economy after posting record $381B deficit.
- Manitoba, Saskatchewan hit new provincial records for COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- Ontario reports 1,746 new COVID-19 cases, 7-day average climbs to new high.
- Moderna to ask U.S., European regulators to OK emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine.
- Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca
Alberta and British Columbia set grim new COVID-19 records on Monday, as new measures take effect and authorities carry out enforcement in an effort to curb rising infections.
Alberta reported 1,733 new cases, breaking a record set just two days ago, along with eight new deaths. There were 453 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, including 96 in ICU beds — both also new records.
"Like all Albertans, I am alarmed by the rising case numbers reported today and over the weekend," Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said at a news conference.
"This is another reminder that COVID-19 has a long incubation period, meaning the actions we take today will not be seen until 10 to 14 days from now."
On Monday, students in grades 7 to 12 moved to online classes under new COVID-19 measures. They will continue with virtual learning until at least Jan. 11.
Meanwhile, British Columbia reported its highest-ever COVID-19 weekend death toll, with 46 deaths confirmed over the last three days.
The province, which doesn't provide COVID-19 data on weekends, also recorded 2,364 new cases, including 277 historical cases that were previously missed because of a data reporting error in the Fraser Health region.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the majority of those who died — about 80 per cent — were long-term care residents. Since the start of the pandemic, 441 people in B.C. have died of the virus.
"These people have faces, have names, have stories. This tragedy is all of our tragedy," Henry said. "If you are thinking it may be OK to bend the rules, please remember this virus takes lives. It is the lives closest to us that are most at risk when we take risks."
Authorities have been cracking down on those who flout COVID-19 restrictions. On Sunday, a church in Langley was hit with a $2,300 fine for holding an in-person religious service, which is currently prohibited.
And in Vancouver, police say several fines were issued over the weekend after officers were called to break up four separate gatherings — including house parties and a limousine ride — all of which violated provincial COVID-19 protocols.
What's happening across Canada
As of 6:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada's COVID-19 case count stood at 378,139, with 66,037 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 12,130.
On Monday, federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the Liberal government's long-awaited economic statement, with Ottawa eyeing up to $100 billion in post-pandemic stimulus spending.
That comes as Canada's deficit is projected to hit a record high of more than $381 billion for this fiscal year.
Freeland said the government's immediate priority is to do "whatever it takes" to help Canadians and businesses stay safe and solvent. The risks associated with not providing enough economic support right now outweigh those involved in spending too much, she said.
The stimulus package — valued at $70 billion to $100 billion over roughly three years — is intended to build a greener, more inclusive, more innovative and competitive economy, according to the government. It is intended to launch after a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed and life begins to return to normal.
In Saskatchewan, more than 100 medical students have signed an open letter to the provincial government calling for more action to control the spread of COVID-19.
In the letter, the University of Saskatchewan students thank the government for some of the measures already taken, such as mandatory indoor masking, but say they're not enough.
1 resident dead, 46 others infected amid COVID-19 outbreak at Regina's Parkside Extendicare home<a href="https://t.co/VYWdYzlHTK">https://t.co/VYWdYzlHTK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqr?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/regina?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#regina</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/saskatchewan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#saskatchewan</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/covid19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#covid19</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sask?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sask</a> <a href="https://t.co/bLgtwtxgt5">pic.twitter.com/bLgtwtxgt5</a>—@gqinsk
Saskatchewan reported 325 new cases and two COVID-19 deaths on Monday. Along with 49 recoveries, there are now 3,879 active cases across the province.
Officials also reported 123 hospitalizations, which is a new record in Saskatchewan.
Manitoba reported 343 new cases on Monday, along with 11 new COVID-19 deaths, including a man in his 30s and a woman in her 40s. Seven of the deaths are connected to outbreaks at long-term care homes.
The province also hit a new record high for COVID-19 hospitalizations with 342 people in hospital, 43 of whom are in intensive care.
At a press briefing on Monday, Manitoba's chief nursing officer, Lanette Siragusa, noted that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has more than tripled compared with only a month ago, and the health-care system continues to be under pressure.
Two Manitoba churches held drive-in services over the weekend, in violation of public health orders capping gatherings at five people and ordering religious services to move online.
WATCH | Steinbach, Man., pastor says RCMP is 'blocking God' by stopping drive-in church service:
In Ontario, public health measures ramped up in five regions on Monday, with the strictest changes taking effect in Windsor-Essex, which moved to the second-highest "red alert" level on the province's tiered pandemic response plan.
Ontario on Monday reported 1,746 cases of COVID-19, with 622 new cases in Toronto and 390 in Peel Region, which are both under lockdown measures. Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet that more than 39,400 tests had been completed.
The province reported eight additional deaths, bringing Ontario's death toll to 3,656. Hospitalizations hit 618, with 168 in intensive care, according to provincial data.
Ontario's network of labs processed 39,406 more test samples of the novel coronavirus, and recorded a test positivity rate of 4.6%. 618 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, 168 in ICU, 108 are on a ventilator. <a href="https://t.co/22XcdlRiS2">https://t.co/22XcdlRiS2</a>—@CBCAlerts
Meanwhile, a window company in York Region, which is currently in the red alert zone, has declared a COVID-19 outbreak after 62 cases were confirmed there.
Health officials say this is the second outbreak at State Windows Corporation's facility, following an initial outbreak in May that ended up infecting 17 people.
Quebec reported 1,333 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths on Monday, bringing the number of deaths in the province to 7,056. Hospitalizations stood at 693 in Quebec, with 94 in intensive care, according to a provincial tally.
The update comes a day after a Montreal long-term care home transferred 20 residents to local hospitals after COVID-19 took hold at the home in the last week, concerning officials and terrifying families.
Quebec long-term care homes were hit hard during the first wave of the pandemic last spring. Many facilities were under-staffed, and in some cases, personnel moved between centres — allowing the virus to spread more easily.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 338. Prince Edward Island, which has just four active cases total, had no new cases to report on Monday.
Nova Scotia reported 16 new cases on Monday. The province started using pop-up clinics to test for COVID-19 last week.
WATCH | N.L. premier explains 'difficult decision' to leave Atlantic bubble:
While the overall numbers are far lower than what health officials are seeing in Central and Western Canada, the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in several Atlantic provinces sparked enough concern that both Newfoundland and Labrador and P.E.I. decided to temporarily withdraw from the bubble that allowed free movement between the provinces.
Newfoundland Premier Andrew Furey told CBC's Rosemary Barton that his province's decision to temporarily leave the Atlantic travel bubble was a "tough decision — but it was one that we based on evidence."
Not long after the changes announced by Newfoundland and P.E.I., New Brunswick added some border restrictions of its own, saying that people travelling into the province — including people who live in other Atlantic provinces — would be required to self-isolate for 14 days unless exempt.
"Registration for travel into New Brunswick, including New Brunswickers returning home from travel, is also now mandatory," the province said in a statement last week.
Nunavut reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the number of active cases in the territory to 108.
The Northwest Territories reported no new cases on Monday.
Yukon reported one new COVID-19 case on Monday, after reporting one new case on Sunday. The territory has now reported 47 cases since the pandemic began.
Have questions about COVID-19 in Canada? Join Adrienne Arsenault and Andrew Chang of The National for a virtual town hall.
What's happening around the world
WATCH | Consider COVID-19 risks of holiday celebrations, urges WHO chief:
From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 6:15 p.m. ET
As of Monday evening, more than 63.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 40.3 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll stood at more than 1.4 million.
Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.
Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the pandemic, which has been on the upswing in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. hospitals have been stretched to the limit as the nation has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 daily deaths.
Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. Across the Atlantic, British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Vietnam confirmed on Monday its first locally transmitted case of the coronavirus in nearly three months, after the infection of a man related to a flight attendant who had tested positive after returning from Japan two weeks ago.
The country's health minister ordered provinces and state agencies to tighten screening and controls and contact tracing efforts were launched after the 32-year-old man was confirmed as the first reported domestic infection in 89 days.
With its strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam has managed to quickly contain its coronavirus outbreaks, allowing it to resume its economic activities earlier than much of Asia.
Vietnam crushed its first wave of coronavirus infections in April and went nearly 100 days without local transmission until the virus re-emerged and was quickly contained in the central city of Danang in July.
Indonesia reported a record daily rise in coronavirus infections on Sunday with 6,267 cases, bringing the total to 534,266, data from the country's COVID-19 task force showed.
Cambodia's Education Ministry has ordered all state schools to close until the start of the next school year in January after a rare local outbreak of the coronavirus.
Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron issued a statement late Sunday saying that all schools will be shut to prevent students from being infected. Public schools will remain closed until Jan. 11, the start of the next school year, while private schools must close for two weeks, he said. Students in private schools will be permitted to study online.
Cambodia has reported only 323 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, most of them acquired abroad, with no confirmed deaths.
In the Americas, U.S. health authorities will hold an emergency meeting this week to recommend that a coronavirus vaccine awaiting approval be given first to health-care professionals and people in long-term care facilities.
Counties across California, meanwhile, are imposing stricter COVID-19 restrictions on Monday as cases surge statewide and Thanksgiving travellers return home.
Health officials are preparing for a wave of cases in the next two or three weeks that could be tied to holiday gatherings.
Los Angeles County, for example, will impose a lockdown calling for its 10 million residents to stay home beginning Monday.
WATCH | How testing helped Cornell University become a model of COVID-19 prevention:
The state reported 7,415 coronavirus hospitalizations on Sunday, citing the most recently available data from the previous day. More than 1,700 of those patients were in intensive care units. California's previous record was 7,170 in July.
As of Sunday, California has had nearly 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 19,000 deaths since the pandemic began. The state reported around 15,600 new cases on Saturday.
Mexico reported 6,388 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 196 additional deaths on Sunday, health ministry data showed.
In Africa, mass vaccination against COVID-19 is unlikely to start in Africa until midway through next year and keeping vaccines cold could be a big challenge, the continent's disease control group said.
Kenya's central bank has cut its forecast for 2020 economic growth by more than half, joining the Treasury in realizing that the coronavirus had inflicted more damage to the economy than previously thought.
In Europe, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic of Croatia has tested positive for the coronavirus, following his wife's positive test over the weekend. A government spokesperson said Plenkovic is feeling fine and will continue to perform his duties from his home.
The government on Monday tightened travel restrictions, requesting a negative test for most people seeking to enter the country. Croatia, which has faced weeks of soaring COVID-19 infections, on Monday reported a record single-day death toll of 74 fatalities and 1,830 new infections.
Belgium will let shops reopen from Tuesday but keep other curbs over the festive period, while Italy will ease anti-COVID-19 restrictions in five regions from Sunday. Ireland will allow shops, restaurants, gyms and pubs serving food to reopen next week and permit travel between counties from Dec. 18.
Italy reported 541 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, against 686 the day before, and 20,648 new infections, down from 26,323 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said.
While Italy's daily death tolls have been among the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy is slowing, suggesting the latest wave of infections is receding.
Meanwhile, Greek officials say the number of new infections is waning in most parts of the country, which has been in lockdown for three weeks. The lockdown initially had been set to end Monday but has been extended for another week.
Greece on Monday recorded 1,044 new confirmed infections — down from a record high of more than 3,000 earlier in November — and 85 new deaths.
The hardest-hit country in the Middle East, Iran, had more than 948,000 reported cases of COVID-19 and more than 47,000 recorded deaths.
- An earlier version of this story said there were no new cases reported in Yukon on Sunday. In fact, there was one new case identified in the Whitehorse area, health officials said.Nov 30, 2020 12:06 PM ET
With files from CBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters