The CORONAVIRUS REPORT for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2020

PHSD reports ten cases over the last week

Over the last seven days, there have been ten new cases of COVID-19, five in Greater Sudbury and the other five on Manitoulin Island.

In a release, Public Health Sudbury & Districts say one case’s source remains unknown, one was associated with an outbreak, one was travel-related and seven were close contacts of confirmed cases.

The agency adds they identified 141 people who had high-risk close contact with the ten cases and all are in self-isolation.

 

Coronavirus modelling

The latest provincial forecasts show the coronavirus curve is starting to flatten, but it is still not quite enough.

Health officials say the growth rate is around 2.5 per cent right now, and we’ve had almost two-thousand new COVID-19 infections daily.

If control measures can reduce that to one per cent, the number of new infections would be around 25-hundred a day by the new year.

But if that rate increases to five per cent, the worst-case scenario, Ontario could see nearly ten  thousand cases a day by early January.

The modelling also shows that controls in Lockdown areas, like Toronto and Peel region, aren’t working as well now, as when they were imposed last spring … more people are still moving around and maintaining more contacts than recommended.

Meantime, the province’s chief medical officer of health will announce more regions moving into more restrictive zones later today.

Doctor David Williams says some areas now under the minimal Green zone rules will be moved into the yellow zone.

This comes as our province records another record high number of infections yesterday at 19-hundred and 83.

 

Vaccine arriving Monday

The first six-thousand doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer will arrive in our province on Monday, to be split equally between hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa.

General Rick Hillier, chair of the province’s distribution task force, says the two hospitals will begin administering the vaccinations on Tuesday.

Health care workers in long-term care homes will be first in line.

Ontario is expecting another 90-thousand doses by month’s end along with at least 30-thousand vaccines from Moderna, once it’s approved by Health Canada.

 

Hudson Bay calls for quashing lockdown orders

One of Canada’s largest retailers is asking the Ontario Superior Court to quash the government’s lockdown rules in places like Toronto and Peel region, claiming they’re illogical and “incoherent.”

The Hudsons Bay Company says it’s unreasonable for most retailers, including the Bay’s 12 outlets, to be shuttered, while big-box stores like Walmart and Costco are allowed to remain open because they sell
groceries.

In its’ court application, the Bay notes that sales in December account for about 20 per cent of its total income.

 

Delays with Canada Post

Canada Post has hired four-thousand more workers, and put an extra thousand vehicles on the road.

But that won’t help long lineups at the post office.

The agency is warning that you should expect delays if you’re mailing, or receiving, a parcel this holiday season, as it experiences unprecedented demand during the pandemic.

Canada Post officials say there are more people mailing parcels and purchasing stamps than ever before along with a sharp increase in businesses mailing their product to customers.

They add they’re delivering parcels in many locations on weekends, expanding parcel pickup locations, and extending hours at some post offices to try to cope with the load.

 

Trudeau and the premiers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising to increase federal funding for health care to the provinces, but not until the pressures of COVID-19 subside.

In his 23rd meeting with the premiers, Trudeau said it’s important that Ottawa increase its contribution under the Canada Health Transfer.

But right now, he says their priority is to continue funding the provinces for their immediate needs during the pandemic.

The Premiers say they’re disappointed.

They note that, while the federal level has contributed billions to help them now those are only one-off payments.

They say they need more security under the long-term arrangements of the Health Transfer.

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