The COVID REPORT for Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Bringing critically ill to Ontario

Saskatchewan has begun transferring six critically-ill COVID-19 patients to intensive care units in Ontario.

The first arrived yesterday, and the rest are expected to be transferred by tomorrow.

The province has hit new record highs in the number of ICU patients, and officials there say more transfers may be necessary.

System overload for vaccine certificate

Officials are asking for patience, after some Ontarians ran into trouble downloading the new enhanced version of the vaccine certificate.

The province opened up the new downloads in stages over the weekend, based on birth month.

Yesterday was the first day it was available to all.

The first several hours yesterday saw 215-thousand successful downloads, but officials say the high volume of traffic did cause issues for some people.

The paper receipts you received after your shots are still valid as proof of inoculation.

Vaccination for children goes to Health Canada

Pfizer has officially asked Health Canada to approve its COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as five.

The company submitted test results to the federal agency earlier this month, saying the vaccine had shown the same results as those found in people between the ages of 16 and 25.

However, the dose used on younger children was much lower, at one-third of the normal level.

Health Canada says it will prioritize its review of the request but continue to maintain the usual standards for safety and effectiveness.

Benefits in jeopardy

The federal NDP is warning that a major program to support unemployed Canadians could expire.

While most of the federal government’s COVID-19 programs are to expire this Saturday, the cabinet can extend them through an order in council.

But the Canada Recovery Benefit, for those who have lost income during the pandemic, would still expire on November 20th and Parliament doesn’t return until November 22nd.

New Democrat House leader Peter Julian says delaying Parliament’s return some two months after the election is “indefensible.”

Powell passes from COVID-19 complications

Colin Powell, the first Black to become U-S Secretary of State, has died.

His family says Powell passed away yesterday morning from complications caused by COVID-19, he was fully-vaccinated.

Powell was also the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and led American efforts during the First Gulf War following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

However, his legacy was darkened by his support for President George Bush’s push for an invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on fake intelligence that the country had weapons of mass destruction.

Powell later called the incident a “blot” on his record.

He was 84.

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