Today’s News

COVID-19 Rundown April 21, 2020

As of today, April 21st, 2020, the total number of coronavirus cases registered in Canada is 38,210, with 1,831 deaths, and 13,143 recovered.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau started his daily briefing by mentioning the Holocaust Remembrance Day, also known as Yom HaShoah. It is a time to remember the approximately six million Jews that were murdered during the Holocaust. 

It is also a time to pay tribute to the bravery and resiliency of the survivors, and of all those who risked their lives to save others, standing up against the Nazi regime.

Also, he offered his condolences to the families affected by the recent events in Nova Scotia and spoke about the bravery of Const. Heidi Stevenson, the fallen RCMP officer. He said the government is planning to push ahead with strengthening gun control.

There were, as well, presented the $350 million new emergency community support fund and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy online calculator, to help businesses determine their eligibility. 

Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases reached 2.5 million, with 171,000 deaths, and is continuing to grow.

You can find below the provincial COVID-19 rundown:

British Columbia

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. continues to fall, but health officials say any loosening of the restrictions on daily life is still a long way off.

The number of COVID-19 total cases in British Columbia was 1,724 as of April 21st, 2020, with 25 new cases in the last 24 hours. Currently, there are 49 people in critical care and 86 deaths.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 can now be tested for the disease in an attempt to avoid a spike in disease transmission through the community.

In the four weeks between March 18 and April 15, compared with the same period last year, Vancouver saw a 147 per cent increase in commercial break-and-enters. 

Residential break-and-enters were up 51 per cent. 

“Stores are left unoccupied, and so it gives an opportunity to thieves to break in,” said Const. Tania Visintin, a spokesperson for Vancouver police.

Alberta

Alberta confirmed 105 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.

      • The total number is now 2,908, with 59 deaths and 1,230 recovered.
      • There were 105,317 tests performed.
      • Out of the total COVID-19 cases, 2,077 were registered in the Calgary zone.

On Monday, April 20, 2020, Cargill Ltd. said it is temporarily closing its meat-processing plant in High River, Alta. The facility churns out roughly 40 per cent of Western Canada’s processed beef and is a key part of the province’s agriculture industry. 

Alberta has linked 484 cases of COVID-19 to this plant and dozens more at a competing facility.

Saskatchewan

As of April 21, there are four new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, bringing the total to 320 reported cases.

      • No new cases were Saskatchewan residents tested out of province.
      • 320 cases are confirmed and none are presumptive.
      • 64 cases out of the 320 cases are considered active (20%)
      • 150 cases are in the Saskatoon area, 71 cases are from the Regina area, 60 cases are from the north area, 15 cases are from the south area, 13 cases are in the far north, and 11 cases are from the central area.
      • Thirty-five cases are healthcare workers, although the source of their infections may not be health care-related.
      • A total of five individuals are hospitalized; including four inpatient hospitalizations and one in ICU hospitalization
      • Four Saskatchewan residents with COVID-19 have died. Saskatchewan now has a fatality rate of 1.3 per cent.
      • A total of 252 individuals have recovered (78.7%)
      • 24,811 COVID-19 tests had been performed in Saskatchewan. 

Manitoba

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 was identified as of this morning, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 255.

The data also shows:

          • 7 individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes four individuals in intensive care;
          • 99 active cases and 150 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
          • The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 314 tests on Monday. A total of 20,319 tests have been conducted since early February.

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief to eligible employers in the province, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic impact on employers across the province, with businesses especially hurting right now, and we’re working across government and with our partners to find ways to provide relief to employers that need it,” said Pallister. 

This is the second year the WCB has returned surplus funds to eligible employers while still maintaining the lowest assessment rate in Canada. 

Ontario

In the last 24 hours, Ontario registered 551 new coronavirus cases, the total number rising up to 11,735. There is a 4.9 per cent increase from the previous report.

By date, there are 622 deaths and 5,806 recovered patients. 

The Ontario government is delivering much-needed support to Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and persons with disabilities, during the outbreak of COVID-19. 

The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments.

“As we face some of the darkest times in our province’s history, we have a duty to protect and care for the most vulnerable in our society,” said Premier Ford. “Our seniors and people with disabilities are the most at risk during this crisis, and we must go above and beyond to ensure they get financial relief, food, medicine and other essentials without delay.”

The province is investing $40 million in the Residential Relief Fund. The funding will assist developmental services, child welfare, victims shelters, and organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families with COVID-related costs, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced staffing. 

In addition, the government is providing $148 million to municipal partners that administer social services with funding to support the province’s most vulnerable as part of the province’s $200 million in social services relief funding in response to COVID-19.

It will support a variety of activities, such as

        • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
        • Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
        • Scaling up helplines that provide information and support
        • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
        • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
        • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet

551 new cases for a total of 11,735.

Quebec

In Québec, to date, 20,126 confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including 1,041 deaths, have been reported. The city of Montreal only has 9,348 cases with 201 currently in ICU.

Premier François Legault said during his daily briefing that 102 more deaths attributable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, had been confirmed. “I want to offer my condolences to the loved ones and the families of the victims,” he said.

The majority of deaths, 850, have originated in the province’s long-term care homes, according to Legault. He said there are 80 such facilities where the spread of the virus is not under control.

The government is giving $100 more per week for essential service workers in low-wage jobs — such as grocery store cashiers — retroactive to March 15.

The incentive program, which comes into effect on May 19, is expected to help more than 600,000 full- and part-time employees.

New Brunswick

Public Health reports no new cases of COVID-19 today. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 118 and the number of active cases is 16. To date, 102 people have recovered. There are five patients hospitalized, including one person in an intensive care unit.

With support from Canada Health Infoway, the provincial government has set up a secure web portal to enable eligible New Brunswickers to obtain faster access to their COVID-19 test results. This website will provide information to those who have been tested at an assessment centre. It can be accessed through the MyHealthNB website.

Effective today, those who have been tested for the virus at an assessment site will be given a registration code for the website. This code will enable them to check for results as soon as their tests have been processed, usually within 48 hours.

The provincial government added a new category under the Community Investment Fund to support non-profit groups affected by COVID-19. This funding will provide eligible small to medium-sized non-profits with grants between $500 and $10,000.

“New Brunswick’s non-profits and community groups play an important role in building vibrant communities, and they will help us rebuild our economy following this pandemic,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. 

New Brunswick’s recovery from the pandemic will be discussed this week at the all-party cabinet committee meeting.

“We must reopen our communities and our province methodically, and gradually, to ensure we do not set ourselves back,” said Higgs.

Nova Scotia

Today, April 21, Nova Scotia is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 and another death, bringing the total to 10. The death occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality.

Nova Scotia has now a total of 737 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 516 Nova Scotia tests on Monday, April 20 and is operating 24-hours.

Nova Scotia bans visits at the window at the nursing homes, after homes found people were passing things through windows, touching residents.

Prince Edward Island

As of today, PEI’s number of total coronavirus cases (including recovered cases) is 26.

There are 2,353 negative results, 36 persons under investigation and 23 recovered cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador

By April 21st, 2020, there are 257 COVID-19 confirmed cases, none registered in the last 24 hours.

Three people have died, and the total number of tests performed has increased to 6,431.

There are two people currently in ICU.

Yukon

As of today, April 21st, 2020, the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon is eleven, with 8 recovered cases, and pending 2 results.

Eight of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon, have now recovered with no one needing to go to the hospital.

Total people tested 878.

Northwest Territories

By date there are five cases coronavirus confirmed (including five recovered).

1,593 tests completed.

Nunavut

No cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Around the World

Queen Elizabeth the II, 94 years old today, sends her condolences to mourning Nova Scotians. “Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Nova Scotia, and we send our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who have lost their lives,” she says.

Spain’s San Fermin Fiesta, an eight-day festival in July, in which fighting bulls run through the streets of Pamplona each morning, has been suspended for the first time in four decades due to the coronavirus crisis, the city hall confirmed this afternoon. The city is also likely to take a substantial economic hit from the suspension.

While many countries are beginning to ease restrictive measures, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the pandemic is not over. 

“Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” Tedros told reporters from WHO headquarters in Geneva. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”

Working together to maintain social distancing and staying at home, are the only ways to slow the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Stay safe!

For more information, access World Meter or canada.ca, and don’t miss Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily briefing at 11.15 ET.

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Cristina Florentina Braia

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Cristina has a university degree in Economics and working experience in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. She travelled to more than 30 countries worldwide and met her CAF husband in 2016, in the Caribbean, while she was working on a cruise ship. You can find her e-book “Turistas Manden, Peregrinos Agradecen: A North of Spain Walking Journal” on Amazon kindle.

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