Today’s News

COVID-19 Rundown, April 29th, 2020

As of today, April 29, 2020, worldwide, there are almost 3.2 million coronavirus cases and more than 225,000 deaths. 

Canada has registered a total number of 50,373 positive tests and 2,904 deaths. 

As of 8:30 p.m. EST, there were 1,571 new COVID-19 cases reported for today, which is up from yesterday’s number of cases reported 1,526.

At the daily briefing, Premier Justin Trudeau mentioned the measures taken by the Canadian government and the importance of supporting the students who struggle, too, due to the pandemic. 

He announced the new Canada Student Service Grant for those helping with the fight against COVID-19, as well as extended scholarships and fellowships for graduate students.

Also, he reminded everyone that this year, if owing income tax, there is time as payment is due in August.

Starting this weekend in Nova Scotia, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will head across Canada to salute Canadians doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“As we watch the Snowbirds fly over our homes, let’s remember that we are all in this together,” Prime Minister said.

You can find below the provincial COVID-19 rundown:

British Columbia

As of the latest numbers of COVID-19 cases in BC: 

          • Total confirmed cases: 2,087
          • New cases since yesterday: 34
          • Deaths: 109. Out of the total number of deaths, four were registered in the last 24 hours.

Today health officials reported two more COVID-19 cases at care homes: Surrey and Langley. Fraser Health Authority says a resident of The Residence at Clayton Heights in Surrey and a staff member of Langley Lodge have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Vancouver Asian Film Festival and Vancouver Power Rangers star Ludi Lin are launching #Elimin8hate, a multi-media campaign to document and address the rise in anti-Asian racist attacks. 

The campaign encourages Asian Canadians to report and document their experiences of racial profiling and any attacks, whether verbal, physical, or online.

Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Mitzi Dean, has issued a statement on the Province’s ongoing support for women and children experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, “As of today, the Province has secured nearly 300 additional spaces in communities throughout B.C. for people leaving violent or unstable situations, with more spaces to come. These are in addition to more than 100 transition houses and safe homes that the Province funds on an ongoing basis.” 

Adding, “If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, please contact VictimLinkBC at 1 800 563-0808 or by email: [email protected].”

Workers from two more poultry-processing plants have tested positive for COVID-19.

A positive case at the Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry near Chilliwack was confirmed today by the company, and shortly after, Sofina Foods Inc. announced a worker from its Port Coquitlam chicken plant was also infected.

Superior Poultry Processors in Coquitlam has now 50 cases of COVID-19, while United Poultry plant registered a total of 43 positive tests.

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the province is extending its state of emergency by another two weeks, until 12th of May.

Alberta

Seven more people have died from COVID-19 in Alberta in the last 24 hours and the province has reported 315 new cases.

That brings the total number of deaths to 87, and the total number of cases to 5,165.

All seven deaths reported today were at continuing care centres in Calgary, six of them at Clifton Manor.

The nursing homes and the continuing care centres have been ravaged by the illness for weeks now, with a total of 503 cases, about 10 per cent of the total.

With the occasion of Yom Ha’atzmaut, as Israel celebrates its independence, Premier Jason Kenney issued a statement. “Anti-Semitism continues to rear its ugly head, but the renewed nation of Israel, and its supporters around the world, will not be intimidated. This small but mighty country has proven to be a brilliant success,” he said.

For full statement, visit alberta.ca.

Saskatchewan

An individual at the Beauval General Store has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 28, 2020 after developing symptoms. Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority and Saskatchewan Health Authority public health officials are advising customers who have recently shopped or bought gas at this store between April 12 and April 27 to SELF-ISOLATE until May 12, 2020 and monitor for symptoms.

As of April 29, 2020, Saskatchewan has 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 383.

Eighty-six of the cases are considered active. Recoveries remain at 291.

Currently, there are 10 people in hospital – seven are receiving inpatient care (four in Lloydminster and three in Saskatoon), while three are in intensive care (Saskatoon).

38 of the coronavirus cases are health care workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to health care in all instances.

Manitoba

Public health officials advise one new case of COVID-19 has been identified as of this morning, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 273.

The data also shows:

      • Five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in ICU;
      • 54 active cases and 213 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
      • The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

As of yesterday, an additional 448 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 24,304.

Today, health officials released information about the models developed in Manitoba to inform the management plan for the COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba. 

For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Based on the evolving global public health recommendations and modelling, Manitoba is in a position to begin a methodical, phased-in approach to reopening businesses, said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, as follows:

Restoring Services (Phase One) – Beginning May 4

Critical public health measures and travel restrictions remain. Priority elective surgeries have been restarted, diagnostics screening will resume and some non-essential businesses will reopen but must limit occupancy to 50 per cent of normal business levels or one person per 10 square metres, whichever is lower. 

Services, businesses and venues include:

      • non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures;
      • therapeutic and medical services;
      • retail businesses;
      • restaurants – patio/walk-up services;
      • hair salons;
      • museums, galleries and libraries;
      • seasonal day camps; and
      • outdoor recreation and campgrounds.

Restoring Services (Phase Two) – No Earlier Than June 1

Critical public health measures and travel restrictions may remain in place. Public gathering sizes may be increased and more non-essential businesses will be considered for reopening including:

      • additional personal services, such as nail salons;
      • restaurants – dine-in services;
      • non-contact children’s sports; and
      • film production.

The province will continually re-evaluate and adjust plans for further easing of secondary public health measures and may reintroduce others.

The mass gatherings such as concerts, summer festivals, and major sporting events will not be considered before September 2020.

Also, the Department of Families will continue to work with the child-care community to expand the temporary child-care services available, including a grant available to child-care providers seeking to open a new, home-based child-care service.

Ontario

In the last day, Ontario reported 347 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the lowest single-day increase in more than three weeks, bringing the provincial total to 15,728 cases.

The death toll has risen to 996, as 45 more deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 9,612 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 61.1 per cent of cases.

The Ontario government is further expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who will benefit include people who work in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores, and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military. Since emergency child care was introduced last month, almost 100 child care centres have reopened along with 40 Licensed Home Child Care Agencies in communities across the province.

The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency child-care services include:

      • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
      • Truck drivers (driver’s licence Class A and Class D)
      • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
      • Workers in retirement homes
      • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
      • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
      • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
      • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
      • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
      • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services

Quebec

In Quebec, COVID-19 cases rose by 837 for a total of 26,594. There are 1,648 people are in the hospital, and 222 of them are in ICU.

As of today, the respiratory illness has killed 79 more people, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,762.

400 additional military members are being deployed to eight more facilities in Quebec.

Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault, who replaced François Legault during the daily briefing today, announced that Quebec government will begin to ease restrictions on travel between its regions next week. Also, she stated it can be adjusted based on how the situation unfolds in the close future.

The removing roadblocks will continue on 11th of May in Abitibi, La Tuque, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and parts of Outaouais, and regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Charlevoix and the Côte-Nord will follow on 19th of May.

Travel restrictions will remain in place for several regions, including Nunavik and Gatineau, for now.

“We can’t give you a date today because we are still evaluating the situation,” Deputy Premier said.

New Brunswick

Public Health reports no new cases of COVID-19 today. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick remains at 118; the number of active cases is four and 114 people have recovered. One person remains hospitalized and there are no patients in an intensive care unit.

New Brunswick is transitioning to the orange phase, which is aimed at reopening social and economic settings while preventing a resurgence of transmission.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, urged New Brunswickers to continue to maintain physical distancing and appropriate hygiene practices as the province gradually moves toward reopening.

“Whether we are as successful in the next six months as we have been in the last six weeks depends entirely on you. Your actions, now more than ever, will determine what happens next,” she said.

Businesses are encouraged to review the Guidance Document of General Public Health Measures during COVID-19 Recovery, which includes pre-screening tools, signage templates and other information.

Premier Blaine Higgs mentioned the following steps will be taken to help affected businesses:

      • Recruiting from the 30,000 post-secondary students; 7,000 Grade 12 students about to graduate; and tens of thousands of unemployed people who have been displaced;
      • Employment temporary foreign workers who are already in the province and have also been affected by this pandemic.
      • Redeploying or calling back unemployed casual or seasonal workers from government departments, to work in the fishery and agriculture sectors.

Nova Scotia

Today, April 29th, Nova Scotia reports one additional death related to COVID-19, bringing the total to 28. The death occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality.

By date, NS has a total of 935 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Twenty new cases were identified since yesterday.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 905 Nova Scotia tests on April 28 and is operating 24-hours.

As of April 28, there were 10 licensed long-term care homes and unlicensed seniors’ facilities in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 227 residents and 97 staff.

Thanks to a generous donation from Michelin, the provincial stockpile of surgical masks grew by 75,000. This donation will be followed by an additional 50,000 masks from Michelin in the coming weeks. 

 Nova Scotia’s public schools and licensed child-care providers will remain closed until at least 19th of May because of COVID-19. Classes were initially scheduled to reopen next week.

“As hard as it may be, I think you can keep [learning at home] for another three weeks and then we will assess,” Premier Stephen McNeil said at a press briefing.

A Dartmouth, N.S. lab of IMV biopharmaceutical company announced making important progress in the global race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. The company says its singular focus on developing a vaccine means work that would have normally taken the lab six months, but has already been completed in about six weeks.

“It’s really been a global effort,” said Marianne Stanford, vice-president of research and development at IMV.

Prince Edward Island

The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases on P.E.I. is 27, with 24 considered recovered.

There are currently 28 persons under investigation.

P.E.I. has extended its state of emergency to May 31, Premier Dennis King said today during the COVID-19 briefing. The state of emergency was initially put in place on April 16 and would have expired at midnight tonight.

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison outlined the province’s safe and measured a plan to ease public health restrictions related to COVID-19 for Islanders.

The plan will be implemented in four distinct phases with a progressive lifting of public health measures on individuals, communities and organizations over three-week periods, as follows:

      • Priority non-urgent health care services will begin May 1;
      • Also beginning May 1, outdoor gatherings and non-contact outdoor recreational activities of no more than five individuals from different households, while maintaining physical distancing, will be permitted.

The visitor restrictions in long-term care facilities will be maintained as well as priority public services, child-care for essential service workers and home-based learning options. 

Further information about the plans for the education system and student learning will be provided later this week.

More information regarding “Renew PEI, Together” plan to be found here

Yukon

As of today, April 29th, 2020, the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon is eleven, with eight recovered cases and pending 40 results.

Eight of the eleven people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have now recovered, and no one has had to go to a hospital.

Total people tested 953.

Newfoundland and Labrador

As of April 29th, 2020, there are 258 COVID-19 confirmed cases, with three total deaths.

Four people are in hospital due to the virus. Of these patients, two are in intensive care.

Two hundred and twenty-five people have recovered.

To date, the number of people tested for the virus increased to 8,220.

The Provincial Government is providing compensation for private-sector employers for the continuation of pay to employees who were required to self-isolate for 14-days due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. This includes individuals who are self-employed.

The criteria to qualify for the compensation can be found here, and the qualifying employers can submit an application to the Department of Finance’s Tax Administration Division.

Northwest Territories

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

The territory’s last confirmed case was announced on April 5, related to an individual who had recently travelled to Latin America and immediately self-isolated upon return.

There are, so far, 1,710 completed tests, with 1,705 negative results.

Nunavut

No cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Around the World

Spain, one of the world’s top travel destinations, should not fully restart its tourism industry until the European Union reopens its internal and external borders, a senior Spanish government official said today. “We have to have a health system that can take care of anyone who’s in Spain. That’s the fundamental issue”, said the official.

Spain has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, after the United States.

Italy’s National Social Security Institute (INPS) stated that more than 12 million Italian workers had requested coronavirus emergency funds (600Eur/ worker COVID-19 idemnity). 

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe said that soccer should not resume until at least September because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He warned that a quick resumption of soccer leagues could have serious consequences, as it’s “not a matter of money — it’s life or death.” 

The Major League Baseball (MLB) could hold a rescheduled opening day between mid-June and July 4 and play at least 80 games this season, The Athletics’ Ken Rosenthal reported.

The last minute news, a spokesperson for NATO confirmed that there has been an incident involving a helicopter from a ship under NATO command, between Greece and Italy, but did not identify the member military operating the helicopter. Further, the CAF Operations Facebook page noted that there has been an incident where a helicopter has gone missing. A search and rescue mission is underway, the spokesperson added. Read more here

We must continue to take measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Working together to maintain social distancing and follow Public Health orders are the only ways to flatten the curve of the virus. 

Stay safe!

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

Above image: This week the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will head across Canada to salute Canadians doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Image courtesy of Combat Camera, Corporal Kyle Van Tol. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds fly in a tribute Shuttle formation over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA between their scheduled air shows on May 9, 2018. Statistics image courtesy of worldometer.com.

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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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