Today’s News

COVID-19 Rundown, May 1st, 2020

Today, we start a new month with optimism as Canada is on the right path for flattening the curve in the battle against COVID-19.

The numbers of the coronavirus cases are continuing to drop, while the provinces have started gradually and carefully to loosen restrictions. Canada is facing the beginning of a “new normal.”

As of May 1, 2020, Canada reports a total number of 55,061 coronavirus cases and 3,391 deaths. Since yesterday, there were registered 1,825 new cases as of 8 p.m.

However, the main focus of the news conference today was on the “closing the market” and the ban, immediately placed, on 1,500 models and variants of certain assault-style weapons.

“Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import, or use military-grade assault weapons in this country,” Justin Trudeau said.

We witnessed, as well, a touching statement coming from the Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who said that these weapons are “designed for only one purpose: to kill people, and to look like they can kill people.”

Today, it was also announced that the former deputy Tiff Macklem was appointed as the next Bank of Canada governor.

You can find below the provincial COVID-19 rundown:

British Columbia

Today, there are 2,145 confirmed cases, 30 of them being new cases. Currently, there are 79 hospitalized cases and 24 intensive care. 

Active outbreaks are underway at 21 long-term care homes and three hospital acute care units, along with four poultry processing plants and Mission Institution, a federal prison.

During Thursday’s daily briefing, the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the next phase of B.C.’s pandemic response could include allowing people to meet outside with small groups of friends.

“We might be able to connect with others in a way that we haven’t been able to do in a while, but we need to be thoughtful about it,” she added.

The police in B.C. seized more than 1,500 black market COVID-19 test kits.

“Selling or advertising health products that make false or misleading claims to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada,” RCMP said in a release.

B.C. is now accepting applications for its Emergency Benefit for Workers, which provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 to those whose work has been affected by COVID-19. The province says the easiest way to apply is through its online portal.

Alberta

Alberta reported three more deaths and 218 new cases of COVID-19. One earlier death thought to be due to COVID-19 was not, so the number of deaths in the province is now 92. The province has recorded 5,573 cases.

 Premier Jason Kenney announced Alberta will take the first steps to reopen, as the parks will open starting today with reduced services, while golf courses will reopen May 2. Some non-urgent surgeries and the offices of dentists, physiotherapists, speech and respiratory therapists, social workers, and dietitians will reopen on the 4th of May.

More businesses, including some bars and cafes, could reopen as soon as May 14.

Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, issued a statement on Gujarat Day. 

“Gujarat has long been known for its vibrant mix of faith and cultural traditions, giving it the reputation of being ‘The Jewel of Western India.’ We join the Gujarati community in Alberta in recognizing this milestone and thank them for enriching our province’s cultural tapestry with the traditions of their homeland”, she said.

Also, today, Transportation Minister Ric McIver issued a statement marking Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. 

“I love riding and look forward to the beginning of each motorcycle season – especially this year after being stuck inside for so long. But while we crave the freedom of the open highway, it’s important to remember that everyone needs to do their part to keep motorcyclists safe on the road”, he said.

Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Sharon Aheer issued, as well, a statement on sexual violence in Alberta.

Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer issued the statement on federal firearms ban. 

“The Government of Alberta is concerned about all crime, including the illegal use of firearms,” he said.

For the full statement, visit alberta.ca/news.

Saskatchewan

Today, the Health Authority​ is investigating contacts linked to an inpatient in the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Although there is currently no evidence of transmission within the facility, Dr. Khami Chokani, medical health officer, has declared an outbreak.

On Thursday, the province said there were six new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing Saskatchewan’s total number of cases so far during the pandemic to 389.

Eighty-eight cases in the province were considered active as of Thursday, with 50 of the cases concentrated in the far north.

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing $1 million to support a province-wide marketing campaign to encourage Saskatchewan residents to support local businesses and their employees.

It is provided to the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce to work in partnership with other regional chambers to expand its successful “Together We Stand” campaign across the province.

Many Saskatchewan businesses are reporting a significant decline in sales, which this province-wide campaign will work to help remedy.

Hunters in Saskatchewan have until midnight on May 25 to file their online applications, as the province’s big game draw opens today.

The 2020 Big Game Draw Supplement offers hunters in the province information on seasons and quotas for draw species.

Manitoba

Public health officials advise four new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 279.

The data also shows:

      • Five individuals are currently hospitalized, with no individuals in intensive care;
      • 38 active cases and 235 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19;
      • The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

Public Health orders restricting staff from working in more than one licensed personal care home (PCH) have been signed and will take effect today. 

A new drive-thru community testing site opened today in Swan River, at the Manitoba Public Insurance facility.

Ontario

Today, Ontario reported 421 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the provincial total to 16,608 cases, while the death toll has risen to 1,121 as 39 more deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 10,825 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 65.2 per cent of cases.

Friday’s report marks a 2.6 per cent increase in cases compared to the day prior.

The province has completed 294,054 tests so far for the virus. This is up 16,532 tests from the previous day — the highest number of tests completed in a 24-hour period.

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 861 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario.

Quebec

Today, Quebec’s public health director Horacio Arruda announced 163 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 2,022. He noted, however, that those deaths included many that were recorded throughout the month of April, and not just in the last 24 hours.

He also estimates that about 3 per cent of Quebec’s population has been infected with COVID-19, representing about 250,000 people. To date, there were performed 220,000 tests and recorded 28,648 confirmed cases.

The testing in the province will be increased.

The epicentre of COVID-19 in Canada, Montreal, has registered 13,979 cases to date, and a total of 1,245 deaths.

The retail stores are set to reopen on May 4 in regions and May 11 in the Greater Montreal area. Classes are set to resume for the primary schools and day-cares on May 11 outside of the Montreal area, with schools in the city following a week later.

As Quebec leads the country with the most COVID-19 cases, the government has faced a backlash from Quebecers worried the province is opening too fast.

New Brunswick

They are nearing two weeks of no new coronavirus cases in NB.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, reported today that two more people have recovered from COVID-19 and that the number of active cases is two. 

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick remains at 118, with 116 people having recovered. None of the active cases are in the hospital.

New Brunswickers are reminded to keep extended contact to two households only. Dr. Russell said a “two-household bubble” would safely allow greater contact among people, but only if direct contact is strictly limited between the two groups.

Also, today, under the province’s state of emergency mandatory order, border restrictions remain in place.

The chief medical officer of health emphasized the continued importance of testing for the virus and urged those experiencing symptoms to call 811 and follow directions given by Public Health.

Nova Scotia

Today, May 1, Nova Scotia is reporting one additional death related to COVID-19, bringing the total to 29. The death occurred at the Northwood long-term care home in Halifax Regional Municipality.

As of today, Nova Scotia has 959 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Twelve new cases were identified Thursday, April 30.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 812 Nova Scotia tests on April 30 and is operating 24-hours.

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, announced today, May 1, the easing of some public health restrictions around COVID-19, with immediate effect:

Provincial and municipal parks can reopen, but playground equipment will continue to be off-limits;

      • Trails are allowed to open
      • People are allowed to use and visit community gardens
      • Garden centres, nurseries, and similar businesses can open
      • Sportfishing is permitted from shore or boat, but fishing derbies are not allowed
      • People can attend boating, yacht or sailing clubs for the purpose of preparing boats for use
      • Golf driving ranges can open, including those at golf clubs, but the course must remain closed; golf clubs can perform necessary maintenance and preparations for opening
      • People can use their cottages, one household unit at a time, travel must be direct to the cottage and back, and travelling back and forth frequently from cottage and primary residence is discouraged.
      • Provincial and private campgrounds remain closed, but they can perform necessary maintenance and preparations for opening. An exception is recreational vehicles parked year-round at private campgrounds, which can be used but must follow the same rules as cottages;
      • Drive-in religious services will be allowed, as long as people stay in their cars, they are parked two metres apart, and there are no interactions between people in cars or between people in cars and others.

People must keep two metres apart and not gather in groups of more than five.

Prince Edward Island

As of today, there are 27 total coronavirus cases (including recovered cases) in PEI.

There are 24 recovered cases and 14 persons under investigation.

Premier Dennis King has issued a statement recognizing National Physicians Day. “Today, on National Physicians Day, we take the time to recognize the extraordinary and talented team of physicians across our province and around Canada who have chosen a profession of healing and caring for others,” he said.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Today, Newfoundland and Labrador has one new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The total number of confirmed cases in the province is now 259.

      • Four people are in hospital due to the virus. Of these patients, one is in ICU.
      • Two hundred and thirty people have recovered, but unfortunately, there have been three deaths from COVID-19.
      • To date, 8,552 people have been tested.
      • Households may now choose to spend time with one other household:
      • Your household can join up with one other household, if both households mutually agree.
      • You should not have close contact (within 2 metres) with anyone outside your two-household bubble.
      • You should not join up with more than one household or bubble.

Yukon

As of today, 1st of May, 2020, Yukon has the following COVID-19 situation:

      • Total people tested: 984
      • Confirmed cases: 11
      • Recovered cases: 9
      • Negative results: 955
      • Pending results: 18

Three new Ministerial Orders under the Civil Emergency Measures Act are now in force that will allow the government to be responsive to the evolving state of emergency in Yukon.

These orders are intended to reduce the burden on organizations, businesses, governments, and individuals facing challenges meeting legislative timelines and contractual obligations as a result of COVID-19 related factors.

For more information, visit yukon.ca/en/news/

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, 1,7358 completed tests, with 1,753 negative results.

Nunavut

Yesterday, Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer, confirmed the first case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

The individual is in isolation and is doing well. All travel to and from Pond Inlet is restricted, with the exception of cargo and emergency travel. This includes travel by land.

No new cases as of today, 1st of May, 2020.

Around the World

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that all state schools would stay closed for the rest of the academic year, even as the hospitalizations and the daily death toll fell to their lowest levels in more than a month.

Beijing started opening the parks and the museums to tourists after it downgraded its level of emergency response to COVID-19. The temperature checks and social distancing remain in force.

The United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated today that a “record-level” ozone hole over the Arctic, the biggest since 2011, has now closed. 

However, despite coronavirus lockdowns resulting in a significant reduction in air pollution, the occurrence of the hole healing “was completely unrelated to COVID,” Reuters cited WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis saying at a UN briefing in Geneva.

To honour the workers and labourers, since 1886, the first day of May celebrates the International Labour Day. Also called May Day or International Workers’ Day, is a public national holiday in many countries across the world, also associated with the beginning of spring.

In Canada, the United States and Australia, Labour Day is celebrated at different times of the year.

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.

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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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