COVID’s second spring


in Canada, Science

My winter thread is now behind the times, so this will be a new place to track COVID stories of interest and importance.

One I saw today is not encouraging: More young Canadians getting severe COVID-19, being hospitalized: experts

According to new modelling from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada is on track to see a “strong resurgence” of COVID-19 cases across the country if these variants continue to spread and become more commonplace, and if public health measures remain at current levels.

The new long-range projections, released on Friday, show that the highest incidences of COVID-19 are currently being experienced in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and parts of Ontario, while the overall incidence rates are highest among young adults aged 20 to 39 and have declined among older Canadians.

Let’s all do what we can to combat complacency and sustain the public determination to keep acting protectively toward one another.

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

. March 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm

B.C. implements sweeping restrictions on indoor dining, group fitness for 3-week ‘circuit breaker’ | CBC News

. March 29, 2021 at 5:23 pm

COVID: Sweeping new restrictions in place including in-person dining at B.C. bars and restaurants

. March 30, 2021 at 1:37 am

New data shows COVID-19 pandemic now ‘completely out of control’ in Ontario, key scientific adviser says

“Right now in Ontario, the pandemic is completely out of control,” Dr. Peter Juni, the table’s scientific director and a professor of medicine and epidemiology with the University of Toronto, said in an interview prior to the briefing note’s publication.

That stark assessment follows weeks of warnings from medical professionals in Ontario over rising case counts and fast-spreading variants. It comes the same day B.C. announced it will be implementing a three-week “circuit breaker”-style lockdown, with sweeping new restrictions on indoor dining in restaurants, group fitness and worship services.

Juni said for Ontario, there is now “no way out” of the dire scenario that’s set to unfold over the next few weeks without a widespread lockdown as well — coupled with other measures, including the province providing paid sick leave to essential workers, encouraging Ontarians to avoid movement between regions, and ensuring residents have access to lower-risk outdoor activities.

“There is no such thing as winning this race with just vaccinations,” Juni stressed. “That’s impossible.”

. March 30, 2021 at 3:13 am
. March 31, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Ford says ‘stay tuned’ for announcement tomorrow as COVID-19 ICU admissions hit new high | CBC News

. April 1, 2021 at 9:01 pm

Ontario government moves to activate 4-week, provincewide COVID-19 ’emergency brake’ |

. April 2, 2021 at 3:23 am

What you can and cannot do in Ontario’s provincewide shutdown | CTV News

COVID-19 shutdown: enhanced public health and workplace safety measures |

. April 3, 2021 at 9:53 pm

Essential workers worried Ontario’s latest COVID-19 ‘shutdown’ won’t protect them | CTV News

. April 4, 2021 at 7:32 am

Toronto pauses plans to clear encampments after COVID-19 outbreak declared at shelter hotel

. April 5, 2021 at 8:01 pm

Top doctors in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa call for provincewide stay-at-home order | CTV News

. April 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm
. April 9, 2021 at 1:01 pm

Before ordering jail time, Duval County Court Judge James Ruth said she was struck by the fact that Hunter’s testimony focused less on how she may have harmed the victim and more on how her actions affected her own family.

“Her children didn’t create this problem and her husband didn’t, and she talked about how it changed her world and she was getting nastygrams on Facebook and things of that nature and they can’t go to their country club or wherever,” Ruth said. “But I have yet to see any expression, or a significant expression on her regret about the impact it had on the victim in this case!”

. April 9, 2021 at 4:36 pm

COVID-19 Ontario: Province reports more than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 for first time since second wave peak | CTV News

. April 11, 2021 at 5:57 pm

Germany struggles to curb ‘very, very serious’ third COVID wave | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

. April 11, 2021 at 6:05 pm

Ontario reports record-high 4,456 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

. April 11, 2021 at 9:08 pm

Ontario sets a single-day record for new COVID-19 cases
Ontario reported a record 4,456 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, fuelled by sharp rise in Toronto

. April 12, 2021 at 7:24 pm

Top official admits China’s COVID-19 vaccines have low efficacy

. April 12, 2021 at 7:26 pm

Ontario schools closing to in-person learning indefinitely as COVID-19 cases soar | CTV News

. April 12, 2021 at 9:55 pm

Third wave of COVID-19: B.C. adds 3,289 cases, 18 deaths over the weekend | CTV News

. April 14, 2021 at 12:30 am

US intelligence community warns of devastating long-term impact of coronavirus pandemic

. April 14, 2021 at 2:26 pm

About 10K vaccination appointments cancelled at two Ontario clinics due to lack of supply

. April 14, 2021 at 2:27 pm
. April 16, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Sources with knowledge of the discussions said Ford and his ministers are debating the following proposals on top of the stay-at-home order and shutdown already in place:

Closing all non-essential retail, no curbside pickup or delivery.
Further restricting retail hours of operation.
Restricting curbside pickup (only permit non-essential retail to deliver).
Shutting down non-essential construction, warehouses and manufacturing not related to health, food or automotive.
Tightening capacity of indoor events like places of worship, weddings and funerals.
Increasing fines, increase policing powers.
Cabinet met late into the night Thursday. Sources said they talked about the option of a curfew but ultimately decided against it.

. April 16, 2021 at 2:29 pm
. April 16, 2021 at 2:38 pm

Ford to further close economy as Ontario modelling predicts more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases a day in May

Amid alarming new projections of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections, Premier Doug Ford further closing down Ontario’s economy in hopes it’s not too late to prevent a health-care disaster.

. April 17, 2021 at 2:00 am

“We know in Ontario that the huge drivers right now of transmission are workplaces, particularly industrial workplaces, warehouses, Amazon distribution centres, post offices,” said Fisman.

“We know a lot of the folks who are getting sick are lower income or have poor job security, can’t stay home if they feel sick.”

. April 17, 2021 at 2:20 am

Ontario gives police sweeping powers as Covid crisis spirals out of control
New measures to enforce stay-at-home order with hospitals ‘bursting at the seams’ but civil liberties campaigners cry foul

. April 23, 2021 at 11:02 am

Health officials in B.C. are being urged to accelerate the province’s vaccine rollout over fears a constantly mutating virus could outrun currently available vaccines if left to spread without control for months.

Modelling experts at Simon Fraser University say the threat of a variant mutation that will render vaccines useless is a looming fear and opportunities to stem the spread of current variants in B.C. were lost.

. April 23, 2021 at 11:06 am

Colijn said Canadian health officials were warned early in 2021 about the potential of a variant with a higher transmission rate — and that the variant first detected in the U.K. gave a clear and rare picture of how a more transmissible variant can quickly threaten the stability of health-care systems.

But Colijn said despite warnings from modellers, provinces failed to act — a failure she hopes won’t be repeated.

“It was disregarded because total case numbers were low, so how could there be something growing?” she said. “Public health and policymakers did not get the message that high-transmission is a serious, serious thing.”

. April 26, 2021 at 5:59 pm

Federal modelling data suggest lockdowns have slowed COVID-19 spread

. April 28, 2021 at 9:56 pm

Toronto, Peel to close businesses with 5 or more COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace | CBC News

. April 28, 2021 at 10:16 pm

Warnings ignored, action delayed: Ontario’s road to its most dire COVID crisis

Ontario’s failure to control the third wave has implications for all of Canada

. April 29, 2021 at 10:01 am

Ontario hospitals on the verge of enacting ‘last resort’ triage protocols

The province also reported on Wednesday that 2,281 patients are currently hospitalized, with 877 patients in intensive care.

It’s believed the province could be forced to enact triage protocols if ICU admissions related to COVID-19 exceed 900.

“I just can’t say strongly enough just what a horrible position we’re in the health-care sector right now and why it’s so important that we really drive these numbers to the ground,” Dr. Chris Simpson, a cardiologist and executive vice-president of Ontario Health, told CTV News.

“We simply have to get COVID under control if we’re going to have our health-care system back in a functional state again.”

Ontario’s triage protocols, developed in January, are meant as a last resort to determine who should be given intensive care when the demand for critical care exceeds the supply.

“It’s going to be extremely emotionally difficult for staff to have to make these decisions to tell family members that we’re not able to offer ICU-level treatments that we would have been able to offer in the past,” said Dr. Erin O’Connor, the deputy medical director of the University Health Networkemergency departments.

The situation is already dire in the Toronto area, where health officials have been forced to transport patients to other districts as ICU beds in the city fill up. Ontario’s COVID-19 modelling numbers from April 16 suggest the province could see nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases per dayby the end of May, even under strong public health restrictions.

“There is a wall that’s going to be hit at some point,” Simpson said. “We don’t know where that is yet. We do believe we can build about 200 new ICU beds per week for the next three weeks or so. It gets increasingly tougher, but we think that that will take us into mid-May and we can only hope that things will be cresting by that point.”

Under the triage protocols, all patients are assigned four colours — red, purple, yellow and green — depending on how doctors perceive a patient’s likelihood of surviving for another 12 months. Patients deemed red are predicted to have a 20-per-cent chance of surviving for the year, while patients deemed in the green have more than a 70-per-cent chance of surviving.

. May 4, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Yellowknife ‘on the brink of community spread’ says N.W.T. chief public health officer

. May 9, 2021 at 1:49 pm

Opinion: America’s Covid vaccine hesitation is an insult to countries in need – CNN

. May 9, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Ontario approaches Michigan about possibility of essential workers getting vaccinated stateside | CBC News

. May 13, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Ontario to keep stay-at-home order until ‘at least’ June 2, Ford says

Ontario reported 2,759 new cases and 31 more deaths Thursday

. May 13, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Pop-up vaccine clinics often end up in a social media-fuelled scramble for remaining doses. Is there a better way?

Although pop-up clinics have successfully vaccinated thousands, experts say some concerns over communication and accessibility linger.

. May 13, 2021 at 3:05 pm

Why is the world still being hit by wave after wave of Covid when we know how to stop it? | Helen Clark and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf | The Guardian

. May 13, 2021 at 3:05 pm

How can we stop the next pandemic? Experts call for major changes in surveillance, alert systems | CBC News

. May 13, 2021 at 3:27 pm
. May 20, 2021 at 1:59 pm

Canadians who cross border for vaccine must quarantine on return, Ottawa says

. May 20, 2021 at 2:18 pm

Canada: vaccine rollout raises questions on what it can do for poorer nations | Canada | The Guardian

. May 20, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Ontario opening COVID-19 vaccine appointments opening for those 18+ starting Tuesday | CBC News

. May 23, 2021 at 6:57 pm
. May 24, 2021 at 5:54 pm

Toronto lockdown – one of the world’s longest? – BBC News

. May 24, 2021 at 6:01 pm

‘Scandalous inequity’: WHO says 75% of vaccines given out in just 10 countries – National |

. June 10, 2021 at 7:11 pm

Tragic but true: how podcasters replaced our real friends | Podcasts | The Guardian

. June 12, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Most people in UK initially opposed to Covid vaccine have had jab, study finds | Vaccines and immunisation | The Guardian

. June 12, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Delta variant causes more than 90% of new Covid cases in UK | Coronavirus | The Guardian

. June 17, 2021 at 7:59 pm

Toronto General Hospital says medical surgical ICU free of COVID-19 for 1st time in more than a year | CBC News

. June 17, 2021 at 8:05 pm

Families mourn the loss of loved ones who hesitated on the Covid-19 vaccine – CNN

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