1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

News

Buckingham Palace says Prince Philip has died

PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Friday, Apr 9th, 2021

Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. He was 99.

Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, married Elizabeth in 1947 and was the longest-serving consort in British history.

He retired from public engagements in 2017 after carrying out more than 20,000 of them. Philip was a member of the Greek royal family and was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921. He was an avid sportsman who loved country pursuits. He had four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

 

 

Plan for hot spot mobile vaccine clinics for 18+ still being developed in Ontario

SHAWN JEFFORDS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Apr 9th, 2021

Ontario’s plan to use mobile units to vaccinate those aged 18 and older in COVID-19 hot spots will take some time to launch, a member of the province’s immunization task force said Thursday as residents in those areas searched for specifics on the project.

WATCH: https://toronto.citynews.ca/2021/04/08/ontario-plan-hot-spot-mobile-vaccine-clinics/

Dr. Dirk Huyer said the plan was being developed “rapidly” but could provide few details a day after it was announced by Premier Doug Ford.

Huyer, who is also the provincial outbreak response co-ordinator, said the government still needs to iron out details with the hot spots of Toronto and Peel Region and work with community leaders.

“That work takes time, to be able to deliver the vaccines, because it’s linking with the community,” he said, noting that mass vaccination clinics will continue to be a vital channel for immunization. “That work is all rapidly in progress.”

Ford announced Wednesday that mobile teams will deliver vaccines to hot spot residents aged 18 and older in congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based centres and at large workplaces. Regions will be selected based on patterns of transmission, severe illness and mortality from COVID-19.

Humera Iqbal lives in what is considered a hot spot neighbourhood in Mississauga, which is part of Peel, and said she was frustrated at the lack of details from the province.

The 41-year-old said she wants to get vaccinated as soon as she can and criticized the province for not being ready to implement its plan as soon as it was announced.

“It’s just another example of the confusion with any of the messages that are coming from the government,” she said.

“I would have expected that … at least in the announcement it would mention ‘it’s starting this date, individuals would be eligible,”’ she said. “There’s no information or indication on when I could expect it, only that I should expect it.”

Other residents expressed similar sentiments online.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said mobile teams will work with public health units, community groups and local business to administer the vaccines to hot spot residents as supply allows.

“Pop-up clinics will also be set-up in highly impacted neighbourhoods to administer vaccines to those 18+, including at faith-based locations and community centres,” Alexandra Hilkene said in a statement.

She said the mobile teams and pop-up clinics will not use the provincial booking system and more details on how to receive an appointment will be provide in the future.

Meanwhile, the top doctor for Peel Region – which includes Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon – said the region will begin moving through five-year age groups every week as it aims to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“I am hopeful, because vaccination is here, and while it will need time to be successful, it will position us well to ultimately prevent a fourth wave,” said Dr. Lawrence Loh, the region’s chief medical officer.

Peel public health officials said they will start vaccinating people aged 50 and older on Monday, and will descend through the age ranges in five year increments each week.

Public health experts have said the novel coronavirus is hardest to control in cities such as Brampton where households are larger and there’s a higher proportion of essential service workers.

Officials with Peel Region said their vaccination timeline could be extended depending on vaccine supply or if uptake in an age group is higher than predicted. They estimate that they will be able to give 65 per cent of the region’s population their first shot by early June.

Meanwhile, a stay-at-home order took effect on Thursday as the province sought to bring soaring COVID-19 cases under control.

Ontario reported 3,295 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 19 more deaths linked to the virus.

Residents received emergency alerts about the order on their cellphones, radios and televisions Thursday morning, asking them to only leave home for essential purposes such as food, health care, exercise or work.

Under the new rules, stores that sell goods such as groceries, cleaning supplies and pharmacy products can remain open but only to sell essential items. Non-essential retail can open for curbside pickup or delivery only.

Ontario’s labour minister said Thursday that the province will send approximately 100 inspectors to Peel and Halton regions this weekend to enforce public health measures at big box stores, warehouses and manufacturers.

The province also promised to expand access to asymptomatic testing for students and school staff during spring break next week. Previously, students were only able to access a test without symptoms if they were a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or were part of the government’s surveillance testing.

7 COVID-19 cases, at least 84 high-risk contacts linked to Vaughan nail salon

LUCAS CASALETTO | posted Friday, Apr 9th, 2021

York Region Public Health (YRPH) says 84 patrons are considered high-risk contacts and seven staff have tested positive following a COVID-19 outbreak at a nail salon in Vaughan.

The public health unit says the outbreak happened at Nails at Anthony’s located at 8099 Weston Road. The potential exposure to the virus happened between March 23 to March 26.

“The salon did not properly maintain a patron list, did not track the type of service for each client, nor the name of the staff who provided the service,” YRPH said in a news release.

As a result, public health officials are having difficulty identifying high-risk contacts, resulting in the need for public notice.

As of April 8, seven of the eight staff from Nails at Anthony’s had confirmed cases of a variant of concern.

All seven staff members who tested positive worked while they were able to transmit the virus.

Four of the seven positive infections are York Region residents while three are in Toronto citizens.

“Anyone who attended the salon during the dates listed above is asked to self-isolate for 14 days after their visit to the salon, closely monitor for signs and symptoms, and get tested if symptoms develop,” said the health unit.

The salon has been closed since March 26.

Peel Region says it will lower the age range to get a COVID vaccine each week

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Apr 9th, 2021

Peel’s top doctor says the region will begin moving through five-year age groups every week as it aims to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the hot spot.

Dr. Lawrence Loh says he is optimistic that the plan will allow the region, which has high rates of COVID-19, to exit the pandemic sooner.

Region officials say they will start vaccinating people aged 50 and older on Monday, and will descend through the age ranges in five year increments each week.

They warn that timeline could be extended depending on vaccine supply or if uptake in an age group is higher than predicted.

They estimate that they will be able to give 65 per cent of Peel Region’s total population their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by early June.

The region will use mass vaccination clinics for most people and mobile units to provide shots to those in hard-hit areas determined by the province.

Peel’s latest vaccine timeline was laid out as a stay-at-home order took effect across the province on Thursday.

Ontarians received emergency alerts on their cellphones, radios and televisions Thursday morning telling them to stay home.

The message, sent by the Ministry of the Solicitor General through the province’s Alert Ready broadcast system, asked people to only leave their homes for essential purposes such as food, healthcare, exercise or work.

The province used a similar emergency alert in January to communicate the start of a stay-at-home order when COVID-19 cases spiked at that time.

Premier Doug Ford announced the latest stay-at-home order on Wednesday, saying it was prompted by a surge in cases driven by more infectious variants.

Stores that sell goods such as groceries, cleaning supplies and pharmacy products can remain open but only to sell essential items.

Non-essential retail can open for curbside pickup or delivery only.

The province declared the third state of emergency since the start of the pandemic to invoke the new measures.

Ontario hospitals directed to ramp down elective surgeries, non-emergent activities

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Apr 9th, 2021

Ontario hospitals have been directed to ramp down all elective surgeries and non-emergent activities effective April 12, according to the Ontario Hospital Association’s President.

Anthony Dale shared the information on his Twitter account late Thursday night, and said the move is due to a major redeployment of staff and resources that is “required to provide care for a large wave of COVID patients requiring hospitalization.”

Dale added this situation is “extraordinarily serious” and asked for patience and support as hospitals deal with the “historic crisis.”

According to the province’s most recent COVID-19 modelling, the surgical backlog is nearing 250,000 since the province paused elective surgeries at the beginning of the pandemic.

There are currently 1,417 people in hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 525 were in intensive care – 100 more than the peak number of intensive care admissions during the pandemic’s second wave.

The modelling also predicted patients in the ICU will reach 800 by April 30.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who presented the data, said at that point, with 800 people in the ICUs, “We are not able to provide all the care as well as we would want to people.”

Guide to booking a COVID-19 vaccine in the GTA: Who, where and how

MEREDITH BOND | posted Thursday, Apr 8th, 2021

As Phase 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan gets underway, the list of eligible populations has expanded. Each region has their own distribution plan which can cause some confusion when residents attempt to book appointments.

Here is a full list of who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, where they can get a vaccination based on where they live in the GTA and how you can book an appointment:

This page will be updated as the criteria for vaccines is updated.

Where to get a vaccine in Toronto and who is eligible

Toronto has been utilizing mass immunization clinics, pharmacies and hospital clinics to rollout the COVID-19 vaccine to residents.

The city will also be using mobile and pop-up clinics to bring vaccines to anyone over the age of 18 in hotspot neighbourhoods. Further details about the rollout have not been made available, including where the clinics may be and how appointments will be booked.

Education workers who work or live in hotspot communities in Toronto are expected to be able to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments during the April Break. Details on how to book an appointment or where they will be administered have not been released.

Here is how to book and who can book at each location in the city for those currently eligible:

Mass immunization clinics:

  • Anyone over the age of 60 in Toronto can book an appointment at a city mass immunization clinic.
  • You can book an appointment using the Ontario COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling 1-833-943-3900.
  • They are located across the city:
    • Metro Toronto Convention Centre
    • Scarborough Town Centre
    • Toronto Congress Centre
    • East York Town Centre
    • Mitchell Field Arena
    • Malvern Community Recreation Centre

Pharmacies:

  • Anyone over the age of 55 can book an appointment at a pharmacy in Toronto. They are distributing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To book an appointment, you have to go through the pharmacy website. A full list of the participating pharmacies can be found here.

Hospital immunization clinics:

  • To book an appointment, you can visit this page and find the hospital clinic in your catchment area. You can book online or by calling this number 1-888-385-1910 for assistance with booking and eligibility. Some of the clinics require you to live or receive care from a primary care physician in your area to qualify.
  • Those eligible to be vaccinated include those listed under Phase 2 of the Ontario’s distribution plan:
    • Adult chronic home health care recipients
    • Residents, staff and essential caregivers of those living in long-term care, retirement homes and assisted living
    • First Nations, Inuit and Métis Adults over the age of 16
    • Faith Leaders who provide end of life care, care of the deceased, funerals, bathing, or other ceremonies with direct contact with deceased persons, home visits to unwell persons, pastoral care in hospitals/ long-term care homes /retirement homes or other vulnerable settings
    • Highest, Very High, and High Priority Healthcare Workers
    • Transplant patients or those receiving active cancer treatment.
    • Those with the medical conditions the province deemed highest risk, high risk:
      • Highest risk:
        • Organ transplant recipients
        • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
        • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
        • Haematological malignancy diagnosed less than 1 year ago
        • Kidney disease eGFR< 30
      • High risk:
        • Obesity (BMI > 40)Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
        • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)
    • Essential caregivers of patients with the highest risk and high risk medical conditions
    • Those with at-risk medical conditions are also eligible at the Scarborough Health Network clinics
      • Immune deficiencies / autoimmune disorders
      • Stroke / cerebrovascular disease
      • Dementia
      • Diabetes
      • Liver disease
      • All other cancers
      • Respiratory diseases
      • Spleen problems
      • Heart disease
      • Hypertension with end organ damage
      • Diagnosis of mental disorder
      • Substance use disorders
      • Thalassemia
      • Pregnancy
      • Immunocompromising health conditions
      • Other disabilities requiring direct support care in the community
    • People living in a high-risk area code over the age of 50
      • Humber River Hospital catchment area: South of Steeles Avenue, North of Eglinton Avenue, East of Humber River/ Islington Avenue, West of Bathurst Street
      • CAMH COVID-19 vaccine clinic: M5V, M6E, M6H, M6K, M6N, M8V
      • Englemount-Lawrence Vaccination Clinic: M2J, M2M, M2R, M3A, M3C, M3H, M3J, M3K, M3L, M3M, M3N, M4A, M4X, M5A, M5B, M5N, M5V, M6A, M6B, M6E, M6L, M6H, M6M, M9L, M9M, M9N, M9P
      • Michael Garron Hospital/Thorncliffe Park Community Hub: M4H, M1L, M3C, M4A, M1K, M1M, M1J.
      • North York General: M2J, M2M, M2R, M3A, M3C, M3H, M4A
      • St. Joseph’s Health Centre: M6K, M6N, M8V, M9A, M9B, M9C, M9R, M9V, M9W
      • St. Michael’s Hospital: M4X, M4Y, M5A, M5B
      • Sunnybrook Hospital: M2M, M2R, M3A, M3C, M4A, M5N, M6A, M6B
      • University Health Network: M5V, M6E, M6H
    • At the CAMH COVID-19 vaccine clinic, individuals with the following health conditions and their primary caregivers are also eligible:
      • Diagnosis of mental illness
      • Diagnosis of substance use disorder
      • Dementia
    • Those experiencing homelessness or living in a shelter setting (Thorncliffe Park Community Hub)

Mobile clinics:

  • Toronto will be utilizing mobile and pop-up clinics to vaccinate those 18+ in hotspot neighbourhoods. They will be focused on high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers.
  • Details of when and how the clinics will be rolled out have not been released at this time.

Where to get a vaccine in Peel Region and who is eligible

In Peel Region, they are utilizing seven immunization clinics, four hospital clinics and pharmacies for their COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Education workers who work or live in hotspot communities in Peel Region are expected to be able to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments during the April Break. Details on how to book an appointment or where they will be administered have not been released.

Immunization Clinics:

  • Anyone over the age of 60 are eligible to book an appointment. (Peel Region is planning on expanding the eligibility to 50+ on April 9)
  • You can book an appointment using the Ontario COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling 905-791-5202
  • Indigenous adults and frontline health care workers are also eligible to book an appointment using Peel Region’s booking tool.

Pharmacies:

  • Anyone over the age of 55 can book an appointment at a pharmacy in Peel Region. They are distributing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To book an appointment, you have to go through the pharmacy website. A full list of the participating pharmacies can be found here.

Hospital Clinics:

  • To book an appointment at the William Osler Health System clinics, you can book online or by phone at 905-494-6685.
  • Residents who are eligible to be vaccinated within William Osler are the following:
    • Faith Leaders who provide end of life care, care of the deceased, funerals, bathing, or other ceremonies with direct contact with deceased persons, home visits to unwell persons, pastoral care in hospitals/ long-term care homes /retirement homes or other vulnerable settings
    • Highest, Very High, and High Priority Healthcare Workers
    • Those with the medical conditions the province deemed highest risk, high risk (these people will be contacted by their specialists or the clinic themselves)
      • Highest risk:
        • Organ transplant recipients
        • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients
        • People with neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis)
          • Haematological malignancy diagnosed less than 1 year ago
      • Kidney disease eGFR< 30
      • High risk:
        • Obesity (BMI > 40)Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity-weakening medications)
        • Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome)
  • To book an appointment at Trillium Health Partners (THP) Clinics, you can use their online booking tool.
    • At this time, only Peel residents aged 60+ and Indigenous adults 16+ are eligible to be vaccinated at a THP clinic.

Mobile clinics:

  • Peel region will be utilizing mobile and pop-up clinics to vaccinate those 18+ in hotspot neighbourhoods. They will be focused on high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers.
  • Details of when and how the clinics will be rolled out have not been released at this time.

Where to get a COVID-19 vaccine in York Region and who is eligible

York Region has utilized 10 immunizations clinics to focus on different eligible populations. Pharmacies in York are also offering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Clinics for those 65+ and other eligible groups:

  • Residents who are 65 and older or a part of one of these eligibility groups are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine:
    • Highest, Very High and High Priority Health Care Workers who live or work in York Region
    • Staff, essential caregivers and any residents that have not yet received a first dose in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes
    • Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care home, retirement home or other congregate care home for seniors
    • Staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors
    • Indigenous adults and adult members of their households
    • Adult recipients of chronic home care services who live in York Region (appropriate documentation, such as letter from Ontario Health Team or Home and Community Care Support Services will be required)
    • Faith leaders who live or work in York Region and provide end of life care, care of the deceased, care of those who are unwell or provides pastoral services in vulnerable settings
  • The following clinics are offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments for those listed above:
    • Georgina Ice Palace
    • Richmond Green Centre
    • Trisan Centre
    • Canada’s Wonderland (drive-thru vaccination clinic)
    • Ray Twinney Complex
    • Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital
  • To book an appointment, click here or call 1-877-464-9675

Clinics for those 60+:

  • There is one dedicated clinic in Markham for York Region residents aged 60 years or older.
  • To book an appointment at the Cornell Community Centre, click here or call 1-877-464-9675. York Region is utilizing the province’s booking tool for this age group.

Clinics for those 45-59 in high-risk communities:

  • There are two clinics for individuals between the ages of 45 and 59 (born between 1976 to 1962) who currently live at an address with one of the following high priority postal codes: L4L, L6A, L4K, L4J or L3S
  • The clinics are in Markham and Vaughan:
    • Aaniin Community Centre
    • Maple Community Centre
  • To book an appointment, click here or call 1-877-464-9675

Pharmacies:

  • Anyone over the age of 55 can book an appointment at a pharmacy in York Region. They are distributing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To book an appointment, you have to go through the pharmacy website. A full list of the participating pharmacies can be found here.

Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Halton Region and who is eligible

Halton Region is utilizing five immunization clinics, a hospital clinic, and pharmacies to vaccinate their population against COVID-19.

Immunization clinics: 

  • To book an appointment, Halton Region is using their own online booking tool. Click here to book an appointment.
  • The following populations are eligible to book an appointment:
    • Adults 60 years of age or older (born in or before 1961)
    • Essential Caregivers/Residents at congregate settings
    • Recipients of regular home care services from LHIN
    • Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations) living in Halton, aged 55 years of age or older (born in or before 1966), and one immediate household family member.
  • The immunization clinics are located:
    • Burlington: Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road
    • Burlington: Joseph Brant Hospital, 1245 Lakeshore Road
    • Halton Hills: Gellert Community Centre, 10241 Eighth Line
    • Milton: First Ontario Arts Centre Milton, 1010 Main Street East
    • Oakville: St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre, 1280 Dundas Street West,

Hospital Clinic:

  • Oakville Trafalgar Hospital is administering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible populations. Click here to book an appointment.
  • The following residents are eligible to book an appointment at the hospital:
    • Adults 60 years of age or older (born in or before 1961)
    • Essential Caregivers/Residents at congregate settings
    • Recipients of regular home care services from LHIN
    • Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Metis and Inuit populations) living in Halton, aged 55 years of age or older (born in or before 1966), and one immediate household family member.
    • Health care workers who live or work in Halton region in Highest, Very High and High priority groups (High Priority health care workers must be providing direct, in-person patient care (non-virtual care) at least once a week).

Pharmacies:

  • Anyone over the age of 55 can book an appointment at a pharmacy in Halton Region. They are distributing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To book an appointment, you have to go through the pharmacy website. A full list of the participating pharmacies can be found here.

Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Durham Region and who is eligible

Durham Region is using immunization clinics and pharmacies to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19.

Immunization clinics:

  • To book an appointment at Durham Region’s immunization clinics, click here or call 1-888-444-5113.
  • Here are the populations eligible to be vaccinated at an immunization clinic:
    • Adults 60 years of age and older, or who will be turning 60 in 2021
    • Residents 50 years of age and older living in hotspots in Ajax and Pickering with the postal codes: L1S, L1T, L1V, L1X and L1Z.
    • Faith leaders (providing end of life care, care of the deceased, funerals or other ceremonies with direct contact of deceased persons, home visits to unwell, pastoral care in institutions)
    • All Indigenous adults and adult household members
    • Individuals with health conditions, starting with Highest-Risk and High-Risk health conditions.
      • Highest-Risk Health Conditions include:
        • Organ transplant recipients; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients; Neurological diseases in which respiratory function may be compromised (e.g., motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis); Blood cancer diagnosed < 1 year; Kidney disease with eGFR < 30.
        • Individuals in the Highest-Risk group may have their main essential caregiver vaccinated.
      • High-Risk Health Conditions include:
        • Obesity (BMI > 40); Other treatments causing immunosuppression (e.g., chemotherapy, immunity weakening medications); Intellectual or developmental disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome).
        • Individuals in the High-Risk group may have their main essential caregiver vaccinated.
    • High-Risk Congregate Living Settings
        • Residents, essential caregivers and staff in High-risk congregate living settings (residential facilities where a high-risk client population live or stay overnight and use shared spaces e.g., common sleeping areas, shared bathrooms, shared kitchens, communal dining spaces). Includes supportive housing, developmental services/intervenor including independent living, adult correctional facilities, children’s residential facilities (residents over 16, staff and foster parents).
        • Essential caregivers* are included for the following congregate settings: developmental services, mental health and addictions congregate settings, homes for special care, children’s residential facilities, and Indigenous healing and wellness facilities.
    • Primary health care provider (e.g. physician office) and office staff
      Community based medical specialists and office staff
    • Pharmacist and pharmacy staff (those who work directly in the pharmacy)
    • Walk-in clinic and walk in clinic staff
    • Dentistry/oral surgeon and office staff
    • Midwifery practice and office staff
    • NP-led clinic and office staff
    • Community health centre staff
    • Firefighters (medical first responders)
    • Long-term care and retirement home staff and essential caregivers
    • Hospital worker with direct patient care
    • Hospital non patient-facing staff
    • Lab/diagnostic service – health care provider or office staff
    • Police (who act as medical first responders)
    • Mental health / addictions / developmental services/campus health
    • Social work/social services (providing in person services)
    • Non-acute rehab and therapy
    • Naturopath and holistic care (direct patient care)
    • Congregate living staff
    • Independent health specialty
    • Diagnostic imaging staff
    • Chronic home care patients 16 years of age and older
  • Here are the locations where clinics are being held:
    • Audley Recreation Centre
    • Uxbridge Arena
    • Scugog Arena
    • Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre Arena*
    • The Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex
    • Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex Arena
    • Durham College and Ontario Tech University
    • McKinney Centre

Pharmacies:

  • Anyone over the age of 55 can book an appointment at a pharmacy in Durham Region. They are distributing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To book an appointment, you have to go through the pharmacy website. A full list of the participating pharmacies can be found here.

In Canada, U.S., vaccine ‘passports’ could be new point of cross-border contention

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Apr 8th, 2021

Requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 could be the next point of contention between Canada and the United States.

A new online Leger poll suggests a deep divide among both Canadians and Americans when it comes to the idea of vaccine “passports.”

The poll was conducted last month for the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Institute for Health Research at the University of Manitoba.

It found 52 per cent of Canadian respondents supported showing proof of vaccination, compared with 43 per cent of Americans.

Among U.S. respondents, 36 per cent opposed the idea, compared with 33 per cent of Canadians surveyed.

Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

The White House said Tuesday it won’t impose a federal requirement, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signalled willingness to consider it.

“We will continue to work with our partners in the United States and internationally to ensure that this is done properly,” Trudeau said Tuesday about how best to reopen the Canada-U.S. border.

“We have already seen the importance of proof of vaccination for international travel … in a pre-pandemic period in recent years. It will surely be important, but the details of what we are going to do about it, we are still fine-tuning.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was unequivocal when she ruled the idea out Tuesday _ an indication that requiring proof of vaccination would be a tough sell in a country that prizes individual liberties.

“The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” Psaki said.

The priority for the White House will be to protect the “privacy and rights” of U.S. residents “so that these systems are not used against people unfairly,” she said.

“There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

N95 masks start rolling off Ontario assembly line with aim to ensure domestic supply

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Apr 8th, 2021

The federal and Ontario governments are hailing the first N95 masks to roll off a domestic assembly line as a step toward better pandemic protection for Canada now and into the future.

The masks are being produced by 3M Canada following a multimillion-dollar deal between Ottawa and Queen’s Park announced last August by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

The agreement saw the two levels of government kick in $23.3 million each to help 3M expand production at its plant in Brockville, about an hour south of Ottawa.

Both leaders said at the time that the deal was intended to ensure Canada was never again at the mercy of unreliable foreign suppliers of personal protective equipment.

Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand underscored that aim during a virtual event with provincial ministers marking delivery of the first masks, which are now destined for front-line workers.

The deal will see 30 million masks delivered to the federal government and 25 million to Ontario each year for the next five years.

“Our objective in striking this deal from a federal government perspective was to make sure that we had PPE supplies in place in Canada in the short and the long term,” Anand said

“These are masks the Canadian public and front-line health-care workers need, not just for today, but in the months and years to come, given that we do not know whether another pandemic will befall this country.”

The new masks come as a third wave of COVID-19 sweeps across the country faster than Canadians get their vaccines.

Dr. Ann Collins, president of the Canadian Medical Association, says member surveys suggest doctors and other health-care professionals are continuing to face shortages of personal protective equipment.

“Clearly it’s a critical piece of kit in the battle against this virus,” Collins said in an interview.

“We have to be very thankful that we’ve got this assurance going forward, because we’re going to need these masks, it would appear for a very long time.”

Collins added that what would also be good to see is domestic production of vaccines, “particularly now with this very aggressive third wave.”

Page 3 of 83312345...102030...Last »