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COVID-19 deaths in Canada may be two times higher than reported: study

AMY SMART, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jun 29th, 2021

A new study suggests Canada has vastly underestimated how many people have died from COVID-19 and says the number could be two times higher than reported.

Dr. Tara Moriarty, working group lead for the study commissioned by the Royal Society of Canada, said in an interview while most accounts have put the majority of deaths in long-term care, the new data analysis suggests the toll of COVID-19 was also heavily felt outside the homes in the community.

Many of those deaths likely occurred in lower income, racialized communities and affected essential workers, new immigrants and people living in multigenerational homes, as well as clinically frail seniors living at home, the study says.

“If we’d had some sense early on of who was dying where, if we had had a sense of just how many deaths were actually occurring … maybe people would have started looking sooner or listening sooner to people in communities who were saying, ‘It’s really really bad here, people are dying,’” Moriarty said.

“It might have provided support for those claims that might have caused some kind of action that would have saved lives.”

Moriarty said seeing Canada out of step with similar high-income countries on the proportion of long-term care deaths was a red flag that inspired the analysis by the society.

The new peer-reviewed analysis casts doubt on the widely accepted assumption that 80 per cent of Canada’s deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among older adult residents of long-term care homes.

Instead, it says at least two-thirds of deaths caused by COVID-19 in communities outside of long-term care may have been missed. That would put the proportion of deaths in long-term care at around 45 per cent, much closer to the average of 40 per cent reported by peer countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The conclusion is based on a review of reports of excess deaths across Canada, the pattern of COVID-19 fatalities during the pandemic and cremation data showing a significant spike in deaths at homes versus hospitals in 2020. It also relies on antibody surveillance testing that collectively unmasked the likely broad scope of undetected COVID-19 infections.

The researchers adjusted the data to account for things like increased deaths due to the drug toxicity crisis and the expected drop in deaths linked to the pandemic because of things like reduced traffic accident rates.

The extent of “likely missed” fatalities varies by province and there are major data gaps in what was available, Moriarty said.

The knowledge gap is particularly acute in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba where cause-of-death data is only complete into February 2020, the report says. It was less of a problem in Quebec, where the virus accounted for all excess deaths, and Ontario.

Between Feb. 1 and Nov. 28, 2020, the study found COVID-19 deaths of about 6,000 people aged 45 and older appeared to have gone undetected, unreported or unattributed to the virus.

“This suggests that if Canada has continued to miss these fatalities at the same rate since last November, the pandemic mortality burden may be two times higher than reported,” the report says.

Eemaan Kaur Thind, a public health practitioner who looked at both detected and undetected COVID-19 deaths in racialized communities, said the results weren’t a shock given previous reports linking the communities and deaths or hospitalization rates.

The study suggests it’s likely many cases in those communities were never identified, and the resulting deaths were never counted.

“We know that a high-proportion of essential workers happen to be visible minorities,” she said.

“None of that surprised me, although it never really becomes any less hard to see the official numbers when you see something like this.”

Thind said she hopes the findings push policy-makers to listen to those most affected, many of whom raised alarms about things like the role language barriers played in access to COVID-19 testing and care.

“Data is very important but I think it’s more important to also listen to people and believe them.”

About 25 per cent of likely deaths occurred in people between 45 and 64, the study said.

The researchers make several recommendations, including mandating weekly preliminary reporting of deaths due to all causes to Statistics Canada, performing COVID-19 testing on all people who die in any setting, and immediately adopting methods used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for estimating excess mortality during the pandemic.

The group also calls for the creation of a national COVID-19 mortality task force with the provinces and territories, and independent advisers to investigate why so many Canadian COVID-19 cases and deaths have been missed or unreported, including examining demographic and employment data for those who died.

Nearly 30 per cent of respondents broke COVID-19 restrictions: Canada-wide survey

JULIA PETERSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jun 28th, 2021

SASKATOON — Almost 30 per cent of respondents in a newly released Canada-wide survey admitted to breaking COVID-19 rules — and felt justified doing so.

The survey by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan was done between June 1 and June 14. It asked 1,000 people about how closely they stuck to public health orders and where they were getting their information about the pandemic.

Some 29 per cent said they broke at least one COVID-19 restriction. The most common transgressions were around gathering limits and wearing masks.

But the survey also found that respondents were generally diligent about following isolation requirements and gave honest responses to COVID-19 screening questions.

Of the people who broke rules, 62 per cent said they felt it was justified. Their reasons included wanting to see friends and family (27 per cent) and a belief that they were violating restrictions in a safe way (17 per cent). Some said they ignored rules they didn’t think made any sense (21 per cent) and seven per cent said they didn’t believe the pandemic exists or is a problem.

The survey says some people did not think regulations “made sense for them” because they were fully vaccinated and they felt what they were doing was safe given their status.

The survey has a 3.1 per cent margin of error, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

Saskatchewan Minister of Health Paul Merriman said he believes social media has played a major role in confusing people about public health measures meant to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“The issue that I saw during most of the restrictions that have been implemented since the fall was that there were lots of interpretations going around on social media and the rumour mill,” he said.

“We tried to communicate this in a very clear way, (but) unfortunately some of it got twisted on social media. That wasn’t clear and created some confusion, which people didn’t need.”

The survey found that 35 per cent of people were getting their COVID-19 news from social media — particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and 71 per cent were getting news by word of mouth.

The greatest number of people — 88 per cent — were getting their news from online or TV news outlets, and 70 per cent also informed themselves through government websites.

Merriman said the data reflects what he has seen in Saskatchewan, where people were motivated to seek out good information from multiple sources.

“I understand there was some confusion, and I had to personally clarify some of the restrictions to people so they understood,” he said.

“But the good news is that they were asking questions, because they wanted to make sure they were sticking to the restrictions and the guidelines out there, versus unintentionally bending the rules.”

The survey also found that the pandemic has spurred some controversy and strife in close relationships. Twenty-two per cent of respondents reported a “falling out” with someone close to them over different views and opinions about the pandemic.

Not everyone was equally likely to break restrictions. Younger people were more likely to ignore gathering limits across the board, while residents of Quebec and on the Prairies were more likely to break indoor gathering limits than elsewhere in the country.

Despite the survey’s results, Merriman said it’s clear that people have generally been following restrictions throughout the pandemic.

“Every time we increased the public health guidelines, our numbers either plateaued in the next few weeks or started to calm down,” he said. “So there was good comprehension of that.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2021.

Julia Peterson, The Canadian Press

When a developer becomes a landlord to thousands of Canadians, what happens?

THE BIG STORY | posted Monday, Jun 28th, 2021

In today’s Big Story podcast, last week, Core Development Group announced its intention to spend a billion dollars buying family homes in hot markets across Canada and converting them to rental units. On the surface, this would seem to bring badly needed family rentals into markets that are in desperate need of them—but there’s a lot more going on here than just that.

What does a billion dollars in corporate money do to an already overheated housing market? Will these rental units be affordable for families that have been priced out of home ownership? How does a condo developer plan to become a landlord at a cross-Canada scale? And why do so many housing advocates warn this will set a dangerous precedent?

GUEST: Rachelle Younglai, Real Estate Reporter, The Globe and Mail

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Advocates say in-person support crucial for residential school survivors

BRITTANY HOBSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 25th, 2021

Editor’s note: This article contains some disturbing details about experiences at residential schools in Canada and may be upsetting to some readers. For those in need of emotional support, the 24-hour Residential Schools Crisis Line is available at 1-866-925-4419.


Indigenous advocates in Canada are calling for more cultural and mental-health supports for residential school survivors as communities discover unmarked graves at former sites.

Front-line organizations working with Indigenous people say the need for in-person help has intensified in the past month since the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C., announced ground-penetrating radar had found what are believed to be the remains of 215 children buried on the grounds of a one-time residential school in Kamloops.

Cowessness First Nation in Saskatchewan announced Thursday that the same technology had indicated 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

Jason Mercredi, executive director of Prairie Harm Reduction in Saskatoon, said the disclosures are triggering “troublesome memories” for survivors. He said there has been an increase in visits to the safe consumption site from individuals looking for mental-health support.

“We can’t really keep up, and it’s tough because some of these folks have been successfully coping for a number of years,” said Mercredi, who is Denesuline and Métis.

Pandemic restrictions have limited the number of places offering face-to-face support, so workers have had to refer people to an outside support line, he said.

A national crisis line is available through the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and some groups are offering regional helplines.

Mercredi said the federal government should be funding First Nations, Inuit and Métis-led organizations and communities to ensure appropriate support is provided.

“Each community needs to have the ability to design its own response model and support model,” he said. “All these cultures are very different … (and) they need to have the funding to be able to respond where they need to.”

The federal government recently promised $27 million to help locate graves across the country. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have also committed funding.

Tracy Wilson, who manages the Indian Residential School program at Boyle Street Community Services in Edmonton, echoes Mercredi’s call for more help.

Wilson, who is Nakota, Cree and Saulteaux, has taken calls from non-Indigenous agencies in the city as well as from the police force asking for guidance on how to support survivors who are retraumatized.

Some who returned home from residential schools are living with survivor’s guilt, she said.

“This is not a shock to most of us. It’s just a deeper grief,” she said.

“A lot of survivors think they could have stopped what happened. You know, that’s not the case, but they live with that every day.”

Wilson also believes there is a need for more culturally appropriate forms of support such as beading or sewing circles.

“We need more people to understand how our hands can help us more so than traditional western talk-through therapy.”

The National Association of Friendship Centres, which represents more than 100 such gathering places across the country, would like to see intergenerational support as well.

“Our youth are in this sea of information about crimes, violence, murders against their ancestors. They need help walking through that and figuring out what does that mean,” said Kelly Benning, a Métis woman and the association’s vice-president.

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering from trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419.

___

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

A look at COVID-19 reopening plans across the country

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 25th, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and case numbers drop across the country, the provinces and territories have begun releasing the reopening plans for businesses, events and recreational facilities.

Most of the plans are based on each jurisdiction reaching vaccination targets at certain dates, while also keeping the number of cases and hospitalizations down.

Here’s a look at what reopening plans look like across the country:

Newfoundland and Labrador:

The province’s reopening plan begins with a transition period during which some health restrictions, like limits on gatherings, will loosen.

Requirements for testing and self-isolation lift entirely for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers on Canada Day, while those requirements ease over the next few months for travellers with just one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

If case counts, hospitalization and vaccination targets are met, the province expects to reopen dance floors as early as Aug. 15, and lift capacity restrictions on businesses, restaurants and lounges while maintaining physical distancing between tables.

As early as Sept. 15, mask requirements for indoor public spaces would be reviewed.

Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotia has moved into Phase 2 of its five-step reopening plan, which allows such things as indoor dining at restaurants and bars, a 50 per cent customer capacity for retail stores and increased gathering limits.

The province has allowed all public and private schools to reopen. A limit of 10 people gathering informally indoors is in place, and up to 25 people are allowed to gather informally outdoors without social distancing.

Festivals and special events may take place at 25 per cent of the venue’s capacity with a maximum of 50 people indoors and up to 75 people outdoors with social distancing.

Indoor and outdoor restaurant dining is allowed with two metres between tables and a maximum of 10 people at each table. Restaurants can only serve dine-in customers until 11 p.m. and must close by 12 a.m., however take-out, delivery and drive-thru service can still be offered after 12 a.m.

Hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments are open but by appointment only.

New Brunswick:

New Brunswick has moved into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, having reached its goal of having 20 per cent of people 65 or older vaccinated with two doses of a COVID vaccine.

Premier Blaine Higgs says the change opens travel without the need to isolate to all of Nova Scotia after opening to P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Travellers from elsewhere in Canada who’ve had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed into the province without the need to isolate, while those who haven’t had a shot will have to isolate and produce a negative test before being released from quarantine.

Other changes allow restaurants, gyms and salons to operate at full capacity as long as customer contact lists are kept.

In the third phase, the province will lift all COVID-19 restrictions.

Prince Edward Island: 

The province has allowed personal gatherings to increase so that up to 20 people can get together indoors and outdoors. Restaurants are allowed to have tables of up to 20. Special occasion events like backyard weddings and anniversary parties of up to 50 people hosted by individuals are permitted with a reviewed operational plan.

The province projects that on July 18, its non-medical mask requirement will ease, and organized gatherings hosted by a business or other organization will be permitted with groups of up to 200 people outdoors or 100 people indoors.

On Sept. 12, the province expects physical distancing measures to be eased, as well as allowing personal and organized gatherings to go ahead without limits.

Quebec: 

Three more regions in Quebec have moved into the green, or least restrictive, level of the province’s COVID-19 response plan.

Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec joined much of the rest of the province in attaining the level that allows them to relax restrictions including limits on gatherings in homes, which can host up to 10 people from three different addresses.

Montreal and several other regions have moved from the orange alert level to yellow, permitting indoor gatherings with members of another household, the resumption of outdoor team sports and expanded capacity for weddings, funerals and religious services. Bars in yellow zones can also welcome patrons inside at 50 per cent capacity.

Earlier this month, the province permitted gyms and restaurant dining rooms to reopen as it moved all regions out of the red alert level. Bar patios have reopened and supervised outdoor sports and recreation are allowed in groups of up to 25 people.

Quebec ended its nightly curfew on May 28 and allowed restaurant patios to open as well as limited outdoor gatherings on private property. It also lifted travel bans between regions and increased the number of people allowed to attend sporting events and festivals to 3,500.

Ontario:

The province will allow outdoor concerts, open-air movie screens and performing arts shows starting next Wednesday as it moves to the next stage in its reopening plan.

Audience capacity will be capped at 25 per cent of the outdoor space or seating area, with organizers required to have the maximum capacity restrictions visibly posted within the outdoor space. All tickets must be sold as reserved seats.

Other measures also allow musicians to perform at indoor concert venues for a limited number of reasons.

Live streaming shows are permitted after being outlawed by the province in April. However, the performances cannot host any spectators.

Indoor venues can hold band rehearsals with certain distancing and safety measures in place.

The film and TV industry will see its restrictions lowered as well. In particular, a cap of 50 performers on a set is being eliminated, though studio audiences are still not allowed.

The second stage of reopening was originally slated to begin July 2, but the province moved the plan forward two days, saying COVID-19 vaccination targets have been met.

Indoor cinemas and public concerts still won’t be permitted with capacity restrictions until the third stage.

Manitoba:

Manitobans will be able to return to restaurants, go to church and meet with larger groups as the province brings in the first step of its reopening plan ahead of schedule.

More than 71 per cent of eligible residents have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 27 per cent have had a second shot. That means some restrictions will be loosened Saturday — a week earlier than planned.

Restaurants and bars will be limited to 25 per cent capacity indoors and 50 per cent on patios. Hair salons, gyms and indoor sports can resume operating, but with capacity restrictions. Hair and nail salons, as well as barber shops, will be available by appointment only.

Outdoor gatherings on private property will be capped at 10 people and groups in public areas will be limited to 25.

The number of worshippers at faith services will also be capped.

Businesses, such as casinos and movie theatres, will remain closed. They are expected to open at later stages of the plan this summer.

Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan has announced it will remove all public health orders as of Sunday, July 11 — and that includes the removal of the province-wide mandatory masking order, as well as capacity limits on events and gathering sizes.

Premier Scott Moe says the province is going ahead with full implementation of Step 3 of its Reopening Roadmap because 70 per cent of residents over the age of 18 and 69 per cent of those over 12 have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, large retailers must reduce the capacity of their stores to 25 per cent, while other retailers must cut their capacity to 50 per cent.

Restaurants and bars must maintain two metres of physical distance between tables or erect a structural barrier between tables if distancing isn’t possible. Tables are limited to six people at a time. Dance floors and buffets remain closed.

Places of worship are allowed up to 30 per cent of their seating capacity or 150 people, whichever is less. And individuals must be separated by two metres, unless they are part of the same extended household.

A maximum of 30 people are allowed to attend gatherings at banquet and conference facilities, which includes wedding and funeral receptions. No food or beverages are allowed.

And a maximum of 30 people are allowed in a movie theatre, but staff and customers must be able to maintain two metres of physical distance. The same rule applies to live theatre.

Alberta: 

Outdoor social gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed with proper distancing.

Indoor recreation, entertainment and other settings can open at one-third of fire code occupancy. Places of worship can also open to one-third capacity and restaurants are allowed up to six people per table, indoors or outdoors.

Youth activities have resumed with restrictions and outdoor public gatherings, such as concerts and festivals, are allowed with up to 150 people. A work-from-home order has been lifted, but it is still recommended.

All remaining restrictions will lift on July 1.

There will no longer be limits on weddings, funerals or bans on indoor social gatherings. There will also be no more limits on gyms, sports or fitness activities, no more capacity limits at restaurants, in retail stores or in places of worship.

Anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate and protective measures at continuing care centres may remain.

The overall requirement for masks in public indoor spaces will end, but masks will likely still be required in taxis, on public transit and on ride shares.

British Columbia:

Seated gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed at banquet halls, movie theatres and theatre performances. High-intensity fitness classes are allowed and bars can serve liquor until midnight.

Indoor faith gatherings are allowed with a maximum of 50 people or up to 10 per cent of a building’s capacity.

Recreational travel within B.C. is allowed, but the province is asking those planning to visit from other provinces to delay those plans until more people have had their vaccines.

The province is testing every positive COVID-19 case for variants of concern and testing, tracking and tracing for each case remains a priority.

Rules for masks and physical distancing remain in place.

Nunavut:

Public health orders affecting what is allowed to open vary by community.

In Iqaluit, travel to the community is restricted to residents, medical officials and critical workers, as well as those who have authorization for a compassionate exemption. Outdoor gatherings are restricted to 25 people, while indoor gatherings are restricted to a household plus five people.

Meanwhile in Kinngait and Rankin Inlet, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people and those indoors are restricted to a household plus 15 people. Restaurants and bars are allowed to open for regular business at 50 per cent capacity, and there must be a two metre distance between tables, with no more than six people seated or around each table.

Northwest Territories:

Up to 25 people are allowed in a business that is following an approved COVID-19 plan. Households can have up to 10 people with a maximum of five guests from another household.

Non-essential travel outside the territory is not recommended, and leisure travel into the territory is not permitted.

Yukon:

Bars and restaurants are allowed to operate at full capacity with restrictions, while social bubbles have increased to 20 people. Social gatherings indoors of up to 20 people are allowed with physical distancing, while outdoors up to 100 people can gather. Organized gatherings, such as festivals or weddings, of up to 200 people are allowed with physical distancing.

Camp and recreational programs are allowed to have 20 participants indoors with physical distancing and mask wearing; and 100 participants outdoors with physical distancing. Gyms and recreation centres can operate with up to 200 people with physical distancing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Thursday, June 24, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jun 24th, 2021

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Some provinces and territories do not report daily case numbers.

There are 1,410,927 confirmed cases in Canada.

Canada: 1,410,927 confirmed cases (9,645 active, 1,375,107 resolved, 26,175 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 727 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 25.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,788 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 827.

There were 21 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 176 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 25. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 68.87 per 100,000 people.

There have been 36,344,745 tests completed.

Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,384 confirmed cases (17 active, 1,360 resolved, seven deaths).

There were zero new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 3.26 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.34 per 100,000 people.

There have been 296,511 tests completed.

Prince Edward Island: 206 confirmed cases (zero active, 206 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases reported Wednesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 172,743 tests completed.

Nova Scotia: 5,793 confirmed cases (60 active, 5,641 resolved, 92 deaths).

There were zero new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 6.13 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 34 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is five.

There were zero new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.39 per 100,000 people.

There have been 914,063 tests completed.

New Brunswick: 2,320 confirmed cases (44 active, 2,231 resolved, 45 deaths).

There was one new case reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 5.63 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 15 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 5.76 per 100,000 people.

There have been 370,126 tests completed.

Quebec: 374,222 confirmed cases (1,184 active, 361,840 resolved, 11,198 deaths).

There were 127 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 13.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 852 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 122.

There were three new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 21 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 130.6 per 100,000 people.

There have been 9,688,894 tests completed.

Ontario: 543,019 confirmed cases (3,032 active, 530,894 resolved, 9,093 deaths).

There were 255 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 20.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,209 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 316.

There were 11 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 107 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 15. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 61.71 per 100,000 people.

There have been 15,606,604 tests completed.

Manitoba: 55,589 confirmed cases (1,789 active, 52,668 resolved, 1,132 deaths).

There were 123 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 129.71 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 857 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 122.

There were three new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 22 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 82.07 per 100,000 people.

There have been 855,971 tests completed.

Saskatchewan: 48,537 confirmed cases (607 active, 47,365 resolved, 565 deaths).

There were 34 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 51.5 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 412 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 59.

There was one new reported death Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of four new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.93 per 100,000 people.

There have been 900,949 tests completed.

Alberta: 231,568 confirmed cases (1,676 active, 227,600 resolved, 2,292 deaths).

There were 92 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 37.9 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 710 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 101.

There were two new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 51.83 per 100,000 people.

There have been 4,636,175 tests completed.

British Columbia: 147,271 confirmed cases (1,144 active, 144,383 resolved, 1,744 deaths).

There were 87 new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 22.22 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 597 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 85.

There was one new reported death Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of six new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.88 per 100,000 people.

There have been 2,851,459 tests completed.

Yukon: 220 confirmed cases (92 active, 125 resolved, three deaths).

There were eight new cases reported Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 218.78 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 100 new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is 14.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 7.13 per 100,000 people.

There have been 9,129 tests completed.

Northwest Territories: 128 confirmed cases (zero active, 128 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases reported Wednesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 24,548 tests completed.

Nunavut: 657 confirmed cases (zero active, 653 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases reported Wednesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases reported. The seven-day rolling average of new reported cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people.

There have been 17,497 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published June 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Are you ready for a late summer federal election?

THE BIG STORY | posted Thursday, Jun 24th, 2021

In today’s Big Story podcast, over the past few weeks there have been unmistakable signs that the governing Liberals as well as opposition parties are getting ready to send Canadians to the polls—whether they want to go or not. From fundraising to renting rooms, passing bills that will look great in campaign literature and reminding voters how long they waited for their vaccines, it’s pretty clear that the machines are revving up.

So why now? What will a federal election in a country still recovering from COVID look like? Are the Liberals planning this because they think they can come back with a majority? And will there be room for any issues beyond the pandemic?

GUEST: Cormac Mac Sweeney, Parliament Hill Reporter

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Wednesday, June 23, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jun 23rd, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 482,991 new vaccinations administered for a total of 33,049,022 doses given. Nationwide, 7,818,433 people or 21 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 87,202.249 per 100,000.

There were 1,953,600 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 37,033,950 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 89.24 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 40,181 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 419,095 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 800.363 per 1,000. In the province, 9.59 per cent (50,234) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 39,760 new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 503,410 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 96 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 12,363 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 129,054 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 813.559 per 1,000. In the province, 12.66 per cent (20,080) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 12,180 new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 151,565 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 96 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 84,949 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 790,514 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 810.038 per 1,000. In the province, 9.92 per cent (96,781) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 72,240 new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 923,020 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 95 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85.64 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 66,147 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 669,041 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 857.701 per 1,000. In the province, 17.83 per cent (139,120) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 752,645 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 96 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 86,458 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,472,859 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 873.339 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 8,285,035 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 97 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.2 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 199,535 new vaccinations administered for a total of 12,869,310 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 876.114 per 1,000. In the province, 21.41 per cent (3,145,372) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 1,382,500 new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 14,475,845 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 99 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.9 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 21,726 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,178,692 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 855.983 per 1,000. In the province, 23.16 per cent (318,956) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 1,347,420 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 98 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.48 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 6,496 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,005,275 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 852.539 per 1,000. In the province, 25.04 per cent (295,202) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 94,560 new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 1,146,365 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 97 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.69 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 49,508 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,854,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 875.549 per 1,000. In the province, 26.28 per cent (1,156,974) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 352,360 new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 4,234,685 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 96 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 91.02 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 75,491 new vaccinations administered for a total of 4,511,923 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 879.247 per 1,000. In the province, 19.51 per cent (1,001,192) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 5,005,680 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 98 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.14 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 57,017 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,366.298 per 1,000. In the territory, 63.30 per cent (26,415) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 65,690 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 160 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 86.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting 1,625 new vaccinations administered for a total of 58,840 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,304.107 per 1,000. In the territory, 60.76 per cent (27,413) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 82,230 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 180 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 71.56 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 33,194 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 857.15 per 1,000. In the territory, 39.17 per cent (15,169) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 60,360 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 160 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 54.99 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

*Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as some approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 12 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published June 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

What do you do when you’ve been blamed for a COVID outbreak?

THE BIG STORY | posted Wednesday, Jun 23rd, 2021

In today’s Big Story podcast, one year after being singled out—first by Premier Blaine Higgs, then by members of his own community—as “Patient Zero” for a New Brunswick COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Jean-Robert Ngola is still putting his life back together. Last May an outbreak in Campbellton, NB, was blamed by Higgs on an “irresponsible medical professional”, and online Dr. Ngola was identified less than an hour later.

Since then he’s been suspended, had charges filed, then eventually dropped. He’s asked for and been refused an apology. He’s left Campbellton, and now lives in another province and is still wondering where he might be if the premier had been patient and waited for proper tracing to occur.

GUEST: Judy Trinh, CBC’s The Fifth Estate

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

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