Today’s Coronavirus News: Ontario Reports 821 New COVID-19 Cases; Social Media Strategies Played Big Role In Pandemic Elections, Experts Say

The last coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

10:15 am: Ontario reported 821 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. Of those cases, 621 are in people who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 200 are in fully vaccinated people.

9:01 am: A worrying report from Statistics Canada last month may indicate that the country’s economy has already entered a cold dip.

StatCan attributed the drop to declining resale and home exports. But experts say the second-quarter plunge into negative economic growth may have little to do with a cooling housing market, which remains in sunny summer territory.

“The best way to put it is to think of a hot summer day instead of a sweltering summer day,” says Leah Zlatkin, a specialist in the mortgage industry.

“So it had been a sweltering summer (in the first quarter) when it comes to real estate, and now the second quarter was a hot summer day,” says Zlatkin, the lead broker for Toronto’s Brite Mortgage.

The unexpected recession, which saw gross domestic product shrink at an annualized rate of 1.1 percent from April to June, could change everything from Canada’s economic recovery to the results of the upcoming federal elections, with affordability as an issue. key point of the elections.

Read the full story of Joseph Hall.

9 a.m. – As Alberta’s healthcare system faces collapse, an ICU doctor leads his battle outside the hospital walls

Dr. Darren Markland is saddened and frustrated even as he spends more time caring for COVID patients. But “I never thought people would be mad at me” for doing my job.

Read the full story of Omar Mosleh from Star.

8:59 am: If there is one thing that is true about how many people need a COVID-19 vaccine to protect us all, it is this: the goals have changed in 2021.

At the beginning of the pandemic, leading scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, said that between 60 and 70 percent of the population must acquire resistance to the virus, either through vaccination or infection, for life to return to some degree of “normality.”

But now, as the fourth wave descends and the highly transmissible Delta variant has surpassed all other strains to become dominant, those numbers are much less reliable. And what the new threshold should be is less clear as experts grapple with what will be enough protection to avoid Delta.

Read the full story of Kenyon Wallace from Star.

8:58 am: Just a month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon give a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House promising to “follow the science,” Biden found himself unusually ahead of that lofty pronouncement.

Some of the nation’s top medical advisers launched a harsh rebuke of the idea on Friday, in essence telling the White House: not so fast.

A key government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected Biden’s plan to administer COVID-19 booster shots across the board and instead recommended the additional dose of vaccine only for those who are 65 or older or running a high risk of serious illness.

Biden’s August 18 announcement that the federal government was preparing to shore up the protection of nearly all Americans had been made with great fanfare. It was meant to calm the nerves of millions of Americans fearful of a new, more transmissible strain of the coronavirus.

“The plan is for all adults to receive a booster shot eight months after receiving the second,” Biden said, noting that his administration would be ready to begin the program on September 20.

Biden added the qualification that the third doses would require approval from health officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but his public message missed the nuance.

“Just remember,” he said, “as a simple rule: eight months after your second injection, get a booster shot.”

8:58 am: Military leaders from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson have declared a public health emergency in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Alaska.

They also encouraged all staff to avoid places that don’t require masks or social distancing, authorities said.

US Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar said Friday that the declaration will remain in effect for 30 days, but could be shortened or extended depending on the cases and community transmission of COVID-19.

Hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases statewide have increased as a result of the highly contagious Delta variant. Alaska on Friday reported more than 1,200 new confirmed cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks.

8:57 am: Police used pepper spray to subdue protesters on Saturday at an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.

About 1,000 protesters gathered in the Richmond suburb after the location of the protest was changed at the last minute to evade authorities.

There were minor fights and a violent confrontation involving a handful of protesters. Several protesters were arrested.

Most of the protesters defied regulations by not wearing masks.

Some 2,000 police officers were deployed at checkpoints and road barricades, and on itinerant patrols, to try to stop the march against public health orders.

Melbourne’s sixth block began on August 5. Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria, which on Saturday reported 535 new infections and one death from COVID-19 in the last 24-hour period.

8:57 am: India distributed 25 million doses during a special COVID-19 vaccination campaign organized on the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The campaign took place on Friday when Modi turned 71. The Health Ministry said on Saturday that the special campaign had brought India’s total vaccines to more than 790 million.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya described the feat as “a golden chapter … written in the history of the country and the world.”

Only China has administered more. The Chinese government said this week that it had administered more than 2.16 billion vaccines and that one billion Chinese were fully vaccinated.

India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, has given at least one dose to more than 62% of eligible adults and two doses to approximately 21%. Health Ministry officials say they plan to administer more than 1 billion injections by mid-October.

India has reported more than 33 million coronavirus cases and 444,529 deaths. The country is registering more than 30,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day.

8:56 am: More than three-quarters of Quebecers support mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers, according to a new Leger poll, which also found strong support for vaccine passports across the country.

Seventy-six percent of those surveyed in Quebec said they support mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers, including 57 percent who said they strongly support the mandate.

Healthcare workers in Quebec have until October 15 to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or risk being suspended without pay.

Respondents aged 55 and over were the most likely to support the mandate, with 89% in favor, while respondents aged 18 to 34 were the least supportive, with 36% saying they opposed it. Support was highest in urban areas, where there was 82% approval, compared to 63% in rural Quebec.

Outside the province, 75 percent of those surveyed said they approve of mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers, with the strongest support in Atlantic Canada (83 percent) and British Columbia (82 percent). Albertans were the least likely to support the mandate, with 65 percent saying they were in favor of it.

The poll, conducted in collaboration with The Canadian Press and the Association for Canadian Studies, also found strong support for vaccine passports across the country, with 79 percent of respondents in favor. Seven provinces require, or plan to require, that people present proof of vaccination to access certain non-essential activities and services.

7:50 am: During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been spending even more time on their social media and all political parties hope to take advantage of it to directly access their voter base. But just because someone likes or shares a political post doesn’t necessarily translate to the polls.

Experts across the country are watching to see which party’s social media strategy performed the most on Election Day.

Half of Canadians, regardless of their age, use Facebook weekly to get news about current events and politics, said Oksana Kishchuk, a consultant at Abacus Data.

Social networks have become a vital actor in generating support. It’s not just about posting either, he said, as parties need to consider good photos, quick clips, and current trends.

“Mastering these techniques will be important,” Kishchuk said.

As Election Day approaches, he says all three major parties are adopting a “point and spend” strategy. In the last week or so, each has spent between $ 400,000 and $ 600,000 on ads on Facebook and Instagram. Liberals and the NDP are using that money to share messages that focus primarily on their own strengths, while conservatives have focused on Justin Trudeau, he said.

The most recent Abacus poll shows liberals leading the way with their social media strategy, Kishchuk said, but impressions of Singh and conservative leader Erin O’Toole rose significantly during the election.

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