The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
6:42 am: Phil Van Daalen was an industrial mechanic for air compressor company Comairco when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
He was fired in March 2020 along with other colleagues in London, Ontario, as well as others in branches across the country. Your employer gave you your employment history and told you to apply for employment insurance.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, Van Daalen had no way of knowing that his layoff would last more than a year. His temporary layoff would turn into unpaid infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL), a measure enacted by the Ontario government in response to COVID-19. Similar to a temporary layoff, IDEL allows workers to collect EI and other pandemic supports while guaranteeing a job to return to.
Under normal circumstances, temporary layoffs require companies to officially terminate and pay severance to employees who have been laid off for 13 weeks, or up to 35 in certain cases. With IDEL, there is no time limit for the period of unemployment.
As the months passed, with no indication of when he would be able to return to work, Van Daalen felt that they had done it wrong. So, in the summer of 2020, he decided to take his employer to court for constructive dismissal, asking for lost wages, pending vacation pay, and more.
Read the full story of Rosa Saba from Star.
6:40 am: An ER doctor who now sees fear and remorse on the faces of her unvaccinated patients admitted to the hospital.
A pediatrician who has told hundreds of people they tested positive and still hears patients say they didn’t know COVID could make them feel so sick.
An infectious disease doctor who watches patients struggle to breathe in the ICU, wishing he could go back in time and get vaccinated so he can see his children one more time.
For doctors and nurses working on the COVID front, knowing that a patient is not vaccinated has become a new source of distress in a pandemic that is already fraught with trauma and tragedy.
Read the full story of Megan Ogilvie from Star.
6:40 am: Russian President Vladimir Putin says dozens of his staff have been infected with the coronavirus and that he will continue his self-isolation due to the outbreak.
The Kremlin announced earlier this week that it would isolate itself after someone in its inner circle became infected, although Putin tested negative for the virus and is fully vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V. But Putin said on Thursday that the infections were extensive.
“Cases of coronavirus have been identified in my immediate environment, and this is not one, not two, but several dozen people. Now we have to observe the self-isolation regime for several days, ”he said via video link to a summit of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that those infected were “mainly those who participate to ensure the work and activities of the head of state, his safety.” Neither case is serious, he said.
Although Russia was the first country to implement a coronavirus vaccine, less than 30% of the country is fully vaccinated.
The national coronavirus task force says about 7.2 million infections have been recorded in the country of 145 million, with 195,835 deaths.
6:39 am: The US government will spend $ 470 million to learn more about protracted COVID-19, its causes, and possible treatments.
The National Institutes of Health announced the plans Wednesday with a grant awarded to New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and a goal of enrolling up to 40,000 adults and children. The effort, called RECOVER, will involve researchers from more than 30 US institutions.
” This is being taken very seriously … on a scale that has not really been attempted with something like this, ” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in a briefing on Wednesday.
Collins says that it is estimated that between 10% and 30% of people infected with COVID-19 can develop persistent, new or recurring symptoms that can last for months or perhaps years.
Prolonged COVID is a generic term for symptoms that persist, recur, and first appear four weeks or more after an initial infection. It also includes inflammation of the heart and multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious condition that can occur in children after a COVID-19 infection.
Pain, headaches, fatigue, mental confusion, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, chronic cough, and trouble sleeping are among the reported symptoms of prolonged COVID. Possible causes include the virus persisting in tissues and organs or overstimulating the immune system.
6:38 am: The Nevada Hospital Association is urging people to avoid going to emergency rooms except in true emergencies, especially in northern Nevada, where a resurgence in coronavirus infections is doubling the rate in the Las Vegas area. .
Health officials say the 30-day average of daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents has increased fivefold in the Reno-Sparks area over the past six weeks, from 354 in early August to 1,621 now. The state rate is 951 and 720 in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.
The head of the hospital association says that, as a result, “many hospital emergency departments in northern Nevada are at capacity with patients.”
State officials said on Wednesday that 1,090 people were hospitalized earlier in the week for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, the disease that may be caused by the coronavirus.
6:37 am: Alaska reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after the state’s largest hospital began rationing care due to a flood of COVID-19 patients.
Authorities reported 1,068 new virus infections, 13% more than last week. State officials say 201 Alaskans are hospitalized for COVID-19, and 34 of them have ventilators.
The state medical director says hospitals continue to experience stress and there is no capacity for patients with COVID-19 or those with other needs. Statewide, there are about 1,100 non-intensive care unit beds in hospitals, with just 302 available on Wednesday. Only 21 of the state’s ICU beds are open.
6:37 am: Hundreds of tourists flocked to the resort island of Langkawi in northern Malaysia when it reopened to fully vaccinated travelers on Thursday.
Langkawi is the first vacation destination in the country to welcome visitors as part of a national tourism bubble. If successful, you might see other vacation destinations follow suit in an attempt to jump-start the economy. Malaysia has reported more than 2 million infections, while deaths have risen above 21,000 despite the closure in June.
But vaccination has also sped up, with three-quarters of the country’s adult population fully inoculated.
The government says a lockdown is no longer feasible and Malaysians must learn to live with the virus, which will soon be treated as endemic. Restrictions have recently been loosened and Langkawi was allowed to reopen with strict health protocols.
Travelers over the age of 7 must test negative for COVID-19 before arriving on the island. Local media said the plane tickets have been bought, and that 19 flights with tourists will arrive in Langkawi on Thursday.
Ferries carrying hundreds of passengers were also heading to the island, which is reportedly expected to receive 400,000 visitors by the end of the year.
6:35 am: Saskatchewan does not require students who are in close contact with other students with COVID-19 to isolate themselves unless the exposure occurred at a party or other social gathering with peers outside of school.
“But if they’re exposed at school, they can keep coming to school and they just can’t participate in extracurricular activities, and they have to wear a mask except when they’re eating,” said Patrick Maze, president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Teachers.
What makes it more complicated is that students are doing their own contact tracing, due to a lack of resources and emergency funding, Maze said. In most cases, schools are not told who has COVID-19, so staff cannot enforce any restrictions.
The Saskatoon Public Schools, the largest division in Saskatchewan, said the Saskatchewan Health Authority does not share the identity of a diagnosed student, so there is no way of knowing who is positive, much less a close contact.