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Government Announcements

COVID-19 Resource Centre: Evolve. Connect. Flourish.
COVID-19 Resource Centre: Evolve. Connect. Flourish.

Blakes is carefully monitoring government decision-making related to COVID-19 across Canada and the United States. We will update this page twice daily with the announcements, news and legislation that impact our clients and communities.

August 30, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Transport Canada suspending all direct commercial and private passenger flights from Morocco until September 29, 2021. (News Release and CTV)

    • Like every other element of Canada’s COVID-19 response, border measures are based on available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally. An increase in COVID-19 positive test results has been observed in travellers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the past month.

  • Extended ban on direct flights from India hits international students hard. (CTV)

    • Canada's ban on direct flights from India — announced April 22 as India experienced a massive surge of COVID-19 cases, and extended again this month — has meant international students have had to plot complex travel itineraries, shoulder the cost of an extended journey and deal with the uncertainty that comes with obtaining a COVID-19 test in a third country.

  • The following Order was published in Canada Gazette, Part I (dated August 28, 2021):

U.S. – Federal

  • Fauci backs COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. school children. (CTV)

    • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said on Sunday he supports COVID-19 vaccine mandates for children attending schools as the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to fuel a surge in cases in the nation.

  • Statement by President Joe Biden on the investigation into the origins of COVID-⁠19. (The White House)

  • Press briefing by the White House COVID-⁠19 Response Team and Public Health Officials. (The White House)

  • CDC recommends use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine resume. (News Release)

    • On April 23, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine resume in the United States after a temporary pause.

  • Bill H.R.5106 – To prohibit any entity that receives Federal funds from the COVID relief packages from mandating employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and for other purposes. (August 27, 2021) Introduced, referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Alberta

  • Alberta doctors holding COVID-19 updates in absence of province briefings. (Global News)

    • In the absence of regular provincial government news conferences, a group of Alberta doctors are providing their own COVID-19 update on Monday afternoon.

  • Strike 'inevitable' for Alberta nurses, likely two months away. (CTV)

    • Alberta nurses are likely to go on strike in the next two months if the Alberta Health Services (AHS) position in labour negotiations doesn't shift.

  • University of Calgary students call out last-minute shift to online learning. (Global News)

    • The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact operations at Alberta universities. Officials say 10 per cent of course components were shifted online over the month of August as COVID-19 cases rose.

  • The Alberta Human Rights Commission dismisses Edmonton mask complaints. (CBC)

    • The Alberta Human Rights Commission has dismissed a pair of complaints filed by two men who say they were discriminated against when they didn't wear masks inside retail stores last fall.

  • Edmonton Catholic schools tighten mask rules, citing surge in COVID-19 cases among children. (CBC)

    • Masks will be required at all times for all students and staff in schools operated by Edmonton Catholic Schools, including during classes, the division announced Monday. The division cited an increase in COVID-19 cases among Alberta children in tightening masking requirements for students and staff in kindergarten through grade 12. The revised back-to-school guidelines were issued Monday.

  • 248,954 cases, an increase of 1,168 on August 26, 9,066 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

  • Police federation calls for more officers to enforce B.C. vaccine passport. (CBC)

    • The B.C. chapter of the National Police Federation is calling for more resources for officers to adequately enforce the province's vaccine passport, which comes into effect on September 13.

  • 163,560 cases, an increase of 867 on August 27, 5,657 active cases, including three deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario invests in PPE testing services in Toronto. (News Release)

    • Kinectrics Inc. is investing over C$841,000 to expand and implement industry-standard testing techniques for PPE, with support of more than C$252,000 provided through the Ontario Together Fund. The investment will help the company scale up testing resources for surgical masks and N95 respirators and introduce new PPE testing services for surgical gowns and medical drapes.

  • Hundreds of ER doctors implore Ontario to boost nurses' pay amid 'dangerous' staffing shortage. (CBC)

    • More than 350 emergency physicians across Ontario have signed an open letter demanding that the province give more substantial pay increases to critical-care nurses who've worked on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year and a half.

  • Toronto Public Health expands programs to support a safe return to school. (News Release)

    • In-person learning is essential for the mental and physical wellbeing of children and their families, and Toronto Public Health (TPH) is supporting all Toronto school boards and the Government of Ontario in this transition with the recommended public health measures and protective layers in place.

  • 565,025 cases, an increase of 2,269 since Friday, 6,028 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec's vaccination passport will be available on Google Play 'in the coming hours': Health minister. (CTV)

    • Quebecers will soon be able to download their vaccine passport using the VaxiCode application on Google Play. Health Minister Christian Dubé wrote on social media Monday announcing Google Play users would be able to download both the citizen and merchant versions of the app “in the coming hours.” Starting September 1, merchants will be required to ask anyone coming into their establishment to not only show their proof of vaccination, but also a matching piece of photo ID. The app has already been available on the Apple Store for several days.

  • 388,799 cases, an increase of 1,569 since Friday, 4,405 active cases, no new deaths.

August 31, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • What school will look like this fall as Canada struggles to bring COVID-19 under control. (CBC)

    • It's the start of a third pandemic-disrupted school year, but what Canadian students will face during this fourth wave of COVID-19 will look strikingly different depending on where they live…a quick comparison of back-to-school plans across the country.

  • Canadians demand to know why they can fly — but still not drive — to the U.S. (CBC)

    • When the United States announced it would keep its side of the Canada-U.S. land border closed to non-essential travel until at least September 21, it got an earful from angry Canadians. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) broke the news earlier this month on Twitter, stating it was extending the closure "to minimize the spread of #COVID19, including the Delta variant." That triggered dozens of complaints from Canadians — and also their American spouses — who argued the DHS explanation doesn't add up, because Canadians can still fly into the U.S.

  • Vaccine Hunters Canada wraps up day-to-day operations, founder teases 'announcement' ahead. (CTV)

    • Vaccine Hunters Canada, the social media sensation responsible for helping thousands of Canadians get vaccinated against COVID-19, is wrapping up day-to-day social media operations Tuesday, as its creators focus on their consolidated website.

U.S. – Federal

  • The EU takes the U.S. off safe travel list; backs travel restrictions. (Reuters)

    • The European Union recommended Monday that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infections there, but member countries will keep the option of allowing fully vaccinated U.S. travelers in. The decision by the European Council to remove the U.S. from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel reverses the advice that it gave in June, when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on all U.S. travellers before the summer tourism season.

  • Americans urged to 'reconsider' travel to Canada by U.S. CDC. (CTV)

    • The U.S. State Department is now urging Americans to "reconsider travel" to Canada due to what the Centers for Disease Control call "high" levels of COVID-19 infection. The new Level 3 travel advisory, issued today, marks a quick end to a three-week period when the warning to would-be travellers to Canada had been eased to "exercise increased caution." That Level 2 advisory coincided with Canada's decision to allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents back into the country.

  • The U.S. opens investigations into bans on school mask mandates in five states. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. Department of Education is opening civil rights investigations to determine whether five states that have banned schools from requiring masks are discriminating against students with disabilities, the agency said on Monday. The department is targeting Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, all Republican-led states, in its investigations.

  • Parents and caregivers – What is your school doing to protect your child from COVID-19? (CDC)

    • We provide a set of questions you can ask your school to learn more about their COVID-19 precautions. This page also includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that the CDC is hearing from parents and caregivers.

  • Two top vaccine regulators to leave the U.S. FDA. (Reuters)

    • Two of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's top vaccine regulators plan to leave the agency in the next several months, the FDA said on Tuesday.

  • CDC statement following ACIP Pfizer-BioNTech Vote. (CDC)

    • Today, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s licensed vaccine for people 16 and older. This recommendation follows the FDA’s decision to fully approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Biden-Harris administration releases medicaid and CHIP guidance targeting vaccination and testing for COVID-19. (News Release)

  • Revocation of Authorization of Emergency Use of an In Vitro Diagnostic Device for Detection and/or Diagnosis of COVID-19. (Notice)

  • Revocation of Authorization of Emergency Use of Certain Medical Dvices During COVID-19. (Notice)

Alberta

  • Edmonton makes masks mandatory indoors starting on Friday. (CTV)

    • Starting Friday, Edmontonians will have to wear masks again in all public spaces, privately-owned businesses and municipal spaces as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Alberta. Masks or face coverings will need to be worn in all public places starting on September 3, including at restaurants, recreation centres and while on public transit, ride shares and taxis.

  • Alberta to offer booster shots to seniors in care facilities, immunocompromised people. (CTV and News Release)

    • The Alberta government will make COVID-19 vaccine third doses available to immunocompromised people and seniors in congregate care facilities starting on Wednesday.

  • 252,010 cases, an increase of 865 on August 29, 11,426 active cases, including seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • COVID-19 modelling: B.C.'s daily cases could approach record levels by late September. (CTV)

    • The number of COVID-19 cases recorded daily in British Columbia could approach record levels by late September under a "moderate transmission" scenario, according to new modelling data presented Tuesday. One projection shared by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicated the number of reported COVID-19 cases could reach approximately 1,200 per day by September 27, depending on transmission and vaccination rates.

  • 165,413 cases, an increase of 503 on August 30, 5,918 active cases, including seven deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's top doctor scraps media briefing as province works to create vaccine certificate system. (CTV)

    • Ontario's top doctor scrapped a planned COVID-19 update on Tuesday as the provincial government confirmed it is working on unveiling a COVID-19 vaccine certificate. The Ford government was expected to unveil an Ontario-based vaccine certificate system sometime this week. However, sources tell CTV News Toronto that Ford's cabinet met for approximately two hours on Monday night to consider the proposed system and did not approve it.

  • The City of Toronto announces new Team Toronto Mobile Strategy to bring vaccines directly to residents. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health and Team Toronto continue to remove barriers to make COVID-19 vaccines as easy and accessible as possible to all residents. Today, Mayor John Tory, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy announced the expansion of the Team Toronto Mobile Strategy to increase vaccinations.

  • 565,550 cases, an increase of 525 since yesterday, 5,868 active cases, including five deaths.

Quebec

  • Everything is ready for the entry into force of the vaccination passport. (News Release)

    • On the eve of the coming into force of the vaccination passport, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, has specified the final details that will allow the majority of the population to continue their activities safely, despite the current epidemiological situation.

  • Vaccination passport –  Exceptional cases will obtain a vaccination passport. (News Release)

    • The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) confirms that people with contraindications to vaccination against COVID-19 as well as people who participated in the clinical study conducted by Medicago Inc. will not be penalized when the vaccination passport comes into effect.

  • An additional dose may be given to immunocompromised and dialysis patients. (News Release)

    • In order to offer them better protection against COVID-19, and particularly in the context of the rise of the Delta variant, the CIQ recommends that an additional dose of vaccine be administered to immunocompromised people and people on dialysis. Such a recommendation is already being implemented in several countries, including France and the United States.

  • 389,224 cases, an increase of 425 since yesterday, 4,400 active cases, including one death.

September 1, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Canadian Medical Association backs vaccine passports for everyone. (CTV)

    • It’s day one for vaccine passports in Quebec and some other provinces are poised to follow suit, but the Canadian Medical Association would like to see them right across the country. The so-called vaccine passports, essentially certificates which confirm vaccination, will enable people to do such things as eat out at restaurants, work out at gyms or attend live concert performances.

  • Delta variant surge – inconsistent safety measures could shut down schools, officials say. (CTV)

    • It’s likely that the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus will force schools to close this year and it can happen very quickly, according to some officials. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) are concerned that the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the lack of clear guidance on pandemic protocols in schools will spell trouble ahead.

  • Anticipated flood of mail-in ballots during pandemic hasn't materialized so far. (CTV)

    • The anticipated flood of Canadians choosing to vote by mail on September 20 has been more of a trickle so far. As of Monday night, Elections Canada had issued 298,040 special ballot kits. That's about six times the roughly 50,000 special ballots cast during the 2019 election, but nowhere near the estimated two million to five million the agency had been braced to handle this time in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 'Elusive' herd immunity: what will it take to get there with COVID-19? (CTV)

    • Ever since the pandemic emerged, experts have attempted to hash out a roadmap to herd immunity against COVID-19. But with a fourth wave surging amid the more infectious Delta variant and other variables shifting the goalposts, several virologists and immunologists are discouraging the urge to fixate on specific vaccine targets. With a sizable number of the population still unvaccinated, the priority remains to get more shots in arms, period.

  • SOR/2021-206 Regulations Amending the Income Tax Regulations (COVID-19 — Prior Reference Periods for Wage Subsidy, Rent Subsidy and Hiring Program and Subsidies Extension) was published in the Canada Gazette Part II today. They came into force on August 12, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • Most vaccinated Americans want COVID-19 booster shots – Reuters/Ipsos poll. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. government said if health regulators approve the move, it will roll out COVID-19 booster shots starting September 20 out of concern about waning vaccine protection against COVID-19 infections. Many scientists say the need for a booster has not been proven. The government has already made third shots available to immunocompromised adults.

  • The majority of U.S. companies may mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in coming months. (Reuters)

    • More than half of U.S. companies are planning to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace by year end, with almost a quarter considering vaccination as a condition for employment, according to a national survey of nearly 1,000 employers.

  • COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update. (Department of Defence)

  • Pandemic Response and Safety Program; Request for Emergency Approval of a New Information Collection. (Notice)

Alberta

  • The Alberta government insists it's 'not silent' on COVID-19, even as a group of doctors start their own media briefings. (CTV)

    • The Alberta government insists it is keeping the public "appropriately" informed on COVID-19 despite criticism it isn't.

  • Alberta Health Services is requiring employees and contracted health-care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. (CBC)

    • Alberta Health Services announced Tuesday it would require all employees and contracted health-care providers — including physicians — to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees will have to get their second shot by October 16 in order to be considered fully vaccinated by the end of October.

  • Vaccine hesitancy is the highest in Alberta, racialized groups at rollout's start: survey. (CTV)

    • A national survey suggests the vast majority of Canadians planned to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when the country's rollout began, but intentions were lower among certain demographics, including residents of Alberta and racialized communities. The survey, led by researchers at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, was published online Tuesday in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas.

  • Back to school: Statement from Minister LaGrange. (News Release)

  • 252,930 cases, an increase of 920 on August 30, 11,660 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

  • Old guidelines for a new threat: B.C. begins school year with fewer COVID-19 protections amid Delta surge. (CTV)

    • With the school year just days away from bringing thousands of children and teachers into classrooms with questionable ventilation, B.C. is forging ahead with fewer layers of COVID-19 protection than it did last year, even as all new infections are now the more-contagious Delta variant.

  • 166,068 cases, an increase of 655 on August 30, 6,045 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario to require proof of vaccination in select settings. (News Release, Backgrounder and CTV)

    • To further protect Ontarians as the province continues to confront the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings starting September 22, 2021.

  • Several Ontario hospitals jointly enact mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, extends to new hires. (Global News)

    • The leaders of 14 hospitals in Ontario’s central region have come up with a joint COVID-19 vaccination policy that they say will ultimately lead to unpaid leave or termination for unvaccinated staff. As of September 7, all employees, credentialed staff, contractors, students and volunteers will have to provide proof of full vaccination or undergo regular testing and an education session.

  • The Royal Ontario Museum to curate COVID-19 experiences with two exhibitions this fall. (Global News)

    • The Royal Ontario Museum is launching two exhibitions this fall chronicling experiences of the COVID-19 crisis. On September 18, the Toronto museum will unveil a collection of more than 100 masks made by creators across the globe.

  • 566,206 cases, an increase of 656 since yesterday, 5,861 active cases, including 13 deaths.

Quebec

  • COVID-19 vaccine passports are officially in effect in Quebec. (CTV)

    • Starting today, proof of vaccination will be as much of a daily necessity in Quebec when leaving the house as a wallet or house keys. Dubbed the COVID-19 vaccination passport, digital or paper documentation will be required to take part in much of public life, from having a beer to playing badminton.

  • Draft Regulation, an Act mainly to allow the establishment of target-benefit pension plans (2020, chapter 30). Measures related to life income funds and voluntary retirement savings plans to reduce the consequences of the public health emergency declared on 13 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Was published in the Quebec Gazette on September 1, 2021.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-061 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Effective August 31, 2021.

  • 389,914 cases, an increase of 690 since yesterday, 4,729 active cases, including two deaths.

September 2, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • It may be difficult for employers to uphold vaccine mandates: lawyer. (CTV)

    • With workplaces mandating vaccines, employees with medical exemptions wonder what will happen to them. One lawyer says that regardless of vaccination status, employees should be paid severance if they lose their job over vaccine requirements. As Canada tries to return to a pre-pandemic normal, workplaces are grappling with enforcing vaccine mandates for their employees, and some employees are learning in real-time the legality of such mandates.

  • Do vaccine mandates violate Canadians' charter rights? (CTV)

    • A growing number of provinces have begun implementing vaccine mandates by requiring proof of vaccination to attend certain social and recreational events, or access to non-essential businesses. With these announcements has come a rise in vaccine hesitant Canadians who oppose the idea of mandates, many of whom are concerned their rights and freedoms are being infringed upon. It has also become a key wedge issue in the federal election.

  • PC 2021-0900 Quarantine Act. Order Amending the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States) in order to permit authorized foreign national travellers and crew entry into Canada regardless of whether they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they exhibit signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have COVID-19 when arriving by a Government of Canada-arranged evacuation.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. to invest US$3-billion in COVID-19 vaccine supply chain. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. plans to invest US$3-billion in the vaccine supply chain as it continues to work to position itself as a leading supplier of vaccines for the world, a top U.S. health official said today.

  • What can employers do if workers avoid COVID-19 vaccines? (Associated Press)

    • What can employers do if workers avoid COVID-19 vaccines? They can require vaccination and fire employees who don’t comply, or take other actions such as withholding company perks or charging extra for health insurance. It’s legal for businesses to require the shots, and they could fire employees who don’t comply. In other cases, workers might be required to wear masks or get regular tests for the virus. Some companies also are considering making the unvaccinated pay more for their health insurance.

  • Ask for COVID-19 vaccine proof, face a US$5,000 fine in Florida. (CTV)

    • Florida will start issuing US$5,000 fines to businesses, schools and government agencies that require people to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that banned vaccine passports. The fines will start September 16 if people are asked to show proof of a vaccine.

  • Theranos judge requires COVID-19 shots for jurors, but will that skew the jury pool? (Reuters)

    • A U.S. judge this week dismissed from a jury pool nine people who were unvaccinated against COVID-19. He said his aim was to keep jurors and their families healthy but might his decision skew the jury pool? While choosing an all-vaccinated jury may be within a court's power to safeguard jurors, critics say it could reduce the fairness of trials.

  • COVID-19 vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 12–17 years. (CDC Report)

  • COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. (CDC)

Alberta

  • Premier Jason Kenney addresses weeks-long absence during the fourth wave of the pandemic. (CBC)

    • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney reappeared after a weeks-long absence on Wednesday with a Facebook livestream where he answered selected questions from Albertans and teased an upcoming incentive to encourage people to get vaccinated. Kenney's last public appearance was 23 days ago, on August 9, when he announced an expansion to the Labatt's brewing plant in Edmonton.

  • Alberta NDP calls for mandatory COVID-19 vaccine rules for non-essential business. (Global News)

    • Alberta’s Opposition New Democrats are urging Premier Jason Kenney to bring in new rules to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for anyone attending non-essential businesses and mass gatherings.

  • 254,245 cases, an increase of 1,315 on August 31, 12,290 active cases, including eight deaths.

British Columbia

  • Premier’s statement in support of health-care workers. (News Release and CBC)

    • Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement in support of health-care workers in light of protests.

  • 166,853 cases, an increase of 785 on September 1, 6,135 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario doctors urged to be selective about issuing medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines. (CTV)

    • Doctors must be judicious about handing out medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccines, the head of Ontario's medical regulator said, urging physicians to do their part to slow the pandemic's fourth wave.

  • COVID-19 vaccination rate must rise above 85 per cent to avoid fall lockdown, Ontario modelling shows. (CTV)

    • New modelling released Wednesday by Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table says more than 85 per cent of the eligible population needs to be vaccinated to avoid a lockdown this fall due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

  • Ontario is reinstating renewal requirements for driver’s licences, licence plate stickers and health cards. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Ontario government is reinstating renewal requirements for driver’s licences, licence plate stickers, Ontario photo cards, Ontario health cards and other products that would have expired on or after March 1, 2020, but were extended to provide immediate relief to Ontarians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those needing to renew their provincial documents are encouraged to use ServiceOntario’s convenient and easy-to-use online option.

  • The City of Toronto is working with partners to roll out TTC bus vaccine clinics. (News Release)

    • Today, Mayor John Tory announced the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health (TPH) have partnered with the TTC and Toronto Paramedic Services to further increase COVID-19 vaccination rates across the city with TTC bus vaccine clinics. As part of the Team Toronto Mobile Strategy micro-targeted approach, TTC buses will be used as mobile vaccine clinics in high foot-traffic areas including TTC stations. These mobile vaccination clinics in TTC buses will be staffed by TPH and Toronto Paramedic Services.

  • Ontario invests in made in Hamilton surgical masks. (News Release)

    • Niko Apparel Systems is investing more than C$250,000 to help automate the production of surgical masks with the support of C$125,000 from the Ontario Together Fund. With this investment, Niko will leverage existing production processes, materials, supply chain networks, sales and distribution networks to strengthen Ontario’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • O. Reg. 630/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP (made under Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17) amending O. Reg. 364/20 in regards to post-secondary institutions’ in-person teaching or instruction conditions. In force September 7, 2021. (CBC news)

  • 567,071 cases, an increase of 865 since yesterday, 6,031 active cases, including 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec court allows mother to vaccinate her child despite father's opposition. (CTV)

    • A Montreal Superior Court has authorized a mother to have her 12-year-old child vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the father's opposition. The child's father was opposed to the vaccination against the novel coronavirus arguing in court that the vaccine was only experimental and that it caused significant side effects.

  • Deaths of elderly or vulnerable persons in residential settings during the COVID-19 pandemic - Hearings resume on September 7. (News Release)

  • Monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic: Hospitalization risks and projections of hospital needs. (News Release)

    • The Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) is making available today the latest update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers of the health and social services network.

  • Mandate on the performance of care and services for seniors – Covid-19 – A critical look at the state of the health and social services system. (News Release)

    • The Commissioner for Health and Welfare (CSBE) today released a preliminary report in which he identified gaps in the governance of the seniors' care and services system that contributed to the sad toll of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic for seniors living in Quebec.

  • The following were published in the Quebec Gazette Part II, No. 35A on September 2, 2021:

    • Order in Council 1173-2021 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Effective September 1, 2021. The penal offences set out in section 139 of the Public Health Act (chapter S-2.2) apply only to offences committed on or after 15 September 2021.

    • Order in Council 1172-2021 Renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act. Renewed until September 10, 2021.

    • Ministerial Order 2021-061 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation (as noted in yesterday’s digest)

  • 390,613 cases, an increase of 699 since yesterday, 5,058 active cases, including one death.

September 3, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada is on course for worst wave of COVID-19 yet, new modelling data shows. (CTV and Public Health Agency of Canada)

    • Reported daily COVID-19 caseloads in Canada could reach unprecedented highs later this month if current levels of virus transmission are not reduced, new federal modelling data shows. Today was the first time Dr. Theresa Tam or other Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) officials directly addressed reporters since the federal election was called in mid-August. Such press conferences had been a regular occurrence prior to the election.

  • Travel Advisory: Reminder – On September 7, new measures for fully vaccinated international travellers to Canada will come into force. (News Release and CBC)

    • As was announced on July 19, the Government of Canada will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals meeting the conditions to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) purposes starting on September 7, 2021. This decision is based on the latest available data, scientific evidence and the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally.

  • Provincial vaccine passports to be certified for travel as interim measure: Trudeau. (CTV)

    • A re-elected Liberal government would certify provincial vaccine passports for use in international travel as an interim measure until a federal version is put in place, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Friday.

  • The following Order was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I (dated September 4, 2021):

U.S. – Federal

  • Three doses of COVID-19 vaccine are likely needed for full protection, Fauci says. (CTV)

    • With the latest COVID-19 surge upending American life yet again, an official rollout of booster doses could begin within weeks pending FDA authorization. And it's likely that three doses of the vaccine are needed for full protection, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

  • The CDC announces more than US$300-million in funding to support community health workers. (News Release)

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded more than US$116-million in year one, of a three-year, US$348-million program, to organizations for community health worker (CHW) services to support COVID-19 prevention and control. The CDC also awarded more than US$6-million of a four-year US$32-million program for training, technical assistance and evaluation. CHWs are frontline public health workers who have a trusted relationship with the community and are able to facilitate access to a variety of services and resources for community members. Funding will go to 69 organizations fighting COVID-19.

  • Are COVID boosters needed? FDA vaccine advisers wrestle with a thorny issue. (Reuters)

    • Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are expected to discuss two key questions when they meet on September 17 to consider a COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign this fall: Is protection from the initial shots waning and will boosters help?

  • Press briefing by the White House COVID-⁠19 Response Team and Public Health Officials. (The White House)

  • Modification of COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. (Notice)

    • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) is modifying the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program to accept applications until December 31, 2021.

Alberta

  • Alberta reintroduces COVID-19 measures, offers C$100 for vaccinations. (News Release and CTV)

    • ​A one-time incentive of C$100 is now available for all Albertans age 18 or older who receive a first or second dose of vaccine between September 3 and October 14. This incentive is intended to encourage unvaccinated Albertans to get protected as soon as possible.

  • More surgeries postponed in Alberta because of the jump in COVID-19 cases. (CTV)

    • Alberta Health Services (AHS) is taking further steps to ease the burden on the province's health care system, now that COVID-19 cases are spiking once more. Starting Friday morning, the agency says it will be postponing scheduled non-urgent surgeries and procedures across all five of Alberta's health zones.

  • 255,584 cases, an increase of 1,339 on September 1, 12,868 active cases, including five deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • The City of Toronto encourages residents across Toronto to get vaccinated this long weekend. (News Release)

    • This Labour Day weekend, the last long weekend of the summer, the City of Toronto continues to encourage residents to get fully vaccinated. More than 4,573,552 COVID-19 vaccine doses have now been administered in Toronto. According to Toronto Public Health’s vaccine dashboard updated today, 77 per cent of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated and 83.2 per cent of eligible residents have at least their first dose.

  • Toronto condo building brings in vaccine policy for amenities even though the province doesn't require it. (CBC)

    • A condominium building in downtown Toronto has informed its residents that they will now need to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 to use its amenities — a move a lawyer warns could be challenged in court.

  • O. Reg. 634/21: EXTENSIONS OF ORDERS (made under Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9) amending O. Reg. 25/21. The Table to section 1 of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 25/21 is revoked, the previously applicable revocation date of September 8, 2021 is now changed to September 22, 2021.

  • 567,878 cases, an increase of 807 since yesterday, 6,094 active cases, including six deaths.

Quebec

  • Judge refuses to suspend mandatory face-coverings in Quebec. (CTV)

    • The Superior Court has rejected a request by Quebecers to immediately suspend the requirement to wear face coverings. In his decision rendered Friday, Justice Frédéric Pérodeau refused to immediately suspend the application of the ministerial decrees and orders related to COVID-19 which require face coverings on everyone, regardless of the circumstances.

  • 391,363 cases, an increase of 750 since yesterday, 5,265 active cases, including two deaths.

September 8, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • COVID-19 booster shots are likely not needed for most Canadians, experts say. (CTV)

    • While some countries are already committed to providing COVID-19 booster shots to their populations, Canada has not yet released a third dose plan and some experts say it’s still too early to tell if a booster is necessary for the general population.

  • What provinces have to say about vaccine passports. (CTV)

    • With the Delta variant fuelling a fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, provincial and territorial governments remain divided on whether to issue some form of vaccine passport.

  • ‘Vaccine passport’ or ‘immunization record’? Why experts say there’s power in words. (Global News)

    • Protesters rallying against “vaccine passports” have cast a shadow over Canada’s election campaign trail this year. The jeers and shouts from demonstrators have been following Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau at most campaign stops over his unwavering support for the certificates and vaccination against COVID-19 — and they are getting more aggressive.

  • Canada has opened up its borders to fully vaccinated foreign travellers. Are there risks? (CTV)

    • Canada opened its borders to fully vaccinated non-essential foreign travellers from across the globe, allowing them to skip the 14-day quarantine requirement. Canada is currently in the midst of a fourth wave of COVID-19 fuelled by the Delta variant.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. Supreme Court to resume in-person oral arguments. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started when its new session begins in October, the nation's top judicial body announced on Wednesday.

  • Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation. (News Release and Publication)

  • Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 23) - Department of Defense Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation and Screening Testing for Unvaccinated Personnel. (News Release and Publication)

  • COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update. (Publication)

Alberta

  • Alberta MLA accuses the government of 'disparaging' the unvaccinated. (CBC)

    • Peter Guthrie, the United Conservative Party MLA for Airdrie-Cochrane, which hugs the north and west edges of Calgary, said Tuesday that the provincial government's recent announcement about renewed mask mandates and incentives for vaccinations adopted a "disparaging and accusatory tone" toward the unvaccinated.

  • 261,888 cases, an increase of 1,303 on September 6, 15,486 active cases, including 17 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Vaccine card enhances confidence, increases safety at B.C. events. (News Release)

    • The Province is launching the BC Vaccine Card, a digital or printed document that shows the stage cardholders are at in their COVID-19 vaccine progress. The BC Vaccine Card will allow vaccinated people to conveniently and securely show their proof of vaccination at higher-risk social and recreational events and settings when new COVID-19 vaccine requirement rules take effect on September 13, 2021. This will help increase vaccinations, while protecting people in these settings, keeping businesses open and allowing events to take place.

  • Maximum allowable rent increase is capped at 1.5 per cent for 2022. (News Release)

    • B.C.’s maximum allowable rent increase amount for 2022 is being set at 1.5 per cent, based on inflation. This increase cannot take effect prior to January 1, 2022. If landlords choose to increase rent, they must provide a full three months’ notice to tenants using the correct notice of rent increase form. To support British Columbians, the Province enacted a rent freeze at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The freeze has since been extended to December 31, 2021.

  • 170,750 cases, an increase of 533 on September 7, 5,465 active cases, including 15 deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's COVID-19 testing system braces for return-to-school effect. (CBC)

  • ​Amid worry over rising infection rates, Ontario Education Minister says schools remain safe. (CBC)

    • As nearly two million students return to classrooms for the first time in five months, the demand for COVID-19 tests in Ontario is expected to surge. The average number of tests conducted daily in the province is currently running at less than half the 60,000 tests-per- day rate when schools were shuttered in early April. Since then, many COVID-19 assessment centres have reduced their hours or shut their doors. 

  • Residents should continue to work remotely, avoid large gatherings amid 'turbulent' fourth wave: Peel's top doctor. (CTV)

    • Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh made the comment during a briefing at Brampton city hall on Wednesday morning as he outlined several ways that residents can reduce their contacts and help limit the spread of COVID-19 amid a Delta-driven fourth wave of the pandemic.

  • Data shows that unvaccinated residents are seven times more likely to become infected with COVID-19, the City of Toronto sees increase in doses administered following Province’s proof of vaccination announcement. (New Release)

    • While the rate of COVID-19 cases is low in Toronto, it is growing. New case data shows more infections are now being reported among younger adults and unvaccinated individuals, who are seven times more likely to become infected with COVID-19. The new data was released today when Mayor John Tory and Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa provided an update on the City of Toronto’s vaccination progress. Toronto Public Health also reported an increase in vaccinations since the Province of Ontario announced a proof of vaccination system.

  • Ontario invests in medical diagnostic solutions in Kanata. (News Release)

    • Evik Diagnostic Innovations Inc. is investing nearly C$1.5-million to ramp up the production of a laboratory test mixture that is used in diagnostic devices to meet the increased demand from the medical device manufacturers due to COVID-19, with support of C$513,200 from the Ontario Together Fund.

  • 571,332 cases, an increase of 554 since yesterday, 6,040 active cases, including 16 deaths.

Quebec

  • COVID-19 pandemic – The Government of Quebec announces the mandatory vaccination of health and social services workers. (News Release)

    • Québec Premier François Legault, accompanied by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, and the National Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, confirmed today that, as of October 15, all health and social services stakeholders, whether in close direct contact with patients or not, must be adequately vaccinated against COVID-19, unless contraindicated to that effect.

  • COVID-19 pandemic – Wearing a mask in schools in three RCMs in the Chaudière-Appalaches region. (News Release)

    • The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) announces, following a recommendation made by public health authorities, that as of this Friday morning, the wearing of a procedure mask will be mandatory at all times in the classrooms of any elementary and secondary school in three RCMs in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, namely those of Appalaches, Beauce-Sartigan and Les Etchemins.

  • 394,452 cases, an increase of 600 since yesterday, 5,625 active cases, including three deaths.

September 9, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian hospitals spend C$23,000 on a typical COVID-19 patient, report finds. (CTV and CIHI Report)

    • The average cost per hospitalization of a COVID-19 patient in Canada is estimated to be C$23,000, according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

  • Experts recommend using more rapid tests, so why is Canada so far behind other regions? (CTV)

    • In some regions of the world, rapid tests, also known as lateral flow tests, have been a regularly used tool in the pandemic toolbox. But in Canada, these tests are scarce, except for in a few areas, leading some experts to say that we are underutilizing them.

U.S. – Federal

  • Sweeping new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans. (CTV)

  • ​Federal workers' union suggests it will accept the Biden vaccine mandate. (Reuters)

    • U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday is toughening COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and contractors as he aims to boost vaccinations and curb the surging Delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation's economic recovery.

  • Schiff presses Facebook and Amazon on efforts to curb COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. (Reuters)

    • U.S. Representative Adam Schiff on Thursday called on Facebook (FB.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) to provide a more thorough explanation of their efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

  • Los Angeles is expected to pass a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school students. (Reuters)

    • The Los Angeles Board of Education was to vote on Thursday on a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all children age 12 and older in the second-largest school district in the United States.

Alberta

  • 'Boiling point': Alberta doctors warn of health system collapse as COVID-19 cases climb. (CTV)

  • Calgary hospitals cancel all elective surgeries as COVID-19 cases fill hospitals. (CBC)

    • Alberta's health-care system is on the verge of collapse, warns a group of physicians who are pleading with the government to strengthen public health measures to fend off a relentless fourth wave of COVID-19.

  • WestJet will require all workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (CBC)

    • WestJet will require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 30, the Calgary-based airline announced Wednesday. Full vaccination will also be a requirement for new hires going forward.

  • Alberta's rising COVID-19 cases due to faulty modelling and government inaction, experts say. (CBC)

    • Alberta's plan to lift all pandemic restrictions and precautions appears to have been based on a scenario rooted more in wishful optimism and political expediency than obvious scientific evidence, say experts in infectious diseases and pandemic modelling.

  • 263,054 cases, an increase of 1,166 on September 7, 15,618 active cases, including 18 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. opens door for medical exemptions to vaccine card in 'extremely rare' cases. (CTV)

    • B.C. has now indicated medical exemptions to the incoming vaccine card requirement may be allowed, but only in “extremely rare” cases. As of Wednesday evening, more than 700,000 people in B.C. had accessed their vaccine card, which will have to be shown as proof at certain non-essential businesses and activities as of September 13. Proof of full vaccination, including being two weeks past a second shot, will be required as of October 24.

  • 171,564 cases, an increase of 814 on September 8, 5,550 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario prepares to launch digital ID program and here's how it works. (CTV and News Release)

    • Ontario is preparing to launch a digital identification program in the coming months, meaning people will no longer need to carry a physical driver’s licence or health card (access and use vaccination records). According to the government, Ontario's digital identification program is scheduled to launch in late 2021.

  • Western-affiliated ethics prof says she faces 'imminent dismissal' for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. (CBC)

    • An ethics professor at Western University affiliated Huron University College says she faces "imminent dismissal" unless she is vaccinated for COVID-19.

  • 572,130 cases, an increase of 798 since yesterday, 6,056 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Tens of thousands of Quebec health-care workers are still unvaccinated as mandatory policy nears. (CBC)

    • The Quebec government says it is confident a "large majority" of health-care workers will comply with its mandatory vaccination policy, even if tens of thousands still haven't gotten a jab. Roughly 30,000 staff in the private health system and 25,800 in the public system remain unvaccinated, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • Monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic: Hospitalization risks and projections of hospital needs. (News Release)

    • The Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) is making available today the latest update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers of the health and social services network.

  • Order in Council 1200-2021 declaring Renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act until September 17, 2021.

  • 395,155 cases, an increase of 703 since yesterday, 5,837 active cases, including one death.

September 10, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • National vaccine panel now recommends booster COVID-19 shots for immunocompromised people. (CTV)

    • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now recommending that immunocompromised people receive a booster shot of an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19.

  • 'Profound effect' of COVID-19 is transforming Canada's labour market. (CBC)

    • There are signs that the Canadian jobs landscape is currently going through a transformation that will affect us all, but with the country in the midst of an election, many of the complex issues have been hard to address. Jobs numbers out Friday morning show the Canadian economy created 90,000 new jobs in August, bringing the unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent. 

  • The following Orders were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I (dated September 11, 2021):

U.S. – Federal

  • Biden new COVID-19 vaccine order: 'We are in the tough stretch'. (CTV)

    • In his most forceful pandemic actions and words, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered sweeping new federal vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans — private-sector employees as well as health-care workers and federal contractors — in an all-out effort to curb the surging COVID-19 Delta variant.

  • USDOT details efforts to secure refunds for American families for flights cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (News Release)

    • Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is releasing a report on its work to address failures of airlines to provide timely refunds for flights cancelled or significantly changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report was mandated by President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy that he issued in July.

  • HHS announces the availability of US$25.5-billion in COVID-19 provider funding. (News Release)

    • The Biden-Harris Administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making US$25.5-billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding includes US$8.5-billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients, and an additional U$17-billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.

  • Executive order on ensuring adequate COVID safety protocols for federal contractors. (News Release)

  • Executive order on requiring coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination for federal employees. (News Release)

  • Remarks by President Biden on fighting the COVID-⁠19 pandemic. (The White House)

Alberta

  • Alberta is increasing home care funding to open hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. (CTV)

    • The Alberta government announced on Thursday funds to increase capacity for the home care system to make room for COVID-19 patients filling up the province's ICUs, but no new measures to reduce the spread of the virus and no vaccine passports. The province is spending C$36-million to pay home care workers more and hire additional employees to care for more Albertans in their own homes, instead of hospitals.

  • 'Move to endemic was too early': Hinshaw acknowledges Alberta jumped the gun relaxing COVID-19 response. (CTV)

    • The doctor leading Alberta through the pandemic has admitted she began treating COVID-19 as endemic prematurely. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the comments Thursday when the province announced it needed to find more ICU space.

  • 264,564 cases, an increase of 1,510 on September 8, 15,977 active cases, including 27 deaths.

British Columbia

  • All COVID-19 patients under age 50 in B.C. ICUs are unvaccinated, health minister says. (CTV)

    • The vast majority of people who are battling COVID-19 in B.C.'s intensive care units are not fully vaccinated against the disease, and that's especially true of the younger people who develop serious illness. Provincial Minister of Health Adrian Dix shared the demographics of B.C.'s ICU population at a news conference on Thursday as he repeated his perpetual appeal for residents to get vaccinated.

  • 172,338 cases, an increase of 774 on September 9, 6,021 active cases, including five deaths.

Ontario

  • Public Health Ontario warns of fraudulent emails offering vaccine passport registration. (CTV)

    • Public Health Ontario (PHO) is warning that an email doctored to appear from them offering vaccine passport registration is indeed fraudulent.

  • The City of Toronto is continuing to provide residents with convenient walk-in access to vaccinations. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto continues to work with Team Toronto to support convenient ways for all residents to receive essential protection against COVID-19 through vaccination. As part of this effort and to leverage vaccination opportunities, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is opening clinic operations at Woodbine Mall at 500 Rexdale Blvd. in Etobicoke, and will also relaunch student immunizations at this clinic location. The Woodbine Mall clinic will replace operations at The Hangar at 75 Carl Hall Rd., as TPH’s lease comes to an end. This transition will become effective on Tuesday, September 21.

  • Private schools are given rapid antigen COVID-19 tests that Ontario officials said aren't needed in public schools. (CTV)

    • As a new school year begins in Ontario, a select few thousand children at Toronto private schools will have access to frequent asymptomatic rapid antigen COVID-19 testing, paid for with public funds, while the province’s education minister and chief health officer say such rapid screening for public school students is unnecessary.

  • The City of Toronto continues to see an increase in COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. (News Release)

  • 572,978 cases, an increase of 848 since yesterday, 6,123 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • COVID-19 pandemic – New written public health recommendations are posted online. (News Release and Documents)

    • The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) is making public on its website new recommendations produced by Public Health. These are in addition to the documents that have been filed there in recent months.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-063 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In regards to health regions where the wearing of a procedural mask is mandatory at all times for students at the elementary or secondary school level in general education for youth. Effective September 9, 2021.

  • 396,034 cases, an increase of 879 since yesterday, 6,012 active cases, including four deaths.

September 13, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Navigating a COVID-19 vaccine passport society won't be easy for those who remain unvaccinated. (CBC)

    • There are millions of Canadians who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 for a number of reasons, including medical issues, allergies and lack of access. But among the unvaccinated are those who are simply opposed to vaccines, known as "anti-vaxxers," and those who say that mandatory vaccination violates their freedom.

  • Hospital says protests against pandemic measures are 'demoralizing' for health-care staff. (CTV)

    • A Toronto hospital where protests against COVID-19 measures are planned today says such demonstrations are demoralizing. The University Health Network, which runs Toronto General Hospital, says staff who have cared for the people dying of COVID-19 are particularly disheartened.

  • Canadian pensioners are fighting more than C$12,000 in fines for refusing to quarantine in a hotel. (CBC)

    • Canada's controversial hotel quarantine requirement for international air passengers has been scrapped. But it remains a thorn in the side of those who defied the rules, got fined and plan to fight their fine in court.

U.S. – Federal

  • Biden vaccine plan hinges on rarely used rule, inviting legal challenges. (Reuters
  • ​Biden to announce new COVID-19 steps ahead of U.N. meeting, surgeon general says. (Reuters)

    • U.S. President Joe Biden's plan requiring more than 100 million Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 relies on a rarely used workplace rule with a history of being blocked in court, making it an inviting target for legal challenges by employers.

  • U.S. international scientists say COVID-19 vaccines do not currently 'show a need for boosting'. (CTV)

    • The current evidence on COVID-19 vaccines does not appear to support a need for booster shots in the general public right now, according to an international group of vaccine scientists, including some from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

  • Bill H.R.5204 - To require certain passengers, employees, contractors, and subcontractors of Amtrak and air carriers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test for COVID-19 for certain transportation or employment, and for other purposes. Introduced September 10, 2021, referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

  • Remarks by President Biden on fighting the COVID-⁠19 pandemic. (The White House)

  • 12 COVID-19 vaccination strategies for your community. (CDC)

Alberta

  • All day surgeries in the Edmonton health zone are postponed as hospitals struggle under the pressure of COVID-19. (CBC)

    • Up to 70 per cent of all scheduled surgeries and procedures in the Edmonton health zone will be immediately postponed as Alberta Health Services works to free up space and frontline staff to care for patients with COVID-19. All day surgeries will be postponed and only "priority cancer, urgent and emergent surgeries" will go ahead, AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson told CBC News today.

  • Alberta universities to mandate vaccinations for students, staff and visitors attending campus. (CTV)

    • Nine of Alberta's largest post-secondary institutions have jointly announced plans to eliminate rapid testing options and instead require proof of COVID-19 immunization to attend campus.

  • Some are concerned that the UCP is putting politics ahead of public health with the vaccine passport survey. (CBC)

    • Some Albertans are concerned the United Conservatives are politicizing COVID-19 vaccine passports, after launching a feedback survey on the subject that asks for donations once filled out.

  • Vaccination clinic on wheels continues tour. (News Release)

    • Launched in July, the mobile vaccination clinic is a joint effort between Alberta Health and a broad coalition of businesses to help further extend Alberta’s vaccination campaign. The clinic’s focus is on rural communities, hard-to-reach populations, worksites and other locations where vaccine uptake may be low.

  • Chief Medical Officer orders (CMOH) 40-2021: COVID-19 response. Record of Decision of the Chief Medical Officer, which outlines temporary public health measures to protect Alberta’s health system from COVID-19. Added September 7, 2021.

  • Premier Kenney statement on hospital protests. (News Release)

  • 266,037 cases, an increase of 1,473 on September 9, 16,265 active cases, including 10 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. groups are concerned over the lack of compromise in the COVID-19 vaccine card plan. (CTV and CBC)

    • A group of British Columbia community organizations want changes to the province's COVID-19 vaccine card, saying it fails to account for the needs of people who face legitimate barriers to getting a vaccine or proof of immunization.

  • Orders in Council 530-2021. Effective December 31, 2021, item 13 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, S.B.C. 2020, c. 8, s. 3.

  • Orders in Council 526-2021. Effective December 31, 2021, item 6 in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures 
    Act, S.B.C. 2020, c. 8, is repealed.

  • Orders in Council 518-2021. Effective December 31, 2021, item 17 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures
    Act, S.B.C. 2020, c. 8, is repealed.

  • 173,158 cases, an increase of 820 on September 10, 5,850 active cases, including nine deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto police are ready to arrest anyone who obstructs ambulances at the anti-vaccine protest, mayor says. (CTV)

    • Toronto Mayor John Tory is condemning any participation in a protest at hospital doors ahead of a planned anti-vax rally at Toronto General Hospital Monday, warning that police are prepared to arrest anyone who blocks ambulance access to the facility.

  • Doug Ford's government polled Ontarians about its COVID-19 response. Here's what the numbers reveal. (CBC)

    • The Ford government has kept a close eye on how Ontarians feel about its response to COVID-19 by steadily commissioning opinion polls on pandemic-related topics. Documents obtained by CBC News through a freedom of information request reveal that the provincial cabinet office was getting polling reports as often as weekly through 2020.

  • 575,219 cases, an increase of 2,241 since Friday, September 10, 2021, 6,216 active cases, including six deaths.

Quebec

  • 398,425 cases, an increase of 2,391 since Friday, September 10, 2021, 6,295 active cases, including one death.

September 14, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Nearly one million Canadians are expected to vote by mail as the deadline to request ballots looms. (CBC)

    • The number of Canadians opting to vote by mail in next week's federal election will likely end up far lower than Elections Canada's initial estimates. The organization said just last month that it was bracing for a massive surge in mail-in ballot requests as Canadians looked for alternative voting methods amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. says federal employees must be vaccinated by November 22. (Reuters)  

  • ​Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. (Executive Order)  

  • ​Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. (Executive Order)

    • The Biden administration said that most federal employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than November 22 as it drafts rules to require large employers to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly.

  • COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination – Map. (CDC)

Alberta

  • New card-sized COVID-19 vaccination record. (News Release and CTV)

    • Albertans will be able to print a card to show their proof of vaccination starting on Thursday. It will also be accessible on mobile devices, a government announcement on Tuesday read. Officials announced the move in late August, shutting down any equalization to a vaccine passport.

  • Alberta physicians call for proof of immunity to access indoor public spaces. (CTV)

    • A group of 65 Alberta infectious disease physicians penned an open letter calling on the province to immediately require proof of vaccination to access indoor public places on Monday.

  • Vaccination incentive launches. (News Release)

    • Eligible Albertans can now register to get a C$100 debit card for receiving a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This one-time incentive is for all Albertans age 18 or older who receive either a first or second dose of vaccine between September 3 and October 14.

  • 270,777 cases, an increase of 1,584 on September 12, 18,395 active cases, including 18 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. expanding vaccine mandate to all health-care facilities next month. (CTV)

    • Vaccination against COVID-19 will be mandatory for all workers and volunteers at health-care facilities across the province next month, officials announced Monday. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the mandate, which expands on a previously announced vaccination requirement for employees at long-term care homes and assisted living facilities, will take effect on October 26.

  • BC Vaccine Card increases confidence, keeps businesses open, makes events safer. (News Release)

  • Updated forecast signals strong recovery for B.C., pandemic uncertainty remains. (News Release)

  • 175,142 cases, an increase of 1,984 on September 13, 5,825 active cases, including nine deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario releasing guidance to support proof of vaccination policy. (News Release and CTV)

  • Using your vaccination receipt: frequently asked questions. (Backgrounder)

  • Expanded eligibility for third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (Backgrounder)

  • O. Reg. 645/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP (made under Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17) amending O. REG. 364/20 in regards to proof of vaccination details. In force September 22, 2021.

  • Toronto Public Health continues to support a return to in-person learning in schools with enhanced public health measures. (News Release)

  • 575,796 cases, an increase of 577 since yesterday, 6,103 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • After criticism, Quebec vaccination head to take over deployment of rapid tests in schools. (CTV)

    • The head of Quebec's COVID-19 vaccination strategy will oversee the deployment of rapid tests in schools after administrators criticized the rollout of the program. Daniel Pare will be responsible for ensuring that schools across the province have access to rapid COVID-19 testing, Health Minister Christian Dubé said Tuesday on Twitter.

  • 399,058 cases, an increase of 633 since yesterday, 6,241 active cases, including seven deaths.

September 15, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Online COVID-19 risk assessment gets an upgrade to reflect larger gatherings. (CTV)

    • As the COVID-19 situation changes across the country, tools to help Canadians assess their risk level are getting an upgrade as well: this fall, a website that gives Canadians an idea of the virus risk in any given situation has updated to be more relevant for back-to-school.

  • Where Canadians can travel abroad during COVID-19. (CTV)

    • While Canada continues to advise against all non-essential travel outside the country, there are plenty of countries accepting Canadian travellers with limited COVID-19 restrictions.

U.S. – Federal

  • Fed regional banks mandate COVID-19 shots for employees. (Reuters)

    • The regional Fed banks of New York, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago, Richmond, Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta and Kansas City all separately told their staff last month they would be subject to a vaccine mandate, with compliance deadlines set for as soon as October 1 and as late as November 15.

  • Largest colleges push student vaccines with mandates, prizes. (Associated Press)

    • As a new semester begins amid a resurgence of the coronavirus, 26 of the 50 largest public university campuses in the U.S. are not mandating that students be vaccinated, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

  • Biden: Nearly three million get health coverage during COVID-19 sign-up. (Associated Press)

    • Nearly three million consumers took advantage of a special six-month period to sign up for subsidized health insurance coverage made more affordable by the COVID-19 relief law, President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

  • Bill H.Res.637 - Expressing the sense of Congress that financial institutions provided copious and necessary assistance as an intermediary between the Small Business Administration and affected businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Introduced September 14, 2021, referred to the House Committee on Small Business.

  • Bill S.2742 - A bill to establish the COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force, and for other purposes. Introduced September 14, 2021, read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • Issuance of Exemption in Response to COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (Notice)

  • COVID-19 - Workplaces and Businesses. (CDC)

    • Updated guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Alberta

  • Mounting pressure on Alberta premier as doctors and experts call for his resignation. (CTV)

    • Increasing criticism is being directed at Premier Jason Kenney for Alberta's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The calls from doctors and political experts for the premier to step down are growing louder following Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw's admission that lifting pandemic restrictions for the summer was a mistake. The mounting pressure for change also comes as the number of COVID-19 patients in Alberta's intensive care units reaches record highs.

  • 272,211 cases, an increase of 1,434 on September 13, 18,265 active cases, including nine deaths.

British Columbia

  • Human rights complaints against B.C. premier and top doctor over vaccine mandate dismissed. (CTV)

    • Human rights complaints against B.C.'s premier and top doctor over COVID-19 vaccine rules have been dismissed by the province's tribunal.

  • Will B.C.'s vaccine mandate cause hospital staffing shortages? Officials preparing for the possibility. (CTV)

    • There are concerns that B.C.'s vaccination mandate for health-care facilities will prompt some vaccine-hesitant workers to abandon their posts in the midst of the pandemic — and officials are bracing for that possibility. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the government is reviewing every hospital in the province to determine staff vaccination rates, with an aim of boosting those numbers before the mandate takes effect on October 26.

  • 175,819 cases, an increase of 677 on September 13, 6,165 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario didn't spend money from the COVID-19 response program in the first quarter: watchdog. (CTV)

    • Ontario's fiscal watchdog says the province didn't spend any money from a new C$2.7-billion COVID-19 response program in the first quarter. A Wednesday report from the Financial Accountability Office found that the province spent a total of C$2.6-billion — or 6.6 per cent — less than planned between April and July.

  • Canada's largest school board says staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1. (CBC)

    • The Toronto District School Board says its employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021.

  • Team Toronto Mobile Strategy launches Days of Vaxtion to encourage all Torontonians to get fully vaccinated. (News Release)

    • Today, Mayor John Tory announced #DaysofVaxtion — a city-wide series of pop-up vaccination clinics starting Thursday and running through this weekend. The campaign is part of Team Toronto’s continued efforts to help residents get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible, if they have not already done so.

  • 576,389 cases, an increase of 593 since yesterday, 5,936 active cases, including five deaths.

Quebec

  • Enforcement of Quebec's vaccination passport system is in full effect today. Here's what that means. (CBC)

    • Today marks the end of the two-week grace period the province put in place for people and businesses to adapt. Although the system was in use, no penalties were imposed for non-compliance.

  • 399,843 cases, an increase of 785 since yesterday, 6,480 active cases, including one death.

September 16, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • People recently diagnosed with COVID-19 won't be able to vote on election day. (CTV)

    • Thousands of Canadians will not be able to vote in the upcoming federal election because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elections Canada said. With the deadline for mail-in ballot passed as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 between now and Election Day will not be able to vote, as the mandatory isolation period extends beyond election day.

  • Health Canada authorizes new names for COVID-19 vaccines. (CTV)

    • Health Canada has authorized brand name changes for three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria, Health Canada. 

  • Canada must 'learn from' the pandemic crisis in parts of the West, Tam says. (CBC and Public Health Agency of Canada)

    • Canada's chief public health officer says other provinces need to learn from the poor pandemic example being set by Alberta and Saskatchewan if they want to avoid the crisis now afflicting health services in those provinces.

U.S. – Federal

  • United says about 90 per cent of staff are vaccinated ahead of company deadline. (Reuters)

    • United Airlines Holding Inc (UAL.O) said on Thursday 95 per cent of its management was fully vaccinated and about 90 per cent of all employees had uploaded proof of shots ahead of the company's September 27 deadline for staff vaccination.

  • As COVID-19 vaccine mandates rise, religious exemptions grow. (Associated Press)

    • An estimated 2,600 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination. In Washington state, thousands of state workers are seeking similar exemptions.

  • U.S. Treasury says it disbursed US$700-billion of COVID-19 relief funds. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. Treasury on Thursday said it had disbursed about US$700-billion of US$1-trillion in COVID-19 relief programs administered by the Treasury in the first six months since the American Rescue Program (ARP) was signed into law.

  • Science Brief: COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination. (CDC)

Alberta

  • Proof of vaccination program announced in Alberta as state of public health emergency declared. (News Release and CTV)

    • The government of Alberta has joined other provinces across Canada in announcing a proof of vaccination program as COVID-19 cases continue to soar to well over a thousand per day.

  • Order in Council 255/2021. PUBLIC HEALTH ACT (sections 52.1 and 52.8) – Declares a state of public health emergency in Alberta due to pandemic COVID-19, for the purposes of sections 52.1 and 52.8 of the Public Health Act. Order approved September 15, 2021.

  • Alberta's new restrictions came into effect at midnight. Here's what you need to know. (CTV)

    • Albertans will wake up Thursday to new restrictions implemented by the province to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ease the burden on its health system. Some of the measures Alberta introduced Wednesday evening came into effect hours later at midnight.

  • Calgary to take own measures to act on COVID-19 crisis, saying province 'doesn't care'. (CBC)

    • Calgary's mayor says the city will explore measures it can take to protect residents from the flood of COVID-19 cases overwhelming the province's health-care system.

  • CMOH order 41-2021, which amends CMOH Order 40-2021: 2021 COVID-19 response. Clarifications for CMOH Order 40-2021, Record of Decision of the Chief Medical Officer, which outlines temporary public health measures to protect Alberta’s health system from COVID-19.

  • 273,820 cases, an increase of 1,609 on September 14, 18,421 active cases, including 24 deaths.

British Columbia

  • Valid contraindications and deferrals to COVID-19 vaccination. (Provincial Health Officer)

    • For support of medical accommodation under the Provincial Health Officer COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order.

  • 176,480 cases, an increase of 661 on September 15, 5,791 active cases, including seven deaths.

Ontario

  • These companies are offering up cash incentives for employees who get vaccinated against COVID-19. (CTV)

    • Despite a majority of Canadians rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine, some companies are offering cash incentives for employees or potential new hires who may still be hesitant.

  • Ontario businesses prepare for ‘kick-back’ a week before new vaccination requirements begin. (Global News)

    • Ontario businesses are bracing themselves for potential conflicts that may arise when the province’s new proof of vaccination system goes into effect next week.

  • Some parents are upset after OMHA mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for players and coaches. (CTV)

    • The Ontario Minor Hockey Association, in conjunction with Alliance Hockey, announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for coaches, volunteers and eligible players 12 and older.

  • 577,253 cases, an increase of 864 since yesterday, 6,129 active cases, including three deaths.

Quebec

  • COVID-19 Pandemic – Information sharing to get a current picture of the immunization status of school staff. (News Release)

    • As expected, an increase in COVID-19 cases has been observed in school settings in recent weeks, accelerated by the contagiousness of the Delta variant. Public Health has begun a process with elementary, secondary, college and university institutions in Quebec to obtain a current picture of the vaccination coverage of their staff.

  • Monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic: Hospitalization risks and projections of hospital needs. (News Release and Report)

  • The following Orders were published in the Gazette officielle du Québec, Part II (dated September 16, 2021):

    • Order in Council 1225-2021 Declaring renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health. Made on September 15, 2021 renewed until September 24, 2021.

    • Ministerial Order 2021-063 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In regards to health regions where the wearing of a procedural mask is mandatory at all times for students at the elementary or secondary school level in general education for youth. Effective September 9, 2021.

    • Ministerial Order 2021-054 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In regards to the conduct of municipal general election, various sections are revoked and substituted. Effective July 22, 2021.

  • 400,625 cases, an increase of 782 since yesterday, 6,607 active cases, including two deaths.

September 17, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Dining out, salons, gyms and more: COVID-19 restrictions by province and territory. (CTV)

    • With a fourth wave of COVID-19 taking hold in Canada, provinces and territories are implementing measures to prevent major outbreaks. Some have had to roll back their reopenings, while others have returned to a state of emergency.

  • Why vaccine passports may be an important tool in boosting vaccination rates. (CBC)

    • The passports contain proof that a person has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing them to participate in some indoor recreational activities. But apart from that, what do they accomplish, and how effective are they? CBC News spoke to some experts.

U.S. – Federal

  • CDC to invest US$2.1-billion to protect patients and healthcare workers from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases. (News Release and Associated Press)

    • Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a US$2.1-billion investment to improve infection prevention and control activities across the U.S. public health and healthcare sectors. The Biden-Harris Administration, working through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investing American Rescue Plan funding to strengthen and equip state, local and territorial public health departments and other partner organizations with the resources needed to better fight infections in U.S. healthcare facilities, including COVID-19 and other known and emerging infectious diseases.

  • U.S. FDA vaccine advisors vote against COVID-19 booster shot approval. (CTV)

  • A panel of experts outside advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted against approving COVID-19 booster shots for Americans, but may vote on a narrower approval for older adults later on Friday. The panel voted overwhelmingly against approving boosters for Americans age 16 and older, potentially undermining the Biden administration's plan to roll out third shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as soon as next week.

  • Small agency, big job: Biden tasks OSHA with vaccine mandate. (Associated Press)

    • President Joe Biden this month threw the tiny Labor Department agency into the raging national debate over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The president directed OSHA to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free.

  • U.S. to buy millions of Pfizer vaccine doses to donate to the world. (Reuters)

    • The United States plans to buy hundreds of millions of additional doses of the Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine to donate around the world, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two unidentified people familiar with the deal.

  • Implementation of Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. (Notice)

Alberta

  • 'Here we go again:' Albertans react to latest slate of COVID-19 health rules. (CTV)

    • As an emergency alert blared across the province notifying Albertans of another round of public health restrictions, some felt a range of emotions: anger, confusion, exhaustion.

  • Ontario confirms the province will help Alberta with overwhelmed ICUs. (CTV)

    • Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott confirms the province will help Alberta manage its overwhelmed intensive care units (ICUs), which have been inundated with COVID-19 patients, operating at 155 per cent over normal capacity.

  • 275,538 cases, an increase of 1,718 on September 15, 18,706 active cases, including 10 deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. turns down Alberta's call for COVID-19 help amid serious hospital crunch. (CTV)

    • A day after one of Alberta’s top health officials announced that the province’s COVID-19 health-care crisis necessitated a cross-country call for help, British Columbia’s health minister has responded to say B.C. simply can’t handle helping anyone else.

  • Why no workplace closures during B.C.'s fourth wave? Ministry says they haven't been necessary. (CTV)

    • B.C.'s Ministry of Health says officials still have the authority to order businesses to close when there is evidence of COVID-19 transmission between employees, they just haven't had a reason to issue such an order in more than three months.

  • 177,186 cases, an increase of 706 on September 16, 5,844 active cases, including four deaths.

Ontario

  • The City of Toronto is supporting vaccination certificates with an educational approach. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto will be working with businesses to educate them on the Province of Ontario’s proof of vaccine requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). Staff from Toronto Public Health and Municipal Licensing and Standards will continue to conduct inspections to ensure businesses are following the requirements under the ROA, including the new vaccination requirements, and will work to respond to complaints. The public is reminded that instances of violence should be referred to the Toronto Police Service.

  • O. Reg. 649/21: EXTENSIONS OF ORDERS (made under Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9) amending O. Reg. 25/21 The Table to section 1 of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 25/21 is revoked and the previously applicable revocation date of September 22, 2021 is substituted with the current revocation date of October 6, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 648/21: EXTENSIONS OF ORDERS (made under Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17) amending O. Reg. 458/20 Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 458/20 is amended by striking out “September 17, 2021” at the end and substituting “October 17, 2021”. In force September 16, 2021.

  • 578,048 cases, an increase of 795 since yesterday, 6,239 active cases, including five deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec says it has no capacity to take on COVID-19 patients from Alberta. (Global News)

    • Quebec is not capable of receiving additional intensive care patients from other parts of the country as Alberta faces a COVID-19 surge pushing its health system to the limit, a spokesperson for the province’s premier said today.

  • 401,462 cases, an increase of 837 since yesterday, 6,810 active cases, including three deaths.

September 7, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Feds ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. (CTV)

    • The federal government has added fully vaccinated foreign nationals to the ranks of travellers who are once again welcome on Canadian soil. As of midnight Monday night, quarantine requirements were eased for non-essential international travellers who have had a full course of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Everything you need to know about the new travel rules coming into effect September 7. (CTV)

    • The federal government is easing international travel restrictions this week, with fully vaccinated foreign nationals allowed to enter Canada for non-essential purposes, such as tourism, starting today. International travellers who meet entry conditions will not have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, the latest in the government of Canada’s phased border reopening plan.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. workplaces look to college fights as return to work 'turning point' looms. (Reuters)

    • A legal battle is brewing over remote work between administrators at U.S. colleges committed to in-person classes and some faculty with disabilities. Experts warn it is a precursor of what awaits employers that order staff back to the office amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment lawyers said higher education provides a key test of who can work remotely because it is a profession traditionally associated with in-person work.

  • Pfizer on track for U.S. vaccine boosters, Moderna lagging, Fauci says. (Reuters)

    • Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that officials were likely to soon get the regulatory go-ahead to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots made by Pfizer (PFE.N), although the Moderna (MRNA.O) booster could take a little longer.

  • Biden to outline plan to curb coronavirus Delta variant as cases grow. (Reuters)

    • President Joe Biden on Thursday will present a six-pronged strategy intended to fight the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant and increase U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations, the White House said on Tuesday.

  • COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination. (CDC Map)

  • USDA Invests U$700-million in grants to provide relief to farm and food workers impacted by COVID-19. (News Release)

    • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that US$700-million in competitive grant funding will be available through the new Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program to help farmworkers and meatpacking workers with pandemic-related health and safety costs.

  • Meeting of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. (Notice)

    • The purpose of this meeting is to present and vote on the final recommendations for mitigating inequities caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future.

  • Factsheet: Biden Administration to Transform Capabilities for Pandemic Preparedness. (The White House)

Alberta

  • Alberta's new rules, including masking, is now in effect province-wide. (CTV)

    • The Alberta government's new COVID-19 restrictions regarding masking and a curfew on serving liquor are now in force, but some events say they've gotten an "exemption" from officials.

  • 'This is not a quick fix': Experts worry the vaccine incentive is too little too late for Alberta. (CTV)

    • Public health experts are wondering why Alberta is choosing to dish out C$100 to those who decide to get vaccinated now and whether the measure will effectively respond to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Premier Jason Kenney announced the vaccine incentive Friday, saying the government was inspired by the success of similar measures in other jurisdictions.

  • Gatherings and Events COVID-19 Order for Northern Health Authority. (MHO Order)

  • 256,985 cases, an increase of 1,401 on September 4, 13,495 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. launches vaccine passport registration site; more details expected soon. (CTV)

    • Details have not yet been released on the rollout of B.C.'s so-called "vaccine passport" system, but already a website for registration is online. The website asks for a resident's personal health number, date of birth and date of COVID-19 vaccine. Those who already use the B.C. Services Card app can alternately log in that way. However, many people received an error message when trying to enter Health Gateway on Tuesday.

  • What we know — and don't know — about B.C.'s vaccine cards. (CBC)

    • With just days to go before B.C.'s "vaccine card" requirement comes into effect on September 13, many are wondering what they should do to prepare and when they'll be able to get their own card. B.C. announced the vaccine card requirement as it attempts to increase immunization rates and slow a surging fourth wave of COVID-19. The province still hasn't released all the details of the program, but a news conference promising more information is planned for 2 p.m. PT today.

  • B.C. teachers want data on COVID-19 in schools made available to all as classes resume amid fourth wave. (CBC)

    • As thousands of children head back into B.C. classrooms Tuesday, the head of the B.C. Teachers' Federation says parents and educators are anxious they will no longer receive notices about COVID-19 exposure in schools — even as the number of overall cases in the province is expected to rise this fall.

  • Minister's statement on a safe back-to-school season. (News Release)

    • Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education, has released a statement regarding the first day of school.

  • 168,325 cases, an increase of 801 on September 2, 5,931 active cases, including six deaths.

Ontario

  • Mayor Tory unveils the City of Toronto’s action plan to safely manage congestion as schools open and workers return to offices. (News Release)

    • Mayor John Tory unveiled the City of Toronto’s action plan to safely and proactively manage traffic congestion this fall as workers plan their return to offices and other activities, and students get ready for schools to reopen for in-class learning. Throughout the pandemic, City staff have analysed traffic congestion data, which in most areas of Toronto is now approaching pre-pandemic levels.

  • Students head back to class in safer schools. (News Release and CTV)

    • Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued a statement as students head back to class.

  • Ontario woman says she was denied boarding Air Canada flight despite following new COVID-19 requirements. (CTV)

    • An Ontario woman and her son said they were denied boarding an Air Canada flight in the United States and were forced to rent a car and drive hundreds of kilometres home despite appearing to have followed new COVID-19 requirements.

  • Restrictions coming for Windsor-Essex, Ontario weddings, bars and restaurants. (CTV)

    • The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has determined that a significant number of new COVID-19 infections are linked to a few key settings and is taking steps to address the issue. Beginning next week, a new set of restrictions will be in effect for Windsor-Essex County, going above and beyond Ontario's province-wide rules.

  • 570,778 cases, an increase of 2,900 since Friday, September 3, 6,272 active cases, including five deaths.

Quebec

  • All health-care workers must be vaccinated by October 15 or face suspension without pay, Quebec announces. (CTV)

    • The Legault government announced that all health and social services workers in Quebec must be fully vaccinated by October 15 or face suspension without pay.

  • Official opposition urges the government to extend mandatory vaccination to CEGEPs and universities. (News Release)

    • As warning signs intensify, it is imperative that the government quickly expand mandatory vaccination in higher education settings, says the official opposition critic for health and social services, Marie Montpetit, and her colleague for higher education, Hélène David.

  • Montreal entices teens to get vaccinated with video games, cash prizes. (CTV)

    • Montreal is turning to video games to help recruit teens in its battle against COVID-19. The city's public health agency has joined forces with the local gaming industry to target unvaccinated youth, offering cash and prizes to those who get the jab.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-062 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Effective September 3, 2021.

  • 393,852 cases, an increase of 2,489 since Friday, September 3, 5,460 active cases, no new deaths.

August 25, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Why haven't there been federal COVID-19 briefings during the election campaign? (CTV)

    • During federal elections, the government runs on "caretaker" mode, in which officials' interactions with the public are generally limited. Communications in the interest of public health and safety are allowed — but since the campaign kicked off August 15, PHAC has not held any press conferences during which reporters could pose questions on COVID-19 or the vaccine rollout.

  • Canadian travellers fined C$5,700 each for getting the wrong COVID-19 test before returning from U.S. (CTV)

    • In a statement, Air Canada says that “passengers are responsible for ensuring they meet all entry requirements and have all valid travel documents including specific health certificates necessary to enter a country."

  • Travellers to Canada doubled after border reopened to Americans. (CBC)

    • The number of people crossing the land border into Canada more than doubled in the first week fully vaccinated Americans were once again allowed to enter the country for non-essential travel. According to Canadian government statistics, 218,732 non-commercial travellers entered Canada by land from August 9-15. The number, which includes both Canadians and Americans, was a 111 per cent increase from 103,344 travellers the week before when the border was still closed to Americans, and a nearly 200 per cent increase over the 74,562 people who crossed during that same week in 2020.

  • Vaccines are not enough to stop the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, experts warn. (CTV)

    • Canadians need to use all public health tools available, including masking, physical distance and testing to avoid lockdowns and protect the unvaccinated as a fourth wave of COVID-19 grips the country, infectious disease experts say.

U.S. – Federal

  • Delta Air Lines to add a US$200 monthly health insurance charge for unvaccinated staff. (Reuters)

    • Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) on Wednesday said employees will have to pay US$200 more every month for their company-sponsored healthcare plan if they choose to not vaccinate against COVID-19.

  • Pfizer starts the process for U.S. approval of a COVID-19 booster shot. (Reuters)

    • Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech have started the process for a full approval of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine in people aged 16 years and older. The companies intend to complete the submission by the end of this week. This could potentially pave the way for a third dose that can be offered to people with compromised immune systems. U.S. officials have said that COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will be made widely available to Americans starting September 20.

  • Press briefing by White House COVID-⁠19 response team and public health officials. (The White House)

  • Secretary of Defense Austin issues guidance for mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members. (News Release and Memorandum)

  • Contact tracing resources for health departments. (CDC)

  • International travel during COVID-19. (CDC), domestic travel during COVID-19. (CDC) and after international travel (CDC)

  • Biden administration takes additional steps to prevent evictions as the delivery of emergency rental assistance continues to increase. (Fact Sheet)

  • Bill H.R.5092To prohibit the federal government from requiring any citizen to be vaccinated, including federal agencies from requiring its employees to take any vaccination, without the citizen being fully advised in writing of all known potential risks from the vaccine and consultation with a physician followed by the voluntary informed consent of the citizen, and for other purposes. Introduced on August 24, 2021.

Alberta

  • Alberta and Saskatchewan are not planning to follow B.C. and Manitoba on broad mask mandates. (CTV)

    • Alberta and Saskatchewan say they are not planning to follow broad mask mandates announced this week by neighbouring western provinces.

  • 245,598 cases, an increase of 629 on August 23, 7,931 active cases, including seven deaths.

British Columbia

  • The B.C. government once again changes its pandemic policies in a matter of hours. (CBC)

    • If the public thought the announcements over the past two days were almost too much to process with plenty of unanswered questions, so did many reporters. Most of the time when the B.C. government makes a large policy shift, there are technical briefings before the announcement so media can get clarification on complex questions. That didn't happen with any of the announcements over the last two days, adding to the confusion.

  • Notice of Repeal of the Travellers and Employers Order. August 23, 2021. (Order)

  • 161,271 cases, an increase of 641 on August 24, 5,357 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Not true that Ontario plans to implement vaccine certificates, province says. (CBC)

    • The Ontario government reiterated today that it does not plan to implement vaccine passports, while residents in neighbouring Quebec can now begin downloading the province's vaccine certificate app. A spokesperson for the Minister of Health told CBC News it's not true that Ontario is moving toward a system similar to Quebec's, following comments by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit's medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis to CBC-Radio Canada that seemed to suggest otherwise.

  • How Ontario coworking firms are pushing you to put on some pants and go back to the office. (CBC)

    • Coworking operators across Ontario are campaigning to get employees in the province to stop working at home in their pajamas, put on some pants and head back to "COVID-safe" communal offices. Work with Pants Wednesdays is an initiative led by the Ontario Coworking and Workspace Coalition. Each Wednesday until the end of October, 60 co-working locations across the province are offering a free first visit to encourage remote employees to return to collaborative office settings.

  • 'Herd immunity' no longer possible without vaccinating young children, Public Health Ontario says. (CTV)

    • Achieving herd immunity against COVID-19 will not be possible without an approved vaccine for children under 12, Public Health Ontario says in a new report about what the pandemic will look like this fall and winter.

  • O. Reg. 581/21: EXTENSIONS OF ORDERS (made under Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9) amending O. Reg. 25/21. The Table to section 1 of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 25/21 previously applicable revocation date of August 25, 2021, is now September 8, 2021.

  • The Ontario Government has posted today, several regulations made under Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17:

    • O. Reg. 580/21: CONGREGATE CARE SETTINGS amends O. Reg. 177/20. Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 177/20 is amended by adding the following section: Application, vaccination status details. In force September 24, 2021.

    • O. Reg. 579/21: LIMITING WORK TO A SINGLE RETIREMENT HOME amends O. Reg. 158/20. Clause 1 (2) (a) of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 158/20 is revoked and the following substituted: (a) they have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine, or combination of COVID-19 vaccines, approved by the World Health Organization. In force August 24, 2021.

    • O. Reg. 578/21: LIMITING WORK TO A SINGLE LONG-TERM CARE HOME amends O. Reg. 146/20. Clause 1 (2) (a) of Schedule 1 to Ontario Regulation 146/20 is revoked and the following substituted: (a)  they have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine, or combination of COVID-19 vaccines, approved by the World Health Organization. In force August 24, 2021.

    • O. Reg. 577/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP amends O. Reg. 364/20. In regards to business or organization compliance with implementing, establishing a COVID-19 vaccination policy. In force August 24, 2021.

  • 561,297 cases, an increase of 660 since yesterday, 5,140 active cases, including one death.

Quebec

  • How Quebec's vaccine passport will work and where it will apply. (CBC)

    • The Quebec government is putting into place a vaccine passport system starting September 1 that will effectively bar people who aren't fully vaccinated from many non-essential activities. The passport — an electronic record of vaccination in the form of a quick response (QR) code — has already been tested out at various establishments across the province, including a restaurant, bar and gym.

  • Quebec public health recommends employers postpone plans for a return to the office. (CTV)

    • The provincial government's plan to have 60,000 bureaucrats return to their offices in September is also being shelved for now. The public health is recommending employers delay plans for having their workers return to their offices.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-060 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Issued August 24, 2021

  • 386,015 cases, an increase of 550 since yesterday, 3,873 active cases, including one death.

August 24, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m.

Canada – Federal 

  • Three key factors in how Canada will fare during the 4th wave of COVID-19. (CBC)

    • It's tough — even impossible — to predict exactly how Canada will fare in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. And looking for clues from other countries only gets you so far. Some regions are being overwhelmed, yet again, by this virus; others are avoiding catastrophe largely thanks to high vaccine uptake and other precautions. Widely different policy decisions and levels of restrictions also mean there's no one-size-fits-all outcome.

  • COVID-19: Border services resume at a number of small Canadian marine vessel reporting sites, airports of entry and ferry terminals. (News Release)

    • The Canada Border Services Agency will proceed with the resumption of service at various small marine reporting sites, airports of entry and ferry terminals over the coming days and weeks. This follows the coming into force of new public health measures affecting travel to Canada for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents on August 9. 

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. could control COVID by spring 2022 if more people get shots -Fauci. (Reuters)

    • The United States could get COVID-19 under control by early next year if vaccinations ramp up, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday, one day after Pfizer won fuller FDA approval for its shot, with more potential approvals coming in the weeks ahead.

  • What does full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine mean? (Associated Press)

    • It means Pfizer’s shot for people 16 and older has now undergone the same rigorous testing and regulatory review as dozens of other long-established vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. were initially rolled out under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization, which allows the agency to speed the availability of medical products during public health emergencies.

  • DOD Awards US$0.6-Million Contract to QIAGEN to Increase Domestic Production Capacity of COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Kits and Reagents. (News Release)

    • The Department of Defense, on behalf of and in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, awarded a US$0.6-million contract to QIAGEN Beverly, Inc. to expand manufacturing capacity of enzymatic reagents and reagent kits used in COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests.

  • Remarks by President Biden on the COVID-⁠19 Response and the Vaccination Program. (Speeches and Remarks)

  • USDA Announces Proposed Framework for Advancing Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and Other Emerging Zoonotic Diseases through the American Rescue Plan. (News Release)

    • USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the lead agency responsible for implementing the early warning system and is inviting public comment on a Strategic Framework (PDF, 386 KB) that outlines how the Agency will focus its efforts to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as other emerging and zoonotic diseases that could pose a threat to both people and animal.

Alberta

  • Calgary businesses look at vaccine passports in lieu of a provincial system. (CityNews)

    • Some Calgary businesses say they want to establish their own proof of vaccination requirements as Premier Jason Kenney has shut the idea for a provincial system down several times.

  • Second Open for Summer Lottery draw closes August 24. (News Release)

    • Albertans are encouraged to get vaccinated and register online for a chance to win C$1-million or travel prizes.

  • 244,969 cases, an increase of 473 on August 22, 7,777 active cases, including five new deaths.

British Columbia

  • Mask mandate to reduce transmission, protect people in public spaces. (News Release and CTV)

    • As of Wednesday, August 25, 2021, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 as B.C. prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season. A new order from the provincial health officer will require people 12 and older to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Health, safety remain top priority for return to campus. (News Release)

    • Students, faculty and staff at B.C.’s colleges and universities are being supported to come back together for in-person learning this fall with added health and safety measures ordered by the provincial health officer. A new mask mandate for college and university campuses follows the announcement that B.C. will be introducing a proof-of-vaccine requirement for some non-essential services, including on-campus.

  • 160,630 cases, an increase of 442 on August 23, 5,056 active cases, including 16 new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's top doctor willing to consider lifting capacity limits in venues with mandatory vaccination requirements. (CTV)

    • Ontario’s top public health official says that he would support lifting capacity limits in some places with mandatory vaccination requirements, potentially paving the way for larger crowds at some of the city’s professional sporting venues this fall. Step three of the Ontario government’s reopening plan currently caps the number of people allowed to attend a sporting event at a maximum of 1,000 people indoors and 15,000 people outdoors.

  • Ontario chamber of commerce issues guidance for businesses on proof-of-vaccine protocol. (CBC)

    • Ontario's chamber of commerce has released guidance for private sector businesses seeking to develop COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination protocols. The organization says the move aims to help prevent a piecemeal approach across the province in the absence of government guidance on the issue.

  • Toronto police to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all staff by September 13 (CTV)

    • The Toronto Police Service says it will require all uniformed and civilian staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 13, following a number of other Ontario public sector entities that enacted vaccine policies in recent weeks.
  • Liberal leader urges Ontario premier to convene meeting on vaccine passports. (CTV)

    • Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is calling on Premier Doug Ford to convene a meeting with a range of stakeholders, including the opposition parties at Queen’s Park, amid what he says is an “urgent need” for “clear vaccine mandates and a provincewide vaccine certificate”.… It comes on the heels of British Columbia announcing a plan to make proof of vaccination a requirement for individuals to attend certain non-essential businesses and events.

  • Ontario to offer take-home COVID-19 tests for some high school students as part of pilot project. (Global News)

    • The Ontario government has announced that some high school students will be given take-home COVID-19 tests as part of a pilot project when classes resume in September. Officials said the project will be aimed at staff and students who are vaccinated, asymptomatic high-risk contacts due to an outbreak.

  • Ontario health-care workers warn of 'brutal' nurse shortage as hospitals brace for 4th wave. (CBC)

    • Critical care nurses in southern Ontario have reached a breaking point after they say more than a year and a half of brutal pandemic work and stagnant pay has led to a staffing shortage so severe they believe it's putting patients in danger. And as the fourth wave begins, with the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario hitting 639 on Monday, they say they don't know how they or their hospitals will cope.

  • Ontario Further Extending Temporary Wage Increase for Personal Support Workers. (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is investing an additional C$169-million to extend the temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers for the third time since its initial investment last year. This increase will continue until October 31, 2021, and will help stabilize staffing levels and support our frontline health-care workers to ensure the province is prepared to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

  • Ontario Deploying Last Mile Strategy to Further Increase Vaccination Rates. (News Release)

    • To support the province’s last mile strategy, the province and public health units are focusing on smaller, community-based and easy-to-access settings for vaccinations. This includes mobile clinics and community-based pop-ups, dedicated clinic days for families with people with disabilities, and townhall meetings in multiple languages.

  • 560,637 cases, an increase of 486 since yesterday, 5,053 active cases, including 18 new deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebecers can download the vaccine passport app beginning Wednesday ahead of September 1 launch. (CTV)

    • Some Quebecers will be able to download a new mobile app for the vaccine passport Wednesday morning as the province says it’s ready to limit some non-essential services to only vaccinated people. The VaxiCode app will be ready to be downloaded by more than five million Quebecers in the Apple App Store at 8 a.m. The app will roll out to Android users in the Google Play store later this week. The app is still being tested at local businesses throughout Quebec, but Health Minister Christian Dubé made it clear: "We are now ready to start September 1."

  • COVID-19 pandemic – Back to school 2021: details on the addition of health measures. (News Release)

    • Due to the upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases caused by the current fourth wave and the marked presence of the Delta variant in the population, the Government of Quebec announced the implementation of various health measures for the start of the school year, in order to ensure the safety of students, in accordance with the Back-to-School Plan. This is a precautionary measure that can be adjusted according to the epidemiological situation.

  • 385,465 cases, an increase of 345 since yesterday, 3,696 active cases, including three new deaths.

August 16, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Government of Canada negotiates additional agreement with Moderna for vaccine supply beyond 2021. (News Release)

    • The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that Canada has entered into an agreement with Moderna for additional supply of its COVID-19 vaccine for 2022 and 2023, with an option to extend into 2024. The agreement guarantees access to 40 million doses, with access to up to 65 million more if all options are exercised. The agreement will allow access to new COVID-19 vaccine adaptations based on the evolution of the epidemiological situation in Canada.

  • The Government of Canada makes rapid antigen tests available to more small and medium-sized organizations through new pharmacy partners. (News Release)

    • Increasing rapid antigen testing in workplaces to screen asymptomatic employees for COVID-19 will help identify cases and limit the spread. The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced that more than 2000 local pharmacies have registered to distribute rapid antigen tests to small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations — this includes independent pharmacies, Rexall, Sobeys and Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Increasing local distribution points of rapid antigen tests makes it easier for small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) to implement workplace screening for their frontline employees and those returning to work in person. The Government of Canada is providing free rapid tests for this initiative; however, pharmacies may charge a small handling fee for each box of 25 tests.

U.S. – Federal

  • Vaccine mandates expanded in NY; NYC venues to start checking. (CTV)

    • Vaccine mandates expanded Monday as New York state ordered hospital and nursing home workers to get COVID-19 inoculations and New York City was poised to start requiring them for anyone in restaurant dining rooms, gyms, museums and many other leisure venues. The new policies aim to goad people into getting vaccinated as New York, like the rest of the U.S., confronts a coronavirus wave powered by the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus.

  • Needs and challenges in personal protective equipment (PPE) use for underserved user populations. (Notice)

    • On June 24, 2021, NIOSH opened a notice to request information on the Needs and Challenges in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Use for Underserved User Populations. Written comments were to be received by August 23, 2021. NIOSH is extending the public comment period to October 15, 2021.

  • Pfizer submits initial data to U.S. regulators for COVID-19 booster authorization. (CTV)

    • Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE have submitted to U.S. regulators the initial data from an early-stage trial toward seeking authorization of a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, the drugmakers said on Monday.

    • ​They said the third dose showed significantly higher neutralizing antibodies against the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus compared to the two doses as well as against the Beta and the highly infectious Delta variants.

  • U.S. mulls COVID vaccine boosters for elderly as early as fall. (Associated Press)

    • Warning of tough days ahead with surging COVID-19 infections, the director of the National Institutes of Health said Sunday the U.S. could decide in the next couple weeks whether to offer coronavirus booster shots to Americans this fall. Among the first to receive them could be health care workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans.

  • Bill H.Res.587 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress disapproves of Department of Defense leadership pursuing adverse actions toward members of the Armed Forces of the United States who choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Introduced August 13, 2021. Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

  • Bill H.R.5030 – To improve diversity in clinical trials and data collection for COVID-19 and future public health threats to address social determinants of health. Introduced August 13, 2021.

Alberta

  • Calgary-based manufacturer creates country's first supply of 100 per cent compostable PPE. (CBC)

    • A Calgary-based company is now making Canada's first 100 per cent compostable protective medical equipment. According to a release, PPE manufacturer Roswell Downhole Technologies Inc., merged with Precision ADM, a medical device company and global engineering and manufacturing solutions provider based in Winnipeg.

  • Pregnant Albertans urged to get vaccinated as COVID-19 hospital admissions jump. (CTV)

    • An increasing number of pregnant women in Alberta are winding up in emergency rooms and intensive care units suffering from COVID-19. The hospitalizations come as Delta variant case rates surge province-wide. According to the University of Calgary researchers who have collected data on COVID-19 infection among pregnant women, there have been 900 new COVID-19 cases in pregnant people since April and the case rate is rising rapidly.

  • Health guide, tool kit and on-site vaccination ensure safe school year ahead. (News Release)

  • 238,939 cases, an increase of 582 on August 12, 4,438 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • The Government of Canada invests close to C$134-million to support Canadians living and working in long-term care in British Columbia. (News Release)

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing challenges in Canada's long-term care (LTC) facilities. Gaps have been exposed in infection, prevention and control, staffing and infrastructure, with tragic effects on residents, their families and those working in these settings. That's why, in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada committed up to C$1-billion through the Safe Long-Term Care Fund to help provinces and territories to improve infection, prevention and control in long-term care, such as hiring additional staff and wage top-ups, new or renovated infrastructure including ventilation and readiness assessments.

  • 155,079 cases, an increase of 717 on August 13, 4,277 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario to require school-based COVID-19 vaccine clinics as academic year begins. (CTV, News Release)

    • COVID-19 immunization clinics will run in Ontario schools and nearby locations as the academic year begins, the province announced Monday in a bid to reach unvaccinated youth who are set to gather in classrooms next month.

    • The clinics are part of a "last mile" government vaccination strategy that aims to make it easy for students, as well as their families and school staff, to get their shots. Education Minister Stephen Lecce said local public health units and boards will be required to host the clinics.

  • Ontario is providing more support to communities during COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is providing an additional C$307-million to help municipalities and Indigenous community partners deliver critical services, create longer-term housing solutions and keep people safe. This investment builds upon the C$765-million dollars of Social Services Relief Funding (SSRF) announced in 2020- 2021, for a total support to communities of over C$1-billion.

  • O. Reg. 571/21 – CERTAIN PERSONS ENABLED TO ISSUE MEDICAL CERTIFICATES OF DEATH under Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17. Revoking O. Reg. 192/20. In force August 18, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 570/21 – EXTENSIONS OF ORDERS under Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17. Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 458/20 is amended by striking out “August 18, 2021” at the end and substituting “September 17, 2021”. In force August 12, 2021.

  • 556,087 cases, an increase of 1,615 since August 13, 3,872 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Ministerial Order 2021-058 – Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. August 13, 2021 — regarding students in classrooms of university institutions, colleges, private educational institutions providing college instructional services and any other institution providing college-level or university instructional services and in classrooms where educational and instructional adult general education and training services are provided, if the students are seated.

  • 381,996 cases, an increase of 1,163 since August 13, 2,924 active cases, no new deaths.
August 13, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Government of Canada announces funding for COVID-19 safe voluntary isolation sites in Ontario. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada is working with partners to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada. Self-isolation is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, for some people in Canada, crowded housing conditions and high costs can make it unsafe or impossible to self-isolate, putting themselves, their families and communities at risk through no fault of their own.

  • The Government of Canada to require vaccination of the federal workforce and the federally regulated transportation sector. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada today announced its intent to require vaccination as early as the end of September across the federal public service. Vaccinations are our best line of defence and for those few who are unable to be vaccinated, accommodation or alternative measures, such as testing and screening, may be determined in each situation, to protect broader public health by reducing the risk of COVID-19.

  • The Government of Canada is supporting Canada’s major airports with funding for COVID-19 testing and screening infrastructure. (News Release)

    • Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, launched a new contribution funding stream under Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program. This new Biosecurity Funding Stream will provide C$81.6-million to support Canada’s major airports with investments in COVID-19 testing and screening infrastructure.

  • The following Orders were published in today’s Canada Gazette, Part I (dated August 14, 2021):

U.S. – Federal

  • Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Takes Steps to Address COVID-⁠19 in Rural America and Build Rural Health Back Better. (News Release)

  • Biden eyes tougher vaccine rules without provoking backlash. (Associated Press)

Alberta

  • Extending timelines for COVID-19 transition. (News Release)

    • After closely monitoring COVID-19 in Alberta for the previous two weeks and reviewing emerging evidence from other jurisdictions, the following will continue until September 27:

      • Mandatory masking orders in publicly accessible transit, taxis and ride-shares.

      • Mandatory isolation for 10 days for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.

      • Testing at assessment centres for any symptomatic individual.

    • These measures were scheduled to be eased on August 16, however this six-week pause will provide additional time to monitor severe outcomes of COVID-19 and increase immunization rates.

  • 238,357 cases, an increase of 550 on August 11, 4,101 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • 154,362 cases, an increase of 513 since yesterday, 3,834 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Canada and Ontario invest more than C$1.6-million in municipal infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. (News Release, Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is investing more than C$1.2-million towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than C$323,000 toward these projects.

    • The COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, implemented in response to the pandemic, allows the Government of Canada to invest up to 80 per cent of eligible costs for projects in provinces and up to 100 per cent for projects in territories and Indigenous communities. The Ontario government will invest 20 per cent of the eligible costs for projects across the province.

  • Ontario considering booster shots, long-term care minister says. (CBC)

  • Ontario's big city mayors call for proof of vaccination system in the province. (Winnipeg Free Press)

  • 554,472 cases, an increase of 510 since yesterday, 3,110 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

  • New agreement between the governments of Canada and Quebec to help Quebecers experiencing or at risk of homelessness to protect themselves from COVID-19. (News Release)

    • Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, and Quebec’s Minister for Health and Social Services, Lionel Carmant, today announced that an additional C$48.5-million in federal funding is being made available to communities in Quebec for 2021–2022 under the Reaching Home program to support the homeless-serving sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec.

  • 380,833 cases, an increase of 426 since yesterday, 2,562 active cases, no new deaths.
August 23, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal 

  • How do Canada's political parties plan to prepare the country for future pandemics? (CBC)

    • How should Canada prepare for future pandemics? The views on that vary among major political parties vying for votes during a fourth wave of a deadly pandemic that has yet to be quelled.... How Canada will move forward in future will depend, in part, on politics.

  • Companies are implementing vaccine mandates. Can employees reject them? (CBC)

    • Federal and provincial governments, private businesses and Canada's biggest banks have in recent weeks announced plans to implement mandatory vaccination policies for many of their returning staff.

  • The following order was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I (dated August 21, 2021):

U.S. – Federal

  • New York City mandates vaccinations for public school teachers, staff. (CTV)

    • All NYC public school teachers and other staffers will have to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, officials said Monday as the nation's largest school system prepares for classes to start next month.

  • U.S. regulators give full approval of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. (CBC)

    • The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, a milestone that may help lift public confidence in the shots as the nation battles the most contagious coronavirus variant yet.

  • Pentagon to mandate COVID-19 vaccine, as Pfizer is approved. (CTV)

    • The Pentagon said Monday that it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is making good on his vow earlier this month to require the shots once the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine. He said guidance is being developed and a timeline will be provided in the coming days.

  • School mask, vaccine mandates supported in U.S.: AP-NORC poll. (Associated Press)

    • As COVID-19 cases surge around the country, a majority of Americans say they support mask mandates for students and teachers in K-12 schools, according to a new poll, but their views are sharply divided along political lines.

  • U.S. energy firms launching employee COVID-19 vaccination mandates. (Reuters)

    • U.S. energy companies are moving to require that employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations as infection rates rise across the United States and energy workers, according to health surveys, remain among those most reluctant to get inoculations.

  • Biden administration defends eviction ban at U.S. Supreme Court. (Reuters)

    • President Joe Biden's administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to leave in place a COVID-19 pandemic-related federal ban on residential evictions while the justices consider a challenge by landlord groups to the ban's legality.

    • In a court filing, U.S. Justice Department lawyers said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acted within its lawful authority this month when it renewed the moratorium through October 3 after it had lapsed at the end of July.

Alberta

  • The vaccine procrastinators: Why some 20- to 29-year-olds aren't in a rush to get the jab. (CBC)

    • Overall, 58.2 per cent of Albertans have been fully vaccinated. That soars to 73 per cent for those in their 50s, 84 per cent for those in their 60s and a whopping 90 per cent for those 90 or older. But only 53 per cent of the Zennials have been fully vaccinated and 64 per cent have received at least one dose, according to Alberta Health. In some regions that number drops even lower, like in Taber where just 29 per cent of those 20-39 have received at least one shot.

  • Vaccinations required to attend live events at Scotiabank Saddledome, McMahon Stadium starting in September. (CTV)

    • Fans and staff will soon need to be fully vaccinated in order to attend live and major sporting events at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium. Calgary Sports and Entertainment announced that they will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy for all fans eligible to receive the vaccine, as well as event staff and employees…. The effective policy date for the vaccine mandate is being targeted for September 15.

  • 242,997 cases, an increase of 749 on August 19, 6,709 active cases, including one new death.

British Columbia

  • B.C. launches proof of vaccination to stop spread of COVID-19. (News Release and CTV)

    • A new order from the provincial health officer will require individuals to provide proof of vaccination to access a broad range of social, recreational and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province. As of September 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to these settings. By October 24, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated at least seven days after receiving both doses. To enter certain spaces, including indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, fitness centres, casinos and indoor organized events, like conferences and weddings, people aged 12 and older will be required to show their proof of vaccination.

  • 158,919 cases, an increase of 663 on August 20, 5,982 active cases, including one new death.

Ontario

  • Team Toronto vaccination partners reach milestone: 75 per cent of people 12 and older in Toronto are now fully vaccinated. (News Release)

    • Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners have now administered two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 75 per cent of eligible Torontonians age 12 and older. To reach this exciting milestone ensuring three out of every four eligible residents are vaccinated, the team administered more than 4.5 million doses of vaccine across the city.

  • Blue Jays to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test from fans 12 and over. (CBC)

    • The Toronto Blue Jays say those wishing to enter Rogers Centre will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test starting September 13. The Blue Jays announced the change to their health and safety protocols Monday in advance of releasing tickets for their last batch of home games later in the week.

  • TIFF to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for staff, audience members. (Toronto City News)

    • The Toronto International Film Festival has updated its stance on COVID-19 vaccines, saying in a release Monday that proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will now be required to gain entry to all festival venues.

  • Ontario science table member resigns, alleges that modelling data 'projects a grim fall.' (CTV)

    • A member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has resigned from his position, alleging politics appears to be influencing public health recommendations and claiming the group is sitting on modelling data that “projects a grim fall.”

    • Dr. David Fisman, an epidemiologist at University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, announced his resignation from the table publicly on Monday through a letter posted to social media.
  • 560,151 cases, an increase of 2,050 since August 20, 5,126 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Montreal to end local state of emergency in place since start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (CBC)

    • Despite an increase in COVID-19 caseloads in recent weeks, the City of Montreal announced it will not be renewing the local state of emergency that has been in place since the start of the pandemic.

  • 385,120 cases, an increase of 1,402 since August 20, 3,780 active cases, 1 new death.

August 20, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian banks to require employees working in its offices to be fully vaccinated. (CTV)

    • Canadian companies in federally regulated industries are starting to announce mandatory vaccination policies, in a bid to protect staff and abide by a recent government request. Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Group, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce say they will require employees working in their offices to be fully vaccinated.

  • Sixty-two per cent of businesses plan to mandate employee vaccines. (KPMG)

    • As many employers gear up to return employees to the workplace, sixty-two per cent of Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses are making a plan to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for their employees, finds a new poll by KPMG in Canada.

  • How will COVID-19 change voting in Canada? Your questions answered. (CBC)

    • Canada's first federal election during the COVID-19 pandemic is one month away. Voters from across the country have written to us to express their concerns about vaccination rates, the Delta variant and how to stay safe at the polls.

  • Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. (Public Health Agency of Canada)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. is extending travel restrictions at the border with Canada for another 30 days. (CTV)

    • The United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel across its land and ferry borders with Canada and Mexico until September 21. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security tweeted Friday that the measures remain in place to “minimize the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.” Fully vaccinated Americans have been able to enter Canada for non-essential visits since August 9.

  • As COVID-19 hospitalizations increase, a greater number of Americans are deciding to get vaccinated. (CTV)

    • More than one million doses of the vaccine were reported administered Thursday, new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed, marking the first time since early July for the single-day change in reported doses. The average pace of those initiating vaccination is more than 70 per cent higher than one month ago.

  • Maximizing assistance to respond to COVID-19. (Federal Register Memorandum)

Alberta

  • Alberta employers weigh mandatory vaccination shots for workers. (Calgary Herald)

    • Alberta companies are preparing to welcome back employees to the office this fall, but will it come with new obligations to be vaccinated? Corporate leaders are now wrestling with the issue as more organizations prepare for the return to the office of staff who’ve been working remotely during the pandemic.

  • 242,248 cases, an increase of 817 on August 18, 6,367 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Status Information and Preventive Measures Order. (Provincial Health Officer)

  • B.C. Human Rights Tribunal dismisses complaint from woman who was denied service for not wearing a mask. (CTV)

    • B.C.'s Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a complaint from a woman who argued that a jewelry store discriminated against her by refusing to serve her when she declined to put on a face mask. The complainant, Shera Rael, was refused service at Cartwright Jewelers in New Westminster on July 31, 2020, according to the decision issued Thursday by tribunal member Paul Singh.

  • 158,256 cases, an increase of 689 on August 18, 5,982 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto Medical Officer of Health is strongly recommending Toronto employers institute COVID-19 vaccination policy and support workplace vaccination. (News Release)

    • Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, is strongly recommending local employers institute a workplace vaccination policy to protect their employees and the public from COVID-19. As part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing response to the pandemic, Toronto Public Health is launching a workplace toolkit including guidance on developing a workplace vaccination policy. The policy should explain its purpose, specific actions workers must take including providing proof of vaccination status or a medical exemption, and timelines.

  • Toronto residents are invited to join the latest series of “VaxTO” campaign telephone town halls in Spanish, Portuguese and English starting Tuesday. (News Release)

    • As part of the City of Toronto’s “VaxTO” campaign to connect residents with COVID-19 vaccination information and resources, three more telephone town halls have been scheduled. The telephone town halls give residents the opportunity to learn more about the City’s vaccination program and ask experts questions.

  • GO-VAXX vaccine buses at Toronto Blue Jays game. (News Release)

    • The GO-VAXX mobile vaccine clinics in converted Metrolinx buses will roll into place outside the Rogers Centre to administer COVID-19 vaccines before, during and after the Toronto Blue Jays game against the Detroit Tigers. Anyone born in 2009 or earlier is eligible to receive their first or second dose of the vaccine.

  • Ontario MPP ousted from PC caucus over refusal to get vaccinated. (CTV)

    • An Ontario MPP who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine as required by the Progressive Conservative caucus has been expelled from the party, CTV News Toronto has learned. Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls made an announcement about his vaccination status on Thursday afternoon from Queen’s Park. Nicholls said that he and his wife chose not to get the shot for “personal reasons.” Nicholls was removed from caucus a little over an hour after the announcement was made, sources tell CTV News Toronto.

  • 558,101 cases, an increase of 650 since yesterday, 4,447 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • COVID-19 pandemic — A pilot project is added in Shawinigan for the application of the vaccination passport. (News Release)

    • The Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, announced today that another event will be added to the list of pilot projects taking place as part of the efforts to test the reading of the QR code and the mechanics of the application of the vaccination passport.

  • Quebec could soon allow some 11-year-olds to get the COVID-19 vaccine. (CBC)

    • With the start of the school year right around the corner, Quebec is considering allowing 11-year-olds who are turning 12 soon to get vaccinated against COVID-19, mirroring the steps taken by several other provinces. The age of eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Canada is 12, while the other vaccines are approved for adults. Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba are among the provinces who have agreed to vaccinate children who will turn 12 by the end of the year.

  • 383,718 cases, an increase of 527 since yesterday, 3,501 active cases, including two deaths.

August 12, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • As the Delta variant spreads, Canada's top doctors say mandatory vaccination for some workers is on the table. (CBC)

    • With Canada's vaccination campaign stalling just as COVID-19 case counts are rising, the chief public health officer said the federal government is considering mandatory vaccinations for some workers to increase protection. A federal mandate that demands all bureaucrats and workers in federally regulated industries get a vaccine would in turn give private businesses the leeway to impose their own vaccination requirements on workers. 

  • Canada announces new contribution to global vaccination efforts. (News Release)

    • Canada intends to donate up to 10 million doses of the Janssen vaccine, which were secured through an advance purchase agreement, to other countries through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX). Canada is also matching, dollar for dollar, donations made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, called “Give A Vax,” up to a maximum of C$10-million. The matching fund campaign will run to September 6, 2021.

  • The Government of Canada funds research on responding to possible adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada announced in July an investment of nearly C$800,000 to further the Canadian Immunization Research Network’s Special Immunization Clinic Network to build Canada's identification and response to the adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. This study, which will be conducted across the country, will help public health authorities and healthcare providers to help Canadians at risk of adverse reactions to safely receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • The Government of Canada, through the Regional Air Transportation Initiative, is providing C$3.5-million to the Thunder Bay International Airports Authority to support the continuation of existing air routes while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. works with vaccine makers on booster dose for some – CDC director. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna to allow certain vulnerable people to receive a third booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccines to improve their immune response. The shots would be available to certain people who are moderately and severely immune compromised, such as people who have had organ transplants and some cancer patients.

  • To increase vaccination coverage and protect more people from COVID-19, including the more transmissible Delta variant, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will require more than 25,000 members of its health care workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19. (News Release)

Alberta

  • 237,807 cases, an increase of 501 on August 10, 3,769 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • B.C. orders mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for workers in assisted living and long-term care. (CBC)

    • Everyone working in long-term care and assisted living in B.C. will now be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Volunteers and personal care workers at those facilities will also be required to be fully vaccinated. Health officials announced Monday that a new public health order will make vaccination mandatory and is a condition of employment for those working in those settings. They will need to be fully vaccinated by October 12, 2021. 

  • 153,849 cases, an increase of 536 since yesterday, 3,585 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Toronto Public Health continues to expand youth COVID-19 vaccination opportunities. (News Release)

    • Upcoming youth COVID-19 vaccination clinics

      • Friday, August 13 from noon to 6 p.m.: Weston Collegiate Institute, 100 Pine St.

      • Saturday, August 14 from noon to 3 p.m.: Albion Heights Junior Middle School, 45 Lynmont Rd.

      • Sunday, August 15 from noon to 3 p.m.: Lawrence Heights Community Centre, 5 Replin Rd.

      • Monday, August 16 from noon to 6 p.m.: Albion Centre Mall, 1530 Albion Rd.

  • 553,962 cases, an increase of 513 since yesterday, 2,868 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council 1080-2021 renews the public health emergency to August 20, 2021. It, along with Ministerial Order 2021-057 (included in previous digest), was published in Part II of the Quebec Gazette No. 32A today.

  • 380,407 cases, an increase 369 since yesterday, 2,353 active cases, no new deaths.

August 18, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • World’s biggest banks plot back-to-office plans as COVID-19 vaccines roll out. (Globe and Mail)

    • The COVID-19 Delta variant’s spread is prompting some firms to rethink their back-to-office plans, but many of Wall Street’s biggest banks are sticking to their decision to bring back employees.

  • Elections Canada lays out plans for pandemic voting. (CBC)

    • According to Elections Canada, up to five million Canadians are expected to vote by mail this time. Roughly 50,000 voters cast ballots by mail in 2019. Perrault told the Canadian Press earlier this month that mail-in ballots will not be counted until the day after the election. This will allow officials to receive them right up to the moment before polls close and to give election officials time to ensure no one voted twice.

  • Live Nation Canada to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results at concerts. (Globe and Mail)

    • Live Nation Canada says it will soon require ticket holders to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they’re granted entry to its concerts. A representative for the live event promoter told The Canadian Press that the company will enforce those rules at “as many shows as possible” in Canada. Live Nation Canada declined to answer further questions about the plan or when the new measures would take effect.

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots in September. (CTV)

    • The U.S. government said on Wednesday it plans to make COVID-19 vaccine booster shots widely available starting on September 20 as infections rise from the coronavirus Delta variant, citing data indicating diminishing protection from the vaccines over time. U.S. officials are prepared to offer a third shot to Americans who completed their initial inoculation in two-dose COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna Inc. and by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech AG at least eight months ago, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

  • U.S. CDC to create new information center to forecast disease threats. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday it is creating a new disease forecasting center to improve the ability to use data to predict and gauge emerging health threats. The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics will help in sharing information in real time to activate governmental, private sector and public actions in anticipation of threats both domestically and abroad, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

  • Joint statement from HHS public health and medical experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots. (News Release)

    • Today, public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the following statement on the administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for the American people.

  • COVID-19 travel restrictions installation status update. (Department of Defense)

Alberta

  • Western Canada: B.C. and Alberta universities debate COVID-19 vaccine mandates. (Globe and Mail)

    • With case counts soaring in British Columbia and Alberta and university students headed back into classes after spending a year online, Globe reporters have been asking a straightforward, yes-or-no question, with little luck in getting an answer. Will universities in both provinces bring in requirements for students and staff to be vaccinated before classes start? And further, can these universities make the decision on their own? Or do they have to fall in line with whatever the province tells them?

  • 240,753 cases, an increase of 407 on August 16, 5,627 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. teachers still calling for mandatory masks and improved ventilation when classes resume in September. (CBC)

    • Back to school shopping season has begun and teachers across the province are hoping face masks are on the list.

    • As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in British Columbia, the union representing all public school teachers is calling on the provincial government to make masks mandatory in classrooms for the upcoming school year.
  • 157,014 cases, an increase of 501 on August 17, 5,090 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • All youth born in 2009 are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination at City of Toronto vaccination clinics. (News Release)

    • The province of Ontario announced that all youth born in 2009 are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations immediately. Prior to the announcement, youth were required to be 12 years old prior to receiving their first dose of vaccine. The nine City-run COVID-19 vaccination clinics are now welcoming all youth born in 2009 for first- and second-dose vaccinations. With students returning to in-person learning in three weeks, Toronto Public Health is urging all eligible youth to initiate COVID-19 vaccination by getting their first dose or complete their vaccination with a vital second dose. Getting both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is the best defense against the virus, including the Delta variant, and will provide the opportunity for students to return to school as safely as possible.

  • Porter becomes first Canadian airline to mandate COVID-19 testing or vaccination. (CTV)

    • Porter Airlines has introduced a new COVID-19 vaccination policy for its team members mandating they must either be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test prior to their shift. The policy, which was announced in a news release on Wednesday, is expected to go into effect on September 8, aligning with the resumption of flight services to Canadian destinations. According to officials, all team members must either be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of their shift.

  • 556,920 cases, an increase of 485 since yesterday, 4,067 active cases, including three deaths.

Quebec

  • Post-secondary schools react to Quebec’s mask mandate: ‘the right thing to do’. (Global News)

    • Quebec’s move to tighten COVID-19 restrictions in post-secondary institutions is prompting mixed reactions, ranging from relief about the new measures to concerns that they don’t go far enough as the start of the school year looms. Premier François Legault announced Tuesday that masks will be mandatory while seated in the classrooms of universities and CEGEPs, the province’s junior colleges.

  • 382,755 cases, an increase of 436 since yesterday, 3,117 active cases, including one death.

August 19, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • How Canada's fourth wave may impact the return to school. (CTV)

    • As students head back to the classroom in the coming weeks, some experts and parents are expressing concern about rising Delta variant cases and how Canada's fourth wave of the pandemic may impact the return to school. Infectious disease expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CTV's Your Morning that creating an indoor environment that is safe for children is key in ensuring children can return to the classroom and easing concerns for parents.

  • Unvaccinated? Here are some of the things that are off-limits to you in Canada. (CTV)

    • As the divide between those who are vaccinated for COVID-19 and those who aren’t continues to grow, so does the list of things those who refuse to get the shot can’t do. While there isn’t yet a nationally mandated vaccine passport or other proof of vaccination, a number of restrictions have already been introduced by governments and private organizations, barring those who haven’t been immunized against the coronavirus from holding certain jobs, visiting certain places and attending particular events.

  • Elections chief says voting will be safe despite lack of mandatory vaccine rule for poll workers. (CBC)

    • Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault is assuring Canadians that voting in the federal election will be safe despite Elections Canada's decision to not require the more than 250,000 polling officers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • With September looming, parents across Canada call for pandemic-era safety measures and supports. (CBC)

    • Some parents who had little experience dealing with the school system became advocates during the pandemic.

  • Report: Health workforce in Canada: Highlights of the impact of COVID-19. (Canadian Institute for Health Information)

    • Over the course of the pandemic, Canada’s health care workers have been faced with unprecedented demands. The CIHI has gathered 2020 data to help inform on the supply, the challenges they have overcome and how they have adapted to new roles and ways of delivering care.

U.S. – Federal

  • Remarks by President Biden on fighting the COVID-⁠19 Pandemic. (Speech)

  • Memorandum on ensuring a safe return to in-person school for the nation’s children. (Presidential Action)

  • FACT SHEET: President Biden to Announce New Actions to Protect Americans from COVID-⁠19 and Help State and Local Leaders Fight the Virus. (New Release)

    • These steps include a plan for COVID-19 booster shots; new vaccination requirements for long-term care workers; a directive to ensure state and local leaders are providing students a safe return to in-person learning; and an extension of federal support for state, Tribal and territorial response efforts.

  • Press briefing by White House COVID-⁠19 response team and public health officials. (Briefing)

Alberta

  • Alberta looking at legality of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in workplaces. (Edmonton Journal)

    • Alberta is looking at the legal implications of making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory in the workplace, the province’s top doctor says.

  • 241,431 cases, an increase of 407 on August 17, 5933 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • Over half of British Columbians feel safe to start travelling soon — with planning and precautions. (Cision)

    • With the current easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions and growing vaccination rates across the province, a new BCAA Travel Confidence Survey reveals confidence in international travel is starting to return, with 58 per cent of British Columbians saying they feel ready to travel either this year or next.

  • 157,567 cases, an increase of 553 on August 18, 5,580 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • The City of Toronto announces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for its employees. (News Release)

    • The City announced today that all members of the Toronto Public Service will be required to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status by September 13. Staff who have not been vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status by September 13 will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of vaccination. These unvaccinated individuals will then need to provide proof of a first dose no later than September 30. As of October 30, all City staff will be required to have received their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The City will comply with its human rights obligations and accommodate employees who are legally entitled to accommodation.

  • 557,451 cases, an increase of 485 since yesterday, 4,243 active cases, including 17 deaths.

Quebec

  • How mask mandates and high vaccination rates could protect Quebec children from the Delta variant. (CBC)

    • In parts of the United States, particularly in areas where vaccination rates are low and public health measures are non-existent, hospitals are filling up with kids sick with COVID-19. Now, with the Delta variant quickly spreading in Quebec, parents here are preparing to send their children back to primary and high school with no masks required in class.

  • Monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic: Hospital risks and projections of hospital needs. (News Release)

  • Order in Council 1127-2021 Renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act. Renewed until August 27, 2021.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-059 Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In force August 19, 2021.

  • 383,191 cases, an increase of 436 since yesterday, 3,285 active cases, including one death.

August 11, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

 Canada – Federal

  • Canada has gone from being desperate for every dose of vaccine it could get to stockpiling millions of them in freezers across the country. Data on vaccine deliveries, distribution and injections provided by Health Canada and the provinces show almost 22 million doses have been delivered but not yet used. That includes a national "reserve" of nearly 10 million doses, and more than 11.7 million doses delivered to provincial and territorial governments that have yet to be administered. (CTV)

  • Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says fully vaccinated Canadians will soon be able to get a government document that will certify their COVID-19 vaccine history for the purpose of international travel. The document, expected to be ready by the fall, will be digital, with an option for those who can't or don't want a digital certificate. Mendicino says it will include data on the type of vaccines received, the dates, and the location. (CTV)

  • 'No doubt' Canada now in fourth wave of COVID-19 as cases spike across much of the country. (CBC)

    • With COVID-19 cases rising in multiple provinces after a summer lull, more signs point to Canada entering an expected fourth wave of the pandemic — one which could be dramatically different from earlier surges, thanks to rising vaccination rates, but not entirely pain-free. The country's seven-day average for new daily cases is now close to 1,300 — an increase of nearly 60 per cent over the previous week, with cases ticking back up mainly in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. But unlike previous waves, which overwhelmed various hospital systems and led to catastrophic death in long-term care facilities, there is hope this spike won't be quite so dire. Multiple experts stressed the need to keep precautions like mask-wearing in place to avoid the worst of what this wave could bring, while also striving to ensure as many Canadians as possible get their shots.

U.S. – Federal

  • The rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S. has caused a shortage of nurses and other front-line staff in virus hot spots that can no longer keep up with the flood of unvaccinated patients and are losing workers to burnout and lucrative out-of-state temporary gigs. (CTV)

  • Pregnant women should be vaccinated against COVID-19, based on a new analysis that did not show increased risk for miscarriage, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. (News Release)

  • United States announces more than US$50-million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Burma and US$5-million in COVID-19 assistance for Thailand. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Diverse group of Albertans calls on Ottawa to directly fund school COVID-19 protection. (CBC)

    • Two dozen medical doctors, scientists, union members and university professors in Alberta sent a two-page letter that asks Ottawa to sidestep the provincial government and directly fund provincial classrooms to make them safer from COVID-19 transmission. The letter asks for C$65-million to provide a HEPA filtration unit in every elementary classroom and C$9.6-million to provide KN95-type masks to children in kindergarten to grade six. Another C$6-million is requested to equip all classrooms with CO2 monitors. The authors suggest the Alberta government has failed to pass along federal funding that would have made classrooms safer during the pandemic.

  • Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have risen by nearly 50 per cent since the start of the month in Alberta as the province reported 133 coronavirus patients in hospital, including 29 in intensive care units on Tuesday. The province has had over 100 COVID-19 patients in hospital every day since August 3 and more than 20 patients in intensive care since the start of the month. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have risen from 92 at the start of the month to 133, a 46 per cent increase. (CTV)

  • 237,306 cases, an increase of 279 on August 9, 3,463 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • The Ontario government has released guidelines outlining different rules and procedures for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals when it comes to pandemic health regulations. (CTV)

    • Individual exposure to COVID-19: Unvaccinated people need to self-isolate for 10 days and get a COVID test. Repeat test after day seven. Vaccinated individuals, if showing symptoms, should self-isolate and get a COVID test. If no symptoms, no need to self-isolate although getting a COVID test is recommended.

    • Family of exposed individual: Vaccinated family members do not need to self-isolate. Unvaccinated family members should self-isolate while waiting for test results.

    • Exposed individual part of a cohort (school, childcare, workplace): The cohort needs to be dismissed. Each Public Health Unit has the discretion to return part of the cohort based on vaccination status, prior positive status of cohort members and a risk assessment of the outbreak.

    • Long-term care homes: Self-isolation is still recommended in long-term care and retirement homes due to the increased risk of transmission. Even residents who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic will be self-isolated and tested upon exposure.

  • Ontario releases new school COVID-19 guidelines on self-isolation, outbreaks and cohort dismissals. (CTV)

    • The school-specific guidance indicates that asymptomatic, fully-immunized individuals may not be required to isolate following a high-risk exposure and may not need to be dismissed from class. However, that could change if immunization coverage is unknown or if the individual is in a cohort with other unvaccinated students.

    • An outbreak can range from an entire school dismissal to a single cohort being asked to isolate. The Public Health Unit will determine the severity of the outbreak and measures that need to be taken. Further outbreak measures could include daily screening, restricting visitors at the school, minimizing interaction between cohorts, asking staff not to work at other schools and asking staff, students and families to avoid close contact with other individuals for non-essential reasons. After 14 days have passed with no further transmission of the virus and no additional symptomatic cases reported by the school, the outbreak can be declared over.

  • Ontario’s top doctor says that a rise in daily COVID-19 infections heading into the fall is expected and is “not a cause for panic” as the province inches closer to exiting Step Three. (CTV)

    • Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said the province has experienced a “slow and steady rise” in daily COVID-19 cases over the past week, and that “Ontarians should expect to see a continued increase as we enter the fall.” “This is not a cause for panic,” he stressed. “Our case rates will fluctuate over time.” “We can anticipate that they will continue to go up, but it is our collective responsibility to avoid a sudden acceleration in cases by getting fully immunized.”

  • City of Toronto Mitchell Field vaccination clinic to remain open, ensuring vaccine access in North York. (News Release)

    • On July 28, Toronto Public Health (TPH) announced that the City of Toronto operated COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Mitchell Field Community Centre (CC) would be closing as of August 22 as a part of the next phase in TPH’s vaccination strategy. Given new information and the current vaccination situation in Toronto, TPH has made the decision to continue to run a smaller fixed-site clinic at Mitchell Field CC. The clinic will serve as a key site for both COVID-19 vaccination and other vaccination programs operated by TPH.  As of August 23, the clinic will accept walk-in appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations from Tuesday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

  • O. Reg. 569/21 Extension of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act) amends O. Reg. 25/21 to extend the revocation date of certain orders to August 25, 2021.

  • 553,449 cases, an increase of 324 since yesterday, 2,611 active cases, including three deaths.

Quebec

  • The Quebec Government has added a third business to the vaccine passport pilot project. The Taverne Midway, in Montreal, will test the vaccine passport on August 20, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Customers are invited to obtain their QR code on Québec.ca. (News Release)

  • The Quebec Government has updated their 2021-2022 Back-to-School Plan. (News Release)

    • No social distancing or class bubbles.

    • Masks required for indoor common areas, hallways and while on school transportation. School transportation will have assigned seating.

    • Educational outings and extracurricular activities will be available to all students; however, in high schools, some activities may be restricted based on the vaccine passport.

    • A vaccination campaign will be organized to provide second (and first) doses to students.

  • 380,038 cases, an increase of 365 since yesterday, 2.126 active cases, including one death.

August 27, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Trudeau promises C$1-billion to help provinces pay for vaccine passports. (CBC)

    • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau today announced a billion-dollar fund to help provinces create their own vaccine passports — credentials people vaccinated against COVID-19 can show to businesses to make everyday activities safer.

  • Air Canada's strict new employee vaccine policy could set new workplace bar: experts. (CTV)

    • Air Canada won't offer rapid testing as an alternative to employees who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The airline says it will require all employees to be vaccinated by October 30. Those who don't have a valid reason for not having their shots could be fired.

  • Public health agency changes plans: Dr. Tam to hold briefing on new COVID-19 modelling. (CTV)

    • Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam will be providing an updated national picture on the trajectory of the COVID-19 fourth wave at a briefing next week, marking a change of plans for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). There haven’t been pandemic or vaccine rollout briefings from PHAC since the election was called, despite there being exceptions in the “caretaker” convention that allow federal officials to communicate with Canadians about matters that are in the interest of public health and safety.

  • Health Canada authorizes use of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in children 12 and older. (CTV)

    • Health Canada has authorized a second COVID-19 vaccine for use in older children. The agency said Friday that it considers Moderna's vaccine to be "safe and effective at preventing COVID-19" in children between the ages of 12 and 17.

  • Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on August 27, 2021. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • Army study evaluates use of dogs in COVID-19 detection. (U.S. Department of Defense)

    • Scientists at the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center are partnering with the University of Pennsylvania and various canine training facilities to continue research on how canines can aid in the fight against COVID-19 and other chemical biological threats.

  • Statement by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on eviction moratorium. (The White House and Associated Press)

    • The eviction moratoriums issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saved lives by preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the pandemic.

  • Requirement for face masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs. (CDC)

  • Request for comments on certain products exclusions related to COVID-19. (Notice)

  • COVID-19 travel restrictions installation status update. (DOD Publication)

Alberta

  • Alberta to launch 'convenient' card with vaccination status, not to be considered a vaccine passport. (CTV)

    • A new card the provincial government will release to help Albertans show proof of their vaccination status is not to be considered a vaccine passport, it says. The province is creating a “conveniently sized paper card” showing COVID-19 immunization records that Albertans will be able to access from the provincial health website, MyHealth Records. The province aims to have the cards ready for download by mid-September. It will be up to Albertans whether they use the card, by either printing or digitally saving it on a mobile device.

  • Still no timeline for Alberta Health to release data used in COVID-19 decision making. (CBC)

    • There is still no timeline for when public health data used to justify changes in Alberta's COVID-19 regulations will be made public, a week after the province's chief medical officer of health again apologized for failing to release the information. No date has been set for the release of data that Dr. Deena Hinshaw promised to deliver, a spokesperson for Alberta Health said in a statement to CBC News.

  • 247,786 cases, an increase of 1,112 on August 25, 9,066 active cases, including four deaths.

British Columbia

  • Indoor exercise requirements (Medical Health Officer Order)

    • All facilities or individuals providing exercise indoors (i.e. individual or group low intensity exercise), outdoors or one-on-one personal training indoors, must implement and comply with all requirements in this document.

  • 162,693 cases, an increase of 724 on August 26, 5,640 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario considers implementing provincial vaccine passport system, sources say. (CTV)

    • The Doug Ford government is considering implementing a provincial vaccine passport system as COVID-19 cases rise in the province, sources say. Sources told CTV News Toronto on Friday that vaccine passports have not come before cabinet yet and a final decision on the matter has not been made. Ford has previously resisted the idea of creating a vaccine certificate program, saying he doesn’t want to create a "split society."

  • Ontario invests in protective equipment made in mississauga. (News Release)

    • Guide Woodworking is investing nearly C$300,000 in a new machining centre at its Mississauga facilities with support of nearly C$75,000 from the Ontario Together Fund. The investment will help the company gain the capacity to design and produce about 500 acrylic protective barriers each month for workplaces, including reception areas and service counters.

  • Ontario salutes work of province’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. (News Release)

    • With over 75 per cent of eligible Ontarians fully vaccinated, Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones are applauding the work and contributions of the Ontario COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force as its mandate comes to a close on August 31.

  • City of Toronto encouraging all Toronto residents to join “VaxTO” telephone town hall taking place today (6 p.m.) (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto will be hosting a telephone town hall about the COVID-19 vaccination program on Monday, August 30 at 6 p.m. This telephone town hall is the final town hall in a series of nine that were held throughout the summer as part of the City’s VaxTO campaign…Residents who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines are encouraged to join the city-wide English-language telephone town hall by calling 1-833-490-0778 or by tuning in via webstream at toronto.ca/vaccinetownhall.

  • 562,756 cases, an increase of 781 since yesterday, 5,444 active cases, including 17 deaths.

Quebec

  • Investigation underway into allegations of misuse of Quebec politicians' proof of COVID-19 vaccine. (CTV and News Release)

    • Quebec's health ministry says it has received reports that people have been downloading COVID-19 proof of vaccination QR codes belonging to provincial politicians. Starting September 1, merchants will be required to ask anyone coming into their establishment to not only show their proof of vaccine, but also a piece of photo ID to show that the information matches.

  • Quebec child-care association supports mandatory vaccination in daycares. (CTV)

    • The Quebec association in charge of the industry says child-care workers should be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. In a news brief from Association québécoise des centres de la petite enfance (AQCPE) presented Friday to the parliamentary commission evaluating the relevance of extending mandatory vaccination to workers other than those in the health-care sector, the CPE group said it was "in favour of imposing vaccination" on all educational daycare staff.

  • 387,230 cases, an increase of 612 since yesterday, 4,322 active cases, no new deaths.
August 26, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada among one of the latest countries added to the United Kingdom's green travel list. (CTV)

    • Canada is among the latest countries added to the United Kingdom's green travel list, meaning Canadian travellers will no longer have to quarantine upon arriving in the country. The U.K. Department for Transport has announced that Canada, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Azores will move from amber to green in the latest changes to the U.K.'s COVID-19 travel rules.

  • A group of Canadian long-term care operators to enforce mandatory COVID-19 shot policy. (CTV)

    • A group of major Canadian long-term care operators will require COVID-19 vaccination for all staff this fall. Chartwell Retirement Residences, Extendicare, Responsive Group Inc., Revera Inc. and Sienna Senior Living issued a joint statement today about the plan. The group says employees who aren't fully vaccinated as of October 12 will be placed on unpaid leave of absence.

U.S. – Federal

  • Moderna completes submission for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine; Pfizer seeks approval for booster dose. (CTV)

    • Moderna announced on Wednesday it has completed its submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for full approval of its COVID-19 vaccine for people age 18 and older, and Pfizer and BioNTech announced they have begun submitting data for full FDA approval of a third dose of their vaccine.

  • What you should know about COVID-19 testing in schools. (CDC Guidance Updated)

  • Treasury announces seven additional policies to encourage state and local governments to expedite emergency rental assistance. (News Release)

  • DOD awards US$14.7-million contract to SteriPack to establish domestic production capability of ExpressCollect (Swab-in-Tube) collection devices. (News Release)

    • The Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of and in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, awarded a US$14.7-million contract to SteriPack to develop domestic production capability of ExpressCollect (Swab-in-Tube) that is compatible with nasal swab tests.

  • Secretary of Defense mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for service members. (News Release)

    • Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members, a Pentagon official said today. John F. Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, said only Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines will be mandatory.

  • COVID-19 travel restrictions installation status update. (DOD Publication)

Alberta

  • Naheed Nenshi calls for province to do more as Alberta's COVID-19 numbers surge. (CBC)

    • Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is calling on the province to provide a clearer picture about the COVID-19 situation as infection numbers continue to rise.

  • Albertans got more federal COVID support per capita than people in any other province, report says. (CBC)

    • Albertans received more COVID-19 financial support from the federal government than people in any other province — and the provincial government has also left the most federal money unused, according to a new report. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an independent think-tank, did an analysis of federal and provincial pandemic spending.

  • 246,674 cases, an increase of 1,076 on August 24, 8,496 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • B.C. sees a big jump in vaccination bookings after announcing COVID-19 vaccine passport. (CBC)

    • The B.C. government says it's seeing a massive increase in interest in the COVID-19 vaccine since announcing a new program to require proof of vaccination for a wide range of social and recreational activities. Since Monday, the number of people registering for the vaccination program or booking appointments each day has jumped by as much as 201 per cent compared to a week earlier, according to a statement from the province. The biggest jumps, the government says, have been in people under the age of 40.

  • 161,969 cases, an increase of 698 on August 25, 5,356 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • The City of Toronto releases its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for employees. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto has released its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for the 37,660 members of the Toronto Public Service. Last week, Mayor John Tory announced a mandatory vaccination policy for all City of Toronto employees to help protect the health and safety of City employees, residents and the community. The policy is now available online on the City’s website.

  • Ontario health units are prepared to create their own vaccine certificate: Eastern Ontario top doctor. (CTV)

    • The president of the Association of Medical Officers of Health says Ontario's health units will implement their own vaccine certificate in September if the Ontario government doesn't rollout a province-wide system. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Eastern Ontario's Medical Officer of Health, says the medical officers of health agreed on Wednesday to create their own proof of vaccination certificate in each jurisdiction to prove someone has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • The Goal of vaccinating 90 per cent of Ontarians is possible with targeted measures, public health officials say. (CBC)

    • Dr. Kieran Moore, chief medical officer of health for Ontario, says the province has an "aspirational goal" of vaccinating 90 per cent of eligible Ontarians as part of what the province calls its "Last Mile Strategy." If that goal was reached, he said Ontario could be free of pandemic waves in six to eight months, he said.

  • 561,975 cases, an increase of 660 since yesterday, 5,305 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • The Quebec vaccine passport is safe and a model for the country, say cybersecurity experts. (CTV)

    • Steven Lachance, a Montreal-based digital security analyst and entrepreneur, says he was worried when the Quebec government announced it would impose a vaccine passport system across the province to reduce COVID-19 transmission. But after he took a look at the smartphone applications that became available for download Wednesday, he says Quebec's system should be the model for other provinces. Lachance and another tech expert interviewed by The Canadian Press say the applications do what they claim to do and are not capable of secretly gathering user data

  • Monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic: Hospital risks and projections of hospital needs. (News Release)

  • The Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) is making available today the latest update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers in the health and social services network.

  • Order in Council 1150-2021 Declaring renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act. The public health emergency be renewed until 3 September 2021. It, along with Ministerial Order 2021-060 (included in previous digest), was published in Part II of the Quebec Gazette No. 34A today.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-4556 Extension of measures for ensuring the proper administration of justice amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation. That the effective period of the measures provided for in the first five paragraphs of the operative part of Order 2020-4304 dated 31 August 2020 be extended by one year, that is, from 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022. Published in the Gazette officielle du Québec today.

  • 386,618 cases, an increase of 603 since yesterday, 4,169 active cases, including one death.

August 10, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The Government of Canada, through the Regional Air Transportation Initiative, is providing funding to help airports continue their existing air routes and ensure they remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements. Funding is going to:

  • The Government of Canada has established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with leading COVID-19 vaccine developer Moderna, Inc. to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine production facility in Canada. The MOU outlines how Moderna plans to establish a Canadian mRNA vaccine facility and work as a valued partner in Canada’s life sciences ecosystem by creating jobs and collaborating on domestic research and development. This partnership will help make sure Canada is more prepared for future pandemics, while creating good, highly skilled jobs. (News Release)

  • Transport Canada extending restrictions on direct flights from India until September 21, 2021. (News Release)

    • Based on the latest public health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada is extending the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until September 21, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included.

    • Transport Canada is also extending the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 molecular tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada. 

U.S. – Federal

  • The United States announces more than US$50-million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Burma and US$5-million in COVID-19 assistance for Thailand. (News Release)

Alberta

  • The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is asking the province to create a COVID-19 vaccine passport system. (CBC)

  • 237,027 cases, an increase of 244 on August 8, 3,380 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • Health officials say university students can expect a full return to campus come fall as B.C. forges ahead on its reopening plans despite climbing COVID-19 cases. On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province has been refining its return-to-campus guidelines alongside post-secondary institutions amid B.C.'s rising fourth wave, but the overall plan to bring students back into lecture halls and classrooms remains the same since it was initially unveiled on July 5. When asked whether the province would consider a vaccine mandate for university communities, Henry said there are active discussions with schools provincewide. The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia has also issued a letter asking for the ministry to grant universities autonomy to institute their own policies, which could include mask or vaccine mandates. (CBC)

  • The B.C. Interior Medical Health Officer issued the following order and guidance document on August 9, 2021:

  • 152,918 cases, an increase of 1,079 since Friday, 3,036 active cases, including five deaths.

Ontario

  • 553,125 cases, an increase of 321 since yesterday, 2,494 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • COVID-19 vaccine passports coming to Quebec on September 1 to limit fourth wave damage. (CTV)

    • Health Minister Dubé said the vaccination passports will be used to give access to vaccinated people to public events, training facilities, bars and restaurants. Retail stores will not require a vaccine passport. The passport will be installed on an app that is being tested this week. A paper version will also be available for those without a smartphone. A pilot project will be implemented this week at La Cage Brasserie sportive in Quebec City, the Econofitness in Laval and possibly other businesses. Details on when and where businesses and citizens can get the app will be announced the week of August 23. 

  • 379,673 cases, an increase of 234 since yesterday, 1,908 active cases, no new deaths.
August 17, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • 'We are no longer comfortable': How Canada's rising COVID-19 cases have some abandoning back-to-school plans. (CTV)

    • With the new school year beginning over the next few weeks in Canada, the recent rise in COVID-19 infections across the country has prompted many parents to reconsider whether to send their children for in-person at school this fall or keep them at home for online learning or home-schooling.

  • Trudeau warns of 'consequences' for public servants who duck COVID-19 shots. (CBC)

    • Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said today the government will demand that virtually all federal public servants get a COVID-19 shot — and warned of workplace repercussions for those who defy the rule.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. plans to extend transport mask mandate through January 18. (Reuters)

    • President Joe Biden's administration plans to extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through January 18 to address ongoing COVID-19 risks, three sources told Reuters.

    • Major U.S. airlines were informed of the planned extension on a call with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, the three people briefed on the matter said. A separate call with aviation unions is planned for Wednesday, a source said.
  • U.S. to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters at eight months. (CTV)

    • As early as this week, U.S. health authorities are expected to recommend an extra dose of the vaccine for all Americans eight months after they get their second shot, according to two people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

  • National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. (Notice)

    • The HRSA is publishing this notice of petitions received under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (the Program), as required by the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended. While the Secretary of HHS is named as the respondent in all proceedings brought by the filing of petitions for compensation under the Program, the United States Court of Federal Claims is charged by statute with responsibility for considering and acting upon the petitions.

  • Memorandum on maximizing assistance to respond to COVID-⁠19. (Briefing)

Alberta

  • Alberta’s post secondary schools saying no to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. (Global News)

    • Many Alberta post-secondary schools are not requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students and staff even as others across the country are making different choices. The University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Mount Royal University in Calgary, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and its northern counterpart say they will strongly encourage vaccination but won’t go so far as to mandate it.

  • 240,346 cases, an increase of 1,407 since August 13, 5,354 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 'Rare exceptions' to B.C.'s vaccine mandate will be allowed for workers in assisted living, long-term care. (CBC)

    • However, on Monday a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health said there will be exemptions for those workers who can prove they can't take the vaccine. However, those exceptions will likely be few and far between. "There are legitimate medical reasons why a small number of people cannot be vaccinated," said a spokesperson in an e-mailed statement. "In those rare exceptions, employers will work with those staff, their union (if applicable), to determine how to ensure safe patient care is provided."

  • 156,513 cases, an increase of 1,434 since August 13, 5,090 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario pauses further reopening as it reveals new vaccine policies for high-risk settings. (CTVNews Release and Backgrounder)

    • Ontario has announced a new vaccine policy for health-care and education workers as the province puts the brakes on any further reopening. The Doug Ford government made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the decision was made "in response to evolving data around the transmissibility of the Delta variant." The new vaccination policies should be implemented in high-risk settings no later than September 7, the government says.

  • Ontario to require COVID-19 vaccination or regular tests for health and education workers. (CBC)

    • The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario plans to introduce a set of policies requiring employers in education and several health-care settings to develop strict COVID-19 vaccination policies for their staff. The policy will be similar to one that is already in place in the province's long-term care homes.

  • Toronto Public Health launches #VaxTOCampus campaign to promote vaccination in post-secondary settings. (News Release)

    • This fall marks the transition back to in-person, on-campus learning for most Ontario post-secondary institutions. To enable the safest return to campus for staff, students and faculty of post-secondary education institutions and student residences, Toronto Public Health (TPH) and local health partners are working towards achieving the highest possible vaccination rates as quickly as possible. As part of this effort, TPH is kicking off a #VaxTOCampus campaign today to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake in post-secondary settings.

  • Ontario to offer third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to select vulnerable populations. (CTV)

    • Ontario will begin offering a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to individuals most at risk of serious illness. The province released a list of vulnerable populations eligible for the third shot, including transplant recipients, patients with hematological cancers, recipients of an anti-CD20 agent and residents of high-risk settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes and First Nations elder care lodges.

  • Province launches new modern Ontario business registry. (News Release)

    • “Ontario’s businesses and not-for-profit corporations are overdue for a new business registry that meets the needs of our modern economy and rapidly expanding digital world,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Our government’s new business registry will help ensure businesses can access the services they need quickly and efficiently in order to reduce their costs and allow them to focus their time and energy on rebuilding from the impacts of COVID-19.”

  • 556,435 cases, an increase of 348 since yesterday, 3,930 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec to require all health-care workers to be vaccinated, masks to be mandatory in post-secondary institutions. (CTV)

    • Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced Tuesday that the government will require health-care workers to be vaccinated, but for now, educators are exempt from the new health measure. At a news conference, the premier said that all public and private sector workers in the health-care network who deal with the public for 15 minutes or more on a daily basis will need to be fully vaccinated by October 1. Legault also announced that students in CEGEPs and universities will be required to wear masks while seated in class, not just in common areas.

  • 382,319 cases, an increase of 323 since yesterday, 2,971 active cases, no new deaths.
August 9, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The new border-crossing rules for Canadians and visitors: What you need to know. (CTV)

    • The federal government's eased border restrictions for travellers from the U.S. are now in effect, allowing non-essential trips to Canada for the first time since March 2020. As of today, American citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. may be allowed to enter Canada…”

  • Canadian business community largely supportive of vaccine passport system. (CTV)

    • The Canadian business community appears to be largely supportive of the Quebec government's move to impose the country's first vaccine passport system. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says vaccine passports or digital vaccination certificates would help to prevent future waves of the pandemic from forcing a resurgence of financially disastrous lockdowns by enabling those with low risk to participate in events, move freely and go about their daily lives.

  • Despite Delta, Canada welcomes back fully vaxxed U.S. citizens, permanent residents. (CTV)

    • Eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents must live in the States and have allowed 14 days to pass since receiving a full course of a Health Canada-approved vaccine. They are also needed to show proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 that's no more than 72 hours old and to use the ArriveCAN app or online web portal to upload their vaccination details. Fully vaccinated travellers who have recovered from the disease and are otherwise eligible to enter Canada can show proof of a positive molecular test taken between 14 and 90 days prior to crossing the border.

  • Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on the green economy and extension of COVID-19 benefits and business support measures to support a stronger economic recovery. (News Release)

    • Now, we all know that it took us a little longer to fight back the third wave of COVID than we had expected[…]From the government’s perspective, it is essential to do everything we can to be sure the country’s economic recovery is fast and robust, and that no one is left behind. So, today I am announcing that we are extending the wage and rent subsidies and Lockdown Support until October 23 of this fall. And, we are increasing the planned wage and rent subsidy rates for the period of August 29 to September 25”

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. teachers' union shifts stance to back vaccine mandate as COVID surges. (Reuters)

    • COVID-19 vaccinations should be required for U.S. teachers to protect students who are too young to be inoculated, the head of the nation's second-largest teachers' union said on Sunday, shifting course to back mandated shots as more children fall ill.

  • U.S. judge asks if rising COVID-19 cases should impact eviction ban ruling. (Reuters)

    • A U.S. judge on Monday questioned lawyers for the Biden administration and landlords challenging a new eviction moratorium put in place last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich asked lawyers about the spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

  • COVID vaccines would be required for military under new plan. (Associated Press)

    • Members of the U.S. military would be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine beginning September 15, under a plan announced by the Pentagon on Monday and endorsed by President Joe Biden. That deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise.

  • Bill H.R.4979 – To provide emergency loans to maintain access to essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic and for other purposes. Introduced August 6 – Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

Alberta

  • Alberta pediatricians voice child safety concerns ahead of planned elimination of COVID-19 testing and tracing. (CTV)

    • In an open letter to Premier Jason Kenney sent on Monday, the Alberta Medical Association's Section of Pediatrics pleaded for the continuation of strong public health measures until 85 per cent of Albertans are immunized — the threshold for herd immunity — or the official arrival of the endemic phase of COVID-19. The Alberta government is already claiming the province has entered the endemic stage.

  • 236,010 cases, an increase of 369 on August 6, 2,719 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. health officials reduce wait time between first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccines. (CTV)

    • Health officials are reducing the amount of time between first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses for B.C. residents.

    • ​The announcement came today in a vaccine update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. The change means that people will be invited to get their second dose 28 days after their first dose, instead of after 49 days.

  • Health officials closing nightclubs and bars, placing limits on gatherings in B.C.'s Central Okanagan. (CBC)

    • Officials in B.C. reinstated a number of public health orders for the Central Okanagan area on Friday, shutting nightclubs, limiting restaurant dining and restricting the size of social gatherings until further notice as the Delta variant drives the rapid spread of COVID-19. Nightclubs and bars will be closed as of Friday, while liquor cut-off at restaurants will be 10 p.m. PT. Limits on the number of people allowed to gather together apply both indoors and outdoors as of Monday.

  • 151,839 cases, an increase of 402 on August 6, 2,411 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario business groups call for COVID-19 vaccine certificate system to avoid lockdown. (Global News)

    • COVID-19 cases appear to be on the rise in Ontario again and business groups are calling for a vaccine certificate system as a means to avoid another lockdown. Ontario has reported rising positivity rates and more than 300 new COVID-19 cases for the past four days, with more than 400 on Sunday – levels not seen since mid-June.

  • Ontario investing C$615,000 in London, Ont.-based PPE producer. (CTV)

    • With the support of the province, BIOSA Technologies is investing C$1.23-million in the production of non-woven filtration material for masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Through the Ontario Together Fund (OTF), a C$615,000 investment from the province is expected to help the London-based company ramp up production of anti-viral and anti-bacterial fabric used in items like N95 and N99 masks.

  • City of Toronto reopens select counter services at City Hall and civic centres today. (News Release)

    • Today, the City of Toronto begins the safe and gradual reopening of City buildings to visitors with a phased reopening of select in-person counter services at City Hall and civic centres, in alignment with the provincial reopening plan and in accordance with public health guidelines. City Hall, East York Civic Centre, Etobicoke Civic Centre, North York Civic Centre, Scarborough Civic Centre and York Civic Centre are now open for a limited number of in-person counter services. While counter services are not open at Metro Hall at this time, the Metro Hall Early Learning and Child Care Centre and Employment and Social Services offices will continue to be open to the public. City buildings and most counter services have been closed to the public since March 14, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Governments of Canada and Ontario invest over C$362-million to bring high-speed Internet to eastern Ontario. (News Release)

  • Governments of Canada and Ontario invest up to over C$170-million to bring high-speed Internet to Northeastern Ontario. (News Release)

  • Governments of Canada and Ontario invest C$230-million to bring high-speed Internet to central Ontario. (News Release)

  • Governments of Canada and Ontario invest up to over C$73-million to bring high-speed Internet to the Golden Horseshoe. (News Release)

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our Internet connections, making access to fast and reliable Internet service even more critical. For too long, many rural Canadians have lacked access to high-speed Internet, impacting their ability to work, learn and keep in touch with family and friends. The pandemic has made addressing this divide even more urgent. That’s why the governments of Canada and Ontario are accelerating their investments in broadband infrastructure

  • 552,804 cases, an increase of 1,126 since August 6, 2,375 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Minister Rodriguez announces Shop Local investment in Quebec. (News Release)

    • Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Honoré-Mercier, and Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and Member of Parliament for Outremont, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of up to C$7.2-million for Shop Local promotions across Quebec to encourage people to shop locally. The Minister and Parliamentary Secretary were joined by Charles Milliard, President and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ).

  • 379,439 cases, an increase of 759 since August 6, 1,857 active cases, including one death.

August 6, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Majority of Canadians support mandatory vaccinations: Nanos survey. (CTV)

    • The poll, commissioned by CTV News, shows 53 per cent support the premise, another 21 per cent somewhat support it, while 16 per cent oppose it, eight per cent somewhat oppose it, and two per cent remain unsure. To that end, residents from Quebec and Ontario are more likely to be in favour of mandatory vaccinations, compared to those in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. Respondents 55 years and older also reported a higher intensity of support, versus those between the ages of 18 and 54.

  • What provinces have to say about vaccine passports. (CTV)

    • With the Delta variant potentially fuelling the start of a fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, the question remains how the provincial and federal governments will handle dealing with vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians. Several provinces have already issued some form of vaccine passport or certificate, while others are waiting for a federal vaccine passport and still other provinces have ruled out the idea entirely.

  • Government of Canada invests C$15-million to support Canadians living in long-term care in Newfoundland and Labrador. (News Release)

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing challenges in Canada’s long-term care (LTC) homes. Gaps have been exposed in infection prevention and control, staffing and infrastructure, with tragic effects on residents, their families and those working in LTC facilities. That’s why, in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada committed up to C$1-billion through the Safe Long-Term Care Fund (SLTCF), to help provinces and territories support infection prevention and control through making improvements to ventilation, hiring additional staff and topping up wages.

  • Government of Canada invests over C$4.5-million to expand virtual health care services in Newfoundland and Labrador. (C$5.3-million in New Brunswick)

    • Canada's universal, publicly funded health care systems are a source of pride in our country. The federal government is working closely with provincial and territorial partners to strengthen and adapt these systems to the challenges of delivering health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Government of Canada investments of C$70-million to support Canada’s artists and live music sector. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada will deliver C$50-million in new COVID-19-related funding to support the live music sector and to maintain the stability of Canada’s funding system for commercial music in 2021–22 through the Canada Music Fund (CMF), bridging the period between the current pandemic restrictions and a sustainable recovery.

  • The following updated orders in council were issued under the Quarantine Act. They extend stated restrictions on entry into Canada until September 21, 2021.

    • PC Number: 2021-0825 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations)

    • PC Number: 2021-0824 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

    • PC Number: 2021-0823 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

U.S. – Federal

  • United Airlines will require U.S. employees to be vaccinated. (CTV)

    • United Airlines will require employees in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late October, perhaps sooner, joining a rising number of big corporations that are responding to a surge in virus cases. The Chicago-based airline estimates that up to 90 per cent of its pilots and close to 80 per cent of its flight attendants are already vaccinated. They get incentives to do so.

  • Temporary halt in residential evictions in communities with substantial or high transmission of COVID-19 to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. (Notice)

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces a new Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions in communities with substantial or high transmission of COVID-19 to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This Order is effective August 3, 2021 through October 3, 2021.

  • S.2635 – A bill to require the Secretary of State to submit a plan to eliminate the backlog of passport applications due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for other purposes. Introduced August 5, 2021 (Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations)

  • Press briefing by White House COVID-⁠19 response team and public health officials. (Press Briefing)

Alberta

  • Opposition NDP calls on Alberta government to release internal COVID-19 modelling. (CTV)

    • Alberta's Opposition NDP is calling on Premier Jason Kenney to release internal modelling that the government says supported its decision to eliminate COVID-19 public heath measures…NDP deputy leader Sarah Hoffman says the government needs to release the data today so Albertans can make decisions on their health and gauge the risks — especially as cases spike.

  • 235,641 cases, an increase of 397 on August 4, 2,526 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 151,375 cases, an increase of 402 on August 4, 2,093 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario rolls out vaccine clinic on wheels. (News Release)

    • Hop on the GO-VAXX bus! The Ontario government is partnering with Metrolinx to offer a new and convenient option for people to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Two GO buses have been temporarily retrofitted to serve as mobile vaccine clinics as part of the province’s last mile strategy to target those who have yet to receive a first or second dose. The first GO-VAXX bus hits the road this weekend, with its first stop at Canada’s Wonderland on Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8 for guests with reservations to the park, as well as Canada’s Wonderland staff.

  • Canada and Ontario invest more than C$2.1-million in active transportation infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than C$2.1-million to protect the health and well-being of residents in 16 communities across Ontario. The Government of Canada is investing over C$1.7-million in Ontario communities through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than C$427,000.

  • 551,678 cases, an increase of 340 since yesterday, 1,879 active cases, including 18 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec is considering a vaccine mandate for health workers amid rise in COVID-19 infections. (CTV)

    • Quebec is considering imposing a vaccine mandate for health-care workers amid a rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province. Ewan Sauves, a spokesman for Premier Francois Legault, said Friday in an email that the government is looking at making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for health workers but not for other public sector employees.

  • Government of Canada makes major investments to ensure the recovery of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian airports to ensure their recovery and growth following the COVID-19 global pandemic and to create good middle class jobs. Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, announced that the Government of Canada is contributing nearly C$17-million to support Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.

  • 378,680 cases, an increase of 218 since yesterday, 1,558 active cases, including one death.
August 5, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • PM says he's considering making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for federal workers. (CTV)

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that he’s considering whether to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for federal employees. Speaking alongside Quebec Premier Francois Legault, who announced his province would be instituting a vaccine passport amid concerns over rising case counts, the prime minister said he’s also looking at whether new requirements to either require or encourage vaccination would be necessary in federal workplaces or in federally-regulated industries such as banks, rail and air travel and Parliament.

  • Travel advisory: REMINDER – On August 9, new public health measures will come into force affecting travel to Canada. (News Release)

    • Beginning on August 9, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. (EDT), fully vaccinated United States (U.S.) citizens and permanent residents will be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) reasons, such as tourism.

  • Canada announces new vaccine contributions for regional partners. (News Release)

    • The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, announced that the Government of Canada will share over 82,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago via a bilateral agreement. These are doses that had already arrived in Canada, but are in excess of our domestic needs. Trinidad and Tobago was selected to receive these doses based on need and the country’s capacity to deploy them immediately, minimizing wastage and maximizing the public health impact.

  • Canada and New Brunswick invest in COVID-19 response infrastructure. (News Release & Backgrounder)

    • Today, Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Gary Crossman, Minister of Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation, and the Honourable Jill Green, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, announced funding for 11 COVID-19 response infrastructure projects across New Brunswick.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. plans to require COVID-19 shots for foreign travellers. (CTV)

    • The Biden administration is taking the first steps toward requiring nearly all foreign visitors to the U.S. to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, a White House official said Wednesday. The requirement would come as part of the administration's phased approach to easing travel restrictions for foreign citizens to the country. No timeline has yet been determined as interagency working groups study how and when to safely move toward resuming normal travel. Eventually all foreign citizens entering the country, with some limited exceptions, are expected to need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the U.S.

  • U.S. plans to give extra COVID-19 shots to at-risk Americans. (Reuters)

    • The United States is working to give additional COVID-19 booster shots to Americans with compromised immune systems as quickly as possible, as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise, top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.

  • Judge orders U.S. to respond to CDC eviction ban challenge by Friday. (Reuters)

    • U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered the Justice Department to respond by 9 a.m. (EDT) Friday. The Alabama Association of Realtors and others said in an emergency filing late Wednesday that the CDC had issued the new order "for nakedly political reasons - to ease the political pressure, shift the blame to the courts for ending the moratorium and use litigation delays to achieve a policy objective."

  • USAID information collection on COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Implementation Plan. (Notice)

    • In accordance with the emergency review procedures of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is announcing that on July 26, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) granted emergency approval of a new information collection to inform technical approaches to implementing USAID's COVID-19 Implementation Plan. This emergency approval is valid until January, 2022.

  • Authorizations of emergency use of certain biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Notice)

    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the issuance of two Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) (the Authorizations) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) for biological products for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Biden administration announces additional actions to help kids go back to school safely. (News Release)

    • Over the next six weeks, more than 50 million students will head back to school and more than 20 million students will return to undergraduate and graduate studies. For young people, getting vaccinated right away is the best way back to the things they love – like playing sports, completing their studies and spending time with friends and loved ones. Today, the Biden administration announced additional actions to get students ages 12 and above vaccinated and to ensure all students can go back to school safely this fall.

Alberta

  • Hajdu pens letter to Alberta, asks for science behind plan to lift COVID-19 rules. (CTV)

    • Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has sent a letter to her Alberta counterpart saying she shares concerns about the province's plan to lift all of its COVID-19 health restrictions. In the letter, addressed to Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Hajdu says she agrees with the Canadian Paediatric Society's description of the move as an “unnecessary and risky gamble.” She says recent modelling for Alberta forecasts a more serious resurgence in cases fuelled by the Delta variant and that all governments need to take reasonable steps to protect Canadians.

  • 235,244 cases, an increase of 206 on August 3, 2,282 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • 150,973 cases, an increase of 342 on August 3, 1,792 active cases, no new deaths. 

Ontario

  • Ontario requires mandatory vaccines for students against nine illnesses, but says it won't for COVID-19. (CTV)

    • The Ontario government says they won't force students to be immunized against COVID-19 because they "respect the choices individuals will make" despite already requiring children to be vaccinated against nine other illnesses. Unless a student has a valid exemption, children in Ontario who attend primary or secondary school must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis, whooping cough and chickenpox.

  • Team Toronto vaccination partners complete in-home COVID-19 vaccination of 8,000 homebound residents. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners have now completed in-home second dose COVID-19 vaccinations for all homebound residents identified during the initial homebound vaccination registration phase. Approximately 8,000 people have received their first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through the Homebound Sprint initiative.

  • Helping Ontario food and beverage processors during COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to C$6-million in projects to help Ontario food and beverage processors improve their operations, increase their competitive edge and adapt to challenges as we move beyond the pandemic.

  • O. Reg. 558/21: Standards (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9) amends O. Reg. 380/04. (Ministry Standards) Subsection 3 (7.1) of Ontario Regulation 380/04 is revoked and Subsection 12 (6.1) of the Regulation is revoked. In force August 5, 2021.

  • 551,338 cases, an increase of 213 since yesterday, 1,706 active cases, including 14 deaths.

Quebec

  • Quebec to implement vaccine passport due to rising COVID-19 cases, premier says. (News Release)

    • Quebec plans to adopt a vaccine passport given a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the province, Premier François Legault announced Thursday. The premier said Quebecers are on the cusp of a fourth wave of the pandemic and that a vaccine passport will be implemented as a response. On Thursday, the province recorded 305 new coronavirus cases — the highest daily increase since May 30, 2021 — but stated that 72 are "under investigation."

  • 378,462 cases, an increase of 305 since yesterday, 1,472 active cases, no new deaths.
August 4, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Indigenous minister worries lifting COVID-19 restrictions could bring fourth wave. (CTV)

    • Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says he is concerned provinces that are lifting COVID-19 restrictions could lead to a Delta-driven fourth wave among Indigenous people. Miller says many areas of the country opened too quickly last year during the second wave and it was "dangerous and devastating to many Indigenous communities."

  • Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on August 4, 2021. (News Release)

    • As COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are continuing to track key epidemiological indicators to monitor trends, quickly detect and understand emerging issues of concern, including the impact of circulating virus variants. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) provides regular updates on COVID-19 vaccines administered, vaccination coverage and ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety across the country. This includes the latest summary on national numbers and trends.

U.S. – Federal

  • White House says U.S. can provide COVID-19 boosters if needed. (Reuters)

    • The White House said today it is prepared to provide COVID-19 booster shots, if needed, suggesting it would not heed a call by the World Health Organization to delay providing additional vaccinations.

  • U.S. CDC announces new 60-day COVID-19 eviction moratorium. (Reuters)

    • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday issued a new 60-day moratorium on residential evictions in areas with high levels of COVID-19 infections citing the raging Delta variant after having rejected an earlier push by the White House.

  • U.S. support to ASEAN in fighting COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The United States has provided more than 23 million vaccine doses and over US$158-million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to ASEAN members to fight COVID-19 and is committed to a comprehensive set of actions towards ending the global pandemic in 2022. These include vaccinating some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, providing emergency supplies to countries in need, bolstering world-wide economic recovery and positioning the international community to prepare for, prevent, detect and respond to future biological catastrophes.

  • Eighth Amendment to Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19. (Health and Human Services Department Notice)

    • The Secretary issues this amendment pursuant to section 319F-3 of the Public Health Service Act to clarify and expand the authority for certain Qualified Persons authorized to prescribe, dispense and administer covered countermeasures under section VI of this Declaration.

  • CDC issues eviction order in areas of substantial and high transmission. (News Release)

    • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed an order determining the evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This order will expire on October 3, 2021 and applies in United States counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2.

Alberta

  • Hinshaw apologizes for causing ‘fear or anger’ over Alberta’s plan to lift COVID-19 measures. (Global News)

    • Alberta’s top doctor is apologizing for causing “confusion, fear or anger” after communicating the province’s plan to eliminate remaining COVID-19 public health measures.

  • 235,038 cases, an increase of 743 since July 30, 2,176 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • Delta variant driving fourth wave in B.C. as associated COVID-19 cases double every 7-10 days. (CBC)

    • The number of COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant is doubling every seven to 10 days in British Columbia, experts say. Prof. Sarah Otto of the University of British Columbia said the variant, which first became prominent in India, is displacing the alpha variant that originated in the United Kingdom. "Delta is now the most common variant in the province, with its frequency doubling every week relative to alpha,'' said Otto, who is an expert in the university's zoology department on the mathematical models of pandemic growth and evolution.

  • Mandatory Face Coverings – Central Okanagan COVID-19 Order (Order)

    • “In the matter of an ORDER made pursuant to Part 4 Division 4 of the British Columbia Public Health Act, I Dr. Sue Pollock, Medical Health Officer, Interior Health Authority, Kelowna, BC, am of the opinion that a Public Health Hazard exists in the Central Okanagan”

  • 150,631 cases, an increase of 742 since July 30, 1,544 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Unvaccinated students won't face any different rules within class setting, Ontario confirms. (CTV)

    • Unvaccinated children will not face different rules than their vaccinated peers within the school setting this September, the Ontario government says. COVID-19 vaccines will not be mandatory for students and school staff who are eligible, despite saying they are the province’s best chance at avoiding a fourth wave.

  • Ontario to allow 'high-contact indoor sports' for students, won't mandate vaccines. (CBC)

    • Ontario will allow students to participate in "high-contact indoor sports" like basketball and hockey when the school year resumes, the education minister said Wednesday, and the province still has no intention to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for educators, staff or students. Stephen Lecce said the provincial government will continue to advocate for its immunization campaign, but a mandate is not on the table "at this point."

  • Ontario further improving school ventilation. (News Release & Backgrounder)

    • The Ontario government announced additional funding of C$25-million to further improve ventilation in schools as students return for in-person learning this fall. This additional funding, which brings the net new investments in school ventilation to C$600-million, will ensure that all occupied classrooms, gyms, libraries and other instructional spaces without mechanical ventilation have standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in place when students are back in class, including Junior and Senior Kindergarten classrooms in mechanically ventilated schools to recognize that the youngest learners will not be wearing masks in the classroom.

  • How will classrooms be kept safe? PHAC says back-to-school guidelines are coming. (CTV)

    • As schools get ready to welcome students back to the classroom in September they’re outlining measures to keep everyone safe from COVID-19, but there’s growing concern about what that means for the youngest cohort. Canada hasn’t approved a vaccine yet for children under the age of 12. And only about 37 per cent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been fully vaccinated.

  • 551,125 cases, an increase of 139 since yesterday, 1,690 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council 1074-2021 declaring Renewal of the public health emergency pursuant to section 119 of the Public Health Act. (Order)

  • 378,157 cases, an increase of 359 since yesterday, 1,263 active cases, no new deaths.

August 3, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian Medical Association and Nurses Association call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for health-care workers. (CTV)

    • The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) are calling for COVID-19 vaccines to be mandatory for health-care workers. In a news release, the CMA and CNA stated jointly that in the face of the highly contagious COVID-19 variants and the plateauing of Canada’s vaccination rate, the mandatory vaccination of health-care workers is “an additional measure to protect patients, the health workforce and health-care system capacity.”

  • Canada Recovery Benefit now unavailable to people who didn't file taxes in 2019 or 2020. (CTV)

    • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is now unavailable to people who haven’t yet filed their taxes for 2019 or 2020, according to recent changes on the Government of Canada’s website.

  • Canada and British Columbia support upgrades to two health care centres in the communities of Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua Nation. (News Release)

    • The governments of Canada and British Columbia continue to invest in local infrastructure during this unprecedented time to meet the needs of communities, enhance quality of life and support economic recovery from COVID-19. The Government of Canada is investing more than C$1.3-million in this project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Community Resilience Infrastructure Stream. Under this stream, the federal cost share is up to 100 per cent for projects intended for Indigenous communities.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. CDC extends COVID-19 policy allowing border expulsions. (Reuters)

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday extended a Trump-era policy allowing for the expulsion of migrants across U.S. borders, citing COVID-19 risks.

  • U.S. employers ratchet up the pressure on the unvaccinated. (CTV)

    • Employers are losing patience with unvaccinated workers. For months, most employers relied on information campaigns, bonuses and other incentives to encourage their workforces to get the COVID-19 shot. Now, a growing number are imposing rules to make it more onerous for employees to refuse from outright mandates to requiring the unvaccinated to undergo regular testing.

  • President Biden announces major milestone in administration’s global vaccination efforts: More than 100 million U.S. COVID-⁠19 vaccine doses donated and shipped abroad. (News Release)

    • The President announced that the U.S. has now donated and shipped more than 110 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccines to more than 60 countries – a major milestone that cements the United States as the global leader in COVID-19 vaccine donations.

  • New York becomes first U.S. city to mandate COVID-19 vaccines to enter restaurants and gyms. (Reuters)

    • New York City will become the first major U.S. city to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for customers and staff at restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses as the country enters a new phase of battling the highly contagious Delta variant.

Alberta

  • The Alberta Government released an updated Alberta public health disease management guidelines: coronavirus – COVID-19.

    • Intended for public health professionals, this resource presents the recommended practices for the reporting of COVID-19 as a notifiable disease. This includes a case definition and reporting requirements for the disease. The guidelines were developed by Alberta Health with input and advice from Medical Officers of Health, public health nurses, public health inspectors and medical infectious disease specialists.

  • 234,295 cases, an increase of 187 on July 29, 1,655 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • 149,889 cases, an increase of 241 on July 30, 1,242 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario unveils back-to-school plan for September. Here's what you need to know. (CTV)

    • All students will be able to return to the classroom full time this September under the Ontario government's highly anticipated back-to-school plan. The 26-page plan, which the Doug Ford government originally promised to release in July, says elementary students and secondary students will attend school in-person five days per week, for the first time in months. Remote learning will remain an option for parents and students who don’t feel comfortable returning to the classroom.

  • Toronto Public Health and hospital partners complete more than 12,000 out-of-province vaccination records. (News Release)

    • To date, TPH and Toronto hospital partners have processed 12,100 out-of-province vaccination record applications. Approximately 3,900 applications were from individuals requiring a second vaccine dose. All first dose applications received prior to July 20 have been processed and uploaded into COVaxOn. Second dose and single dose vaccine applications received before June 30 have been processed and uploaded.

  • 550,986 cases, an increase of 808 since Friday, 1,717 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • Restrictions lifted in Quebec despite Canada's top doctors warning of a fourth wave. (CTV)

    • At a minute past midnight Sunday, more COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec were lifted including how late bars and restaurants could serve alcohol and festival capacities. Bars and restaurants are now permitted to serve alcohol until 1 a.m. with closing time pushed to 2 a.m. Ten people or three private residences can share a table and tables must remain two metres apart indoors when there are no partitions between them. Outdoor terrasses can seat 20 per table and those tables must be a metre apart.

  • 377,798 cases, an increase of 501 since Friday, 1,174 active cases, no new deaths.

July 30, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m.

Canada – Federal

  • Canada is heading towards a "Delta-driven" fourth wave, Tam says. (CTV)

    • Canada is headed towards a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, but how severe of a resurgence it’ll be depends on how many people are fully vaccinated, warns new national modelling released Friday. The country is seeing an increase in new COVID-19 cases, and thousands more infections are predicted if contacts aren’t contained, the modelling indicates. After weeks of sustained decline in new cases, the Public Health Agency of Canada is warning that if community-wide contact rates increase too quickly with ongoing reopening efforts, the long-term forecast indicates Canada could experience a “stronger resurgence” of the virus.

    • The new data predicts that in the short-term, the case count will continue to increase, meaning the country could see between 2,700 and 11,800 new cases over the next week or so. As of midday Friday, there have been 1,429,937 reported cases nationwide, and by August 8, that number could grow to between 1,432,555 to 1,441,610 cases. One sign that Canada’s case counts are on an upward trajectory: the national “Rt” or effective reproduction number, recently started trending above one around mid-July, meaning there are “early signs of epidemic growth” in some regions. This comes after the “Rt” had remained out of a growth pattern since April.

  • The Government of Canada is providing the Vancouver International Airport up to $$38.4-million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program to help the Vancouver International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport. Eleven regional airports in British Columbia will also receive up to C$11.7-million to maintain regional connectivity and jobs under the Regional Air Transportation Initiative to help overcome challenges that were brought on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Government extends COVID-19 benefits and business supports to support stronger economic recovery. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • These extensions include:

      • Extending the eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support until October 23, 2021, and increasing the rate of support employers and organizations can receive during the period between August 29 and September 25, 2021.

      • Extending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until October 23, 2021.

      • Increasing the maximum number of weeks available for the CRB, by an additional four weeks, to a total of 54 weeks, at a rate of C$300 per week, and ensuring it is available to those who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits.

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 34 was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on July 31, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • Delta variant is so transmissible "the war has changed," U.S. CDC warns. (CTV)

    • The Delta coronavirus variant surging across the United States appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The document — a slide presentation — outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.

  • President Biden to Announce New Actions to Get More Americans Vaccinated and Slow the Spread of the Delta Variant. (Statement and Factsheet)

    • The initiatives include:

      • Strengthening safety protocols for federal employees and federal contractors

      • Protecting those who serve our country

      • Expanding paid leave to get families and kids vaccinated

      • Calling on state and local governments to offer US$100 to get vaccinated

      • Increasing vaccinations among adolescents as kids go back to school

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today extended, through September 30, the eviction moratorium for homeowners of properties financed or guaranteed by USDA. “The United States is still reeling from a nationwide housing affordability crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA is taking this important action today to allow individuals and families who face eviction from homes purchased with USDA Single-Family Housing loans more time to maintain safe and stable housing, whether it’s in their current homes, or by obtaining alternative housing options,” USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson said. “Actions like the one we’re announcing today are part of President Biden’s strategy to ensure a stable and equitable recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide continued protection for thousands of individuals and families in rural America.” (News Release)

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury Policy Statement on State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and Individual Vaccine Incentives. (News Release)

    • The American Rescue Plan dedicated a historic US$350-billion to helping state, territorial and local governments respond to the pandemic and its negative economic impacts, in the form of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program (SLFRF). For these governments and the communities they represent, no task is more urgent than turning the tide on the pandemic, and there is no better tool than vaccination. This is why Treasury is encouraging state, territorial and local governments to use the funds to enhance their vaccination efforts, including by providing individual vaccine incentives.

  • Treasury Expands Paid Leave Tax Credit To Enable More Vaccinations. (New Release)

    • The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that eligible employers can claim tax credits equal to the wages paid for providing paid time off to employees to take a family or household member or certain other individuals to get vaccinated, or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the vaccination. Comparable tax credits are also available for self-employed individuals.

Alberta

  • The Alberta government released an updated version of COVID-19 information: Alberta Health Daily Checklist (for children under 18; and adults 18 and older) (August 2021). The tool has been developed to support schools, activity organizers, employers, businesses and facility operators in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among attendees and staff. It is meant to assist with assessing attendees who may be symptomatic or have been exposed to someone who is ill or has confirmed COVID-19.  Effective November 2, 2020, children should use the new version of the daily checklist for Albertans under 18.

  • 234,108 cases, an increase of 233 on July 28, 1,520 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • British Columbians invited to salute frontline heroes on B.C. Day. (News Release)

    • Premier John Horgan is inviting all British Columbians to join him in saluting frontline workers during the ongoing pandemic, as well as those battling wildfires, with a public cheer on B.C. Day.  The premier is asking people throughout the province to take a moment at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 2, to bang pots and make some noise as a way of expressing gratitude and appreciation. The salute to front-line workers is part of Vax for BC, the latest step in the Province’s campaign to help as many British Columbians as possible get vaccinated.

  • 149,648 cases, an increase of 204 since yesterday, 1,055 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario reveals details about lifting restrictions after Step 3, masks will remain mandatory indoors. (CTV)

    • “Upon exiting the Roadmap, the vast majority of public health measures, including capacity limits, will be lifted. Only a small number of measures will remain in place, including the requirement for passive screening, such as posting a sign, and businesses requiring a safety plan,” a spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said Friday. “As the Delta variant is the dominant strain in Ontario, which is not the case with some other provinces, face coverings will also continue to be required for indoor public settings.”

  • Mayor Tory announces 70 per cent of eligible Toronto residents are fully vaccinated, promotes this weekend’s Home Stretch Vaccine Push in Taylor-Massey. (News Release)

    • The Taylor-Massey neighbourhood has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city. This weekend’s Home Stretch Vaccine Push, led by the City and Michael Garron Hospital, alongside East Toronto Health Partners and numerous local community agencies, will focus efforts to remove all remaining barriers to vaccine access in the neighbourhood. Pop-up clinic locations include John’s No Frills, Massey Square, Secord Elementary School, Shoppers World Danforth and Victoria Supermarket. The clinics, which will be open to walkins to anyone with an “M” postal code, will administer mostly Pfizer with some supply of Moderna to those who request it. All clinics will offer free grocery or food gift cards for first doses and first dose referrals, while Shoppers World Danforth will also feature on-site music, free ice cream and coffee, as well as other exciting give-aways.

  • O. Reg. 541/21 – Rules for Areas in Step 3 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 364/20 to add Roadmap Exit Step requirements. It is effective July 30 2021.

  • O. Reg. 542/21 – Steps of Reopening (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 363/20 to add Schedule 4 (Areas at the Roadmap Exit Step) to the regulation. It is effective July 30, 2021.

  • 550,178 cases, an increase of 226  since yesterday, 1,491 active cases, including 11 deaths.

Quebec

  • 377,297 cases, an increase of 125 since yesterday, 951 active cases, including one death.

July 29, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • The Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19 has released its first Progress Report. Playing a leadership role during the pandemic, the Committee successfully engaged in new ways of collaboration across the justice system and fostered information sharing during the COVID-19 crisis. (News Release)

  • The Government of Canada, through the Regional Air Transportation Initiative, Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund and Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, is providing funding to help airports continue their existing air routes and ensure they remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements. Funding is going to:

U.S. – Federal

  • Canada and Mexico imported millions of doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and offered them to the public without health officials properly inspecting the operations of the U.S. manufacturer, according to inspection records and the regulators involved. (CTV)

    • The Baltimore plant belonging to Emergent BioSolutions Inc was producing vaccines for both AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson under a US$628-million U.S. government contract. In late March, under pressure to help other nations access COVID-19 vaccines, the Biden administration released 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses to Canada, and 2.5 million to Mexico. European regulators had certified Emergent's factory as complying with "good manufacturing practices," and on that basis both Canada and Mexico began using the vaccine, regulators in both countries told Reuters. But the European Medicines Agency (EMA) told Reuters that the certification was based on a remote inspection that focused on a part of the facility that was not actually producing the AstraZeneca shots — a fact that has not been previously reported.

  • New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set off a cascade of mask rules across the nation Wednesday as cities, states, schools and businesses raced to restore mandates and others pushed back against the guidelines at a time when Americans are exhausted and confused over constantly shifting pandemic measures. (CTV)

    • The CDC's new guidance applies to places with at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, which is roughly 60 per cent of all U.S. counties, federal officials said. Nearly all of the South and Southwest is subject to the guidance, but most communities in the Northeast — with the exception of major metro areas like New York City and Boston — are exempt for now, according to the CDC's COVID tracker.

  • Biden asks Congress to extend COVID-19 eviction ban set to expire this week. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta's health minister defended a series of changes to the province's COVID-19 response plan, calling the loosening of restrictions "the inevitable next step." (CTV)

    • Shandro also said the province's trigger to move towards treating COVID-19 as an endemic was a vaccination rate of 65 per cent of eligible Albertans with a second dose. The province is nearing that mark with 64.3 per cent of eligible Albertans having had two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Alberta is lifting much of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days as the disease continues to infect unvaccinated Albertans. (CTV)

    • Starting Thursday, close contacts of COVID-19 cases will no longer be mandated to quarantine, but isolation will still be required for positive cases and people with symptoms. On August 16, people who test positive for COVID-19 will not be mandated to quarantine anymore, but the province will recommend it. Albertans with COVID-19 symptoms will not be asked to get tested, but to stay at home until they feel better. And two weeks later, COVID-19 tests will only be available to people who need to go to the hospital or see a physician. Masks won't be mandatory in public transit, rideshares and taxies starting on August 16, the province announced. Some masking may still be required in hospitals or continuing care facilities.

  • CMOH order 39-2021 updates the isolation requirements for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. The order also removes quarantine requirements by rescinding Order 35-2021. It comes into effect July 29, 2021.

  • 233,875 cases, an increase of 194 on July 27, 1,334 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • 549,952 cases, an increase of 218 since yesterday, 1,424 active cases, including three deaths.

Quebec

  • The Quebec government is allocating a grant of C$5-million, for the 2021‑2022 fiscal year, to the City of Gatineau with a view to accelerating the economic recovery of its downtown area. (News Release)

  • The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services published the most recent update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers of the health and social services network. (News Release)

    • Cases

      • For a second consecutive week, the number of new cases is increasing compared to the previous week (653 versus 529);

      • This increase is particularly concentrated among adults aged 18 to 59.

    • Hospitalizations

      • The number of anticipated hospitalizations (17) is similar to that of the previous week (14);

      • The number of cases that could require a stay in intensive care (five) is similar to that in previous weeks.

  • Order in Council 1072-2021 renews the public health emergency until August 6, 2021. It was published in the Quebec Gazette Part II, No. 30A on July 29, 2021.

  • 377,172 cases, an increase of 138 since yesterday, 914 active cases, no new deaths.

July 28, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Trudeau mum on launch of vaccine passport but vows system will be 'simple and efficient'. (CTV)

    • Trudeau said Ottawa will be responsible for a documentation framework for international travel specifically, but that it’s up to provinces to come up with a plan domestically. The government is facing mounting pressure to develop a national system as other countries move quick to establish their own.

U.S. – Federal

  • The White House is strongly considering requiring federal employees to show proof they've been vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise submit to regular testing and wear a mask — a potentially major shift in policy that reflects growing concerns about the spread of the more infectious Delta variant. The possible vaccine mandate for federal employees — regardless of the rate of transmission in their area — is one option under consideration by the Biden administration. The White House is expected to announce its final decision after completing a policy review this week. (CTV)

Alberta

  • Alberta won't offer third doses to travellers whose COVID vaccination status isn't recognized. (CBC)

    • "We are prioritizing vaccines for those who are not yet fully vaccinated. With a global shortage, it would not be appropriate to offer additional vaccines to fully immunized individuals looking to vacation while so many others still await even a first dose," said Tom McMillan, a spokesperson for Alberta Health.

  • COVID-19 is spreading faster in Alberta than during peak of third wave. (CBC)

    • The R-value, which represents the number of people infected by each infected person, was 1.48 (with a confidence interval of 1.38-1.59) in Alberta as of Sunday, according to Alberta Health. "The current R-value provincewide is one of the highest we've seen throughout the pandemic. So although the numbers are low today, the rate of viral spread is really as fast as we've seen at any other point during the pandemic," said Craig Jenne, an immunologist and microbiologist at the University of Calgary. Case numbers and positivity rates are currently low, but surging, driven by the more infectious Delta variant. Alberta had 1,173 active cases on Tuesday with a test positivity rate of 2.54 per cent. 

  • Canada's vaccination laggard: Alberta trails nation with slow uptake for first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. (CBC)

    • According to aggregate data compiled by CBC News, 75.2 per cent of Alberta's eligible population had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of July 27. The national average is 80.6 per cent. The picture is brighter when it comes to eligible residents who are fully vaccinated: Alberta's 63.6 per cent is in step with the national average and ahead of B.C., Quebec, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

  • 233,681 cases, an increase of 134 on July 26, 1,173 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. declares COVID-19 outbreak in Central Okanagan, reimposing mask mandate and other public health measures. (CBC)

  • B.C. looks to improve lower COVID-19 vaccination rates in the Interior as potential fourth wave looms. (CBC)

    • The number of daily COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has tripled during the past three weeks, and at the same time the Delta variant has grown to become the most dominant strain in the province. Much like B.C.'s actual wildfires, the province's COVID-19 cases right now are concentrated in the Interior. It has more than half the daily cases and active cases, despite having around 15 per cent of all residents. "It's not … a large number of out-of-province individuals that are driving the surge in cases," said Dr. Silvina Mema, medical health officer for Interior Health. "It's individuals that live in B.C., in the Interior. They're young … and many of them work in the hospitality industry: restaurants, fitness studios, clothes companies, bars — those types of companies are being affected." 

  • As the provincial government responded to people’s need for income support, business grants, tax breaks and crucial services during the pandemic, British Columbia ended the 2020-21 fiscal year with continued strong credit ratings and a lower-than-projected deficit of C$5.5-billion. (News Release)

    • The year-end deficit is C$2.7-billion lower than projected in Budget 2021. This is attributed to some sectors of the economy faring better than worst-case scenarios, which resulted in lower-than-expected spending and higher-than-expected revenues. Spending on COVID-19 support and recovery programs reached C$10.1-billion by the end of March 2021.

  • 149,259 cases, an increase of 150 since yesterday, 783 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Toronto to enter next phase of its vaccination campaign with expanded mobile teams and a new mass immunization clinic model. (News Release)

    • Beginning August 23, Toronto Public Health (TPH) will redeploy approximately 700 staff from mass immunization clinics to expand its mobile clinic operations. This redeployment will add 17 mobile clinic teams to TPH’s five mobile teams currently administering vaccines across the city. This will expand its ability to bring vaccines directly to workplaces, faith groups, organizations and communities that experience barriers to vaccination and low vaccine uptake.

    • At the same time, the City will be adjusting its mass immunization clinics operations. On August 22 (end of day), City-operated clinics at the following locations will close:

      • Carmine Stefano Community Centre

      • Malvern Community Recreation Centre

      • Mitchell Field Arena

      • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre

      • Toronto Congress Centre

  • City of Toronto to begin reopening of City Hall and civic centres on August 9. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • O. Reg. 527/21 Extension of Orders (made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act) amends O. Reg. 25/21 to extend the revocation date of certain orders to August 11, 2021.

  • 549,734 cases, an increase of 158 since yesterday, 1,378 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

  • The following were published in the Quebec Gazette Part II, No. 30 on July 28, 2021:

    • Order in Council 1042-2021 Amendments to the Financial Assistance Program for the Purchase of Eyeglasses and Lenses for Children entrusted to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec in order to allow for certain temporary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic (comes into force August 12, 2021)

    • Order in Council 1043-2021 Program Respecting Certain Temporary Measures Related to Certain Medical, Optometry and Dental Services Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic entrusted to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (comes into force August 12, 2021 and ends February 8, 2022)

    • Order in Council 1044-2021 Temporary Program to Compensate Persons who were Unable to Benefit Free of Charge from Certain Dental Services Provided by a Denturologist Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic entrusted to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (comes into force August 12, 2021 and ends February 8, 2022)

  • 377,034 cases, an increase of 133 since yesterday, 864 active cases, no new deaths.

July 27, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada's reopening plans could be hindered as thousands of border officers gird themselves for possible strike action. The two unions representing more than 8,500 Canada Border Services Agency employees announced this morning that the majority of their members have given them a strike mandate. That means they could begin strike action as soon as August 6, mere days before Canada reopens the border to fully vaccinated U.S. residents, said the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union in a news release. (CBC)

  • Canada now has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to fully vaccinate all eligible citizens: PM. (CTV)

    • Procurement Minister Anita Anand confirmed that by the end of the week, Canada will have received 68 million shots, with millions more coming in the next two months. “We have procured in total 51 million doses of Pfizer, 44 million doses of Moderna, and we will receive 95 million doses of both of those vaccine manufacturers prior to the end of September,” said Anand.

  • Government of Canada invests to help build a competitive tourism environment and boost economic recovery efforts. (News Release)

    • The tourism sector in Northern Ontario and across the country has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the significant positive impact this sector has on our nation’s economy, the Government of Canada continues to make strategic investments to ensure that tourism businesses, organizations and communities have the support they need to rebuild the industry as the economy recovers.

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced two new projects aimed at youth that will receive funding through the Immunization Partnership Fund. These projects will promote the importance of vaccinating against COVID-19 to youth aged 12 and over, parents and caretakers and teachers through school-based interventions and community-based outreach. (News Release and Backgrounder)

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. House panel holds hearing on pandemic evictions by corporate landlords. (Reuters)

    • The hearing occurred just days before the federal eviction ban expires on July 31. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first implemented the ban in September, in an effort to keep millions of Americans in their homes and out of crowded shelters during the pandemic. Housing experts say the ban's expiration will likely pave the way for evictions and possible homelessness for many of the 6.5 million tenants still behind on rent. The federal government has approved US$46.5-billion in rental assistance but so far only US$3-billion has made its way to landlords as localities struggle to ramp up the infrastructure to get the money out.

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to recommend fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in at least some instances, as the more highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a surge in infections. The CDC is also expected to recommend all students and teachers at kindergarten through twelveth grade schools wear masks regardless of vaccination status, the sources said. The changes mark a reversal of the CDC's announcement in May that prompted millions of vaccinated Americans to shed their face coverings. (CTV)

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice have jointly published guidance on how "long COVID" can be a disability under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. (News Release)

  • As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing US$121-million to support the work of trusted community-based efforts to increase vaccinations in underserved communities. These awards, in addition to US$125-million awarded last month, establish, expand and sustain community-based efforts to mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, patient navigators, social support specialists and others to increase vaccinations. (News Release)

Alberta

  • COVID-19 information: employment standards guide - Information on changes to Employment Standards rules due to COVID-19. Includes information on job-protected leaves, temporary layoffs and variances.

  • 233,547 cases, an increase of 397 since Friday, 1,083 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • B.C. to reduce interval between doses to seven weeks, shots being offered at walk-in clinics. (CTV)

  • Vax for B.C. launches to get more people vaccinated, recognizes pandemic heroes. (News Release)

    • Beginning on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, and lasting throughout the month of August, community events, vax vans and mobile clinics will be up and running in dozens of communities in B.C. to get more people vaccinated with their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While registration and booking using the provincial Get Vaccinated system is still encouraged, these events will allow eligible people to walk-in and receive a vaccine without a scheduled appointment. In addition to drop-in events, Vax for B.C. will kick off an opportunity to recognize how far British Columbia has come together, providing a chance for people to share messages and notes of gratitude to pandemic heroes over the last 18 months. British Columbians are encouraged to share written messages online, in their windows at home and in-person at vaccination locations.

  • The Provincial Health Officer issued an order restricting mink farm operations after several mink tested positive for COVID-19 on a quarantined farm. (News Release)

  • 149,109 cases, an increase of 267 since Friday, 695 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario health units are ramping up youth vaccination efforts, using prizes and social media, as the window quickly closes for students to be fully immunized by the time school starts. Youth aged 12 to 17 have the lowest overall vaccination rate of any eligible age cohort in the province. Just over 64 per cent have one shot and 41 per cent are fully vaccinated, with variation across different regions. Students would need to get a first dose by the end of the August long weekend to be fully immunized for Labour Day. (CBC)

  • Ontario has asked the federal government to ensure Canadians who received mixed COVID-19 vaccines will be cleared for international travel as border measures lift. Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones wrote to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and other federal officials on Sunday about the issue. "We ask the Government of Canada to work with the WHO to update its guidance to international partners that mixing vaccines should be internationally accepted as a complete vaccine regimen," they wrote. (CBC)

  • 549,576 cases, an increase of 129 since yesterday, 1,395 active cases, including five deaths.

Quebec

  • In light of the success of the Passeport Attraits program, the Ministère du Tourisme, in collaboration with the Alliance de industrie tourisme du Québec, announces the addition of C$4-million in funding to support the revival of the tourism industry in all regions of Quebec. Since its launch in the summer of 2020, C$17.7-million has been granted under this program. This initiative promotes the discovery of new attractions through package deals. It offers visitors discounts ranging from 20 to 40 per cent on the purchase of packages combining two, three or four tourist attractions. (New Release)

  • The Quebec government is offering an extra dose of mRNA vaccine to people who want to travel to countries that do not recognize their vaccination status. (News Release)

    • Currently, there is still no international consensus on the criteria for a person to be recognized as "adequately vaccinated". Discussions are continuing with the federal government so that mixed or two-dose scenarios of AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine are more widely recognized internationally. New instructions could possibly be sent on this subject. In the meantime, certain exceptional measures are possible in Quebec to accommodate people who have an essential trip planned in the short term. 

  • 376,901 cases, an increase of 73 since yesterday, 803 active cases, no new deaths.

July 26, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Health Canada recalls two more hand sanitizers: MediCare Foaming Hand Sanitizer, which is produced by Dollarama L.P., as well as Pur-Vie, produced by Literies Universelles Paga Inc. (CTV)

    • The agency says that Pur-Vie was found to contain “elevated levels” of benzene, an impurity that may increase the risk of cancer and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat as well as headaches. As for MediCare Foaming Hand Sanitizer, Health Canada says this product may contain undeclared acetaldehyde, another potentially carcinogenic impurity, at elevated levels.

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced a bilateral agreement with Nunavut to expand virtual health care services for its residents. Under the agreement, the territory will receive over C$3.1-million to invest based on agreed-upon pan-Canadian priorities for accelerating virtual health care services, which have been instrumental for delivering care during the pandemic and are helping to improve access to much needed services. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities. (CTV)

  • Fauci says U.S. headed in 'wrong direction' on coronavirus. (CTV)

    • The United States is in an "unnecessary predicament" of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent Delta variant, the nation's top infectious diseases expert said Sunday. "We're going in the wrong direction," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, describing himself as "very frustrated." He said recommending that the vaccinated wear masks is "under active consideration" by the government's leading public health officials. Also, booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated.

  • A federal appeals court late on Friday reversed course and let stand a lower court order prohibiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from enforcing coronavirus-related cruise ship rules in Florida. The eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta had only on Saturday voted 2-1 to block the lower court decision. But in its latest brief statement, the three-judge appeals panel said it had withdrawn its earlier order on its own and was now rejecting the government's request because it had "failed to demonstrate an entitlement to a stay pending appeal (Reuters)

  • The United States will not lift any existing travel restrictions "at this point" due to concerns over the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant and the rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases, the White House confirmed on Monday. (Reuters)

  • Biden pushes for long COVID-19 sufferers to be protected by law. (Reuters)

    • President Joe Biden said Monday the White House is pushing for people with long-term symptoms of COVID-19 to be protected against discrimination, as he marked the anniversary of a landmark law for people with disabilities. U.S. agencies will coordinate to ensure people suffering from severe long-term health problems are protected after the end of their infections with the novel coronavirus, he said. That could include mandating new accommodations for those disabilities at restaurants, in workplaces, at school and in the healthcare system. The White House did not immediately provide additional details on the program.

Alberta

  • Critical Worker Benefit application extended to August 31. (News Release)

    • As Alberta’s economy recovers, small and medium-sized businesses are focused on reopening and rehiring staff. Many of these businesses also provided services to Albertans in the midst of the pandemic and have employees who are eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit. In order to make sure these businesses can focus on reopening while ensuring their employees can get the Critical Worker Benefit, the deadline for private sector employers to submit applications has been extended to August 31.

  • 233,160 cases, an increase of 98 on June 22, 799 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • British Columbia's regional health authorities have been getting creative with new ways to reach people who have yet to be partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This summer, pop-up clinics and mobile vaccination vans have been pulling up to parking lots, skate parks and highway pull-outs to help protect residents against the novel coronavirus. Tanis Hampe, vice-president of the pandemic response at Northern Health, says the health authority's approach is about reaching people where they're at. "The goal really is to provide opportunities for people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine close to where they live and work," Hampe said. (CBC)

  • 148,842 cases, an increase of 112 on Friday, 603 active cases, including four deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario reports a slight increase in new COVID-19 cases, per cent positivity rate rises. (CTV)

    • The seven-day rolling average remains at 159, compared to 153 a week ago. Provincial labs processed more than 13,902 test specimens, generating a positivity rate of at least 1.1 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

  • The Ontario government is continuing to take steps to create a reliable, high-quality supply of locally made surgical masks to help protect workers in the public sector from the risk of COVID-19 and other illnesses. The province recently signed contracts with Viva Healthcare Packaging and Canada Masq to supply 500 million made-in-Ontario level one and level two surgical/protective masks over the next five years. (News Release)

  • Home Stretch Vaccine Push moves to Taylor-Massey neighbourhood in east end to encourage vaccine uptake. (News Release)

    • Nine micro-targeted pop-up clinics offering primarily Pfizer vaccine to residents age 12 and over will be set up throughout the east-end neighbourhood on the long weekend of July 31 to encourage vaccine uptake. Clinic locations are John’s No Frills, Massey Square, Secord Elementary School, Shoppers World Danforth and Victoria Supermarket. Clinics will feature entertainment and give-aways throughout the day. Hours of operation vary by clinic, some of which will open as early as 10 a.m. and operate at late as 8 p.m.

  • 549,447 cases, an increase of 461 since Friday, 1,429 active cases, including eight deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • Technical difficulties on first day to register in Quebec vaccination lottery. (CTV)

    • The registration period was supposed to be opened at 8 a.m. Sunday but the province's health ministry said that the website was "experiencing technical problems." "Work is underway to resolve the situation as fast as possible," the ministry wrote.

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services announced further relaxation of public health restrictions for public events, bars and restaurants will take effect August 1, 2021 and apply to the entire province. Physical distancing remains mandatory as well as wearing masks in indoor public spaces.(News Release)

    • For public events with individual seating (includes sport events with bleachers or stands, assemblies, meetings, conventions or ceremonies and places of worship):

      • Outdoor event capacity is increased to 500

      • Indoor event capacity is increased to 250

    • Stadiums, venues and festivals will also see their reception capacity increased:

      • Outdoor event capacity is increased to 15,000 people, following the guidelines established for each type of event. 

      • Indoor event capacity is increased to 7,500 people. The capacity of each of the independent sections will also be increased to 500 people. 

    • Bars, restaurants and microbreweries will be able to serve alcohol until 1 a.m.

  • 376,828 cases, an increase of 75 since yesterday, 814 active cases, no new deaths.

July 23, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Deputy Prime Minister highlights support through jobs and Growth Fund for Atlantic Canada. (News Release)

    • Announced on July 13, 2021, the C$700-million Jobs and Growth Fund aims to help businesses recover and grow, enhance competitiveness, support the green transformation of our economy, foster an inclusive recovery and create jobs in every corner of the country. This funding was first announced in Budget 2021 and will be delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. Eligible businesses could receive interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50 per cent of authorized costs. Eligible not-for profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90 per cent of authorized costs. Indigenous-led organizations and/or businesses may be eligible to receive up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs.

U.S. – Federal

  • Republican politicians ramp up pro-vaccination messaging as COVID-19 caseloads soar. (CBC)

    • The outreach comes as COVID-19 cases have nearly tripled in the U.S. over the last two weeks, with hospitalizations up 32 per cent since last week. Public health officials cite the new Delta variant, especially in pockets of the country where vaccination rates are low. Just 56.2 per cent of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the CDC. 

    • For months, many conservative lawmakers and pundits have been stoking vaccine hesitancy, refusing to take the shots or downplaying the severity of the virus, following the lead of former president Donald Trump. Republican governors have signed bills protecting the unvaccinated from having to disclose their status and tried to roll back mask mandates. Overall, only 51 per cent of Republicans said in mid-June that they had received at least one vaccine dose, versus 83 per cent of Democrats, according to an AP-NORC poll. 53 per cent who identify as Republicans and hadn't been vaccinated said they definitely wouldn't get the shots.

  • United States buys 200 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (Reuters)

    • A Biden administration official with knowledge of the contract said that as part of the agreement, Pfizer will provide the United States with 65 million doses intended for children under 12, including doses available immediately after the vaccine is authorized for that age group. The U.S. government also has the option to buy an updated version of the vaccine targeting new variants of the virus.

  • A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked authority for the national moratorium it imposed last year on most residential evictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Reuters)

    • The unanimous decision by the three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling in March finding the CDC overstepped its authority when it issued the moratorium last year. The opinion by Judges Alan Norris, Amul Thapar and John Bush said dealing with the evictions during the pandemic could not be delegated to the CDC under existing law.

  • U.S. CDC advisers back J&J COVID-19 vaccine benefits amid neurological illness reports. (Reuters)

    • Despite reports of a rare neurological disorder appearing in some people who have received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, the benefits of its use outweigh the risks, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel said on Thursday. Given the possible association between GBS and the vaccine, CDC will update its considerations for the use of J&J's vaccine to say that patients with a history of GBS should first look at the availability of two-shot mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer Inc/BioNTech and Moderna.

Alberta

  • Alberta's top doctor says the majority of the province's new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated or within two weeks of their first shot. (CTV)

    • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who is Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said in a social media post that 96 per cent of Albertans who have tested positive for the virus since January 1 hadn't had two doses of vaccine. She said 91 per cent of COVID-19 deaths and 95 per cent of hospital and intensive care unit admissions followed the same trend in the past month.

  • Since launching in May, the Alberta Jobs Now program has approved approximately 2,700 applications from employers. This will help nearly 14,000 Albertans get back to work in the coming months. This is a clear signal that Alberta’s economy is ready to reopen, recover and grow. The program is seeing the highest demand for hiring in sectors such as science and technology, construction and the service industry. Due to the significant demand to the program and recognizing that the pace of recovery differs across industries, Alberta’s government is closing the first intake period. The first application intake period will now close on July 23. The second intake will open on September 16 and close on December 31. (News Release)

  • As of July 22, 75 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose of vaccine through Alberta Health Services, community pharmacies and physician clinics. Also, 61.3 per cent are now fully immunized with both doses. (News Release)

  • 233,062 cases, an increase of 106 on June 21, 676 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • COVID-19 cases in B.C. are up — but 78 per cent of new cases are among unvaccinated people. (CBC)

    • COVID-19 cases in B.C. are up, with the seven-day rolling average of new and active cases at the highest levels they've been in two weeks. On Thursday, the province announced 89 new cases of COVID-19 — the highest one-day total in a month. Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Friday that 78 per cent of new cases recorded between June 15 and July 15 were among unvaccinated people. Eighteen per cent were among people who had received one dose, while four per cent were among people who had been fully vaccinated. 

  • More than 80 anchor attractions and tour bus operators in B.C. will receive direct support for their recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the Major Anchor Attractions Program. Grants of up to C$1-million will be provided to both businesses and not-for-profits, including 23 urban anchor attractions, 34 rural anchor attractions and 26 tour bus operators. Recipients include Butchart Gardens, International Dragon Boat Festival, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Sea to Sky Gondola, Science World, Richmond Night Market, HR MacMillan Space Centre, Big White Ski Resort, Britannia Mine Museum, Hells Gate Airtram and Wilson’s Transportation. (News Release)

  • Disbursements from the Local Sport Relief Fund will help sporting organizations in the Lower Mainland, Thomson Okanagan, Kootenay, Northern B.C. and Vancouver Island recover from the pandemic as B.C. reopens.

    • There are more than 4,100 local sports organizations in B.C., many of which have faced financial challenges due to the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships because of the COVID-19 limits on gatherings for public safety. The Local Sport Relief Fund provides grants of up to C$7,500 to non-profit sports organizations to assist with expenses such as insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs and equipment essential to providing sports programs.

  • 148,730 cases, an increase of 89 since yesterday, 781 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's long-awaited paid sick day program — created to protect vulnerable workers from COVID-19 — has seen far less uptake than anticipated, new figures reveal. (CBC)

    • As of July 16, claims had been submitted for 39,887 employees since the program took effect, with an average of 1.8 days claimed per worker, according to published provincial numbers. When the program was introduced, provincial officials estimated the cost at C$750-million to C$1.5-billion. The claims made as of Wednesday — just past the mid-way point of the time-limited program — total C$13.2-million. That's less than two per cent of the low-end estimate.  

  • 548,986 cases, an increase of 192 since yesterday, 1,407 active cases, including one death.

Quebec

  • Quebec study aims to develop treatment for COVID-19 long-haulers. (CBC)

    • Spearheaded by epidemiologist and cardiologist Dr. Thao Huynh of the McGill University Health Centre, the Impact Quebec COVID-19 Long Haul Study aims to evaluate 200 adults of various ages experiencing long-term effects of the disease for one year. The C$250,000 project, financed by a Pfizer Inc. grant from September 2020, will allow researchers from McGill and Université de Sherbrooke to test subjects' cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal and urinary systems and their intellectual functioning.

  • 376,530 cases, an increase of 101 since yesterday, 752 active cases, including one death.

July 22, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Deputy Prime Minister Highlights Tourism Relief Fund Support for Atlantic Canada. (News Release)

    • With C$48.5-million in funding for the Atlantic region tourism sector, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will provide direct support to tourism businesses and organizations to help them create or enhance tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors and recover from the pandemic. These investments will also help the sector safely welcome international visitors by providing the best tourism experiences Atlantic Canada has to offer. Tourism businesses and organizations can visit the Tourism Relief Fund page to see if they are eligible and to submit an application.

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control is likely to advise that kids who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks when they return from summer holidays to school in the fall. The CDC recommendations are not binding and school mask requirements will be decided on a district-by-district basis. To date, some have adopted more stringent requirements while others have none at all. (Reuters)

  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will implement a series of programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest the US$3-billion it received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to help communities across the country build back better. The EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades. (News Release)

  • Biden Administration to invest more than US$1.6-billion to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in vulnerable communities. (News Release)

    • This funding will support expanded COVID-19 testing and mitigation measures for mental health and substance use providers, homeless shelters, group homes and other congregate settings, and federal, state and local prison populations.

  • Biden-Harris Administration provides US$100-million to rural health clinics for COVID-19 vaccine outreach in their communities to increase vaccinations. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta’s government and a coalition of businesses have partnered to launch a new mobile vaccination clinic focusing on worksites, rural and hard-to-reach communities. (News Release)

  • 232,956 cases, an increase of 81 on June 20, 649 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • 148,641 cases, an increase of 78 since yesterday, 729 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario science table says vaccine certificates could be used to speed up reopening of high-risk settings. (CTV)

    • The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table published a 21-page brief providing their key considerations on a possible vaccination certification program, concluding that provincial governments "may want to consider development of a common design."  On a longer-term basis, the brief says they could serve as a secure and standardized way to show immunization records. Officials pointed to schools and workplaces that require mandatory reporting of immunization status as potential sites where vaccine certificate programs could be useful. According to the brief, vaccine certificates could be used in Ontario on a short-term basis to help reopen higher risk settings, such as indoor dining, bars, gyms, cultural and sports events, sooner or at an increased capacity.

  • The Ontario government is providing over C$1-million to 57 businesses in Timmins and over C$1.7-million to 85 businesses in the Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk–James Bay regions to help them adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines. This investment will support building renovations, the installation of safety equipment and the purchase of personal protective equipment.

  • 548,794 cases, an increase of 185 since yesterday, 1,363 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services published the most recent update of the two reports it produces on a weekly basis in support of decision-makers and managers in the health and social services network. (News Release)

    • Cases

      • After a decrease in cases every week for more than three months, the number of new cases increases very slightly compared to the previous week (505 versus 459).

      • Almost three quarters of cases are concentrated in people under the age of 40. This proportion has been increasing for more than two months.

    • Hospitalizations

      • The number of anticipated hospitalizations (11) is similar to that of the previous week (14).

      • The number of cases that could require a stay in intensive care (two) is the same as last week.

  • Order in Council 1069-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 30, 2021. It was published in the Canada Gazette No. 29A on July 22, 2021.

  • 376,429 cases, an increase of 99 since yesterday, 597 active cases, including three deaths.

July 21, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The following updated orders in council were issued under the Quarantine Act. They extend stated restrictions on entry into Canada until August 21, 2021.

    • PC 2021-732 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations)

    • PC 2021-731 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

    • PC 2021-730 Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21, according to a renewal order issued by the American government Wednesday. In a notice pre-published in the U.S. Federal Register, the U.S. government says that while vaccination rates have improved, opening the land border to non-essential travel still poses too great a risk. (CBC)

Alberta

  • Rapid flow COVID-19 immunization clinics at the Expo Centre in Edmonton and the Calgary Telus Convention Centre will close by the end of July, Alberta Health Services said Wednesday. "Demand for immunization continues; however, rapid flow clinics are no longer needed given the increasing percentage of the immunized population." Albertans who want vaccines will be able to be immunized at other locations, including public health centres, pharmacies and physician offices in both cities. The EXPO Centre clinic in Edmonton will close at 8 p.m. on July 29. The Telus Convention Centre in Calgary will close at 8 p.m. on July 30. (CBC)

  • 232,875 cases, an increase of 69 since yesterday, 606 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • 148,563 cases, an increase of 76 since yesterday, 692 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 22, all nine City-run vaccination clinics will open to youth and adult walk-ins between noon and 7 p.m. Eligible residents who need a second dose and those who have yet to receive a first dose can be vaccinated immediately. Anyone taking advantage of the walk-in option to accelerate their second dose should cancel any existing second dose appointment whether at a City-run or partner clinic. Walk-ins should always prepare for a short wait that may include time lining up outdoors. (News Release)

  • 548,609 cases, an increase of 135 since yesterday, 1,334 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

July 20, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s not up to Canada to weigh in on how and when the U.S. decides to reopen its border to Canadians following Monday’s announcement that fully vaccinated Americans will be able to enter the country for discretionary purposes starting August 9. Trudeau was responding to questions about why Monday’s announcement wasn’t made in concert with the U.S. administration to allow a similar relaxing of border restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians. (CTV)

  • Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc is sounding a note of hope that Canadians who mixed and matched vaccines will not have a problem crossing borders in the months ahead. LeBlanc says he believes data sharing and conversations between health authorities around the world will lead to an "evolution" and "adjustment" of the more conservative approach of some countries' regulatory bodies. (CTV)

  • The Treasury Board Secretariat says it will be considering whether COVID-19 vaccines need to be required for certain roles and positions in the federal government. In a statement, the department that oversees much of the federal workforce said departments that consider making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for specific roles and positions would base their decision on occupational health and hazard prevention programs, medical expertise and legal requirements. (CBC)

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced three new projects receiving funding through the Immunization Partnership Fund to support vaccination efforts across Canada. These community-based projects will support populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 make informed vaccination choices by crowding out misinformation and providing culturally relevant and science-based information. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • Employment Insurance consultations to be launched later this summer. (News Release)

    • These consultations will help the Government of Canada better understand the needs of workers and employers who could benefit from improvements to the EI program, including in the areas of access, adequacy and affordability. The immediate focus of the consultations will be on improving access to EI by examining systemic gaps exposed by COVID-19. These include the need for income support for self-employed and gig workers; how best to support Canadians through different life events, such as adoption; and how to provide more consistent and reliable benefits to workers in seasonal industries.  

U.S. – Federal

  • The more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up 83 per cent of sequenced samples in the United States, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. "This is a dramatic increase, up from 50 per cent for the week of July 3.” (CTV)

Alberta

  • Public health experts concerned by Alberta premier's claim that the pandemic is over. (CBC)

    • A maskless Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands, embraces Calgary Stampede visitors and stands shoulder-to-shoulder for photo-ops in a video posted to his social media pages on Sunday. "Such a joy to connect with Albertans during Canada's first major event after the pandemic," the caption reads. His choice of phrasing — "after the pandemic" — worries health experts who say it falsely implies the coronavirus is no longer a cause for concern.

  • Opposition calls for COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Alberta schools this fall. (CBC)

    • The idea was given a tepid reception by Health Minster Tyler Shandro who was asked about the plan. Shandro said the province may look at school-based clinics when vaccines are approved for children 12 and under. He said Alberta's current strategy is to vaccinate as many eligible people as quickly as possible. "We want to ensure that our resources are deployed in the best way possible," he said. "We right now want to focus on community partners to be able to provide those vaccines."

  • 232,806 cases, an increase of 130 since Friday, 605 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • The Ministry of Health has released a guidance document for visitors to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living residences to support safe and meaningful visits while adhering to infection prevention and control requirements.

  • 148,487 cases, an increase of 156 since Friday, 653 active cases, including two deaths.

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is investing C$10-million towards the Digital Main Street program for 2021-22 to help over 13,000 small businesses expand their digital presence and market their services online. As businesses enter Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen, the renewed program will provide small businesses with C$2,500 grants, technical training and digital resources to help them reach more customers in person and online, positioning them for a stronger recovery. (News Release)

  • The Ontario government is launching a new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative to support agri-tourism businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario wineries and cideries with on-site stores whose business were impacted by COVID-19 safety measures to stop the spread of the virus will be eligible for this one-time grant. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The 2021 Budget committed to providing a one‑time C$10-million grant to help wineries and cideries impacted by COVID-19 and to ensure that agricultural production and local jobs are maintained in Ontario’s rural communities. As the delivery agent of the new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative, Agricorp will send applications for the program directly to eligible wineries and cideries on July 20, 2021. This new relief initiative builds on government programs that aim to protect jobs and support local producers, including extending the VQA Wine Support Program and the Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program to 2022-23.

  • Home Stretch Vaccine Push continues with weekend-long #VaxTheNorth clinic at Mel Lastman Square. (News Release)

    • The two-day #VaxTheNorth pop-up clinic will take place on July 24 and 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Mel Lastman Square in North York to help bolster COVID-19 vaccine rates in the area, particularly within the 18 to 45 age group, which is currently experiencing the biggest lag in vaccinations. #VaxTheNorth follows the success of the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push in the north and west end of the city last week.

  • 548,474 cases, an increase of 127 since yesterday, 1,354 active cases, including two deaths.

Quebec

  • The Minister of the Executive Council releases the research and assessment reports in connection with government communications related to COVID-19. (News Release)

  • 376,416 cases, an increase of  76 since yesterday, 640 active cases, no new deaths.

July 19, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • Canada has now eclipsed the U.S. in percentage of fully vaccinated residents. (CTV)

    • After lagging behind other developed countries in the early months of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Canada has officially eclipsed the United States when it comes to its percentage of fully vaccinated residents. According to data from CTV News’ vaccine tracker, 48.8 per cent of Canada’s population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, compared to 48.1 per cent of Americans.

  • Canada set to receive 7.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. (CTV)

    • The federal government is expecting to receive about 7.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, as it adjusts its distribution strategy amid waning vaccination rates and substantial supply. The new deliveries will include about 3.1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and four million doses of Moderna.

  • Easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada - Permitting discretionary travel for citizens and permanent residents of the United States. (News Release)

    • Easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada - Permitting discretionary travel for citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

  • The Government of Canada announces easing of border measures for fully vaccinated travellers. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

  • International students and travel to Canada. (News Release)

    • The changes the Government of Canada announced today apply to all of IRCC’s clients. As the fall semester is approaching, we would like to remind international students of what they will need to do to return or come to Canada for their studies.

  • The following were published in the Canada Gazette Part I on July 17, 2021:

U.S. – Federal

  • U.S. surgeon general defends CDC mask change, blames tech companies for COVID deaths. (Reuters)

    • U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stood by federal guidance that those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer needed to wear masks, while blaming social media companies for fueling vaccine misinformation.

  • Biden grappling with ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’. (Associated Press)

    • The rising numbers are being driven by large pockets of infection among the more than 90 million eligible Americans who have yet to get shots. Just four states with low vaccination rates made up 40 per cent of new cases last week and nearly half of them came from Florida alone.

Alberta

  • 232,676 cases, an increase of 41 on July 15, 579 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • Long-term care homes in B.C. fully open to vaccinated visitors. (CBC)

    • Residents in B.C.'s long-term care facilities can now visit with friends and family members without restrictions. Provided they are fully vaccinated, visitors no longer need to schedule visits in advance. There will also no longer be a limit on the number of visitors each resident can have.

  • 148,331 cases, an increase of 300 on Friday, 662 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's universities and colleges told to prepare for normal fall — with backup plans. (CBC)

    • Ontario colleges and universities should prepare for all in-person classes and activities to resume this fall without capacity limits or physical distancing requirements, the government says. However, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities has told the institutions to have plans for how learning will continue in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • Pharmacy association urges province to expand PCR travel testing. (CBC)

    • As travel opens up, the association representing Ontario's pharmacists is lobbying the province to drastically expand the number of pharmacies permitted to offer PCR tests — the gold standard for assessing if someone has COVID-19.

  • With the law unclear, businesses face tricky questions about mandating vaccines. (CBC)

    • As businesses in Ottawa reopen, employers are facing the question of whether to mandate vaccines for their employees — and the law doesn't yet provide a clear answer. In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccines aren't mandatory but are heavily suggested. Currently in Ottawa, more than 80 per cent of residents have had at least one dose.

  • 548,347 cases, an increase of 1,084 since Friday, 1,355 active cases, no new deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • Relaunch of festivals and events — Québec announces the development of a research protocol for the holding of a test event. (News Release)

    • Determined to make Quebec a recognized tourist destination for its festivals and safe events, the Government of Quebec is positioning itself among the world leaders in this field by announcing the start of the process of holding a test event in early fall in Quebec City. The Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, today confirmed the granting of an important mandate to Université Laval for the preparation of a research protocol for this purpose. Quebec thus became the first Canadian province to take this initiative.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-054 amends Order in Council 1062-2021 to update every procedure, other than a referendum procedure, that is part of the decision-making process of a municipal body and that involves the movement or gathering of citizens be accompanied by a written consultation, announced beforehand through a public notice, that ends at the same time as the accompanying procedure; the written consultation may also replace the procedure concerned, in which case it is of a duration of 15 days and comes into force on July 22, 2021. 

  • 376,431 cases, an increase of 516 since Friday, 656 active cases, no new deaths.

July 16, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT) 

Canada – Federal

  • Canada may allow fully vaccinated Americans into the country by mid-August: Trudeau. (CTV)

    • Canada is getting ready to welcome the world again, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quietly indicated late Thursday as his office disclosed a target of mid-August for when the border might reopen for fully vaccinated Americans. Additionally, if the vaccination rate remains on its current upward trajectory, fully vaccinated travellers from around the world could begin arriving by early September, Trudeau said during a COVID-19 status update with Canada's premiers. The statement makes no mention of whether eligible U.S. visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination, a touchy subject in a country where personal freedoms are sacrosanct. The White House has already ruled out the idea of a vaccine "passport."

  • The government is working with other countries to recognize Canadians with mixed doses as fully vaccinated. (CBC)

    • Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc pointed to the federal government's efforts to create an internationally recognized proof of vaccination certificate — or vaccine passport — but didn't say how it would work for Canadians with two different doses, although he said more details would be made available "over the coming weeks and months."

U.S. – Federal

  • COVID-19 'is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,' CDC director says. (CTV)

    • With COVID-19 cases rising in all 50 states, health officials say it's clear that unvaccinated people are both driving the increase in cases and are most at risk. Cases are rising in every state and Washington, DC, with the average of new cases at least 10 per cent higher than a week ago — and 38 states are seeing at least a 50 per cent increase. Many experts have attributed the rise to slowing vaccination rates with only 48.3 per cent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, per CDC data. 

  • CDC defends U.S. transit mask mandate as some call for scrapping. (Reuters)

  • Biden says U.S. reviewing European travel ban, sees update in coming days. (Reuters)

    • Numerous countries not subject to travel restrictions have far higher COVID-19 rates than many European countries covered by the restrictions in place since March 2020. In early June, the White House launched interagency working groups with the European Union, Britain, Canada and Mexico to look at how to eventually lift restrictions. Those meetings have generally been occurring every two weeks but some have recently been delayed. Airlines and some government officials have said they do not anticipate the United States lifting restrictions until August at the earliest.

  • HHS announces US$103-million from American Rescue Plan to strengthen resiliency and address burnout in the health workforce. (News Release)

Alberta

  • 232,635 cases, an increase of 53 on July 14, 578 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 148,282 cases, an increase of 54 since yesterday, 650 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Toronto City Council approved the repeal of bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020, which regulated physical distancing in City of Toronto parks and public squares, as well as section 545-8.4.1 of Chapter 545, licensing that implemented additional COVID-19 measures for food and drink establishments. The repeal of the bylaws was based on a report from Toronto Public Health that took into consideration Toronto’s current epidemiological context, as well as overlap with the COVID-19 regulations contained in Step Three of the Government of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, which comes into effect today. (News Release)

  • 547,864 cases, an increase of 159 since yesterday, 1,403 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Several prizes to be won for people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

    • The Quebec Government is launching the Gagner à être vacciné contest in partnership with Lotto-Québec to encourage vaccination. There will be two contests (one for adults and one for adolescents) with weekly cash prize draws for people with their first dose and a larger prize draw for people who have received both doses. Full details will be available prior to the start date of the contest registration on July 25, 2021.

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montréal, in the Laurentians, in Estrie, in Montérégie, in the Centre-du-Québec, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • 376,192 cases, an increase of 83 since yesterday, 629 active cases, including three deaths.

July 15, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • The military general overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country says Canada is moving to a "more nuanced" approach as the supply of doses is on the verge of outstripping demand. (CTV)

    • Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie says more than two million doses of vaccine are already being held back because provinces have said they can't use them — a big change from when all newly arrived doses were shipped around the country as quickly as possible. Now, the goal is shifting to minimize waste by not distributing doses provinces do not yet need and so that Canada can decide whether it can start donating more doses to other countries.

  • Health Canada says the sale of certain face masks that were recalled for containing graphene can resume after the agency assessed the masks and found "no health risks of concern." (CTV)

    • Health Canada issued an advisory in April asking all distributors selling masks with graphene or biomass graphene to recall their products over potential inhalation risks. Graphene is comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms and is considered a nanomaterial, meaning it is made of tiny particles. During a preliminary assessment, the agency identified some potential for inhaled graphene particles to cause lung effects, such as inflammation in animals. In an updated advisory issued Thursday, Health Canada said it assessed four face mask models produced by Shandong Shengquan New Materials and found that the biomass graphene didn't pose a health risk to wearers.

  • The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that as of November 1, 2021, the prohibition of cruise ships in Canadian waters would no longer be in effect if operators are able to fully comply with public health requirements. (News Release)

U.S. – Federal

  • Biden-Harris administration provides nearly US$144-million in American Rescue Plan Funds to support COVID-19 response efforts in underserved communities. (News Release)

  • U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, is issuing the first Surgeon General's Advisory of this administration to warn the American public about the urgent threat of health misinformation. Health misinformation, including disinformation, have threatened the U.S. response to COVID-19 and continue to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk, and the advisory encourages technology and social media companies to take more responsibility to stop online spread of health misinformation. (News Release)

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced today that roughly US$15-billion dollars were paid to families that include nearly 60 million eligible children in the first monthly payment of the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan passed in March. Eligible families received a payment of up to US$300 per month for each child under age six and up to US$250 per month for each child age six to 17. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Small businesses are quick to apply for Calgary reopening grants. (CBC)

    • City council approved the C$15-million program last month to help businesses with reopening costs. The city said applications will be processed within 30 days of being received with the money flowing soon after. The deadline for applications is August 10, unless the grant money runs out sooner.

    • The reopening grants have three categories:

      • Bars, restaurants and pubs: C$2,500 each

      • Fitness centres: C$7,500 each

      • Entertainment establishments (night clubs and music venues): C$15,000

  • The Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery gives Albertans another incentive to get vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes fishing licences, Canmore Nordic Centre ski passes and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a special licence hunting tag for bighorn sheep, trophy pronghorn, elk or turkey. (News Release)

    • Albertans can have a chance to win these outdoor prizes by receiving their first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and registering in the Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery by 11:59 p.m. Sept. 10. Due to the unique nature of these prizes, Albertans will be required to register separately for their chance to win. Anyone who already registered for the Open for Summer Lottery will need to register again specifically for the Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery if they want to win these prizes. Winners are expected to be announced on Sept. 17.

  • 232,582 cases, an increase of 46 on July 13, 569 active cases, including one death.

British Columbia

  • 148,228 cases, an increase of 41 since yesterday, 639 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ford outright rejects vaccine passports on eve of Step Three of COVID-19 reopening. (CBC)

    • Some businesses in the province have said that when Ontario enters Step Three of its reopening plan, patrons will need to show proof of vaccination upon arrival. Toronto Mayor John Tory has called on the provincial government to create a voluntary system that would aid individual businesses or organizations determine the vaccination status of patrons and members. The Toronto Region Board of Trade has also endorsed such an initiative.

    • Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Ontarians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can rely on the receipt printed or emailed to them after their second shot.

  • Ontario weighing COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain jobs. (CBC)

    • A draft provincial document obtained by CBC News reveals the government is wading through the legal and ethical issues involved in developing vaccination policies for certain employment sectors. Although the document frequently refers to "mandatory vaccination," the policy it ultimately recommends would not actually require any workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Rather, it would allow unvaccinated health-care workers to have contact with patients, provided that they wear full protective equipment (PPE) and undergo frequent screening for the coronavirus.   

  • As Ontario moves to Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021, the province is easing COVID-19-related restrictions in congregate care settings such as residences for adults with developmental disabilities, residences for children in care or with special needs, along with women’s shelters so residents can spend more time with family and friends. (News Release)

    • The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services congregate care guidance document and website have been updated with the following changes:

      • Scheduled indoor and outdoor visits for non-essential visitors are permitted in alignment with social gathering limits as outlined in the Roadmap to Reopen.

      • Overnight absences are permitted for all residents, with an updated active screening process with no requirement for a negative COVID-19 test for fully immunized residents.

  • Ontario invests in Science North, providing stability to one of Northern Ontario’s great tourism and cultural institutions. (News Release)

    • The Ontario government is investing more than C$8.9-million in Science North to support the 2021-22 operations, develop exhibits and online content, perform maintenance and repairs and deliver learning supports for students and teachers. These investments will help sustain operations, protect jobs and support short and long-term recovery planning following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • O. Reg. 524/21 Rules for Areas in Step 3 (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 364/20 to update public health restrictions. It came into force on July 14, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 525/21 Extension of Orders (made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020) amends O. Reg. 458/20 to replace “July 19, 2021” with “August 18, 2021.”

  • 547,705 cases, an increase of 143 since yesterday, 1,443 active cases, including 10 deaths.

Quebec

  • Order in Council 1062-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 23, 2021. It is published in the Quebec Gazette Part II No. 28A on July 15, 2021. Ministerial orders 2021-052 and 2021-053 (included in previous digest) were published as well.

  • 376,109 cases, an increase of 65 since yesterday, 655 active cases, including one death.

July 14, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Federal government delivers C$5-billion in pandemic support to provinces and territories for vaccines and health care. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is providing C$4-billion through a one-time top-up to the Canada Health Transfer to help address the extreme pressures that COVID-19 has put on our health care systems. This funding will help provinces and territories address immediate health system pressures, including clearing the backlog of medical procedures, patient care and access to primary care put on hold due to the pandemic.

    • It is also providing C$1-billion to support vaccine rollout campaigns across the country and helping Canadians receive their first and second doses as quickly as possible. The funding supports a variety of vaccine-related costs, such as recruiting and training immunizers, establishing mass vaccination clinics, setting up mobile vaccination units, engaging Indigenous communities to advance vaccine rollout and reaching vulnerable populations through community-based vaccination efforts.

U.S. – Federal
 
No news today.
 
Alberta

  • The rate at which COVID-19 cases spread from one person to the next is once again rising in Alberta. Over the last two weeks, Alberta's province-wide R-value was 0.84, with a confidence interval of 0.74 to 0.94. It was even higher in Edmonton, at 0.97 with a confidence interval pushing the city's R-value potentially over one. The R-value represents the number of people infected by each infected person. Those numbers are up from previous weeks, when the R-value was 0.75. (CBC)

  • The Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued the following orders and guidance document:

  • 232,536 cases, an increase of 35 on July 12, 599 active cases, including three deaths.

British Columbia

  • 148,187 cases, an increase of 33 since yesterday, 639 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Unvaccinated young Ontarians have the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the province, top doctor says. (CBC)

    • Over the last three months, 96 per cent of people between the ages of 19 and 29 who were infected with COVID-19 weren't vaccinated against the virus, Dr. Kieran Moore said. Ninety-nine per cent of infected people between the ages of 12 and 17 were unvaccinated. Adults aged 18 to 39 have a 68 per cent first-dose coverage rate and youth 12 to 17 have a first-dose rate of 60 per cent.

    • The number of vaccinated teens is particularly important as the province prepares for the return to school in September. The province has said it will offer two vaccine doses to all eligible students and staff before classes resume, and vaccines aren't fully effective until 14 days after the second dose.

  • Ontario will be removing the requirement that fully-immunized and asymptomatic staff, caregivers and visitors be tested before entering long-term care homes. Updated guidance to retirement homes will also recommend exempting fully immunized people from routine testing. This change will coincide with Step Three of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, coming into effect on July 16, 2021. (News Release)

  • City of Toronto ready to enter Step Three of the province's reopening plan this Friday. (News Release)

    • The City of Toronto is prepared to enter Step Three of the Province of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16. In Step Three, Toronto residents will be permitted, subject to restrictions, to gather indoors, eat indoors at bars and restaurants and resume going to gyms and recreation centres. All retailers can open for in-person shopping with capacity limited to the number of people who can maintain a physical distance of two metres. 

    • Beginning July 19, Toronto will also start reopening indoor recreational facilities, starting with most self-directed programs and services.

  • 547,562 cases, an increase of 153 since yesterday, 1,478 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • Twelve corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montréal, in the Laurentians, in Estrie, in Montérégie, in the Centre-du-Québec, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • The Quebec Government is launching an ad campaign called A Good Dose to reinforce the importance of vaccination, particularly in obtaining a second dose, and highlight the progress made since the start of the pandemic. The ads will air on TV, radio, in print and in digital media. (News Release)

  • 376,044 cases, an increase of 75 since yesterday, 658 active cases, no new deaths.

July 12, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada is expecting vaccine shipments to keep rolling in this week as the country inches closer to matching the percentage of people in the United States fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (CTV)

    • The federal government expects another 1.4 million doses of the shot from Pfizer-BioNTech to arrive in the next seven days. It also plans to distribute the 1.5 million doses from Moderna that came in last Friday. To date, around 42.7 per cent of Canadian residents have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, giving them full protection against the virus. The U.S.'s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data tracker lists 48 per cent of that country's population as being fully immunized.

  • Canada’s so-called pandemic early warning system needs a series of reforms in order to be better prepared to respond to future emerging health threats, according to a new report issued Monday stemming from a federal independent review. (CTV)

    • In its final report issued Monday and called “Signals,” the federal government-struck independent review panel has issued 36 recommendations for how the system needs to recalibrate and evolve to keep up with the evolving technological landscape and to better monitor and analyze the massive amounts of information available to better inform its work.

    • The report says that surveillance was not well coordinated in the four years leading up to the arrival of the novel coronavirus partly due to the fact that a key position — chief health surveillance officer — had been left vacant since 2017 and was due to be eliminated.

  • Better vaccine outreach to younger Canadians needed as first doses slow, says Tam. (CTV)

    • As of July 3, two in three Canadians between 12 and 39 have had at least one dose, but that leaves 4.5 million Canadians in that age group without any protection. Comparatively, almost four in five people between 40 and 60 have at least one dose, and more than nine in 10 people over 60.

    • The number of first doses administered has plummeted from almost 250,000 a day in the first week of June, to less than 50,000 in the first week of July. Between June 26 and July 3, Health Canada data shows 359,635 people got their first dose, while 3.3 million got their second. Canada's overall vaccination pace slowed around the weekend after Canada Day, but seemed to bounce back a little by the end of this week. But more than 90 per cent of shots are going to second doses.

  • Canada said that while booster COVID-19 shots may be needed, it has received no request from Pfizer to approve one, and health authorities are currently studying the duration of protection from two doses. (CTV)

    • "Emerging data to date shows good immunity in most people out to 9 months after receiving 2 vaccine doses," Canada's public health agency said in a statement. "It is possible that Canadians will need a subsequent vaccination, or booster shot, after we have reached sufficient levels of community protection with the current rollout... Given the emergence of variants of concern, the need for future booster doses is being closely monitored," the ministry said.

  • Federal government launches Tourism Relief Fund to help tourism businesses and organizations recover and grow. (News Release)

    • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, launched C$500-million in funding for the new Tourism Relief Fund. Eligible organizations can now submit applications to support the tourism sector prepare to welcome back domestic travelers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination. Canada’s regional development agencies will deliver C$485-million directly to businesses and organizations to help them adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.

    • Indigenous communities that rely heavily on tourism have also been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In order to close this gap, the Government of Canada is investing a minimum of C$50-million of the Tourism Relief Fund in Indigenous tourism projects. In addition, C$15-million, delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will support destination development, seasonal and local attractions, and human resources and skills development.

  • The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced support for the operation, planning and positioning for recovery of Indigenous community businesses in the Atlantic Region through the Indigenous Community Business Fund. Over C$13-million in non-repayable financial contributions will help Indigenous community- or collectively-owned businesses to strengthen operations, support their viability and position them for recovery. (News Release)

  • Canada announces new contribution to global vaccination efforts and launch of matching fund with UNICEF Canada. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada will donate an additional 17.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, procured by Canada with an advance purchase agreement, to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX). The Government of Canada will also match, dollar for dollar, donations made by individual Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign, up to a maximum of C$10-million. The matching fund campaign, called “Give A Vax,” will run to September 6, 2021. Canadians who want to donate to UNICEF Canada’s fundraising campaign can do so by going to www.unicef.ca/giveavax or by texting VACCINES to 45678 to donate C$10.

  • Government of Canada funds five new projects to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in Canada. (News Release and Backgrounder)

  • Public Safety Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Indigenous Services Canada are working with the Government of Yukon to send more public health professionals to help with coordination and contact tracing, social supports, as well as to ship laboratory equipment and personal protective equipment in response to the outbreaks in the Yukon. (News Release)

  • Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 32 was published in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on July 10, 2021.

U.S. – Federal

  • COVID-19 vaccine maker Pfizer Inc. will meet with federal health officials as soon as Monday to discuss the need for a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine as it prepares to seek authorization, the company said on Sunday. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta will not bring in vaccine passports, premier says. (CBC)

    • "We've been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports," Kenney told reporters at the annual premier's Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast on Monday. "I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act." Kenney replied "yes" when asked whether Alberta would speak up if the federal government attempted to bring in the passports.

  • 232,411 cases, an increase of 52 on July 8, 675 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • The following orders in council were issued on July 9, 2021:

    • Order in Council 428/2021 – Repeals BC Reg. 32/2021 (effective July 9, 2021) and repeals item 1 in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 429/2021 – Repeals item 11 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 430/2021 – Repeals BC Reg. 33/2021 (effective July 9, 2021) and items 1 and 5 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 431/2021 – Repeals item 5 in Schedule 1 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act as of December 31, 2021

    • Order in Council 432/2021 – Repeals section 10 (1) (a) and (2) of item 2 and item 9 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective July 9, 2021) and repeals item 2 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 433/2021 – Repeals paragraph (c) of BC Reg. 188/2020 (effective July 9, 2021) and item 23.1 in Schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (effective December 31, 2021)

    • Order in Council 437/2021 – Replaces paragraph (b) of BB Reg. 215/2020 with “(b) effective December 31, 2021, item 23.2 in Schedule 2 is repealed.” (effective July 9, 2021)

  • 148,031 cases, an increase of 45 on Friday, 661 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • 547,263 cases, an increase of 459 since Friday, 1,610 active cases, including 14 deaths since Friday.

Quebec

  • People who have had COVID-19 in the past and want to travel will be able to get a second dose of the vaccine. (News Release)

    • This decision is based on a recent update of the opinion of the Committee on Immunization of Quebec (CIQ). The CIQ now recommends a second dose for people with a history of COVID-19 who are planning a trip and who must meet the requirement for a double vaccination. For a person who does not wish to travel and does not have the obligation to meet the requirements of a double vaccination, the administration of a single dose for people who have had COVID-19 is considered sufficient and provides effective protection. It was announced that the vaccination passport will effectively recognize all adequately protected persons, including those with a history of infection.

  • Student financial assistance enhanced again for two years. (News Release)

    • This temporary measure gives students the option of adding an extraordinary allowable expense. Given the context of economic instability caused by the COVID-19 crisis as well as the difficulty some students have in finding affordable housing, this renewal is necessary to better support them financially and thus avoid dropping out.

    • Assistance will be extended to cover the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school terms. The additional expense is C$96 per month for students living with their parents and C$205 per month for others. Students deemed to be registered will also be eligible for this measure. Under the latter, the total amount of allowable living expenses will remain at approximately C$1,200 per month.

  • Ministerial Order 2021-053 amends Order in Council 885-2021 to update public health restrictions on physical distancing and capacity limits and comes into force on July 12, 2021.

    • Physical distancing reduced to one metre (except when working out or singing), retail capacity limits removed, sport venues with bleachers can accommodate 50 spectators indoors/100 spectators outdoors, masks still mandatory in public places. (CTV)

  • 375,915 cases, an increase of 52 since Friday, 651 active cases, no new deaths.

July 13, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Amid attention on what the World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist recently said about mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada’s vaccination strategy is “bearing out,” with increasing take-up and steadily declining new infections. (CTV)

    • As of Tuesday, more than 50 per cent of Canadians who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. With 68 million doses expected to land by the end of July, Canada is on track to have everyone who is eligible fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the summer. According to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s daily statement, across the country new infections continue to decline with an average of 451 cases reported daily during the last seven days.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will work with provinces to ensure there is an "internationally accepted proof of vaccination" for international travel, but will leave domestic options up to the provincial governments. (CTV)

U.S. – Federal

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday added a warning to the fact sheet for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine saying that data suggests there is an increased risk of a rare neurological disorder in the six weeks after inoculation. (CTV)

    • In a letter to the company, the FDA classified the chances of getting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after vaccination as being "very low." Still, it said J&J vaccine recipients should seek medical attention if they have symptoms including weakness or tingling sensations, difficulty walking or difficulty with facial movements. GBS is a rare neurological condition in which the body's immune system attacks the protective coating on nerve fibers. Most cases follow a bacterial or viral infection. Most people fully recover from GBS.

  • The United States is reviewing the need for a third COVID-19 booster shot among residents who have already been vaccinated but needs to see more data to know if additional shots could raise people's risk of serious side effects, a U.S. health official said Tuesday. The official said the second dose for two-shot COVID-19 vaccine regimens was associated with higher rates of side effects, suggesting a third dose could potentially come with even greater risks. (Reuters)

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided US$398-million in funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program to 1,540 small rural hospitals for COVID-19 testing and mitigation. (News Release)

Alberta

  • Alberta critical worker benefit leaves some frontline employees unrecognized. (CBC)

    • As a pandemic bonus program expands to reward another 77,000 frontline workers, some people say arbitrary and unfair distinctions are leaving out worthy employees. As of May 5, 5,800 of the 12,300 companies that had applied for the benefit were approved, which means 53 per cent of applicants were turned away.

  • Growing proportion of Alberta COVID-19 cases have no known source. (CBC)

    • While Alberta's daily COVID-19 case counts remain low compared with the peak of the third wave, a growing proportion of cases have no known source — a trend experts say is likely related to the province's reopening. According to provincial data, contact tracing had been unable to pinpoint a source of transmission for 39 per cent of active cases (246 of 624 active cases) and 40 per cent of those identified in the past week (125 of 312 cases between July 5 and July 11). Those numbers were hovering in the low 30s in early June.

    • Experts say the increase is to be expected now that Alberta has lifted virtually all of its restrictions. "What can happen as we reopen is people just have so many more contacts," said Carolyn Colijn, a math professor and infectious disease modeller at Simon Fraser University. "Now that things are completely reopen and people visit different venues, different workplaces, different social gatherings, of course that's a huge load on trying to identify and call people that might have been exposed," Colijn said.

  • Alberta to start lifting remaining continuing care restrictions. (News Release)

    • To support the health and safety of residents and staff, Alberta’s government will take a two-phase approach for easing remaining measures provincewide. The first phase will lift remaining visitor restrictions, current limits to dining and recreation activities and additional screening for residents who go off-site. Outbreak protocols, single-site staffing and other measures will remain in place until further notice. Facility operators have until July 31 to fully implement these changes.

  • The Alberta Government released the COVID-19 information: COVID-19 as a workplace hazard guidance document which outlines the OHS hazard assessment requirements for employers.

  • 232,501 cases, an increase of 90 since Friday, 624 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • The Ontario government is providing C$1.1-million in additional funding to offer continued support for the province’s agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by COVID-19. (News Release)

    • The pandemic continues to place financial pressures on agricultural and horticultural societies across the province as many will be unable to hold their primary revenue-generating fairs and events again this year. ​The government will provide up to C$5,000 for each eligible agricultural society and up to C$1,500 for each eligible horticultural society, equal to their 2019 grants. 

  • The Ontario government is providing more than C$1.8-million to help 109 Sault Ste. Marie businesses adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines and protect employees and customers. The funding is being delivered by the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) and will support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), installation of safety equipment, renovations and new construction. (News Release)

  • City of Toronto receives federal funding to support main street and small business recovery initiatives. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will provide C$19-million to the City of Toronto and its partners over the next two and a half years for investment in a range of main street and small business recovery initiatives. The City will receive C$18-million from FedDev Ontario to support Toronto’s Main Street Recovery and Rebuild program that includes the following initiatives:

      • Retail Accelerator Program

      • Main Street Innovation Fund

      • CaféTO (pending Council approval)

      • plazaPOPS

      • Support for Businesses in Little Jamaica/Eglinton West (in partnership with the Black Business Professional Association)

      • Vacant Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program (pending Council approval)

    • The City of Toronto also welcomes a C$1-million investment from FedDev Ontario for Destination Toronto’s support of the upcoming ShowLoveTO campaign to boost consumer confidence and encourage Toronto residents to discover, shop and dine at Toronto’s amazing small retail-based businesses and restaurants.

  • 547,409 cases, an increase of 146 since yesterday, 1,548 active cases, including seven deaths.

Quebec

  • Six corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to quickly receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in Montréal, Estrie and the Capitale-Nationale. (News Release)

  • 375,969 cases, an increase of 54 since Friday, 635 active cases, no new deaths.

July 9, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canada and Ontario invest more than C$3.8-million in municipal infrastructure to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in the City of Ottawa. (News Release)

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$3.1-million through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than C$779,000. The majority of funding will support the rehabilitation of municipal buildings, community centres and arenas across the city.

  • Competition Bureau investigates Canada Tax Reviews’ marketing practices regarding pandemic benefit programs. (News Release)

    • The Competition Bureau has obtained a court order to advance an ongoing investigation into potentially false or misleading claims made by Canada Tax Reviews when promoting services to Canadians wanting to apply for government benefit programs implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Recovery Benefit.

U.S. – Federal

  • Vaccinated teachers and students in the U.S. don't need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools. (CTV)

    • The new schools guidance says:

      • No one at schools needs to wear masks at recess or in most other outdoor situations. However, unvaccinated people are advised to wear masks if they are in a crowd for an extended period of time, like in the stands at a football game.

      • Ventilation and handwashing continue to be important. Students and staff also should stay home when they are sick.

      • Testing remains an important way to prevent outbreaks, but the CDC also says people who are fully vaccinated do not need to participate in such screenings.

      • Separating students into smaller groups or cohorts continues to be a good way to help reduce spread of the virus. However, the CDC discouraged putting vaccinated and unvaccinated kids in separate groups, saying schools shouldn't stigmatize any group or perpetuate academic, racial or other tracking.

  • The CDC and FDA issued a joint statement saying vaccine boosters were not needed at this time despite plans by Pfizer to ask U.S. regulators for authorization of a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. (CBC)

Alberta

  • 232,359 cases, an increase of 23 on July 7, 697 active cases, no new deaths.

British Columbia

  • People in long-term care and seniors’ assisted living and their loved ones will have more ways to safely spend time together, with a further easing of visitation rules coming into effect on July 19, 2021. (News Release)

    • Changes to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living include:

      • Visitors will no longer need to schedule or book in advance to visit loved ones and the limit on the number of visitors for each resident will be removed.

      • Fully immunized visitors can visit with residents without wearing a mask.

      • Larger facility-wide social events or gatherings are safe to begin again.

      • Indoor gatherings may include residents and staff across units of a facility, while outdoor gatherings may include family and friends.

      • Adult day programs and in-facility respite can fully resume, providing additional health and well-being benefits for seniors and caregivers in the community. 

    • The screening of visitors and practices such as hand hygiene, use of medical masks and physical distancing will remain in place when visitation restrictions are eased. It is strongly recommended that visitors choose to get fully immunized against COVID-19 in order to lower the risk to people in long-term care settings. At the same time, new public health requirements around vaccinations will add protections for people in long-term care. Effective July 19, new requirements to better protect seniors will include:

      • A PHO order will require all long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities to provide public health with information on all residents, staff, personal service providers and volunteers so their immunization status can be determined.

      • Workers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask at work and be tested for COVID-19 regularly using rapid tests.

      • Volunteers and personal service providers entering long-term care settings must be fully vaccinated.

      • Masks are required for visitors who are not fully vaccinated. Masks will not be required for visitors who are fully vaccinated, except when travelling through common areas.

      • Each site will continue to maintain a sign-in list for contact tracing purposes and actively promote adherence to all infection prevention control protocols.

  • The Provincial Health Officer has issued the following updated public health orders:

  • 147,915 cases, an increase of 59 since yesterday, 649 active cases, including one death.

Ontario

  • Ontario moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen on July 16. (News Release)

    • Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:

      • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions

      • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people

      • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing

      • Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect

      • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open, subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less

      • Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect. Capacity limit to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less)

      • Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres

      • Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres

      • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions and festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors

      • Concert venues, cinemas and theatres permitted to operate at:

        • Up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)

        • Up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less)

      • Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres

      • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less)

    • O. Reg. 520/21 Rules for Areas at Step 3 and O. Reg. 521/21 Steps of Reopening (both made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act) provides a full list of public health measures and outlines the regions at Step 3, respectively. 

  • The Ontario government is providing more than C$3.8-million to help 215 businesses in the Thunder Bay region adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines and protect employees and customers. The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program and will support the purchase of personal protective equipment, installation of safety equipment, renovations and new construction. (News Release)

  • City of Toronto expanding walk-in vaccination to four City-run clinics. (News Release)

    • Starting Saturday at noon, walk-ins can attend four City-run vaccination clinics. Moving forward, walk-in vaccinations will be available daily from noon to 7 p.m. All City-operated vaccination clinics administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine to everyone age 18 and older. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for youth 12 to 17.

      • Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 277 Front St. W.

      • Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.

      • The Hangar, 75 Carl Hall Rd.

      • Cloverdale Mall, 250 The East Mall

  • 546,804 cases, an increase of 183 since yesterday, 1,757 active cases, including nine deaths.

Quebec

  • The Ministry for the Economy has announced funding in the 2021-2022 fiscal year towards the economic revival of city centres.

  • Reimbursement programs for certain medical, optometric or dental expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic. (News Release)

    • These temporary measures are intended to help people who lost their eligibility for certain medical, dental and optometric between March 16 and September 1, 2020. This will compensate the financial consequences resulting from the closure of non-emergency care clinics in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information relating to the eligibility of care and the claims process will be available on the website of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec prior to the entry into force of these new measures.

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montréal, in the Eastern Townships, in the Laurentians, in the Centre-du-Québec, in Montérégie, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • Ministerial Order 2021-052 permits high school graduation ceremonies with a 250 student capacity limit. It came into force on July 8, 2021.

  • 375,716 cases, an increase of 77 since yesterday, 711 active cases, including one death.

July 8, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said today her team is having "focused discussions" with the provinces on how to limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading among children who can't receive a vaccine yet. (CBC)

    • While much of the adult population in Canada has received at least one dose, none of the vaccines cleared for use by Health Canada have been approved for children under the age of 12. Several trials are underway to test the effectiveness and safety of existing vaccines. Dr. Caroline Quach, then chair of Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization, has said that an approved vaccine for kids isn't expected until 2022. As a result, questions are being asked about the return of school in the fall.

  • Amid calls to present a comprehensive border reopening plan before thinking about calling a federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that it’s going to be “quite a while” yet before Canada is ready to welcome in any tourists who are unvaccinated. (CTV)

    • The prime minister said that he understands the impatience to return to as much of pre-pandemic normalcy as possible but the government remains hesitant to put dates or timelines on the table for when the month-over-month extensions of the international and Canada-U.S. border restrictions could be lifted. “Before we get to reflecting on what international travellers who are not fully vaccinated might be able to do…The next step will be looking at what measures we can allow for international travellers who are fully vaccinated. That will be our first focus, and we will have more to say in the coming weeks,” Trudeau said, promising continued aid for the tourism businesses.

  • Canada is “within reach” of fully vaccinating 80 per cent of those currently eligible against COVID-19 if momentum is kept up, but federal public health officials are cautioning that uptake is starting to slow. (CTV)

    • As of midday Thursday, more than 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada, seeing more than 26 million people, or 77.9 per cent of those eligible, receive at least one dose and 15 million people, or 44.8 per cent of those ages 12 and older, fully vaccinated. With the focus on seeing all those who received their first shots going back for their second, the number of Canadians who are showing up for their first shots is currently increasing at a slower pace. Tam said that in order to get and stay ahead of more highly transmissible variants such as the Delta and Lambda strains of COVID-19 when Canadians head back indoors over the fall and winter, the country needs to reach “the highest possible vaccine coverage as quickly as possible.”

    • Tam said that those who appear to be less eager to “offer their arm” are young people, marginalized populations and in certain smaller communities across the country. She said that reaching those who are unvaccinated is a priority across levels of governments and public health authorities.

  • Canada and Quebec invest in 176 infrastructure projects to improve facilities at post‑secondary institutions in the province. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Danielle McCann, Minister of Higher Education, announced a total of C$220-million in joint funding for these 176 infrastructure projects. The Government of Canada is investing over C$144.3-million through the new COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Quebec is also contributing more than C$75.7-million.

U.S. – Federal

  • COVID-19 cases are up around 11 per cent over the previous week, almost entirely among people who have not been vaccinated officials said on Thursday, as the highly infectious Delta variant becomes the dominant COVID-19 strain in the country. (Reuters)

  • The Biden administration will not immediately lift any international travel restrictions, even as it faces growing pressure from U.S. business groups and lawmakers. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • Alberta continues to be a leader in Canada in administering second doses, with 50.7 per cent of eligible Albertans having received both doses. As of July 6, 73.6 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (News Release)

  • 232,336 cases, an increase of 67 on July 6, 745 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

  • 147,856 cases, an increase of 59 since yesterday, 624 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Over half of Ontario adults now vaccinated with second dose. (News Release)

    • Health care workers across the province have administered more than 16 million doses since the start of the rollout, with Ontario ranking as one of the world’s leading jurisdictions for population percentage to have received their first dose. To date, more than 78 per cent of adults aged 18 and over have received at least a first dose and more than 51 per cent have received both doses, ensuring the strongest possible protection against COVID-19.

  • The Ontario government is investing C$16.3-million in Destination Toronto and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) to support tourism sector recovery in one of Ontario’s key gateway cities. (News Release)

    • Destination Toronto will receive C$9-million to help with workforce development, drive demand to the region and to create new niche tourism products and activities. This funding will be used to help alleviate losses, aid in recovery and ensure Toronto’s tourism businesses are ready to attract more international visitors to Ontario. The MTCC will receive up to C$7.3-million in stabilization funding to support its continued operation and maintenance. The funding will be used to cover core operating costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance and health and safety costs, enabling the MTCC to sustain operations, prevent insolvency and prepare for re-opening.

  • Team Toronto set to launch Home Stretch Vaccine Push focused in north-west neighbourhoods where vaccination rates are the lowest. (News Release)

    • As part of Team Toronto’s ongoing efforts to help to remove barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, a one-week hyper-local vaccination initiative will be launched in the north-west part of the city starting on July 10. Using neighbourhood-level data, more than a dozen micro-focused clinics are being planned to take place across six priority neighbourhoods starting this weekend: Elms – Old Rexdale, Kingsview Village – The Westway, Mount Dennis, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Weston and Englemount-Lawrence.

    • In an effort to break down all remaining barriers to access, the clinics, which will be predominantly administering the Pfizer vaccine for both first and second doses, will be located in and near buildings where residents live and offer flexible afternoon and evening hours to accommodate frontline workers. Extensive multilingual community-based canvassing by community ambassadors will be incorporated through a variety of Team Toronto community agency partners. Other outreach tactics will also be implemented through the city’s VaxTO campaign, including text-based messaging, emails, telephone voice broadcasts and outreach calls from the VaxTO call centre in order to increase access to vaccination clinics as well as vaccination rates.

  • City of Toronto “VaxTO” campaign expands multilingual features and establishes call centre as it continues to connect residents with vaccine information. (News Release)

    • Residents can now connect to vaccination information in the language of their choice through one of 12 translated city microsites. Language options are aligned to the Sprint Strategy 2.0 neighbourhoods and include French, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Farsi (Persian), Portuguese, Spanish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Bengali, Italian, Tamil and Tagalog. VaxTO is also expanding multilingual social and digital advertising efforts across popular social platforms WeChat, Reddit, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.

  • City of Toronto opening Toronto Congress Centre vaccination clinic to walk-ins. (News Release)

    • Beginning Thursday, July 8, the City of Toronto is making walk-in vaccinations available at the Toronto Congress Centre COVID-19 vaccine clinic. From this Thursday to Sunday, approximately 2,000 vaccinations will be available each day for walk-in clients. Walk-in vaccinations are open to anyone age 18 or older to receive a first or second dose of an mRNA vaccine.

    • Walk-ins will be accepted from noon to 7 p.m. daily at the City’s Toronto Congress Centre clinic only. All city-operated vaccination clinics administer the Moderna mRNA vaccine to everyone age 18 and older. The City will be evaluating the effectiveness of the walk-in program and will consider expanding walk-in appointments to other City-operated vaccination clinics based on clinic capacity and appointment availability.

  • O. Reg. 518/21 Extension of Orders amends O. Reg. 25/21 by extending the revocation date of several orders to July 28, 2021.

  • O. Reg. 519/21 Rules of Areas in Step Two amends O. Reg. 263/20. It came into force on July 7, 2021.

  • 546,621 cases, an increase of 210 since yesterday, 1,816 active cases, including four deaths.

Quebec

  • The Legault government plans to use proof of vaccination to limit people's access to non-essential services if the COVID-19 situation worsens in the fall. (News Release)

    • The vaccination passport will work from three principles: 

      • It will be used when the possibility of having access to two doses of vaccine has been offered to the entire Quebec population aged 12 and over; so the target date for the implementation of vaccination passport is September 1, 2021.

      • It will be used only if there is a deterioration or a change in the epidemiological situation in a given territory which would justify its use.

      • It will not be used for access to public or essential services, only for non-essential activities and in the following settings: 

        • High-risk activities involving a limited number of people (gyms, practice of team sports, bars, restaurants, etc.)

        • Moderate or low risk activities, bringing together a larger number of people (arts and entertainment, festivals and major events, sports matches, etc.)

  • Eleven corporate vaccination centers will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montreal, in the Eastern Townships, in the Laurentians, in the Centre-du-Québec, in Montérégie, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • The Ministry for the Economy has announced funding in the 2021-2022 fiscal year towards the economic revival of city centers.

  • Order in Council 937-2021 renews the public health emergency to July 16, 2021. It was published in the Quebec Gazette Part II No. 27A on July 8, 2021. Ministerial orders 049-2021 and 051-2021 (included in previous digest) were published as well.

  • 375,429 cases, an increase of 64 since yesterday, 716 active cases, including 10 deaths.

July 7, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Canadian Blood Services has issued an urgent appeal for blood donations as surgical procedures put on hold during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic begin again. (CTV)

    • The Canadian Blood Services said that while all blood types help patients, there is a specific need for donors with O-negative blood type, which is known as the “universal donor,” as their blood donation is compatible with everyone. The organization said that it will maintain all of the COVID-19 safety protocols in all of its facilities across the country, adding that appointments are still required to donate blood in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s mandate on physical distancing. To find an appointment near you, call 1-888-2-DONATE or 1-888-236-6283 or book online at blood.ca

  • Canada and Quebec are investing in 209 infrastructure projects to modernize health, social services and long-term care facilities. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is contributing C$144.3-million through the new COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Quebec is contributing nearly C$44-million. Several of these projects are aimed at modernizing or reconfiguring facilities at various hospital centres to optimize space and take into account physical distancing requirements and other post-pandemic realities. In addition, many multi-service centres, local community service centres, reception centres and residential and long-term care facilities will receive funding to upgrade their electrical, ventilation or air conditioning systems or to renovate common areas and washrooms to improve safety and well-being.

  • The following regulations were published in the Canada Gazette Part II today:

    • SOR/2021-140 Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code (Medical Devices, COVID-19)

    • SOR/2021-163 Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations

    • SOR/2021-164 Regulations Amending the Canada Recovery Benefits Regulations

U.S. – Federal

  • The Delta variant is already the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States according to data modelling done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CTV)

    • According to the health agency's estimates, the Delta variant became dominant in the country over the two weeks ending July 3, with 51.7 per cent of cases linked to the variant that was first identified in India. The proportion of cases linked to the Alpha variant which was first identified in Britain and had been dominant in the United States so far, fell to 28.7 per cent.

  • U.S. industry groups and lawmakers press White House to lift travel restrictions. (Reuters)

    • A coalition of 24 industry organizations on Wednesday urged the White House to lift restrictions that bar much of the world from traveling to the United States. Separately, 75 members of the U.S. House of Representatives called on Biden to reopen the U.S. border with Canada to non-essential travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19 in U.S. government meetings. Industry and U.S. officials told Reuters they do not expect the administration to lift restrictions soon.

Alberta

British Columbia

  • 147,797 cases, an increase of 46 since yesterday, 602 active cases, no new deaths.

Ontario

  • Ontario's top doctor is calling for all eligible people — especially young adults and teens — to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the planned return to schools in September. (CBC)

    • In Ontario, 78 per cent of Ontario adults have at least one dose of a vaccine and 46 per cent are fully vaccinated. Vaccination coverage is higher among older Ontarians and the rate lags slightly behind when it comes to young adults. Sixty-eight per cent of the population aged 18 to 29 has received the first dose and 66 per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 have their first shots.

  • 546,411 cases, an increase of 194 since yesterday, 1,841 active cases, no new deaths.

Quebec

  • Due to the favourable epidemiological situation and the vaccination coverage in Quebec, new relaxations will come into effect as of Monday, July 12 at 12:01 a.m. They will apply everywhere in Quebec, all regions currently at the new green level. (News Release)

    • Social distancing between people from different households has been lowered to one metre both indoors and outdoors. However, for singing activities and for high intensity exercise in gyms, the two metre distance should be maintained. In addition, wearing a face cover remains compulsory in public places, as is currently the case.

    • There will no longer be capacity restrictions in retail stores. Merchants must however manage traffic in order to be able to maintain a distance of one metre at all times between people of different residences. Wearing a mask or face cover remains mandatory.

    • In indoor and outdoor places with fixed seats, a seat must remain free between people from different residences. The distance of one metre must be kept in common areas.

    • During sporting/leisure events where spectators remain seated in stands, bleachers or fixed seats, the maximum number of spectators authorized per sports area is 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

    • CNESST will distribute, by the time these relaxations come into force, the necessary documentation so that workplaces can apply them in accordance with the health and safety of workers in Quebec.

  • Twelve corporate vaccination centres will today offer walk-in vaccination to people wishing to receive vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in Montreal, in the Eastern Townships, in the Laurentians, in the Centre-du-Québec, in Montérégie, in the Capitale-Nationale and in Chaudière-Appalaches. (News Release)

  • 375,365 cases, an increase of 103 since yesterday, 807 active cases, including one death.

July 6, 2021
Last updated at 5 p.m. (EDT)

Canada – Federal

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that Canada is on track to have everyone who is eligible fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the summer, noting that until around 80 per cent of people are completely immunized, the country will still be at risk for new surges. (CTV)

    • So far, more than 77 per cent of eligible Canadians have received their first dose and more than 36 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated. Citing Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam’s advice, Trudeau said the country should be aiming to get more than 80 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated “if we’re going to be safe.”

  • Canada and Quebec invest in 187 infrastructure projects to improve Quebec’s educational facilities. (News Release and Backgrounder)

    • The Government of Canada is investing over C$144.2-million through the new COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Quebec is also contributing nearly C$36.1-million, in addition to the significant funding already allocated by Quebec for the improvement of its educational infrastructure. Several of these projects are aimed at replacing or retrofitting the establishments’ electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning or security systems. Other projects involve repairing or renovating roofs, doors and windows, ceilings, as well as interior and exterior finishes. Many schoolyards will also be upgraded or redeveloped.

U.S. – Federal

  • Biden to zero in on Delta variant as U.S. approaches 160 million COVID-19 vaccinations. (Reuters)

Alberta

  • 232,236 cases, an increase of 44 on July 4, 831 active cases, including two deaths.

British Columbia

Ontario

  • An Ontario health unit is repeating COVID-19 vaccines for people who attended a clinic where some were injected with a saline solution instead of the shot. Niagara Region Public Health says six people were injected with the harmless saline substance on June 16 at a clinic in Port Colborne, Ont. (CTV)

  • City of Toronto launches RecoveryTO webpages to highlight Toronto’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. (