Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario’s daily case count continues to climb with 636 new infections and two more deaths; Canada-U.S. land border set to open Monday – Toronto Star

Sign In
Sign In
The Star Edition
CHANGE LOCATION
This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com
The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
1:45 p.m.: New Brunswick is reporting 53 new cases of COVID-19 ahead of Monday’s opening of the Canada-U.S. land border.
Officials say travellers entering the province from Maine and other U.S. states will be held to new federal requirements, which include full vaccination against the disease and a negative PCR test result.
Travellers will also need to register their trips with New Brunswick online.
Officials also announced 56 COVID-19 recoveries, bringing the province’s confirmed case count to 473.
Vaccination rates in the province now sit at 85.9 per cent for eligible residents who are fully vaccinated and 92.9 per cent for those who have received at least one dose.
Fifteen patients are in hospital due to the disease, with nine of those in intensive care.
11:45 a.m.: Quebec is reporting 545 new cases of COVID-19 today and three deaths attributed to the virus.
Health officials say COVID-19-related hospitalizations dropped by two from yesterday’s numbers to 227, while the number of people in intensive care declined by one to 50.
The seven-day average for new cases stands at 558.
Of the latest reported infections, 333 were among people who were either unvaccinated or who had only received a first dose within the past two weeks.
Quebec says another 6,285 vaccine doses have been administered, most of which were given in the past 24 hours.
The province’s public health institute says about 91 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, while 87 per cent are considered fully vaccinated with two shots.
11:40 a.m. (updated): Ontario is reporting 636 COVID-19 cases, according to its latest report released Sunday morning, the highest daily increase in a month.
This is about 50 per cent more than last Sunday, and the most since Oct. 9 when the province announced 654 cases.
Two more deaths were also reported.
The Star’s Lloyd Quansah has more details.
10:25 a.m.: The number of new daily COVID-19 infections in Ontario continues to creep up.
There are 636 new cases and two more deaths, the province reported Sunday, with 388 cases for people who weren’t fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status; and 248 in fully vaccinated individuals.
Health Minister Christine Elliott also noted that 88.4 per cent of Ontarians, 12 years old and older, have one dose and 84.9 per cent have two doses. She said 93 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, and 126 people are in ICU. Not all hospitals report on weekends.
Just last Sunday there were 443 new COVID cases.
8:55 a.m. With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for younger children, many elementary schools around the U.S. are preparing to offer the shots, which educators see as key to keeping students learning in person and making the classroom experience closer to what it once was.
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics on campus, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to improving access and helping overcome hesitancy — particularly in communities with low overall vaccination rates.
Still, many school systems are choosing not to offer elementary schools as hosts for vaccination sites after some middle and high schools that offered shots received pushback.
More than 250 families signed up for vaccinations that began Thursday at elementary schools in Duluth, Minnesota, which organized clinics immediately after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot for children ages 5 to 11. Superintendent John Magas called the vaccines a “game changer.”
Read more from The Associated Press.
8 a.m. The southbound lanes on the road to North America’s post-pandemic recovery will finally reopen Monday as the United States ends nearly 20 months of controversial COVID-19 exile and allows fully vaccinated travellers to cross the Canada-U.S. land border.
As of midnight, non-essential traffic will resume moving in both directions for the first time since March 2020, when both countries imposed sweeping but selective restrictions in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus — the first widespread border closure since the 9/11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago.
After nearly two years, however, the excitement isn’t exactly palpable.
“We’re on the other side of this, hopefully, but if the border were to ever close again, they really need to realize that families are essential,” said Kim Patchett, who lives with her husband Barry in Saugeen Shores, Ont., west of Owen Sound on the shores of Lake Huron.
Read more from The Canadian Press.
7:45 a.m. Ann Harkness is champing at the bit to start her annual migration.
For 13 years, the retired teacher and her husband, Steve, taunted the winter freeze by packing the car up each fall and driving south to Winter Haven, Fla., from Kingston, Ont., to while away the cold Canadian months until the spring thaw tempted them home again.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that routine. For the first time in more than a decade, the Harknesses stayed home for the winter.
But this year, with winter fast approaching and the U.S. border finally opening to non-essential travellers Monday, Harkness and an estimated one million snowbirds like her are hearing the call of the mild again.
“We’re very excited to be able to go this year. Absolutely,” she said. “Everybody’s fully vaccinated, we’re ready to go. As soon as that border opens up.”
Read the full story from the Star’s Steve McKinley.
7:25 a.m. President Joe Biden is pushing forward with a massive plan to require millions of private sector employees to get vaccinated by early next year. But first, he has to make sure workers in his own federal government get the shot.
About 4 million federal workers are to be vaccinated by Nov. 22 under the president’s executive order. Some employees, like those at the White House, are nearly all vaccinated. But the rates are lower at other federal agencies, particularly those related to law enforcement and intelligence, according to the agencies and union leaders. And some resistant workers are digging in, filing lawsuits and protesting what they say is unfair overreach by the White House.
The upcoming deadline is the first test of Biden’s push to compel people to get vaccinated. Beyond the federal worker rule, another mandate will take effect in January aimed at around 84 million private sector workers, according to guidelines put out this past week.
If the mandates are a success, they could make the most serious dent in new coronavirus cases since the vaccine first became available, especially with the news this past week that children ages 5-11 can get the shot making an additional 64 million people eligible. But with two weeks remaining until the federal worker deadline, some leaders of unions representing the employees say that convincing the unvaccinated to change their mind is increasingly challenging.
Read more from The Associated Press.
7 a.m. As COVID-19 ravaged Hungary in April, Budapest resident Akos Sipos received his second vaccine dose, believing he was doing the right thing for his own health and to help end the pandemic.
But Sipos, 46, soon discovered that the vaccine he received, Russia’s Sputnik V, disqualified him from traveling to a number of other countries where it hadn’t been approved. The nations include the United States, which is pushing forward with a new air travel policy that will make Sipos and many like him ineligible to enter.
“I thought it’s better to get Sputnik today than a Western vaccine at some uncertain future time,” Sipos, who works as a search engine optimization specialist, said of his initial decision to receive the jab. “But I couldn’t have known at that time that I wouldn’t be able to travel with Sputnik.”
Starting Monday, the United States plans to reopen to foreign travelers who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. But there’s a catch: non-immigrant adults need to have received vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or which received an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization.
That leaves many hopeful travelers across the globe who have taken full courses of vaccines widely used in other parts of the world — Sputnik V and the China-produced CanSino jab, in particular — scrambling to get reinoculated with shots approved by U.S. authorities.

Anyone can read Conversations, but to contribute, you should be registered Torstar account holder. If you do not yet have a Torstar account, you can create one now (it is free)
Sign In
Register
Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or distribution of this content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. To order copies of Toronto Star articles, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com

source