Coronavirus Update: Public-health adviser pushes for clear criteria for lockdowns

Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Ontario public-health officer, adviser to Ottawa says lockdown criteria should be public
  2. Trudeau stresses that Canada is in an “incredibly serious” position despite positive vaccine news
  3. Slovakia slowly easing restrictions following ground-breaking mass-testing campaign

In Canada, there have been at least 306,468 cases reported. In the last week 33,432 new cases were announced, 19 per cent more than the previous week.

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There have also been at least 244,152 recoveries and 11,086 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 11,566,031 tests.

new deaths canada nov 17

The Globe and Mail

Worldwide, there have been at least 55,014,346 cases confirmed and 1,326,991 deaths reported.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.


Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopening Mask-wearing rules Back to school guide Essential resources


Photo of the day

Residents lined up in their cars at a COVID-19 test centre on the grounds of Miller Park today in Milwaukee, Wisc. Wisconsin recently reported a seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate of nearly 40 per cent.

Scott Olson/Getty Images


Coronavirus in Canada

  • A member of Ontario’s public-health advisory group says the province should provide clear criteria for when a lockdown would take place – details that were absent from the colour-coded reopening framework released this month. Meanwhile, the province may extend the winter break for students. And in Toronto, two in every third child on a waitlist for pediatric surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children has missed the “window” for when their surgeries should have been performed.
  • The Premier of Quebec said it is unlikely to lift the partial lockdown currently in force in much of the province, set to expire on Nov. 23, before the Christmas holidays. The province reported 982 new cases and 24 more deaths today.
  • Manitoba is hiring a private security firm to help enforce COVID-19 restrictions. The province announced 270 new cases and seven deaths today.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister said the country remains in an “incredibly serious” position, with COVID-19 case numbers rising in many provinces and months to go before vaccines arrive.

  • In the past two weeks, Pfizer and Moderna have reported on the efficacy of their vaccine candidates, which Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam called “promising.”
  • “We still have to get through the next month and the month after that before vaccines arrive,” Trudeau said.
  • When asked about invoking the Emergencies Act, the Prime Minister said, “I don’t think we’re there yet. I hope we won’t and I don’t think we will.”

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Coronavirus around the world

  • Slovakia is reopening its economy after carrying out a mass-testing program, the first of its kind in Europe. Over two-thirds of the country’s 5.5 million people were tested using rapid-antigen tests, which identified 57,500 positive cases who were then forced to quarantine.
  • With more shutdowns looming and a vaccine months away from wide distribution, governors across the U.S. are pleading for more help from Washington ahead of what is shaping up to be a bleak winter.

Coronavirus and business

The pandemic has accelerated the risks associated with climate change, according to Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem.

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Also today: Retail sales in the United States rose less than expected in October as infections surged across the country .


Globe opinion

  • Bob Bell: “The recent announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine candidate has shown promising preliminary results in Phase 3 clinical trials is certainly welcome news. But finding a vaccine that works is just the beginning.”
  • Konrad Yakabuski: “The profound economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic has rendered fiscal projections beyond the current fiscal year highly unreliable. But it is a reasonable bet that overall provincial debt levels could rise by $200-billion by 2023, with more than half of that total coming from Ontario.”

More reporting


Information centre

Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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