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","contentSnippet":"The first COVID-19 vaccines were injected into the arms of Canadians on Monday, a historic moment some have dubbed “V-Day,” as the country enters a new phase of the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus.\n\n\tIn Ontario and Quebec, the first shots were administered to a small group of prioritized people on Monday, after Pfizer-BioNTech’s initial shipments of doses landed on Sunday night.\n\n\tThis week, 14 sites across the 10 provinces will be receiving Canada’s initial 30,000 doses, as the country’s largest and most logistically complex mass-immunization campaign kicks off.\n\n\t“I'm very pleased with how this is unfolding,” said the top military general who is leading the rollout from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin on Monday afternoon.  \n\n\tThe landmark vaccination effort is focusing first on the people who the virus has hit hardest in this country: staff and residents of long-term care homes as well as frontline health care staff treating COVID-19 patients. \n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tCanada’s first recipient of a COVID-19 vaccine was 89-year-old Gisele Levesque, a resident at the Saint-Antoine long-term care home in Quebec City. She got her shot at 11:25 a.m. In that province, vaccinations also began at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal. That province was set to receive 1,950 initial doses.\n\n\t“You will hear the emotion in my voice, because this is a very big day for us today,\" said Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé, at a press conference outside of Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal.\n\n\tThe first vaccine given in Ontario went to personal support worker Anita Quidangen. She received her shot at the Michener Institute, part of the University Health Network in Toronto, donning scrubs and a face mask. Camera crews were on-hand to capture the moment, carried live on TV, at 12:03 p.m. EST.\n\n\t\"Thank you very much… \"I’m excited,\" Quidangen said to applause from colleagues.\n\n\tShe was one of five front-line workers from the Rekai Centre—the first multilingual, non-profit nursing home in Canada—to be given the first chance to receive some of that province’s initial 6,000 doses. \n\n\t“She has worked tirelessly to care for some of our most vulnerable, both throughout this pandemic and since her first days as a PSW in 1988. Anita has spent years rolling up her sleeves to protect our province, and today, she didn't hesitate to find a new way to do so,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford in a statement.\n\n\tFederal Health Minister Patty Hajdu was in Montreal for the occasion, and said the last nine months have been traumatic for many Canadians, particularly those who work in or have loved ones inside long-term care homes or other health-care facilities. \n\n\t“I know how worried and anxious families and health-care workers are, all across the country,” she said. “So I see this as the first step forward into the light.” \n\n\tSitting in specialized freezer boxes, the doses left Europe for Canada over the weekend, and Fortin said Monday he was not aware of any issues with keeping the doses that arrived so far at the extreme cold temperature required.\n\n\t“Everything's going according to plans,” he said. \n\n\tAs of Monday evening there had been no reports of adverse reactions among the first Canadian recipients of the vaccine. \n\n\tTHOUSANDS VACCINATED BEFORE 2021 \n\n\tOver the course of the day more shipments from UPS, who the pharmaceutical giant has contracted to deliver the vaccines, have been arriving at the other delivery sites across Canada. At each, plans are in place to start vaccinating even more health-care staff and long-term care home residents and their caregivers, on Tuesday and continuing all week long.\n\n\t“We finally have a tool to protect the residents, so it’s a great day for us,” said Lucie Tremblay, the director of nursing for CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, in an interview on CTV News Channel. “It’s the beginning of the end of this awful illness. I think that for the last 10 months, everybody was under a lot of stress. We were always afraid that the residents would get the illness, we were afraid of losing residents and we did, unfortunately.” \n\n\tAccording to federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand, approximately 30,000 more doses are expected to arrive next week, as the country’s supply will continue arriving in stages.\n\n\t“Canada is charting its path forward towards recovery,” Anand said Monday. \n\n\tThough the next round of deliveries could be much larger.\n\n\t“There could be significantly more than 30,000, but at this time I'm not prepared to speak to the exact numbers… between now and the end of the end of this month, we can have up to 219,000 additional doses. The exact scheduled delivery remains to be finalized,” Fortin said Monday.\n\n\tAlberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro also signalled his province is bracing to get a much larger shipment next week. Initial vaccinations are slated to begin in Alberta on Wednesday, with calls being put in to the early recipients to schedule their appointments.  \n\n\tRetired Canadian Armed Forces Gen. Rick Hillier, who is leading Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, said that Monday marks the start of what will be likely close to a year-long process to see everyone who wants to be vaccinated able to do so. \n\n\t“We're all feeling, maybe just a little tiny sigh of relief now… maybe there is hope that we'll get out of this incredible period that we've been through that's been so brutal on everybody,” said Hillier in an interview on CTV News Channel on Monday. \n\n\tHillier said Ontario’s approach is to hold on to half of the vials that have arrived so far, to secure them as the second dose to give to those who are getting vaccinated this week, three weeks from now, rather than give them all out and hope the second round arrives in time.\n\n\t“We can't change the supply, I can't make every vaccine that we need show up here on day one and put it into the arm of somebody who needs it and wants it, which is hopefully the vast majority of the population here in Ontario,” he said. \n\n\t\n\t\tAnswering the most common questions about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine\n\n\n\tWhile it’s the moment many have been waiting for, infectious disease specialist and Ontario vaccine task force member Isaac Bogoch told CTV’s Your Morning that this first batch is more like a “trial run” until more shipments arrive in the coming days and weeks.\n\n\t“It’s a small initial batch,” said Bogoch. “These [14] programs are going to start. It’s going to take some time for them to take off, but they are going to take off, and soon every Canadian will be able to get access to this and this terrible pandemic will come to an end.”\n\n\tBetween now and the end of December, Canada is set to receive 249,000 doses from Pfizer, after the federal government secured an early first delivery just days ahead of Health Canada’s authorization. The initial plan was to see Canada’s vaccine effort kick off in earnest in January.\n\n\tBy the end of March Canada is set to receive four million total doses, which is enough to fully vaccinate two million people, given it’s a two-shot immunization process with the second needle administered 21 days following the first. In total, Canada is set to receive 20 million Pfizer doses.\n\n\tThose being vaccinated this week won't achieve the promised more than 90 per cent immunity until the second week of January. \n\n\tThe provinces have been tasked with keeping track of who has been vaccinated and ensuring they come back on time for their second shot, but the federal government will also be keeping track of the rates of immunization.  \n\n\tPANDEMIC FAR FROM OVER\n\n\tThe big week finally comes more than nine months after the World Health Organization officially labelled global SARS-COV-2 outbreaks a pandemic and Canadians first entered lockdown amid a first wave of infections. Since then, infections dipped and surged again. Health officials in Canada have confirmed more than 460,000 cases of COVID-19 and close to 13,500 deaths as of Monday. Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 1.6 million people.\n\n\tThe Pfizer-BioNTech shots are the first of several vaccines expected to be on the market soon, according to experts, after record-breaking development and production by scientists around the world. Americans began receiving Pfizer vaccines on Monday as well.\n\n\tCanada has signed deals with seven vaccine manufactures, securing more than 400 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines, should all trials pan out.\n\n\t“This is incredible stuff. We all know how horrible it’s been with the pandemic globally and of course here in Canada,” said Bogoch.\n\n\t\n\t\tDoctors say 'long journey ahead' to combat virus despite Pfizer vaccine approval\n\n\n\tBut officials are still warning that “V-Day” excitement doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. On Sunday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canadians should continue wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding gatherings and using the COVID Alert exposure notification app.\n\n\t“This is good news. But our fight against COVID-19 is not over,” he wrote. “Now more than ever, let’s keep up our vigilance.”\n\n\tCanadians should “double down” in the coming weeks, as the vaccination programs are likely to face a number of hurdles, Bogoch said.\n\n\tMODERNA APPROVAL NEXT? \n\n\tThe Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not the COVID-19 panacea. Because the vaccine’s requirements are particularly complicated, including the need to be stored at -70 C, initial doses are not being distributed to Indigenous communities or the territories.\n\n\tThe hope is that the Moderna vaccine candidate, which has yet to be approved by Health Canada but has less complicated storage requirements, will be able to roll out to those communities soon. \n\n\tModerna’s vaccine candidate is now the most advanced in Canada's regulatory process, but there isn’t a date or estimate yet for when it may be given the green light. Provinces though, are preparing to be able to have access to this vaccine option later this month.\n\n\tAnand said that the government is currently in talks with Moderna about receiving initial doses early.\n\n\t“We are in touch with our suppliers every day, including Moderna, and we are pressing for early deliveries of the doses pending Health Canada regulatory approval,” said Anand in an interview with Evan Solomon on CTV’s Question Period that aired Sunday. \n\n\tBogoch suggested that a “mobile truck” operation could even administer a less complex vaccine like Moderna’s to people experiencing homelessness in urban areas, but in the meantime “we just have to work within the confines of the vaccine properties that we have access to.”\n\n\tWhile this week is a promising milestone during a long pandemic, Canadians are a long way out from “normal,” said Bogoch.\n\n\t“We’ll probably start to see a lifting of these health restrictions when enough Canadians have had access to the vaccine,” he said.  \n\n\tThe federal government is aiming to have all Canadians who want to be vaccinated receive their shots by the end of 2021.\n\n\tWith files from CTV Montreal and CTV Toronto  ","guid":"1.5230184","isoDate":"2020-12-14T14:44:00.000Z","embed":"

'V-Day': First COVID-19 vaccines administered in Canada

CoronavirusThe first COVID-19 vaccines were injected into the arms of Canadians on Monday, a historic moment some have dubbed \"V-Day,\" as the country enters a new phase of the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/8787c931-39af-4c65-af8c-9b4d9912459f_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:f1b80f3c-d537-44ef-8ac5-bc85d7262880"},{"Id":1196386393,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:21 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:21 PM","Content":"

EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21

CoronavirusFacing strong pressure from Germany and other European Union nations, the bloc's medicines agency on Tuesday moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21, likely bringing vaccinations a step closer for millions of EU citizens.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/eu-regulators-move-up-pfizer-vaccine-assessment-to-dec-21-1.5231689","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 08:49:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5221618.1607438371!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tFacing strong pressure from Germany and other European Union nations, the bloc's medicines agency on Tuesday moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21, likely bringing vaccinations a step closer for millions of EU citizens.

\n

\n\tThe agency said it made the decision after receiving additional data from the vaccine makers. The announcement came after Germany's health minister and others had publicly demanded that the agency move quicker than its previously planned Dec. 29 meeting at which it was to discuss approving the vaccine.

\n

\n\tThe vaccine is already being given daily to thousands of people in Britain, Canada and the United States, galling some Europeans who note that BioNTech is a Germany company.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tThe European Medicines Agency said it's human medicines committee "will conclude its assessment at the earliest possible timepoint and only once the data on the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are sufficiently robust and complete to determine whether the vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks."

\n

\n\tAfter the committee recommends a marketing authorization, the EU's Executive Commission will "fast track its decision-making process" to giving the vaccine approval for all 27 EU nations and a few others within days, the EMA said.

\n

\n\t"Our goal is an approval before Christmas," German Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters earlier Tuesday in Berlin. "We want to still start vaccinating this year."

\n

\n\tAsked by The Associated Press whether he had received direct confirmation that the vaccine would be approved by Dec. 23, Spahn said he had, "otherwise I wouldn't have said that."

\n

\n\tHe added, however, "the EU has to announce it."

\n

\n\tSpahn has expressed impatience with the EMA for days, noting that Germany has created some 440 vaccination centres, activated about 10,000 doctors and medical staff and was ready to start mass vaccinations immediately.

\n

\n\tItaly, where Europe's coronavirus outbreak erupted in February and which now leads the continent in the COVID-19 death count, also was pressing for a safe, accelerated approval process.

\n

\n\t"My hope is that the EMA, in compliance with all safety procedures, will be able to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier than expected and that vaccinations can also begin in the countries of the European Union as soon as possible," Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.

\n

\n\tThe new vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech and American drugmaker Pfizer is already being used in Britain, the United States, Canada and other countries. But Germany cannot start vaccinations because it is still waiting for approval by the EMA, which evaluates drugs and vaccines for the EU's 27 nations.

\n

\n\t"It cannot be that a vaccine that has been developed in Germany is only approved and vaccinated (here) in January," said Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, a federal lawmaker with the pro-business Free Democrats.

\n

\n\tThe German Hospital Association chimed in Tuesday, demanding that the EU shorten its lengthy approval process and issue emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

\n

\n\t"I am asking myself if we really need time until Dec. 29 to reach the approval of the vaccination in Europe -- Europe should try to get an emergency authorization earlier," Gerald Gass, president of the hospital association, told the RND media group. "That way we could still go into nursing homes with mobile teams before Christmas and vaccinate the residents."

\n

\n\tPart of the problem could be that the EU is seeking to kick off vaccinations in all of its nations at the same time, and Germany could be more prepared than others.

\n

\n\tSpahn's growing anxiety comes as Germany has been hitting records of new daily infections and virus deaths in recent weeks. Hospitals and medical groups across Germany have also repeatedly warned they are reaching their limits in caring for COVID-19 patients. On Tuesday, 4,670 COVID-19 patients were being treated in German ICUs.

\n

\n\tThe nation is going into a hard lockdown Wednesday with schools and most stores shutting down at least until Jan. 10 to stop the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases.

\n

\n\tSpahn's ministry says Germany is ready to give 3 million to 4 million BioNTech vaccination doses in January and up to 11 million doses in the first quarter of 2021.

\n

\n\tThe country would be able to vaccinate up to 60% of Germany's citizens by the end of the summer, Spahn said Monday night on public broadcaster ZDF. The World Health Organization says around 60% to 70% of a population needs to be vaccinated to successfully tamp down the pandemic.

\n

\n\tThe Robert Koch Institute, Germany's central disease control centre, on Tuesday reported 14,432 new confirmed cases and 500 new deaths, the third-highest number of daily deaths since the pandemic began. Germany has counted over 22,600 virus deaths overall, which is still one-third the toll of Italy or Britain.

\n

\n\tThe institute's chief warned that the case numbers would still go up for some time despite Germany's new lockdown.

\n

\n\t"Those older than 80 are getting more and more affected, and those are the people who get severely ill or die." Lothar Wieler warned.

\n

\n\t----

\n

\n\tMike Corder in The Hague, Nicole Winfield in Rome and Maria Cheng in Toronto contributed to this report

","contentSnippet":"Facing strong pressure from Germany and other European Union nations, the bloc's medicines agency on Tuesday moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21, likely bringing vaccinations a step closer for millions of EU citizens.\n\n\tThe agency said it made the decision after receiving additional data from the vaccine makers. The announcement came after Germany's health minister and others had publicly demanded that the agency move quicker than its previously planned Dec. 29 meeting at which it was to discuss approving the vaccine.\n\n\tThe vaccine is already being given daily to thousands of people in Britain, Canada and the United States, galling some Europeans who note that BioNTech is a Germany company.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tThe European Medicines Agency said it's human medicines committee \"will conclude its assessment at the earliest possible timepoint and only once the data on the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are sufficiently robust and complete to determine whether the vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks.\"\n\n\tAfter the committee recommends a marketing authorization, the EU's Executive Commission will \"fast track its decision-making process\" to giving the vaccine approval for all 27 EU nations and a few others within days, the EMA said.\n\n\t\"Our goal is an approval before Christmas,\" German Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters earlier Tuesday in Berlin. \"We want to still start vaccinating this year.\"\n\n\tAsked by The Associated Press whether he had received direct confirmation that the vaccine would be approved by Dec. 23, Spahn said he had, \"otherwise I wouldn't have said that.\"\n\n\tHe added, however, \"the EU has to announce it.\"\n\n\tSpahn has expressed impatience with the EMA for days, noting that Germany has created some 440 vaccination centres, activated about 10,000 doctors and medical staff and was ready to start mass vaccinations immediately.\n\n\tItaly, where Europe's coronavirus outbreak erupted in February and which now leads the continent in the COVID-19 death count, also was pressing for a safe, accelerated approval process.\n\n\t\"My hope is that the EMA, in compliance with all safety procedures, will be able to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier than expected and that vaccinations can also begin in the countries of the European Union as soon as possible,\" Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.\n\n\tThe new vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech and American drugmaker Pfizer is already being used in Britain, the United States, Canada and other countries. But Germany cannot start vaccinations because it is still waiting for approval by the EMA, which evaluates drugs and vaccines for the EU's 27 nations.\n\n\t\"It cannot be that a vaccine that has been developed in Germany is only approved and vaccinated (here) in January,\" said Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, a federal lawmaker with the pro-business Free Democrats.\n\n\tThe German Hospital Association chimed in Tuesday, demanding that the EU shorten its lengthy approval process and issue emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.\n\n\t\"I am asking myself if we really need time until Dec. 29 to reach the approval of the vaccination in Europe -- Europe should try to get an emergency authorization earlier,\" Gerald Gass, president of the hospital association, told the RND media group. \"That way we could still go into nursing homes with mobile teams before Christmas and vaccinate the residents.\"\n\n\tPart of the problem could be that the EU is seeking to kick off vaccinations in all of its nations at the same time, and Germany could be more prepared than others.\n\n\tSpahn's growing anxiety comes as Germany has been hitting records of new daily infections and virus deaths in recent weeks. Hospitals and medical groups across Germany have also repeatedly warned they are reaching their limits in caring for COVID-19 patients. On Tuesday, 4,670 COVID-19 patients were being treated in German ICUs.\n\n\tThe nation is going into a hard lockdown Wednesday with schools and most stores shutting down at least until Jan. 10 to stop the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases.\n\n\tSpahn's ministry says Germany is ready to give 3 million to 4 million BioNTech vaccination doses in January and up to 11 million doses in the first quarter of 2021.\n\n\tThe country would be able to vaccinate up to 60% of Germany's citizens by the end of the summer, Spahn said Monday night on public broadcaster ZDF. The World Health Organization says around 60% to 70% of a population needs to be vaccinated to successfully tamp down the pandemic.\n\n\tThe Robert Koch Institute, Germany's central disease control centre, on Tuesday reported 14,432 new confirmed cases and 500 new deaths, the third-highest number of daily deaths since the pandemic began. Germany has counted over 22,600 virus deaths overall, which is still one-third the toll of Italy or Britain.\n\n\tThe institute's chief warned that the case numbers would still go up for some time despite Germany's new lockdown.\n\n\t\"Those older than 80 are getting more and more affected, and those are the people who get severely ill or die.\" Lothar Wieler warned.\n\n\t----\n\n\tMike Corder in The Hague, Nicole Winfield in Rome and Maria Cheng in Toronto contributed to this report","guid":"1.5231689","isoDate":"2020-12-15T13:49:00.000Z","embed":"

EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21

CoronavirusFacing strong pressure from Germany and other European Union nations, the bloc's medicines agency on Tuesday moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21, likely bringing vaccinations a step closer for millions of EU citizens.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/24c08948-df82-4fa2-a99f-15a2bfa595bf_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:ba12ee8b-d1a4-4405-9d56-d13b4b9d9725"},{"Id":1196386396,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:23 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:22 PM","Content":"

Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?

CoronavirusAs Canadians, Britons and Americans begin getting immunized with a German-developed vaccine against coronavirus, pressure is building on the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer Inc. and the German company BioNTech. German officials have been especially vocal that they want it approved before Christmas. Here's a look at the EMA approval process:
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/why-is-the-eu-taking-so-long-to-ok-vaccine-1.5231702","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 09:03:13 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5231707.1608040779!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tAs Canadians, Britons and Americans begin getting immunized with a German-developed vaccine against coronavirus, pressure is building on the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer Inc. and the German company BioNTech. German officials have been especially vocal that they want it approved before Christmas. Here's a look at the EMA approval process:

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tWHAT IS THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY?

\n

\n\tThe EMA is Europe's medicines regulatory agency and approves new treatments and vaccines for all 27 countries across the European Union. It is roughly comparable to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency is headquartered in Amsterdam and it has nearly 900 employees.

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tWHY IS THE EMA TAKING SO LONG TO APPROVE A VACCINE?

\n

\n\tBritain, Canada and the U.S. granted approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be used under emergency use provisions earlier this month, meaning the shot is an unlicensed product whose temporary use is justified by the urgency of a pandemic that has already killed over 1.6 million people.

\n

\n\tBut the EMA's approval process for coronavirus vaccines is largely similar to the standard licensing procedure that would be granted to any new vaccine, only on an accelerated schedule. The companies will still need to submit follow-up data to the EU regulator and the approval will need to be renewed after one year.

\n

\n\tEMA Executive Director Emer Cooke told The Associated Press that while all of the regulatory agencies in the U.S., Britain and Canada are largely looking at the same data, "we may not have all gotten it at the same time." EMA began its expedited approval process of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in October and the companies formally asked for their shot to be licensed on Dec. 1.

\n

\n\tUsing its expedited approval process, the EMA says the time for assessing a new drug or vaccine has been shortened from about 210 days to fewer than 150.

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tHOW WILL THE EMA DECIDE WHETHER TO OK THE VACCINE?

\n

\n\tThe EMA is convening an "extraordinary" meeting on Dec. 29 -- although that date could be moved up sooner -- during which their experts will discuss the data behind the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The meeting, which will be closed, will include a presentation by two officials charged with assessing the vaccine and could also include bringing in company representatives to answer questions.

\n

\n\tWithin hours of the meeting's conclusion, the EMA will issue a statement on whether or not it is recommending the vaccine be approved. Several days later, they will release their full scientific assessment explaining the decision.

\n

\n\tThe EMA's approval is valid in all 27 EU countries and once it is granted, countries can start receiving vaccines for immunization campaigns. An Italian health official says all EU countries want to start vaccinations on the same day.

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tWHAT DOES GERMANY THINK?

\n

\n\tGermany is increasing the pressure on the agency, with its health minister, a leading hospital association and lawmakers all demanding that it approve a coronavirus vaccine before Christmas.

\n

\n\t"Our goal is an approval before Christmas so that we can still start vaccinating this year," Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

\n

\n\tSpahn has expressed impatience with the EMA, noting that Germany has already created some 440 vaccination centres, activated about 10,000 doctors and medical staff and was ready to start mass vaccinations.

\n

\n\tThe German Hospital Association chipped in Tuesday as well, demanding that the agency issue emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That way, it says, workers can go into nursing homes to vaccinate those most at risk of dying from the virus.

\n

\n\tOther EU nations are also getting impatient.

\n

\n\t"My hope is that the EMA, in compliance with all safety procedures, will be able to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier than expected and that vaccinations can also begin in the countries of the European Union as soon as possible," Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said Tuesday.

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tWILL THE EMA SPEED UP ITS APPROVAL?

\n

\n\tCooke, the agency's chief, said Monday that EMA staff are working "around the clock" and that if they have sufficient data and have completed their required protocols, the Dec. 29 meeting to consider the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could indeed be moved up.

\n

\n\t"We feel a huge responsibility to get this right ... to make sure that what we deliver in terms of a scientific opinion is robust and reliable," Cooke told the AP in an interview last week. "It's already a huge responsibility, I can tell you, without putting a race around it."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tIS THE AGENCY EXAMINING ANY OTHER CORONAVIRUS VACCINES?

\n

\n\tThe EMA is also planning to convene a meeting Jan. 12 to consider approving the coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna, but said that discussion too could be moved up earlier.

\n

\n\tIt is also assessing data from two other vaccines, one made by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and the other by Janssen, but neither of those two companies have yet made a formal request to be licensed in the EU.

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tHOW WILL EMA MAKE SURE A VACCINE IS SAFE ONCE IT'S BEING USED?

\n

\n\tThe agency usually asks companies to deliver data on vaccines' safety and side effects every six months, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be asking companies for that data every month.

\n

\n\t"We need to consider how (these vaccines) perform once they are once they are deployed in a mass vaccination situation," Cooke said, explaining that the EMA is adopting extra surveillance measures to detect any rare or serious side effects.

\n

\n\tAlthough tests of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine suggested the shot is safe and about 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, there is still limited long-term safety data on it.

\n

\n\tOn the day that Britain started its mass vaccination program last week, severe allergic reactions were reported in two people who got the shot. Officials are now investigating if those reactions were caused by the vaccine and have advised people with severe allergies not to get the shot.

","contentSnippet":"As Canadians, Britons and Americans begin getting immunized with a German-developed vaccine against coronavirus, pressure is building on the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer Inc. and the German company BioNTech. German officials have been especially vocal that they want it approved before Christmas. Here's a look at the EMA approval process:\n\n\t------\n\n\tWHAT IS THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY?\n\n\tThe EMA is Europe's medicines regulatory agency and approves new treatments and vaccines for all 27 countries across the European Union. It is roughly comparable to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency is headquartered in Amsterdam and it has nearly 900 employees.\n\n\t------\n\n\tWHY IS THE EMA TAKING SO LONG TO APPROVE A VACCINE?\n\n\tBritain, Canada and the U.S. granted approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be used under emergency use provisions earlier this month, meaning the shot is an unlicensed product whose temporary use is justified by the urgency of a pandemic that has already killed over 1.6 million people.\n\n\tBut the EMA's approval process for coronavirus vaccines is largely similar to the standard licensing procedure that would be granted to any new vaccine, only on an accelerated schedule. The companies will still need to submit follow-up data to the EU regulator and the approval will need to be renewed after one year.\n\n\tEMA Executive Director Emer Cooke told The Associated Press that while all of the regulatory agencies in the U.S., Britain and Canada are largely looking at the same data, \"we may not have all gotten it at the same time.\" EMA began its expedited approval process of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in October and the companies formally asked for their shot to be licensed on Dec. 1.\n\n\tUsing its expedited approval process, the EMA says the time for assessing a new drug or vaccine has been shortened from about 210 days to fewer than 150.\n\n\t------\n\n\tHOW WILL THE EMA DECIDE WHETHER TO OK THE VACCINE?\n\n\tThe EMA is convening an \"extraordinary\" meeting on Dec. 29 -- although that date could be moved up sooner -- during which their experts will discuss the data behind the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The meeting, which will be closed, will include a presentation by two officials charged with assessing the vaccine and could also include bringing in company representatives to answer questions.\n\n\tWithin hours of the meeting's conclusion, the EMA will issue a statement on whether or not it is recommending the vaccine be approved. Several days later, they will release their full scientific assessment explaining the decision.\n\n\tThe EMA's approval is valid in all 27 EU countries and once it is granted, countries can start receiving vaccines for immunization campaigns. An Italian health official says all EU countries want to start vaccinations on the same day.\n\n\t------\n\n\tWHAT DOES GERMANY THINK?\n\n\tGermany is increasing the pressure on the agency, with its health minister, a leading hospital association and lawmakers all demanding that it approve a coronavirus vaccine before Christmas.\n\n\t\"Our goal is an approval before Christmas so that we can still start vaccinating this year,\" Health Minister Jens Spahn said.\n\n\tSpahn has expressed impatience with the EMA, noting that Germany has already created some 440 vaccination centres, activated about 10,000 doctors and medical staff and was ready to start mass vaccinations.\n\n\tThe German Hospital Association chipped in Tuesday as well, demanding that the agency issue emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That way, it says, workers can go into nursing homes to vaccinate those most at risk of dying from the virus.\n\n\tOther EU nations are also getting impatient.\n\n\t\"My hope is that the EMA, in compliance with all safety procedures, will be able to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier than expected and that vaccinations can also begin in the countries of the European Union as soon as possible,\" Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said Tuesday.\n\n\t------\n\n\tWILL THE EMA SPEED UP ITS APPROVAL?\n\n\tCooke, the agency's chief, said Monday that EMA staff are working \"around the clock\" and that if they have sufficient data and have completed their required protocols, the Dec. 29 meeting to consider the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could indeed be moved up.\n\n\t\"We feel a huge responsibility to get this right ... to make sure that what we deliver in terms of a scientific opinion is robust and reliable,\" Cooke told the AP in an interview last week. \"It's already a huge responsibility, I can tell you, without putting a race around it.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tIS THE AGENCY EXAMINING ANY OTHER CORONAVIRUS VACCINES?\n\n\tThe EMA is also planning to convene a meeting Jan. 12 to consider approving the coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna, but said that discussion too could be moved up earlier.\n\n\tIt is also assessing data from two other vaccines, one made by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and the other by Janssen, but neither of those two companies have yet made a formal request to be licensed in the EU.\n\n\t------\n\n\tHOW WILL EMA MAKE SURE A VACCINE IS SAFE ONCE IT'S BEING USED?\n\n\tThe agency usually asks companies to deliver data on vaccines' safety and side effects every six months, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be asking companies for that data every month.\n\n\t\"We need to consider how (these vaccines) perform once they are once they are deployed in a mass vaccination situation,\" Cooke said, explaining that the EMA is adopting extra surveillance measures to detect any rare or serious side effects.\n\n\tAlthough tests of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine suggested the shot is safe and about 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, there is still limited long-term safety data on it.\n\n\tOn the day that Britain started its mass vaccination program last week, severe allergic reactions were reported in two people who got the shot. Officials are now investigating if those reactions were caused by the vaccine and have advised people with severe allergies not to get the shot.","guid":"1.5231702","isoDate":"2020-12-15T14:03:13.000Z","embed":"

Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?

CoronavirusAs Canadians, Britons and Americans begin getting immunized with a German-developed vaccine against coronavirus, pressure is building on the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer Inc. and the German company BioNTech. German officials have been especially vocal that they want it approved before Christmas. Here's a look at the EMA approval process:
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4e9b71b5-be18-464a-82c5-7a65db3d155c_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:540a3752-a17d-49db-8457-e335a3471479"},{"Id":1196386397,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:24 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:24 PM","Content":"

Montreal mother, 42, has a message after nearly dying of COVID-19: Skip Christmas

MontrealAs Quebecers grumbled and haggled this month over COVID-19 restrictions, Chrissy Fredovitch could only watch -- the previously healthy 42-year-old mother was in the ICU, unable to speak. She took to social media instead to plead with her friends.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Selena Ross","title":"Montreal mother, 42, has a message after nearly dying of COVID-19: Skip Christmas","link":"https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-mother-42-has-a-message-after-nearly-dying-of-covid-19-skip-christmas-1.5231496","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 05:30:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5231499.1608013851!/httpImage/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.png"},"dc:creator":"Selena Ross","content":"

\n\tAs Quebecers grumbled, debated and haggled this month over COVID-19 restrictions, especially Christmas rules, Chrissy Fredovitch could only watch.

\n

\n\tQuite literally, Fredovitch was lying in the intensive care unit at a Montreal hospital and had a hard time speaking out loud.

\n

\n\tFredovitch, a healthy 42-year-old mother, caught COVID-19 while working as a nurse in training at the Maimonides seniors’ home—one of the first spots in Canada to get the vaccine on Monday, about a month after its second outbreak began.

\n

\n\tShe only worked at Maimonides for three weeks, her first-ever on-the-ground nursing experience after going back to school earlier this year.

\n

\n\tAfter all the lessons learned in the spring, the outbreak’s relentlessness came as a shock to Fredovitch and her colleagues, who were fully decked out in protective gear and subject to strict rules. 

\n
\n\t
\n\t\t\n\t
\n
\n

\n\t“By the end of my stage, all of my patients had tested positive,” she said. “It just spread like wildfire.”

\n

\n\tThe next few weeks were an even bigger shock. Fredovitch’s first test, in mid-November, was a false negative. Ten days later, coughing and fighting for breath, she tested positive.

\n

\n\tWithin three days, she was in the ICU, oxygen pumping into her lungs at low pressure through a nasal contraption.

\n

\n\t“My [blood] oxygen saturation just kept going down and down and down,” said Fredovitch.

\n

\n\t“At one point they asked me what level of care I would want… at what point would I… if I would want to be put on life support or not,” she said Monday, her voice breaking.

\n

\n\t“That was a really awful question to answer, knowing, you know, I have a 12-year-old daughter at home.”

\n

\n\tBut she was conscious the whole time and sometimes checked her phone. She saw when Premier François Legault tweaked the holiday rules to only two gatherings per person, and then to zero, and the ensuing reactions.

\n

\n\t\"Chrissy

\n

\n\tFinally, on Dec. 8, two weeks into her hospital stay, she gathered the energy to take to Facebook herself.

\n

\n\t“Very rarely do I post personal stuff on social media. But this morning I feel compelled to share,” she wrote.

\n

\n\t“I have not been able to breathe on my own in over 2 weeks. I’m seeing all these posts about Christmas being cancelled, that COVID isn’t real, the government is trying to take away our rights,” she wrote.

\n

\n\t“I am amazed at the pictures I see of full shopping centres like nothing is going on.”

\n

\n\tIf only people could see inside Quebec’s hospitals right now, they would get it, she wrote: the ICUs really are full. Staff are drained. 

\n

\n\tCOVID-19 “is not a joke. It is not a scam, it is not a conspiracy,” she said. “Remember what is truly important.”

\n

\n\tWhile Fredovitch was in the ICU—for 11 days in total, out of 18 she spent hospitalized—she also learned her 12-year-old daughter tested positive, though she never got seriously ill.

\n

\n\tA fellow student at Maimonides also ended up in the emergency room, she said. In the last month, 907 Quebecers have been reported dead from COVID-19. 

\n

\n\tHowever, people can’t easily see inside the hospitals. In standard protocols, Fredovitch wasn’t allowed visitors. After she wrote on Facebook, a friend responded, "Thank you for this post! We need a sledge hammer to wake up!"

\n

\n\tFredovitch agreed to speak to media from the ICU but she couldn’t, because she wasn’t physically able to speak.

\n

\n\tShe returned to her home in south-central Montreal on Friday and still talks with obvious effort, pulling in breaths. Doctors have told her she won’t be healthy enough to return to school until February. (She plans to do so, still feeling equally motivated to be a licensed practical nurse, she said.)

\n

\n\tIt’s understandable that many people need a reminder of how dangerous COVID-19 is, she said—for them, not just for their parents and grandparents. But she’s proof that younger people with no underlying health issues, parents with young kids at home, are also at serious risk from it.

\n

\n\t“I’m really healthy, I go to the gym, I used to run marathons,” she said. “I never in a million years thought I would almost die from this.”

\n

\n\tStatistically speaking, not many of the 907 Quebecers dead this month from COVID-19 are under 60. It works out to about 20 people in the month. 

\n

\n\tBut with Legault set to announce yet another set of even tighter restrictions, Fredovitch said she wants to “beg people” not to even test their luck. Instead, picture her.

\n

\n\tNeither she nor her daughter will ever be able to forget these three terrifying weeks, the longest they’ve ever been apart. Their reunion Friday was “really emotional,” she said.

\n

\n\t“Missing one Christmas is nothing compared to a whole lifetime with your family.”

","contentSnippet":"As Quebecers grumbled, debated and haggled this month over COVID-19 restrictions, especially Christmas rules, Chrissy Fredovitch could only watch.\n\n\tQuite literally, Fredovitch was lying in the intensive care unit at a Montreal hospital and had a hard time speaking out loud.\n\n\tFredovitch, a healthy 42-year-old mother, caught COVID-19 while working as a nurse in training at the Maimonides seniors’ home—one of the first spots in Canada to get the vaccine on Monday, about a month after its second outbreak began.\n\n\tShe only worked at Maimonides for three weeks, her first-ever on-the-ground nursing experience after going back to school earlier this year.\n\n\tAfter all the lessons learned in the spring, the outbreak’s relentlessness came as a shock to Fredovitch and her colleagues, who were fully decked out in protective gear and subject to strict rules. \n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tComplete coverage at CTVNews.ca/coronavirus\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tCoronavirus newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\n\t“By the end of my stage, all of my patients had tested positive,” she said. “It just spread like wildfire.”\n\n\tThe next few weeks were an even bigger shock. Fredovitch’s first test, in mid-November, was a false negative. Ten days later, coughing and fighting for breath, she tested positive.\n\n\tWithin three days, she was in the ICU, oxygen pumping into her lungs at low pressure through a nasal contraption.\n\n\t“My [blood] oxygen saturation just kept going down and down and down,” said Fredovitch.\n\n\t“At one point they asked me what level of care I would want… at what point would I… if I would want to be put on life support or not,” she said Monday, her voice breaking.\n\n\t“That was a really awful question to answer, knowing, you know, I have a 12-year-old daughter at home.”\n\n\tBut she was conscious the whole time and sometimes checked her phone. She saw when Premier François Legault tweaked the holiday rules to only two gatherings per person, and then to zero, and the ensuing reactions.\n\n\t\n\n\tFinally, on Dec. 8, two weeks into her hospital stay, she gathered the energy to take to Facebook herself.\n\n\t“Very rarely do I post personal stuff on social media. But this morning I feel compelled to share,” she wrote.\n\n\t“I have not been able to breathe on my own in over 2 weeks. I’m seeing all these posts about Christmas being cancelled, that COVID isn’t real, the government is trying to take away our rights,” she wrote.\n\n\t“I am amazed at the pictures I see of full shopping centres like nothing is going on.”\n\n\tIf only people could see inside Quebec’s hospitals right now, they would get it, she wrote: the ICUs really are full. Staff are drained. \n\n\tCOVID-19 “is not a joke. It is not a scam, it is not a conspiracy,” she said. “Remember what is truly important.”\n\n\tWhile Fredovitch was in the ICU—for 11 days in total, out of 18 she spent hospitalized—she also learned her 12-year-old daughter tested positive, though she never got seriously ill.\n\n\tA fellow student at Maimonides also ended up in the emergency room, she said. In the last month, 907 Quebecers have been reported dead from COVID-19. \n\n\tHowever, people can’t easily see inside the hospitals. In standard protocols, Fredovitch wasn’t allowed visitors. After she wrote on Facebook, a friend responded, \"Thank you for this post! We need a sledge hammer to wake up!\"\n\n\tFredovitch agreed to speak to media from the ICU but she couldn’t, because she wasn’t physically able to speak.\n\n\tShe returned to her home in south-central Montreal on Friday and still talks with obvious effort, pulling in breaths. Doctors have told her she won’t be healthy enough to return to school until February. (She plans to do so, still feeling equally motivated to be a licensed practical nurse, she said.)\n\n\tIt’s understandable that many people need a reminder of how dangerous COVID-19 is, she said—for them, not just for their parents and grandparents. But she’s proof that younger people with no underlying health issues, parents with young kids at home, are also at serious risk from it.\n\n\t“I’m really healthy, I go to the gym, I used to run marathons,” she said. “I never in a million years thought I would almost die from this.”\n\n\tStatistically speaking, not many of the 907 Quebecers dead this month from COVID-19 are under 60. It works out to about 20 people in the month. \n\n\tBut with Legault set to announce yet another set of even tighter restrictions, Fredovitch said she wants to “beg people” not to even test their luck. Instead, picture her.\n\n\tNeither she nor her daughter will ever be able to forget these three terrifying weeks, the longest they’ve ever been apart. Their reunion Friday was “really emotional,” she said.\n\n\t“Missing one Christmas is nothing compared to a whole lifetime with your family.”","guid":"1.5231496","isoDate":"2020-12-15T10:30:00.000Z","embed":"

Montreal mother, 42, has a message after nearly dying of COVID-19: Skip Christmas

MontrealAs Quebecers grumbled and haggled this month over COVID-19 restrictions, Chrissy Fredovitch could only watch -- the previously healthy 42-year-old mother was in the ICU, unable to speak. She took to social media instead to plead with her friends.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c.png","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c_400.png","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c.png","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c_1000.png","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c_500.png","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c_800.png","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/516d987d-ec9d-49f3-aa54-0c268434726c_300.png","width":300,"height":169}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:881d8319-de35-42d3-bee8-57b47aa3f434"},{"Id":1196386398,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:25 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:25 PM","Content":"

Ontario family pleads for people to take COVID-19 seriously after healthy father dies

TorontoA devastated Ontario family is pleading with people to take the threat of COVID-19 more seriously after a healthy father-of-two with no known pre-existing health conditions died after contracting the disease.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Sean Davidson","title":"Ontario family pleads for people to take COVID-19 seriously after healthy father dies","link":"https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-family-pleads-for-people-to-take-covid-19-seriously-after-healthy-father-dies-1.5231199","pubDate":"Mon, 14 Dec 2020 19:54:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5231240.1607993365!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Sean Davidson","content":"

\n\tA devastated Ontario family is pleading with people to take the threat of COVID-19 more seriously after a healthy father-of-two with no known pre-existing health conditions died after contracting the disease.

\n

\n\tMarkham resident Joe Crupi died on Dec. 6 after battling COVID-19 since he was diagnosed in late October. His family believes the 65-year-old contracted the disease during an encounter at work.

\n

\n\tThe family said a few days after testing positive, Crupi’s breathing became laboured and he was taken to Markham Stouffville Hospital for treatment. Before being sent home with antibiotics, he underwent a chest X-ray and received fluids because he was dehydrated.

\n

\n\t"I felt he was ok," Crupi's wife, Luciana, told CTV News Toronto on Monday. "But as the days went on, I noticed that he was a little bit more laboured with his breathing."

\n

\n\tShe said she eventually called 911 when his blood-oxygen levels dropped and he was taken back to hospital. 

\n

\n\t"I got a call about half an hour later saying he had been intubated," she said. "That was basically the last time we spoke to him."

\n

\n\tThree days later, Crupi was taken to Toronto General Hospital so he could receive a special treatment using an Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

\n

\n\tThe specialized unit at Toronto General Hospital uses ECMO machines to transmit oxygen into blood cells, turning them from blue back to red, when the lung is so badly hurt it can no longer do that on its own. It’s used as a last-resort when a ventilator is not enough to treat a patient.

\n

\n\tCrupi received treatment on the ECMO machine for weeks while in an induced coma. After doctors told the family his lungs no longer functioned properly and the possibility of a lung transplant was not an option, they made the difficult decision to stop treatment. 

\n

\n\tThey said doctors also told them had they not made this decision, it wouldn't be long before other infections would come along that they wouldn't be able to cure.

\n

\n\t\"crupi

\n

\n\t"We decided as a family that we couldn't watch him just lie there in bed being supported by all these machines without a hope that he was going to come to and get better," Luciana Crupi said. "So we decided, from that moment on, that we were just going to stop all medications and let him die peacefully."

\n

\n\tThe family hopes that Crupi's death makes people realize that COVID-19 is a serious threat that still needs to be taken seriously.

\n

\n\t"It was so shocking to us because he didn't have any underlying issues," his son, Anthony Crupi, said. "He was 65 but in a 50-year-old's body. He never got sick. He was full of life."

\n

\n\t\"Crupi\"

\n

\n\tAnthony Crupi said that following guidelines to protect yourself from COVID-19 is just a "small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things."

\n

\n\t"I mean, my dad in the first wave, he was taking home groceries and sanitising the outside of the bags, that's how serious he was taking it," he said. "Then I guess once the summer and fall hit, when things got a little more relaxed, he dropped his guard for a second. That's all it takes. So I guess that'd be our message to everyone, just not to drop your guard."

\n

\n\tLuciana Crupi, who was married her husband for 34 years, said he was the "most humble man" who spent his life giving back to other people. 

\n

\n\t"He was a family man. That was the most important thing to him," she said. "We are just so grateful that he was a part of our lives and part of everybody else's lives."

\n

\n\tThe family is now trying to give back themselves, launching a fundraiser for Toronto General Hospital's ECMO program. Since launching the fundraiser last week, they have already received more than $166,000 in donations.

\n

\n\tInterm Medical Director of Occupational Health at University Health Network Dr. John Granton said money to help fund the ECMO program could help to save lives. 

\n

\n\t"Advanced supportive therapies like ECMO may help stabilize and save the lives of some patients who might be benefited from this treatment," Granton said in a statement to CTV News Toronto. "This form of treatment requires a team and equipment. UHN serves as a provincial resource. As such, donations will help our program provide therapy for advanced lung failure for individuals from across the province."  

\n

\n\tMoney will also be donated to funding Trans-Esophageal Echocardiography probes at Toronto General Hospital, a machine that is helpful in taking images to monitor the heart and lung function of patients on ECMO support. 

\n

\n\t\"Crupi2\"

\n

\n\tThe family is also in the process of organizing an additional fundraiser for Markham Stouffville Hospital, where Crupi was originally treated.

\n

\n\t"We just didn't want to sit there and, you know, be sorry for ourselves," Anthony Crupi said. "If we can put all our energy into helping someone else, you know, maybe his death could help hundreds or thousands of people."

\n

\n\t"It's not an option for us to do nothing." 

","contentSnippet":"A devastated Ontario family is pleading with people to take the threat of COVID-19 more seriously after a healthy father-of-two with no known pre-existing health conditions died after contracting the disease.\n\n\tMarkham resident Joe Crupi died on Dec. 6 after battling COVID-19 since he was diagnosed in late October. His family believes the 65-year-old contracted the disease during an encounter at work.\n\n\tThe family said a few days after testing positive, Crupi’s breathing became laboured and he was taken to Markham Stouffville Hospital for treatment. Before being sent home with antibiotics, he underwent a chest X-ray and received fluids because he was dehydrated.\n\n\t\"I felt he was ok,\" Crupi's wife, Luciana, told CTV News Toronto on Monday. \"But as the days went on, I noticed that he was a little bit more laboured with his breathing.\"\n\n\tShe said she eventually called 911 when his blood-oxygen levels dropped and he was taken back to hospital. \n\n\t\"I got a call about half an hour later saying he had been intubated,\" she said. \"That was basically the last time we spoke to him.\"\n\n\tThree days later, Crupi was taken to Toronto General Hospital so he could receive a special treatment using an Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.\n\n\tThe specialized unit at Toronto General Hospital uses ECMO machines to transmit oxygen into blood cells, turning them from blue back to red, when the lung is so badly hurt it can no longer do that on its own. It’s used as a last-resort when a ventilator is not enough to treat a patient.\n\n\tCrupi received treatment on the ECMO machine for weeks while in an induced coma. After doctors told the family his lungs no longer functioned properly and the possibility of a lung transplant was not an option, they made the difficult decision to stop treatment. \n\n\tThey said doctors also told them had they not made this decision, it wouldn't be long before other infections would come along that they wouldn't be able to cure.\n\n\t\n\n\t\"We decided as a family that we couldn't watch him just lie there in bed being supported by all these machines without a hope that he was going to come to and get better,\" Luciana Crupi said. \"So we decided, from that moment on, that we were just going to stop all medications and let him die peacefully.\"\n\n\tThe family hopes that Crupi's death makes people realize that COVID-19 is a serious threat that still needs to be taken seriously.\n\n\t\"It was so shocking to us because he didn't have any underlying issues,\" his son, Anthony Crupi, said. \"He was 65 but in a 50-year-old's body. He never got sick. He was full of life.\"\n\n\t\n\n\tAnthony Crupi said that following guidelines to protect yourself from COVID-19 is just a \"small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.\"\n\n\t\"I mean, my dad in the first wave, he was taking home groceries and sanitising the outside of the bags, that's how serious he was taking it,\" he said. \"Then I guess once the summer and fall hit, when things got a little more relaxed, he dropped his guard for a second. That's all it takes. So I guess that'd be our message to everyone, just not to drop your guard.\"\n\n\tLuciana Crupi, who was married her husband for 34 years, said he was the \"most humble man\" who spent his life giving back to other people. \n\n\t\"He was a family man. That was the most important thing to him,\" she said. \"We are just so grateful that he was a part of our lives and part of everybody else's lives.\"\n\n\tThe family is now trying to give back themselves, launching a fundraiser for Toronto General Hospital's ECMO program. Since launching the fundraiser last week, they have already received more than $166,000 in donations.\n\n\tInterm Medical Director of Occupational Health at University Health Network Dr. John Granton said money to help fund the ECMO program could help to save lives. \n\n\t\"Advanced supportive therapies like ECMO may help stabilize and save the lives of some patients who might be benefited from this treatment,\" Granton said in a statement to CTV News Toronto. \"This form of treatment requires a team and equipment. UHN serves as a provincial resource. As such, donations will help our program provide therapy for advanced lung failure for individuals from across the province.\"  \n\n\tMoney will also be donated to funding Trans-Esophageal Echocardiography probes at Toronto General Hospital, a machine that is helpful in taking images to monitor the heart and lung function of patients on ECMO support. \n\n\t\n\n\tThe family is also in the process of organizing an additional fundraiser for Markham Stouffville Hospital, where Crupi was originally treated.\n\n\t\"We just didn't want to sit there and, you know, be sorry for ourselves,\" Anthony Crupi said. \"If we can put all our energy into helping someone else, you know, maybe his death could help hundreds or thousands of people.\"\n\n\t\"It's not an option for us to do nothing.\" ","guid":"1.5231199","isoDate":"2020-12-15T00:54:00.000Z","embed":"

Ontario family pleads for people to take COVID-19 seriously after healthy father dies

TorontoA devastated Ontario family is pleading with people to take the threat of COVID-19 more seriously after a healthy father-of-two with no known pre-existing health conditions died after contracting the disease.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/0e03e847-cf6d-4a71-8104-c26b7c4a9ea9_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:2d10e9d2-5141-4168-92e8-2f3fe7be1872"},{"Id":1196386399,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:26 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:26 PM","Content":"

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine clears first U.S. FDA hurdle

CoronavirusModerna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff members did not raise any major new concerns about it in documents released on Tuesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine clears first U.S. FDA hurdle","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/moderna-s-covid-19-vaccine-clears-first-u-s-fda-hurdle-1.5231711","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 09:03:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5191888.1605825031!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tModerna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff members did not raise any major new concerns about it in documents released on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tThe FDA reviewers said a two-dose regimen of Moderna's vaccine was highly effective in preventing confirmed cases of COVID-19 and did not raise any specific safety issues with using the vaccine in adults over the age of 18.

\n\n

\n\tThe comments were made in documents prepared for Thursday's meeting of outside experts, who will discuss whether to endorse a U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Moderna shot.

\n

\n\tThe FDA typically follows the advice of the panel, but is not required to do so.

\n

\n\tModerna's is the second vaccine the FDA has considered, behind one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany's BioNTech , which was authorized last week.

\n

\n\tHospitals began giving the Pfizer shots on Monday and the United States is counting on the Moderna vaccine to fulfill its promise to inoculate 20 million people this month.

\n

\n\tONE DOSE PROTECTION

\n

\n\tThe FDA said that there appeared to be some protection for trial participants after the first dose of Moderna's vaccine, which is given in two shots, with 28 days between inoculations, but there was not enough information on longer term protection.

\n

\n\tIt said that vaccine efficacy was 80.2% in participants who only received one dose at the time of the interim analysis, which was based on data collected as of Nov. 7.

\n

\n\tThey said that serious side effects in the trial of the vaccine represented medical events that occur in the general population at a similar frequency as observed in the study.

\n

\n\tThe FDA did flag the possibility that the vaccine was contributing to Bell's palsy, a type of facial paralysis also reported by participants in the Pfizer trial.

\n

\n\tModerna reported four cases of Bell's palsy, including three among people who had the vaccine and 1 in the placebo group. The company said that three of the cases had resolved itself.

\n

\n\tAlthough the FDA said that the trial participants with Bell's palsy had predisposing factors, the "potential contribution of the vaccine to the manifestations of these events of facial palsy cannot be ruled out."

\n

\n\tPfizer reported six cases of Bell's palsy, including 4 in the vaccine arm, which it said was a rate typical of the general population.

\n

\n\tModerna shares, which have risen nearly eight-fold this year up to Monday's closing price, were up 1.8% before the bell.

\n

\n\t(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Michael Erman, Caroline Humer and Rebecca Spalding in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot, Patrick Graham, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alexander Smith)

","contentSnippet":"Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff members did not raise any major new concerns about it in documents released on Tuesday.\n\n\tThe FDA reviewers said a two-dose regimen of Moderna's vaccine was highly effective in preventing confirmed cases of COVID-19 and did not raise any specific safety issues with using the vaccine in adults over the age of 18.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tThe comments were made in documents prepared for Thursday's meeting of outside experts, who will discuss whether to endorse a U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Moderna shot.\n\n\tThe FDA typically follows the advice of the panel, but is not required to do so.\n\n\tModerna's is the second vaccine the FDA has considered, behind one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany's BioNTech , which was authorized last week.\n\n\tHospitals began giving the Pfizer shots on Monday and the United States is counting on the Moderna vaccine to fulfill its promise to inoculate 20 million people this month.\n\n\tONE DOSE PROTECTION\n\n\tThe FDA said that there appeared to be some protection for trial participants after the first dose of Moderna's vaccine, which is given in two shots, with 28 days between inoculations, but there was not enough information on longer term protection.\n\n\tIt said that vaccine efficacy was 80.2% in participants who only received one dose at the time of the interim analysis, which was based on data collected as of Nov. 7.\n\n\tThey said that serious side effects in the trial of the vaccine represented medical events that occur in the general population at a similar frequency as observed in the study.\n\n\tThe FDA did flag the possibility that the vaccine was contributing to Bell's palsy, a type of facial paralysis also reported by participants in the Pfizer trial.\n\n\tModerna reported four cases of Bell's palsy, including three among people who had the vaccine and 1 in the placebo group. The company said that three of the cases had resolved itself.\n\n\tAlthough the FDA said that the trial participants with Bell's palsy had predisposing factors, the \"potential contribution of the vaccine to the manifestations of these events of facial palsy cannot be ruled out.\"\n\n\tPfizer reported six cases of Bell's palsy, including 4 in the vaccine arm, which it said was a rate typical of the general population.\n\n\tModerna shares, which have risen nearly eight-fold this year up to Monday's closing price, were up 1.8% before the bell.\n\n\t(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru, Michael Erman, Caroline Humer and Rebecca Spalding in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot, Patrick Graham, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alexander Smith)","guid":"1.5231711","isoDate":"2020-12-15T14:03:00.000Z","embed":"

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine clears first U.S. FDA hurdle

CoronavirusModerna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff members did not raise any major new concerns about it in documents released on Tuesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/4a2fb3f3-a56c-463b-9c68-d1203e373c28_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:88b1e1e9-6ba3-475c-846b-9aa6efe5f99c"},{"Id":1196386401,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:27 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:27 PM","Content":"

Majority of Canadians support holiday lockdown to fight COVID-19: poll

CoronavirusA new poll suggests a majority of Canadians support the idea of a lockdown on non-essential businesses and services during the holidays to fight a surge in new COVID-19 cases across the country.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Canadian Press","title":"Majority of Canadians support holiday lockdown to fight COVID-19: poll","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/majority-of-canadians-support-holiday-lockdown-to-fight-covid-19-poll-1.5231626","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 08:09:55 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5231641.1608037658!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Canadian Press","content":"

\n\tA new poll suggests a majority of Canadians support the idea of a lockdown on non-essential businesses and services during the holidays to fight a surge in new COVID-19 cases across the country.

\n

\n\tSixty-five per cent of respondents in the poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they supported a general lockdown in their province during Christmas and New Year's to tackle the pandemic versus 29 per cent who opposed the idea.

\n

\n\tLeger executive vice-president Christian Bourque expressed surprise at the seemingly strong support, which was largely the same no matter the respondent's age or where in Canada they lived.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\t"I expected it to be a 50-50 type thing because we're already under some pretty severe restrictions as it is," Bourque said. "With the holidays coming up, Canadians are basically saying: `Buckle up. There's a few weeks left.' "

\n

\n\tTo that end, 51 per cent respondents believed the worst of the pandemic is currently upon the country while 29 per cent felt it is yet to come. Only 10 per cent felt the worst had past and a similar number did not know.

\n

\n\tThose numbers perhaps reflect the continuing surge in cases, including in parts of the country that were previously almost untouched. They also coincide with new modelling from the Public Health Agency of Canada suggesting the country could top 575,000 cases and nearly 15,000 deaths by Christmas.

\n

\n\tDespite the surge, Bourque said he would have expected the arrival of the first Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine and the start of a mass-vaccination campaign this week to have created more of a sense of optimism.

\n

\n\t"But people are saying: 'We're not there yet,' " he said.

\n

\n\tAt the same time, despite the excitement surrounding the arrival of those Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses, attitudes around getting inoculated remained largely unchanged.

\n

\n\tSixty-six per cent of respondents said they planned to get a shot when it becomes available to them, which was roughly the same as when the pollsters asked the same question in previous weeks. Sixteen per cent said they had no plans to get a vaccine while 18 per cent did not know.

\n

\n\tThat suggests some continued hesitancy when it comes to the vaccine.

\n

\n\tSimilarly, 31 per cent said they would take the first vaccine that becomes available while 44 per cent want to wait until others are on offer, which was similar to previous weeks. Twelve per cent had no plans to get vaccinated and 14 per cent did not know.

\n

\n\tThe poll of 1,528 adult Canadians in an online panel was conducted from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random.

\n

\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.

","contentSnippet":"A new poll suggests a majority of Canadians support the idea of a lockdown on non-essential businesses and services during the holidays to fight a surge in new COVID-19 cases across the country.\n\n\tSixty-five per cent of respondents in the poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they supported a general lockdown in their province during Christmas and New Year's to tackle the pandemic versus 29 per cent who opposed the idea.\n\n\tLeger executive vice-president Christian Bourque expressed surprise at the seemingly strong support, which was largely the same no matter the respondent's age or where in Canada they lived.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\t\"I expected it to be a 50-50 type thing because we're already under some pretty severe restrictions as it is,\" Bourque said. \"With the holidays coming up, Canadians are basically saying: `Buckle up. There's a few weeks left.' \"\n\n\tTo that end, 51 per cent respondents believed the worst of the pandemic is currently upon the country while 29 per cent felt it is yet to come. Only 10 per cent felt the worst had past and a similar number did not know.\n\n\tThose numbers perhaps reflect the continuing surge in cases, including in parts of the country that were previously almost untouched. They also coincide with new modelling from the Public Health Agency of Canada suggesting the country could top 575,000 cases and nearly 15,000 deaths by Christmas.\n\n\tDespite the surge, Bourque said he would have expected the arrival of the first Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine and the start of a mass-vaccination campaign this week to have created more of a sense of optimism.\n\n\t\"But people are saying: 'We're not there yet,' \" he said.\n\n\tAt the same time, despite the excitement surrounding the arrival of those Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses, attitudes around getting inoculated remained largely unchanged.\n\n\tSixty-six per cent of respondents said they planned to get a shot when it becomes available to them, which was roughly the same as when the pollsters asked the same question in previous weeks. Sixteen per cent said they had no plans to get a vaccine while 18 per cent did not know.\n\n\tThat suggests some continued hesitancy when it comes to the vaccine.\n\n\tSimilarly, 31 per cent said they would take the first vaccine that becomes available while 44 per cent want to wait until others are on offer, which was similar to previous weeks. Twelve per cent had no plans to get vaccinated and 14 per cent did not know.\n\n\tThe poll of 1,528 adult Canadians in an online panel was conducted from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random.\n\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.","guid":"1.5231626","isoDate":"2020-12-15T13:09:55.000Z","embed":"

Majority of Canadians support holiday lockdown to fight COVID-19: poll

CoronavirusA new poll suggests a majority of Canadians support the idea of a lockdown on non-essential businesses and services during the holidays to fight a surge in new COVID-19 cases across the country.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/6b705807-f82e-434e-abad-42fff48e5180_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:18a1c3d1-8c04-4a9b-aff5-f7cfaabdb88f"},{"Id":1196386402,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:28 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:28 PM","Content":"

Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocket with 69 more people getting treatment

MontrealQuebec reported Tuesday that there are now 959 people in the province's hospitals receiving treatment for COVID-19. There are also 1,741 new cases and 39 new deaths.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Daniel J. Rowe","title":"Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocket with 69 more people getting treatment","link":"https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/quebec-covid-19-hospitalizations-skyrocket-with-69-more-people-getting-treatment-1.5231962","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 11:29:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5231977.1608049617!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Daniel J. Rowe","content":"

\n\tAs Premier Francois Legault gets set to announce new restrictions in Quebec, the province's COVID-19 hospitalization numbers spiked Tuesday, shooting past 900 provincewide. 

\n

\n\tQuebec reported that 69 more people are being treated in hospital since Monday for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number to 959.

\n

\n\tOf these, 125 people are in the intensive care ward, which is three more than 24 hours ago.

\n
\n\t
\n\t\t\n\t
\n
\n

\n\tThe province added 1,741 new positive COVID-19 cases to its tally Tuesday. The total number of Quebecers who have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic is now 167,276.

\n

\n\tThe seven-day average for new infections is now 1,791 per day.

\n

\n\tOf those, 142,894 people have recovered from the disease, 1,549 more than on Monday.

\n

\n\tThe Quebec Institute of Public Health reported that there are 16,811 active cases in the province.

\n

\n\tQuebec also reported 39 new deaths. Seven people are reported to have died in the past 24 hours, 30 between Dec. 8 and Dec. 13 and two at an unknown date. 

\n

\n\tThe total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the province is now 7,571.

\n

\n\tThere were 24,200 tests done Dec. 13 (testing numbers are reported two days later).

\n

\n\tAnd, in a brand-new statistic, 298 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered yesterday, the first day of Quebec's vaccination campaign.

\n

\n\tREGIONAL DATA

\n

\n\tThe highest increase in the number of cases in Quebec were in Montreal with 540 new cases (58,913 total), Monteregie with 285 new cases (23,323 total), Laval with 208 new cases (13,575 total), Quebec City with 155 new cases (14,560 total) and Lanaudiere with 125 new cases (13,054 total).

\n

\n\tMontreal accounted for the vast majority of the new deaths with the island reporting 17 out of the total 39. That brings Montreal to a total of 3,725 deaths.

\n
\n\t
\n\t\t 
\n\t
\n\t\tCOVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC
\n\t\tInfogram
\n
","contentSnippet":"As Premier Francois Legault gets set to announce new restrictions in Quebec, the province's COVID-19 hospitalization numbers spiked Tuesday, shooting past 900 provincewide. \n\n\tQuebec reported that 69 more people are being treated in hospital since Monday for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number to 959.\n\n\tOf these, 125 people are in the intensive care ward, which is three more than 24 hours ago.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tComplete coverage at CTVNews.ca/coronavirus\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tCoronavirus newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\n\tThe province added 1,741 new positive COVID-19 cases to its tally Tuesday. The total number of Quebecers who have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic is now 167,276.\n\n\tThe seven-day average for new infections is now 1,791 per day.\n\n\tOf those, 142,894 people have recovered from the disease, 1,549 more than on Monday.\n\n\tThe Quebec Institute of Public Health reported that there are 16,811 active cases in the province.\n\n\tQuebec also reported 39 new deaths. Seven people are reported to have died in the past 24 hours, 30 between Dec. 8 and Dec. 13 and two at an unknown date. \n\n\tThe total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the province is now 7,571.\n\n\tThere were 24,200 tests done Dec. 13 (testing numbers are reported two days later).\n\n\tAnd, in a brand-new statistic, 298 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered yesterday, the first day of Quebec's vaccination campaign.\n\n\tREGIONAL DATA\n\n\tThe highest increase in the number of cases in Quebec were in Montreal with 540 new cases (58,913 total), Monteregie with 285 new cases (23,323 total), Laval with 208 new cases (13,575 total), Quebec City with 155 new cases (14,560 total) and Lanaudiere with 125 new cases (13,054 total).\n\n\tMontreal accounted for the vast majority of the new deaths with the island reporting 17 out of the total 39. That brings Montreal to a total of 3,725 deaths.\n\n\t\n\t\t \n\n!function(e,i,n,s){var t=\"InfogramEmbeds\",d=e.getElementsByTagName(\"script\")[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(\"script\");o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=\"https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js\",d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,\"infogram-async\");\t\t\n\t\tCOVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC\n\t\tInfogram","guid":"1.5231962","isoDate":"2020-12-15T16:29:00.000Z","embed":"

Quebec COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocket with 69 more people getting treatment

MontrealQuebec reported Tuesday that there are now 959 people in the province's hospitals receiving treatment for COVID-19. There are also 1,741 new cases and 39 new deaths.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/faee2675-a43e-4413-b0ac-c8679c4aa3d8_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:1fa06704-5e92-463a-b227-50c7656fa99b"},{"Id":1196386404,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:29 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:29 PM","Content":"

New coronavirus strain spreading in U.K. has key mutations, scientists say

CoronavirusBritish scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"New coronavirus strain spreading in U.K. has key mutations, scientists say","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/new-coronavirus-strain-spreading-in-u-k-has-key-mutations-scientists-say-1.5231639","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 08:39:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5230371.1607963497!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tBritish scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tThe mutations include changes to the important "spike" protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, a group of scientists tracking the genetics of the virus said, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.

\n

\n\t"Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission," the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement

\n
\n\t
\n\t\t\n\t
\n
\n

\n\tThe new variant, which U.K. scientists have named "VUI – 202012/01" includes a genetic mutation in the "spike" protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people.

\n

\n\tThe British government on Monday cited a rise in new infections, which it said may be partly linked to the new variant, as it moved its capital city and many other areas into the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions.

\n

\n\tAs of Dec. 13, 1,108 COVID-19 cases with the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England, Public Health England said in a statement.

\n

\n\tBut there is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, the scientists said, or that it would render vaccines less effective.

\n

\n\t"Both questions require further studies performed at pace," the COG-UK scientists said.

\n

\n\tMutations, or genetic changes, arise naturally in all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, as they replicate and circulate in human populations.

\n

\n\tIn the case of SARS-CoV-2, these mutations are accumulating at a rate of around one to two mutations per month globally, according to the COG-UK genetics specialists.

\n

\n\t"As a result of this on-going process, many thousands of mutations have already arisen in the SARS-CoV-2 genome since the virus emerged in 2019," they said.

\n

\n\tThe majority of the mutations seen so far have had no apparent effect on the virus, and only a minority are likely to change the virus in any significant way - for example, making it more able to infect people, more likely to cause severe illness, or less sensitive to natural or vaccine-induced immune defenses.

\n

\n\tSusan Hopkins, a PHE medical adviser, said it is "not unexpected that the virus should evolve and it's important that we spot any changes quickly to understand the potential risk."

\n

\n\tShe said the new variant "is being detected in a wide geography, especially where there are increased cases being detected."

","contentSnippet":"British scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.\n\n\tThe mutations include changes to the important \"spike\" protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, a group of scientists tracking the genetics of the virus said, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.\n\n\t\"Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission,\" the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement. \n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\t\n\t\n\n\n\tThe new variant, which U.K. scientists have named \"VUI – 202012/01\" includes a genetic mutation in the \"spike\" protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people.\n\n\tThe British government on Monday cited a rise in new infections, which it said may be partly linked to the new variant, as it moved its capital city and many other areas into the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions.\n\n\tAs of Dec. 13, 1,108 COVID-19 cases with the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England, Public Health England said in a statement.\n\n\tBut there is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, the scientists said, or that it would render vaccines less effective.\n\n\t\"Both questions require further studies performed at pace,\" the COG-UK scientists said.\n\n\tMutations, or genetic changes, arise naturally in all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, as they replicate and circulate in human populations.\n\n\tIn the case of SARS-CoV-2, these mutations are accumulating at a rate of around one to two mutations per month globally, according to the COG-UK genetics specialists.\n\n\t\"As a result of this on-going process, many thousands of mutations have already arisen in the SARS-CoV-2 genome since the virus emerged in 2019,\" they said.\n\n\tThe majority of the mutations seen so far have had no apparent effect on the virus, and only a minority are likely to change the virus in any significant way - for example, making it more able to infect people, more likely to cause severe illness, or less sensitive to natural or vaccine-induced immune defenses.\n\n\tSusan Hopkins, a PHE medical adviser, said it is \"not unexpected that the virus should evolve and it's important that we spot any changes quickly to understand the potential risk.\"\n\n\tShe said the new variant \"is being detected in a wide geography, especially where there are increased cases being detected.\"","guid":"1.5231639","isoDate":"2020-12-15T13:39:00.000Z","embed":"

New coronavirus strain spreading in U.K. has key mutations, scientists say

CoronavirusBritish scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/54ae4673-a402-421c-923b-d663f3e9adc1.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:e1a04902-3383-438b-a7a7-819e102edaed"},{"Id":1196386405,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:30 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:30 PM","Content":"

Ontario logs more than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases for first time in pandemic

TorontoOntario has logged more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic due in part to what the province says was an update to how it extracts and analyzes data.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Katherine DeClerq","title":"Ontario logs more than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases for first time in pandemic","link":"https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-logs-more-than-2-200-new-covid-19-cases-for-first-time-in-pandemic-1.5231765","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 10:14:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5045234.1596117484!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Katherine DeClerq","content":"

\n\tOntario has logged more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic due in part to what the province says was an update to how it extracts and analyzes data.

\n

\n\tHealth officials recorded a record-breaking 2,275 infections on Tuesday and 20 deaths, marking a large spike from Monday’s 1,940 cases.

\n

\n\tThe Ontario government has said the jump was impacted by an update in how Public Health Ontario (PHO) extracted and analyzed their data.

\n

\n\t“PHO changed their data extraction process and updated their data extraction time to 1:00pm (from 10:30am) for health units using CCM,” a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.

\n

\n\t“This resulted in a one-time increase in case counts given 2.5 extra hours were included, and slight variation in the results for some fields.”

\n

\n\tHowever, the number of COVID-19 tests processed during this time dipped drastically, from more than 57,000 tests on Monday to just over 39,500 on Tuesday. According to the government, this brings the positivity rate in Ontario to about 5.4 per cent.

\n

\n\tThere are also at least 64 more people hospitalized due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of patients in Ontario hospitals to 921, up from 857 on Monday. Of those patients, the province says at least 249 are being treated in the intensive care unit, with 156 patients breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

\n

\n\tThe death toll related to the disease continues to climb towards the 4,000 mark. Of the 20 people who were reported deceased on Tuesday, one was a resident of a long-term care home.

\n

\n\tThe province logged 1,677 cases on Sunday, 1,873 on Saturday, 1,848 on Friday, and 1,983 on Thursday.

\n

\n\tSpeaking on Monday, Ontario’s top doctor said he would not be surprised if the daily case count surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 cases this week, as the number of infections does not appear to be decreasing.

\n

\n\t“With those numbers, the record amount of testing over the weekend and the amount of positivity from the testing that is sort of in the queue coming up, it would not surprise me if we went over 2,000 cases in a day.”

\n

\n\tWhere are the COVID-19 cases?

\n

\n\tThe majority of cases continue to be found in the four lockdown regions in Ontario, however adjacent municipalities are also reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases.

\n

\n\tAccording to the provincial data, there were 711 new infections in Toronto, 586 in Peel Region, 185 in Windsor-Essex and 154 in York Region.

\n

\n\tOther regions that reported more than 50 cases of COVID-19 include Durham (92), Simcoe-Muskoka (55), Hamilton (99), Niagara (65), Halton (65), and Waterloo (71).

\n

\n\tThere are more than 45,000 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.

\n

\n\tThe total number of lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 144,396, including 3,992 deaths and 123,373 recoveries.

","contentSnippet":"Ontario has logged more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic due in part to what the province says was an update to how it extracts and analyzes data.\n\n\tHealth officials recorded a record-breaking 2,275 infections on Tuesday and 20 deaths, marking a large spike from Monday’s 1,940 cases.\n\n\tThe Ontario government has said the jump was impacted by an update in how Public Health Ontario (PHO) extracted and analyzed their data.\n\n\t“PHO changed their data extraction process and updated their data extraction time to 1:00pm (from 10:30am) for health units using CCM,” a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.\n\n\t“This resulted in a one-time increase in case counts given 2.5 extra hours were included, and slight variation in the results for some fields.”\n\n\tHowever, the number of COVID-19 tests processed during this time dipped drastically, from more than 57,000 tests on Monday to just over 39,500 on Tuesday. According to the government, this brings the positivity rate in Ontario to about 5.4 per cent.\n\n\tThere are also at least 64 more people hospitalized due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of patients in Ontario hospitals to 921, up from 857 on Monday. Of those patients, the province says at least 249 are being treated in the intensive care unit, with 156 patients breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.\n\n\tThe death toll related to the disease continues to climb towards the 4,000 mark. Of the 20 people who were reported deceased on Tuesday, one was a resident of a long-term care home.\n\n\tThe province logged 1,677 cases on Sunday, 1,873 on Saturday, 1,848 on Friday, and 1,983 on Thursday.\n\n\tSpeaking on Monday, Ontario’s top doctor said he would not be surprised if the daily case count surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 cases this week, as the number of infections does not appear to be decreasing.\n\n\t“With those numbers, the record amount of testing over the weekend and the amount of positivity from the testing that is sort of in the queue coming up, it would not surprise me if we went over 2,000 cases in a day.”\n\n\tWhere are the COVID-19 cases?\n\n\tThe majority of cases continue to be found in the four lockdown regions in Ontario, however adjacent municipalities are also reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases.\n\n\tAccording to the provincial data, there were 711 new infections in Toronto, 586 in Peel Region, 185 in Windsor-Essex and 154 in York Region.\n\n\tOther regions that reported more than 50 cases of COVID-19 include Durham (92), Simcoe-Muskoka (55), Hamilton (99), Niagara (65), Halton (65), and Waterloo (71).\n\n\tThere are more than 45,000 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.\n\n\tThe total number of lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 144,396, including 3,992 deaths and 123,373 recoveries.","guid":"1.5231765","isoDate":"2020-12-15T15:14:00.000Z","embed":"

Ontario logs more than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases for first time in pandemic

TorontoOntario has logged more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic due in part to what the province says was an update to how it extracts and analyzes data.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/b4352f9d-5781-4107-a029-35cf9f3270a5_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:586f3e47-f61d-4607-8fc1-ed6e77644146"},{"Id":1196386408,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:34:32 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:34:32 PM","Content":"

Thousands more to receive COVID-19 vaccine this year as Canada locks in additional doses

CTVNewsCanada will be receiving up to 200,000 more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and potentially up to 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses by the end of December. This means thousands more Canadians will be vaccinated before the end of the year.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Rachel Aiello","title":"Thousands more to receive COVID-19 vaccine this year as Canada locks in additional doses","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/thousands-more-to-receive-covid-19-vaccine-this-year-as-canada-locks-in-additional-doses-1.5231973","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 11:42:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5226340.1607643917!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Rachel Aiello","content":"

\n\tCanada will be receiving up to 200,000 more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and potentially up to 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses by the end of December. This means thousands more Canadians will be vaccinated before the end of the year.

\n

\n\t“Canada has secured our second agreement for early doses of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, announcing that a second vaccine could be available for use in this country within days. 

\n

\n\tThe federal government has updated its contract with Moderna, to secure delivery of an initial tranche of doses of its vaccine candidate within 48 hours of Health Canada approval. The first 168,000 doses are part of the 40 million doses that Canada has secured access to. 

\n\n

\n\tThis news comes on the second day of the largest mass vaccination effort in Canadian history, as more health-care workers and seniors begin receiving their immunizations with the Pfizer shot, which arrived in this country on Sunday and was in the first arms by midday Monday. 

\n

\n\tCanada made a deal to receive 249,000 Pfizer doses this month, and by next week 230,000 of those doses will have landed. There are currently 14 sites across the provinces that are up and running, receiving the initial doses. Trudeau said Tuesday that by next week the number of places able to handle and administer Pfizer shots will grow to 70, meaning an additional 56 will be added across the country. 

\n

\n\t“As with the early shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, this moves us even further forward on getting Canadians protected as quickly as possible,” Trudeau said. 

\n

\n\tSTILL REVIEWING MODERNA 

\n

\n\tHealth Canada is still evaluating the Moderna vaccine submission for safety and efficacy, after beginning that process in October. Officials have said they are on track to authorize it for use in this country soon and provinces have been preparing to be able to have access to this vaccine option later this month.

\n

\n\tHealth Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press that the agency has received the final clinical data from the pharmaceutical giant, but is awaiting data on its manufacturing plants, which are expected to be provided by the end of the week. 

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tThe Moderna vaccine candidate still requires cold storage, but not at nearly as extreme cold temperatures as the Pfizer doses that started to be administered in Canada on Monday. This means its approval will open up new possibilities for where vaccines can be sent, stored, and shot into the arms of Canadians.

\n

\n\tBecause the Pfizer vaccine’s requirements are particularly complicated, initial doses are not being distributed to Indigenous communities or the territories.

\n

\n\tTrudeau confirmed that doses of the Moderna vaccine will be directed to the North, as well as to remote and Indigenous communities, in “the next few weeks.” 

\n

\n\t“No community will be left behind. We have a plan to reach everyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live. Of course, shipping in the winter—especially to the far North—isn’t without its challenges,” he said. 

\n

\n\tProcurement Minister Anita Anand first signalled in an interview on CTV’s Question Period this weekend that the government was in talks with Moderna about receiving initial doses early.

\n

\n\tHealth Canada has said suppliers can pre-position their orders, which Anand said she has raised with Moderna to see if it’d be an option to secure the fastest possible rollout of vaccines as soon as they are approved.

\n

\n\tIf approved, the Moderna vaccine would be the first to be delivered using Canada’s contracted delivery plan through FedEx Express Canada to have doses shipped across the country. 

","contentSnippet":"Canada will be receiving up to 200,000 more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and potentially up to 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses by the end of December. This means thousands more Canadians will be vaccinated before the end of the year.\n\n\t“Canada has secured our second agreement for early doses of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, announcing that a second vaccine could be available for use in this country within days. \n\n\tThe federal government has updated its contract with Moderna, to secure delivery of an initial tranche of doses of its vaccine candidate within 48 hours of Health Canada approval. The first 168,000 doses are part of the 40 million doses that Canada has secured access to. \n\n\t\n\t\tDay 2: Canada's mass COVID-19 vaccination rollout expands \n\n\n\tThis news comes on the second day of the largest mass vaccination effort in Canadian history, as more health-care workers and seniors begin receiving their immunizations with the Pfizer shot, which arrived in this country on Sunday and was in the first arms by midday Monday. \n\n\tCanada made a deal to receive 249,000 Pfizer doses this month, and by next week 230,000 of those doses will have landed. There are currently 14 sites across the provinces that are up and running, receiving the initial doses. Trudeau said Tuesday that by next week the number of places able to handle and administer Pfizer shots will grow to 70, meaning an additional 56 will be added across the country. \n\n\t“As with the early shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, this moves us even further forward on getting Canadians protected as quickly as possible,” Trudeau said. \n\n\tSTILL REVIEWING MODERNA \n\n\tHealth Canada is still evaluating the Moderna vaccine submission for safety and efficacy, after beginning that process in October. Officials have said they are on track to authorize it for use in this country soon and provinces have been preparing to be able to have access to this vaccine option later this month.\n\n\tHealth Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press that the agency has received the final clinical data from the pharmaceutical giant, but is awaiting data on its manufacturing plants, which are expected to be provided by the end of the week. \n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tThe Moderna vaccine candidate still requires cold storage, but not at nearly as extreme cold temperatures as the Pfizer doses that started to be administered in Canada on Monday. This means its approval will open up new possibilities for where vaccines can be sent, stored, and shot into the arms of Canadians.\n\n\tBecause the Pfizer vaccine’s requirements are particularly complicated, initial doses are not being distributed to Indigenous communities or the territories.\n\n\tTrudeau confirmed that doses of the Moderna vaccine will be directed to the North, as well as to remote and Indigenous communities, in “the next few weeks.” \n\n\t“No community will be left behind. We have a plan to reach everyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live. Of course, shipping in the winter—especially to the far North—isn’t without its challenges,” he said. \n\n\tProcurement Minister Anita Anand first signalled in an interview on CTV’s Question Period this weekend that the government was in talks with Moderna about receiving initial doses early.\n\n\tHealth Canada has said suppliers can pre-position their orders, which Anand said she has raised with Moderna to see if it’d be an option to secure the fastest possible rollout of vaccines as soon as they are approved.\n\n\tIf approved, the Moderna vaccine would be the first to be delivered using Canada’s contracted delivery plan through FedEx Express Canada to have doses shipped across the country. ","guid":"1.5231973","isoDate":"2020-12-15T16:42:00.000Z","embed":"

Thousands more to receive COVID-19 vaccine this year as Canada locks in additional doses

CTVNewsCanada will be receiving up to 200,000 more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and potentially up to 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses by the end of December. This means thousands more Canadians will be vaccinated before the end of the year.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/d8d26489-a0f3-4ecb-b0c2-57746954ae75.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:f7557fff-907e-4aa3-8055-878dfe3f8ce7"},{"Id":1196387221,"Date":"12/15/2020 5:58:11 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 5:58:11 PM","Content":"

WHO to sift Chinese samples, data in hunt for virus origins

CoronavirusA German scientist who is part of a small team of experts assembled by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the coronavirus says they plan to sift through samples and medical data from China to help determine where the bug first jumped from animals to humans and which species it came from.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"WHO to sift Chinese samples, data in hunt for virus origins","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/who-to-sift-chinese-samples-data-in-hunt-for-virus-origins-1.5232129","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 12:48:08 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5232138.1608054461!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tA German scientist who is part of a small team of experts assembled by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the coronavirus says they plan to sift through samples and medical data from China to help determine where the bug first jumped from animals to humans and which species it came from.

\n

\n\tThe search for the source of the new coronavirus has sparked claims of coverups and fueled political tensions,, particularly between the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump and Beijing. Most researchers think that the virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, originated in animals in China, probably bats, and the WHO has put together a 10-person team to examine the science.

\n

\n\tMission member Fabian Leendertz, a biologist at Germany's Robert Koch Institute who specialized in emerging diseases, said that the goal is to gather data to be better prepared for possible future outbreaks.

\n

\n\t“It's really not about finding a guilty country,” Leendertz said. “It's about trying to understand what happened and then see if based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”

\n\n

\n\tIn an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Leendertz said the team has already begun discussions with scientists in China and expects to travel to the country next month. They will likely start in Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported, though a precise itinerary hasn't yet been set.

\n

\n\tLeendertz, who was part of a previous mission to track down the origins of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, said that while he “would love that to be an Indiana Jones mission” with scientists conducting groundbreaking field work, “it's more (...) a team effort with Chinese colleagues to help identify the necessary next steps and how to continue,” he said.

\n

\n\tOne of the difficulties is that those who contract COVID-19 can display a wide range of symptoms similar to flu or other diseases, or even no symptoms at all. This makes tracking the chain of infection much harder than with Ebola, which has clear and dramatic symptoms that people remember.

\n

\n\tLeendertz said scientists would be looking to see whether stored medical samples from before the first known case provide evidence that the virus was circulating earlier than previously thought.

\n

\n\t“Then to see where that track leads us, if it's another city or if it stays in Wuhan or where that goes,” he said.

\n

\n\tAnother line of inquiry will be to examine the famous market in Wuhan that was pinpointed early on as a possible location for the leap from animal to human.

\n

\n\t“It may also be that it was just the first mega spreading event or one of the first,” he said.

\n

\n\tTracking down the animal in which the virus emerged will be key, and for this the group will need to take samples of further bat species and other animals that might harbour the microbe.

\n

\n\tLeendertz said the team has not been informed of any restrictions on their work in China beyond the two-week quarantine all travellers currently face. In total, the mission is expected to last four to five weeks, he said.

\n

\n\t“There will be a report from that mission, but I'm pretty sure that (it) will not give the full answer,” he said, adding that further research will likely be necessary.

\n

\n\tLeendertz expressed confidence in China's “excellent researchers” and said data collected by the country's extensive disease surveillance system would likely prove valuable.

\n

\n\t“Also X-rays from the hospitals - we now know quite well what COVID-19 patients look like. ... So that could also be a hint,” he said.

\n

\n\t“The big scope is to try to find out what happened,” said Leendertz. “How the virus jumped from which animal to perhaps an intermediate host and then to humans. To reconstruct the scenario.”

\n

\n\t“The more you know about why these spillover events happen, the better you can also check if there are countermeasures you can take to prevent such transmissions in the future.”

","contentSnippet":"A German scientist who is part of a small team of experts assembled by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the coronavirus says they plan to sift through samples and medical data from China to help determine where the bug first jumped from animals to humans and which species it came from.\n\n\tThe search for the source of the new coronavirus has sparked claims of coverups and fueled political tensions,, particularly between the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump and Beijing. Most researchers think that the virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, originated in animals in China, probably bats, and the WHO has put together a 10-person team to examine the science.\n\n\tMission member Fabian Leendertz, a biologist at Germany's Robert Koch Institute who specialized in emerging diseases, said that the goal is to gather data to be better prepared for possible future outbreaks.\n\n\t“It's really not about finding a guilty country,” Leendertz said. “It's about trying to understand what happened and then see if based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tIn an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Leendertz said the team has already begun discussions with scientists in China and expects to travel to the country next month. They will likely start in Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported, though a precise itinerary hasn't yet been set.\n\n\tLeendertz, who was part of a previous mission to track down the origins of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, said that while he “would love that to be an Indiana Jones mission” with scientists conducting groundbreaking field work, “it's more (...) a team effort with Chinese colleagues to help identify the necessary next steps and how to continue,” he said.\n\n\tOne of the difficulties is that those who contract COVID-19 can display a wide range of symptoms similar to flu or other diseases, or even no symptoms at all. This makes tracking the chain of infection much harder than with Ebola, which has clear and dramatic symptoms that people remember.\n\n\tLeendertz said scientists would be looking to see whether stored medical samples from before the first known case provide evidence that the virus was circulating earlier than previously thought.\n\n\t“Then to see where that track leads us, if it's another city or if it stays in Wuhan or where that goes,” he said.\n\n\tAnother line of inquiry will be to examine the famous market in Wuhan that was pinpointed early on as a possible location for the leap from animal to human.\n\n\t“It may also be that it was just the first mega spreading event or one of the first,” he said.\n\n\tTracking down the animal in which the virus emerged will be key, and for this the group will need to take samples of further bat species and other animals that might harbour the microbe.\n\n\tLeendertz said the team has not been informed of any restrictions on their work in China beyond the two-week quarantine all travellers currently face. In total, the mission is expected to last four to five weeks, he said.\n\n\t“There will be a report from that mission, but I'm pretty sure that (it) will not give the full answer,” he said, adding that further research will likely be necessary.\n\n\tLeendertz expressed confidence in China's “excellent researchers” and said data collected by the country's extensive disease surveillance system would likely prove valuable.\n\n\t“Also X-rays from the hospitals - we now know quite well what COVID-19 patients look like. ... So that could also be a hint,” he said.\n\n\t“The big scope is to try to find out what happened,” said Leendertz. “How the virus jumped from which animal to perhaps an intermediate host and then to humans. To reconstruct the scenario.”\n\n\t“The more you know about why these spillover events happen, the better you can also check if there are countermeasures you can take to prevent such transmissions in the future.”","guid":"1.5232129","isoDate":"2020-12-15T17:48:08.000Z","embed":"

WHO to sift Chinese samples, data in hunt for virus origins

CoronavirusA German scientist who is part of a small team of experts assembled by the World Health Organization to investigate the origins of the coronavirus says they plan to sift through samples and medical data from China to help determine where the bug first jumped from animals to humans and which species it came from.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d.jpg","width":600,"height":337,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":348},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d.jpg","width":600,"height":337},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d_800.jpg","width":620,"height":348},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/5e3cc566-057a-4286-a6bd-24a2d433160d_300.jpg","width":300,"height":168}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:6c2a1a66-c2b5-483f-860c-454e92e7be90"},{"Id":1196389997,"Date":"12/15/2020 7:04:10 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 7:04:10 PM","Content":"

Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled with dozens of kids in a Georgia town. Then the couple tested positive for COVID-19

CoronavirusDozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town. Now officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"CNN","title":"Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled with dozens of kids in a Georgia town. Then the couple tested positive for COVID-19","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/santa-and-mrs-claus-mingled-with-dozens-of-kids-in-a-georgia-town-then-the-couple-tested-positive-for-covid-19-1.5232243","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 13:57:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5103664.1600089284!/httpImage/image.jpeg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpeg"},"dc:creator":"CNN","content":"

\n\tDozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town.

\n

\n\tNow officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.

\n

\n\t"It has now been brought to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as my office, that after the event both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' were tested for the COVID-19 virus and both received positive test results," Robert Parker, Chairman of Long County Commissioners, said in a news release. "They were not displaying any symptoms at the time of the event."

\n

\n\tAfter participating in the Long County Chamber of Commerce parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were also at a "well attended" tree lighting and an event where an estimated 50 children took a photo with Santa.

\n\n

\n\tIn the same news release, Parker offered a mixed message, saying that the incident was both a "cause for concern" and that he did "not feel this incident is cause for panic." He said that both of his children were part of the estimated number that had taken their photo with Santa.

\n

\n\t"I have personally known both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger," Parker said. "They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives."

\n

\n\tThe Long City Commissioners have decided not to cancel any other holiday-themed events for the remainder of the season.

\n

\n\tParker says that he speaks for the majority of the commission in saying that they plan to move forward with other holiday traditions in order to bring "some sense of normalcy" to the pandemic.

\n

\n\tCNN has reached out to Parker for comment.

","contentSnippet":"Dozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town.\n\n\tNow officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.\n\n\t\"It has now been brought to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as my office, that after the event both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' were tested for the COVID-19 virus and both received positive test results,\" Robert Parker, Chairman of Long County Commissioners, said in a news release. \"They were not displaying any symptoms at the time of the event.\"\n\n\tAfter participating in the Long County Chamber of Commerce parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were also at a \"well attended\" tree lighting and an event where an estimated 50 children took a photo with Santa.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tIn the same news release, Parker offered a mixed message, saying that the incident was both a \"cause for concern\" and that he did \"not feel this incident is cause for panic.\" He said that both of his children were part of the estimated number that had taken their photo with Santa.\n\n\t\"I have personally known both 'Santa' and 'Mrs. Claus' my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger,\" Parker said. \"They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives.\"\n\n\tThe Long City Commissioners have decided not to cancel any other holiday-themed events for the remainder of the season.\n\n\tParker says that he speaks for the majority of the commission in saying that they plan to move forward with other holiday traditions in order to bring \"some sense of normalcy\" to the pandemic.\n\n\tCNN has reached out to Parker for comment.","guid":"1.5232243","isoDate":"2020-12-15T18:57:00.000Z","embed":"

Santa and Mrs. Claus mingled with dozens of kids in a Georgia town. Then the couple tested positive for COVID-19

CoronavirusDozens of children spent time with Santa and Mrs. Claus during an annual Christmas tradition in a Georgia town. Now officials in Ludowici, Georgia, must grapple with an unsettling aftermath: the guests of honor tested positive for COVID-19 after the event on December 10.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738.jpeg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_500.jpeg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_400.jpeg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_800.jpeg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738.jpeg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_300.jpeg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/e13bffd3-af16-42d0-a0a7-50cbdc63c738_1000.jpeg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:94d1a248-883e-4b34-a09f-c4bc46a9e02d"},{"Id":1196393181,"Date":"12/15/2020 8:27:12 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/15/2020 8:27:12 PM","Content":"

Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery

CTVNewsNine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/black-minority-women-in-canada-left-behind-in-covid-19-job-recovery-1.5232390","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 15:21:31 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.4954523.1590460411!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tNine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.

\n

\n\tThe unemployment rate for minority women was 10.5% in November, compared with 6.2% for white women, according to Statistics Canada data provided to Reuters. Women of colour also had a slightly higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts, who had a jobless rate of 10.0%.

\n

\n\tCanada has recouped more than 80% of the jobs lost at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but many minority women have not returned to work.

\n

\n\t"What we're seeing ... is the unequal impact of this pandemic on diverse groups of Canadians," said Lynn Barr-Telford, an assistant chief statistician at Statcan, in an interview before the latest data was released.

\n

\n\t"These inequities pre-date COVID... but they've been further exasperated by COVID," Barr-Telford said.

\n\n

\n\tStatcan added a question on race to its monthly job survey in July. The first survey found South Asian women had among the highest unemployment rates in Canada at 20.4% and Black women at 18.6%.

\n

\n\tFour months later, the unemployment rate for Black women remains one of the highest at 13.4%.

\n

\n\tChinese Canadian women, meanwhile, are the furthest from their pre-pandemic employment levels with a jobless rate of 10.2% in November.

\n

\n\tIndigenous women in Canada also face disproportionate negative impacts on employment from the pandemic, with the unemployment rate for Indigenous women averaging 16.8% from June to August, Statcan said in a separate report released in November.

\n

\n\t"We have diversity within diversity, of course. So not all groups are experiencing the labour market shutdown the same," said Barr-Telford.

\n

\n\tSYSTEMATIC DISADVANTAGES

\n

\n\tWhite women have fared better as "they tend to be in better paid jobs that are less precarious and they have more resources at their disposal," said Wendy Cukier, founder of the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management.

\n

\n\tWomen of colour, meanwhile, face systematic disadvantages from fewer opportunities for career advancement to less access to basic services like high-speed internet and flexible daycare.

\n

\n\tChild care is one of the issues that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has promised to tackle as part of a major stimulus package pledged to come in next spring's budget.

\n

\n\tBut with women in racial minorities bearing the brunt of the pandemic slump, more needs to be done to ensure that stimulus is tailored to their needs, with a focus on career and entrepreneurial supports, say advocates. "We have an opportunity to really rethink what we value," said Cukier.

","contentSnippet":"Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.\n\n\tThe unemployment rate for minority women was 10.5% in November, compared with 6.2% for white women, according to Statistics Canada data provided to Reuters. Women of colour also had a slightly higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts, who had a jobless rate of 10.0%.\n\n\tCanada has recouped more than 80% of the jobs lost at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but many minority women have not returned to work.\n\n\t\"What we're seeing ... is the unequal impact of this pandemic on diverse groups of Canadians,\" said Lynn Barr-Telford, an assistant chief statistician at Statcan, in an interview before the latest data was released.\n\n\t\"These inequities pre-date COVID... but they've been further exasperated by COVID,\" Barr-Telford said.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\tStatcan added a question on race to its monthly job survey in July. The first survey found South Asian women had among the highest unemployment rates in Canada at 20.4% and Black women at 18.6%.\n\n\tFour months later, the unemployment rate for Black women remains one of the highest at 13.4%.\n\n\tChinese Canadian women, meanwhile, are the furthest from their pre-pandemic employment levels with a jobless rate of 10.2% in November.\n\n\tIndigenous women in Canada also face disproportionate negative impacts on employment from the pandemic, with the unemployment rate for Indigenous women averaging 16.8% from June to August, Statcan said in a separate report released in November.\n\n\t\"We have diversity within diversity, of course. So not all groups are experiencing the labour market shutdown the same,\" said Barr-Telford.\n\n\tSYSTEMATIC DISADVANTAGES\n\n\tWhite women have fared better as \"they tend to be in better paid jobs that are less precarious and they have more resources at their disposal,\" said Wendy Cukier, founder of the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management.\n\n\tWomen of colour, meanwhile, face systematic disadvantages from fewer opportunities for career advancement to less access to basic services like high-speed internet and flexible daycare.\n\n\tChild care is one of the issues that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has promised to tackle as part of a major stimulus package pledged to come in next spring's budget.\n\n\tBut with women in racial minorities bearing the brunt of the pandemic slump, more needs to be done to ensure that stimulus is tailored to their needs, with a focus on career and entrepreneurial supports, say advocates. \"We have an opportunity to really rethink what we value,\" said Cukier.","guid":"1.5232390","isoDate":"2020-12-15T20:21:31.000Z","embed":"

Black, minority women in Canada left behind in COVID-19 job recovery

CTVNewsNine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, women of colour in Canada still face far higher unemployment than white women, official data shows, in part because they tend to work jobs in hard-hit sectors and often care for children or relatives.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/15/02492305-b2a2-4c99-a0aa-653e5a9c9763_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:ca700f7d-cb7d-45d0-aa3d-b3d7f62f71c6"},{"Id":1196411659,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:11 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:11 PM","Content":"

Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics

CoronavirusThe arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to Canada, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine, a challenge that new vaccination clinics are tackling.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Avis Favaro","title":"Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/inside-one-of-canada-s-new-covid-19-vaccination-clinics-1.5233051","pubDate":"Tue, 15 Dec 2020 22:00:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233056.1608087371!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Avis Favaro","content":"

\n\tAt Toronto’s University Health Network, there is now a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where nearly 300 health-care workers were booked on Tuesday to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

\n

\n\tThe clinic services five hospitals and long-term care facilities, including the one that personal support worker Charlie Speechley works at.

\n

\n\t“It’s just been a long haul,” Speechley told CTV News. He said that the vaccine rollout was “exciting,” representing “the beginning of the end.”

\n

\n\t“The end is now in sight,” he said.

\n

\n\tThis week, the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada, ready to be doled out to health-care workers and others deemed high-priority.

\n

\n\tThe arrival of the vaccine brings hope, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine.

\n\n\n

\n\tThe vaccination clinic is like a flu clinic on steroids, with extra steps to register and administer the inoculation -- uncharted territory, according to the clinic organizer.

\n

\n\tThere are numerous challenges and questions, Leanna Graham told CTV News.

\n

\n\t“How do they register, how do they screen, how do we upload the information,” Graham said. “The logistics around hiring staff for these clinics -- all the infection control considerations.”

\n

\n\tGraham is the director of Professional Practice & Policy at UHN, and she said this is “the first time we've ever done anything like this.”

\n

\n\t“It's been a tremendous amount of work,” she said, adding that they only put together a team to plan out how the vaccination clinic would function around a week ago.

\n

\n\tDown the hall, the vaccines are prepared. The frozen vials are thawed out for half an hour, diluted with saline, and drawn up in a syringe.

\n

\n\tDoses are registered with an expiration time, since they must be used within six hours of thawing. After that point, they’re no longer effective.

\n

\n\tJin Hyeun Huh, senior director of pharmacy at UHN, told CTV News that it’s a “daunting task.”

\n

\n\t“This is not just this week, it will go on for pretty much the whole year of 2021,” he said.

\n

\n\tThe vaccine rollout has taken a huge amount of co-ordination, he pointed out, “not only within the hospital, but through the Ministry of Public Health Agencies, so the collaboration has been wonderful.

\n

\n\t“Without that, I don't think we would have made it.”

\n

\n\tThe clinic will be vaccinating a few hundred people each day, a number determined by how fast new batches of doses can be prepared and how many people can safely attend the clinic in a day.

\n

\n\tSurveys show one third of Canadians are nervous about getting a shot, but that's not the case here.

\n

\n\t“I'm happy to get it, to be one of the first to get it,” Speechley said. The staff at his long-term care facility were asked if they were willing to take the plunge as some of the first recipients of the vaccine, and he “jumped on that.”

\n

\n\tAt his workplace, staff managed to keep residents safe from the virus, but several workers tested positive. At the beginning of the pandemic, the sense of urgency helped him stay functioning through “many shifts in a row,” but it’s been “tough,” he said.

\n

\n\t“You can see it, […] the fatigue is there.”

\n

\n\tPrashanthi Pidikiti, a physiotherapist at a long-term care facility, was also excited to get the vaccine. She’s doing this in part for herself, but mostly for others.

\n

\n\t“If I can get some protection [for] myself and for the rest of the staff, for my colleagues, and also for the residents, then it would be great,” she said. “So that's why I'm here.”

\n

\n\tWhile some personal support workers are receiving the vaccine, others are also signing up to help deliver it. Robinah Kusiima, who works in long-term care, told CTV News she is now helping to administer the vaccine, because she feels it is critical work.

\n

\n\t“I saw people dying in various nursing homes,” she said. “So I decided since the vaccine has come, let me be a part of it.”

\n

\n\tAfter the jab, recipients are asked to wait for 15 minutes. As they leave, they get sheets confirming their vaccination and showing them where to call if they experience side-effects like severe fever.

\n

\n\tThe most important thing they receive before they leave the clinic? A date for dose number two.

\n

\n\t“We have created a scheduling system that automatically generates a second appointment,” Graham said. “It's 21 days after their first appointment.”

\n

\n\tAfter someone receives their first dose, their second dose is kept in the freezer for safekeeping, rather than using up all of the supply at once and relying on further shipments for the second doses.

\n

\n\t“We were given 3,000 doses, and we took a half of those, 1,500, and we'll administer it over the next number of days and then the second 1,500 are saved in […] one of our deep freezer locations, and that will be administered again to the same recipients in three weeks,” Graham explained.

\n

\n\t“So we have absolutely guaranteed that we have that second dose available for them.”

\n

\n\tIt’s a process that will be repeated many millions of times across the country as Canadians receive the vaccine that may help to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.  

","contentSnippet":"At Toronto’s University Health Network, there is now a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where nearly 300 health-care workers were booked on Tuesday to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.\n\n\tThe clinic services five hospitals and long-term care facilities, including the one that personal support worker Charlie Speechley works at.\n\n\t“It’s just been a long haul,” Speechley told CTV News. He said that the vaccine rollout was “exciting,” representing “the beginning of the end.”\n\n\t“The end is now in sight,” he said.\n\n\tThis week, the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada, ready to be doled out to health-care workers and others deemed high-priority.\n\n\tThe arrival of the vaccine brings hope, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine.\n\n\t\n\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\n\n\t\n\t\tDay 2: Canada's mass COVID-19 vaccination rollout expands \n\n\n\tThe vaccination clinic is like a flu clinic on steroids, with extra steps to register and administer the inoculation -- uncharted territory, according to the clinic organizer.\n\n\tThere are numerous challenges and questions, Leanna Graham told CTV News.\n\n\t“How do they register, how do they screen, how do we upload the information,” Graham said. “The logistics around hiring staff for these clinics -- all the infection control considerations.”\n\n\tGraham is the director of Professional Practice & Policy at UHN, and she said this is “the first time we've ever done anything like this.”\n\n\t“It's been a tremendous amount of work,” she said, adding that they only put together a team to plan out how the vaccination clinic would function around a week ago.\n\n\tDown the hall, the vaccines are prepared. The frozen vials are thawed out for half an hour, diluted with saline, and drawn up in a syringe.\n\n\tDoses are registered with an expiration time, since they must be used within six hours of thawing. After that point, they’re no longer effective.\n\n\tJin Hyeun Huh, senior director of pharmacy at UHN, told CTV News that it’s a “daunting task.”\n\n\t“This is not just this week, it will go on for pretty much the whole year of 2021,” he said.\n\n\tThe vaccine rollout has taken a huge amount of co-ordination, he pointed out, “not only within the hospital, but through the Ministry of Public Health Agencies, so the collaboration has been wonderful.\n\n\t“Without that, I don't think we would have made it.”\n\n\tThe clinic will be vaccinating a few hundred people each day, a number determined by how fast new batches of doses can be prepared and how many people can safely attend the clinic in a day.\n\n\tSurveys show one third of Canadians are nervous about getting a shot, but that's not the case here.\n\n\t“I'm happy to get it, to be one of the first to get it,” Speechley said. The staff at his long-term care facility were asked if they were willing to take the plunge as some of the first recipients of the vaccine, and he “jumped on that.”\n\n\tAt his workplace, staff managed to keep residents safe from the virus, but several workers tested positive. At the beginning of the pandemic, the sense of urgency helped him stay functioning through “many shifts in a row,” but it’s been “tough,” he said.\n\n\t“You can see it, […] the fatigue is there.”\n\n\tPrashanthi Pidikiti, a physiotherapist at a long-term care facility, was also excited to get the vaccine. She’s doing this in part for herself, but mostly for others.\n\n\t“If I can get some protection [for] myself and for the rest of the staff, for my colleagues, and also for the residents, then it would be great,” she said. “So that's why I'm here.”\n\n\tWhile some personal support workers are receiving the vaccine, others are also signing up to help deliver it. Robinah Kusiima, who works in long-term care, told CTV News she is now helping to administer the vaccine, because she feels it is critical work.\n\n\t“I saw people dying in various nursing homes,” she said. “So I decided since the vaccine has come, let me be a part of it.”\n\n\tAfter the jab, recipients are asked to wait for 15 minutes. As they leave, they get sheets confirming their vaccination and showing them where to call if they experience side-effects like severe fever.\n\n\tThe most important thing they receive before they leave the clinic? A date for dose number two.\n\n\t“We have created a scheduling system that automatically generates a second appointment,” Graham said. “It's 21 days after their first appointment.”\n\n\tAfter someone receives their first dose, their second dose is kept in the freezer for safekeeping, rather than using up all of the supply at once and relying on further shipments for the second doses.\n\n\t“We were given 3,000 doses, and we took a half of those, 1,500, and we'll administer it over the next number of days and then the second 1,500 are saved in […] one of our deep freezer locations, and that will be administered again to the same recipients in three weeks,” Graham explained.\n\n\t“So we have absolutely guaranteed that we have that second dose available for them.”\n\n\tIt’s a process that will be repeated many millions of times across the country as Canadians receive the vaccine that may help to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.  ","guid":"1.5233051","isoDate":"2020-12-16T03:00:00.000Z","embed":"

Inside one of Canada's new COVID-19 vaccination clinics

CoronavirusThe arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope to Canada, but a mass vaccine rollout takes a lot of choreography, particularly when the vaccine needs two doses to be effective, like the Pfizer vaccine, a challenge that new vaccination clinics are tackling.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/df321137-03bc-4f74-ac86-4aefa006b921_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:91caebbb-4c89-4c51-83a1-b2e4dcc91da4"},{"Id":1196411661,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:12 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:12 PM","Content":"

'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19

CTVNewsThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Canadian Press","title":"'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/build-it-and-they-will-come-canada-s-public-transit-looks-to-rebound-from-covid-19-1.5233204","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 04:19:19 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.4961506.1590804068!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Canadian Press","content":"

\n\tThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.

\n

\n\tNot long after the global health crisis reached Canada, rates of public transit use across the country dropped by about 85 per cent, according to prof. Matti Siemiatycki of University of Toronto's geography and planning department.

\n

\n\tThe transportation policy expert said there were fears transit agencies in Canada would have to make drastic service cuts. "Public transit networks have been among the most impacted sectors in the economy from the pandemic," he said in a recent interview.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tInstead, provincial and federal funding rescued the country's transit systems from the verge of collapse, he said. In the United States, however, public transit systems are facing the "dreaded transit death spiral," Siemiatycki said, where cuts lead to further declines in ridership, which lead to further cuts and declines.

\n

\n\tWashington, D.C., and Boston have announced major service cuts. In New York City, the local transit authority said in mid-November it may be forced to cut bus and subway service by 40 per cent and lay off more than 9,000 workers.

\n

\n\tIn contrast, Toronto and Montreal are expanding their transit systems. Luc Tremblay, CEO of the Montreal Transit Corp. said in a recent interview Montreal chose to maintain service levels in 2020 at 2019 levels -- despite the fact ridership is about 65 per cent of what it was before COVID-19 hit.

\n

\n\tMontreal, Tremblay said, made that choice so service is available when riders decide to return. "It's the key," he explained. "Build it and they will come."

\n

\n\tOn Dec. 15, as Quebec imposed more COVID-19-related restrictions to stop a surge in infections across the province, the government announced a major expansion to the city's light rail system. Twenty-three new stations will be added to the commuter rail network, with construction set to begin in 2023.

\n

\n\tIn the country's largest city, the Toronto Transit Commission said service during the week of Dec. 4 was at 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The transit agency said it will maintain the same level of service in 2021. The Ontario government is also moving forward with a $28-billion plan to expand transit in the Toronto area.

\n

\n\tIn British Columbia, transit agencies will receive more than $1 billion in federal and provincial funding to maintain service levels. Federal money also helped Winnipeg's public transit agency fill a gap in its budget after ridership -- and fare revenue -- declined.

\n

\n\tMarco D'Angelo, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, a trade association that represents the country's public transit agencies, said service across the country is currently about 87 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

\n

\n\t"Systems are not planning to reduce service, but that will likely change unless governments extend financial support," he said in an email.

\n

\n\tSiemiatycki said that while ridership is down, the health crisis has shown the importance of public transit. "Even through the pandemic, transit played a critical role in our economies," he said. "Transit was a lifeline service for people to reach their front-line place of employment."

\n

\n\tDaniel Bergeron with Montreal's public transit authority said he expects the pandemic-induced decline in ridership to have an almost $1-billon impact on the agency's budget between 2020 and 2022. He said government subsidies will help cover most of the shortfall, but added that expenses will need to be cut and improvements put off in order to continue to offer service at 2019 levels.

\n

\n\tWhen the pandemic is over, people will move around differently, he said, adding that he expects service to increase outside traditional peak periods. People working from home will be more likely to take trips during the day instead of at rush hour, he said.

\n

\n\t"In the short term, there's uncertainty," he said. "But in 10, 20 years, it will be a new normal but still normal. We may have a bit more working from home, but it's not open to everybody."

\n

\n\tPeople will still have to go to work in shops, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, and he thinks people will still want to go out to restaurants and go shopping downtown.

\n

\n\t"Good quality of life is not living near a highway," Bergeron said. "Nice neighbourhoods usually come with good public transport services."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

\n

\n\tThis story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

","contentSnippet":"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.\n\n\tNot long after the global health crisis reached Canada, rates of public transit use across the country dropped by about 85 per cent, according to prof. Matti Siemiatycki of University of Toronto's geography and planning department.\n\n\tThe transportation policy expert said there were fears transit agencies in Canada would have to make drastic service cuts. \"Public transit networks have been among the most impacted sectors in the economy from the pandemic,\" he said in a recent interview.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tInstead, provincial and federal funding rescued the country's transit systems from the verge of collapse, he said. In the United States, however, public transit systems are facing the \"dreaded transit death spiral,\" Siemiatycki said, where cuts lead to further declines in ridership, which lead to further cuts and declines.\n\n\tWashington, D.C., and Boston have announced major service cuts. In New York City, the local transit authority said in mid-November it may be forced to cut bus and subway service by 40 per cent and lay off more than 9,000 workers.\n\n\tIn contrast, Toronto and Montreal are expanding their transit systems. Luc Tremblay, CEO of the Montreal Transit Corp. said in a recent interview Montreal chose to maintain service levels in 2020 at 2019 levels -- despite the fact ridership is about 65 per cent of what it was before COVID-19 hit.\n\n\tMontreal, Tremblay said, made that choice so service is available when riders decide to return. \"It's the key,\" he explained. \"Build it and they will come.\"\n\n\tOn Dec. 15, as Quebec imposed more COVID-19-related restrictions to stop a surge in infections across the province, the government announced a major expansion to the city's light rail system. Twenty-three new stations will be added to the commuter rail network, with construction set to begin in 2023.\n\n\tIn the country's largest city, the Toronto Transit Commission said service during the week of Dec. 4 was at 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. The transit agency said it will maintain the same level of service in 2021. The Ontario government is also moving forward with a $28-billion plan to expand transit in the Toronto area.\n\n\tIn British Columbia, transit agencies will receive more than $1 billion in federal and provincial funding to maintain service levels. Federal money also helped Winnipeg's public transit agency fill a gap in its budget after ridership -- and fare revenue -- declined.\n\n\tMarco D'Angelo, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, a trade association that represents the country's public transit agencies, said service across the country is currently about 87 per cent of pre-COVID levels.\n\n\t\"Systems are not planning to reduce service, but that will likely change unless governments extend financial support,\" he said in an email.\n\n\tSiemiatycki said that while ridership is down, the health crisis has shown the importance of public transit. \"Even through the pandemic, transit played a critical role in our economies,\" he said. \"Transit was a lifeline service for people to reach their front-line place of employment.\"\n\n\tDaniel Bergeron with Montreal's public transit authority said he expects the pandemic-induced decline in ridership to have an almost $1-billon impact on the agency's budget between 2020 and 2022. He said government subsidies will help cover most of the shortfall, but added that expenses will need to be cut and improvements put off in order to continue to offer service at 2019 levels.\n\n\tWhen the pandemic is over, people will move around differently, he said, adding that he expects service to increase outside traditional peak periods. People working from home will be more likely to take trips during the day instead of at rush hour, he said.\n\n\t\"In the short term, there's uncertainty,\" he said. \"But in 10, 20 years, it will be a new normal but still normal. We may have a bit more working from home, but it's not open to everybody.\"\n\n\tPeople will still have to go to work in shops, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, and he thinks people will still want to go out to restaurants and go shopping downtown.\n\n\t\"Good quality of life is not living near a highway,\" Bergeron said. \"Nice neighbourhoods usually come with good public transport services.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.\n\n\tThis story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.","guid":"1.5233204","isoDate":"2020-12-16T09:19:19.000Z","embed":"

'Build it and they will come': Canada's public transit looks to rebound from COVID-19

CTVNewsThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive declines in public transit ridership across Canada, yet many cities decided to maintain service levels this year, while others even chose to expand.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/a4db39d3-2246-4750-981a-048c0ceda8e0_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:b37f92b3-8dee-4d4f-862d-d11ccc56f5bf"},{"Id":1196411664,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:13 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:13 PM","Content":"

Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand

CTVNewsThe goal of flattening the curve in New Zealand was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/jacinda-ardern-flattening-curve-wasn-t-enough-for-new-zealand-1.5233152","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:05:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233166.1608094749!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tNew Zealand this year pulled off a moonshot that remains the envy of most other nations: It eliminated the coronavirus.

\n

\n\tBut the goal was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She said the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.

\n

\n\tAnd there have been plenty of bumps along the way. When a handful of unexplained cases began cropping up in August, Ardern found herself defending wildly exaggerated claims from U.S. President Donald Trump, who told crowds at rallies there was a massive resurgence and "It's over for New Zealand. Everything's gone."

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\t"Was angry the word?" Ardern said, reflecting on Trump's comments. She said while the new cases were deeply concerning, "to be described in that way was a misrepresentation of New Zealand's position."

\n

\n\tThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

\n

\n\tNew Zealand's response to the virus has been among the most successful, together with actions taken by China, Taiwan and Thailand early on in the pandemic. The country of 5 million has counted just 25 deaths and managed to stamp out the spread of COVID-19, allowing people to return to workplaces, schools and packed sports stadiums without restrictions.

\n

\n\tWhen the virus began hitting Europe early in the year, Ardern said, the only two options countries were considering were herd immunity or flattening the curve. She opted for the latter.

\n

\n\t"Originally, that's where we started, because there just simply wasn't really much of a view that elimination was possible," she said.

\n

\n\tBut her thinking quickly changed.

\n

\n\t"I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn't sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn't sufficient for us."

\n

\n\tArdern said she didn't worry that elimination might prove impossible, because even if New Zealand didn't get there, the approach still would have saved lives.

\n

\n\t"The alternative is to set a lesser goal, and then still misfire," she said.

\n

\n\tBorder closures and a strict lockdown in March got rid of the disease, and New Zealand went 102 days without any community spread. But then came the August outbreak in Auckland, which remains unexplained but likely originated abroad.

\n

\n\t"We thought we were through the worst of it. And so it was a real psychological blow for people. And I felt that, too. So it was very, very tough," Ardern said.

\n

\n\tShe said they'd modeled different outbreak scenarios but the one that eventuated "was about the worst that you could even possibly imagine."

\n

\n\tThat's because the outbreak had spread across multiple groups in densely populated areas, she said, and some who caught it had been attending large church gatherings. But after a second lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand again stamped out the disease.

\n

\n\tArdern said she felt confident about her responses despite sometimes feeling a touch of imposter syndrome in her role as leader.

\n

\n\t"You just have to get on with it. There's a job to be done," she said. "Any self-doubt I ever have, just as a human being, doesn't mean that always translates into doubt around what needs to be done."

\n

\n\tTwo months after the second outbreak, Ardern faced an election campaign. She won a second term in an landslide, with her liberal Labour Party winning a majority of all votes, something that last happened in New Zealand's multiparty system in 1951.

\n

\n\tAfter watching President-elect Joe Biden win the U.S. election soon after, Ardern said she's hopeful of improving the relationship between the two nations.

\n

\n\tShe said her job is to build good relationships with every leader.

\n

\n\t"But there's no question that when some of your ideas and values are similar, that's an easier job to do," she said. "And so that's the basis, I think, on which we'll be building the relationship with the new president."

\n

\n\tArdern said she's not afraid of sometimes taking a stance against a more aggressive China despite New Zealand's reliance on Beijing as its largest trading partner.

\n

\n\t"My personal view is that we're at a point where we can raise issues," Ardern said. "We're fairly predictable in the fact that we do. And I think that's an important part of our independent foreign policy."

\n

\n\tFor the world to begin to return to normal, Ardern said, there needs to be comprehensive work around ensuring that everybody can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and putting in place a vaccine certification process that would allow people to travel.

\n

\n\tShe does worry the economic impact of the virus is increasing wealth disparity, and that New Zealanders have defied earlier predictions by sending house prices to new all-time highs.

\n

\n\tShe said there is a psychology behind New Zealand's financial obsession with housing that needs to be examined, otherwise "we won't figure out how to move people back into other parts of the economy."

\n

\n\tArdern said she plans to take some time off over the Southern Hemisphere summer to spend with her fiance, Clarke Gayford, and their 2-year-old daughter, Neve.

\n

\n\t"I'm doing nothing," she said with a laugh. "I will be by the sea, though. It'll be great."

","contentSnippet":"New Zealand this year pulled off a moonshot that remains the envy of most other nations: It eliminated the coronavirus.\n\n\tBut the goal was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. She said the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.\n\n\tAnd there have been plenty of bumps along the way. When a handful of unexplained cases began cropping up in August, Ardern found herself defending wildly exaggerated claims from U.S. President Donald Trump, who told crowds at rallies there was a massive resurgence and \"It's over for New Zealand. Everything's gone.\"\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\t\"Was angry the word?\" Ardern said, reflecting on Trump's comments. She said while the new cases were deeply concerning, \"to be described in that way was a misrepresentation of New Zealand's position.\"\n\n\tThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.\n\n\tNew Zealand's response to the virus has been among the most successful, together with actions taken by China, Taiwan and Thailand early on in the pandemic. The country of 5 million has counted just 25 deaths and managed to stamp out the spread of COVID-19, allowing people to return to workplaces, schools and packed sports stadiums without restrictions.\n\n\tWhen the virus began hitting Europe early in the year, Ardern said, the only two options countries were considering were herd immunity or flattening the curve. She opted for the latter.\n\n\t\"Originally, that's where we started, because there just simply wasn't really much of a view that elimination was possible,\" she said.\n\n\tBut her thinking quickly changed.\n\n\t\"I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn't sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn't sufficient for us.\"\n\n\tArdern said she didn't worry that elimination might prove impossible, because even if New Zealand didn't get there, the approach still would have saved lives.\n\n\t\"The alternative is to set a lesser goal, and then still misfire,\" she said.\n\n\tBorder closures and a strict lockdown in March got rid of the disease, and New Zealand went 102 days without any community spread. But then came the August outbreak in Auckland, which remains unexplained but likely originated abroad.\n\n\t\"We thought we were through the worst of it. And so it was a real psychological blow for people. And I felt that, too. So it was very, very tough,\" Ardern said.\n\n\tShe said they'd modeled different outbreak scenarios but the one that eventuated \"was about the worst that you could even possibly imagine.\"\n\n\tThat's because the outbreak had spread across multiple groups in densely populated areas, she said, and some who caught it had been attending large church gatherings. But after a second lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand again stamped out the disease.\n\n\tArdern said she felt confident about her responses despite sometimes feeling a touch of imposter syndrome in her role as leader.\n\n\t\"You just have to get on with it. There's a job to be done,\" she said. \"Any self-doubt I ever have, just as a human being, doesn't mean that always translates into doubt around what needs to be done.\"\n\n\tTwo months after the second outbreak, Ardern faced an election campaign. She won a second term in an landslide, with her liberal Labour Party winning a majority of all votes, something that last happened in New Zealand's multiparty system in 1951.\n\n\tAfter watching President-elect Joe Biden win the U.S. election soon after, Ardern said she's hopeful of improving the relationship between the two nations.\n\n\tShe said her job is to build good relationships with every leader.\n\n\t\"But there's no question that when some of your ideas and values are similar, that's an easier job to do,\" she said. \"And so that's the basis, I think, on which we'll be building the relationship with the new president.\"\n\n\tArdern said she's not afraid of sometimes taking a stance against a more aggressive China despite New Zealand's reliance on Beijing as its largest trading partner.\n\n\t\"My personal view is that we're at a point where we can raise issues,\" Ardern said. \"We're fairly predictable in the fact that we do. And I think that's an important part of our independent foreign policy.\"\n\n\tFor the world to begin to return to normal, Ardern said, there needs to be comprehensive work around ensuring that everybody can get vaccinated against COVID-19 and putting in place a vaccine certification process that would allow people to travel.\n\n\tShe does worry the economic impact of the virus is increasing wealth disparity, and that New Zealanders have defied earlier predictions by sending house prices to new all-time highs.\n\n\tShe said there is a psychology behind New Zealand's financial obsession with housing that needs to be examined, otherwise \"we won't figure out how to move people back into other parts of the economy.\"\n\n\tArdern said she plans to take some time off over the Southern Hemisphere summer to spend with her fiance, Clarke Gayford, and their 2-year-old daughter, Neve.\n\n\t\"I'm doing nothing,\" she said with a laugh. \"I will be by the sea, though. It'll be great.\"","guid":"1.5233152","isoDate":"2020-12-16T05:05:00.000Z","embed":"

Jacinda Ardern: Flattening curve wasn't enough for New Zealand

CTVNewsThe goal of flattening the curve in New Zealand was driven as much by fear as it was ambition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying the target grew from an early realization the nation's health system simply couldn't cope with a big outbreak.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/9e52e651-a895-4c5d-aa61-7db0f3e72e09_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:c516e263-19dc-43eb-921c-06a72887a98e"},{"Id":1196411665,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:15 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:15 PM","Content":"

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

America VotesAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"The Associated Press","title":"Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/america-votes/biden-s-challenge-creating-a-covid-19-free-white-house-1.5233182","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 00:58:36 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5113325.1600699157!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"The Associated Press","content":"

\n\tThree blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.

\n

\n\tBut Biden soon will be entering a no-Zoom zone at the White House -- just one sign of the challenges his new administration will face when it moves to Washington in the midst of a pandemic.

\n

\n\tAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tWhite House computers don't allow the popular video conference software Zoom or rival systems like Google Meet and Slack. Government-issue cellphones only gained texting capabilities a few years ago. And many employees will need to be present at the White House to access classified information.

\n

\n\tBiden's team has limited experience with staffing a physical office during the pandemic. His campaign went all-virtual in mid-March, clearing out its Philadelphia headquarters and sending staff back to their families in Washington, New York and beyond. His transition team plotted out his path to power entirely online.

\n

\n\tThe closest Biden's team has come to experimenting with in-person work was election night, when a small selection of masked and socially distanced aides in Wilmington, Delaware, monitored returns in hotel conference rooms, a far cry from running a White House 24/7.

\n

\n\tEven now, the most prominent use of the 100,000-plus square feet (9,290 square meters) of office space reserved for the transition is for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to receive the highly classified President's Daily Brief.

\n

\n\tTelework is possible for some White House staff, and improvements in both secure and unclassified videoconferencing have been made over the last two decades. But the lack of in-person co-ordination could pose an additional challenge to the new government facing a multitude of crises.

\n

\n\tFurther complicating matters, the Biden team must devise health and safety protocols from scratch. The Trump administration was, at best, a cautionary tale in how not to run a workplace during a pandemic.

\n

\n\tDespite relying on an aggressive testing regimen that is not available in other workplaces, the West Wing under President Donald Trump has been the locus of at least two significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since Trump himself came down with the virus five weeks before Election Day.

\n

\n\tIn addition to the first family, the dozens in Trump world who have tested positive include the White House chief of staff, the vice-president's chief of staff, the White House press secretary and the president's campaign manager. Still more aides have had to isolate after potential exposure. The full scale of the infections is not publicly known.

\n

\n\tThe problems stemmed in large part from the Trump White House flouting its own guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including holding large events, allowing frequent travel and above all not requiring face masks. The Biden team believes that some of the greatest risk can be mitigated simply by adhering to scientific advice: holding safer events, requiring face coverings and continuing regular testing.

\n

\n\tWhite House veterans say the task of making the West Wing a safe workspace is attainable but will require intense discipline, among both White House staff and the hundreds of government employees from other federal agencies who support it.

\n

\n\tDetailed planning is still underway, but some early considerations are to curtail the number of staffers who have unfettered access to the West Wing, encourage remote work where possible and even have staffers use secure teleconferencing between individual offices to minimize use of shared spaces.

\n

\n\tBiden's team may get a blueprint of sorts for its use of COVID-19 vaccines from the Trump White House, which is beginning to roll out inoculations for some critical government staffers, including military aides to the president, Secret Service agents and Situation Room watch officers.

\n

\n\tBiden himself appears likely to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine before taking office, relying on the advice of the nation's top U.S. infectious-disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci called for Biden and Harris to swiftly receive the vaccine.

\n

\n\t"For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can," Fauci said on ABC News on Tuesday. "You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January."

\n

\n\tMoving the Bidens into the White House -- a stressful process even in normal times -- will be more complicated this year.

\n

\n\tThere will be a top-to-bottom cleaning of the West Wing in the hours after Trump vacates the premises and before Biden's team moves in. Public health experts say it's crucial that extra steps be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease during that changeover.

\n

\n\tOne former official said the White House ventilation system, hardened against chemical and biological threats, poses less of a concern than in typical buildings, but the Biden team is not taking any risks.

\n

\n\t"The two things to think about are cleaning off all surfaces, especially high-touch places like door knobs ... and transmission via aerosols and the possibility of aerosols lingering in the air between the two transitions if someone there is currently sick," said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "Having full air exchange, filtration and open ventilation will be important between the cleaning and the moving in of the new presidential family."

\n

\n\tTypically, the entire move is completed in about five or six hours, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of "The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House." For security reasons, moving day is carried out by White House household staff -- an undertaking that enlists everyone from building engineers to kitchen staff.

\n

\n\t"In the past, there's literally one moving truck in the South Lawn entrance and one in the north entrance," she said. "It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation."

\n

\n\t------

\n

\n\tMadhani reported from Wilmington, Del.

","contentSnippet":"Three blocks from the White House, office space for more than 500 Biden transition staffers sits mostly idle. The government is shipping out laptops so staffers can work from home. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, surrounded by just a handful of aides in Delaware, is using Zoom to oversee his plans to assume power.\n\n\tBut Biden soon will be entering a no-Zoom zone at the White House -- just one sign of the challenges his new administration will face when it moves to Washington in the midst of a pandemic.\n\n\tAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tWhite House computers don't allow the popular video conference software Zoom or rival systems like Google Meet and Slack. Government-issue cellphones only gained texting capabilities a few years ago. And many employees will need to be present at the White House to access classified information.\n\n\tBiden's team has limited experience with staffing a physical office during the pandemic. His campaign went all-virtual in mid-March, clearing out its Philadelphia headquarters and sending staff back to their families in Washington, New York and beyond. His transition team plotted out his path to power entirely online.\n\n\tThe closest Biden's team has come to experimenting with in-person work was election night, when a small selection of masked and socially distanced aides in Wilmington, Delaware, monitored returns in hotel conference rooms, a far cry from running a White House 24/7.\n\n\tEven now, the most prominent use of the 100,000-plus square feet (9,290 square meters) of office space reserved for the transition is for Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to receive the highly classified President's Daily Brief.\n\n\tTelework is possible for some White House staff, and improvements in both secure and unclassified videoconferencing have been made over the last two decades. But the lack of in-person co-ordination could pose an additional challenge to the new government facing a multitude of crises.\n\n\tFurther complicating matters, the Biden team must devise health and safety protocols from scratch. The Trump administration was, at best, a cautionary tale in how not to run a workplace during a pandemic.\n\n\tDespite relying on an aggressive testing regimen that is not available in other workplaces, the West Wing under President Donald Trump has been the locus of at least two significant outbreaks of COVID-19 since Trump himself came down with the virus five weeks before Election Day.\n\n\tIn addition to the first family, the dozens in Trump world who have tested positive include the White House chief of staff, the vice-president's chief of staff, the White House press secretary and the president's campaign manager. Still more aides have had to isolate after potential exposure. The full scale of the infections is not publicly known.\n\n\tThe problems stemmed in large part from the Trump White House flouting its own guidelines for COVID-19 safety, including holding large events, allowing frequent travel and above all not requiring face masks. The Biden team believes that some of the greatest risk can be mitigated simply by adhering to scientific advice: holding safer events, requiring face coverings and continuing regular testing.\n\n\tWhite House veterans say the task of making the West Wing a safe workspace is attainable but will require intense discipline, among both White House staff and the hundreds of government employees from other federal agencies who support it.\n\n\tDetailed planning is still underway, but some early considerations are to curtail the number of staffers who have unfettered access to the West Wing, encourage remote work where possible and even have staffers use secure teleconferencing between individual offices to minimize use of shared spaces.\n\n\tBiden's team may get a blueprint of sorts for its use of COVID-19 vaccines from the Trump White House, which is beginning to roll out inoculations for some critical government staffers, including military aides to the president, Secret Service agents and Situation Room watch officers.\n\n\tBiden himself appears likely to receive at least a first dose of the vaccine before taking office, relying on the advice of the nation's top U.S. infectious-disease expert. Dr. Anthony Fauci called for Biden and Harris to swiftly receive the vaccine.\n\n\t\"For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,\" Fauci said on ABC News on Tuesday. \"You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January.\"\n\n\tMoving the Bidens into the White House -- a stressful process even in normal times -- will be more complicated this year.\n\n\tThere will be a top-to-bottom cleaning of the West Wing in the hours after Trump vacates the premises and before Biden's team moves in. Public health experts say it's crucial that extra steps be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease during that changeover.\n\n\tOne former official said the White House ventilation system, hardened against chemical and biological threats, poses less of a concern than in typical buildings, but the Biden team is not taking any risks.\n\n\t\"The two things to think about are cleaning off all surfaces, especially high-touch places like door knobs ... and transmission via aerosols and the possibility of aerosols lingering in the air between the two transitions if someone there is currently sick,\" said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. \"Having full air exchange, filtration and open ventilation will be important between the cleaning and the moving in of the new presidential family.\"\n\n\tTypically, the entire move is completed in about five or six hours, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of \"The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House.\" For security reasons, moving day is carried out by White House household staff -- an undertaking that enlists everyone from building engineers to kitchen staff.\n\n\t\"In the past, there's literally one moving truck in the South Lawn entrance and one in the north entrance,\" she said. \"It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation.\"\n\n\t------\n\n\tMadhani reported from Wilmington, Del.","guid":"1.5233182","isoDate":"2020-12-16T05:58:36.000Z","embed":"

Biden's challenge: Creating a COVID-19-free White House

America VotesAfter months of making a virtue of the cautious approach his campaign and transition team have taken toward COVID-19, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's prudence will be tested by technology and tradition when he arrives on Jan. 20.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e.jpg","width":600,"height":338},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/89cfd2de-b37b-4f10-93c0-e381912bf81e_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:47889e83-764b-4add-8798-d2d537b99db8"},{"Id":1196411667,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:16 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:16 PM","Content":"

Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety

CTVNewsTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"Reuters","title":"Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/tom-cruise-rants-at-mission-impossible-crew-in-london-over-covid-19-safety-1.5233252","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 07:30:00 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233268.1608121806!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"Reuters","content":"

\n\tTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.

\n

\n\tIn expletive-filled remarks captured on audio tape obtained by The Sun, the star and producer of the action film yelled at the crew about lapses of social distancing and other rules that allow movies to be made during the coronavirus pandemic.

\n

\n\tA source close to the production said the tape was authentic. Cruise's representative declined to comment.

\n

\n\t"I’m on the phone with every f**king studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies," Cruise told the crew on the set.

\n

\n\t"Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired," he added, according to the tape.

\n

\n\tThe Sun did not say when the incident took place, but the filmmakers arrived in London in early December.

\n

\n\tThe seventh "Mission: Impossible" was one of the first movies to shut down production because of the coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, Italy, in February.

\n

\n\tProduction resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway and London. Cruise in July personally appealed to Norway's prime minister to shoot parts of the film in Norway under modified quarantine rules.

\n

\n\tThe Paramount Pictures film is scheduled to be released in November 2021.

\n

\n\tCruise told the crew Hollywood was relying on movies like "Mission: Impossible" to keep the beleaguered industry going.

\n

\n\t"We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing," he said, according to the audio tape.

\n

\n\t"Mission: Impossible" is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's "Mission: Impossible-Fallout" taking more than $791 million at the worldwide box office.

","contentSnippet":"Tom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new \"Mission: Impossible\" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.\n\n\tIn expletive-filled remarks captured on audio tape obtained by The Sun, the star and producer of the action film yelled at the crew about lapses of social distancing and other rules that allow movies to be made during the coronavirus pandemic.\n\n\tA source close to the production said the tape was authentic. Cruise's representative declined to comment.\n\n\t\"I’m on the phone with every f**king studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies,\" Cruise told the crew on the set.\n\n\t\"Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired,\" he added, according to the tape.\n\n\tThe Sun did not say when the incident took place, but the filmmakers arrived in London in early December.\n\n\tThe seventh \"Mission: Impossible\" was one of the first movies to shut down production because of the coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, Italy, in February.\n\n\tProduction resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway and London. Cruise in July personally appealed to Norway's prime minister to shoot parts of the film in Norway under modified quarantine rules.\n\n\tThe Paramount Pictures film is scheduled to be released in November 2021.\n\n\tCruise told the crew Hollywood was relying on movies like \"Mission: Impossible\" to keep the beleaguered industry going.\n\n\t\"We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing,\" he said, according to the audio tape.\n\n\t\"Mission: Impossible\" is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's \"Mission: Impossible-Fallout\" taking more than $791 million at the worldwide box office.","guid":"1.5233252","isoDate":"2020-12-16T12:30:00.000Z","embed":"

Tom Cruise rants at 'Mission: Impossible' crew in London over COVID-19 safety

CTVNewsTom Cruise let rip over an apparent breach of COVID-19 safety protocols on the London set of the new \"Mission: Impossible\" movie, telling crew members they would be fired if they don't obey the rules, Britain's Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday.
"},"Images":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98.jpg","width":600,"height":338,"alternateSizes":[{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_300.jpg","width":300,"height":169},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_1000.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_500.jpg","width":500,"height":281},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_800.jpg","width":620,"height":349},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98_400.jpg","width":400,"height":225},{"filename":"https://images.scribblelive.com/2020/12/16/051d2397-a68b-4bac-bbbe-dd95527edf98.jpg","width":600,"height":338}]}]}, "BucketKey":"19150:1aa7d1b7-2a75-46c9-a489-caf699836d57"},{"Id":1196411669,"Date":"12/16/2020 1:45:17 PM","ReceivedDate":"12/16/2020 1:45:17 PM","Content":"

Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas

CTVNewsEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.
","CreatorId":93590554,"CreatorName":"Maurício","CreatorThumbnail":"https://avatars.scribblelive.com/2020/8/25/ee7bef0d-57f9-4db2-abd5-3583f680cc5f.jpg","EditorId":"","EditorName":"","Source":"RSS","Rank":"1","Group":"0","IsComment":0 ,"IsDeleted":0 ,"IsApproved":1 ,"Type":10 ,"MediaUrl":"","Lat":"" ,"Long":"", "PostMeta":{"RSS":{"creator":"CNN","title":"Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas","link":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/family-festivities-or-solo-celebrations-here-s-how-europe-is-handling-a-covid-19-christmas-1.5233245","pubDate":"Wed, 16 Dec 2020 06:59:57 -0500","author":"","enclosure":{"url":"https://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.5233248.1608119859!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_800/image.jpg"},"dc:creator":"CNN","content":"

\n\tEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.

\n

\n\tCountries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some nations.

\n
\n\t\n
\n

\n\tHere's what European nations are planning this festive season.

\n

\n\tAUSTRIA

\n

\n\tAustria is opening ski resorts with limited capacity from Christmas Eve, for locals only. The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on December 2 that skiing could resume from December 24, for the festive period -- but only for people living close to the slopes.

\n

\n\tKurz said skiing, at least for the day, would be possible "for a large part of our population." But he added that lift capacity would be limited and hotels and accommodation providers would remain shut until January 7.

\n

\n\tRestaurants, cafes, bars and clubs will also remain closed until January 7, according to Kurz, allowing for the possibility that if infection rates drop, the government may loosen restrictions.

\n

\n\tBut the limited relaxation of rules for locals has been accompanied by new quarantine requirements for travellers, which were unveiled by the government at the beginning of December.

\n

\n\t''Tourist travel is currently de facto not possible in Austria, in light of the measures against the coronavirus," the government statement said.

\n

\n\tThe new rules mean that until January 10, all arrivals in Austria from a country with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks will have to quarantine for 10 days.

\n

\n\tThis period can be shortened if visitors test negative after five days in isolation.

\n

\n\t[As of December 3]

\n

\n\tBELGIUM

\n

\n\tBelgium has allowed non-essential shops to reopen from December 1. Museums and swimming pools are also allowed to open, in accordance with their industry protocols.

\n

\n\tBut the country will continue to require people to comply with social distancing protocols over the festive break.

\n

\n\t"During the Christmas period, social contact rules will continue to apply," Belgium's Consultative Committee said in a statement on November 30.

\n

\n\tPeople living alone will be allowed to be with two other people, maximum, "on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to protect their psychosocial well-being," the committee said. "For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply."

\n

\n\tA general ban on large gatherings remains in place, as does a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.

\n

\n\tTravellers will also be required to quarantine.

\n

\n\t"Persons who have spent more than 48 hours abroad and who will remain in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls," the committee said on November 30.

\n

\n\tThese measures will apply until 15 January 2021.

\n

\n\t"At the beginning of January, the situation will be reassessed, based on the medical indicators, to see whether and for which industries a transition to the management phase ... is possible," the committee said.

\n

\n\t[As of November 30]

\n

\n\tBULGARIA

\n

\n\tAll cultural and entertainment events have been suspended across Bulgaria since November 27.

\n

\n\tAn exception has been made for theatrs, where seats can be occupied up to 30% of their total capacity and protective face masks are mandatory.

\n

\n\tRestaurants in the country have also closed their doors to diners, though deliveries and meals for homes and offices are allowed.

\n

\n\tVisits to all shopping centers -- except for essential stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies -- are banned.

\n

\n\tA decision on whether to relax certain restrictions was set to be made on December 17 or December 18.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\t 

\n

\n\tCROATIA

\n

\n\tCroatia is still considering the measures for its Christmas period, but health minister Vili Beros said on December 12 that "he did not believe a strict lockdown would be imposed."

\n

\n\tBeros noted that though a possible travel ban between countries was being discussed, it was unlikely to be introduced, according to Croatia's Public News Agency HIRA.

\n

\n\tMeanwhile the minister of the interior Davor Bozinovic, who is the head of the national COVID-19 response team, has called on Croatians to avoid visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period.

\n

\n\tAll secondary schools in Croatia have switched to online classes.

\n

\n\tAfter a spike in cases, Croatia announced new restrictions, which include "locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events."

\n

\n\tThese restrictions will be in place from November 28 to December 21.

\n

\n\t[As of December 12]

\n

\n\tCYPRUS

\n

\n\tIn Cyprus, the hospitality sector -- bars, restaurants and cafes -- will be shut until the end of the year. The stricter measures were announced by Cypriot health minister Constantinos Ioannou during the first week of December.

\n

\n\tHigh school students have also switched from in-person classes to online ones.

\n

\n\tCyprus is also banning church attendance over Christmas. A 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in houses remain in place.

\n

\n\tRetail and department stores can, however, remain open -- under strict rules.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tCZECH REPUBLIC

\n

\n\tThe lower house of the Czech parliament has extended the country's state of emergency to December 23 -- one day before Christmas Eve, which is traditionally the main day of celebrations in the Czech Republic.

\n

\n\tThe Czech Republic has seen a surge in cases in recent months.

\n

\n\tIts state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on December 12.

\n

\n\tThe government had sought an extension until January 11, arguing it was a necessary step to control the spread of the coronavirus.

\n

\n\t[As of December 9]

\n

\n\tDENMARK

\n

\n\tIn Denmark, social distancing recommendations and a ban on gatherings apply through December -- including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tOfficials have recommended that people keep to a maximum of 10 people in private homes and a maximum of 10 social contacts during the Christmas period and on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tPeople in Denmark are allowed to see their closest family members on Christmas Eve. These family members will not be included in the 10 social contacts.

\n

\n\tAt the same time, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be adjusted to allow for Christmas Eve celebrations in certain parts of society. Communal eating for up to 50 people at social care institutions is allowed. This is also allowed in nursing homes and for homeless, vulnerable or lonely people.

\n

\n\tReligious communities are also allowed to host services conforming with health and safety requirements.

\n

\n\tBut as part of the country's national measures, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m.

\n

\n\tAll national restrictions in Denmark have been extended until February 28, 2021.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tESTONIA

\n

\n\tEstonia has recommended canceling "all joint events," including Christmas parties, as part of new coronavirus measures that took effect from November 12, according to a government statement on November 10.

\n

\n\t"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed," the statement added, noting that the cancellation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who do not come into daily contact.

\n

\n\tThe Estonian measures also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all public places, and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible.

\n

\n\tSince November 16, the operating hours of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Estonia have been reduced. All such venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.

\n

\n\t[As of November 10]

\n

\n\tFINLAND

\n

\n\tFinland's restrictions are set at a regional level, as opposed to a national one.

\n

\n\tThe number of participants at public events can be limited to 10 people and if necessary, events can prohibited altogether.

\n

\n\tRestrictions for restaurants and cafes are separated into three levels, depending on the region, and remain in force until February 28, 2021.

\n

\n\tRegions regarded as "stable" in terms of coronavirus transmission must stop serving alcoholic beverages by midnight.

\n

\n\tLapland faces harder restrictions than much of the country. Businesses there must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and those that primarily serve alcohol must close by 11 p.m., while other food and beverage service businesses may remain open until midnight at the latest.

\n

\n\tPubs, bars and nightclubs in Lapland are only permitted half the normal number of customers in their premises at a time.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tFRANCE

\n

\n\tThe French government on December 3 recommended that Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings be limited to a maximum of six adults -- with no limit on children -- due to the pandemic.

\n

\n\tAn easing of coronavirus restrictions in France scheduled for December 15 was delayed in light of new infection figures, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on December 3.

\n

\n\tCultural venues including theatres, museums, and cinemas had been due to reopen on December 15, but they will remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.

\n

\n\tFrance's curfew -- initially set from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- was extended from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Castex added.

\n

\n\tAn exception to the curfew will be made on Christmas Eve, but not on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tHowever, French citizens will no longer need administrative certificates to leave their homes, as of December 15, Castex said. Citizens will also be allowed to travel to other regions.

\n

\n\tRestaurants and cafés are scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.

\n

\n\t[As of December 10]

\n

\n\tGERMANY

\n

\n\tAs of December 16, all non-essential shops, services and schools across Germany will close until January 10, 2021.

\n

\n\tChristmas Day gatherings in the country will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.

\n

\n\tThe restrictions come as Germany grapples with a surge in cases.

\n

\n\tGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13 that "the philosophy is to stay at home."

\n

\n\tChristmas church services will be subject to prior registration, and no singing will be allowed.

\n

\n\tAlcohol will also be banned from all public spaces, and the annual New Years' Eve fireworks display will be canceled.

\n

\n\tGerman finance minister Olaf Scholz has pledged economic help for all businesses affected by the lockdown.

\n

\n\tSome states are also implementing additional measures -- Bavaria, for example, will have a 9 p.m. curfew.

\n

\n\tMerkel has said she wants to implement a full lockdown for as long as two weeks after Christmas, to bring down infection numbers.

\n

\n\tBerlin mayor Michael Müller has said the German capital is set to implement "significant restrictions" in the run up to Christmas, to curb the spread of cases.

\n

\n\tIn Berlin, the senate has closed schools and shops until January 10, 2021, and school vacations which are due to start on December 21 will be extended until January 10, with students having the option of attending online classes from January 4.

\n

\n\tMüller added that retail shops could close as early as December 20, or at the very latest December 23.

\n

\n\t[As of December 13]

\n

\n\tGREECE

\n

\n\tGreece is extending most of its COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday period, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced earlier this month.

\n

\n\tSchools, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, skiing centers and courts will remain shut until January 7, 2021.

\n

\n\tA night-time curfew and a ban on movement between regions will also remain in place until then.

\n

\n\tPetsas said that anyone entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 will have to quarantine for three days as a precaution, in addition to an already compulsory negative PCR test.

\n

\n\tRetail stores will operate under the "click-away" method, which allows customers to collect goods from shop entrance.

\n

\n\tShopping inside most stores is not allowed. Seasonal shops, bookstores and hair salons will, however, be open throughout the Christmas period.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tIRELAND

\n

\n\tThe Irish government announced an easing of restrictions in November, following a six-week national lockdown.

\n

\n\tFrom December 1, once-shuttered businesses such as hairdressers and non-essential retail outlets were allowed to reopen their doors. And December 3 saw the return of indoor dining in restaurants and gastropubs across the country.

\n

\n\tFrom December 18 to January 6, travel between counties will be permitted once more, in order to facilitate Christmas celebrations.

\n

\n\tDuring this period a household may mix with two other households.

\n

\n\tBut despite the relaxed restrictions, fears of streets thronged with Christmas shoppers have prompted the Irish government to recommend the use of face masks in "crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation."

\n

\n\t[As of November 28]

\n

\n\tITALY

\n

\n\tItaly has banned movement between regions during the Christmas holidays, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

\n

\n\tFrom December 21 to January 6, 2021, people will only be allowed to move from one region to another for work, health reasons and emergencies, according to a decree which came into force on December 3.

\n

\n\tDuring this period, people will not be permitted to travel to their vacation homes.

\n

\n\tOn Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, movement between municipalities will be banned, with exceptions for work, health reasons and emergencies. People will also be allowed to return to their place of residence.

\n

\n\tAnother new decree, to introduce further restrictions for the Christmas holidays, is currently being discussed by the government and regional administrations; it is expected to enter into force on Friday, December 18.

\n

\n\tAmong the measures being discussed are: A national curfew starting at 10 p.m., and restaurants being required to close at 6 p.m. in regions with higher infection rates.

\n

\n\tItaly has also asked that Christmas Eve masses end by around around 8:30 p.m. "so that worshippers can return home before the 10 p.m. curfew," said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary at the health ministry.

\n

\n\t[As of December 3]

\n

\n\tLATVIA

\n

\n\tLatvia declared an emergency situation from November 9, 2020, until January 11, 2021.

\n

\n\tPublic events in the country are canceled and prohibited.

\n

\n\tAnd until January 11, the operation of all cultural sites, including Christmas markets, is banned.

\n

\n\tHowever, museums remain open to visitors.

\n

\n\tPrivate events are also banned, except those within a single household.

\n

\n\tEconomic services related to entertainment and well-being -- such as bars and nightclubs -- are also banned from opening; restaurants are only allowed to provide take-away meals.

\n

\n\tOn weekends and public holidays only pharmacies, service stations and shops selling foodstuffs (except for alcohol) are allowed to operate.

\n

\n\tPeople in Latvia are permitted to visit those who live alone and need care.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tLITHUANIA

\n

\n\tThe Lithuanian government will decide on the country's Christmas rules in the next few days, a health ministry spokesperson said on December 14.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tLUXEMBOURG

\n

\n\tThe maximum number of visitors people can welcome into their homes in Luxembourg is two.

\n

\n\tThe country has also banned people from going out in public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

\n

\n\tEstablishments serving food and drinks are closed to the public and any gathering exceeding 100 people is banned.

\n

\n\tWith the exception of museums, art centers, libraries and national archives, cultural institutions are closed to the public.

\n

\n\tPlaces of worship are allowed to remain open, but visitors must respect social distancing rules and wear masks.

\n

\n\tThese measures came into effect on November 26 and will remain in place until January 15.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tNETHERLANDS

\n

\n\tThe Dutch government is dramatically escalating its lockdown to address rising coronavirus infections, according to national broadcaster NOS.

\n

\n\tThe government has mandated the closure of all non-essential stores, schools, hairdressers, museums, and theatres from December 15 until January 19, 2021, NOS reported, citing government sources.

\n

\n\tRestaurants are closed for everything but take out.

\n

\n\tMeanwhile, household visits are limited to a maximum of three guests, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors. Children up to 12 are exempt from that cap.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tPOLAND

\n

\n\tCultural institutions in Poland -- including theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and cultural centers -- have been closed since November 7.

\n

\n\tThe number of people allowed to attend church services is limited to a maximum of one person per 15 square meters.

\n

\n\tFor events taking place outside, participants must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, and cover their nose and mouth.

\n

\n\tAs of November 28, shopping centers and retail parks have been allowed to open, under a strict sanitary regime.

\n

\n\tRestaurants can prepare and serve food, but only for take-away and delivery.

\n

\n\tThe country has also established shopping time slots for older people -- only those over 60 are allowed into shops, pharmacies and post offices between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Friday. These shopping hours will not apply on Christmas Eve.

\n

\n\tPublic gatherings in Poland are limited to five people; participants must cover their nose and mouth, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.

\n

\n\tSince November, parties and meetings at home have been limited to a maximum of five people. This limit does not include the host and anyone else who lives in the house.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tPORTUGAL

\n

\n\tOn December 5, Portugal extended its state of emergency and coronavirus restrictions until December 23, but it did announce the relaxation of some rules for Christmas.

\n

\n\tBetween December 23 and 26, the country's internal travel ban will be lifted and the mandatory curfews of 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends will be extended.

\n

\n\tRestaurants may also stay open later; until 3.30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. at lunchtime, and 1 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. at night.

\n

\n\tHowever, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa has said that the plan to ease restrictions over the holidays will be reviewed on December 18, and will only go forward "if the current downward trend in cases" continues.

\n

\n\tPortugal's internal travel ban will be reinstated over New Year, meaning public parties will be forbidden and public gatherings will be limited to six people, the government has said.

\n

\n\t[As of December 5]

\n

\n\tROMANIA

\n

\n\tRomania announced additional coronavirus restrictions that will remain in place for 30 days beginning December 14; they include a ban on parties, and a night time curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.

\n

\n\tSLOVAKIA

\n

\n\tSlovakia will close all schools and non-essential shops for at least three weeks, from December 21 until January 10, 2021.

\n

\n\tGatherings in the country are currently limited to six people, and cafes and restaurants are only providing takeaway services.

\n

\n\tNew restrictions are due to be announced this week.

\n

\n\t[As of December 15]

\n

\n\tSPAIN

\n

\n\tSpain will ban movement between its regions from December 23 until January 6, 2021, health minister Salvador Illa announced on December 2.

\n

\n\tIlla announced that family gatherings -- with a maximum of 10 people -- will be allowed on December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1.

\n

\n\tA national curfew will start at 1:30 a.m. on these dates.

\n

\n\tAll regions will limit events and activities in order to avoid crowds during the festive period, Illa added.

\n

\n\tReligious ceremonies are permitted to take place indoors, providing that capacity limits are observed; singing is not recommended.

\n

\n\t[As of December 2]

\n

\n\tSWEDEN

\n

\n\tSweden's current limit of eight people for indoor gatherings will remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tSWITZERLAND

\n

\n\tSwitzerland's federal council has announced a series of coronavirus measures ahead of Christmas, in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 infection numbers.

\n

\n\tThey include the closure of bars and restaurants from 7 p.m.; sporting and cultural activities are limited to five people; markets and museums are to close on Sundays and public holidays.

\n

\n\tUp to five people from two households can gather for private events, but that number will increase to 10 for celebrations from December 24 to 26, and on New Year's Eve.

\n

\n\tSwiss ski resorts have been permitted to open for domestic tourism, but strict coronavirus measures are in place in ski resorts.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tUNITED KINGDOM

\n

\n\tThe U.K. has agreed to ease social contact restrictions during the festive period from December 23 to 27; people will be allowed to travel freely between the four U.K. nations to spend time with friends and family in an exclusive "Christmas bubble."

\n

\n\tAlthough the rules are broadly similar across the U.K., each nation can enforce its own set of guidelines.

\n

\n\tIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a "Christmas bubble" can be composed of people from no more than three households.

\n

\n\tTravel across the border to the Republic of Ireland has already been the subject of much debate.

\n

\n\tThe current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive instructs those travelling outside the region for Christmas to do so between December 22 and 28.

\n

\n\tScotland will also allow up to three households to form a bubble during this time, but it plans to restrict the number of people in any bubble to eight. There are no separate arrangements for New Year, when existing tiered restrictions will apply.

\n

\n\tHouseholds in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently banned from mixing indoors in private homes.

\n

\n\t[As of December 14]

\n

\n\tContributors: Mia Alberti, Sharon Braithwaite, Niamh Kennedy, Katya Krebs, Amy Cassidy, Sara Gill, Antonia Mortensen and Chris Liakos

","contentSnippet":"Europe is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.\n\n\tCountries across the continent are taking varied approaches, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some nations.\n\n\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\tNewsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox\n\t\n\n\n\tHere's what European nations are planning this festive season.\n\n\tAUSTRIA\n\n\tAustria is opening ski resorts with limited capacity from Christmas Eve, for locals only. The country's chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on December 2 that skiing could resume from December 24, for the festive period -- but only for people living close to the slopes.\n\n\tKurz said skiing, at least for the day, would be possible \"for a large part of our population.\" But he added that lift capacity would be limited and hotels and accommodation providers would remain shut until January 7.\n\n\tRestaurants, cafes, bars and clubs will also remain closed until January 7, according to Kurz, allowing for the possibility that if infection rates drop, the government may loosen restrictions.\n\n\tBut the limited relaxation of rules for locals has been accompanied by new quarantine requirements for travellers, which were unveiled by the government at the beginning of December.\n\n\t''Tourist travel is currently de facto not possible in Austria, in light of the measures against the coronavirus,\" the government statement said.\n\n\tThe new rules mean that until January 10, all arrivals in Austria from a country with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous two weeks will have to quarantine for 10 days.\n\n\tThis period can be shortened if visitors test negative after five days in isolation.\n\n\t[As of December 3]\n\n\tBELGIUM\n\n\tBelgium has allowed non-essential shops to reopen from December 1. Museums and swimming pools are also allowed to open, in accordance with their industry protocols.\n\n\tBut the country will continue to require people to comply with social distancing protocols over the festive break.\n\n\t\"During the Christmas period, social contact rules will continue to apply,\" Belgium's Consultative Committee said in a statement on November 30.\n\n\tPeople living alone will be allowed to be with two other people, maximum, \"on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to protect their psychosocial well-being,\" the committee said. \"For meetings outside, the rule of four continues to apply.\"\n\n\tA general ban on large gatherings remains in place, as does a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.\n\n\tTravellers will also be required to quarantine.\n\n\t\"Persons who have spent more than 48 hours abroad and who will remain in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls,\" the committee said on November 30.\n\n\tThese measures will apply until 15 January 2021.\n\n\t\"At the beginning of January, the situation will be reassessed, based on the medical indicators, to see whether and for which industries a transition to the management phase ... is possible,\" the committee said.\n\n\t[As of November 30]\n\n\tBULGARIA\n\n\tAll cultural and entertainment events have been suspended across Bulgaria since November 27.\n\n\tAn exception has been made for theatrs, where seats can be occupied up to 30% of their total capacity and protective face masks are mandatory.\n\n\tRestaurants in the country have also closed their doors to diners, though deliveries and meals for homes and offices are allowed.\n\n\tVisits to all shopping centers -- except for essential stores such as grocery stores and pharmacies -- are banned.\n\n\tA decision on whether to relax certain restrictions was set to be made on December 17 or December 18.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\t \n\n\tCROATIA\n\n\tCroatia is still considering the measures for its Christmas period, but health minister Vili Beros said on December 12 that \"he did not believe a strict lockdown would be imposed.\"\n\n\tBeros noted that though a possible travel ban between countries was being discussed, it was unlikely to be introduced, according to Croatia's Public News Agency HIRA.\n\n\tMeanwhile the minister of the interior Davor Bozinovic, who is the head of the national COVID-19 response team, has called on Croatians to avoid visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period.\n\n\tAll secondary schools in Croatia have switched to online classes.\n\n\tAfter a spike in cases, Croatia announced new restrictions, which include \"locking down cafes and restaurants, and a ban on wedding parties, fairs and most sports events.\"\n\n\tThese restrictions will be in place from November 28 to December 21.\n\n\t[As of December 12]\n\n\tCYPRUS\n\n\tIn Cyprus, the hospitality sector -- bars, restaurants and cafes -- will be shut until the end of the year. The stricter measures were announced by Cypriot health minister Constantinos Ioannou during the first week of December.\n\n\tHigh school students have also switched from in-person classes to online ones.\n\n\tCyprus is also banning church attendance over Christmas. A 9 p.m. curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in houses remain in place.\n\n\tRetail and department stores can, however, remain open -- under strict rules.\n\n\t[As of December 14] \n\n\tCZECH REPUBLIC\n\n\tThe lower house of the Czech parliament has extended the country's state of emergency to December 23 -- one day before Christmas Eve, which is traditionally the main day of celebrations in the Czech Republic.\n\n\tThe Czech Republic has seen a surge in cases in recent months.\n\n\tIts state of emergency was originally scheduled to end on December 12.\n\n\tThe government had sought an extension until January 11, arguing it was a necessary step to control the spread of the coronavirus.\n\n\t[As of December 9]\n\n\tDENMARK\n\n\tIn Denmark, social distancing recommendations and a ban on gatherings apply through December -- including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.\n\n\tOfficials have recommended that people keep to a maximum of 10 people in private homes and a maximum of 10 social contacts during the Christmas period and on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tPeople in Denmark are allowed to see their closest family members on Christmas Eve. These family members will not be included in the 10 social contacts.\n\n\tAt the same time, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be adjusted to allow for Christmas Eve celebrations in certain parts of society. Communal eating for up to 50 people at social care institutions is allowed. This is also allowed in nursing homes and for homeless, vulnerable or lonely people.\n\n\tReligious communities are also allowed to host services conforming with health and safety requirements.\n\n\tBut as part of the country's national measures, restaurants and bars must close at 10 p.m.\n\n\tAll national restrictions in Denmark have been extended until February 28, 2021.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tESTONIA\n\n\tEstonia has recommended canceling \"all joint events,\" including Christmas parties, as part of new coronavirus measures that took effect from November 12, according to a government statement on November 10.\n\n\t\"Celebrating Christmas with family is, of course, allowed,\" the statement added, noting that the cancellation recommendations apply to all events attended by people who do not come into daily contact.\n\n\tThe Estonian measures also include the mandatory wearing of face coverings in all public places, and a recommendation for all employees to work remotely, if possible.\n\n\tSince November 16, the operating hours of bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Estonia have been reduced. All such venues must close at midnight and can have a maximum of 10 people per group.\n\n\t[As of November 10]\n\n\tFINLAND\n\n\tFinland's restrictions are set at a regional level, as opposed to a national one.\n\n\tThe number of participants at public events can be limited to 10 people and if necessary, events can prohibited altogether.\n\n\tRestrictions for restaurants and cafes are separated into three levels, depending on the region, and remain in force until February 28, 2021.\n\n\tRegions regarded as \"stable\" in terms of coronavirus transmission must stop serving alcoholic beverages by midnight.\n\n\tLapland faces harder restrictions than much of the country. Businesses there must stop serving alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and those that primarily serve alcohol must close by 11 p.m., while other food and beverage service businesses may remain open until midnight at the latest.\n\n\tPubs, bars and nightclubs in Lapland are only permitted half the normal number of customers in their premises at a time.\n\n\t[As of December 14] \n\n\tFRANCE\n\n\tThe French government on December 3 recommended that Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings be limited to a maximum of six adults -- with no limit on children -- due to the pandemic.\n\n\tAn easing of coronavirus restrictions in France scheduled for December 15 was delayed in light of new infection figures, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on December 3.\n\n\tCultural venues including theatres, museums, and cinemas had been due to reopen on December 15, but they will remain closed for three additional weeks, Castex said.\n\n\tFrance's curfew -- initially set from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- was extended from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Castex added.\n\n\tAn exception to the curfew will be made on Christmas Eve, but not on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tHowever, French citizens will no longer need administrative certificates to leave their homes, as of December 15, Castex said. Citizens will also be allowed to travel to other regions.\n\n\tRestaurants and cafés are scheduled to reopen on January 20, 2021.\n\n\t[As of December 10]\n\n\tGERMANY\n\n\tAs of December 16, all non-essential shops, services and schools across Germany will close until January 10, 2021.\n\n\tChristmas Day gatherings in the country will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.\n\n\tThe restrictions come as Germany grapples with a surge in cases.\n\n\tGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13 that \"the philosophy is to stay at home.\"\n\n\tChristmas church services will be subject to prior registration, and no singing will be allowed.\n\n\tAlcohol will also be banned from all public spaces, and the annual New Years' Eve fireworks display will be canceled.\n\n\tGerman finance minister Olaf Scholz has pledged economic help for all businesses affected by the lockdown.\n\n\tSome states are also implementing additional measures -- Bavaria, for example, will have a 9 p.m. curfew.\n\n\tMerkel has said she wants to implement a full lockdown for as long as two weeks after Christmas, to bring down infection numbers.\n\n\tBerlin mayor Michael Müller has said the German capital is set to implement \"significant restrictions\" in the run up to Christmas, to curb the spread of cases.\n\n\tIn Berlin, the senate has closed schools and shops until January 10, 2021, and school vacations which are due to start on December 21 will be extended until January 10, with students having the option of attending online classes from January 4.\n\n\tMüller added that retail shops could close as early as December 20, or at the very latest December 23.\n\n\t[As of December 13]\n\n\tGREECE\n\n\tGreece is extending most of its COVID-19 restrictions through the Christmas holiday period, government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced earlier this month.\n\n\tSchools, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, skiing centers and courts will remain shut until January 7, 2021.\n\n\tA night-time curfew and a ban on movement between regions will also remain in place until then.\n\n\tPetsas said that anyone entering Greece from abroad between December 18 and January 7 will have to quarantine for three days as a precaution, in addition to an already compulsory negative PCR test.\n\n\tRetail stores will operate under the \"click-away\" method, which allows customers to collect goods from shop entrance.\n\n\tShopping inside most stores is not allowed. Seasonal shops, bookstores and hair salons will, however, be open throughout the Christmas period.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tIRELAND\n\n\tThe Irish government announced an easing of restrictions in November, following a six-week national lockdown.\n\n\tFrom December 1, once-shuttered businesses such as hairdressers and non-essential retail outlets were allowed to reopen their doors. And December 3 saw the return of indoor dining in restaurants and gastropubs across the country.\n\n\tFrom December 18 to January 6, travel between counties will be permitted once more, in order to facilitate Christmas celebrations.\n\n\tDuring this period a household may mix with two other households.\n\n\tBut despite the relaxed restrictions, fears of streets thronged with Christmas shoppers have prompted the Irish government to recommend the use of face masks in \"crowded outdoor spaces where there is significant congregation.\"\n\n\t[As of November 28]\n\n\tITALY\n\n\tItaly has banned movement between regions during the Christmas holidays, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.\n\n\tFrom December 21 to January 6, 2021, people will only be allowed to move from one region to another for work, health reasons and emergencies, according to a decree which came into force on December 3.\n\n\tDuring this period, people will not be permitted to travel to their vacation homes.\n\n\tOn Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, movement between municipalities will be banned, with exceptions for work, health reasons and emergencies. People will also be allowed to return to their place of residence.\n\n\tAnother new decree, to introduce further restrictions for the Christmas holidays, is currently being discussed by the government and regional administrations; it is expected to enter into force on Friday, December 18.\n\n\tAmong the measures being discussed are: A national curfew starting at 10 p.m., and restaurants being required to close at 6 p.m. in regions with higher infection rates.\n\n\tItaly has also asked that Christmas Eve masses end by around around 8:30 p.m. \"so that worshippers can return home before the 10 p.m. curfew,\" said Sandra Zampa, undersecretary at the health ministry.\n\n\t[As of December 3]\n\n\tLATVIA\n\n\tLatvia declared an emergency situation from November 9, 2020, until January 11, 2021.\n\n\tPublic events in the country are canceled and prohibited.\n\n\tAnd until January 11, the operation of all cultural sites, including Christmas markets, is banned.\n\n\tHowever, museums remain open to visitors.\n\n\tPrivate events are also banned, except those within a single household.\n\n\tEconomic services related to entertainment and well-being -- such as bars and nightclubs -- are also banned from opening; restaurants are only allowed to provide take-away meals.\n\n\tOn weekends and public holidays only pharmacies, service stations and shops selling foodstuffs (except for alcohol) are allowed to operate.\n\n\tPeople in Latvia are permitted to visit those who live alone and need care.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tLITHUANIA\n\n\tThe Lithuanian government will decide on the country's Christmas rules in the next few days, a health ministry spokesperson said on December 14.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tLUXEMBOURG\n\n\tThe maximum number of visitors people can welcome into their homes in Luxembourg is two.\n\n\tThe country has also banned people from going out in public between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.\n\n\tEstablishments serving food and drinks are closed to the public and any gathering exceeding 100 people is banned.\n\n\tWith the exception of museums, art centers, libraries and national archives, cultural institutions are closed to the public.\n\n\tPlaces of worship are allowed to remain open, but visitors must respect social distancing rules and wear masks.\n\n\tThese measures came into effect on November 26 and will remain in place until January 15.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tNETHERLANDS\n\n\tThe Dutch government is dramatically escalating its lockdown to address rising coronavirus infections, according to national broadcaster NOS.\n\n\tThe government has mandated the closure of all non-essential stores, schools, hairdressers, museums, and theatres from December 15 until January 19, 2021, NOS reported, citing government sources.\n\n\tRestaurants are closed for everything but take out.\n\n\tMeanwhile, household visits are limited to a maximum of three guests, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors. Children up to 12 are exempt from that cap.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tPOLAND\n\n\tCultural institutions in Poland -- including theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and cultural centers -- have been closed since November 7.\n\n\tThe number of people allowed to attend church services is limited to a maximum of one person per 15 square meters.\n\n\tFor events taking place outside, participants must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, and cover their nose and mouth.\n\n\tAs of November 28, shopping centers and retail parks have been allowed to open, under a strict sanitary regime.\n\n\tRestaurants can prepare and serve food, but only for take-away and delivery.\n\n\tThe country has also established shopping time slots for older people -- only those over 60 are allowed into shops, pharmacies and post offices between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Friday. These shopping hours will not apply on Christmas Eve.\n\n\tPublic gatherings in Poland are limited to five people; participants must cover their nose and mouth, and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.\n\n\tSince November, parties and meetings at home have been limited to a maximum of five people. This limit does not include the host and anyone else who lives in the house.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tPORTUGAL\n\n\tOn December 5, Portugal extended its state of emergency and coronavirus restrictions until December 23, but it did announce the relaxation of some rules for Christmas.\n\n\tBetween December 23 and 26, the country's internal travel ban will be lifted and the mandatory curfews of 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends will be extended.\n\n\tRestaurants may also stay open later; until 3.30 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. at lunchtime, and 1 a.m. instead of 10 p.m. at night.\n\n\tHowever, Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa has said that the plan to ease restrictions over the holidays will be reviewed on December 18, and will only go forward \"if the current downward trend in cases\" continues.\n\n\tPortugal's internal travel ban will be reinstated over New Year, meaning public parties will be forbidden and public gatherings will be limited to six people, the government has said.\n\n\t[As of December 5]\n\n\tROMANIA\n\n\tRomania announced additional coronavirus restrictions that will remain in place for 30 days beginning December 14; they include a ban on parties, and a night time curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. \n\n\tSLOVAKIA\n\n\tSlovakia will close all schools and non-essential shops for at least three weeks, from December 21 until January 10, 2021.\n\n\tGatherings in the country are currently limited to six people, and cafes and restaurants are only providing takeaway services.\n\n\tNew restrictions are due to be announced this week.\n\n\t[As of December 15]\n\n\tSPAIN\n\n\tSpain will ban movement between its regions from December 23 until January 6, 2021, health minister Salvador Illa announced on December 2.\n\n\tIlla announced that family gatherings -- with a maximum of 10 people -- will be allowed on December 24 and 25, as well as December 31 and January 1.\n\n\tA national curfew will start at 1:30 a.m. on these dates.\n\n\tAll regions will limit events and activities in order to avoid crowds during the festive period, Illa added.\n\n\tReligious ceremonies are permitted to take place indoors, providing that capacity limits are observed; singing is not recommended.\n\n\t[As of December 2] \n\n\tSWEDEN\n\n\tSweden's current limit of eight people for indoor gatherings will remain in place throughout Christmas and New Year.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tSWITZERLAND\n\n\tSwitzerland's federal council has announced a series of coronavirus measures ahead of Christmas, in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 infection numbers.\n\n\tThey include the closure of bars and restaurants from 7 p.m.; sporting and cultural activities are limited to five people; markets and museums are to close on Sundays and public holidays.\n\n\tUp to five people from two households can gather for private events, but that number will increase to 10 for celebrations from December 24 to 26, and on New Year's Eve.\n\n\tSwiss ski resorts have been permitted to open for domestic tourism, but strict coronavirus measures are in place in ski resorts.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tUNITED KINGDOM\n\n\tThe U.K. has agreed to ease social contact restrictions during the festive period from December 23 to 27; people will be allowed to travel freely between the four U.K. nations to spend time with friends and family in an exclusive \"Christmas bubble.\"\n\n\tAlthough the rules are broadly similar across the U.K., each nation can enforce its own set of guidelines.\n\n\tIn England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a \"Christmas bubble\" can be composed of people from no more than three households.\n\n\tTravel across the border to the Republic of Ireland has already been the subject of much debate.\n\n\tThe current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive instructs those travelling outside the region for Christmas to do so between December 22 and 28.\n\n\tScotland will also allow up to three households to form a bubble during this time, but it plans to restrict the number of people in any bubble to eight. There are no separate arrangements for New Year, when existing tiered restrictions will apply.\n\n\tHouseholds in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently banned from mixing indoors in private homes.\n\n\t[As of December 14]\n\n\tContributors: Mia Alberti, Sharon Braithwaite, Niamh Kennedy, Katya Krebs, Amy Cassidy, Sara Gill, Antonia Mortensen and Chris Liakos","guid":"1.5233245","isoDate":"2020-12-16T11:59:57.000Z","embed":"

Family festivities or solo celebrations: Here's how Europe is handling a COVID-19 Christmas

CTVNewsEurope is preparing for a Christmas season like no other, as governments desperately try to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of a tough year.
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