Travelers returning to Canada from abroad face new order for isolation, latest government move to address both rising COVID-19 cases and fallout economic growth.
The measure, which makes certain exceptions for health care workers and truckers, provides fines and even prison terms for those who ignore the order to stay at home.
The Canada Border Services Agency said on Twitter that people entering Canada at ports of entry will have to report:
# COVID19: As part of the new MANDATORY order #SelfIsolation which will be fully implemented by #CBSA at ports of entry before midnight tonight, anyone entering Canada by air, land or sea must declare to a CBSA border services officer: pic.twitter.com/TSO9HvGdWB
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday that travelers “should already do it”, but called the move “a serious new step”.
There have been questions as to whether the government’s border measures to date have been stringent enough, and others are concerned that some returning travelers may not be respecting the period of self-isolation. Premiers, including Doug Ford of Ontario and Jason Kenney of Alberta, addressed the issue earlier this week, ahead of the mandatory measure in Ottawa.
At a press conference on Monday, Ford said: “If you come from the airport, do not stop – I repeat, do not – in a store. Go directly home and isolate yourself for 14 days.”
Kenney, speaking earlier this week, called the quarantine period for returning travelers “an absolute public health imperative” and called on people to go “directly and immediately to your home without stopping” “.
WATCH | Alberta says it will enforce public health orders and authorizes fines:
Alberta has since granted the power of law enforcement agencies to execute public health orders, and Kenney warned that returning travelers who break the rules “will now be subject to severe penalties and fines, with strict enforcement behind them.”
Meanwhile, Ottawa announced on Wednesday a temporary program designed to put money in the hands of people who are losing their income due to the pandemic. The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) consolidates two previously announced programs into one to streamline the funding application process, which will provide eligible workers with $ 2,000 a month for four months.
According to a Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Tracker, there are more than 472,000 known cases of the new coronavirus worldwide, with more than 21,300 deaths. The dashboard, which draws data from a variety of sources, including the World Health Organization and national health departments, lists the number of cases that have been recovered or resolved at nearly 115,000.
The death toll in Spain has risen above 3,400, overshadowing that of China, where the virus was first detected in December, and is now second behind that of Italy, which has 7 500. Lidia Perera, a nurse at the 1,000-bed La Paz hospital in Madrid, said more workers were desperately needed. “We are falling apart,” said Perera.
The new coronavirus, which was labeled SARS-CoV-2, was first reported in China in late 2019. The virus causes a disease called COVID-19.
The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially the elderly and people with existing health conditions, it can cause more serious illness or death. There is no proven treatment or vaccine, but researchers around the world are looking for both.
Read on to see what’s going on in Canada and the United States.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
As of 6:00 a.m.ET Thursday, there were more than 3,400 confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 36 deaths and 197 cases listed as recovered or resolved. (Not all provinces list details of those who have recovered.) A Canadian also died abroad in Japan. Dr. Theresa Tam said the COVID-19 death was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was one of the first hot spots of the virus.
For a detailed overview of the latest figures, visit CBC coronavirus case tracking system.
British Columbia’s best doctor Bonnie Henry says 55 long-term care workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Hospitals are preparing for an increase in the number of cases, and Henry said the province is monitoring the supply of personal protective equipment because “the burn rate is much higher than expected.” Find out more about what’s going on in British Columbia
Alberta, which has given the power to law enforcement agencies to enforce public health orders, reported cases in two residents and one worker in a group home for adults with disabilities. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said: “In the past two days, despite the aggressive measures already in place, it has become clear that more measures are needed.” Learn more about what’s going on in Alberta.
Saskatchewan is expanding the list of companies that must close during the COVID-19 epidemic. The province is also reducing the number of people allowed to a public gathering to 10, down from 25 previously. Find out more about what’s going on in Saskatchewanincluding a plan in Regina to get packed lunches for children who are not in class because of closings.
Manitoba’s top public health official says further restrictions may be imposed as the province attempts to fight COVID-19. Dr. Brent Roussin said the laboratory is working “24 hours a day” to try to increase testing capacity, but added that social distance is “vitally important” at the moment. Find out more about what’s going on in Manitoba.
Ontario saw its highest number of single-day cases increase on Wednesday, with 100 new cases announced. The association representing registered nurses in the province appealed for more protective equipment, including masks, saying, “We are at war and the enemy is the COVID-19 virus.” Learn more about what’s happening in Ontario.
In Quebec, the provincial director of public health urged people to be honest about the travel history and who they had contact with. “By hiding this information, you are preventing doctors and our guardian angels from protecting themselves. By not cooperating, you are preventing us from conducting an investigation that allows us to help people,” said Dr. Horacio Arruda. Learn more about what’s going on in Quebec.
New Brunswick increases testing, but lags behind neighboring Nova Scotia due to problems earlier in the outbreak. “I want to ensure that the New Brunswick public tests more people more broadly as the situation changes,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health. Learn more about what’s going on in New Brunswick, where a high school that remains empty during the course cancellation is used to help the homeless.
WATCH | Fredericton high school provides shelter for homeless people during the outbreak:
In Nova Scotia, the best doctor in the province urges people to talk and stay in touch, even when they can’t be together. “Be open about how you feel. Ask for help,” said Dr. Robert Strang. Find out more about what’s going on in Nova Scotia.
Prince Edward Island, which has reported five cases of COVID-19, closed a transition center for dependent people as part of its fight against the coronavirus. Learn more about what’s going on on P.E.I.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the medical officer of health has stated that the province will move forward with screening for asymptomatic symptoms people who have been in contact with people with COVID-19. “It’s about making sure we find as many positive people as possible and taking the right steps to reduce the spread,” said Dr. Janice Fitzgerald.
Northwest Territories education leaders recommend closing schools for the rest of the academic year. In Whitehorse, the the prison is closed to visitors. Learn more about what’s going on in Canada’s North.
Here is an overview of what is happening in the United States
From the Associated Press, updated at 6:30 a.m.ET
The death toll in the United States as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 1,000 in yet another dark step for a global epidemic that is making lives and wreaking havoc on established economies and routines of ordinary life.
Recognizing the magnitude of the threat, the United States Senate adopted an unprecedented $ 2.2 trillion economic rescue package Wednesday evening to help businesses, workers and health care systems.
The unanimous vote came despite the doubts of both parties as to whether it goes too far or not far enough and crowned days of difficult negotiations when Washington faced a national challenge different from that to which it has never faced. The 880-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in US history.
New York is the epicenter of the domestic epidemic in the United States, accounting for more than 30,000 cases and nearly 300 deaths, most of them in New York.
City public health officials chased beds and medical supplies and called for more doctors and nurses for fear that the number of sick patients would overwhelm hospitals, as happened in Italy and in Spain.
A makeshift morgue was set up outside Bellevue hospital, and city police, whose numbers dwindle as others fall ill, have been asked to patrol almost empty streets to impose social distancing.
In Washington, President Donald Trump called on Americans to devote themselves to social distancing for 15 days, including staying home from work and closing bars and restaurants to help curb the spread of the disease.
Yet he also grumbled that “our country was not built to be closed” and vowed not to allow “the cure to be worse than the problem” – apparently concerned that the devastating effects of the epidemic in the financial markets and jobs will hurt his chances. for re-election later this year.
“The LameStream media is the dominant force in trying to make me keep our country closed for as long as possible in the hope that it will hurt my electoral success,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
WATCH | New York expects the worst as the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic:
Democrats say Trump put economics first over the health and safety of Americans.
“I would say, let’s get back to work next Friday,” said Joe Biden, the favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination. “It would be wonderful. But it cannot be arbitrary.” Biden said the congressional aid package for the epidemic “goes a long way”, but that “meticulous monitoring” is necessary.
“We are going to have to make sure that money goes quickly into the pockets of citizens and closely monitor how businesses use the taxpayer funds they receive, to make sure they serve workers, not wealthy CEOs or shareholders, “said the former vice president.
WATCH | Canadians are stranded in India as the country locks out: