658 new instances in Ontario as Canada nears 200,000 confirmed instances and instances spike in Europe

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Here are your local, national and worldwide COVID-19 updates for October 18, 2020.




© Provided by Ottawa Citizen
An artist works on a mural as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Manchester, Britain October 18, 2020.

CANADIAN CORONAVIRUS NEWS

-Canada’s chief public health officer urged residents to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday as parts of the country braced for new rounds of restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam issued a statement acknowledging that confusion over appropriate public health measures is understandable in light of the fact that the pandemic is playing out differently across different provinces and territories.

But she stressed that Canadians must “keep our number of in-person close contacts low” and adhere to public health practices.

“There are no quick fixes and COVID-19 is not going away, so public health is focused on making the response sustainable through to the end of the pandemic, balancing the health, social and economic consequences,” Tam said Saturday in a news release.

“What is certain, is that our response requires a collective effort. Everyone’s actions matter.”

Canada continued climbing toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases, with 196,324 confirmed cases reported Saturday across the country. Canada also recorded 9,746 deaths related to the virus.



a woman looking at the camera:  Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.


© Sean Kilpatrick
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

-Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole praised Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for his province’s handling of COVID-19 as the two sat side-by-side during a livestream on Saturday, while neither leader wore a mask .

“I’m the easiest guy to hang out with because I can’t give it or get it from anyone for four months,” O’Toole said, answering Kenney’s question about how O’Toole was doing after he and his wife got the novel coronavirus last month.

According to Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan, the province still advises everyone to wear masks when physical distancing isn’t possible. He said that includes those who have already had COVID-19.

-Women and moms of young kids are at risk of turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism for anxiety and depression during the pandemic, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The study, released earlier this week, surveyed 1,003 adults between Sept. 18 and 22 — just as elementary and high schools were reopening — and found women had higher levels of anxiety and loneliness than men.



chart, histogram:  Daily new cases in Ontario.


© PUBLIC HEALTH ONTARIO
Daily new cases in Ontario.

LOCAL NEWS

-According to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot, there were 658 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province on Sunday. Ottawa Public Health will release an update later in the day but Elliot tweeted that there were also 66 new cases in Ottawa.

Ottawa Public Health reported 70 new cases Saturday , down from 99 new cases a day earlier.

Also on Saturday Ontario reported 805 new cases of COVID-19. That represented an increase over the previous three days, but the number of people tested had also gone up, with 44,722 tests completed in the previous 24 hours.

-A fright-filled attraction at Lansdowne Park sponsored by Saunders Farm was cancelled just hours before it was to begin Friday night, with organizers blaming pandemic rules. The event, dubbed The Sawmill, was to have featured a spooky recreation of a horror story about a lost family of millworkers buried under the south stands at the stadium. It has been postponed until 2021.

-The head of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has joined his Ottawa colleague in urging families not to trick-or-treat this year . Although the state of COVID-19 infection in the region — which stretches roughly from Cornwall to the Hawkesbury area — is not as severe as it is in Ottawa, EOHU medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said in a special statement that the risk of infection was always front of mind.

“I understand that kids as well as many adults look forward to Halloween at this time of year, but we want everyone to remain safe,” Roumeliotis said in the statement.



chart:  Hospitalizations in Ontario.


© PUBLIC HEALTH ONTARIO
Hospitalizations in Ontario.

QUEBEC

Quebec reported 1,094 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the third day in a row with more than 1,000 cases. A total of 93,391 cases have now been confirmed in Quebec. The number of hospitalizations increased by 10 to 527. Of those patients, 88 are in intensive care, which is an increase of three.

 


a group of people standing in front of a building:  A man wearing a t-shirt adorned with a Swiss cross is controlled by the police during a protest against the new measures against the coronavirus in front of the House of Parliament on October 18, 2020 in Bern. The Swiss government said on October 17 it was making the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces compulsory under new measures introduced after a “worrying” rise in coronavirus infections. More than 15 people in public would also be banned under the rules to take effect on Monday, while service in restaurants and bars would be restricted to seated customers only.


© FABRICE COFFRINI
A man wearing a t-shirt adorned with a Swiss cross is controlled by the police during a protest against the new measures against the coronavirus in front of the House of Parliament on October 18, 2020 in Bern. The Swiss government said on October 17 it was making the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces compulsory under new measures introduced after a “worrying” rise in coronavirus infections. More than 15 people in public would also be banned under the rules to take effect on Monday, while service in restaurants and bars would be restricted to seated customers only.

WORLDWIDE COVID-19 UPDATES

-There are now more than 39.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and the death toll has surpassed 1,100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University .

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland announced tighter restrictions on Sunday to tackle the recent spike in coronavirus cases , including a national obligation to wear masks and a ban on large scale public gatherings. Gatherings of more than 15 people in public places will be banned from Monday and masks must be worn in all indoor public places, the government announced following an extraordinary meeting.

IRELAND

Ireland will bring in “decisive” nationwide COVID-19 restrictions on Monday but will stop short of reintroducing the kind of lockdown imposed earlier this year, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said on Friday.

“The government will act tomorrow, the action will be decisive and it will be nationwide action,” Harris, who was the health minister during one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns from the end of March to mid-May, told national broadcaster RTE.

ITALY

Italy has approved a new stimulus package in its 2021 budget to foster an economic rebound from the recession caused by the coronavirus crisis, a government statement said on Sunday after a late-night cabinet meeting. Among measures to support the health and education system, the government will set up a 4 billion euro ($6.1 billion CAD) fund to compensate companies worst hit by coronavirus lockdowns.

One of the European countries worst hit by the pandemic, Italy has forecast a 9% economic contraction for 2020 and a budget deficit equating to 10.8% of gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, Italy registered 11,705 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, up from the previous record of 10,925 posted on Saturday.

UNITED KINGDOM

Britain recorded 16,982 new daily cases of COVID-19 in the space of 24 hours, according to government data issued on Sunday, up from 16,717 the previous day. The number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test was 67, down from 150 the previous day. Britain needs to impose a three-week period of national lockdown restrictions immediately to stop cases of COVID-19 spiraling, government scientific adviser Jeremy Farrar said, adding that current regional measures would not be effective.

RUSSIA

Russia on Sunday recorded 15,099 new coronavirus cases, pushing the national tally to 1,399,334, officials said. They also said 185 people had died in the previous 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 24,187, and that 1,070,576 people had recovered from the virus.



a close up of a motorcycle mirror:  A pro-democracy protester attends an anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand October 18, 2020.


© JORGE SILVA
A pro-democracy protester attends an anti-government protest, in Bangkok, Thailand October 18, 2020.

THAILAND

Thailand reported three additional locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, a day after reporting its first local infections in more than a month. Before this week’s five cases, Thailand last reported a confirmed local transmission on Sept. 11. In total, Thailand has reported 3,686 cases of the virus and 59 deaths.

UNITED STATES

Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen announced on Saturday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Mullen is the sixth known FBS football coach to test positive for COVID-19 this season. Blake Anderson (Arkansas State), Les Miles (Kansas), Mike Norvell (Florida State), Nick Saban (Alabama) and Kevin Sumlin (Arizona) also have tested positive since Labor Day.

-With files from The Canadian Press, Reuters and Postmedia.

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