Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 653 new cases of COVID-19; Experts say Ontario case rates lower than expected due to public health measures

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The latest coronavirus news in Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

10:15 am: Ontario is reporting 653 new cases of COVID-19. Across the province, 21,651,850 doses of vaccine were administered. Of eligible Ontarians (12 years and older), 85.8 percent have one dose and 80.2 percent have two doses.

10:01 am: The daily number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario is lower than many experts have expected to date, and although they point to a number of factors for relative relief, they say it is not. when to relax these measures.

For much of the summer, the province’s top doctor warned of a September wave, followed by a gloomy fall and winter. That has yet to materialize as the daily case count remains below 1,000 and Ontario’s seven-day average graph shows roughly a plateau since early September.

This is indeed the worst-case scenario in the most recent Ontario modeling, which showed about 4,000 daily cases to date. The reality is more in line with the best case scenario, in which cases have reportedly declined steadily since September 1.

Dr Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, said hospitalizations and intensive care admissions were also stable, even without the introduction of more restrictions – noting that the proof of vaccination system was not ‘entered into force a few days ago.

“There is a bit of cautious optimism that the society is more open, the kids are going back to school, all the things that we…

7:45 am: More than 80 percent of eligible Ontarians have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and, with the possibility of vaccines being offered to young children in the coming months, the familiar wave after wave pattern of new pandemic infections could calm down soon.

Scientists believe that as more people increase their immunity to the virus, whether through vaccination or infection, cases in Ontario are set to drop to endemic levels as early as the spring of condition of course that a more transmissible and evasive variant to the vaccine does not recur. his head while waiting.

The implication of COVID-19 becoming endemic – that is, infections of the virus occurring at a consistent baseline level in the population – is that we will simply have to learn to live with it.

Learn more about the Star’s Kenyon Wallace.

7:05 am: In late May, Samantha Yammine, a neuroscientist from Toronto who advocates for vaccines, shared what had become a source of shame and embarrassment for her. For much of her life, Yammine lived with severe anxiety about needles – a phobia that caused her to avoid vaccination for years.

As a scientist, Yammine understood the toll of the pandemic and knew that mass vaccination was the solution. But she was crushed by fear and dread. How could she be a vaccine advocate if she wasn’t getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

“I knew I had to get it, but honestly I didn’t think I would be able to do it,” she said.

Yammine, 31, says Sciences Sam on social media, is not afraid of needles as some people become slightly distressed by spiders or thunderstorms. Her fear is rooted in childhood trauma and it activates the same fight-or-flight response that another person might have if they encountered a bear or an intruder.

But when Yammine shared his story on Twitter, it came with a positive development. After months of planning, therapy, and an accessibility clinic appointment, she had it: she was vaccinated.

Read the full story of the star’s Amy Dempsey.

6.30 a.m.: Billions of additional profits are at stake for some vaccine makers as the United States shifts to distributing COVID-19 booster vaccines to bolster Americans’ protection against the virus.

The gain that manufacturers stand to gain depends on the scale of the deployment.

Last Thursday, U.S. health officials approved booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans 65 and older – as well as tens of millions of young people at higher risk of coronavirus due to their health or work. .

Officials described the move as a first step. Boosters will likely be offered even more widely in the coming weeks or months, including vaccine boosters made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. That, added to the continued growth of initial vaccinations, could mean a huge boost in sales and profits for Pfizer and Moderna in particular.

“The opportunity frankly reflects the billions of people around the world who would need a vaccination and a boost,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said.

6h: Brits are encouraged these days – although in most cases not mandatory – to wear face coverings in crowded indoor spaces. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson regularly appears in the crowded and poorly ventilated House of Commons, side by side with other maskless Tory lawmakers.

For critics, this image sums up the flaw in the government’s strategy, which has abandoned most pandemic restrictions and relies on voluntary restraint and a high vaccination rate to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

As winter approaches, bringing the threat of a new wave of COVID-19, Britain’s lightness sets it apart from more cautious nations.

“The story of this government in the pandemic is too small, too late,” said Layla Moran, an opposition Liberal Democrat lawmaker who heads the all-party parliamentary group on the coronavirus.

She said some UK hospitals are already seeing the number of patients infected with the virus in intensive care units that they would normally expect in the dead of winter, although overall daily hospital admissions are around one-fifth of the peak of January.

04:05 am: In the past, Katie McCarron could count on her best Canadian customers to come to her Portland, Oregon store to stock up on their favorite high-quality, human-grade pet food.

COVID-19 had other plans. Soon, however, Portland Pet Food Co.

“Some of them were just shopping in Portland, and we would hear that they had come here, or they would write to us and ask us, ‘How can I order your food online with the border closed? British Columbia-born McCarron said in a recent interview.

In the United States, however, every international pet food shipment requires a special health certificate, preventing a small retailer like Portland Pet Food from offering online sales outside of the country.

“We can’t ship to Canada – it’s just too expensive, and we have to get these certificates issued every time we ship. So I had to continue to get into distribution. “

Today, thanks in large part to a deal with Canadian chain Pet Valu, Portland Pet Food is available at over 500 specialty retailers across Canada, an expansion that equates to roughly 25% of the global retail footprint. of the company.

McCarron clearly already had expansion in mind before the pandemic hit. Portland products are already available in Japan and it recently signed a distribution agreement in China. Korea and Taiwan are next on its list.

But the current ban on non-essential ground travel from Canada to the United States, tentatively extended for a 19th month through October 21, has made it clear the importance of gaining storage space in a part of the world to cross into. the border is not as simple as it used to be.

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