KEY FACTS

10:28 a.m. Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive

10:23 a.m. Ontario reporting more than 1500 new COVID-19 cases in two days

10 a.m. Britain’s government defends its new three-tier system of risks and restrictions

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

11:43 a.m. The Ontario government is working to decide which of the province’s long-term care homes will receive assistance from the Canadian Red Cross as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Long-Term Care says the province will be finalizing details of the deployment over the coming days.

On Sunday, the federal government announced it had approved a request from Ontario to send the Red Cross to seven long-term care facilities in Ottawa.

The federal minister of public safety, Bill Blair, tweeted that the organization would “help assess and stabilize the situation” in the homes.

Provincial data show 66 long-term care homes currently have outbreaks of COVID-19.

11:15 a.m. France launched a flu vaccine campaign Tuesday in an effort to avoid facing another epidemic peak as the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the country.

French health authorities have issued official recommendations to prevent potential shortages of flu vaccine, which they fear might happen amid increased demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical staff are advised to initially reserve it for priority patients, including people over 65, pregnant women and those suffering from respiratory illness and some other diseases. Others are advised to wait for December.

The campaign was launched as French health authorities report a rapid increase in cases of coronavirus infections, with more and more people admitted in hospitals. COVID-19 patients now occupy more than 42% of intensive care unit beds in the Paris region.

Sylvie Ducamp, 73, was among the first patients to get the flu vaccine at a Paris pharmacy on Tuesday morning.

“Getting the flu shot allows you not to confuse flu symptoms with COVID-19 symptoms and it helps the doctors,” she told The Associated Press.

10:47 a.m. The number of new COVID-19 cases in public schools across Ontario has jumped by 72 from the previous day, to a total of 661 in the last two weeks.

In its latest data released Tuesday morning, the province reported that 49 more students were infected for a total of 390 in the last two weeks; since school began there have been overall total of 531.

Three schools are currently closed, according to the Ministry of Health figures.

Read the full story from the Star’s Kevin Jiang

10:33 a.m. Ontarians in need of social support during the COVID-19 pandemic may not know where to seek help for themselves or their neighbours, according to a new study.

Forty-two per cent of 1,000 Ontarians surveyed at the beginning of last month said they needed additional help from social service providers during the pandemic.

Adult mental health concerns and financial stress were the most commonly cited needs, according to findings released today by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.

The organization commissioned the study from the Angus Reid Group to get a clearer picture of the pandemic’s impact on Ontario families.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population

Association spokesman Sean McGrady said it was not a surprise that Ontarians need additional support during the pandemic, but he noted “concerning” percentages of people who were unaware of how to access services.

“Families do best when they have a strong support network and easy, equitable access to social services in their local community, but it really is vital that they know how to access those,” McGrady said in a telephone interview.

More than half of the respondents to the survey said if their families needed extra help, they would not know where to seek it out. Sixty per cent said they would not know how to help a family in their community access services.

10:28 a.m. Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been dismissed from national squad work after testing positive for COVID-19.

The player is currently in isolation and showing no symptoms, Portugal’s soccer federation says in a statement Tuesday afternoon. Portugal is due to play against Sweden on Oct. 15 in Lisbon, as part of the Nations League tournament.

The federation said Ronaldo, 35, is “doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation.”

Juventus Football Club SpA, where Ronaldo plays, saw shares fall as much as 6.9 per cent in Milan trading after the news.

10:23 a.m. (will be updated) Ontario is reporting more than 1500 new COVID-19 cases in two days: 746 cases on Tuesday and 807 cases on Monday.

Locally, there are 311 new cases in Toronto, 135 in Peel and 116 in Ottawa. More than 67,700 tests were completed.

The province skipped the daily report on Monday due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

10:12 a.m. Porter Airlines says they are delayed their restart plans again until Dec. 15 due to ongoing travel restrictions.

“We want to see our planes in the sky as soon as possible and are actively working to prepare for our resumption of service. However, the ongoing uncertainty presented by government travel restrictions, including border closures, is impacting our ability to operate flights,” Porter said on its website.

10 a.m. Britain’s government on Tuesday defended its new three-tier system of COVID-19 risks and restrictions but critics suggested it was too little, too late amid reports that government’s own scientific advisers had recommended tougher action three weeks ago.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the new system Monday in an orchestrated series of events that culminated with an address to the nation. The plan sets out progressively stricter measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 based on local infection rates and put regions into three risk groups: moderate, high and very high.

The new system comes three weeks after the Conservative government’s last nationwide program, which banned gatherings of more than six people and required pubs and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. The government’s scientific advisers at that time recommended that ministers go further, suggesting a two- to three-week national lockdown to short-circuit rapidly rising infection rates.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC on Tuesday that the government took “robust action” in response to the scientists’ advice, but ministers had to balance those recommendations against other impacts.

9:48 a.m. The Tennessee Titans have no positive tests, and they will host the Buffalo Bills as rescheduled for Tuesday night, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The Bills (4-0) left for Nashville on Monday night, but the Titans needed another day without a positive test for the game to go forward. The Titans (3-0) had the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak with eight testing positive Sept. 29 when their facility was shut down and reached a total of 24 players and personnel.

Tennessee now has gone without a positive test on six of the past nine days, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the NFL the Titans commented on all the test results.

The Titans last played Sept. 27, a 31-30 win in Minnesota over the Vikings. They returned to their facility Saturday and were allowed by the NFL to practice Sunday with only players, coaches and trainers after a staff member tested positive.

9:20 a.m. Former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, hospitalized last week after contracting COVID-19, says he is feeling better and hopes to go home soon.

Bowden, 90, told the Tallahassee Democrat on Monday, “I am doing good. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts, I really do.”

Bowden was hospitalized last week in Tallahassee after contracting the virus. He told the newspaper he has been able to walk around his hospital room. Bowden recently spent nearly two weeks in the hospital and rehab after contracting a leg infection.

Bowden said the virus hit him hard.

“You get fever, you get frustrated, you don’t feel good and you wonder if you were able to get up,” Bowden said. “But now that’s behind me.”

Bowden coached Florida State for 34 years, retiring after the 2009 season. He is second on the career victories list in major college football with 357, behind only the late Joe Paterno of Penn State.

He won national championships in 1993 and 1999.

9:15 a.m. The summer travel season was even worse than expected for Delta Air Lines, which lost $5.38 billion (U.S.) in the third quarter as people hunkered down at home during the pandemic.

Most of the loss stemmed from the cost of paying people to quit and writing down the value of assets including planes destined for resale or the scrap yard. The rest was linked to a 76 per cent plunge in revenue.

Still, CEO Ed Bastian offered a cautiously optimistic outlook, predicting that ever-increasing numbers of people will return to flying the rest of this year and beyond.

“It’s slow, but it’s steady — week by week, they are coming back,” Bastian said of passengers.

The number of people screened at U.S. airports is down more than 65 per cent this month, compared with last October, but that’s better than the 68 per cent decline in September and the 71 per cent drop in August.

Most of those are low-fare leisure travellers. Delta depends heavily on business travel, which is still down 85 per cent from a year ago, Bastian said.

8:39 a.m. The International Monetary Fund foresees a steep fall in international growth this year as the global economy struggles to recover from the pandemic-induced recession, its worst collapse in nearly a century.

The IMF estimated Tuesday that the global economy will shrink 4.4 per cent for 2020. That would be the worst annual plunge since the Great Depression of the 1930s. By comparison, the international economy contracted by a far smaller 0.1 per cent after the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

The monetary fund’s forecast for 2020 in its latest World Economic Outlook does represent an upgrade of 0.8 percentage point from its previous forecast in June. The IMF attributed the slightly less dire forecast to faster-than-expected rebounds in some countries, notably China, and to government rescue aid that was enacted by the United States and other major industrial countries.

But the 189-nation lending agency cautioned that many developing countries, notably India, are faring worse than expected, in large part because of a resurgent virus. Many nations face the threat of economic reversals if government support is withdrawn too quickly, the IMF warned.

“While the global economy is coming back, the ascent will be long, uneven and uncertain,” Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s chief economist, wrote in the new outlook. “Recovery is not assured while the pandemic continues to spread.”

While forecasting a global contraction this year after 2.8 per cent growth last year, the IMF predicts a rebound to global growth of 5.2 per cent next year, 0.2 percentage point lower than in its June forecast.

7:56 a.m. Slovakia coach Pavel Hapal has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the Nations League game against Israel on Wednesday.

The Slovakian Football Association says Hapal’s assistant, Oto Brunegraf, will be in charge for the match in Trnava.

It says five staff members, including the spokesperson for the national team, have also tested positive and all have left the team’s hotel to self-isolate.

Two players, Milan Skriniar and Jaroslav Mihalik, and a staff member tested positive before Sunday’s Nations League against Scotland that Slovakia lost in Glasgow 1-0.

7:55 a.m. One entire team and another overall contender have withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia following a series of positive tests for the coronavirus.

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The Mitchelton-Scott team withdrew before Stage 10 after four of its staff members tested positive. That came after Mitchelton-Scott team leader Simon Yates withdrew before Saturday’s eighth stage after also contracting COVID-19.

All riders and team staff members were tested over the last 48 hours coinciding with Monday’s rest day with a total of 571 tests performed.

Team Jumbo-Visma announced that Steven Kruijswijk came back positive and was withdrawn. He stood 11th overall. Kruijswijk was 1 minute, 24 seconds behind race leader João Almeida.

An unnamed Team Sunweb rider also tested positive.

7:34 a.m. It was less than 24 hours after my blood had been drawn, but I couldn’t wait to see my test results. I signed into my online account and saw the words: POSITIVE ABNORMAL. I was thrilled.

It probably sounds strange, but I was relieved to learn that I had been exposed to COVID-19.

This wasn’t a recent exposure. And it wasn’t one of the up-the-nose swab tests that have been conducted, tens of thousands a day, in Ontario as the province faces an alarming second wave.

This was an antibody test, to confirm if the “probable case” of COVID — which last March had me in bed for days and exhausted from simply taking a shower — was actually what I thought it was.

Back then, the swab test, more formally known as the PCR test, was being used to detect active infections but was restricted to high-risk groups, people who had recently travelled. I didn’t qualify. But I had gotten sick after a dinner with a doctor friend who later tested positive, and I wrote about my experience. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I had it, but I never had the piece of paper to prove it.

Read the full story from the Star’s May Warren

7:24 a.m. Party leaders in Saskatchewan are preparing for this week’s televised debate while the province deals with an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The provincial election is 13 days away on Oct. 26. Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe and NDP Leader Ryan Meili have no scheduled public events today.

NDP candidates in Saskatoon, however, are to make an announcement about long-term care. Over the long weekend, a rise in COVID-19 infections prompted Moe to urge residents to follow public health advice.

He said that the rise in cases is partly due to some people breaking public health rules. Officials reported 48 new infections Monday, with 215 active cases provincewide. Eight people are in hospital.

6:50 a.m.: A new report says COVID-19 has widened the gap between the haves and have-nots in Canada, amplifying the economic disparities that existed pre-pandemic.

The affordability index by BDO Canada Ltd. found that while one in five Canadians say they are better off, nearly two in five say their personal finances deteriorated during the first wave.

The index, based on polling data by the Angus Reid Group, found that those who are worse off are nearly four times more likely to say their debt load is overwhelming.

The report underscores a yawning chasm between Canadians who are losing ground and those whose financial situation has improved during the pandemic or hasn’t changed.

6:12 a.m.: Italian Premiere Giuseppe Conte has ordered strict new anti-coronavirus measures, including limits on private gatherings and a ban on casual pickup sports.

Conte negotiated with the country’s regions to win limits on private gatherings, over the objections of some governors. Parties in closed spaces are banned, but the measures, imposed Tuesday, are limited to “strong recommendations” against private gatherings in homes with more than six people who don’t live under the same roof.

Bars and restaurants must close by midnight, and drinks can only be consumed at tables — not while standing at the bar or outside — after 9 p.m. Also banned are any contact sports that are not organized by an association that can maintain distancing rules. That means no casual games of Italy’s beloved soccer in local parks.

After mandating the wearing of masks outdoors last week, the government sought the additional measures, with the number of new cases rising to around 5,000 a day in the past week.

5:21 a.m.: A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot.

The company said in a statement Monday evening that illnesses, accidents and other so-called adverse events “are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies,” but that its physicians and a safety monitoring panel would try to determine what might have caused the illness.

The pause is at least the second such hold to occur among several vaccines that have reached large-scale final tests in the U.S.

The company declined to reveal any more details about the illness, citing the participant’s privacy.

Temporary stoppages of large medical studies are relatively common. Few are made public in typical drug trials, but the work to make a coronavirus vaccine has raised the stakes on these kinds of complications.

5:12 a.m.: Israel has now recorded more than 2,000 deaths from the coronavirus as the country remains under lockdown for a fourth week to quell the outbreak.

The Health Ministry reported Monday night that the country had surpassed 2,000 deaths. It reported five more fatalities on Tuesday, raising the toll to 2,021.

Israel — which has confirmed more than 295,000 cases — had garnered praise earlier this year for its swift imposition of travel restrictions to limit the pandemic’s spread, but after lifting the first nationwide lockdown in May, new cases quickly increased.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government imposed a second blanket lockdown on Sept. 18 as the infection rate per capita grew to one of the highest in the world.

5:02 a.m.: South Korea has reported 102 new cases of the coronavirus, its first daily increase over 100 in six days. The steady rise is a cause of concern as officials have lowered social distancing restrictions this week after concluding that the viral spread was slowing after a spike in mid-August.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national caseload to 24,805, including 434 deaths.

Fifty-eight of the new cases was reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where transmissions have been linked to hospitals, sports facilities, a funeral home and an army unit.

Thirty-three of the new cases have been linked to international arrivals, including passengers from Russia, Nepal, Japan and the United States.

5 a.m.: Authorities in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao say they have completed coronavirus tests on more than 3 million people following the country’s first reported local outbreak of the virus in nearly two months.

The city’s health department said Tuesday that no new positive cases had been found among the more than 1.1 million test results returned thus far. The city said it had a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms and six without, since the new outbreak was first spotted over the weekend at a hospital.

The National Health Commission, however, said Tuesday that at least six new cases of the virus were found in Qingdao in the past 24 hours.

The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.

4 a.m.: India has registered 55,342 new coronavirus cases, its lowest single-day tally since mid-August.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 7.17 million cases on Tuesday but said the country was showing a trend of declining daily cases over the last five weeks.

The ministry also reported 706 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising the toll to 109,856.

According to data shared by the Health Ministry, the average number of daily cases from Sept. 9-15 was 92,830. The average has steadily declined since then, falling to under 73,000 per day over the last week.

Meanwhile, India’s testing rate has remained constant, with almost 1.1. million tests being carried out every day.

India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, is second in the world in total cases, behind only the U.S., which has confirmed over 7.8 million infections.

Monday 8:30 p.m.: An ongoing wave of COVID-19 cases in the El Paso area prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to announce Monday that a surge team of medical professionals would be dispatched to the area.

The 75 doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists being dispatched will be accompanied by a supply of extra personal protective equipment to support efforts by El Paso hospitals to meet the surge of coronavirus infections. The team will be in addition to the 169 professionals the state previously sent to the area.

As of Monday, 313 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson counties of West Texas. The state estimated that active COVID-19 cases in El Paso County alone soared from almost 4,000 on Oct. 1 to just over 6,000 Monday. Seven cases were fatal during that period.

Click here to read more of Monday’s coverage.



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