The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
10:18 a.m. (will be updated) Ontario is reporting 1,003 cases of COVID-19. Locally, there are 300 new cases in Toronto, 280 in Peel and 125 in York Region. 41,300 tests were completed.
10:04 a.m. Russia for the first time reported more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases in the last day as a surge in some regions is overwhelming local hospitals’ ability to care for patients.
There were 20,582 new coronavirus infections in the last day, with two-thirds of them outside of Moscow, the government’s virus response center said Friday. Russia has reported 1,733,440 total cases, the fourth-most globally.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin Thursday said infection rates and hospitalizations in the capital resumed their uptrend early this week and extended an order to keep older schoolchildren at home for another two weeks.
The disease’s spread in regions beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg has highlighted the problems plaguing Russia’s underfunded health-care system, with many areas struggling to handle the influx of sick people. The surge comes as federal authorities resist wider lockdowns, even as European countries from the U.K. to Greece have tightened restrictions this week.
More than 45,000 people have died with COVID-19 since April, according to government data, which cover only the period April-August.
9:50 a.m. Air pollution in parts of New Delhi have climbed to levels around nine times what the World Health Organization considers safe, turning grey winter skies into a putrid yellow and shrouding national monuments. Levels of the most dangerous particles, called PM 2.5, climbed to around 250 micrograms per cubic meter, which is considered hazardous to breathe, according to the state-run System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research.
The throat-burning smoke regularly turns the city of 20 million people into the world’s most polluted at this time of the year.
This year’s haze, however, comes as New Delhi battles a new surge in coronavirus infections, and health experts fear that if the air quality continues to worsen, then people with chronic medical conditions could become more vulnerable.
“We are already registering more infections after the air quality started to deteriorate. I fear things will only get worse from here on,” said Arvind Kumar, a chest surgeon in New Delhi.
India has reported the second most coronavirus infections in the world after the United States, with more than 8.4 million confirmed cases and nearly 125,000 deaths. The number of new daily infections reported across the country has slowed since mid-September, but New Delhi has recently seen a new surge.
9 a.m. Virus pressure is mounting at nursing homes in France, where more than 400 people with COVID-19 have died in the past week and some residents are again being confined to their rooms and cut off from their families.
“I cry every day,” said Patricia Deliry, 81, whose daughter usually provides daily assistance at her Paris care home but has been kept away for the past two weeks as part of the home’s virus protection efforts. Deliry hasn’t been able to see fellow residents either. “We’re confined, closed in from morning to night.”
French Health Minister Olivier Veran said Friday that the government is sending 1.6 million rapid virus tests to care homes across the country to allow them to test personnel. It’s part of efforts to avoid mass new confinement of nursing home residents after the anguish caused during a nationwide lockdown in the spring. Germany launched a similar program this week.
8:35 a.m. Statistics Canada says the pace of job growth slowed in October as the economy added 84,000 jobs in the month compared with 378,000 in September.
The unemployment rate was 8.9 per cent compared with 9.0 per cent in September.
The average economist estimate was for a gain of 100,000 jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 8.8 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
8:04 a.m. Overseas travellers should be quarantined in hotels guarded by police, an inquiry into an Australian city’s bungled quarantine program reported on Friday.
The Victoria state government’s decision to use private security firms instead of police and the military to enforce quarantines in Melbourne hotels has been widely blamed for lax infection controls that led to Australia’s worst virus resurgence in its second-largest city.
An inquiry into that quarantine program recommended in an interim report “a 24/7 police presence on-site at each quarantine facility.”
The government closed Melbourne Airport to international arrivals in July before commissioning retired judge Jennifer Coate to investigate what went wrong in hotel quarantine, which has been blamed for virtually all COVID-19 community transmission in Victoria.
Coate will deliver her final report and findings, including who made the decisions to hire private security and rebuff the military’s offer of help, by Dec. 21.
8:02 a.m. The top two divisions in Czech soccer will be allowed to restart after a month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sports competitions were stopped in the Czech Republic on Oct. 12 amid a record surge in virus infections.
The government has agreed to allow exceptions under strict conditions. Soccer will be the first to resume. The games will be played in empty stadiums.
The top division says all players and staff will have to undergo virus tests between games. The league will restart with a match between Jablonec and Brno on Friday.
Czech clubs Sparta Prague, Slavia Prague and Liberec were allowed to play in the Europa League despite the ban on games in the country. They all currently have several players who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
7:16 a.m. The University of Maryland’s College Park campus will transition to mostly online courses after the school’s Thanksgiving break due to concerns about rising COVID-19 cases.
The school’s President, Darryll Pines, said Thursday in a letter to the university community that students who plan to travel from campus for the holiday should plan to remain away until the end of the semester. Students who choose to remain in residence halls for Thanksgiving may stay until the end of the semester.
“Like many of you, I wish for a return to normalcy for our university, including the full resumption of in-person classes and extracurricular activities. Yet this virus continues to demand vigilance, patience and perseverance,” Pines said. “I believe the actions outlined above are prudent, data-driven, and in the best interests of our university community.”
The school will also be providing campus-wide COVID-19 testing the week prior to Thanksgiving break.
6:20 a.m.: Slovenian police say they have detained 10 people following violent protests in the capital Ljubljana against lockdown measures designed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Several hundred angry protesters on Thursday threw bottles, flares and rocks at the police who used tear gas and water cannon to disperse them in a rare riot in what in the usually calm Alpine nation.
The gather was organized in violation of a ban on gatherings that is in place in Slovenia as part of anti-virus rules. Public broadcaster RTV Slovenia says some of the protesters attacked media crews, hitting a photojournalist on the head.
5:55 a.m.: Australia’s highest court on Friday upheld the closure of a state’s border and dismissed billionaire businessman Clive Palmer’s argument that the pandemic measure was unconstitutional.
The seven High Court judges ruled that Western Australia’s state border closure to non-essential travel applied during “a hazard in the nature of a plague or epidemic” complied with the constitution.
The state shut its border to the rest of Australia on April 5 and has not recorded any cases of COVID-19 community transmission since April 11.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
— China has temporarily banned the entry of foreigners from at least eight countries as COVID-19 cases rise in Europe and elsewhere. Non-Chinese can no longer enter from Russia, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Philippines, India and Bangladesh, even if they hold a valid visa or residence permit for China.
— India has recorded 47,638 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 8.4 million. Deaths rose by 670 in the last 24 hours, driving total fatalities to 124,985 on Friday, health ministry data showed. India has the world’s second-highest caseload behind the United States.
5 a.m.: Mary Moore never felt the typical symptoms of COVID-19.
The 80-year-old resident of Toronto’s shelter system never came down with a fever, never felt her chest tighten or a cough tickle her throat. Despite sharing a room at an Etobicoke women’s shelter with three others, and despite the risk of her age, she hadn’t been scared of contracting the virus.
But then, last month, she got sick — and fast. At first, it was hard to pinpoint precisely what was wrong.
“You know when you feel there’s something just not right?” Moore said. She asked staff to help her get to a nearby hospital. Then things started to deteriorate.
A test confirmed that she’d contracted COVID-19. But for the next few weeks, as she battled the virus in hospital, her primary symptom still wasn’t one that she recognized from warnings. She was hallucinating — imagining small animals in her hospital room, or that she’d been discharged, and was sitting down to a meal in Toronto’s Chinatown neighbourhood.
Read the full story by Victoria Gibson here.
5 a.m.: More than a quarter million Danes went into lockdown Friday in a northern region of the country where a mutated variation of the coronavirus has infected minks being farmed for their fur, leading to an order to kill millions of the animals.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the move was contain the virus, and it came two days after the government ordered the cull of all 15 million minks bred at Denmark’s 1,139 mink farms.
In seven northern Denmark municipalities with some 280,000 residents sport and cultural activities have been suspended, public transportation has been stopped and regional borders have been closed. Only people with so-called “critical functions” such as police and health officials and different authorities are being permitted to cross municipal boundaries.
People in the region have been urged to to be tested. As of Saturday, restaurants must close, and school students from fifth grade and up will switch to remote learning Monday.
“We must knock down completely this virus variant,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said Thursday, adding that the mutated virus had been found in 12 people — 11 in northern Denmark and one in western Denmark.
Last month, Denmark started culling millions of minks in the north of the country after COVID-19 infections were reported among the stock there. Nationwide, at least 216 out of the 1,139 fur farms in Denmark have now been infected.
4:15 a.m.: Statistics Canada will say this morning how the country’s job market fared in October, with experts expecting the pace of gains to slow from September.
Job growth in Canada accelerated rather than slowed down in September, as the economy added 378,000 jobs coming out of the summer.
That brought overall employment to within 720,000 of pre-pandemic levels, or about three-quarters of the three million jobs lost at the outset of the pandemic in Canada.
The gains also dropped the unemployment rate to nine per cent.
The country is expected to get a little closer to recouping the losses with the figures for October.
Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate is for a gain of 100,000 jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 8.8 per cent.
4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EST on Nov. 6, 2020:
There are 251,334 confirmed cases in Canada.
_ Quebec: 111,056 confirmed (including 6,378 deaths, 94,884 resolved)
_ Ontario: 80,690 confirmed (including 3,195 deaths, 69,137 resolved)
_ Alberta: 30,447 confirmed (including 343 deaths, 23,874 resolved)
_ British Columbia: 16,560 confirmed (including 273 deaths, 12,806 resolved)
_ Manitoba: 7,177 confirmed (including 91 deaths, 2,920 resolved)
_ Saskatchewan: 3,536 confirmed (including 25 deaths, 2,634 resolved)
_ Nova Scotia: 1,119 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,036 resolved)
_ New Brunswick: 347 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 313 resolved)
_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 292 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 285 resolved)
_ Prince Edward Island: 64 confirmed (including 64 resolved)
_ Yukon: 23 confirmed (including 1 death, 20 resolved)
_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
_ Northwest Territories: 10 confirmed (including 10 resolved)
_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases
_ Total: 251,334 (0 presumptive, 251,334 confirmed including 10,381 deaths, 207,996 resolved)
3 a.m.: The National Basketball Players Association voted Thursday to support the notion of starting this coming season on Dec. 22, the date that the league has been targeting in its talks about how and when to get teams back on the floor for a planned 72-game season.
The vote is expected to be part of a lengthy process. Among the primary matters still to be determined: how much escrow will be taken from player salaries because of the shorter-than-usual season, and how the league and the players will navigate testing and other health and safety issues amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
12 a.m.: The Old Nick on Danforth Ave. closed its doors because of COVID-19 in March but it was not until last month it quietly became reality that it will never reopen.
Countless businesses across Toronto have had to do the same. But where the closure of the Old Nick hits hard is the impact to local artists, particularly musicians, who say the owner’s commitment to paying performers a fair wage and dedication to inclusivity made it a very special, rare kind place.
Owner Kristine Lukanchoff says she can’t recover from months of no income. It is impossible to climb out of a “hole that was getting deeper and deeper” while operating at a reduced capacity, per the changing government standards for restaurants.
Read the full story from Brian Bradley here.
Read Thursday’s rolling file here.