Coronavirus Update: Omicron Variant May Boost Immunity Decline, COVID-19 Immunity Working Group Says

Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Main titles:

  1. Omicron variant could boost waning immunity, says head of federal COVID-19 immunity task force
  2. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole calls for unvaccinated Canadians to be sheltered amid Omicron wave
  3. Ontario To Speed ​​Up COVID-19 Booster Injections For Education And Child Care Workers

In the last seven days, 293 224 cases have been reported, increasing 49 percent of the previous seven days. There was 304 deaths announced, on the rise 104 percent over the same period. At least 5,491 people are treated in hospitals.

The inoculation rate in Canada is 16th among countries with at least one million inhabitants.

Sources: Canada’s data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins, and the COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.

Explanations on the coronavirus: Coronavirus in maps and graphs • Vaccine dose tracking • Lockout and reopen rules

Photo of the day

Members of the public sit in a waiting room of a COVID-19 vaccination center set up at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam today.REMKO DE WAAL / AFP / Getty Images

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Ontario speed up booster shots for education and child care workers, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said today. During this time, 186 long-term care homes are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. The province’s long-term care minister said epidemics were causing staff absences of 20 to 30 percent in some areas. The province is reporting 2,279 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, including 319 people in intensive care. And, new isolation rules state that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 does not need to self-isolate for the full five days if they receive two negative rapid test results separated by 24-48 hours and if her symptoms improve for 24 hours.
  • Quebec will require people to show proof of vaccination to enter liquor and cannabis stores from Jan. 18, to force unvaccinated people to receive their first doses, Health Minister Christian Dubé said. Health officials on Thursday reported 1,953 hospitalizations related to COVID-19, an increase of nearly 12% from the previous day. Authorities said there were 207 patients in intensive care, an increase from 16.
  • In Prince Rupert, BC, eight of the 20 firefighters are unemployed due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the province’s seniors advocate is calling on the province to designate someone as an essential visitor for every long-term care resident as facilities move to stem the spread of COVID-19.
  • In Saskatchewan, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Saqib Shahab is calling on the public to stop rallies except for work and school. On Thursday, the province reported 913 new cases of COVID-19 – an all-time high – with a test positivity rate of 28%.

The unvaccinated must be accommodated through measures such as rapid tests, said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole.

  • O’Toole opposed vaccination warrants during last year’s election campaign and today accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of fueling vaccine reluctance by attacking those who have not received their vaccine.
  • The Conservative leader says he refuses to criticize people who are not vaccinated.

Boost for teachers: Ontario will speed up booster shots for education and child care workers – responding to calls from doctors and educators to prioritize vaccines for school staff before students return to in-person learning.

Opening of schools at Omicron: Debate persists over the role schools have played in transmitting COVID-19, and strategies vary from coast to coast as to whether to offer in-person learning or virtual classes, and for How long.

Decreasing immunity: The head of the Canadian government’s COVID-19 immunity working group said the highly contagious variant of Omicron could offer an “immune dividend,” providing new protection against future infection.

Coronavirus in the world

The coronavirus and businesses

Transat has canceled nearly 30% of its flights for much of its winter schedule, blaming poor sales caused by the new variant and government restrictions on travel.

  • Transat canceled flights after rival WestJet’s decision to cut its schedule by 15 percent, or nearly 70 flights a day.
  • Air Canada has also cut hundreds of flights from its schedule in the past few days.

Also today : Canadian travel industry associations are urging federal policymakers to consider easing testing restrictions for foreign travelers as other countries begin to waive requirements for visitors.

And: Cineplex is temporarily laying off 6,000 part-time employees due to the mandatory closure of its sites amid the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.

More: Sunwing’s flight that turned into a noisy, maskless onboard party could have been rerouted in mid-flight, experts say.

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Sources: Canada’s data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University, and the COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins.

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