Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is considering employing the U.S. National Guard and out-of-state medical workers to fill hospital staffing shortages — with tens of thousands of workers possibly losing their jobs for not meeting a Monday deadline for mandated COVID-19 vaccination.
U.S. vaccination requirement for air passengers worries Canadians with mixed vaccines.
‘Relax, we are double vaxxed’: Hundreds of Dalhousie students attend street party.
Scan QR-code menus with a side of caution, say privacy experts.
A Canadian COVID-19 study that turned out to be wrong has spread like wildfire among anti-vaxxers.
Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: [email protected].
In the Americas, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is considering employing the U.S. National Guard and out-of-state medical workers to fill hospital staffing shortages — with tens of thousands of workers possibly losing their jobs for not meeting a Monday deadline for mandated COVID-19 vaccination.
The plan, outlined in a statement from Hochul on Saturday, would allow her to declare a state of emergency to increase the supply of health-care workers to include licensed professionals from other states and countries, as well as retired nurses.
Hochul said the state was also looking at using National Guard officers with medical training to keep hospitals and other medical facilities adequately staffed. Some 16 per cent of the state’s 450,000 hospital staff, or roughly 72,000 workers, have not been fully vaccinated, the governor’s office said.
The plan comes amid a broader battle between state and federal government leaders pushing for vaccine mandates to help counter the highly infectious delta variant of the novel coronavirus and workers who are against inoculation requirements, some objecting on religious grounds.
Hochul attended the Sunday service at a large church in New York City to ask Christians to help promote vaccines.
“I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say we owe this to each other,” Hochul told congregants at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, according to an official transcript.
“Jesus taught us to love one another, and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, ‘Please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live.'”
Health-care workers who are fired for refusing to get vaccinated will not be eligible for unemployment insurance unless they are able to provide a valid doctor-approved request for medical accommodation, Hochul’s office said.
It was not immediately clear how pending legal cases concerning religious exemptions would apply to the state’s plan to move ahead and terminate unvaccinated health-care workers.
WATCH | Nursing shortage makes pandemic strain on health-care system worse:
Nursing shortage makes pandemic strain on health-care system worse
Tim Guest, president of the Canadian Nurses Association, says Canada’s nursing shortage is made worse by the pandemic, but is not a new issue and needs a Canada-wide perspective to address. 5:52
A federal judge in Albany temporarily ordered New York state officials to allow religious exemptions for the state-imposed vaccine mandate on health-care workers, which was put in place by former governor Andrew Cuomo and takes effect on Monday.
A requirement for New York City school teachers and staff to get vaccinated was temporarily blocked by a U.S. appeals court just days before it was to take effect. A hearing is set for Wednesday.
The highly transmissible delta variant has driven a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the United States that peaked in early September and has since fallen, according to a Reuters tally. Deaths, a lagging indicator, continue to rise, with the nation reporting an average of about 2,000 lives lost per day for the past week, mostly in the unvaccinated.
While cases are down nationally about 25 per cent from their autumn peak, rising new infections in New York have only recently levelled off, according to a Reuters tally.
What’s happening across Canada
WATCH | Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis could drag on, expert says:
Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis could drag on, expert says
The COVID-19 crisis in Alberta continues to worsen with hospitalizations reaching a record high. Dr. James Talbot, a former chief medical officer of health for the province, says the dire hospital situation could extend for weeks and months. 7:54
- Manitoban with multiple chemical sensitivities wants wider exemptions, alternatives to vaccine passports.
- Legal battles brewing in Manitoba between parents divided over vaccinations.
- Run — don’t walk — to get your flu shot, says B.C. infectious disease expert.
- Judge rules unvaccinated jurors won’t be able to serve in upcoming Calgary trial.
- Saskatchewan deletes vaccine QR codes while privacy glitch gets fixed.
- Ontario’s COVID-19 rates lower than expected due to public health measures, say experts.
- Quebec Health Ministry is warning residents about fake vaccination passport apps.
- N.B. logs 61 cases, additional death as province re-enters state of emergency.
- P.E.I. health officials advise Islanders to avoid non-essential travel.
- Parents group says exposure notifications for N.S. schools lack transparency
- N.L. reports 14 new case as 80 per cent of eligible residents now fully vaccinated.
- N.W.T. offering up to $5,000 for businesses impacted by recent health measures.
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday, more than 231.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s case tracking tool, which collects data from around the world. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.
In Asia, Singapore hit record new highs of COVID-19 infections over the past week. The country will tighten curbs this week to limit social gatherings to two people and make working from home a default, in a bid to contain a spike in infections and reduce pressure on the health-care system.
In Europe, police in Norway have reported dozens of disturbances and violent clashes — including mass brawls in the Nordic country’s big cities — after streets, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were filled with people celebrating the end of COVID-19 restrictions.
In Africa, Gabon has received 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine donated by the U.S. through the COVAX initiative, according to the World Health Organization’s Africa Region, adding the shots will be used to inoculate health workers.