- CERB ending, replaced with revamped EI program to counter pandemic job losses.
- Toronto closes 3 restaurants to protect the public from COVID-19.
- Manitoba records second-highest single-day increase.
- Yukon reports 1st hospitalization for COVID-19 in territory.
- Australian state of Victoria is easing COVID-19 restrictions.
- India’s daily increase in COVID-19 cases continues downward trend.
The Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) expires on Sunday, ending the income support program the federal government rolled out during the COVID-19 pandemic to help people with payouts of up to $2,000 a month.
The government says about 8.8 million Canadians have received the benefit since April. Roughly half of the four million Canadians still getting the payments through Service Canada and are eligible for employment insurance are expected to be transitioned to a modified EI program.
The changes will be in place for one year, with three additional programs proposed for those who do not qualify for EI.
On Monday Parliament is set to debate a bill to implement those new recovery benefits.
On Saturday, the New Democrats and the governing Liberals reached a deal that delivers two weeks of paid sick leave for people affected by the pandemic under the Canada recovery sickness benefit.
In return, the NDP is promising to vote in favour of the throne speech, giving the Liberals the backing they need to survive a confidence vote.
Coronavirus infections, meanwhile, continue to surge in Canada’s two largest provinces. Quebec reported 698 new cases on Saturday, while Ontario’s tally rose by 435.
Quebec also reported its highest jump in intensive care-unit patients since late April with an increase in 12 patients. A total of 18 new hospitalizations were reported Saturday.
A long-term care home in Laval is also working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on one of its floors this weekend.
The regional health authority, the CISSS de Laval, confirmed that as of Saturday, 11 patients and seven employees at CHSLD Idola Saint-Jean have tested positive.
WATCH | Quebecers urged to avoid social gatherings as COVID-19 cases spike:
The Ontario health ministry says 100 people in the province are in hospital with COVID-19. Twenty-eight people are in intensive care units, while 15 are on ventilators.
The majority of newly confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus are concentrated in three public health units: Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa. These areas have 131, 110 and 45 additional cases, respectively, as of Saturday’s provincial update.
Meanwhile, 64 per cent of Saturday’s cases are among people under the age of 40, according to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott.
What’s happening in the rest of Canada
As of 6:45 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 151,671 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 130,328 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,303.
In the nation’s capital, public health officials confirmed the city’s 4,000th case of COVID-19 on Saturday.
The Ottawa Hospital is now overseeing two local long-term care homes that are experiencing severe outbreaks of COVID-19, a decision that’s being lauded by those with connections to the homes.
There are also now six confirmed COVID-19 cases involving staff at the Centre d’accueil Champlain long-term care home, according to a Saturday memo from the city’s director of long-term care.
As of this weekend, Ontario’s bars and restaurants can no longer serve alcohol after 11 p.m. Strip clubs have also been closed.
WATCH | Never more important to get a flu shot, Ontario premier says:
In Wasaga Beach, Ont., hundreds of people ignored a provincial ban on mass gatherings Saturday night to attend a rally featuring vintage and modified cars.
Police moved in to check identifications and ordered anyone who didn’t live in the community to leave.
In Toronto, public health officials have ordered three restaurants on King Street West to close to protect the public from COVID-19.
“These closure orders were undertaken based on Toronto Public Health investigations, including contact-tracing data, which has shown that each establishment has not taken the necessary steps to sufficiently protect both the public and employees from the spread of COVID-19,” the city said.
In some cases, people infected with COVID-19 worked at more than one of the locations. One restaurant in particular served food buffet-style, which is prohibited under provincial regulations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Another restaurant has not been co-operative with investigators and impeded the investigation.
WATCH | Restaurants, bars in Toronto forced to close for flouting guidelines:
There were 65 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba on Saturday, the province said in a news release, including 56 in the Winnipeg health region. The update is the second-highest single-day increase in cases in the province.
Saskatchewan announced 19 new cases on Saturday and said 2,984 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Friday — a new provincial daily high that brought the total testing number to 183,216.
In Yukon, health officials said Saturday that a non-resident has tested positive and is the first case to be hospitalized in the territory.
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 32.8 million. More than 994,000 people have died, while over 22.7 million have recovered.
Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has further eased lockdown restrictions imposed after a surge in coronavirus cases, allowing most children to return to school from next month and sending more than 125,000 people back to work.
Melbourne and surrounding parts of rural Victoria state were placed under strict “Level 4” lockdowns on Aug. 2, shuttering schools and non-essential businesses, imposing a nighttime curfew and prohibiting public gatherings.
The restrictions were scheduled to be eased Sunday if the rolling 14-day average of new infections was between 30 and 50 cases. With 12 new infections reported Saturday and 16 Sunday, the 14-day average has dropped to 22.1.
That allowed Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews to confirm the 9 p.m.- 5.a.m curfew will be lifted from 5 a.m. Monday, though residents still cannot travel more than five kilometres from home. Public gatherings of up to five people from a maximum of two households will be allowed.
A further easing could take place on Oct. 19 if the average falls below five new cases per day. Masks remain mandatory.
India has registered 88,600 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours in a declining trend with recoveries exceeding daily infections.
The country’s health ministry on Sunday also reported an additional 1,124 deaths for a total of 94,503.
The average of new cases has fallen by around 7,000 daily in the past week after reaching a record number of 97,894 on Sept. 16.
Still, India is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States, where more than seven million people have been infected. Sunday’s surge has raised the country’s virus tally to over 5.9 million.
India, however, also has the highest number of recovered patients in the world, according to Johns Hopkins. Its recovery rate stands at about 82 per cent.
In the Netherlands, the number of new coronavirus infections hit a daily record of 2,995 on Sunday, data released by health authorities showed.
Coronavirus infections in the country have reached record levels almost every day since mid-September. The previous high of 2,777 was reported on Friday, and the total number of reported cases passed 100,000 earlier last week.
The health authorities reported eight new deaths related to COVID-19, taking the death toll to 6,374.