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U.S. immigration to Canada is skyrocketing

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As the U.S. celebrates Independence Day, on the fourth of July, it is worth taking a look at immigration patterns from the U.S. to Canada in recent years.

Over 10,000 U.S. residents immigrated north in 2019 through Canada’s Express Entry system.

This represents a significant increase from the 600 U.S. residents who immigrated through Express Entry in 2015.

Express Entry is the main way that Canada manages skilled worker applications.

Those who are eligible under one of Express Entry’s three immigration programs are graded on their human capital characteristics such as their age, education, language skills, and work experience.

The grading scheme is known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Every two weeks, the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) holds Express Entry draws inviting candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence.

IRCC then aims to process the permanent residence applications of successful candidates within six months.

Express Entry draws have remained ongoing throughout the coronavirus pandemic and Express Entry is off to its fastest start this year since 2017.

Find out if you are eligible for Express Entry

A look at U.S. skilled worker immigration to Canada

The staggering growth of immigrants moving from the U.S. to Canada is likely actually under-stating the extent of the growth.

While Express Entry is the main way for skilled workers to gain Canadian permanent residence, there are other prominent options which are also attracting skilled workers from the U.S.

The most notable is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Under Canada’s Constitution, immigration is an area of shared federal and provincial jurisdiction, although the Constitution gives the federal government more power.

Twelve out of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories operate their own immigration programs. Quebec has its own skilled worker system due to its special status within the Canadian federation. The remaining provinces and territories welcome skilled workers through their own PNP streams.

Each province and territory designs their own PNP selection criteria and administer their PNP streams based on their local labour market needs.

Skilled workers arriving from the U.S. also obtain Canadian permanent residence through the PNP.

While some of these individuals are captured in IRCC’s Express Entry data, since a portion of PNP immigrants are processed through Express Entry each year, the available data does not capture all U.S. skilled workers who come to Canada through the PNP, as well as the other federal immigration pathways that the country offers.

Hence, there is a strong chance that the actual number of skilled workers who came to Canada from the U.S. in 2019 is markedly higher than the 10,000 who came through Express Entry.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

Why immigration from the U.S. is rising

Skilled worker immigration from the U.S. is rising for the following reasons.

First, Express Entry has played an increasingly important role in Canada’s skilled worker system since it first launched in 2015. Whereas only 26,000 individuals received an Express Entry invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence that year, the figure now stands at over 85,000 annually.

Given that skilled workers from the U.S. have a competitive edge when submitting an Express Entry profile since they are fluent in English, have high levels of education and work experience, a larger number of them in absolute terms are gaining PR through Express Entry.

Canada also launched its Global Skills Strategy in 2017 to help employers in Canada bring foreign tech talent to the country more easily. A key component of the strategy is the Global Talent Stream which enables employers in Canada to bring foreign tech workers in about one month (compared to longer processing times for non-tech workers).

Among those arriving to Canada through the strategy are workers from the U.S. who are then going on to transition to Canadian permanent residence through the likes of Express Entry.

The third major reason is likely the uncertainty surrounding U.S. immigration policy. While the need for foreign workers in the U.S. has continued to increase, political gridlock has made much needed U.S. immigration reform difficult to achieve. As such, many foreign nationals working in the U.S. have made the choice of pursuing permanent residence in Canada.

How to submit an Express Entry profile from the U.S.

If you wish to consider immigrating to Canada, Express Entry is a fairly straightforward process:

Step 1: See if you are eligible for one of the three Express Entry programs. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is likely the most viable option for you if you have not lived in Canada before.

Step 2: Submit an Express Entry profile. As part of this process, all applicants (even if they are native English speakers) must complete an English language test accredited by IRCC. Another key component of this process is obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment.

Step 3: Once you have entered the Express Entry pool, wait to see if you get an ITA for permanent residence. Express Entry draws happen bi-weekly. Another major benefit of entering the pool is you increase your immigration odds since provinces and territories can review your profile and provide you with an invitation through their PNP.

Step 4: If you obtain an invitation, submit your permanent residence application. IRCC aims to process PR applications within 6 months.

Find out if you are eligible for Express Entry

Kareem El-Assal is the Director of Policy & Digital Strategy at CanadaVisa.

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 



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Canada to release mask guidelines for children, recommend them for kids aged 10+ – National

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The federal government will be releasing mask guidelines for children returning to school amid the novel coronavirus pandemic by the end of the week, chief public health officer Theresa Tam said.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, she said the guidelines will recommend face coverings for kids aged 10 and up.

“The recommendations will undergo evolution as the evidence changes and we’ll also have to see what happens as we understand transmission in different age groups and what happens in schools.” said Tam.

“We may have to adapt this recommendation as we go along.”

Read more:
Canada’s coronavirus restrictions could last years even with vaccine: top doctors

Tam said “layers of protection” would be needed in order to ensure it would be safe for kids to return to school in the fall, including re-arranging school environments to bolster physical distancing and minimizing physical contact between teachers and students.

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“Older children over the age of 10 transmit as well as an adult. Younger kids, even though they transmit at a lower likelihood, they still can transmit,” she said.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“I believe in recommending the safest way to open schools. Masks play a role.”

Tam added that schools “should” recommend wearing masks, simply because they provide an extra layer of protection. She also urged Canadians to avoid stigmatizing or singling out children who choose to wear masks in their own volition.

A spokesperson from the Public Health Agency of Canada told Global News was unable to provide more details on what the guidelines would look like, but said more details would be released by Friday.






Ontario and Manitoba announce back-to-school pandemic plans


Ontario and Manitoba announce back-to-school pandemic plans

The debate on whether kids should be wearing masks in school has been ramping up as summer comes to a close.

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A poll released last week by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that out of 1,524 Canadians over age 18 surveyed, almost two-thirds said they believed children returning to school should wear masks at least part of the time.

In Alberta, students in grades four to 12 will be required to wear masks in hallways and shared spaces — but not in classes that were proportionately sized.

The province’s education minister, Adriana LaGrange, said Tuesday the province would distribute roughly 1.6 million masks to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff in the fall and supply 466,000 litres of hand sanitizer to schools.

Read more:
Coronavirus: 73% of B.C. parents support mandatory masks for back-to-school, poll suggests

On Thursday, Ontario announced its back-to-school plan, drawing both criticism and praise from educators who claimed the province’s standard class sizes would make it difficult for kids to remain physically distant.

“One of the challenges we have in the elementary school panel (is) that our classes are big,” Craig Smith, president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Thames Valley, said in a previous interview with Global News.

“The anxiety (is) we have kindergarten classes that hover around 30 students, primary classes can jump up to about 23 kids, junior grades, 28 to 29, and our intermediate classes, anywhere from 30 to 35 kids.”

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Come September, the province will require students in grades 4 to 12 to wear masks, as well as provide medical masks for teachers and staff.



© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Today’s coronavirus news: U.S. nears 5 million COVID-19 cases; Canada’s top doctor warns country will be responding to pandemic for at least another year

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KEY FACTS

  • 12:44 p.m. The U.S. has recorded more than 155,000 dead in a little more than six months and is fast approaching an almost off-the-charts 5 million COVID-19 infections.

  • 10:10 a.m. For each of the past two days, Ontario’s public health units are reporting fewer than 100 cases of COVID1-9, with 88 cases on Monday and 91 today.

  • 9:46 a.m. The Windsor-Essex region will remain in Stage 2 as it continues to struggle with new cases of COVID-19

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.

3:02 p.m. Canada’s top public health doctors warned Tuesday that vaccines in development for COVID-19 provide hope but will not mean an immediate end to the pandemic.

Dr. Theresa Tam says the Public Health Agency of Canada is planning to be responding to the pandemic for at least one and more likely two or three more years.

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world, and in the best-case scenario, one or two might be approved for widespread use by the end of the year.

But infectious-disease and pandemic experts say it will take some time after a vaccine is approved to produce, distribute and administer billions of doses.

Dr. Srinivas Murthy, a critical care specialist and pandemic researcher at the University of British Columbia, says the world has never attempted a vaccine program at this speed or scale before.

Tam says the vaccine work is only one component of the pandemic response and that people must remain focused on strong public health measures to control the outbreak, including physical distancing and hand-washing.

2 p.m. At least 25 campers and staff members at a camp east of Portland, Oregon, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the virus was first detected July 18 at Trout Creek Bible Camp near Corbett when a staff member tested positive, and the camp shut down for the season on July 21.

Multnomah County health officials say the outbreak has grown to 11 campers and 14 staff members, all 20 or younger. The camp’s executive director, Joe Fahlman, says the camp followed all requirements set forth by the Oregon Health Authority. Those include daily temperature checks of all campers and staff, frequent hand washing and hand sanitizer stations spaced throughout the 265-acre grounds.

The campers also were divided into groups of 10 or less.

2 p.m. The owner of a plant nursery in Washington state has been fined $4,200 for failing to ensure a safe workplace by preventing staff from wearing masks. The Daily Herald reported that the state Department of Labor and Industries cited Flower World last week for violating state guidelines intended to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The violations include not requiring masks or face coverings, social distancing and employee temperature checks. Authorities say inspectors visited the Maltby business three times and discovered multiple violations of state regulations. Owner John Postema couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

2 p.m. Turkish health ministry statistics show an increase in daily coronavirus cases, with confirmed infections back above 1,000.

Ministry figures show 1,083 new cases and 18 deaths Tuesday, bringing total infections to nearly 235,000 and deaths to 5,765.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted the increase was “serious.”

Cases had dropped below 1,000 before Turkey began reopening businesses in early June. The cases had decreased to an average of 945 for the past three weeks.

1:34 p.m. Answering criticism that the federal “COVID Alert” app only works on newer smartphones, Dr. Theresa Tam says it’s one of many tools in fighting the novel coronavirus.

The app released last week is meant to tell users if their phones have recently been close to a phone registered to someone who volunteers that they’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

But it works only on phones released in the last five years or so because it needs a relatively recent operating system.

Critics say that will leave out poorer and older Canadians, who are more likely to use older devices and suffer worse effects from the virus.

The government said Monday that 1.1 million people had downloaded the app.

Tam says we need to use every tool we have to fight the pandemic, even if they aren’t perfect.

1:17 p.m. New York City replaced its top public health official Tuesday at a key point in its fight to keep the coronavirus from surging.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot is leaving. She’ll be replaced by Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, an official and primary care physician in the city’s public hospital system. He also worked in Louisiana’s Department of Health before and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Barbot told staffers in an internal memo she resigned because as the city braces for an expected eventual second surge of the coronavirus, the staff’s “talents must be better leveraged alongside that of our sister agencies” and the virus fight needs to proceed “without distractions.” Barbot had prioritized personal protective equipment go to health care workers and tangled with police officials who made requests for PPE.

De Blasio, a Democrat, thanked Barbot for her “important work” during the crisis when New York was the nation’s epicenter for the virus this spring.

1:17 p.m. The Israeli military says it will launch a coronavirus command this week meant to assist in reducing Israel’s surging infections.

Working with the Health Ministry, the military says the command will attempt to streamline testing, contact tracing, quarantine orders and other elements of pandemic control in a bid to bring down infection numbers. The command will begin work on Thursday.

The military was enlisted into Israel’s fight against the virus last month after a new coronavirus czar said it would be best placed to handle the logistics behind combating the outbreak.

Israel largely contained its first outbreak in the spring but has seen a surge in cases over the summer. It now has one of the world’s highest daily infection numbers adjusted for population.

1:07 p.m. Prince Edward Island’s chief public health officer says her province won’t make a final decision on adopting the federal government’s COVID-19 contact tracing app until data is available from Ontario where it’s already been launched.

Dr. Heather Morrison says the app’s use by the Ontario health system provides an opportunity for other provinces to evaluate it before adopting it.

Morrison says P.E.I. will be part of a federal advisory group that will ensure the app safeguards the confidentiality and privacy of its users.

She says the app will provide another layer of protection against the virus, but won’t replace health measures such as physical distancing, hand washing and the need to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

Users of the free app, which is available for Android and iPhones, can be notified if their phones have recently been near the phone of a person who later volunteers that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are no active cases of COVID-19 on the Island and Morrison says all 36 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic are considered recovered.

12:44 p.m. Big house parties and weddings, summer camps, concerts, crowded bars and restaurants, shopping trips without masks — Americans’ resistance to curbs on everyday life is seen as a key reason the U.S. has racked up more confirmed coronavirus deaths and infections by far than any other country.

The U.S. has recorded more than 155,000 dead in a little more than six months and is fast approaching an almost off-the-charts 5 million COVID-19 infections.

Some Americans have resisted wearing masks and social distancing, calling such precautions an over-the-top response or an infringement on their liberty. Public health experts say such behaviour has been compounded by confusing and inconsistent guidance from politicians and a patchwork quilt of approaches to containing the scourge by county, state and federal governments.

“The thing that’s maddening is country after country and state after state have shown us how we can contain the virus,” said Dr. Jonathan Quick, who is leading a pandemic initiative for the Rockefeller Foundation. “It’s not like we don’t know what works. We do.”

The number of confirmed infections in the U.S. has topped 4.7 million, with new cases running at over 60,000 a day. While that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are on the rise in 26 states, many of them in the South and West, and deaths are climbing in 35 states.

On average, the number of COVID-19 deaths per day in the U.S. over the past two weeks has gone from about 780 to 1,056, according to an Associated Press analysis.

12:28 p.m. Florida on Tuesday got another stark reminder of how the coronavirus pandemic has been so deadly —another 247 fatalities were reported.

This means the state has had 7,526 people die from COVID-19 complications. The latest daily total is not reflective of deaths in the past 24 hours, but rather recent weeks, and it also may be from a delay caused by Tropical Storm Isaias interruptions.

Still, it’s the third-highest total of fatalities reported on the state Department of Health’s daily pandemic report. Last week had the most deaths logged on Friday, 257.

New COVID-19 cases also increased Tuesday, with 5,446 new diagnoses, a day after the state reported the fewest infections since June 23. That’s an increase of 694 from Monday’s tally.

Still, the drop in cases follows the closure of many state COVID-19 testing sites due to the storm. The test results reported on a single day typically reflect tests taken over several days.

12 p.m. Ontario reported 91 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 419 new infections across the province over the long weekend.

The 91 cases included nine in Windsor-Esex, which has the largest number of active infections in Ontario at 262, well above much larger Toronto which has 184 and moved to Stage 3 last Friday, allowing bars and restaurants to serve patrons indoors and movie theatres, gyms and playgrounds to reopen.

Read the full story from the Star’s Rob Ferguson: Ontario reports more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 over long weekend

11:50 a.m. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers recently issued a statewide mask requirement to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

It took effect Saturday. Nearly a quarter of Wisconsin’s 55,328 total cases had been confirmed in the last 14 days, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Much of the spike has occurred in counties in the state’s densely urban southeastern corner. But the disease has spread with amazing speed in northern Wisconsin’s sparsely populated rural counties.

Evers, a Democrat, had issued a stay-at-home order shortly after the pandemic took hold in the state in March. The conservative-leaning state Supreme Court struck it down in May amid pressure from restaurants and taverns.

Republican legislators are talking about convening an extraordinary session to strike down the current mask mandate.

11:50 a.m. Germany’s government is lifting its travel warning against trips to certain popular destinations in Turkey after determining the coronavirus rate there is low.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer says the warning will be lifted for Antalya, Izmir, Aydin and Mugla, where the spread of the coronavirus has slowed.

Demmer says Turkey has developed a plan to ensure safe tourism to the areas. It will require people returning to Germany from Turkey to test negative for coronavirus within 48 hours before departure.

Germany is home to a sizable Turkish minority and Germans are among frequent visitors to Turkey.

11:50 a.m. The Afghan government is reopening universities after positive tests for the coronavirus has decreased.

The spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Sediq Sediqqi, says the administration is emphasizing preventive measures at universities. Other schools will remain closed for now.

The country’s Health Ministry says despite the recent reduction in new cases, many people didn’t adhere to protocols for preventing the spread during the recent Eid ul-Adha holiday. That means there may be a virus spike in the next few weeks.

In the last 24 hours, the Afghan government has recorded 36 confirmed cases and no deaths. However, international organizations say up to 80% of the population remains untested.

11:29 a.m. The Alberta government says it will make wearing masks mandatory for most students and staff when schools reopen in September.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says students in Grades 4 to 12 and all staff will be required to wear masks in common areas, hallways and on buses.

Children will not have to wear masks when sitting in class at a safe distance from others.

She says the province will provide two reusable masks for each student and staff member, and employees will also receive a face shield for optional use.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, says she has reviewed COVID-19 research and believes masks are essential to limiting spread of the illness in schools.

She says the use of masks is similar to school reopening requirements announced in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

11:27 a.m. As Quebec moved this week to allow gatherings of up to 250 people both indoors and outdoors, a Mohawk community south of Montreal isn’t following suit.

Officials in Kahnawake say they will stick to a 50-person limit for gatherings and say a plan to open bars and gaming establishments next Monday has been postponed indefinitely.

In a statement, the body overseeing Kahnawake’s pandemic response says the decision comes as statistical trends suggest there will be an increase in the weekly number of new infections in the province.

Quebec reported 123 new COVID-19 cases today along with two additional deaths.

The Health Department reported three fewer hospitalizations for 169, but three more patients are in intensive care, for a total of 21.

The province has been hardest hit by the pandemic in Canada, recording 59,845 cases and 5,685 deaths.

10:55 a.m. Indian health authorities say phase 2 clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines developed by Indian companies have started.

They involve an inactivated virus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech and a DNA vaccine candidate developed by Zydus Cadila. The phase 2 trials for the vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford will start at 17 locations in the next week.

The ministry added half the deaths from the coronavirus in India are below age 60. It says 37% of the deaths were between 45-60. Global research indicates the disease is particularly fatal for the elderly. Health experts in India say this anomaly could be because deaths among the elderly in India weren’t detected or they weren’t tested.

India is No. 3 in confirmed coronavirus cases at 1.8 million and No. 5 in deaths with more then 39,000, according to a worldwide tally by Johns Hopkins University.

10:55 a.m. Kosovar deputy prime minister says he’s tested positive for the coronavirus.

Driton Selmanaj posted in Facebook that he was asymptomatic, self-isolating and would work from home. Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti tested positive on Sunday and is working from home.

After the release of the lockdown measures in May, Kosovo has noted a significant rise of the new daily cases. Last week, religious ceremonies and other activities were suspended to prevent spread of virus clusters. Public gatherings of more than five people in squares or parks are prohibited. Restaurants, cafes and night clubs cannot operate past 10:30 p.m.

Sports, cultural or entertaining activities are prohibited. Older people and children are encouraged to stay home and limit outdoor activities.

Kosovo officials have reported 9,274 confirmed cases and 269 total deaths.

10:55 a.m. The Dutch public health institute says the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week was 2,588, nearly double from the previous week.

The institute says a quarter of the people who tested positive were in their 20s. The percentage of positives among the tests also was higher; 2.3% compared to 1.1% the week earlier.

Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have been on the rise since many restrictions that had successfully reined in the virus were lifted July 1. No new nationwide measures have been reinstated, but Rotterdam and Amsterdam officials will require people to wear masks in busy shopping areas and markets on Wednesday.

In the last week, there’s been six deaths from the virus, three fewer than a week earlier. The total for the Netherlands stands at 6,150 confirmed deaths. The true toll is likely higher because not all who died of the suspected coronavirus were tested.

10:50 a.m. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on some of Toronto’s most vulnerable communities, but for two residents of a new housing project in the city’s midtown area, the pandemic has been an unexpected blessing.

Just a few months ago, Jason Greig and Rob Dods were each sleeping in tents. Now, the two men are among 149 previously homeless residents living in a pair of apartment buildings leased by the city at the height of the pandemic.

The deal was struck between Toronto’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration and the buildings’ developer, the Times Group Corporation, not long after a number of outbreaks in the shelter system led to a wave of outdoor encampments cropping up across the downtown core.

Residents moved in at the end of April and have since enjoyed amenities they were deprived of while in the street: a hot shower, a kitchen of their own, air conditioning and privacy.

But the agreement was never supposed to be permanent, and at the end of this month, all 149 residents will have to move out as the buildings are prepared for demolition.

Both Greig and Dods said they were grateful for the program — and would like to see the city pursue similar options in the future.

Read More: Toronto’s COVID-19 housing project winds down, but residents hope for change

10:30 a.m. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced that there will be no 2020-21 season as previously planned for the full orchestra.

Although the Nashville Symphony Orchestra has reportedly made a similar decision, Matthew Loden, CEO of the TSO, acknowledges that his orchestra is “ahead of the curve” in doing so.

According to Loden, the Toronto Symphony has spent the past year working on a strategic plan “to evolve our orchestra in a way that reflects Toronto’s vibrancy, diversity and creativity.”

In other words, the orchestra will be breaking up into smaller units to perform in a variety of venues, hopefully expanding the breadth of its audience along the way.

10:15 a.m. Booking Holdings Inc. is the latest online travel giant to eliminate thousands of jobs after the coronavirus pandemic hammered the industry.

As much as 25 per cent of employees at Booking.com, the company’s biggest business, will be cut, the company said in a statement Tuesday. That’s about 4,000 workers. The reductions will be implemented globally.

Chief executive officer Glenn Fogel discussed the move during a video call with workers, saying the past five months represented “the largest social and economic crisis of our lifetime.”

The pandemic has hit Booking’s business hard and the wider travel industry remains under “significant pressure,” the CEO added. “In my heart, for a long time, I hoped that this would not happen. However, nothing can mitigate the impact this crisis has had, and will continue to have, on both the travel industry and our business.”

10:10 a.m. For each of the past two days, Ontario’s public health units are reporting fewer than 100 cases of COVID1-9, with 88 cases on Monday and 91 today, Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced on Twitter. Combined over the same two days, there are a 242 more resolved with over 42,000 tests processed. Today, 29 of 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 16 of them reporting no new cases.

10:07 a.m. Commuter trains, buses and other public vehicles stayed off the main roads of the Philippine capital Tuesday and police were again staffing checkpoints to restrict public travel as surging virus cases forced another lockdown.

Officials deployed dozens of shuttle buses, along with army trucks, to ferry stranded medical personnel and workers of authorized businesses. Most domestic flights to and from the capital were cancelled, and night curfews will return in places.

Crowds trooped to some supermarkets Monday to stock up on food after the hasty return to a lockdown sparked panic-buying.

The lockdown is milder than was first one imposed, which largely confined most people to their homes for months, but is more severe than the quarantine restrictions the capital had been under recently. It is being imposed in metropolitan Manila and outlying provinces for two weeks.

Businesses previously allowed to partly reopen, including barbershops, gyms, dine-in restaurants and tourist destinations, will again be closed. Authorized companies including banks, health and food processing firms must shuttle their employees between home and work. Travelling by bike, motorcycle and private car is allowed for essential reasons, but mass transit will be closed.

President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to reinstate the lockdown after medical groups warned the health care system was being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. Health officials reported a record-high daily tally of 6,352 new infections Tuesday, bringing the country’s total to more than 112,500, including 2,115 deaths.

9:46 a.m. The Ontario government says Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 2 of the province’s COVID-19 reopening strategy for the time being.

While the rest of the province has moved to the looser restrictions of Stage 3, Windsor-Essex will stay in Stage 2 until further notice.

The province says the decision is based on the advice of health experts in light of outbreaks among farm workers.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the region will move to Stage 3 only when it’s safe to do so.

The province says it is monitoring local transmission of COVID-19 and will support efforts to contain its spread.

It says outbreaks, especially in agriculture and agri-food sectors, pose unique challenges.

“We are working hard with our federal and local partners to provide the communities in Windsor-Essex with the support they need during their reopening,” Elliott said in a statement.

9:38 a.m. Moscow has begun to enforce its rules on wearing masks more vigorously amid an uptick of new coronavirus cases over the last three weeks.

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Police this week started issuing 5,000 ruble ($90 Cdn) fines to metro passengers in the Russian capital for failing to wear protection, state-run Tass news service reported, citing an unidentified person in law enforcement. Stores also have begun demanding customers wear masks after city hall stepped up inspections.

Moscow has had a mandatory mask policy in place since May 12, when it began easing a lockdown aimed at stemming the spread of the epidemic. While the rules on masks were relaxed on July 13, they remained compulsory on public transport, in medical centres and in shops. However, the requirements are widely flouted, with restaurants and shops full and few locals bothering to wear protection in public.

“The requirements for businesses to comply with protection measures weren’t canceled,” city hall spokeswoman Gulnara Penkova said Tuesday. Moscow continues to enforce the mask regime, she said.

The city is the epicenter of coronavirus infections in Russia, with 28% of the country’s total. The number of new daily cases in Moscow has steadily increased since a July 16 low of 531, and 691 new cases were reported Tuesday.

City hall has issued over 300 million rubles in fines to stores for violations of the mask policy, Tass reported last week, citing the head of Moscow’s trade department Alexei Nemeryuk.

The fines are coming as Moscow is preparing to open schools on Sept. 1.

9:14 a.m. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that home caregivers who helped the elderly and people with disabilities during the pandemic will receive a bonus of up to 1,000 euros ($1,175) by the end of the year.

During a visit to the French southern city of Toulon on Tuesday, Macron paid tribute to about 320,000 caregivers who provided essential at-home services to 1.1 million people in the country.

He says the bonus will be financed by a 160-million euros package from the state and local authorities.

The French government had previously announced a bonus of up to 1,500 euros ($1,760) for healthcare staff in hospitals and nursing homes working in areas most impacted by the virus.

France, which has confirmed 30,294 virus-related deaths since the pandemic, brought the virus nearly under control with a strict two-month nationwide lockdown.

Yet the country is now seeing an uptick in virus infections, notably as young people gather at cafes or dance parties and families get together for summer vacation.

9:14 a.m. Local government officials say 166 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus at a canned food plant in a southern German town, where some 230 workers at a nearby vegetable farm already have been infected.

The local council in Bavaria’s Dingolfing-Landau county says the facility in Mamming has been closed temporarily, news agency dpa reported. All its employees are in quarantine.

The first 43 infections were reported at the weekend after an initial round of tests. Officials believe the virus was transmitted from workers at the vegetable farm to employees of the canned food plant and hope they are dealing with a single outbreak.

New infections in Germany have been creeping higher in recent weeks as officials deal with a variety of small outbreaks in different parts of the country.

7:52 a.m. Bayer Leverkusen says midfielder Nadiem Amiri will miss its Europa League last-16 game against Rangers on Thursday after he had contact with someone believed to have the coronavirus.

The club says Amiri reported the “short-term” contact in his private life himself and is isolating at home for a week as a precaution.

Leverkusen managing director sport Rudi Völler says in a statement that “Nadiem’s behaviour is exemplary and important. Precisely because infection numbers are rising again in Germany, it’s an example of a serious and responsible approach to the pandemic.”

Leverkusen takes a 3-1 lead from the first leg in March when it hosts Rangers on Thursday.

Amiri has played 41 games for Leverkusen this season across all competitions.

6:56 a.m. China and the World Health Organization are discussing plans to trace the origin of the coronavirus outbreak following a visit to the country by two experts from the U.N. agency, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters the experts conducted “preparatory consultations on scientific research co-operation on virus tracing” during their two-week stay, which ended Sunday.

Their talks touched on research in the areas of population, environment, molecules, animal traceability and transmission routes of the coronavirus, as well as plans for further scientific research, Wang said.

The two sides also further investigated the possible animal source, intermediate host and transmission route of the coronavirus to “more effectively prevent and control the epidemic,” Wang said.

Wang said the two sides worked on formulating a plan for China’s contribution to the global tracing effort under a resolution passed by the World Health Assembly under WHO. No word was given on when that effort will begin in earnest.

The virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has been linked to a wholesale food market where wild animals were sold. Scientists think it likely jumped from a wild animal such as a bat to humans via an intermediary species, possibly the anteater-like pangolin.

However, China says a full investigation may have to wait until the pandemic is under control and has rejected accusations that it delayed releasing information to WHO at the start of the outbreak.

6:08 a.m. Italian air traffic controller provider ENAV says that air traffic in July showed signs of recovery from the coronavirus shutdown.

Air traffic in July was three times higher than a month earlier in Italy, as the first Western nation to be hard hit by the coronavirus epidemic started to emerge from lockdown, ENAV reported Tuesday.

ENAV said 75,200 flights were recorded last month, down 60 per cent from a year earlier but significantly higher than June’s 26,000. Further recovery is expected in August. On the first August weekend, flights were down by just half from last year’s number.

Nearly half of flights in July were international, one quarter domestic and one-third were fly-overs with no take-off or landing in Italian airspace.

5:55 a.m. China aims to boost Hong Kong’s coronavirus testing capacity to 20 times its current ability, said the leader of a support team sent from Guangdong province to aid the city in its worst outbreak ever.

The Chinese testing team of about 60 people will work with the Hong Kong government and three mainland Chinese testing companies to process 100,000 to 200,000 samples every day, said Yu Dewen in a state media video interview released on Monday.

“Our main mission is to help the Hong Kong government conduct testing on a large scale for the population,” said Yu, who is an official with Guangdong’s health commission. Yu also led the Guangdong delegation earlier sent to help Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first emerged last year.

5:48 a.m. Booking Holdings Inc. is the latest online travel giant to eliminate thousands of jobs after the coronavirus pandemic hammered the industry.

As much as 25 per cent of employees at Booking.com, the company’s biggest business, will be cut, the company said in a statement Tuesday. That’s about 4,000 workers. The reductions will be implemented globally.

Chief Executive Officer Glenn Fogel discussed the move during a video call with workers, saying the past five months represented “the largest social and economic crisis of our lifetime.”

The pandemic has hit Booking’s business hard and the wider travel industry remains under “significant pressure,” the CEO added. “In my heart, for a long time, I hoped that this would not happen. However, nothing can mitigate the impact this crisis has had, and will continue to have, on both the travel industry and our business.”

The continued spread of COVID-19 has drastically reduced tourism, while halting most business trips in favor of video conferencing and other remote work. Airlines have announced huge job cuts, hotels have closed down and the online part of the industry has not been spared.

5:19 a.m. The United Nations chief says the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history, with schools closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July affecting more than 1 billion students.

In addition, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education “in their critical pre-school year.”

As a result, he warned that the world faces “a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”

“We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Guterres said in a video message and a 26-page policy briefing. “The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come.”

Guterres called for the reopening of schools once the local transmission of the virus is under control.

4:28 a.m. The number of passengers on a Norwegian cruise ship who have tested positive for the coronavirus has reached 43, authorities said Tuesday.

The outbreak on the MS Roald Amundsen raised new questions about safety on cruise ships during the pandemic even as the industry is pressing to resume sailings after shutting down in March.

The ship’s owner on Monday halted all trips and Norway closed its ports to cruise ships for two weeks.

The city of Trondheim reported the two new cases — a man in his 70s with light symptoms and a child under age 10 with no symptoms — saying both had been passengers on the ship. They were not identified.

A third passenger will be tested Tuesday, the city said. Trondheim sits about halfway to Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle, where the empty ship is docked.

But since the cruise line often acts like a local ferry, travelling from port to port along Norway’s west coast, some passengers disembarked along the route and may have spread the virus to local communities.

A total of 69 municipalities in Norway could have been affected, Norwegian news agency NTB reported on Monday.

4 a.m. A challenge of Newfoundland and Labrador’s COVID-19 travel ban is scheduled to be heard before the province’s supreme court beginning Tuesday.

Halifax resident Kim Taylor and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a claim in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Supreme Court in May, claiming the restrictions violate the charter and fall outside provincial jurisdiction.

The provincial government passed legislation banning anyone but permanent residents and asymptomatic workers in key sectors from entering the province.

Taylor was denied the opportunity to travel to Newfoundland after her mother died suddenly.

The association says it is also challenging changes to the province’s Public Health Protection and Promotion Act which allows police officers to detain and remove individuals to “points of entry” to the province, and authorizes increased search powers.

The case is scheduled to be heard through Friday.

Taylor has said she was denied her request for an exemption to be allowed to visit her home province following her mother’s death, despite including a plan to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

While her case was later reconsidered and she was granted an exemption by provincial officials, Taylor said the decision came too late.

She said the court challenge is about others avoiding the same experience.

12:17 a.m. The Trump administration’s plan to provide every nursing home with a fast COVID-19 testing machine comes with an asterisk: The government won’t supply enough test kits to check staff and residents beyond an initial couple of rounds.

A program that sounded like a game changer when it was announced last month at the White House is now prompting concerns that it could turn into another unfulfilled promise for nursing homes, whose residents and staff represent a tiny share of the U.S. population but account for as many as 4 in 10 coronavirus deaths, according to some estimates.

“I think the biggest fear is that the instruments may be delivered but it won’t do any good, if you don’t have the test kits,” said George Linial, president of LeadingAge of Texas, a branch of a national group representing non-profit nursing homes and other providers of elder care.

Monday

10:41 p.m. Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced Monday a complete lockdown of the country for the next two weeks, saying the bed capacity and human resources were being “increasingly stretched” amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

“Our ICU beds are at capacity and noncritical care beds are approaching capacity,” Minnis said during a national address about the economic shutdown of the archipelago, just days after being spared by Hurricane Isaias. “We can and we will rebuild our economy and our society. But what we cannot do is bring people’s life back. We can rebuild, but we cannot re-create new life.”

On Monday, the Bahamas, whose population is about 385,000, confirmed 31 new infections —9 in the island of New Providence and 22 in Grand Bahama, which was put on a lockdown two weeks ago after it began leading the country in newly confirmed cases.

The new infections, Minnis said, gave a tally of 679 confirmed cases, the country’s highest since it confirmed its first case in March and forced the closure of all airports and seaports to outside visitors.

Monday 8:54 p.m. A member of the press who covered President Donald Trump’s trip to the Tampa Bay area Friday has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the White House Correspondents’ Association.

The association’s president, Zeke Miller, a reporter for The Associated Press, wrote in a message to the group’s members Sunday about the member’s positive test.

“We’ve already reached out to those who were in the pools with this individual, and the White House Medical Unit is conducting additional contact tracing and providing follow-on tests for those in the pools and potentially exposed,” Miller’s message read.

The positive test came Sunday, just over a day after the journalist stood in close proximity to dozens of other reporters and photographers —and inhabited the same room as the country’s top elected official at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair.

Also in the room with the journalist were Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, state Sen. Wilton Simpson, Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, state Rep. Danny Perez and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida CEO Justin Senior.

Miller declined to name the journalist Monday, citing privacy concerns.

The White House declined to comment.

Monday 7:20 p.m.: Ontario’s plan to reopen schools without reducing class sizes for elementary students in the age of COVID-19 is “disappointing” and “disturbing,” says one Toronto parent.

Kelly Iggers, who works as a teacher-librarian for the Toronto District School Board, said it is nearly impossible to practise physical distancing in already overcrowded classrooms.

On Saturday, she started a petition calling on the Ontario government to reduce class sizes. By Monday evening, more than 65,000 people had signed it.

Iggers fears the lack of physical distancing in schools will lead to coronavirus outbreaks in the wider community.

Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce last week announced the plan for a full-time return to school for elementary students across the province this fall, and a part-time class schedule for secondary students in larger school boards. They also announced mandatory face masks for students starting in Grade 4, and said the province will spend $309 million on personal protective equipment for educators, additional staffing and cleaning supplies. But reducing class sizes for elementary students was not part of the plan.

Read Monday’s rolling file



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Nunavut government gives update on COVID-19

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The Nunavut government is updating residents on its response to COVID-19 Tuesday from the Legislative Assembly. 

Health Minister George Hickes and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson will speak at 11 a.m. ET. You can watch the live news conference here, or on the CBC Nunavut Facebook page.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. As of July 29, the government website states that public health is monitoring 236 people for symptoms. In total, 1,751 people have been investigated. 

The last public health emergency order was extended until Aug. 6.

The premier’s office has said this will be the last weekly news conference on COVID-19 this month. A statement said it will schedule news conferences if and when they’re needed over the next few weeks.

 At the last news conference the government announced it had opened a second isolation centre in Winnipeg.

Subsequently, some Nunavummiut spoke out about the need for change at the government-approved isolation centres in the Manitoba capital, saying rules are inconsistent, there have been incidents with disruptive guests, and a lack of communication.

Nunavut education authorities also went public last week with their concerns over school reopening plans in the territory — particularly around the cost and implementation of new cleaning guidelines, and physical distancing requirements.

Three presumptive cases announced in July at the Mary River Mine near Pond Inlet were all confirmed negative by an Ontario lab.

Tuesday’s news conference will also play on local cable, on channel 233, and will air at 4 p.m. ET on the CBC Radio show Tusaajaksat.

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