(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

Ontario unveils paid sick-leave program as Nova Scotia shuts down schools, businesses

Ontario reported 3,480 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 24 more deaths linked to the virus

Ontario took steps to combat workplace COVID-19 outbreaks Wednesday as it unveiled a new paid sick-leave program for workers, while efforts to curb community spread in Nova Scotia saw the province enter a full lockdown.

The Ontario government announced it will give all workers who need to self-isolate three days of paid sick leave, and reimburse employers up to $200 a day for what they pay out through the program.

The announcement comes after months of pressure from health experts and advocates to provide paid sick leave to help curb workplace infections, which remain a major source of outbreaks in hot spot areas.

Toronto and nearby Peel Region, the two main hot spots in the province, last week began to temporarily shut down businesses with recent outbreaks. On Wednesday, a Canada Post facility in Mississauga, Ont., was ordered to have some 80 employees self-isolate after 12 tested positive for the virus over a week.

The province also issued an emergency order Wednesday meant to free up capacity in its overburdened hospitals. The measure allows hospitals to transfer patients waiting for a long-term care bed to any nursing home without their consent.

Ontario’s health minister, Christine Elliott, said transfers without consent will only take place in the most urgent situations, and only if doctors are confident the move won’t compromise the patient’s condition.

Ontario reported 3,480 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 24 more deaths linked to the virus.

Out east, a full shutdown took effect in Nova Scotia Wednesday in an effort to rein in surging COVID-19 cases, closing schools and non-essential businesses.

The lockdown is set to last two weeks and comes as the provinces grapples with nearly 500 active infections – including 75 new cases reported Wednesday.

Premier Iain Rankin said the province will also start offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to residents 40 to 54 years old as early as Friday.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases Wednesday, as well as its first case of a COVID-19 variant first identified in Brazil.

In Quebec, which logged 1,094 new infections and 12 additional deaths Wednesday, relatives of a woman who developed blood clots and died after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine urged people to watch closely for symptoms following immunization.

Francine Boyer received the shot alongside her husband on April 9 and began to experience headaches and severe fatigue in the following days, according to a statement issued by her family.

She was treated in hospital and at the Montreal Neurological Institute, but died of a cerebral thrombosis on April 23.

“Ms. Boyer’s family would like to encourage people who receive a vaccine to stay alert for symptoms or unusual reactions and to contact Info-Sante (811) if in doubt,” the statement said.

Public health officials in Quebec have said they believe Boyer is the first person in Canada whose death can be potentially linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Experts have repeatedly stated that blood clots related to the AstraZeneca shot are very rare and the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.

In Alberta, health officials were looking into whether the death of a 17-year-old girl was caused by a COVID-19 variant, the teen’s father said Wednesday.

Ron Strate said his daughter Sarah’s health deteriorated Monday and she died soon after arriving at the hospital. He said her death demonstrates that the pandemic should be taken seriously.

Alberta moved Wednesday to send more vaccine doses to two of its hot spots – Banff and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes the oilsands hub city of Fort McMurray.

The province is also broadening the age eligibility for immunization in those areas, offering AstraZeneca shots to those 30 or older. Indigenous people in Wood Buffalo will also be able to receive the Moderna vaccine if they are 30 or older.

Meanwhile, Canada was to receive its first 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, according to a federal source. The doses are expected to be distributed to provinces next week.

Canada’s panel of vaccine experts, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, hasn’t issued any guidance yet on how the vaccine – the fourth approved for use in Canada – should be used.

Another 650,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine also arrived at Toronto’s Pearson airport, the Canada Border Services Agency said.

The shipment contains only half of what Canada initially expected to receive, however, due to production issues. It was also delayed from last week.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

CoronavirusNova ScotiaOntario

Just Posted

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read