Today’s coronavirus news: Unvaccinated people 8 times more likely to get infected, top doctor says; Ontario reporting 321 COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

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. 6:47 p.m.: With Ontario seeing more than three straight weeks of growth in daily COVID-19 cases — primarily in people who have not been vaccinated — the province is “most definitely” in a fourth wave, says a top doctor with the government’s science advisory table. And with the number of new cases currently doubling every 10 days, Dr. Peter Juni, scientific director of the science table, warns the province could see as many as 1,200 new cases per day by the time school resumes in less than a month. That’s up from a current average of just over 300. 6:40 p.m.: Toronto is in the early days of a fourth wave of COVID-19 certain to worsen this autumn, experts say after an almost fivefold jump in daily new infections over one month. The question now is how to ensure the city’s high vaccination rate prevents hospitalizations and deaths from surging along with infections, especially among the legions of unvaccinated young schoolchildren headed back to classrooms. Defences include continued mask rules and, if necessary, shutting schools and businesses to halt outbreaks, said Toronto infectious diseases expert Dr. Anna Banerji. But she said the best defence is vaccine mandates — . (Updated) 4:30 p.m. Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore is forecasting a “slow […]

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Barrie Police investigating alleged assault

The Barrie Police Service is investigating an alleged assault that occurred at around 2:25 a.m. on Aug. 8 in downtown Barrie. Four men were allegedly assaulted near 34 Dunlop St. E., in an alley that runs between Collier Street and Dunlop Street East. According to police, the men were transported to a local hospital by ambulance and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Police are requesting assistance from the public. Anyone with information or video is asked to contact Sgt. Parcells at , ext. 2758, or Crime Stoppers at .

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Research shows COVID-19 may have set students back up to a year in math and literacy

Ontario appears to have entered the fourth wave of the pandemic and, with only weeks to go until the start of another school year, is seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.  Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has said he’s confident the province can avoid any closures this academic year, but only time will tell if he’s right. The last academic year was interrupted several times by high school and elementary school closures that saw students learning from home, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has called COVID-19 school closures the “greatest disruption in educational opportunity worldwide in a generation,” affecting 90 per cent of the students globally. Janice Aurini, sociology professor at the University of Waterloo and expert in education inequality, says a is showing the effects of past closures are already a problem. Aurini said conducted in other countries, such as Brazil, shows students have made little to no learning progress with online schooling, and that parents whose children have fallen behind are more likely to express concern about their children’s well-being.  “These data are troubling, and education and health leaders will have to balance the potential risks of COVID-19 with emerging research about the negative impacts of school closures and remote learning on not just learning but also children’s well-being,” Aurini said. There&#82 […]

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‘There is still much danger ahead:’ COVID-19 variants are spreading fast across Ontario, top doctor says

Ontario’s progress in lowering COVID-19 has “stalled” and cases are up 15 per cent in a week with more people out and about as contagious variants take a deeper hold, says a leader of the science table advising Premier Doug Ford. “The risk of catching the disease has increased,” Adalsteinn Brown, head of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, warned as he presented new computer modelling that shows new infections rising from 1,099 Thursday to about 2,000 daily in early April in a best-case scenario. “There is still much danger ahead.” Statistics released by the province showed 43 per cent or 469 of the new cases reported Thursday are variants, up from one-third a week ago. Those case samples will go for genomic sequencing to determine the strain. Brown said that, as predicted several weeks ago, cases of older, more traditional strains of COVID are falling as fast as the new strains — now dominant in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere — are rising. “Two pandemics are playing out,” he told a briefing with Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Williams. “The new variants are not under control.” Two-thirds of the 34 regional health units in Ontario are seeing increases in cases with about half of them experiencing growth of 30 per cent or more as restrictions on businesses have eased, he added. On Friday, the province will use its so-called “emergency brake” t […]

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