In our top story: No one fully anticipated the scope or the reach the COVID-19 pandemic would have, but there is one thing experts have said since the beginning: speed trumps perfection and the greatest error is to not act fast. But a detailed independent report by Ontario’s Long-Term Care Commission found critical decisions came too late and the province’s emergency response system proved inadequate to protect staff and residents of long-term care homes from the pandemic. More than 3,700 Ontarians died in long-term care. The report was released Friday and when Long-Term Care Minister Dr. Merrilee Fullerton faced reporters for the first time Monday she took three questions and then dodged more in the provincial legislature’s question period. The minister did promise to do right by the thousands of people and families impacted. Travis Dhanraj reports.
With Alberta’s hospitals swamped by soaring COVID-19 infections, health experts have been urging Premier Jason Kenney to impose tougher restrictions or risk the health system’s collapse. On Monday, Kenney announced stronger measures would be coming but it still has some doctors hoping the measures will be strong enough to succeed, otherwise they could have to make tougher decisions than they are already facing.
In Nova Scotia, 146 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours with a record 943 active cases. The province is clearing up a backlog of some 45,000 tests but there is a bit of good news — the test positivity rate is very low, just one per cent. But hospitals are already reaching a critical point and as Ross Lord reports, the premier on Monday took aim at people not taking the situation seriously.
There is still no timeline on the distribution of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after Health Canada flagged potential quality control issues in the U.S. where the shipment was shipped. In addition, there is mixed messaging on who should get it. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends it for ages 30 and up, but also says some people may want to wait for Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines. David Akin reports.
The Canadian federal government is taking on more heat over its handling of allegations of sexual misconduct within the military. The Liberals are now being accused of a cover-up after shutting down a House of Commons committee with no explanation. Mike Le Couteur reports.
Herd immunity for COVID-19 has long been thought to be a “golden ticket” that will allow restrictions to be lifted and life to return to normal. But a growing number of epidemiologists believe it is too tall an order and likely not achievable. In the U.S., demand for vaccines continues to decline and it’s raising further doubts enough immunizations will be met to reach the required threshold and that could have impact on Canada’s own efforts. Eric Sorensen explains why.
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