Live COVID-19 updates: What you need to know about Omicron

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Omicron’s speedy unfold is bringing new restrictions and considerations every day. Get the newest information right here

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Financial Post Staff A closed Fit 4 Less gym in Toronto on Jan. 5, 2022. Ontario said it will once again force restaurants to close, shift schools to online learning and order companies to work from home as the government tries to prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming the hospital system. A closed Fit 4 Less health club in Toronto on Jan. 5, 2022. Ontario mentioned it can as soon as once more drive eating places to shut, shift colleges to on-line studying and order firms to make money working from home as the federal government tries to stop COVID-19 from overwhelming the hospital system. Photo by Galit Rodan/Bloomberg

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The speedy unfold of the COVID-19 variant Omicron throughout Canada brings extra restrictions, curtailments of companies and considerations about shortages every day.


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Watch right here for the newest information that impacts us all within the Omicron outbreak.

1:19 p.m.

You can have to present proof of vaccination towards COVID-19 to enter liquor and hashish shops in Quebec beginning Jan. 18.

Health Minister Christian Dube mentioned in the present day that he launched the brand new guidelines as a result of the province owns and operates these shops and he would announce extra companies and companies the place the vaccine passport shall be required quickly.


Dube hinted that these is likely to be procuring malls and private care salons.

“If they won’t protect themselves, we’ll protect them from themselves,” Dube informed reporters in Montreal, referring to individuals who haven’t had a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

1:05 p.m.

COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at practically 30 per cent of long-term care properties in Ontario, that are already coping with employees absences of 20 to 30 per cent.

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Ontario minister Rod Phillips mentioned in the present day there are outbreaks at 186 properties and he expects the quantity to rise.

Some amenities are recruiting quick meals staff to fill in for kitchen employees who off are work sick, mentioned a union official.

12:30 p.m.

The unhealthy information about the speedy unfold of Omicron is offset by excellent news about how briskly the economic system was rising on the finish of the 2021.

November was supposed to be a nasty month for exports, given how the nation’s most necessary port had been lower off from the remainder of the nation for a number of days by epic floods in British Columbia. Yet as Bianca Bharti studies , merchandise exports nonetheless jumped virtually 4 per cent from October.

The economic system has/had momentum. How a lot momentum? Rather than wait months for Statistics Canada to full its quarterly tallies of gross home product, Bank of Nova Scotia gathers information in actual time to produce a nowcast of the annual charge of progress in the latest quarter. The surprisingly robust commerce numbers pushed that dial to 6.2 per cent for the fourth quarter. That could be beat the third-quarter charge of 5.4 per cent and could be the strongest because the last three months of 2020.

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A container ship anchored near the Port of Vancouver on Nov. 20, 2021. A container ship anchored close to the Port of Vancouver on Nov. 20, 2021. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

“It is safe to say that the feared collapse in trade failed to materialize,” mentioned Nikita Perevalov, director of financial forecasting at Scotia. “This means that the economy entered into the Omicron holiday season with slightly more strength than we anticipated.”

Data from the autumn have little bearing on the present scenario: Perevalov described the outlook for January as “bleak.” Still, all issues equal, the bleakness shall be brief lived. Last winter’s COVID-19 wave trigger an financial contraction within the spring. That won’t occur this time.

— Kevin Carmichael

11:48 a.m.

The pandemic housing frenzy continued in Canada in 2021, information out in the present day confirmed.

Two of Canada’s costliest housing markets hit document house gross sales.

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A document 121,712 properties have been offered in Toronto, up 7.7 per cent from the earlier excessive in 2016, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board mentioned Thursday.

In Vancouver 43,999 properties have been offered, up 42.2 per cent from the 12 months earlier than and up 4 per cent from the earlier document set in 2015, in accordance to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“Extremely tight market conditions” drove Toronto’s common promoting value to $1,095,475 – up 17.8 per cent from the earlier document in 2020, mentioned TRREB.

The benchmark house value in Vancouver rose to $1.23 million, 17 per cent larger than in December 2020.

And tight provides of housing imply costs aren’t happening any time quickly in both metropolis.

Vancouver begins the 12 months with simply over 5,000 properties on the market within the area, the bottom stock in additional than 30 years.

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“With demand at record levels, residents shouldn’t expect home price growth to relent until there’s a more adequate supply of housing available to purchase,” mentioned Keith Stewart, Vancouver board economist.

11:37 a.m.

Canada’s Recovery Tracker fell for the sixth time in seven weeks final month as well being situations and sentiment deteriorated due to the rising Omicron wave sweeping the nation. The well being index on Oxford Economics’ tracker, seen beneath, plunged 16.6 share factors to its lowest since May 2021. The sentiment index dropped 7.2 share factors.

9:59 a.m.

Surging circumstances of COVID-19 pushed by the quickly transmissible Omicron variant are pushing the health-care system to the brink and placing stress on some police and transit companies, the Canadian Press studies.

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The Winnipeg Police Service declared a state of emergency Wednesday after 170 employees booked off on depart associated to COVID-19. Edmonton and Calgary police companies additionally warned of staffing challenges from staff testing constructive or going into isolation.

Ontario’s GO Transit mentioned it can start a brief discount in prepare and bus service within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas inside days due to staffing shortages attributable to the virus.

9:41 a.m.

An investigation was prompted when media reports were circulating of passengers behaving inappropriately on a Sunwing Airlines flight from Montreal to Cancun, Mexico. An investigation was prompted when media studies have been circulating of passengers behaving inappropriately on a Sunwing Airlines flight from Montreal to Cancun, Mexico. Photo by INSTAGRAM

The notorious Sunwing get together passengers, who filmed themselves in unmasked revelry on a constitution flight from Montreal to Mexico final week may find themselves stranded.

Sunwing Airlines cancelled their return flight from Cancun scheduled for Wednesday. Now Air Transit and Air Canada have mentioned they too refuse to carry the passengers.

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Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in calling the partiers “idiots.”

Videos of the Dec. 30 flight shared on social media present passengers not sporting masks and singing and dancing within the aisle and on seats. In one video, a big bottle of vodka seems to be handed amongst passengers, and later a girl seems to be smoking an digital cigarette.

One passenger, who gained the free journey in a contest on Instagram, informed Canadian Press she has examined constructive for COVID-19 and estimates that about 30 others on the flight have additionally examined constructive.

— Montreal Gazette

9:23 a.m.

The Ontario authorities is anticipated to present an replace in the present day on the deployment of speedy antigen COVID-19 assessments within the province.

The replace comes a day after the federal authorities mentioned it can distribute 140 million speedy assessments throughout the nation this month — 4 occasions the quantity handed out in December.

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9:00 a.m.

Canada’s commerce surplus widened to $3.1 billion in November from $2.3 billion in October, additional proof that the economic system constructed up momentum heading into the Omicron wave.

Total exports elevated 3.8 per cent to $58.6 billion largely due to giant shipments of COVID-19 treatment coming in to the nation for labelling and packaging to be shipped again out, Statistics Canada reported Thursday. That similar phenomenon additionally contributed to document excessive ranges of imports, which grew to $55.4 billion in November.

The constructive information will ease considerations surrounding the influence of unprecedented floods and landslides in British Columbia to Canada’s total commerce stability. Still, the weather-inflicted injury precipitated a 7.8 per cent drop in items exported from the province.

Economists suspect the clean-up and rebuilding in British Columbia ought to bolster progress for the previous couple of months of 2021 and into 2022. This would assist assist the economic system because it grapples with the surge in circumstances of the COVID-19 variant Omicron.

— Bianca Bharti, Financial Post 

With further reporting by Canadian Press

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