A person wearing protective equipment looks out of a window at the Herron seniors residence Monday April 13, 2020 in Dorval near Montreal’s Trudeau airport. Thirty-one residents are confirmed to have died in the past month.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A person wearing protective equipment looks out of a window at the Herron seniors residence Monday April 13, 2020 in Dorval near Montreal’s Trudeau airport. Thirty-one residents are confirmed to have died in the past month.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

More older Canadians die as COVID-19 toll passes 800; economy could shrink 6.2%

Ninety per cent of the deaths so far have been among those aged 60 and above

COVID-19’s grim march through many of the country’s nursing homes left more residents dead on Tuesday as the facilities fought desperately to stem the lethal spread of a virus that has prompted crushing restrictions on normal personal and commercial activity.

In all, Canada was closing in on 26,000 confirmed and presumptive cases of coronavirus disease, more than 800 of them fatal.

The virus has hit older adults disproportionately hard, with more than 90 per cent of the deaths among those aged 60 and above.

Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, said outbreaks in long-term care homes were the most pressing epidemic problem. More than half the deaths in the country have occurred in such homes.

“These stories are horrifying,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, even as he noted long-term care was a provincial responsibility. “We know we need to do more.”

The virus has hit Quebec the hardest among provinces, both in terms of cases and deaths. About 30 long-term care facilities had more than 15 per cent of residents infected, the province said.

Premier Francois Legault said the biggest problem was the province’s understaffed long-term care centres as he appealed for help from any health-care workers. In an effort to deal with the onslaught, a Montreal hospital said it would set up a special unit. Starting next week, the unit aims to care for up to 25 of the sickest patients from long-term care homes.

Ontario, which was set to extend its state of emergency for another four weeks, reported 43 new deaths on Tuesday for a total of 334. One home in Toronto attributed nine more deaths to the virus, bringing to 25 the number of fatal infections. The Eatonville Care Centre also said it had 49 confirmed cases.

READ MORE: Canada mirrors B.C., giving travellers choice of self-made quarantine plans or hotel stay

Similarly, two residents of a care home in British Columbia tested positive just days after four staff members were diagnosed with the respiratory illness. The facility is among 20 long-term care and assisted-living homes in B.C. to be afflicted.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, issued an order banning personal-care home staff from working at multiple locations except in ”exceptional circumstances.”

In Ottawa, Trudeau announced that everyone returning from abroad would have to come up with a “credible” isolation plan or spend their mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a hotel.

While acknowledging Canadians were “very interested” to know when the current anti-COVID restrictions might lift, Trudeau said vigilance remained the watchword and no immediate changes were planned. “The reality is that it’s going to be weeks still,” Trudeau said. “We’re going to have to do it in phases.”

READ MORE: Canada-U.S. border restrictions won’t be lifted any time soon, says Trudeau

Trudeau promised more money for students and essential workers as well as support for those struggling with the payment of commercial rents. He also announced $130 million to help northern communities. Part of the money is to support airlines that serve the North and to defray the steep cost of food and hygiene products.

Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer called on all federal parties to strike a deal for Parliament to meet safely. Accountability, the Conservative leader said, was essential even though he said he supported Liberal government efforts to cushion COVID-19’s economic blow by spending more than $100 billion in relief.

Two emergency sittings in recent weeks occurred with only the bare minimum of legislators in the House of Commons and Senate, but normal parliamentary business was scheduled to resume next week.

Another indication of just how devastating anti-pandemic measures have been on the economic front came from the International Monetary Fund, whose latest forecast predicted Canada’s economy would shrink by 6.2 per cent this year. That is more than double the global retraction, which would be the worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the IMF said.

READ MORE: Air Canada and others suspend flights until June as sector slammed by COVID-19

-With files from Canadian Press reporters across the country.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronaviruseconomy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
Investigation at burned Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

“it’s believed that the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby is the deceased”

The Rein Forest Riders fence in Hyde Creek was damaged by a vehicle on the night of Jan. 15. (Lynn Iskra Facebook photo)
Port McNeill RCMP looking for suspect who damaged Rein Forest Riders property in Hyde Creek

“it’s certainly unfortunate, and it’s going to be a tough one because nobody saw anything.”

PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERLEY KUFAAS PHOTOGRAPHY 
Tyson’s Thoughts is a column posted online at northislandgazette.com and in print on Wednesday’s. Have some thoughts about my thoughts? Email editor@northislandgazette.com
If fish farms are phased out, what does the future hold for Port Hardy?

“I hate seeing the town I grew up in take serious economic damage”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Email letters to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish online and in print.
LETTER: Homelessness still a problem in Port Hardy

Dear editor, I have been watching the news and homelessness seems to… Continue reading

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Most Read