- 1,417 new cases and 32 new deaths, the highest daily death toll reported since June 19. 463 new cases in Peel, 410 in Toronto and 178 in York Region. Elsewhere in the GTA, Durham Region reported 40 new cases, Halton Region reported 63 and Hamilton reported 46. 535 people in hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19, 127 were in intensive care and 78 were breathing with the ventilator.
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he expects to announce new measures “in the coming days” to help curb the spread of COVID-19 amid a rising number of infections and deaths. Speaking at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, the Premier said the continued rise in COVID-19 cases in the province’s hot spots of Toronto, Peel Region and York Region is “extremely troubling.” Ford hinted the announcement will come on Friday and is expected to target COVID-19 hot spots only. He did not say what the new measures would entail, but also did not rule out a possible shutdown, saying that “he won’t hesitate to lock things down” for the safety of the public.
- A Toronto school worker has died after contracting COVID-19, becoming the first school staff member known to have died of the virus since schools reopened in Ontario in September. He was child and youth worker and working at St. Frances De Sales School on Firgrove Crescent in North York. She was 67-year-old woman with several pre-existing conditions that made her more susceptible to severe infection. She tested positive “earlier this week” and died today morning. In the meantime, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that an extended winter holiday for school children is “not necessary at this time.” The idea was floated as a possible way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as case numbers soar in the province. However Lecce said that transmission levels are low in schools and safety measures there are sufficient.
- Nearly half of all residents at a city-run long-term care home downtown have been infected with COVID-19 since a outbreak was declared at the facility last month. There have been 112 positive cases among residents at the 250-bed Fudger House. So far 74 of those residents have recovered from the virus and nine have died. The remaining 29 cases are still considered active. Provincial government will now require workers at long-term care homes in COVID-19 hot spots to get tested for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus on a weekly basis. Presently, they have been required to get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks but that guidance is now being updated for all homes that are located in communities in the orange, red and lockdown tiers.
- President-elect Joe Biden’s winning tally is approaching a record 80 million votes as counting of ballots still going on and that has turnout a record. With more than 155 million votes counted and California and New York still counting, turnout stands at 65% of all eligible voters, the highest since 1908. The rising Biden tally and his popular vote lead – nearly 6 million votes – come as Trump has escalated his false insistence that he actually won the election, and his campaign and supporters intensify their uphill legal fight to stop or delay results from being certified, potentially nullify the votes of Americans.
- The Canada-U.S. border is set to remain closed well into December. The 30-day rollover of the closure is set to expire on Friday. Visits such as vacations, day trips and cross-border shopping excursions have been forbidden since March in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The mutual restrictions have been jointly extended on a monthly basis by the two countries ever since March 21.
- Peel police say 88 people have been arrested in an investigation into a gang allegedly responsible for a series of homicides, “brazen” shootings, and drug trafficking. Investigation into the “New Money So Sick” gang has resulted in officers laying more than 800 charges for offences that include murder, human trafficking and drug trafficking. ‘Project Siphon‘, began in Sept. 2019 when police began probing an alleged drug network in Mississauga and Brampton.
- Lawyers specializing in family law have reported an increase in calls to initiate separations and divorce during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some law firms say there is a 40 per cent increase in calls from couples seeking to end their marriages since the pandemic began. So many couples have been reaching out for help in dissolving their marriages that some divorce firms have started holding online sessions about how to navigate the legal system. Some couples contacting her firm report having had issues in the past, but they say the stressors associated with the pandemic have exacerbated those and brought the relationship to a breaking point.
* Delhi recorded 7,486 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to over 5 lakh, while 131 new fatalities, the highest single-day count till date, pushed the number of deaths to 7,943.*
*The BBC has started an investigation into how it obtained an explosive 1995 interview with Princess Diana that exposed her troubled marriage to Prince Charles. This interview was watched by a record 22.8 million people. She famously said “there were three people” in her marriage — her, Charles and his long-time lover Camilla Parker-Bowles — and also revealed she had been unfaithful. Diana and Charles formally divorced in 1996.*
*Pfizer said that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was found to be 95 per cent effective in the final analysis of the Phase 3 trial, adding it had the required two-months of safety data and would apply for emergency US authorization within days. The Pfizer vaccine, however, has been all but ruled out for use in India because it needs to be stored and transported at a temperature of minus 70 degrees celsius which is a huge challenge.*
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