Today’s coronavirus news: Monday marks one year since Canada’s first confirmed COVID-19 case; Schools to reopen today in 7 public health units across southern Ontario

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available. 8:10 a.m. Scientists and health experts are launching a nationwide campaign to counter misinformation about COVID-19 and related vaccines.The #ScienceUpFirst initiative is an awareness and engagement campaign that will use social media to debunk incorrect information and boost science-based content.The campaign team says in a news release that it emerged from conversations between Nova Scotia Sen. Stan Kutcher and Timothy Caulfield, Canadian research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta.The initiative is now being led by the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada, and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.Anyone interested in participating can follow @scienceupfirst and use the #ScienceUpFirst hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and tag the account to amplify science-based posts and alert it to misinformation posts.8:05 a.m. Politicians and local leaders on Monday condemned rioters who clashed with police in about 10 towns and cities across the Netherlands a day earlier, on the second night of a coronavirus curfew.“It is unacceptable,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. “This has nothing to do with protesting, this is criminal violence and that's how we'll treat it.”Worst hit was Eindhoven, where police clashed with hundreds of rioters who torched a car, threw rocks and fireworks at officers, smashed windows and looted a supermarket at the southern city's railway station.“My city is crying, and so am I,” Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma told media Sunday night. In an emotional impromptu press conference, he called the rioters “the scum of the earth” and added “I am afraid that if we continue down this path, we’re on our way to civil war."The rioting coincided with the first weekend of the new national coronavirus 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew, but mayors stressed that the violence was not the work of citizens concerned about their civil liberties.“These demonstrations are being hijacked by people who only want one thing and that is to riot,” Hubert Bruls, mayor of the city of Nijmegen and leader of a group of local security organizations, told news talk show Op1 on Sunday night.Amsterdam police arrested 190 people amid rioting at a banned demonstration Sunday.7:56 a.m. Canada Post has asked 350 of its employees and contractors who work the afternoon shift to self isolate after a COVID-19 outbreak at their largest facility, located in Mississauga, it confirmed Sunday.Spokesperson Phil Legault confirmed the number to the Star in an email, and also noted that they are following other recommendations from the Peel Public Health unit as well, including voluntary rapid testing of employees as well as safety protocols focused on washrooms, lunchrooms and locker rooms.In a statement released on Jan. 23, the postal service said that the public health unit recommended the precautionary measure as the most effective way to control further spread at the Gateway East facility on Dixie Road.Read the full story from the Star’s Akrit Michael7:08 a.m. Nearly five years ago, Yassin Dabeh’s family fled war-torn Syria for a better life in Canada.Now the family has been confronted with the unspeakable horror of watching Dabeh become the youngest person in the Middlesex-London area to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19.Dabeh, 19, worked as a contract cleaner at the Middlesex Terrace Long Term Care home in Delaware, Ont., just west of London, and died after contracting the virus, said Mohamad Fakih, a businessman and philanthropist, who spoke with the young man’s father.Read the full story from the Star’s Kenyon Wallace6:20 a.m.: It’s been one year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canada — and a lot has changed. Here are some pieces from the Star to mark the anniversary: How a grieving son, a displaced student and a retired nurse have found their way through 12 months of COVID-19Canada’s first COVID-19 patient was at Sunnybrook. Today his treatment would have been by videoThe year of epidemiologist: 12 months of COVID have turned health experts into the reluctant heroes of our pandemicHow we’ve tried to meet the challenge of Canada’s COVID year through our journalism6:18 a.m.: Australia has suspended its partial travel bubble with New Zealand after New Zealand reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in two months. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the suspension would last for three days and was being implemented out of an abundance of caution. Travellers affected need to cancel or face two weeks in quarantine upon arrival. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she’d told Morrison she had confidence in New Zealand’s systems and processes, but it was up to Australia to decide how they managed their borders. Health officials in New Zealand sa

Today’s coronavirus news: Monday marks one year since Canada’s first confirmed COVID-19 case; Schools to reopen today in 7 public health units across southern Ontario

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

8:10 a.m. Scientists and health experts are launching a nationwide campaign to counter misinformation about COVID-19 and related vaccines.

The #ScienceUpFirst initiative is an awareness and engagement campaign that will use social media to debunk incorrect information and boost science-based content.

The campaign team says in a news release that it emerged from conversations between Nova Scotia Sen. Stan Kutcher and Timothy Caulfield, Canadian research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta.

The initiative is now being led by the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada, and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

Anyone interested in participating can follow @scienceupfirst and use the #ScienceUpFirst hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and tag the account to amplify science-based posts and alert it to misinformation posts.

8:05 a.m. Politicians and local leaders on Monday condemned rioters who clashed with police in about 10 towns and cities across the Netherlands a day earlier, on the second night of a coronavirus curfew.

“It is unacceptable,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. “This has nothing to do with protesting, this is criminal violence and that's how we'll treat it.”

Worst hit was Eindhoven, where police clashed with hundreds of rioters who torched a car, threw rocks and fireworks at officers, smashed windows and looted a supermarket at the southern city's railway station.

“My city is crying, and so am I,” Eindhoven Mayor John Jorritsma told media Sunday night. In an emotional impromptu press conference, he called the rioters “the scum of the earth” and added “I am afraid that if we continue down this path, we’re on our way to civil war."

The rioting coincided with the first weekend of the new national coronavirus 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew, but mayors stressed that the violence was not the work of citizens concerned about their civil liberties.

“These demonstrations are being hijacked by people who only want one thing and that is to riot,” Hubert Bruls, mayor of the city of Nijmegen and leader of a group of local security organizations, told news talk show Op1 on Sunday night.

Amsterdam police arrested 190 people amid rioting at a banned demonstration Sunday.

7:56 a.m. Canada Post has asked 350 of its employees and contractors who work the afternoon shift to self isolate after a COVID-19 outbreak at their largest facility, located in Mississauga, it confirmed Sunday.

Spokesperson Phil Legault confirmed the number to the Star in an email, and also noted that they are following other recommendations from the Peel Public Health unit as well, including voluntary rapid testing of employees as well as safety protocols focused on washrooms, lunchrooms and locker rooms.

In a statement released on Jan. 23, the postal service said that the public health unit recommended the precautionary measure as the most effective way to control further spread at the Gateway East facility on Dixie Road.

Read the full story from the Star’s Akrit Michael

7:08 a.m. Nearly five years ago, Yassin Dabeh’s family fled war-torn Syria for a better life in Canada.

Now the family has been confronted with the unspeakable horror of watching Dabeh become the youngest person in the Middlesex-London area to die after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Dabeh, 19, worked as a contract cleaner at the Middlesex Terrace Long Term Care home in Delaware, Ont., just west of London, and died after contracting the virus, said Mohamad Fakih, a businessman and philanthropist, who spoke with the young man’s father.

Read the full story from the Star’s Kenyon Wallace

6:20 a.m.: It’s been one year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canada — and a lot has changed. Here are some pieces from the Star to mark the anniversary:

  • How a grieving son, a displaced student and a retired nurse have found their way through 12 months of COVID-19

  • Canada’s first COVID-19 patient was at Sunnybrook. Today his treatment would have been by video

  • The year of epidemiologist: 12 months of COVID have turned health experts into the reluctant heroes of our pandemic

  • How we’ve tried to meet the challenge of Canada’s COVID year through our journalism

6:18 a.m.: Australia has suspended its partial travel bubble with New Zealand after New Zealand reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in two months. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the suspension would last for three days and was being implemented out of an abundance of caution. Travellers affected need to cancel or face two weeks in quarantine upon arrival.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she’d told Morrison she had confidence in New Zealand’s systems and processes, but it was up to Australia to decide how they managed their borders.

Health officials in New Zealand say genome tests indicate the woman contracted the virus from another returning traveller just before leaving quarantine. However, there was no evidence the virus has spread further. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the 56-year-old woman had recently returned from Europe.

During her mandatory two weeks in quarantine, she tested negative twice. She developed symptoms at home later and tested positive. Officials say the woman appears to have caught the more infectious South African variant of the virus from another traveller on her second-to-last day in quarantine, and they’re investigating how the health breach happened.

6:17 a.m.: Australia’s medical regulator has approved use of its first coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for inoculations to begin next month.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Monday gave provisional approval for people aged 16 and over to use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Residents and workers at aged-care facilities, front-line health care workers and quarantine workers are among the groups being prioritized for the first doses.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the development. He said Australia was among the first countries to complete a comprehensive process to formally approve a vaccine rather than just grant an emergency approval.

Australia has an agreement for 10 million doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and an option to buy more if supplies allow.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the country overall had secured 140 million vaccines, one of the highest dosing rates per head of population in the world.

The biggest of the preorders, conditional on regulatory approval, is 53.8 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, 50 million of which would be made in Australia in a partnership with Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company CSL.

Australia is aiming to complete inoculations by October. The nation of 26 million people has reported fewer than 30,000 virus cases and a little over 900 deaths.

6:16 a.m.: Schools in seven public health units across southern Ontario reopen for in-person classes today.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says that means 100,000 students will be returning to the classroom for the first time since before the winter break.

The province is implementing more safety measures in areas where schools are reopening, including requiring students in grades 1 through 3 to wear masks indoors and when physical distancing isn’t possible outside as well.

It’s also introducing “targeted asymptomatic testing” and enhanced screening protocols in those regions.

While it’s been more than a month since students in southern Ontario have been in the classroom, classes resumed in the northern part of the province on Jan. 11.

The provincial government has said the chief medical officer of health is keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in public health units where schools remain closed to decide when it’s safe for them to reopen.

But the province has said that in five hot spot regions — Windsor-Essex, Peel, York, Toronto and Hamilton — that won’t happen until at least Feb. 10.

The public health units where schools are reopening today are the Grey Bruce Health Unit; the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit; the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit; the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Health Unit; the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; Peterborough Public Health and Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

6:14 a.m.: The federal government’s handling of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign is set to dominate the agenda when Parliament resumes today.

Members of Parliament are expected to work together to allow virtual attendance in the House of Commons once again as many provinces remain in lockdown during the second wave of the pandemic.

Yet that show of unity will be the exception, as opposition parties say they plan to press the minority Liberal government on several fronts.

That starts with grilling the government on delays in the delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer’s decision to deliver only a fraction of the shots it promised over the next few weeks.

The government has also pledged to close a loophole that currently allows people who leave the country on non-essential trips to collect a sick-leave benefit while they quarantine.

Opposition parties, meanwhile, want to see more support for families and businesses.

Looming in the background will be the ever-present threat of a snap spring election.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 15,213 new vaccinations administered for a total of 816,451 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,154.265 per 100,000.

There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,122,450 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 72.74 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

4 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021.

There are 747,383 confirmed cases in Canada (63,668 active, 664,621 resolved, 19,094 deaths).The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 4,852 new cases Sunday from 51,308 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. The rate of active cases is 169.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 37,536 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,362.

There were 120 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 1,054 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 151. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.4 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 50.8 per 100,000 people.

There have been 17,050,539 tests completed.

Source : Toronto Star More