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January 06, 2021

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The outbreak by the numbers (as of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021):
  • Globally: 86,569,693 cases | 48,586,899 recovered | 1,871,754 deceased
  • Canada: 618,646 cases  |  523,564 recovered  |  16,233 deceased
  • British Columbia: 54,629 cases  |  45,999 recovered  |  954 deceased
  • Alberta: 106,378 cases  |  91,799 recovered  |  1,168 deceased
  • Saskatchewan: 16,520 cases  |  13,298 recovered  |  165 deceased
  • Manitoba: 25,374 cases  |  20,252 recovered  |  695 deceased
  • Ontario: 197,360 cases  |  166,790 recovered  |  4,730 deceased
  • Quebec: 215,358 cases  |  182,602 recovered  |  8,441 deceased
  • New Brunswick: 635 cases  |  570 recovered  |  9 deceased 
  • Nova Scotia: 1,508 cases  |  1,424 recovered  |  65 deceased
  • Prince Edward Island: 97 cases  |  93 recovered
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 392 cases  |  374 recovered  |  4 deceased
  • Yukon: 60 cases  |  59 recovered  |  1 deceased
  • Northwest Territories: 24 cases  |  24 recovered
  • Nunavut: 266 cases  |  265 recovered  |  1 deceased
  • Trenton (CFB quarantine): 13 cases  |  13 recovered
Follow the latest updates and read full coverage

From snowbirds to politicians: All things travel

Amid a growing scandal of Canadian politicians travelling abroad despite the pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week expressed his disappointment with the federal and provincial figures from a range of parties who flew to tropical locations despite advisories to avoid non-essential travel.

During his first Rideau Cottage address of 2021, Trudeau extended that disappointment to all Canadians who travelled internationally over the holiday season, adding that his government would move to
close a loophole that had allowed returning travellers to claim the $1,000 sickness benefit during post-trip quarantine. "No one should be vacationing abroad right now," he said.

Still, thousands of
Canadian snowbirds are contemplating their usual trip to the southern United States to escape the winter season. As many as 30 per cent have already decided to make the trip, according to the Canadian Snowbird Association.

When snowbirds fly back, they'll need to abide by a 14-day quarantine in Canada and a new COVID-19 testing rule that goes into effect on Thursday. The new rule has sent the travel industry
into a "tailspin." It requires most international travellers to test negative for COVID-19 three days prior to landing in Canada.

'Now is the time to really accelerate'

With the 2021 mass immunization effort underway, a slew of health experts are urging provinces to pick up the pace. While Canada has procured the most vaccine doses per capita than other nations, its rollout is falling behind other countries, according to the vaccine tracker. As of Wednesday morning, some 155,180 doses had been administered since Dec. 14. That's just 0.408 per cent of the population, a far lower percentage than several other countries, including the U.S. and the U.K.

Some provinces slowed the rollout over the holidays, a decision that has faced criticism as COVID-19 infections surge. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau said that he plans to ask provinces if they need more federal aid to move the vaccination efforts forward. "I think all Canadians, including me, are frustrated to see vaccines in freezers and not in people's arms," he said. "
Now is the time, with the new year upon us, to really accelerate and that's certainly what I'll be talking with the premiers about."

The latest from global hot spots
  • United Kingdom: A third national lockdown began Tuesday in the U.K. that requires everyone in England to stay home until at least mid-February as hospitals strain under the toll of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant in the country. More than 76,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.  
  • United States: Over the last week, the U.S. was averaging more than 2,500 COVID-19 deaths every day, or an average of one coronavirus death every 33 seconds. Despite a slow start to vaccinations, experts say health-care workers could soon be immunizing one million people every day in the country.
  • Brazil: The number of patients in Brazil's intensive care units reached its highest level since August this week as shops and offices reopened after the holidays. The country, which recorded more than 1,100 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, has yet to approve or receive any vaccines.

Ask the Doctor: Your COVID-19 questions answered

CTV News medical contributor Dr. Marla Shapiro answered questions this week from readers and viewers across the country. Here are three of those questions and answers, edited for length and clarity. 

Should provinces reserve second doses or use them up as they arrive?

We know that one [dose] is not enough to confer long-term immunity. You need to have the two [doses]. We have to depend on a continual supply to make sure that we're reaching the two-dose strategy for the two vaccines that are presently approved in Canada. While we want to get as many as we can into the arms of Canadians, the data tells us that one will not give you long-term immunity. We really have to complete the series.

Does it make a difference if the second dose is given later than the prescribed 21 days or 28 days after the first?

Slight variations may not make a difference. But we don't have data to suggest that if you get one and wait three months that it's going to do the same job. Difficult questions to answer. But we have to roll out the vaccine as the vaccine was meant to be given.

Is it a good idea to '
mix and match' vaccines?

We don't have data to tell us whether or not you start with Pfizer and [get your second dose from] Moderna, whether or not you're going to get the same robust, sustained immune response. Typically, we advise against interchangeability of vaccines, because it hasn't been studied in that way.

Have a question for a CTV News medical contributor? Email us at with the subject line "Ask the Doctor." Please include your full name, city, and a phone number.
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