COVID-19 live updates: Roberge asks for increased security after anti-vaccine protest at Montreal school

COVID-19 live updates: Roberge asks for increased security after anti-vaccine protest at Montreal school

Another demonstration is reportedly planned for today.

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Updated throughout the day on Friday, Sept. 10. Questions/comments: ariga@postmedia.com

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Top updates

  • Roberge asks for increased security after anti-vaccine protest at Montreal school
  • Canada’s unemployment rate falls to 7.1% – lowest since pandemic started
  • Alberta to move hospital patients to homes, care centres as COVID-19 crisis worsens
  • Ontario professor on paid leave after refusing to get vaccinated or wear a mask
  • ‘Our patience is wearing thin’: Biden slams the unvaccinated, unveils sweeping mandates for workers
  • A guide to Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccine passport
  • A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec
  • Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec
  • Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

10:20 a.m.

Roberge asks for increased security after anti-vaccine protest at Montreal school

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has asked for an increased police presence around schools after anti-vaccine protesters tried to convince teenagers at a Rosemont high school not to get the shot against COVID-19.

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Another protest is reportedly planned for today.

The mysterious death of a 15-year-old girl became a flashpoint between anti-vaccine protesters and a teacher at the girl’s school, École Secondaire Louis Riel.

The girl’s death became a rallying cry for anti-vaccine militants who allege the death was caused by a vaccine against COVID-19. According to La Presse, a group came to the school on Wednesday and became involved in a shouting match with teachers, claiming that the vaccination campaign was responsible for the girl’s death, and that the school was hiding the truth.

The Coroner’s Office is investigating the girl’s death.

The school board confirmed there had been no vaccination campaign on the day the girl died. The campaign started a day later.

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“There is no question of having battlefields next to schools, in residential areas. I found it really deplorable, it lacked class, going around schools, instrumentalizing children, bullying children and school staff. This is unacceptable, “Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said this morning, according to Le Soleil.

“I called my colleague Geneviève Guilbault, the public security minister, to ask her that there be increased vigilance around schools,” he added.

“If there is anyone who suspects anything, if the parents are worried, if the staff members are worried, they can call the police and they will intervene quickly. We have to protect our children. ”


10:10 a.m.

Canada’s unemployment rate falls to 7.1% – lowest since pandemic started

From the Reuters news agency:

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Canada added 90,200 jobs in August, slightly below expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 per cent, its lowest point since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected a gain of 100,000 jobs and for the unemployment rate to fall to 7.3 per cent. With the August gain, employment is now less than 1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. Hours worked, however, remain 2.6 per cent below February 2020 levels.

“The first glance is that it should be pretty decent with plus 90 (thousand),” said Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities.

“The concerning bit is that hours worked were little changed through the month of August,” he said. That could be regarded as a disappointment by the Bank of Canada.

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Full-time employment rose by 68,500, while part-time employment rose by 21,700. The service sector added 92,900 jobs, driven mostly by accommodation and food services, while goods sector employment fell by a net 2,600 jobs as losses in agriculture and other segments outweighed gains in construction.


10 a.m.

Alberta to move hospital patients to homes, care centres as COVID-19 crisis worsens

Alberta will move more patients to other care settings to free up space in hospitals so overrun with COVID-19 cases that some children’s surgeries, cancer surgeries and transplant operations are being cancelled, The Canadian Press reports.

Dr. Verna Yiu, the president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, says there may be 200 potential patients that could be moved into continuing care in the next week or two.

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Yiu said intensive care beds are 130 per cent over capacity, and critically ill patients are being directed to overflow wards.

“We are experiencing significant capacity challenges. We continue to do all that we can to increase capacity, particularly in our ICUs, where pressure on our staff, physicians and resources is intense,” Yiu said Thursday.

Non-emergency surgeries were cut by as much as 60 per cent provincewide last week and the Calgary health zone has cancelled all non-urgent procedures for the rest of the week.

Yiu said some of the delayed surgeries include pediatric operations, transplants, and cancer operations that physicians feel can be put off without risk to the patient.

Alberta has averaged more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases for two weeks. There are now 679 people in hospital with the illness, 154 of whom are in intensive care.

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9:45 a.m.

Ontario professor on paid leave after refusing to get vaccinated or wear a mask

A philosophy professor at a college affiliated with the University of Western Ontario says she has been put on paid leave and is unable to teach students because of her refusal to get vaccinated, which violates the school’s COVID-19 policy.

Read our full story.


9:45 a.m.

‘Our patience is wearing thin’: Biden slams the unvaccinated, unveils sweeping mandates for workers

President Joe Biden said he’d order all executive branch employees, federal contractors and millions of health-care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, and that his administration would issue rules requiring large private employers to mandate shots or testing.

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Read our full story.


9:15 a.m.

The situation across Canada

Here’s the rate of case growth per 100,000 people over the past seven days, via the federal government’s latest epidemiological update.


9:15 a.m.

A guide to Quebec’s COVID-19 vaccine passport

Quebec’s vaccine passport is mandatory for people 13 and older who want to access services and activities deemed non-essential by the provincial government, including bars, restaurants, gyms, festivals and sporting events.

Though the passport came into effect Sept. 1, no penalties will be issued for the first two weeks. Quebecers will be able to use a smartphone app to prove their vaccination status or simply carry their QR code on paper.

Quebecers can download the app from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

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We have published two guides to the passports – one looks at how to download and set up the app, and another answers key questions about the system, including how, when and why.

You can find more information on the Quebec government’s website – one page has details on how the system works, and another has a list of the places where a vaccine passport will be required.

The Quebec government’s VaxiCode app is shown on a phone in Montreal, Wednesday, August 25, 2021.
The Quebec government’s VaxiCode app is shown on a phone in Montreal, Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Photo by Graham Hughes /The Canadian Press

9:15 a.m.

A guide to COVID-19 vaccinations in Quebec

Local health authorities have set up mass vaccination sites across Montreal.

You can book appointments via the Clic Santé website or by phone at 1-877-644-4545.

Quebecers can also visit walk-in AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccine clinics.

Here are the nuts and bolts of getting vaccinated, by Katherine Wilton. Her guide includes the age groups targeted, how to book appointments, and addresses of vaccination centres.

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Two private sites can also help you book appointments:

9:15 a.m.

Here are the current pandemic restrictions in Montreal and Quebec

We are regularly updating our list of what services are open, closed or modified in Montreal and Quebec, including information on the curfew and other lockdown measures.

You can read it here.


9:15 a.m.

Here’s where Montrealers can get tested today

Montrealers can be screened at test centres across the island.

You can check screening clinic wait times here.


8:30 a.m.

Sign up for our free nightly coronavirus newsletter

Stay informed with our daily email newsletter focused on local coronavirus coverage and other essential news, delivered directly to your email inbox by 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can sign up here.


ariga@postmedia.com

Read my previous live blogs here.


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