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Donald Trump says Canadians on two stranded cruise ships will be heading home

Donald Trump says Canadians on two stranded cruise ships will be heading homeFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — U.S. President Donald Trump says there are plans to remove nearly 250 Canadians from two cruise ships and get them back to Canada.The U.S. Coast Guard has directed all cruise ships to remain at sea where they may be sequestered "indefinitely" during the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump said Canada is coming to get the Canadians from the MS Zaandam and its sister ship the Rotterdam."We're taking the Canadians off and giving them to Canadian authorities. They're going to bring them back home," Trump said at his daily press briefing on Wednesday.Trump said the same is true for citizens of the United Kingdom on the ships.The president said states have been reluctant to take cruise guests, but he feels the U.S. is obligated to help. He said at a minimum, the U.S. will send medical teams on board."You have people that are sick on those ships and states don't want to take them," Trump said."They have enough problems right now and they don't want to take them, but we have to from a humane standpoint. We don't have a choice. I don't want to do that, but we have to. People are dying."According to the U.S. Coast Guard, cruise ships must also be prepared to send any severely ill passengers to the countries where the vessels are registered.The rules, which apply to any vessel carrying more than 50 people, were issued in a March 29 safety bulletin signed by Coast Guard Rear Admiral E.C. Jones, whose district includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Puerto Rico.But Trump said Tuesday he was going to speak with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis about whether to allow the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, one of which has seen four people die and 200 passengers and crew report flu-like symptoms, to dock.Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that there are 97 Canadian passengers on the Zaandam and 150 Canadians on the Rotterdam. At this time, no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among Canadian passengers."We continue to engage with the passengers and Holland America to co-ordinate travel for Canadian citizens back to Canada upon disembarkation," Global Affairs said.The Zaandam, which set sail in early March on a South American cruise, is carrying sick passengers and crew, while passengers not showing symptoms were transferred to the Rotterdam, which was sent to the region to help. Both ships have cleared the Panama Canal and are sailing toward Florida. Two of four deaths on the Zaandam have been blamed on COVID-19 and nine people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said.Catherine McLeod, an Ottawa resident who was recently transferred to the Rotterdam from the Zaandam, said the captain came on the internal television system last night and "proposed a toast to world health and our safe return home."Champagne and sweets were left outside each passenger's doors.The Rotterdam captain "is a class act, so was the captain of the Zaandam," McLeod said in an email. "This guy has made some excellent speeches regarding his and the crew's devotion to getting us out of here healthy."The ship was off the northwest coast of Cuba by late Wednesday morning. McLeod said passengers have been told they'll reach Florida by Thursday morning."We were told that Holland America would arrange for our transportation home, and received a call yesterday from guest services asking our destination," McLeod said.They remain hopeful they won't be stranded at sea.DeSantis said he expected a resolution Wednesday after speaking with Trump, but port authorities later said discussions between the company and officials over the terms of docking were ongoing and they did not expect to update Broward County commissioners on Wednesday as it was foreseen at the Tuesday meeting.DeSantis maintained Florida's health care system is stretched too thin to take on the ships' coronavirus caseload, but he said he would accept the 49 Florida residents on board.“My concern is simply that we have worked so hard to make sure we have adequate hospital beds,” he said.Holland America said in a statement Wednesday night that it is awaiting confirmation to disembark guests from both ships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The company said both ships are scheduled to arrive at the boundary of U.S. waters early Thursday and will remain there while waiting for clearance.The ships are on the Port Everglades docking schedule for Thursday afternoon at 1 and 1:30 p.m. ET.Holland America also said guests fit to travel would transfer straight from ships to flights so they can return home. The approximately 45 guests who still have mild illness would continue to isolate on board. For the estimated less than 10 people needing critical care, Holland America says it has secured approval from a local health system partner that will accept them for treatment. More than two dozen cruise ships are either lined up at Port Miami and Port Everglades or waiting offshore, the Miami Herald reported. Most have only crew aboard, but several still carry passengers and are steaming toward ports in southern Florida. Carnival notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that it has more than 6,000 passengers still at sea.Under normal conditions, when a passenger or crew member become too ill for the ship's medical team to care for, they call the Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation to an onshore hospital. Under the new rules, sick passengers would be sequestered indefinitely on board.“This is necessary as shore-side medical facilities may reach full capacity and lose the ability to accept and effectively treat additional critically ill patients," the Coast Guard memo said.The document requires all ships in U.S. waters to report their numbers of sick and dead on board each day or face civil penalties or criminal prosecution.Cruise ships with sick passengers must consult with the Coast Guard, which may now recommend keeping the sick person on board. The Coast Guard will decide if a transfer is absolutely necessary, but the cruise line would be responsible for arranging on-shore transportation and hospital beds.— With files from Liam Casey in Toronto and The Associated Press.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.The Associated Press


Roughriders QB hopes CFL delay will be brief

Roughriders QB hopes CFL delay will be briefCody Fajardo's last football memory is one he would rather forget.Last November at Mosaic Stadium, his final pass attempt caromed off the crossbar, sending the Blue Bombers to the Grey Cup and the Roughriders into the off-season.It's a game he played with two torn oblique muscles, creating even more "what ifs."Unfortunately for Fajardo, due to the CFL's decision to delay the start of training camps, it's a memory he will be unable to erase from his mind anytime soon.For Fajardo, six months without football is long enough."And now to say it's postponed even more just makes it that much tougher," said Fajardo from his home in the U.S."You want to get back on the field and get this bitter taste out of your mouth." Fajardo, who just celebrated his 28th birthday, is a glass-half-full kind of guy. He hopes any delay will be a brief.He wants to be ready to go, which is not so easy when you don't have access to a gym, because due to COVID-19, they're all closed."My wife and I have turned to on-TV workouts, which are actually really tough, and it kicks my butt," he said."I'm just trying to find creative ways to stay in shape so when they tell us the season's back on, whenever it is, I'm ready to hit the ground running."But the hardest aspect for him is not being able to work out with receivers. Playing catch is not exactly practising good social distancing."Everyone touching it, sweating, spitting on the football and stuff — it can get a little bit scary, so I haven't been able to throw as much as I want."2019 was Cody Fajardo's breakout year. After spending the first three years of his career as a backup, he took advantage of an injury to Zach Collaros and grabbed the reins as the Riders' starter.He led the league with 4,302 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. He was named a CFL all-star and the West Division's most outstanding player.2020 would be his first as the No. 1 guy going into training camp. His first camp with a contract appropriate for a starting quarterback in the CFL.Now all that is on hold as the world deals with a health crisis.He feels for some of his teammates who may have to make life-altering decisions if the delay is not a short one."I know the last five years of my career have been hard, just trying to make ends meet throughout the off season. I had to pick up some off-season jobs," he said."There's gonna be some guys that are going to have to make some decisions here. If the season is going to be delayed for long, are they going to wait to play football or are they going to have to jump into a career or a job just because they need money for their family?"Fajardo, though, keeps in regular contact with the Riders' new offensive co-ordinator, Jason Maas, as the playbook gets closer to completion.Fajardo believes the fans will get excited over the new-look offence — provided there will be games played."I personally believe there will be a 2020 season. I don't know when but me and my faith and how I've been raised, I'm a positive thinker and it's up to us."He may not be able to practise football but he can practise social distancing and proper hand-washing. Fajardo says the more people that can do that, the quicker life can get back to normal."It's bigger than just football. We're all in this together. Our health is more important than just entertaining people."


Here are the medical supplies needed in B.C. and how you can donate

Here are the medical supplies needed in B.C. and how you can donateOne of the most critical questions around COVID-19 has been whether there will be enough medical supplies and personal protective equipment for health-care workers.If you have medical resources you want to donate — here's what you need to know:On Wednesday a one-stop online resource became available for British Columbia businesses with medical supplies who are open to donating.The website, called the COVID-19 Supply Hub, has been set up to triage supply offers from business and other organizations.Here's a list of what is needed — and how you can check whether the equipment you have is up to standard. Only unopened and unused items will be accepted.1\. Disposable respiratorsThe following type of respirator will be accepted: * P95, P99, and P100 masks. * R95, R99, and R100 masks. * N95, N99, and N100 masks.Approved masks will have the following texts printed on them: * The type of certification — for example, "NIOSH." * The type of approval. * The manufacturer's name and model number.Tap here for more information on how to identify a proper N95 mask.2\. Elastomeric half or full-face piece respiratorsAn approved elastomeric respirator will also have the following text printed on the mask: * The type of certification — for example, "NIOSH." * The manufacturer name — for example, "3M" or "North." * The model number.3\. Powered air-purifying respiratorAccording to SafeCare BC, these are "battery-powered blowers that provide positive airflow through a filter, cartridge, or canister to a hood or face piece."Accessories like the charger, battery, filters and blower tube are also needed.An approved respirator will have the following text printed on the blower unit: * The type of certification — for example, "NIOSH." * The manufacturer name — for example, "3M" or "North." * The model number.4\. Surgical masks or procedural masks5\. Eye protection, including glasses, goggles, and face shields6\. Protective gownsGowns should be fluid-resistant and long-sleeved to cover the wrists.7\. Examination gloves Appropriate examination gloves will be labelled with specific words, for example:  * Health care, examination, patient examination, sterile, medical-grade. * Nitrile vinyl, latex or nitrile gloves will all provide adequate protection.8\. Hand sanitizer (60 per cent alcohol or higher) and medical-grade disinfectant wipes.


The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

The latest developments on COVID-19 in CanadaThe latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern): 9:35 p.m.U.S. President Donald Trump says there are plans to remove nearly 250 Canadians from two cruise ships and get them back to Canada.The U.S. Coast Guard has directed all cruise ships to remain at sea where they may be sequestered "indefinitely" during the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump says Canada is coming to get the Canadians from the MS Zaandam and its sister ship the Rotterdam.The ships hope to dock in Florida.Trump made the comments at his daily press briefing.Global Affairs Canada has said there are 97 Canadian passengers on the Zaandam and 150 Canadians on the Rotterdam.At this time, no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among Canadian passengers.\---6:30 p.m.Toronto Public Health says a long-term care home in the city's east end is reporting that six more COVID-19 patients there have died, for a total of eight.A spokeswoman for the public health agency says the new deaths were reported overnight.Lenore Bromley says 23 people at Seven Oaks were diagnosed with the virus, including 14 residents and nine staff members.She says there are another 54 residents who likely have the illness but have not officially been diagnosed.She says those who died range in age from their 60s to their 90s, and six of them were over the age of 85.\---6:15 p.m.British Columbia's public health officer says the province is holding its own in the fight against COVID-19 as she announced another death and 53 new cases of the disease today.Dr. Bonnie Henry says the province still has a few more weeks to go and, when restrictions are lifted, it will have to be done in a way that prevents the further spread of the novel coronavirus.The province now has 1,066 cases of COVID-19, with 25 deaths.Henry says 606 people have recovered.\---5:50 p.m.Alberta is reporting 117 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the province to 871.Premier Jason Kenney also announced two additional deaths for a total of 11.He says it's been a tough week in Alberta, and things will get worse before they get better.The province says 142 people have recovered.\---5:15 p.m.Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson says the 2020 Queen's Plate has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic.The thoroughbred horse race, which was to be run June 27 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, is the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America dating back to 1860.The $1-million race is also the first jewel of Canada's Triple Crown.The move isn't surprising, as last month Woodbine Entertainment postponed the start of the 2020 racing season.\---5:05 p.m.The association that represents Ontario's hospitals says it is "extremely concerned" that many of the facilities are running low on personal protective equipment.The Ontario Hospital Association says today that as the number of COVID-19 cases in acute care units rise, many hospitals are experiencing a shortage, especially of masks.The association is calling on the federal and provincial governments to clearly communicate when new supplies will be provided to specific hospitals.\---4:45 p.m.RCMP in Nova Scotia say four people have been charged under the Health Protection Act in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.Police say two people were charged for failing to self-quarantine after returning from abroad, and two others were charged for not maintaining a social distance of two metres.Police say all four were fined $697.50.They did not say where in the province these charges were laid.\---4:30 p.m.BC Hydro is giving residential and small business customers a break during the COVID-19 pandemic.Premier John Horgan says individuals who have lost wages or their jobs will be able to apply for a three-month credit on their residential power bills.The government says the credit will not have to be repaid, which will save about $477 for the average customer.Small business owners will also be able to apply for a three month payment holiday on their power bills.\---4 p.m.Saskatchewan's Ministry of Justice says five staff at a Saskatoon jail have tested positive for COVID-19.A spokesman says there's no reason to believe the virus has spread throughout the facility, but officials are working with public health to confirm.The provincial government says so far no inmates in Saskatchewan's jails have tested positive for COVID-19.\---3:42 p.m.Saskatchewan says a third resident has died from COVID-19.The Ministry of Health says a patient in their 80s died from complications related to the virus.Earlier this week it announced two residents in their 70s also died over the weekend.So far the Saskatchewan government has announced 193 cases of COVID-19 in the province.\---3:04 p.m.Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’s open to extending the government’s wage subsidy program if the COVID-19 crisis lasts longer than expected.The benefit, which will pay 75 per cent of struggling companies' wages up to $847, is expected to last for three months.But Morneau says the government will continue to reassess as the crisis unfolds and is open to adding new measures as necessary.\---2:57 p.m.The Ottawa Senators say four additional members of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to six.The team announced that the people in question travelled with the team to California before the NHL suspended its season March 12 because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.The team said in a release that those who tested positive have recovered.The Senators played the Sharks in San Jose, Calif., on March 7 despite a recommendation from officials in Santa Clara County against holding large public gatherings.\---2:30 p.m.Finance Minister Bill Morneau says wage subsidies for large and small businesses will cost about $71 billion.The program is expected to offset the cost of emergency benefits for workers, and reduce spending on those benefits to $24 billion.The wage subsidy will be available to large and small businesses who have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19.Morneau has encouraged businesses to rehire employees they may have laid off in the wake of COVID-19, and says the wage subsidy will be available in six weeks.\---2:15 p.m.The Manitoba government has announced another 24 probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 127.The province's chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, says officials are seeing early signs of community transmission in Winnipeg, and he is urging people to stay home as much as possible.The cases include three health care workers and officials are tracking other staff or patients who may have had close contact with those individuals.\---1:45 p.m.There are 11 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, raising the provincial total to 81.Chief medical health officer, Dr. Jennifer Russell says of the total, 43 cases involved travel outside of New Brunswick, 22 were close contacts of other positive cases, there were three cases of community transmission, while 13 cases are still under investigation.There have been no cases of people contracting COVID-19 in New Brunswick health care facilities so far, but Russell says a number of health care workers have contracted the virus outside of their workplace. They are self-isolating.Russell also confirms the case of a taxi-driver in Fredericton who has tested positive after picking up a passenger who had travelled. Contacts with that driver have been contacted by Public Health.\---1:35 p.m.Nova Scotia is reporting 26 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the provincial total to 173 confirmed cases.Health officials say of the 26 new cases of COVID-19, one is a staff member at The Magnolia residential care home in Enfield outside Halifax.That makes three staff members and two residents at the home who have tested positive.Officials say most cases in Nova Scotia are connected to travel or a known case, while there is one confirmed case of community transmission and more cases are expected.\---1:35 p.m.Federal Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the government is looking at ways to support self-employed Canadians who keep their jobs but whose hours are reduced because of the COVID-19 crisis.The federal government has promised wage subsidies for employers to help pay employees who are still on the payroll as well as benefits for Canadians who lose their jobs due to the pandemic.But Qualtrough acknowledges self-employed Canadians whose hours or earnings are reduced could fall between the cracks, which is something the government is considering.Qualtrough also appeared to leave the door open to federal compensation for the families of health-care workers who die while helping to fight the pandemic.\---1:25 p.m.The Manitoba government is hoping to get former registered nurses back on the job in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the College of Registered Nurses will be allowed to waive or modify registration requirements for former registered nurses so that they can come back quickly.Friesen says application and registration fees will be waived for the returning nurses.\---1:19 p.m.Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province is now 4,611, an increase of 449 over yesterday.There were also two new deaths, bringing the provincial total to 33.Legault says there are 519 seniors' residences with at least one case, which he described as a source of concern for the province.\---1:17 p.m.Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has appealed to the nation’s landlords to not evict tenants who cannot pay their rent today.The government is planning to provide benefits to people who have lost their income due to COVID-19 but that money has not started to flow yet, leaving many people unable to pay their rent.Freeland says it would be heartless for landlords to evict tenants during this crisis.She says for those landlords who need rent money to pay their mortgage, the federal government has worked with banks to try to give homeowners some breathing room.\---12:50 p.m.Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the health care system has the potential to be overwhelmed in all of the COVID-19 scenarios projected by the federal government.The government has not shared any of its projections related to how the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to play out in Canada.But Tam says the health system is not designed to deal with this kind of surge, and could be facing difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources in all those scenarios.She says in some of the worst case scenarios, the health care system will not be able to cope.\---12:45 p.m.There are no new cases of COVID-19 on Prince Edward Island Wednesday, with the provincial total remaining at 21.Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says three of the Island cases are considered recovered.All the cases on the Island have been the result of international travel.\---12:45 p.m.There are 23 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, all within the Eastern Health authority.The total number of known cases of the illness in the province is now 175.Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, says 15 people have been hospitalized and three are in intensive care.She says 10 people have recovered.\---12:40 p.m.Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the backlog of employment insurance claims filed in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis will be addressed within the week.Canada has seen an unprecedented surge in requests for support.In the last two weeks 1.3 million EI claims have been filed, compared to just 2.1 million for all of last year.Qualtrough says the department has found a way to streamline applications, and starting today they will be able to process 400,000 applications per day.\---12:35 p.m.Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the government has created a mobile app to provide direct updates on COVID-19.The app will provide updates on the latest government measures and public health advice to limit the spread of the virus.It will also include a self-assessment tool for people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.\---12:10 p.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is expecting a shipment of much needed medical supplies in a few days, or even sooner.Several provinces have reported shortages of personal protective equipment for front line workers, given that the equipment is in demand all over the world.Trudeau says the government is working with international partners to try to bring more surgical masks and in-demand supplies to Canada.\---11:40 a.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's asked the government house leader to reach out to opposition parties about bringing back parliament.He says the entire government needs to be involved in the largest economic program in Canada's history.Canada's parliament was suspended on March 13 to limit the spread of the virus and allow the cabinet to focus on the COVID-19 response.It briefly reconvened last week to pass the government's emergency COVID-19 response bill.\---10:35 a.m.Ontario is reporting 426 new COVID-19 cases today — the largest number so far — including four new deaths.It represents a nearly 22 per cent increase and brings the provincial total to 2,392.That includes 37 deaths and 689 cases that have been resolved.\---9:45 a.m.Some Manitoba health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19, leading to other health workers having to self-isolate.One staff member at a hospital in Selkirk tested positive after travelling within Canada, and had been working while symptomatic between March 19 and 23.The Manitoba Nurses Union says a nurse at a hospital emergency room in Winnipeg has also tested positive.And St. Boniface Hospital has sent a letter to workers that says a staff member in the echocardiography department has tested positive, and was working while symptomatic on March 25.\---8:10 a.m.A hospital in Burlington, Ont., is building a temporary COVID-19 unit in anticipation of a surge of patients.Joseph Brant Hospital says the structure being built on hospital grounds will have 93 beds.The hospital's chief of staff, Dr. Ian Preyra, says the pandemic response unit will allow the hospital to keep its critical care and high acuity beds for the sickest patients.\---7:30 a.m.A driver in Ottawa's transit system is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.The city says the driver developed symptoms on March 20 and was tested for the virus that causes the illness the next day.The local health unit says there's concern the driver might have spread the virus in the days before feeling sick. The city says it's deep-cleaning the busses that the person drove, which mostly ran between downtown Ottawa and western suburbs.\---7:25 a.m.A ship carrying passengers sick with COVID-19 is expected to arrive in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Thursday.About 250 Canadians are among the passengers aboard Holland America's Zaandam, which was denied entry by several countries after reporting four deaths and dozens of infections.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the state's health care resources are already stretched too thin to take on the ships' coronavirus caseload.But President Donald Trump said people are dying on the ship, and he's going to do “the right thing” for humanity and allow it to dock in Florida.\---6:35 a.m.It's April 1st and rent payments are due for millions of Canadians for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic led to an economic shutdown and many layoffs.Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have signed petitions, asking for the outright cancellation of rents and mortgage payments for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggests that's not going to happen, but says the banks have been asked to give people a break if they need it.Multiple provinces have placed an outright ban on evictions, while others have placed an effective ban by closing down landlord and tenant boards.Applications for federal support payments and details about wage subsidies that are meant to help Canadians weather the storm are still to be released. The Canadian Press


Thursday 2nd of April 2020 03:51:01

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