Canada sees record-breaking 14,456 new COVID-19 cases amid Omicron spread

Canada added a record 14,456 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the federal government revealed expanded aid benefits to help those impacted by the rapid spread of Omicron.

The new infections brings Canada’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 1,922,227. Another 27 deaths linked to COVID-19 were announced Canada-wide as well, pushing the death toll to 30,112.

So far, more than 1.8 million patients have recovered after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and 65,807,168 vaccinations have been administered to date. According to Global News data, Wednesday’s new daily infections represent the highest number of new infections in one day since the pandemic.

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Currently, the data also points to Canada registering another pandemic high: a seven-day average of 8,930 cases as of Dec. 21.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Canada broadens Worker Lockdown Benefit as Omicron prompts new restrictions'







COVID-19: Canada broadens Worker Lockdown Benefit as Omicron prompts new restrictions


COVID-19: Canada broadens Worker Lockdown Benefit as Omicron prompts new restrictions

Wednesday’s figures come amid growing concerns from government and public health officials over the spread of the new, highly-contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that there were at least 2,360 confirmed cases of the variant identified in the country to date. Since the variant was first discovered in Canada, many provinces, including Ontario and B.C., have re-enacted strict public health restrictions to curb the rise in COVID- cases. and Quebec have re-enacted strict public health restrictions in the last several weeks to curb a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.

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In response to the public health measures — which include limiting the capacities of restaurants and stores by 50 per cent — the federal government on Wednesday introduced an expansion to the eligibility of its new Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB).

The expansion now allows for any worker to apply for the $300-per-week program if their workplace has been hit with the capacity-limiting restriction of 50 per cent or more.

The expanded eligibility only applies until Feb. 12, 2022, while the the CWLB lasts until May 7, 2022.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: More than 2,300 confirmed Omicron cases in Canada to date, Tam says'







COVID-19: More than 2,300 confirmed Omicron cases in Canada to date, Tam says


COVID-19: More than 2,300 confirmed Omicron cases in Canada to date, Tam says

You would also need to have lost 50 per cent or more of your income as a result of capacity limits in order to apply for the benefit, according to the government. We are temporarily expanding eligibility for certain programs. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced Wednesday that you can apply for the Canada Worker Lockdown benefit and the Local Lockdown program if you are subject to capacity-limiting restrictions.

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“Here’s the bottom line: we need, all of us, (to) do what it takes so Canadians are protected and to have what you need to weather the storm.”

Last Thursday, there were more than 43,000 active COVID-19 cases across Canada — a number that has nearly doubled in less than a week, standing now at just over 82,000. “We’ve seen an acceleration in epidemic activity across Canada in less than a week,” stated Tam.

Trudeau, meanwhile, urged Canadians to “hunker down in the coming weeks.”

Trudeau urged Canadians to “hunker-down in the coming .”

” I know this is a difficult situation, but Canadians have proven that we are there for our neighbors, we’re here for our most vulnerable, and we’re there to support our front-line healthcare workers. We know that even though winters can be long and dark, spring is coming, and it will be better if you hunker-down in the coming weeks,” Trudeau.

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Click to play video: 'COVID-19: New financial support for Canadian businesses, workers hit by Omicron'







COVID-19: New financial support for Canadian businesses, workers hit by Omicron


COVID-19: New financial support for Canadian businesses, workers hit by Omicron

Canada’s highest single-day count of new cases since April has prompted a number of provinces to release daily case counts that have not been seen in months.

Ontario reported its highest single-day count since late April with over 4,380 new COVID cases on Wednesday, pushing their provincial total to more than 661,500.

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Cases in the province have more than doubled since last week, with new cases in the province standing at just over 1,800 last Wednesday.

In Quebec, cases of COVID-19 are rising “exponentially” according to Premier Francois Legault Wednesday.

About 6,361 new cases of COVID-19 were officially recorded on Wednesday, though Legault said that the province had recorded about 9,000 new cases, some of which would be added to Thursday’s official total.

Wednesday is the fifth consecutive day that Quebec has reported an unprecedented number of infections. In the last week, there have been three times as many COVID cases. We have today about 9,000 new cases, and we expect hospitalizations to continue to increase,” said Legault in a press conference.

“Our goal remains the same: to protect our hospitals so that we can continue to treat all those who need it.”

British Columbia on Wednesday also smashed its previous single-day record of new COVID-19 cases with 1,474 more infections on Dec. 22. In the Prairies, case numbers have also dramatically increased.

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Click to play video: 'Travel confusions amid Omicron variant surge'







Travel confusions amid Omicron variant surge


Travel confusions amid Omicron variant surge

Alberta confirmed over 1,300 new cases of COVID-19, of which 522 were confirmed to be the Omicron variant.

Manitoba reported its highest one-day jump in new COVID-19 cases since late May, with 400 new infections and two more deaths Wednesday.

Officials in Saskatchewan added 105 more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as well as one more death. Provinces of Atlantic Canada also saw record-breaking week in terms of their case counts.

Nova Scotia broke its daily case count record for the seventh day in a row on Wednesday with 537 new cases. New Brunswick added a record 237 new cases on Wednesday — the highest since the pandemic began.

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Newfoundland and Labrador added another 60 cases on Wednesday, while P.E.I. posted its highest single-day increase with 33 new cases.

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https://globalnews.ca/news/8469045/canada-covid-19-omicron-update/, GlobalNews.ca
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