US advises Americans to avoid traveling to Canada as Omicron threatens to overwhelm hospitals

The State Department revised its travel advisory, which was at Level 3, “Reconsider Travel”, to Level 4: “Do not travel to Canada due to COVID-19”

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Children in Alberta and British Columbia returned to class on Monday as rising COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals in several provinces and prompted the United States to counsel its citizens “d ‘avoid travel’ to Canada.


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Quebec reported an all-time high of 2,554 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, an increase of 118 from the previous day’s record of 2,436. Critical care cases fell by nine to a total of 248.

The province has also reported 26 additional deaths from the disease and 10,573 new COVID-19 infections, although PCR testing is reserved for certain high-risk groups. Quebec said nearly 20 percent of tests came back positive.

Quebec also opened appointments for the third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 40 and over on Monday, as the province prepares to extend eligibility to all adults aged 18 and over. next week.

In Ontario, 2,467 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19, including 438 intensive care patients, Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Monday, noting that not all hospitals are reporting weekend data.


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The province has reported 9,706 new cases of COVID-19, but Public Health Ontario said it may have been undercoverage due to a policy making testing less accessible. The disease has killed 12 more, provincial officials said.

  1. A transport truck enters Ontario via the Thousand Islands Bridge from the United States in June 2021.

    Trudeau resists pressure to cancel vaccination mandate for all truckers entering the United States

  2. Canada's death rate from COVID-19 is one-third of the U.S. rate, reflecting Canada's more widespread use of health restrictions and its collectivist approach to health care.

    Why Canada is closing its doors during Omicron while the United States remains open

The rampant spread of the Omicron variant has fueled alarms across the border, where the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new level 4 “avoid travel” advisory for Canada on Monday. , citing a “very high” level of COVID-19 in the country and urging anyone who has to go to get a full vaccine.

This quickly prompted the State Department to revise its travel advisory, which was at Level 3, “reconsider travel,” to upgrade its own advice to Level 4: “Do not travel to Canada due to COVID- 19. “


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Manitoba saw the number of hospital patients with COVID-19 climb to 378, up 81 from Friday, including 38 people in intensive care. The province has also reported 19 deaths linked to the virus.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, a wave of COVID-19 infections has exceeded its testing capacity over the past two weeks, forcing authorities to send more than 6,635 swabs to laboratories in Winnipeg and Toronto between Dec. 29 and Jan. 6, said Health Minister John Haggie, who is recovering from the illness.

In addition to the 680 positive tests analyzed in outside labs, health officials said 455 new cases had been detected since Sunday, for a total of 1,135 cases reported on Monday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to meet with provincial and territorial leaders Monday afternoon to discuss the growing health crisis posed by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.


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Ontario Premier Doug Ford was planning to raise the provinces’ plea for more health funds with the Premier, asking Ottawa to increase its spending share from 22% to 35%, to about 71 billions of dollars.

The federal government has pledged a 4.8% increase, bringing the total for 2022-23 to about $ 45 billion.

Many provinces have delayed the return to in-person schooling as part of renewed efforts to stem the skyrocketing number of cases.

But the two westernmost provinces reopened classrooms on Monday, with officials saying virtual learning poses its own risks to the mental health of young people.

While some parents in Alberta are relieved that K-12 students are returning to class after a long vacation period, many said they were concerned and frustrated by the unclear instructions from the provincial government on the way it plans to contain the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms.


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Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange has pledged thousands of test kits will be delivered to students and parents in that province over the next few days.

However, Edmonton Public Schools and the Alberta Teachers’ Association said there were still children who would only receive them within days of returning to class, which could further exacerbate the upsurge in Omicron cases.

BC’s top doctor said Monday’s return to school was “essential” for children’s emotional, physical and intellectual well-being, and told parents safety measures had been put in place. place to mitigate the risks posed by Omicron.

Dr Bonnie Henry acknowledged on Friday that some families may feel uncomfortable about the move, but maintained that students are safer in the classroom than in some of the “unstructured settings children find themselves in. outside the school environment “.

– with additional reporting by Paola Loriggio in Toronto and James McCarten in Washington



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