The COVID-19 Brief: New border measures take effect in Canada

Latest on the coronavirus in Canada

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The outbreak by the numbers (as of 12:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 25, 2022):
  • Canada: 3,706,792 cases | 235,033 active | 38,847 deaths
  • Globally: 509,721,077 cases | 6,218,898 deaths
Hospitalizations (as of 12:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 25, 2022):
  • Canada: 6,107 hospitalizations | 459 ICU admissions
Vaccinations by the numbers (as of 12:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 25, 2022):
  • World: 11,528,370,986 doses | 65.1% one dose | 58.9% at least two doses
  • Canada: 85.69% one dose  | 81.72% at least two doses
Map shows percentage of eligible population (5+) vaccinated with at least one dose; percentages above are for total population.    

Eligible population (5+) in Canada: 90.1% one dose | 86% at least two doses

* Percentages have been adjusted to reflect updated population figures and third doses in some provinces

Here's what's been happening in Canada

New border measures take effect.  Starting April 25, certain travellers will have an easier time entering Canada due to reduced travel restrictions. The new measures don't require children aged five to 11 to complete a COVID-19 test prior to entering Canada if they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. These children, as well as fully vaccinated travellers aged 12 and older, are also no longer required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Canada. Even with these changes, the federal government said it has no plans to remove its mask mandate for those travelling by plane or train for the duration of their journey. Click below for more stories on COVID-19 and travel:

Expect another wave of COVID-19 in the fall, expert says. Due to cooling temperatures and more gatherings undoubtedly taking place indoors, one expert says Canadians should prepare for another wave of COVID-19 infections in a few months' time. "[A] wave in the fall is almost baked in," Dr. Peter Juni, the scientific director of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said on April 23. Provided no new variants emerge over the summer, it's still possible for Canadians to see a "honeymoon period" over the next few months, he said. But depending on transmission in the fall, another booster shot may be necessary for those at higher risk of severe infection. For more coverage of COVID-19 transmission and testing in Canada, click below:

Snapshot across Canada. COVID-19-related hospitalizations and weekly average case counts continue to climb in most Canadian provinces. Ontario health officials reported 1,455 patients in hospital with COVID-19 on April 25, an increase of about 150 patients compared to one week before. As hospitalizations rise, medical experts say they expect critical cases of the virus to fill more of the province's ICU beds in the coming weeks, and that Ontario will likely hit the peak of its sixth wave very soon. In Quebec, the province logged 2,345 COVID-19-related hospitalizations on April 25, a rise of about 125 people compared to the same time last week. According to Quebec's interim public health director, Dr. Luc Boileau, there are signs that COVID-19 transmission may have begun to plateau, with the number of hospitalizations expected to stabilize in the coming weeks. This comes as the province battles with a rare flu season in April.

Similarly, residents of Alberta are seeing a surge in flu cases after years of low case numbers in the province. In Alberta's latest COVID-19 update on April 20, Health Minister Jason Copping said BA.2 infections appear to have stabilized. Meanwhile, Maritime provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, are seeing a decline in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 week-over-week.
 For a closer look at how provinces and territories are doing, check out our interactive COVID-19 tracking map, and see how we rank against the U.S. Click below for more coverage of COVID-19 in Canada:

The latest headlines...

Based on new data from the United Kingdom, one patient is believed to have had COVID-19 for 505 days. According to researchers behind the study, this case appears to be longest reported infection of COVID-19; previously, the longest-known case of coronavirus confirmed with a PCR test lasted 335 days. The patient was one of nine people involved in the study, all of whom had a weakened immune system due to organ transplants, HIV, cancer or previous treatments for other illnesses. For more headlines on vaccines, COVID-19 therapeutics, and related research and reports, click below: Around the world. The latest data on COVID-19 cases reported around the globe points to a decline in the weekly average of new infections. Still, many nations continue to battle against the spread of the virus, including residents of the world's most populous country. In the first days of China's latest COVID-19 outbreak, which surfaced in Beijing on April 22, 70 people tested positive for the virus. This prompted the city of 21 million to start testing its residents and close down residential and business districts as of April 25. In the Chinese city of Shanghai, more than 19,000 new cases of COVID-19 were logged in the latest 24-hour period and 51 deaths were added to the city's toll.

In contrast to the restrictive measures seen in China are the colourful floats and flamboyant dancers who participated in Rio de Janeiro's Carnival parade starting April 22. Brazil's Carnival celebrations have returned after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 663,000 people in Brazil have died from the virus since the pandemic began, the second-highest toll of any country in the world. In recent months, case counts in the country have dropped, and more than three quarters of residents are fully vaccinated. For a detailed breakdown of how COVID-19 is spreading across the world, take a look at our Global Tracker. Click below for more international stories:   
Your questions answered

As we continue to receive a number of Omicron-related questions from viewers, we'll take some time each week to answer them. This one comes to us from Rhonda:

"How long do you have to wait after you test positive [to] get your fourth vaccine dose? I have read 30, 60 and 90 days! It is all so confusing. I am 68 years old and am recovering from COVID. I had my booster shot November 9th, I was just going to get my fourth shot and got COVID instead!"

According to guidance published by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in early February, those infected with SARS-CoV-2 after their primary series of two vaccine doses, but before their third dose, should wait at least three months to get a booster shot. This applies to all Canadians aged 12 and older.

The three-month time period begins with the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, or a positive test if someone is asymptomatic. While no explicit guidelines are provided by PHAC on how long an infected person should wait before getting their fourth dose, experts also advise anyone who contracted COVID-19 to wait three months before getting their second booster shot.

"In general, it's always a good idea, for almost all our vaccines, to wait about three months after an infection before getting vaccinated," Dr. Dawn Bowdish told in a phone interview on April 20. Bowdish is an associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

Read the entire story here.

Do you have a question about COVID-19? Let us know here.

Thank you for reading and have a great week,
Jennifer Ferreira, writer

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