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Saturday

Canadians need to cut contacts by a quarter to control COVID-19 outbreak: Tam

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, gives a COVID-19 update on March 19, 2020. Photo by Blair Gable /Reuters

New federal projections suggest that Canadians need to cut a quarter of their contacts to keep the COVID-19 outbreak under control, as several provinces wrestle with how far their lockdown measures should go to reinforce that message.

The government released forecasts Friday indicating that at current rates of socializing in person, Canada could see COVID-19 case counts increase to 8,000 per day come early December. If Canadians reduce their rates of contact by 25 per cent, that number could drop below 2,000, according to the modelling.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the country has lost its lead in the ongoing “dance” with COVID-19 after curbing cases over the summer, and taking it back will require discipline.

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Saturday

Austria orders curfew and shuts restaurants to fight ‘exploding’ COVID

Young people attend a street party at Maria-Theresia square during a counter protest against the nearby demonstration aimed against Austrian government's restrictions, implied due to the new corona virus Covid-19, outside of the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria on October 31, 2020. - Austria's government announced a second mass shutdown next week until the end of November along with a curfew which will come into force from 8pm to 6am. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Young people attend a street party at Maria-Theresia square during a counter protest against the nearby demonstration aimed against Austrian government’s restrictions, implied due to the new corona virus Covid-19, outside of the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria on October 31, 2020. Photo by JOE KLAMAR /AFP via Getty Images

Austria on Saturday announced a nighttime curfew and the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants to all but take-away service as a surge in coronavirus infections threatens to overwhelm its hospitals.

The Alpine country had a swift and effective lockdown during its first wave of infections in March but had held off similar action this month to help the economy, even as daily cases rose to several times the spring peak.

With daily infections at a record 5,627 on Friday, however – just short of the 6,000 level at which the government says hospitals will no longer cope – the conservative-led government was forced to act.

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