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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: April 5th, 2021

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada calls for strong public health measures and individual precautions

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,000,545 cases of COVID-19, including 56,036 active cases and 23,050 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date. They also tell us, together with results of serological studies, that the vast majority of Canadians remain susceptible to COVID-19. As vaccine delivery ramps up at an accelerated pace, there is cause for optimism that widespread and lasting immunity can be achieved through COVID-19 vaccination.

However, with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 activity over several weeks and a rising proportion of cases that involve more contagious variants of concern, strong public health measures and individual precautions must be sustained where COVID-19 is circulating. The latest national-level data show a 7-day average of 5,194 new cases daily (Mar 26-Apr 1). Sustained high infection rates are also impacting lagging indicators of COVID-19 severity, which are levelling off (deaths) or increasing (hospitalisation), particularly in areas with elevated disease activity. The rise in severe and critical illnesses is placing renewed strain on the health system and healthcare workforce.

Click here to read more.


Niagara Region Public Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics open at Brock University and Lincoln Community Centre

Niagara Region Public Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics will continue to be open during the provincewide shutdown.
The Public Health clinic at Brock University is open from April 2 through April 6. For those residents with appointments booked at Brock:
  • The clinic is located in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium on the main level of the Walker Complex
  • Free parking is available for the clinic in lots B, D and P
  • There is lots of signage on-site directing people to the clinic
  • St. Catharines transit will be providing a special shuttle service, running throughout clinic hours, that will travel a continuous loop between the bus stop at Brock Tower, the clinic parking in lots B, D, and P, as well as the clinic entrance and exit
  • There is also a drop off spot just outside of the clinic entrance

Click here to read more.


St. Catharines awarded Safe Travels Stamp

Tourism St. Catharines has been awarded the Safe Travels Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. This is a globally recognized symbol ensuring visitors and the St. Catharines community that the City has adopted health and hygiene standardized protocols – so consumers can experience safe travels.

Residents can read more about the Safe Travels Stamp, including a list of local Safe Travels approved businesses at www.lovestc.ca/safetravels-post-promise.

Click here to read more.


Reading recommendations

When Will Life Return to Normal? In 7 Years at Today’s Vaccine Rates

Tom Randall, Bloomberg

When will the pandemic end? It’s the question hanging over just about everything since Covid-19 took over the world last year. The answer can be measured in vaccinations. U.S. science officials such as Anthony Fauci have suggested it will take 70% to 85% coverage of the population for things to return to normal. Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker shows that some countries are making far more rapid progress than others, using 75% coverage with a two-dose vaccine as a target.


Scotia urges against capital gains tax on primary residences

Ian Vandaelle, BNN Bloomberg

Scotiabank Economics is recommending against instituting a capital gains tax on principal residences as Canadian home prices continue to surge.

In a research note published Sunday, Scotiabank Chief Economist Jean-François Perrault said such a tax would only serve as a blunt instrument to take some of the heat out of the red-hot residential real estate sector and would not address deeper structural issues.

The call comes in the wake of RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue’s recent argument that policymakers should put everything on the table to tame runaway housing markets in Canada, including “sacred cows” like a capital gains tax on primary residences. Currently, gains on the price appreciation of a principal residence are not taxed in Canada, though any appreciation on secondary residences like a cottage are subject to a tax. A capital gains tax on principal residences could theoretically slow down home sale activity, and it would present a sea-change in Canadian housing policy that would catch many current homeowners flat-footed.


How are bitcoin created?

Zachary Crockett, The Hustle

Bitcoin has had a banner start to the year.

Less than 2 months after breaking the $20k barrier for the first time, the digital currency more than doubled in price, hitting a high of $49,344 this week.

Every time bitcoin is proclaimed to be dead, it seems to surge back, buoyed by bullish investors, favorable legislation, and tech titans’ tweets.

At this point, nearly everyone has heard of bitcoin. But many folks still don’t quite understand how the currency is created.

It’s not printed like cash. It’s not a physical object like a gold bar. It’s not stored on a piece of plastic like a debit card. It just exists somewhere in a vast digital expanse until it’s excavated into circulation by a so-called bitcoin miner.


Niagara COVID status tracker (March 21-27)

Niagara’s most up-to-date COVID statistics, measured against the targets for the various stages of the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, are presented below. This does not predict government policy, but is offered to give you an idea of where Niagara is situated and how likely a relaxation (or further restrictions) may be. These data are the most recent published by Niagara Region. The Grey-Lockdown level does not have its own metrics, but is triggered when the COVID-specific measurements in a Red-Control region have continued to deteriorate.

▲: Metric has increased since last published measurement

▼: Metric has decreased since last published measurement

 Incidence ratePercent positivityRt
Target: Green<10<0.5%<1
Target: Yellow10-24.90.5-1.2%1
Target: Orange25-39.91.3-2.4%1-1.1
Target: Red≥40≥2.5%≥1.2
Niagara Current154.2 ▲7.4% ▲1.2 ▼

Definitions:

  • Weekly Incidence Rate: the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week
  • Percent Positivity: the number of positive COVID-19 tests as a percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed
  • Rt: the reproductive rate, or the number of people infected by each case of the virus

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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