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Easing restrictions and ; In The News for May 4

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of May 4 ... --- COVID-19 in Canada ...

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of May 4 ...


COVID-19 in Canada ...

A new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic starts today with several provinces beginning the process of slowly loosening some of their lockdown restrictions. 

Quebec, hardest hit of all provinces by coronavirus, is reopening retail stores outside Montreal while those in the greater Montreal area are to reopen next week.

Ontario, the other epicentre for the virus, is allowing a small list of mostly seasonal businesses to reopen, including garden centres with curbside pick-ups, lawn care and landscaping companies, and automatic car washes.

Manitoba's museums, libraries and retail businesses — including restaurant patios  — can reopen today, though at only half capacity. The province, along with Saskatchewan and Alberta, are also allowing non-essential medical activities, such as dentistry and physiotherapy to resume.

B.C. has yet to release its reopening plan, however, details are expected this week.

The Maritime provinces, where COVID-19 caseloads have been trending downward, began relaxing some restrictions over the past week, while Newfoundland and Labrador plans to loosen some public health and recreation restrictions on May 11. 

Though some restrictions are being eased, physical distancing rules still apply.


In other Canadian news ...

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia psychiatrist specializing in youth mental health says academics will initially need to take a back seat to students' emotional needs when schools reopen across the country.

Doctor Shimi Kang says some students have taken to using substances to self medicate during the pandemic while others are spending far too much time online outside of their schoolwork or ignoring physical distancing needs.

She says teens in particular are having a tough time coping with the disruptions and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.

Most schools already have a way to help them when they resume classes, but Kang says so-called social emotional learning aimed at teaching students how to be more aware of their emotions and becoming more resilient must now be made a priority.

Shelley Morse, president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation, echoes that sentiment and says some students will have experienced trauma without support from the usual connections they make at school.

Morse says she's concerned Quebec may not be prepared to deal with such issues as primary schools reopen this month, though the Education Ministry there says teachers will be vigilant in supporting students.


Also this ...

MISSION, B.C — A justice advocacy group says it wants prisoners at a federal institution in Mission, British Columbia ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak to know there are people in the community fighting for their safety.

Meenakshi Mannoe of the Vancouver Prison Justice Day Committee says members were rallying outside Mission Institution Sunday and making noise from their cars or at a safe physical distance.

The committee is calling for the urgent care of all prisoners across Canada and the immediate release of detainees to ensure adequate physical distancing and quarantine measures.

Mannoe says inmates' sentences should not include exposure to a potentially fatal respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The group is also calling for broader testing of all prisoners, and daily updates with details of the situation for their family members.

Mission Institution is experiencing the largest prison outbreak in Canada. The B.C. government said Saturday that 133 inmates and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

Across Canada, 290 federal inmates have been infected, with 155 having recovered, according to federal figures released Saturday.


COVID-19 in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON — The Senate will gavel in today as the coronavirus rages.

The senators face a deepening national debate over how best to confront the deadly pandemic and its economic devastation.

With the House staying away due to the health risks, but the 100 senators meeting for the first time since March, the conflicted Congress reflects an uneasy nation.

Tops on the Senate agenda isn't the next virus aid package, but confirming President Donald Trump's nominees.

Senate Republicans are reluctant to spend more money on virus relief and are counting on the country's re-opening to kick start the economy and reduce the need for aid.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is quietly crafting the next relief package and Democrats say more must be done.


COVID-19 around the world ...

There are signs today the coronavirus pandemic is easing significantly in some parts of Europe but getting worse in India and Russia.

While people around the world started taking advantage of an easing in lockdowns to enjoy the outdoors, health experts warned of a potential second wave of infections unless testing is expanded dramatically.

As Italy prepared to reopen parks and public gardens today, health officials reported 174 deaths, the lowest number since a national lockdown began on March 10.

Like Italy, Spain has seen a significant downward trend in reported new cases. And Belgium was also relaxing some of its lockdown measures, confident enough that the outbreak there was on the wane.

But in India, new infections have been rising rapidly. The lockdown of the country's 1.3 billion people was extended two more weeks, but with some measures relaxed, as reported cases reached 42,000 with nearly 1,400 deaths.

And in Russia, new reported cases exceeded 10,000 for the first time, bringing total cases to about 135,000 with nearly 1,300 deaths.

Meanwhile, in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he got so sick from the coronavirus that doctors had discussed what to say if he had died.


COVID-19 in Entertainment

NEW YORK — Lesley Stahl says that instead of covering COVID-19 news for C-B-S News, she’s become part of the story.

The “60 Minutes” correspondent says she's finally feeling better after a battle with COVID-19 left her in the hospital for a week.

Stahl says she fought pneumonia caused by the virus for two weeks before being admitted, a journey she says left her "really scared."

Stahl is 78, and is the dean of correspondents at the C-B-S newsmagazine.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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