Thursday News Update

NEWSCAST - Thursday December 10th, 2020

Ashley Hyshka

 

COVID UPDATE

  • Middlesex-London is reporting 52 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, including one death. London remains in the orange - or restrict - tier of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

  • The outbreak at the London Health Sciences Centre University Hospital continues to worsen as 44 inpatients are currently positive for COVID-19, and 57 staff members also test positive. 

  • Throughout Ontario, there were nearly 2,000 new cases reported Thursday, and 35 new deaths. The COVID-19 hotspots are the Peel, Toronto, and York regions. This is as Peel and Toronto are in day 18 of a minimum 28 day-long lockdown. 

  • Today, the province announced that all COVID-19 emergency measures would be extended until January 20th, in order to support health care and other critical services until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. 

  • Finally, hope is on the horizon as next Tuesday, Ontario will begin its COVID-19 vaccinations. Two hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa will administer the first vaccines, and the initial doses will go to health-care workers at long-term care homes and other high-risk places.

 

CAMPUS

  • Western’s president Alan Shepard said he is “optimistic” Western will return to on-campus activities and classes for fall 2021. However, Western University's return to in-person classes is largely dependent on vaccine distribution, which Shepard says will be well-underway by late summer. Western was the first major Canadian university to shut its doors in March, but became a driving force for infections in the London area when students returned for fall classes. Administration also says it’s likely Western will provide free coronavirus vaccines on campus at the Western Student Recreation Centre. At the moment it’s unclear whether they will be mandatory to attend in-person classes. But even if Western opens its doors next semester and invites students back on campus, some online learning may continue for lectures with several hundred students. 

 

LOCAL & INTERNATIONAL

  • For Londoners and -- Southwestern Ontarians in general -- if you’re brave enough to venture outside in the cold after dark tonight you could be treated to a rare light show. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are caused by particles expelled during a coronal mass ejection from the sun. These particles interact with Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in a dazzling and colourful display in the sky. The peak of the display is expected mid-afternoon today, but as this event is rare in southern Ontario, it will be worthwhile to at least go outside for a look. For diehard skywatchers, the best way to see the auroras is by travelling out of London and away from the city’s light pollution. 

  • While fighting a pandemic and approving a breakthrough vaccine, Health Canada has also cleared the way for the use of psychedelic drug. A selection of 16 nurses, doctors, therapists and social workers, across the nation, have been allowed to possess and use psilocybin for personal training without fear of prosecution under the country's drug laws. They can do so for one year. The move comes after Health Canada gave four exemptions to palliative care patients to use the drug for end-of-life psychotherapy in August. Since then, other exemptions have been given to patients who want to use magic mushrooms. 

 

WEATHER

  • Today, London will see a mix of sun and clouds and a high of seven degrees. Overnight, cloud cover will increase and the mercury will drop to two degrees. Tomorrow, it will be most cloudy with some sunny breaks and a high of seven degrees. Saturday will see a high of eight degrees, but 15 - 20 millimeters of rain, so make sure you have your umbrella and rain boots nearby.