Live updates: What you need to know about the Omicron wave today

Omicron’s rapid spread is bringing new restrictions and concerns daily. Get the latest news here Author of the article: Financial Post Staff Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrt held a Jabapalooza at Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa Sunday. Photo by ASHLEY FRASER, POSTMEDIA The rapid spread of the COVID-19 variant Omicron across Canada brings more restrictions, curtailments of…
Live updates: What you need to know about the Omicron wave today

Omicron’s rapid spread is bringing new restrictions and concerns daily. Get the latest news here

Author of the article:

Financial Post Staff

Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrt held a Jabapalooza at Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa Sunday. Photo by ASHLEY FRASER, POSTMEDIA

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 variant Omicron across Canada brings more restrictions, curtailments of services and concerns about shortages daily.

Check here for the latest news and stories on the Omicron outbreak as it happens.

11:31 a.m.

The head of one of Canada’s top banks is holding a more optimistic tone for the economic outlook on the other side of the pandemic. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce chief executive officer Victor Dodig told investors that he sees consumer behaviour normalizing after the economy recovers from the Omicron variant wave.

“This is something that we’ll get through in spite of the very challenging circumstances that exists in the healthcare system today … ” Dodig said during the RBC Capital Markets Canadian Bank CEO Conference on Monday. “In the early going, you won’t see as much activity in the consumer side, but as the economy opens up, you can start to see that normalize …”

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Dodig added that the companies that bank with CIBC are in a strong position and are actively deploying capital as they look towards the economy re-opening.

— Stephanie Hughes, Financial Post

11:02 a.m.

Omicron also played a role in the S&P 500s two per cent plunge this morning. Stocks are on pace for longest losing streak since September mostly because markets are worried about Fed rate hikes and inflation. But corporate warnings from Lululemon and more over the impact of the virus added to the sour sentiment.

The TSX is down almost 300 points.

10:24 a.m.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. felt the bite of Omicron this morning when it told investors that it expects the COVID-19 variant cut into earnings for the all-important holiday season.

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The yoga-wear maker had to reduce staffing and store hours during the key shopping period and now expects fourth quarter net revenue will be at low end of its its previous forecast of $2.13 billion to $2.17 billion.

Investors responded in kind and Lululemon’s stock dropped as much as seven per cent.

8:00 a.m.

Concerns are rising that COVID-19 cases will overwhelm hospitals with admissions reaching or nearing record highs in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.

On Sunday Ontario reported 412 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units on Sunday, a jump from 385 a day earlier.

Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff at Bluewater Health in Sarnia, Ont., told Canadian Press his hospital is now seeing higher levels of COVID-19 admissions than at the peak of the first wave in April 2020.

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The hospital’s previous record was 33 COVID-19 patients at one time, a figure surpassed Sunday when its 34th was admitted. Eleven of those patients are battling severe disease in ICU — “many of them on life support,” Haddad said — noting 10 of them are unvaccinated.

“What worries us is all the talk about (Omicron) as a milder variant, that’s great. But even though it’s milder, there’s so many more infections that the balance is basically washed out,” he said.

“We’re back to Square 1 in terms of having a dedicated COVID unit again, ICU’s full of COVID, surgeries cancelled, surgical staff redeployed to help deal with this.

“So to us, milder or not, it’s the same detrimental effect on the health system.”

— Canadian Press

With additional reporting by Canadian Press, Reuters and Bloomberg

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