Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Another variant of concern in Canada could be the next stage in our running battle with a pandemic that refuses to quit
- It’s okay to mix-and-match vaccines, particularly AstraZeneca with the mRNA shots, NACI recommends
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford is leaning toward keeping schools closed to in-person classes for the remainder of the school year, according to sources
In the last 7 days, 17,698 cases were reported, down 35 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 242 deaths announced, down 21 per cent over the same period. At least 2,232 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,326,484 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among countries with a population of one million or more people.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- In Quebec, Premier François Legault announced restaurant dining rooms will be allowed to reopen in Montreal next week. The province reported 208 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths today.
- In Alberta, booking appointments at barber shops, hair salons and other personal wellness services opened again today. The cap on outdoor gatherings doubled to 10 people from five, and restaurants can resume patio service.
- In British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed that a dozen youth received doses of Moderna rather than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – the only shot approved for people aged 12 to 17. Local medical officers said the error was disclosed to recipients and their families, and new processes are now in place to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Ontario expanded a program to train student nurses on the job in a bid to ease some of the staffing pressures caused by COVID-19. And, Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss whether to reopen schools for in-person classes, but sources say that schools will likely remain virtual for June.
- In Manitoba, the Premier’s office said “some very deserving Manitobans” will be in the stands for the next Winnipeg Jets NHL playoff game, noting that it’s a small sign that normalcy will return.
COVID-19 variants: How do the mutations get their names?
In Ottawa, the federal vaccine advisory group said those who received AstraZeneca as their first COVID-19 vaccine shot can receive Pfizer or Moderna as their second dose.
- AstraZeneca was paused after being linked to a rare blood-clot condition that mRNA vaccines, such as those from Pfizer and Moderna, are not connected to.
- The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said that those who received Moderna or Pfizer should get the same vaccine for the second dose when it’s “readily available.”
New variant of concern in Canada: Canada should be prepared for the rise of a more tenacious version of the coronavirus, even as more people are vaccinated, infectious-disease experts say.
Coronavirus around the world
- Japan is vowing to start administering 1 million vaccine doses daily ahead of the Olympics, as many in the country say that the current rate of inoculation is not enough.
- The World Health Organization has approved a China-made COVID-19 vaccine.
Coronavirus and business
Canada’s real gross domestic product fell 0.8 per cent in April amid the third wave of COVID-19, the first drop since April 2020, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
- The second wave was less disruptive, with real GDP climbing at a 5.6-per-cent annualized rate in the first quarter.
- Absent the April estimate, economic activity is now within 2 per cent of its pre-pandemic peak and on pace for a quicker recovery than is typical for a Canadian recession.
Also today: After 15 months of remote work initiated by the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom forecast better-than-expected revenue for the current quarter, after beating quarterly estimates.
And: Online sales continue to bolster Indigo’s business despite continued mandatory shutdowns of some of its stores.
- Gary Mason: Get set for a fresh round of confrontations over mask-wearing
- André Picard: Lotto-Vax? Everyone’s a winner with higher vaccination rates, so let’s not rule out incentives
- For most organizations, postpandemic workplace models will be hybrid as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout proceeds. Here are some other perks that are expected to last long after the pandemic
- Dating in the pandemic: I’m looking for a camper van, not another man
- How well do vaccines work? Here’s what you need to know.
- Rob Carrick’s 10-point checklist of things you should have done by now to protect or improve your money situation. Tips for minimizing damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety and protecting your mental health; and what to do if you think you have the virus. Wash your hands. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face). Is flying safe?
- The best foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home; four eating tips when working from home; and five mistakes that might cause you to gain unwanted weight. Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples and how to stop stress-eating.
- Find answers to your coronavirus and employment questions.
Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.