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Good evening. Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. ET, our education reporter, Caroline Alphonso, and Prachi Srivastava, an associate professor specializing in education and international development, will take your questions about the impact of the pandemic on education. Join us on Facebook. Now, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Air Canada announced further cuts to routes, schedules and staff citing the new COVID-19 testing requirements, which the airline says is to blame for a recent plunge in travel
  2. The husband of a Quebec doctor who took her own life this month is speaking out in hopes of raising awareness about the toll the pandemic has taken on front-line workers’ mental health
  3. Ontario is bracing for a perilous inflection point brought on by the spread of the new coronavirus variant

In the last seven days, 54,532 cases were reported, up 3 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 1,014 deaths announced, up 13 per cent over the same period. At least 4,698 people are being treated in hospitals and 584,651 others are considered recovered.

About 69 per cent of the 603,505 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 1.1 doses for every 100 people in Canada.

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.


Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources


Photo of the day

A firefighter delivers food and cleaning supplies to residents in areas with high rates of COVID-19 infections in Ecatepec, Mexico, today.PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images


Coronavirus in Canada


In Ottawa, the federal government announced $1.2-billion in new funding to help Indigenous communities during the pandemic, including:

  • $380-million to support elders, address food insecurity, and limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • $630-million to hire more staff, buy personal protective equipment and adapt existing facilities to deal with the pandemic.
  • $186-million for more home-care services for elders and vulnerable people.

Mental health: The pandemic is resulting in worsening mental health for women more than men, according to a new poll.

COVID-19 vaccines: Canada can briefly delay the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine if supplies are low, an expert panel says.


Coronavirus around the world


Coronavirus and business

Air Canada cut another 1,700 employees, blaming new COVID-19 testing requirements for a recent plunge in demand for travel.

  • Air Canada also slashed its seat capacity by 25 per cent. The company is running at about 20 per cent of its usual capacity.
  • The company has laid off or furloughed about 20,000 people – almost half its work force – since the onset of the pandemic in March.

Also today: Johnson & Johnson is confident in its March rollout projection for its COVID-19 vaccine and still aims to produce one billion doses in 2021.

And: Downtown Toronto’s office vacancy rate jumped to 7.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, the highest level since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.


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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.

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