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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. California is banning indoor activities for at least three weeks
  2. Oxford COVID-19 vaccine developers encouraged by immune response but cautious on time frame
  3. Manitoba’s ”diverse” economy avoids worst of pandemic hit

In Canada, there have been at least 104,271 cases reported. In the last week, 2,029 new cases were announced, 15-per-cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 67,744 recoveries and 8,615 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 2,924,483 tests.

Worldwide, there have been at least 10,475,826 cases confirmed and 511,253 deaths reported.

Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province

Photo of the day

A drive-by parade makes its away around town during Canada Day celebrations in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada July 1, 2020.CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Despite receiving economic hits from the pandemic, Manitoba is still experiencing the best economic growth in the country, expecting to see the smallest shrinkage in terms of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product. This performance is in large part due to the province’s success at containing the coronavirus outbreak. Its economy is also relatively diverse instead of being tied to deeply affected sectors such as tourism.
  • In Ontario, migrant farm workers in Windsor with asymptomatic COVID-19 are no longer allowed to return to work. This guidance comes in response to an open letter, signed by more than 220 health-care professionals calling on Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to reverse a policy that originally allowed asymptomatic workers to keep working.
  • Passengers on a flight from Toronto to Halifax last week might have been exposed to COVID-19, public-health experts said. Nova Scotia officials are advising anyone who was on WestJet flight WS 248 on June 26 to call 811 for advice on how to self-monitor.
  • In Montreal, July 1 – the traditional moving day in the city – was more chaotic than ever. COVID-19 has exacerbated a housing crisis in Quebec’s largest city, brought on by low vaccines, rising rent and displaced tenants.

In Ottawa, Canada Day celebrations were replaced with backyard gatherings and virtual celebrations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent the morning with his family harvesting broccoli at a farm operated by the Ottawa Food Bank. Afterward, he said that this was not the first time in Canada’s 153-year-old history that the country’s birth was celebrated in tough times, pointing to the Second World War as an example.

In her Canada Day message, Governor-General Julie Payette noted April’s mass shooting in Nova Scotia as well as the need to denounce hatred and tackle systemic racism.

A key message was about the ongoing need to honour the truth and reconciliation effort in Canada. In particular, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde stressed the importance of collectively addressing existing gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Coronavirus around the world

  • As COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to surge, states are delaying their reopening plans. For instance, California is banning indoor activities for at least three weeks. Meanwhile, the state of New York has seen decreasing infection and hospitalization rates for several weeks. However, to avoid a case surge like in other states, indoor dining has been postponed indefinitely in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio said outdoor dining can continue.
  • University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine has seen an encouraging immune response in trials. With 8,000 volunteers, the vaccine’s trial is starting Phase III, which will test the vaccine’s efficacy on people older than 18 and its ability to prevent COVID-19 infection. However, Dr. Sarah Gilbert — the leading scientist behind Oxford’s vaccine program — declined to project the drug’s timeline, noting that it depends on the trial’s results.
  • Anti-vaccine protesters took to the streets in Johannesburg on Wednesday to voice their concern over Africa’s first human trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine. Some of the placards carried by demonstrators read: “We are not guinea pigs.”
  • Israeli lawmakers have now allowed Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, to use phone surveillance to track coronavirus cases – but only on a case-by-case basis and when traditional tracing methods are insufficient. The Israeli government had previously given Shin Bet this authority in March, but it prompted privacy concern and was halted by the Supreme Court.


🎧 For the Leonard Cohen fan: Leonard Cohen’s Anthem was born in the cultural ferment of the early 1990s, but it was conceived much earlier, and its creation was a complicated process. Arts reporter Brad Wheeler delivered an oral history on how the iconic song happened.

“I think it is one of the best songs I have written, maybe the best,” the songwriter told music critic Robert Hilburn in 1995. “I knew that song was everything that my whole work and life had somehow gathered around. It is absolutely true to me.”

ONE-TIME USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED RV-ANTHEM -- Leonard Cohen Canadian composer and Singer in 1994. Credit: Bridgeman ImagesBridgeman Images

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