Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, declares a state of disaster and imposes nightly curfew for Melbourne after COVID-19 resurgence
- Working on the pandemic front line has tested health care workers’ personal relationships – but lifelines are emerging
- Dragons’ Den star comes to the PPE rescue with a startup venture that has imported and distributed 10 million masks, four million gowns and thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer throughout Canada. [For subscribers]
In Canada, there have been at least 116,856 cases reported. In the last week 2,675 new cases were announced, 24% fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 101,558 recoveries and 8,945 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 4,386,211 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 17,849,843 cases confirmed and 685,054 deaths reported.
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: Updates and essential resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
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At least 40 passengers and crew on a Norwegian cruise liner have tested positive for COVID-19 after the ship recently completed two Arctic voyages.
While the crew was quarantined on the ship, which ultimately docked in Tromseo, Norway, the 178 passengers who arrived on Friday were allowed to disembark before anyone had been diagnosed, triggering a complex operation to locate them and trace any potential spread.
Four crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalized on Friday and later diagnosed with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and tests showed another 32 of the 158 staff were also infected. So far, four of the combined 387 passengers travelling on the ship on two separate cruises since July 17 have also tested positive.
Among the infected crew, 32 were from the Philippines while the rest were of Norwegian, French and German nationality, operator Hurtigruten said.
Coronavirus in Canada
- The West Coast Fishing Club, on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii coast, said it should’ve been excluded from the British Columbia government’s decision to restrict access to the archipelago. The lodge reopened when B.C. entered Phase 3, but access to Haidi Gwaii by non-residents was restricted by the B.C. government on Thursday. Twenty people have tested positive for the virus on the remote islands.
- More than 13 years after its construction was promised, a new military refuelling station in Nanisivik, Nunavut, is facing yet another delay, this time because of COVID-19, more than 13 years after it was first promised by the Harper government.
- Quebec reported 141 new cases and three more deaths linked to the novel coronavirus on Sunday as it prepared to increase public gathering limits to 250 people from 50.
As COVID-19 restrictions ease and restaurants start to welcome customers back, one thing Canadians may soon have to get used to is providing their personal information before they grab a bite.
- Guidelines for restaurants vary in each province. But some jurisdictions are requiring a customer’s name and phone number or e-mail address, along with their table number, to help with contract tracing in the event of an outbreak.
- Ontario announced Friday that it will require bars and restaurants to keep client logs for 30 days. These will have to be disclosed to the medical officer of health or an inspector if tracing is needed.
- B.C. public-health officials have started requiring restaurants to collect personal information from customers when they make reservations or at the time of seating. The details also have to be kept for a month.
Toronto Public Health spokesperson Vinita Dubey said indoor bars and restaurants present a higher level of risk for COVID-19 transmission because they involve crowds, close contact and closed spaces.
Gerald Evans, chair of the infectious diseases division at Queen’s University in Kingston, said contact tracing was done at restaurants even before COVID-19. Public-health officials have used reservation lists to contact diners in the event of a food-borne outbreak, he said.
And: When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel, many Canadians lost access to nearby essential goods and services. Forced to adapt to a new normal, border town residents have rallied around one another with generosity and co-operation.
Coronavirus around the world
- In the U.S., The Trump administration said there will be an election Nov. 3, despite the President’s suggestions to the contrary just a few days ago. Donald Trump on Thursday suggested delaying the elections in an attempt to undermine confidence in mail-in balloting, which is expected to surge in November because of COVID-19.
- India reported nearly 55,000 new cases Sunday. The country’s 54,735 new cases were down from the previous day’s record 57,118 but raised the total to 1.75 million. The month of July accounted for more than 1.1 million of those cases.
- Victoria, Australia’s most populous state, declared a state of disaster on Sunday and imposed a nightly curfew for the capital Melbourne in an attempt to contain a resurgence of COVID-19. Victoria reported 671 new infections on Sunday and seven deaths.
- Infections in the Philippines surged past 100,000, after medical groups declared that the country was waging “a losing battle” against the virus and asked the country’s president to reimpose a lockdown in the capital.
- Weakened tropical storm Isaias lashed Florida’s east coast Sunday while officials grappled with surging cases of COVID-19.
Coronavirus and business
Dragons’ Den star Michele Romanow and business partner Anatoliy Melnichuk set out to do a good deed when they went looking for scarce personal protective equipment in late March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
Within days, they had flown 100,000 N95 respirator masks to Canada, sourced from Chinese manufacturers through contacts of Mr. Melnichuk. They donated half the masks to organizations in need, then took to social media to ask if anyone needed the rest.
- Four months later, the pair have turned that charitable act into their Safe Direct Medical Supplies online marketplace – Mr. Melnichuk is chief executive; Ms. Romanow is a director.
- They’ve imported and distributed 10 million masks, four million gowns, thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and hundreds of thousands of face shields throughout Canada.
That has quickly established the startup as a credible, dependable and affordable source of Health Canada-approved PPE for medical professionals and industrial users at a time when the market has been flooded with faulty or overpriced products by those capitalizing on a global shortage.
Also today: Economist David Rosenberg spoke to The Globe and Mail’s Ian Brown about divining the financial future in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic.
- Frank Ching: “It turns out that the countries of the East – in particular, certain places in East and Southeast Asia – have dramatically lower infection and death rates than those of the West, such as the countries in North America and Europe. This is not a coincidence.”
- Konrad Yakabuski: “Though unemployment has surged, and corporate profits plunged, stocks and bonds have been on a tear. Even the real estate market is acting as if the worst economic downturn in our lifetimes is no big deal. Raise your hand if you agree there is something seriously wrong with this picture.” [For subscribers]
- Pandemic personal finance: 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, and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face).
- 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. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.