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

Top headlines:

  1. PBO says it could cost $98-billion to provide basic income for most Canadians for six months
  2. Brazil’s President Jair Balsanaro has COVID-19, months after playing down the coronavirus’s severity
  3. WHO acknowledges evidence the virus can be inhaled and spread through lingering airborne particles; U.S. will withdraw from agency
  4. Andrew Scheer photographed maskless at Pearson airport lounge in Toronto

In Canada, there have been at least 106,154 cases reported. In the last week 1,950 new cases were announced, 15 per cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 69,867 recoveries and 8,709 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 3,178,953 tests.

Worldwide, there have been at least 11,620,096 cases confirmed and 538,058 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 resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province


Photo of the day

Gravediggers during the burial of Benedito Costa in the Vila Formosa Cemetery in Sao Paulo, accompanied by friends of Costa, on July 7, 2020. Brazil now has more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 65,000 deaths - more than any country except the United States. (Victor Moriyama/The New York Times)VICTOR MORIYAMA/The New York Times News Service


Number of the day

72 per cent

A new poll shows 72 per cent of Canadians are not comfortable flying after the country’s biggest airlines, WestJet and Air Canada, relaxed in-flight distancing rules.

  • 22 per cent of those surveyed are comfortable flying with no in-flight distancing and a requirement to wear masks. Airlines are required to make passengers and air crews wear masks.
  • An advocacy group for air travel passengers say they have fielded numerous complaints about airlines refusing to offer refunds or accommodations after ending in-flight distancing. Last month, B.C health experts asked for evidence that selling the middle seat is safe.
  • Experts have expressed concerns about the increased risk of transmission as restrictions ease and airlines introduce more flights.

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Ontario reported 112 new cases and two new deaths today; 30 workers on a mushroom farm tested positive. The province will introduce new legislation to enable the extension of some pandemic emergency orders over the next year. Masks are now mandatory in Toronto at indoor public spaces.
  • The top health officer in PEI encourages – but does not mandate – public indoor masks. No new cases were reported today, and the five people reported as positive over the weekend are self-isolating.
  • New Brunswick’s public safety minister reminded owners of restaurants, bars and other venues that welcome large gatherings that they are required to collect the personal information of patrons in case of an outbreak.

In Ottawa, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says it could cost $98.1-billion to provide most Canadians with a basic income for six months – a move advocates say would be an extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Both the CERB and the government’s wage subsidy program are set to expire this fall.

  • The PBO estimates basic income could cost between $47.5-billion and $98.1-billion, depending on how much is clawed back from people whose other incomes increase.
  • The average benefit would range between $4,500 and $4,800, the budget watchdog said.

And: Finance Minister Bill Morneau will provide a fiscal update tomorrow, July 8. The fiscal “snapshot” will be the first official estimate of this year’s federal deficit since a December report estimated it to be $28.1-billion. In June, the PBO estimated the deficit could total $256-billion.

Visa processing and coronavirus: Coronavirus forced visa offices around the world to close. As a result, the normally 12-month process for eligible Canadians and permanent residents to sponsor spouses or dependent children is dragging on, and nobody knows how much longer they will have to wait.


Coronavirus around the world

  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, 65, said Tuesday he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The right-wing populist has played down the virus’s severity for months as the country racked up the second-worst death toll and total number of cases.
  • In the U.S.: The federal government will pay vaccine maker Novavax US$1.6-billion to expedite the development of a vaccine. The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, effective next year. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would press state governors to open schools in the fall. Fifty-four hospitals in Florida reported that their intensive care units have reached full capacity.
  • The WHO acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

Coronavirus and business

Toronto home sales rebounded to prepandemic levels in June, with the average selling price up 12 per cent over the past year after a brief slowdown.

  • 8,701 homes were sold in Toronto in June, up 84 per cent from May, and a similar volume of sales compared with June, 2019.
  • The average selling price across all types of homes in the Toronto region rose 12 per cent to $930,869, compared with June, 2019.
  • Last month, Vancouver reported sales were higher than June of last year. Home sales in the province are expected to recover marginally in 2020 and 2021 after tumbling by 55 per cent between mid-March and April.

The June rebound doesn’t mean it will hold until the end of the year. Last month, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. predicted national home prices would fall between 9 per cent and 18 per cent in 2020.

Also today: The federal government’s rent relief program “should be declared an utter failure,” a small-business lobby group says. After the program was announced in April, the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance was criticized by landlords for being confusing and onerous. In late June, the government extended the program another month despite an initial intake of just 16,000.

And: Businesses are responsible to ensure customers wear a mask, and face fines – $1,000 under the Toronto bylaw – for failing to display and enforce their mask policy. But, short of calling the police, businesses lack enforcement measures.


More reporting


Distractions

Introducing Stress Test, a new podcast from The Globe and Mail that delves into the topics affecting the wallets of Canadians between 20 and 40.Jeanine Brito/The Globe and Mail

🎧 For the stressed-out millennial: Does investing change during a pandemic?

In episode five of Stress Test, Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw take a look at investing

  • Why is investing important? What’s changed since the pandemic?
  • We hear from a 26-year-old at the beginning of his investing journey.
  • Plus, Rob talks to Ben Felix, a millennial investment adviser about what other young Canadians should know when investing.
  • Listen to episode 5 Stress Test now on iTunes or Spotify

Catch up: How to survive the gig economyHow to get out of debtIs now the right time to buy a house?Crisis-proof your finances


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