Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- The Bay’s legal challenge to Ontario’s retail lockdown measures has been struck down
- Health care workers in British Columbia share stories of saving lives during the second wave of COVID-19
- Restrictions that were set to expire next week in Toronto will remain in place as the Premier considers more measures over the weekend
In Canada, there have been at least 495,345 cases reported. In the last week 46,504 new cases were announced, 0.5 per cent more than the previous week.
There have also been at least 405,611 recoveries and 14,040 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 14,903,474 tests.
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 reopening • Canada’s vaccine distribution plan • Developing/approved vaccines • Pfizer’s vaccine, explained • Essential resources
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Toronto and Peel Region will remain in lockdown – extending restrictions which were set to expire on Monday – and will contemplate new COVID-19 measures during emergency talks over the weekend. Also, a birthday party north of Toronto has been linked to 11 cases of COVID-19, and resulted in an $880 fine for the homeowner.
- In Quebec, the number of hospitalizations owing to COVID-19 have risen 50 per cent in the past three weeks. The province reported 1,773 new cases and 36 more deaths attributed to coronavirus. Meanwhile, 3,305 people have been inoculated since the province’s vaccination campaign began on Monday.
- In Alberta, the police department in Calgary says it will begin taking a tougher approach to anti-lockdown protesters, targeting organizers and participants with fines.
- Health care workers in British Columbia share stories of saving lives during the second wave of COVID-19.
In Ottawa, the government announced it will put $9-million toward COVID-19 treatment research.
- The research funds will go to four Canadian companies working on treatment candidates.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Canada is set to receive 125,000 doses a week of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in January, for a total of 500,000 doses next month.
Vaccines: Should immunization be mandatory for employees in health care settings including hospitals and nursing homes? It’s a thorny question that governments will have to address.
Coronavirus around the world
- U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday
- Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic tests positive for COVID-19
- China is planning to vaccinate 50 million people ahead of the Lunar New Year, according to reports
Coronavirus and business
Some companies are introducing a new position – chief remote officer – to prepare for a future of more flexible workplaces.
- Some companies are creating new roles to manage the postpandemic, longer-term shift to remote work. Experts say that even after offices can safely reopen, many companies will allow employees more flexibility in terms of where they work.
- Appointing a head of remote work sends a signal to those working from home that they will be supported, not merely tolerated, within the company.
Also today: Zoom removes time limits on free accounts over the holidays
- Phoebe Maltz Bovy: I want to buy local. But sometimes you just need toilet paper
- Anne T. Donahue: This Christmas, let’s remember we’re all in this together
- Alexandra Raphael: I may be Jewish, but this year I am embracing the Christmas spirit
- Opinion: COVID-19 is not the disease but a symptom of a sick planet
- Pitching in: Using a wedding anniversary to raise funds for Haitians hit by COVID-19.
- Four staff at a Kingston prison are infected with COVID-19.
- The government of Quebec is offering $4.6-million in grants to struggling cinemas closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The federal government announced it will contribute $100-million to support food security for Canadians during the pandemic.
- Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan urge the government to consult First Nations before closing casinos over COVID-19 concerns.
- The federal government is spending about $9-million toward research into treatments for COVID-19, the Prime Minister said Friday
- Building off historic 2019, Canadian tennis pros enjoyed a strong season despite COVID-19 and other hurdles.
- Canadians plan to diet less and give more to charity in 2021, a new poll says.
- How restaurants are trying to make the best of their toughest holiday season yet.
- A member of the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec, Denis Tardif, has been temporarily kicked out of caucus for breaking COVID-19 rules at a holiday gathering.
- The Berlin film festival is postponed and split into separate online and in-person events.
- When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in Canada? How well do they 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.