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

Top headlines:

  1. Blood survey evidence indicates more Canadians have had the disease than the official case count, vast majority still vulnerable
  2. Cases surpass four million in the U.S. as outbreaks surge across the country
  3. Pandemic gives an unlikely boost to Scottish independence movement, following contrasting approaches of British PM Boris Johnson and Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

In Canada, there have been at least 112,670 cases reported. In the last week 3,406 new cases were announced, 38% more than the previous week. There have also been at least 98,519 recoveries and 8,874 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 3,877,994 tests.

Worldwide, there have been at least 15,227,535 cases confirmed and 623,385 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

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Family and friends of the more than 100 residents that died from COVID-19 related causes take part in a memorial in front of the Residence Angelica seniors home in Montreal on Thursday, July 23. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan RemiorzRyan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Number of the day

4 million

Coronavirus cases in the United States surpass four million as infections rapidly accelerate across country.

  • The average number of new cases is now rising by more than 2,600 every hour, the highest rate in the world.
  • Florida reported a record one-day increase in deaths with 173.

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Following a recent surge in coronavirus cases among younger people, Premier John Horgan said the government will continue its strategy of asking people in British Columbia to act responsibly.
  • Ottawa and Alberta’s United Conservatives have agreed on a one-year extension to child-care funding that will also help offset costs related to the pandemic.
  • Manitoba will not remove the requirement for domestic travellers to self-isolate or increase caps on public gatherings. Casinos, cinemas and theatres will be allowed to reopen Saturday, but at 30-per-cent capacity instead of 50.
  • Ontario will announce next week a new plan for reopening schools in September, including new resources and training for staff. Hospitals are planning for more off-site care for seniors in the event of a second wave.
  • A man in PEI who tested positive but allegedly refused to self-isolate has been jailed.

A new survey shows fewer than 1 per cent of Canadians have been exposed to coronavirus.

“What we have here is very strong evidence of widespread vulnerability. That means we can’t let our guard down,” said David Naylor, who chairs Canada’s immunity task force.

In Ottawa, opposition parties urged the federal ethics watchdog to probe Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s $41,000 payment to WE Charity for travel expenses related to 2017 trips to Kenya and Ecuador with the organization.

Morneau, like the Prime Minister, is already under investigation for failing to recuse himself – despite their family’s ties to the organization – from the government’s decision to award WE a contract to administer a $900-million student grant program.

Also today: COVID-19 pandemic has caused Canada’s service dog training schools to halt or suspend their programs, creating barriers to support for disabled Canadians.

Coronavirus around the world

  • The pandemic has given an unlikely boost to Scottish independence, which has become more popular than ever since the coronavirus outbreak. Support for sovereignty hit a record 54 per cent in one recent opinion poll.
  • South Africa witnessed some 17,000 extra deaths from natural causes or 59 per cent more than would normally be expected between early May and mid-July, scientists said, suggesting many more people are dying of COVID-19 than shown in official figures.
  • The rescheduled date for the Toyko Olympics is one year away, but a recent poll from news agency Kyodo found the Japanese are skeptical the Games should go ahead, and doubtful they will. The Games would be cancelled this time if they can’t be held.
  • In a new online video, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama attacked President Donald Trump and defended their time in the White House in a new video showing their first in-person meeting since the outbreak began.

Coronavirus and business

Profit at Loblaw fell in the company’s second quarter. Net earnings fell 40.9 per cent to $169-million in the 12 weeks ended June 13, compared with $286-million in the same period last year.

  • Loblaw reported $282-million in pandemic-related costs in the second quarter, including $180-million in pay bonuses for its 200,000 employees.
  • The grocer was heavily criticized for the decision to end pay premiums for its employees. Earlier this month, senior grocery executives appeared before a parliamentary committee to defend the decisions.
  • Loblaw reported second-quarter revenue of nearly $12-billion, up 7.4 per cent from the same period last year.
  • Like other grocers, the company reported an uptick in demand for online grocery purchases, with online sales rising 280 per cent in the second quarter.

Also today: Two major travel insurers are reinstating out-of-country medical coverage for COVID-19, even as the government advises against non-essential travel. [For subscribers]

And: Global News lays off unspecified number of staff in “significant” restructuring.

Globe opinion

  • Konrad Yakabuski: “With each new revelation in the rapidly snowballing scandal surrounding Ottawa’s aborted plan to contract out a multimillion-dollar student volunteer program to WE Charity, it gets harder to know whether to be more outraged, disgusted or flabbergasted – or some measure of all three.”
  • Robyn Urback: “In a normal government – one susceptible to shame, subject to real consequences, humbled by its occasional fallibility – Finance Minister Bill Morneau would be made to walk the plank.”
  • Yossi Alpher: “Before retiring to write books, I was an intelligence and strategic analyst. That is the prism through which I look at COVID-19, and I have concluded that, fully half a year into the pandemic, our ignorance about it should be of great concern.

More reporting


🏋️‍♀️ For the stressed-out grump: Exercise is a great a mood-management tool; everything else, all the physical benefits, are a bonus. Three tips to find motivations to work out:

  1. Embrace that exercise can happen anywhere and some motion is always better than no motion.
  2. Learn from others and work to create your own strategies for success.
  3. Know that you are not alone.

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