Skip to main content

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

Top headlines
  1. Canadian business leaders urge the federal government to cover a large share of employee wages to stave off massive layoffs
  2. Trudeau says Canada not at the point of declaring a national emergency
  3. Pension plans facing ballooning shortfalls amid COVID-19 turmoil
  4. Nova Scotia declares state of emergency
  5. Toronto reports first death

Have questions about the coronavirus? Email The Globe’s paywall has been removed on coronavirus news stories.

People gather, at a distance, at the Mount Royal lookout in Montreal, Saturday, March 21, 2020, as COVID-19 cases rise in Canada and around the world.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham HughesGraham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Number of the day


Late Saturday night, 444 Canadians who had been stuck in Morocco arrived in Montreal aboard an Air Canada commercial flight from Casablanca.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne also tweeted late Saturday night that he has been speaking with his counterparts in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Peru, Turkey and the United Kingdom about how to safely repatriate citizens abroad, including those stuck on cruise ships.

Coronavirus in Canada

1,426: cases in Canada reported; with 18 recoveries and 19 deaths reported.

  • Some childcare centres in Ontario will stay open for the children of health care workers and first responders, the provincial government said Sunday. Ontario Public Health reported 47 new cases on Sunday, and Toronto Public Health reported the city’s first death.
  • British Columbia’s health officer ordered all salons, spas and tattoo parlours to close. The province announced 76 new cases and another death linked to the Lynn Valley long-term care home in North Vancouver.
  • Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil declared a provincial state of emergency due to COVID-19, and said people are blatantly ignoring social distancing rules. Novia Scotia reported seven new cases, bringing the provincial total to 28.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is not at the point of declaring a federal emergency, which would include taking emergency measures to force people to stay at home.

Trudeau said provinces and local governments continue to take steps to restrict people’s movements and the federal government stepping in is a last resort.

And: Conservative leadership Candidate Erin O’Toole called for the party’s June 27 leadership vote to be delayed. He is the second of four people on the ballot to make the same request to the Conservative party.

Coronavirus around the world

  • At least two Nigerians are in hospital after being poisoned by an unproven drug that U.S. President Donald Trump is touting as a possible cure for the novel coronavirus
  • China reported 46 new coronavirus cases, while Wuhan announced it would loosen a two-month lockdown. It was the fourth day in a row with an increase in Chinese cases, all but one imported from overseas.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel went into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for the new coronavirus
  • U.S. officials said the lockdown affecting large segments of the American public will likely last 10 to 12 weeks. Rand Paul became the first U.S. senator to test positive for coronavirus.
  • A prison riot in Bogota, Columbia late Saturday left 23 prisoners dead and 83 injured, as detainees protested sanitary conditions amid the global coronavirus outbreak.
  • Soaring new death tolls in Italy, Iran and the U.S. prompted a scramble in hard-hit regions to set up more hospital beds and replenish the dwindling medical supplies needed to keep health workers safe.

Coronavirus and business

What happened today?

Canadian business leaders urged the federal government to cover a large share of employee wages to stave off massive layoffs as the pandemic worsens.

“A wage subsidy program is our best protection against large-scale unemployment,” said Dan Kelly, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

And: Labour leaders are calling on the federal and Ontario governments to protect the health and safety of construction workers across Canada during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reader question

Question: Restaurants and bars are shutting down. Is it safe to go shopping?

Answer: Social distancing is about minimizing close contact with others.

If you are in isolation – you are infected with coronavirus, have a suspected case or have returned from travel abroad – you should not leave the house. Arrange for a family member or friend to do your shopping.

If you are not in isolation, you can go about your life, including shopping. But physically distance yourself from others. Stores are also starting to limit the number of customers at any one time. If you’re in a queue, keep one metre to two metres apart. And respect the no butting in rule.

Keep in mind, too, that the person at greatest risk in the equation is the cashier, who is often dealing with hundreds of people in a shift.

The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered additional reader questions. Need more answers? Email

More Globe reporting and opinion:

Information centre:

What are we missing? Email us:

Do you know someone who needs this newsletter? Send them to our Newsletters page.