Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- The Canadian government must confront weaknesses to guard against future deadly outbreaks, intelligence experts say
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Joe Biden over video call today to discuss COVID-19, among other issues
- A parliamentary committee heard today that if the Canadian government funded vaccine development like the U.S. or the U.K., Canada would be closer to making homegrown vaccines
In the last 7 days, 20,692 cases were reported, flat at 0% from the previous 7 days. There were 365 deaths announced, down 25 per cent over the same period. At least 2,229 people are being treated in hospitals and 799,835 others are considered recovered.
About 90 per cent of the 1,851,710 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 4.4 doses for every 100 people in Canada.
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
- Quebec will begin vaccinating all seniors above the age of 85 next week, Premier Francois Legault said today. So far, all residents in seniors homes and 200,000 health-care workers have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
- The top doctor in Peel said paid sick days and relief for businesses should be included in Ontario’s COVID-19 response plan to mitigate a potential third wave.
- The teachers’ union in British Columbia says masks should be mandatory for elementary students after variants were reported in at least seven schools.
- Alberta’s top doctor said an announcement on lifting more restrictions won’t happen for another two weeks. Case numbers in the province hit a plateau, and Dr. Deena Hinshaw says it will take until March 1 to see the trend before changing restrictions.
In Ottawa, a lack of funding from the federal government to smaller domestic companies for potential vaccines is to blame for Canada’s lagging response, vaccine developers said today.
- Vaccine developers told a parliamentary committee that if Canada had followed the U.S. or U.K.’s approach – providing hundreds of millions of dollars for potential vaccines early in the pandemic – the country would be on the cusp of making homegrown COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccines: Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said results from vaccinations are so encouraging that widespread lockdowns could be lifted before September, the government’s deadline for vaccinating all Canadians who want it.
Canada-U.S. partnership: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a U.S.-Canada Partnership Roadmap that contains marching orders for key cabinet ministers in many areas, including the pandemic.
Coronavirus around the world
- European Union government leaders are expected to maintain restrictions on non-essential travel within the EU when they meet Thursday.
- On Tuesday, pharmaceutical executives told U.S. Congress to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month.
Coronavirus and business
The Bank of Canada projected that “a complete recovery [is] still a long way off,” governor Tiff Macklem said today. The central banker added the Canadian economy faces a long recuperation period owing to enduring unemployment and a shift toward more digitalization and automation
- As a result of the rapid changes, unemployed people hoping to return to work once vaccines become widely available could face a very different labour market.
- Some workers will need to “shift to jobs in faster-growing sectors,” Macklem said.
Also today: The Bank of Montreal reported a profit jump that tops prepandemic levels.
And: Scotiabank beats analysts’ forecasts as profits edged above prepandemic levels.
- André Picard: Long-term care homes have been studied, with coroner’s inquests, ombudspersons and so on. It won’t be long before there will be a bevy of full-blown commissions of inquiry – federal and provincial – to produce more gnashing of teeth and earnest recommendations. It’s high time we started caring for our elders, instead of studying them.
- Robyn Urback: As a public-health measure – a way to “keep Canadians safe,” as citizens continue to travel for work, school or family reunification – the hotel quarantine program doesn’t appear to have been designed with actual evidence in mind.
- David Shribman: Joe Biden’s homily marking the 500,000th American death from the coronavirus will almost certainly be remembered as a defining moment in his White House passage.
- Gary Mason: Most of the churches’ arguments for gathering centre around the same notion: that the public-health orders violate a church’s Charter rights. At the end of the day, though, churches can’t be exempt from laws put in place to protect the broader society.
- Rob Carrick: In the pandemic hothouse, we’ve reached a level of intensity and disruption that has taken us very far from the usual rhythms of personal finance and investing.
- Why do some COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell? Doctors and researchers are searching for answers.
- A smartphone COVID-19 test is said to be in development.
- Rob Carrick says housing prices have come too far, too fast, thanks in large part to the pandemic.
- During the second wave of COVID-19, the number of those incarcerated in federal facilities who were infected with coronavirus climbed to 880 at more than a dozen prisons.
- Sometimes feelings of anxiety can be overwhelming, especially in the pandemic. Here are some tips to help.
- How well do vaccines 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.