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

Top headlines:

  1. The Canadian government must confront weaknesses to guard against future deadly outbreaks, intelligence experts say
  2. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. President Joe Biden over video call today to discuss COVID-19, among other issues
  3. 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.

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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 reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources

Photo of the day

A vehicle with a COVID-19 vaccination team crosses a flooded bridge in Zvimba Rural District, Zimbabwe. The country is rolling out its vaccination plan, immunizing health workers, and other individuals on the Phase 1 Stage 1 of the country's COVID-19 vaccination roll out plan.

Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images

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

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

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  • 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.

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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.

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