Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Canada’s international pandemic alert is back in operation, more than 400 days after falling silent
- Critics warn paid, private learning pods are a luxury many families can’t afford
- Ontario school board says teachers must take unpaid leave, vacation time, resign or retire if they refuse work during the pandemic for medical reasons
In Canada, there have been at least 121,234 cases reported. In the last week 2,673 new cases were announced, 3 per cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 107,551 recoveries and 9,015 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 4,931,240 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 20,620,847 cases confirmed and 749,358 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 resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province • Global rules on mask-wearing
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In June, about 40 per cent of unemployed people in the European Union were on contracts. Furlough programs, widely credited with sparing more than 60 million people from layoffs, are not available to contract workers, leaving them to face a deep recession with fewer protections.
Coronavirus in Canada
- In Ontario, a Catholic school board has told its teachers that they must take unpaid leave, use vacation time, resign or retire if they refuse to work because of an underlying medical condition that places them at high risk if they contract COVID-19. Also in the province, four major universities have opted out of in-person convocation ceremonies.
- Manitoba released its back-to-school guidelines today. Masks will not be mandatory, except on buses, but will be strongly encouraged for students above Grade 4. Schools will also have staggered recess times and sanitizing stations.
- Yesterday, Saskatchewan said the federal government needs to overhaul the rent relief program for small businesses to make it easier for tenants to receive relief. The twice-extended program has faced criticism since being announced in April, in large part because the onus is on landlords to apply.
In Ottawa, the agriculture minister announced details for the $50-million program that aims to redistribute 12 million kilograms of excess food from farmers to food banks and community groups. The government said it has signed eight agreements to keep foods such as milk, potatoes or fish from being wasted, as some food banks report an uptick in new clients.
COVID-19 and school: Some parents are planning to withdraw their children from classrooms this year and instead hire teachers to create private learning pods with other families. But many parents and education advocates fear the pods will exacerbate inequalities, with lasting consequences for children who are racialized or from less affluent communities.
And: Canada’s international pandemic alert system is back in operation, more than 400 days after falling silent
Coronavirus around the world
- In the U.S., talks on emergency coronavirus aid reached a stalemate in the Senate, with the two sides failing to reach a compromise on further pandemic stimulus spending, including funding for the U.S. postal service.
- A study of coronavirus anitibodies has begun in Africa, while evidence from a smaller study indicates that many more people have been infected than official numbers show, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.
- Around the world: Politicians, policy makers and drug makers have offered contradictory outlooks as to when they believe a vaccine will be ready for use.
Coronavirus and business
The Parliamentary Budget Office said the federal wage subsidy program might cost $67.9-billion, down $14-billion from Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s previous estimate.
- Under the program, which covers up to 75 per cent of of a worker’s wages, Ottawa has paid out $26.5-billion to date for more than 285,000 employers as of Aug. 9.
- The PBO said the initial figure was prudent at the time because of economic uncertainty and continuing work to change the program’s rules.
Also today: Did you defer a mortgage payment during COVID-19? You should check your credit score
And: Is now a good time to start investing?
- Michael Bryant: “If Stay Away is to be the pandemic sequel to Come From Away, it will come at the cost of constitutional guarantees to mobility rights for all Canadians and permanent residents.”
- When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available? It depends who you ask.
- Movie theatre chain AMC will will 15-cent tickets on the first day of its reopening.
- School ventilation could spread COVID-19. Why aren’t we talking about it?
🏋️♀️ For the returning gym rat: If you are heading back to the gym, be sure to make a realistic strength training plan.
- Empty the cup: It’s better to restart from, if not quite square one, then perhaps square two. Take it easy your first week back, then ramp things up slowly.
- Small, sustainable steps: Sustained progress over a prolonged period of time is the key to achieving anything in the weight room. And the key to sustaining progress? Taking small steps.
And: What competitive eating can tell us about our capacity to stretch human limits
- 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. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.
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