Join the Globe’s health columnist André Picard and deputy national editor Nicole MacIntyre for a Facebook Live on COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday, April 28 at 1 p.m. Readers are invited to send in questions.
Here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- The Canadian Forces is deploying members to Nova Scotia and Ontario to help overwhelmed health care systems, and assistance is also being offered to Alberta, the Prime Minster says
- In response to the Ontario government’s offer to double a federal sick leave benefit, Justin Trudeau says the province should mandate a sick-leave program for provincially regulated businesses
- A private school in Florida is warning staff not to get vaccinated, saying it will not employ anyone who has received the shot
In the last 7 days, 55,947 cases were reported, down 7 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 352 deaths announced, up 10 per cent over the same period. At least 4,425 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,086,617 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 12th among 84 countries with a population of one million or more people.
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.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- It’s unlikely the 1.5 million children in Ontario who were moved to remote learning will return to the classroom this academic year. Meanwhile, in more than 100 hot spot neighbourhoods, those 45 and older, along with child care workers in licensed settings, can now book COVID-19 vaccine appointments. And, a new report says migrant farm workers remain at a higher risk of COVID-19 and need better protections.
- Nova Scotia closed schools and social gatherings in an effort to stamp out a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases and keep the third wave at bay. The province has 323 active COVID-19 cases, but is not waiting to act – instead following the region’s tried-and-true model of an aggressive early response to outbreaks.
- In Alberta, those who want to hike, ski or otherwise play in Kananaskis Country will have to pay to access the area come June 1 – when a $90-per-vehicle annual fee comes into effect. The fee is being implemented because the surge in visitor numbers caused the parks system to exceed its operational budget, a government official said.
- The Manitoba government says fines are being issued following a large outdoor rally against COVID-19 restrictions Sunday in Winnipeg.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is in talks with Ontario as the province looks to provide sick pay for workers – but says such aid should be delivered directly from employers.
- Ontario should work through provincially regulated businesses to implement a sick leave program, as Ottawa did for federal workers, the Prime Minister said.
- Ontario offered to double the federal government’s sick-pay plan – if Ottawa can administer the program. The move, proposed by the province’s Finance Minister would give $1,000 a week to eligible workers.
- The provincial government has for months faced criticism for failing to introduce a provincial sick leave program, which experts say would prevent COVID-19 spread in workplaces.
Also today, the Canadian Forces is being deployed to Nova Scotia and Ontario in response to a surge of COVID-19 infections, Trudeau said today, adding that help is being offered to Alberta as well.
COVID-19 and children: Higher COVID-19 infection rates among the general population increases the risk for children, experts say.
Coronavirus around the world
- In the United States, the White House says it is considering options to increase COVID-19 vaccine supply at the lowest cost – including a waiver of intellectual property rights. Meanwhile, a South Florida private school founded by a vaccine-hesitant activist says it will not employ anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine. And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear face masks outdoors now.
- Malawi and South Sudan in recent days have said they will destroy some of their expiring doses as vaccine hesitancy impedes the vaccine rollout in parts of Africa.
- Vital medical supplies began to reach India as hospitals starved of life-saving oxygen and beds turned away coronavirus patients.
Coronavirus and business
Pandemic-fuelled demand for air transportation and doorstep deliveries helped UPS post a record quarterly profit.
- Shares in the world’s biggest package delivery firm soared 10.3 per cent to $193.90 in early trading, after the company reported a 164-per-cent jump in adjusted operating profit for the first quarter.
- UPS, like FedEx, is a U.S. government partner in delivering COVID-19 vaccines. UPS opened a command centre to track vaccine shipments, and contributions from that premium business bolstered profits during the quarter.
Also today: As Friday’s tax filing deadline looms in Canada, some filers say Canada Revenue Agency should grant an extension because of the pandemic.
And: After brewing their own beans at home for over a year, Americans are back at restaurants to pick up their breakfast and coffee. The evidence can be seen in Starbucks’ second-quarter revenue, which increased 11 per cent, to US$6.67-billion.
- Editorial board: We’re getting COVID-19 shots. Now, find the willing arms
- Gary Mason: COVID-19 has exposed Alberta as Canada’s other distinct society
- David Milstead: On executive compensation, CEOs’ pandemic sacrifices cost them very little
- Ananya Tina Banerjee, Amanpreet Brar, Veena Sriram and Madhukar Pai: Canada can’t stand by while India’s medical system collapses
- Yesterday, Fort McMurray, Alta., declared a state of emergency as COVID-19 cases rise
- The Musical Stage Company is bringing Broadway stars to Toronto porches this summer
- Burning Man organizers announced they are cancelling this summer’s festival because of the coronavirus pandemic
- Toronto’s Luminato Festival is moving to October from June because of the latest COVID-19 restrictions
- Tokyo Olympics: Australian athletes and support staff will be given priority for vaccines
- 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.