Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- New rules that require anyone flying into Canada to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test went into effect today – leaving more than a dozen Canadians in the lurch
- An Ontario hospital CEO was removed from his job by the health system’s board of directors after a holiday vacation to the Dominican Republic
- B.C. is now mourning after one of the deadliest outbreaks in the province’s long-term care homes
In Canada, there have been at least 635,138 cases reported. In the last week 53,710 new cases were announced, 16 per cent more than the previous week.
There have also been at least 538,267 recoveries and 16,579 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 16,699,309 tests.
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
- Premier Doug Ford announced schools in Southern Ontario will remain closed until Jan. 25 for in-person learning. Meanwhile, the province’s long-term care commission hears that the province didn’t replenish personal protective equipment stockpiles in the years before COVID-19. And, the province reported a record 3,519 new COVID-19 cases and 89 additional deaths today.
- Civil libertarians have expressed concern that Quebec’s provincewide curfew, announced yesterday by Premier François Legault, will lead to excessive punishment, arbitrary detention and racial profiling.
- In B.C., one of the deadliest outbreaks in the province’s long-term care homes is raising questions about oversight at such facilities.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to meet with provincial and territorial leaders to discuss vaccine distribution efforts today.
- Earlier this week, the provinces said they want vaccines from the federal government, saying supply is the biggest barrier to the COVID-19 immunization campaign – despite data showing more than half the doses Canada received in December have yet to be injected.
Also today, the acting manager of the Office of Border and Travel Health at the Public Health Agency of Canada took an all-expenses-paid trip courtesy of Air Canada Vacations in November, even as the agency urged Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.
COVID-19 vaccine: Starting tomorrow, up to 600 federal inmates who are elderly or have preexisting health conditions will receive a COVID-19 vaccine, representing just 5 per cent of the total inmate population.
Coronavirus and business
Moderna’s chief executive officer said the company’s COVID-19 vaccine is likely to offer protection of up to a couple of years, even though more data is still needed to make a definitive assessment.
- The protection duration of COVID-19 shots is a lingering question for scientists and regulators.
Also today: Low-cost carrier Ryanair criticizes what it calls “draconian” lockdowns in Britain and Ireland as it slashes its annual traffic forecast.
- Gary Mason: Some countries – excluding Canada – have been exemplars of contact tracing. They managed to keep their case numbers low because of strict lockdown measures, which allowed the contact-tracing system not to become swamped.
- Konrad Yakabuski: The sad fact is that vaccination will still come too late for too many before this is all over.
- Charu Kaushic and Catherine Hankins: We can move at top speed to get at least one dose into as many Canadians as possible; we need to act quickly right now to protect vulnerable groups of Canadians.
- Neri Zilber: In Israel, like everywhere else, the incentive to quickly rollout the vaccine represents a return to our old lives, to normalcy, in a world not ruled by a virus.
- In Toronto, 28 people working on the Eglinton Crosstown light-rail transit project have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The Canadian Armed Forces announced their plans to immunize 1,200 members against COVID-19, starting with those health care providers who work in high-risk clinics and long-term care facilities.
- A member of the International Olympic Committee, Canadian Dick Pound, thinks support would be high for making Olympians more of a vaccine priority.
- Soccer: Aston Villa is dealing with ‘significant’ COVID-19 outbreak, putting FA Cup match in jeopardy.
- Calgary offers to host snowboard and freestyle-ski championship, if health authorities allow.
- The vast majority of Canadian senators said they avoided travelling over the holiday break, but at least two senators left country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and six others have not responded to repeated questions.
- When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in Canada? How well do they 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.