Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Documents show Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map of the coronavirus to the WHO for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it
- Government tables $87-billion in spending estimates to cover pandemic expenses
- Andre Picard: Protests against police brutality show there’s more than one public-health crisis
In Canada, 91,705 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 37 days ago. There have also been 49,739 recoveries and 7,326 deaths. Health officials have administered 1,781,397 tests.
Worldwide, 6,292,639 cases have been confirmed; with 2,710,889 recoveries and 375,999 deaths.
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
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Eight states and the District of Columbia are holding primary elections today, the biggest test yet of officials’ readiness to manage a surge of mail ballots and the safety risks of in-person voting during the coronavirus outbreak.
The largest day of balloting since the pandemic began will serve as a dry run for the Nov. 3 general election, offering a glimpse of the challenges ahead on a national scale.
Coronavirus in Canada
There are currently at least 2,066 hospitalized cases, down 14 per cent in the last week. Of those, 303 are in intensive care.
- Ontario extended its state of emergency again, this time until June 30. The coronavirus outbreak at a Norfolk Country farm has grown to 164 people, most of them migrant workers. Guelph is grappling two epidemics at once.
- Manitoba’s government said health, social, and child-care workers, along with jail guards, and store clerks will qualify for a wage top-up. The province’s opposition says the legislature should return.
- Essential workers leaving and reentering PEI must self-isolate, the province’s health officials said.
- A New Brunswick doctor blamed by many, including the Premier, for spreading COVID-19 in a growing cluster of new cases told Radio-Canada on Tuesday that he’s not sure how he picked up the virus.
In Ottawa, the federal government released a report to Parliament Tuesday outlining $87-billion in planned spending, most of which is related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos tabled the government’s latest spending plans – officially called Supplementary Estimates A – Tuesday afternoon.
- The government is facing criticism over this year’s estimates process, which will limit MPs to no more than four hours of debate on the floor of the House of Commons on June 17 to review and approve the spending detailed in Tuesday’s report.
Citing health concerns related to the pandemic, the government secured NDP and Green Party support for a May 26 motion to suspend regular sittings of the House of Commons until Sept. 21. The motion allowed for four regular sitting days during that suspension, including June 17.
Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux told MPs Friday that the time limit on Parliamentary review of the spending was “unfortunate to say the least.”
Postsecondary education: The move to online education threatens to undermine the personal contact that is the selling point for many small universities, and the local communities they help support.
Coronavirus around the world
- According to internal documents obtained by the Associated Press, Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the coronavirus for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it.
- Over 100 British companies in the travel and hospitality industry have warned the government that a 14-day quarantine rule on arrivals into the country will result in job losses and could cause businesses to collapse.
- A United Nations appeal Tuesday for countries to fund emergency aid in Yemen, where more than five years of war have collapsed the country’s health care system, raised $1.35-billion – a billion dollars short of what aid agencies needed. Meanwhile, death rates from the coronavirus in the southern city of Aden alone are among the highest in the world.
- The French economy is set to contract 11 per cent this year due to the coronavirus crisis and more hard days lie ahead, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. France imposed one of the Europe’s strictest lockdowns in mid-March and only began removing restrictions on May 11.
- Authorities in Bangladesh have confirmed the first death of a Rohingya refugee, age 71, from the coronavirus, as infections rise in sprawling camps where more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims have been living since fleeing from neighbouring Myanmar.
Coronavirus and business
Canada is set to see more job losses in May, but the summer months are poised to show a cautious rebound in employment as provinces ease COVID-19 restrictions. On Friday, Statistics Canada will release its Labour Force Survey for May:
- The median estimate from economists is for employment to decline by 500,000 people that month, less steep than April’s loss of nearly two million and March’s drop of roughly one million. In turn, the unemployment rate will likely soar above the record 13.1 per cent set in 1982.
- “I suspect employment is going to go down a little bit more,” said Mikal Skuterud, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo.
Many companies resumed operations in May, but Friday’s results won’t capture the full extent of how reopening plans factored into hiring in the month. For its report, Statscan surveyed households on employment conditions between May 10 and 16. [For subscribers]
And: Pawnshops and payday loan lenders are seeing a decline in business.
Question and answer
Answer from André Picard: Do-it-yourself cloth face masks can be made fairly simply. You don’t need to be a couturier. The Public Health Agency provides instructions for making three variety of masks: One that requires fabric and sewing; using an old T-shirt and no sewing; and a bandana-style mask.
The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered more reader questions on masks, the second wave, and Canada’s testing strategy.
Some good news
Rebecca, a grade 3 student at Country Day School, wrote this letter of thanks for front-line workers.
Have you witnessed or performed acts of kindness in your neighbourhood? Share your stories, photos and videos and they might be included in The Globe and Mail. Email email@example.com
🎧 For Canadians curious about racism’s role in their own history, now is also a productive time to reflect. One place to start is the Globe’s podcast Colour Code. You can listen to all 11 episodes here, and also read resources that hosts Denise Balkissoon and Hannah Sung compiled about essential topics, including:
- Kamal Al-Solaylee on Trump’s win, “Don’t kid yourself: This was all about race”
- “How to Stay Sane While Black,” on racism and mental health, by Morgan Parker
- On the Debt and Deportation episode of NPR’s Death, Sex and Money, Diane Guerrero of Orange is the New Black discusses the effect of her parents’ deportation on her own addiction and mental health issues
More Globe reporting and opinion
- Speech reading is more than just watching someone’s lips. It includes observing how someone’s jaw and tongue move, as well as their facial expressions. Even before COVID-19, travelling with hearing loss was challenging; boarding announcements at airports and captain’s messages are usually unintelligible.
- For a handful of Canada’s oldest liberal arts colleges, the pandemic-induced pressure to shift to online education threatens to undermine the personal contact that is their selling point.
- André Picard: “The confluence of massive anti-racism protests and a once-in-a-century pandemic presents a unique challenge to public health and political leaders.”
- Joy Thomas: "International bodies are sounding the alarm on the increased risks of fraud, money laundering and other financial wrongdoing because of the pandemic and the related economic stimulus measures. The heightened risk of financial crimes makes it even more important to not lose focus on governments’ efforts to tackle money laundering in Canada.”
- David Parkinson: “We’ve learned a lot in the ensuing seven weeks of “the Great Lockdown,” as the IMF has called it. We’ve seen the early economic data, the introduction of massive fiscal and monetary supports, the progress of the pandemic. We’ve witnessed the beginnings of reopening in major economies in Asia, Europe and, now, North America. We’ve observed enough, in fact, for Gita Gopinath to revise her prediction.”
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize 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.
- How to get physical distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage physical distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
Have questions about the coronavirus? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.