Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- The United States crossed the staggering milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths
- Canada is set to receive a record 640,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses this week
- A study out of Scotland has found that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are effective after a single dose
In the last 7 days, 18,894 cases were reported, down 10 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 390 deaths announced, down 20 per cent over the same period. At least 2,139 people are being treated in hospitals and 795,288 others are considered recovered.
About 82 per cent of the 1,851,710 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 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 reopening • Canada’s vaccine distribution plan • Developing/approved vaccines • Pfizer’s vaccine, explained • Essential resources
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Each public health unit in Ontario has drawn up COVID-19 vaccine plans to submit to the province for approval, meaning the rollout could differ region-to-region. And, a Toronto man who builds tiny shelters for the homeless has asked the city to drop legal action against his efforts.
- Officials in British Columbia say the outbreak at a Vancouver hospital is over. And, the teachers’ union says elementary students should wear masks after seven schools reported cases involving a COVID-19 variant. Also in the province, RCMP in Surrey handed out tickets totalling just over $5,000 to a group of people caught gambling at a local business.
- Meanwhile, Quebec reported 86 more suspected cases involving COVID-19 variants in the province.
- The record number of shots follows a month-long slowdown in vaccine deliveries.
- Canada will receive 168,000 shots this week from Moderna, largely destined for Northern and remote communities.
- Last week, the millionth Canadian received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 rules: New travel restrictions – including mandatory three-day hotel quarantine, and testing on arrival and after two weeks – are now in effect at Canada’s borders and airports.
COVID-19 vaccines: The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines reduced hospitalization by up to 94 per cent after a single dose, according to a new study from Scotland.
Coronavirus around the world
- The United States crossed the grim death toll of 500,000 just over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic claimed its first known victim in California.
- Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a plan that hopes to ease lockdown restrictions over the next four months.
- Infections have been plummeting in India since September, but authorities are imposing new lockdowns as outbreaks begin to surge in some parts of the country.
- Australia began its mass COVID-19 vaccine program with front-line health care staff and seniors today.
Coronavirus and business
A Toronto-area Canada Post facility where more than 300 employees contracted COVID-19 was excluded from provincial inspections.
- Because Canada Post is a federally regulated Crown corporation, its inspection falls outside provincial jurisdiction.
- “The virus doesn’t distinguish between provincial and federal workplaces and neither should inspections,” Jan Simpson, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said in a statement.
Also today: Discussion is developing around vaccine certificates, and their role in helping with the safe reopening of concert venues, restaurant dining and other activities, and to loosen some border-crossing controls.
- Eileen Dooley: While we’re waiting for our turns to get vaccinated and for our efforts to have an effect on the pandemic, there are some things we can do together to try and mitigate the “I’m done” fatigue.
- Debra Soh: Acknowledging where the coronavirus originated can be done without blaming or discriminating against people of Asian descent.
- The provincial election in Newfoundland and Labrador is a warning to other governments debating a vote during the pandemic, says watchdog group Democracy Watch
- Parents: Don’t sweat your kids’ extra pandemic pounds, doctors advise
- First Person: I got the COVID-19 vaccine. And I feel guilty
- Which COVID-19 variants are in Canada?
- 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.