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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Dr. Theresa Tam says Canadians need to cut their contacts by 25 per cent
  2. Canada’s economy is recovering, but it’s an uneven return in the labour market
  3. Halloween sparks debate among parents over risk

In Canada, there have been at least 231,727 cases reported. In the last week 19,995 new cases were announced, 13 per cent more than the previous week. There have also been at least 193,715 recoveries and 10,109 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 10,400,657 tests.

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Worldwide, there have been at least 45,018,354 cases confirmed and 1,181,027 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: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopening Mask-wearing rules Back to school guide Essential resources

Photo of the day

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In Los Angeles, a person practices physical distancing as the wait stand in line to cast a ballot in the U.S. election at the Pantages Theater on October 30.LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Ontario will relax restrictions in hot spots next week, Doug Ford announced today. Yesterday, officials suggested COVID-19 growth in the province was slowing, but warned it could worsen quickly. Meanwhile, many personal support workers who left long-term care early in the pandemic over low pay or lack of full-time work are unlikely to return, the province’s long-term care commission heard today.
  • Manitoba reported 480 new infections – double the previous daily record. The province implemented new restrictions for the next two weeks, ordering many businesses to close, capping the size religious services, and limiting hospital visits.
  • Officials in Alberta are removing runny nose and sore throat as symptoms that would send people under the age of 18 into mandatory isolation. Last week, more than 3,400 youth in the province were tested for COVID-19. Of those, 700 reported a sore throat as their only symptom and less than one per cent of their tests came back positive.
  • In Quebec, food processor Olymel reported a second COVID-19 outbreak at a slaughterhouse. Despite 140 cases reported between two facilities, the company said it intends to keep both meat plants operating.

In Ottawa, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Canadians need to cut their contacts by 25 per cent to keep the pandemic under control.

  • With the current rates of socializing in person, forecasts suggest Canada could see case counts increase to 8,000 per day come early December. Reducing contacts by 25 per would keep that figure under 2,000, according to the modelling.
  • Dr. Tam suggested shrinking social bubbles and maintaining physical distance in public places, and said further restrictions may be needed in places where cases are rising.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said instead of a repeated of a national lockdown, the government is taking more targeted approach.

Also today: Crucial early cancer diagnoses are being missed amid COVID-19 pandemic priorities, experts say.

COVID-19 and Halloween: This year, Halloween isn’t simply a night for kids to dress up in costumes and collect candy. It has become a polarizing debate for many parents over letting children go trick-or-treating if it could lead to risking other peoples' health, even if that risk is low.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Canada’s economic recovery slowed at the end of the summer, with GDP rising 1.2 per cent in August from July – slightly more than its preliminary estimate of 1 per cent, new Statistics Canada data shows.

  • The increase in GDP in August was the fourth straight month of gains, and a preliminary estimate for September puts growth at 1 per cent.
  • If the forecast is accurate, it would mean the economy expanded by about 10 per cent in the third quarter, but is still 4 per cent below prepandemic figures.

Also today: Canada has recouped 76 per cent of jobs that were lost in March and April. But with roughly 720,000 people still unemployed, the hard work may just be starting. These are eight key figures that help explain Canada’s uneven job recovery.

And: Five people who lost their jobs during the pandemic on what it’s been like.

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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.

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