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

Top headlines:

  1. Some morgues in Canada are running out of space, resulting in bodies being stored in temporary mobile units as hospitals across Canada hit capacity
  2. Schools in many provinces are eyeing a return to the classroom next week – prompting doctors to call for strict adherence to safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19
  3. Quebec Premier François Legault announced a provincewide 8 p.m. ET curfew until at least Feb. 8

In Canada, there have been at least 626,795 cases reported. In the last week 53,813 new cases were announced, 21 per cent more than the previous week.

There have also been at least 531,227 recoveries and 16,369 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 16,600,106 tests.

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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 reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources

Photo of the day

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Performers rest after dancing in La Diablada Pillarena in Pillaro, Ecuador, today. Performers took to the streets of this small city in the centre of the country with only 40 characters dancing in a closed place and without an audience to observe pandemic restrictions.Dolores Ochoa/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

Some morgues in Canada are running out of space and hospitals are facing an explosion in critically ill patients.

  • In Canada, there are a small, but growing number of cases related to a variant first revealed in Britain. Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said the new variant is more reason to scrap all but absolutely necessary travel.
  • Meanwhile, Transport Minister Marc Garneau lifted the ban on inbound flights from Britain as the rule that passengers must show proof of negative COVID-19 test comes into effect tomorrow.

COVID-19 and school: With high levels of community transmission, Canadian doctors are worried about a return to in-person school. Experts say if schools reopen, safety measures such as masks, physical distancing, cohorting and proper ventilation will have to be strictly followed.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Air Canada has hired influencers to promote vacation travel even as federal guidelines urge people to stay home.

  • The campaign is surfacing as several politicians have resigned after taking a vacation amid the pandemic.
  • “No one should be vacationing abroad right now,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters. “You need to take this seriously.”

Also today: Many pandemic-weary employees are showing signs of burnout, mental-health providers warn.

Globe opinion

  • Opinion: The holidays gave Canadians the gift of outrage over politicians’ tropical jaunts. What’s at issue, though, is what governments are doing – or failing to do – when they are on the job.
  • Peter L. Salk: Canada played a crucial role in facilitating the development, testing and production of the polio vaccine and ultimately led to the irradiation of the disease. The COVID-19 vaccine has the opportunity to conquer the decimating disease.

More reporting

Information centre

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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