Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Some morgues in Canada are running out of space, resulting in bodies being stored in temporary mobile units as hospitals across Canada hit capacity
- 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
- 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.
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
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he will consult with the province’s medical experts on whether students should return to in-person school and announce a decision in the coming days. The province reported 3,266 new cases today.
- Quebec Premier François Legault announced a provincewide 8 p.m. ET curfew until at least Feb. 8. It’s the first province to launch such a drastic measure. The province reported 2,641 new cases today.
- British Columbia wants to clear its surgery backlog within 22 months.
- 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
- China says it is working with the World Health Organization to outline a visit for international experts looking into the origins of COVID-19.
- U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record 130,834 as coronavirus infections and deaths soared across much of the United States.
- Moderna’s vaccine won approval in Europe – a big boost for European hopes of containing the disease.
- Israel has become a leader of the world’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, having already vaccinated nearly 15 per cent of the country’s 9.3 million residents in about two weeks.
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.
- 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.
- The CEO of an Ontario hospital has resigned from his government advisory roles position following international travel over the holidays.
- The Chief Medical Officer in Alberta was sympathetic to the anger over MLAs’ travel but urged the public to focus on COVID-19 prevention.
- The mayor of Victoria says she’s disappointed that a member of council travelled to Somalia during the pandemic.
- Stress Test podcast: How COVID-19 changed food spending.
- U.S. private payrolls shrink for first time since April as COVID-19 triggers new restrictions
- Thousands of single parents in Canada are staring down chronic unemployment, raising the risk of long-term financial damage
- 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.