Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Future lockdowns should be more targeted, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says, amid rise of COVID-19 cases
- Canadian research finds that strokes can be the first symptom of COVID-19 in young patients
- Ontario will address long COVID-19 testing wait times in the coming weeks, says Premier Doug Ford
In Canada, 138,704 cases have been reported. In the past week, 4,956 new cases were announced, 15 per cent more than the previous week. There have also been 121,729 recoveries and 9,188 deaths. Health officials have administered 6,772,876 tests.
Worldwide, 29,190,841 cases have been confirmed, with 927,249 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.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Quebec doubled the number of regions in its second pandemic alert level following five consecutive days with more than 200 new reported cases of COVID-19. Now, about 75 per cent of the province’s population live in the yellow “early warning” regions, where inspections are increased and physical distancing is enforced.
- The Progressive Conservatives in New Brunswick leveraged strong approval ratings over their pandemic response to secure a majority government in Canada’s first election of the COVID-19 era.
- First Nations have asked British Columbia’s privacy commissioner to compel the Health Ministry to release more COVID-19 data.
In Ottawa, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government is working with the provinces to ensure any future lockdowns caused by rising COVID-19 cases take a “much more surgical approach.”
- Lockdown decisions will be made based on where cases are coming from, as specific as regions, sectors, or individual companies, Ms. Hajdu said.
- Ms. Hajdu said today the government “can’t rule out” the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19.
- The government has made “significant improvements” in the country’s preparedness, Ms. Hajdu added.
Also today, Ottawa appointed new management to “strengthen” the country’s pandemic surveillance system.
Across the country, COVID-19 testing sites have record lineups and are extending hours to try to accommodate the demand.
And: Strokes occur relatively frequently among patients with COVID-19 and tend to have devastating consequences, according to new research.
Coronavirus around the world
- Britain’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, sending a warning signal ahead of an expected surge in job losses when a huge government job subsidy program expires next month.
- Some volunteers have quit Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trial in Spain after news of side effects in a participant in AstraZeneca’s trial, the Spanish program’s lead investigator said.
- Coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready for use by the general public as early as November, the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said. A unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and U.S.-listed Sinovac Biotech are developing three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program. A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will use his annual address to world leaders next week to push for a global ceasefire until the end of 2020 so countries can fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus and business
Canadian home sales rose 6.2 per cent in August, as low borrowing costs and easing pandemic restrictions fuelled demand.
- The seasonally adjusted home-price index, an industry calculation of a typical home sold, hit a record high of $630,000 in August. That was a 1.7-per-cent increase over July and 9.4-per-cent higher than August of last year.
Also today: The Bank of Canada continued to scale back some of its COVID-19 emergency measures, announcing today that it is reducing the purchase of treasury bills.
And: Apple announced Apple One, a virtual fitness subscription service, in an appeal to peopling working from home.
- Donald Wright: “A lot of people wondered why [Blaine] Higgs called a general election during a global health crisis when he could have called the necessary by-elections and continued to govern with the support of the People’s Alliance. It was a question that he could never really answer.”
- In Montreal, some theatre companies are reopening their doors, with three already on the boards.
- For companies in the business of moving stuff, such as TFI International or Cargojet, the pandemic has put their stock in an economic sweet spot.
🍿 For the TIFF buff: It’s a Toronto International Film Festival like no other, with spot-the-celebrity replaced by remembering your password to log in for a digital screening.
To mark the occasion, film editor Barry Hertz put together this festival bingo game. Print it out for your at-home TIFF viewing party, and follow his Twitter updates for the latest from the festival, which runs until Sept. 19.
- 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. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.