Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Herd immunity is proving frustratingly elusive, with many experts warning we may never achieve it
- A group of ombudsmen are warning premiers to carefully consider the pitfalls of making people show proof of vaccination to access public services
- The University of Western Ontario says it will require students living in residence to be vaccinated against COVID-19
In the last 7 days, 23,632 cases were reported, down 33 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 300 deaths announced, up 5 per cent over the same period. At least 2,774 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,303,565 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 16th among countries with a population of one million or more people.
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
- In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce whether in-person school will resume before the end of the school year by June 2. The Premier is seeking guidance from more than 50 public-health experts on whether it is safe to do so. And, the University of Western Ontario is asking students in residence to get their first shot before their arrival.
- In Nova Scotia, a trial for a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine is having trouble finding participants as vaccination rates increase in the province. The clinical trial is searching for a dozen more people between 18 and 55 who haven’t been vaccinated yet and who haven’t been exposed to COVID-19.
- Quebec will shorten the interval between first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks from 16 weeks. And, as bars and restaurants prepare to reopen in Montreal, many owners fear there aren’t enough workers left in the industry – after many of them had their careers derailed by the pandemic.
- Prince Edward Island will open its borders to the rest of Atlantic Canada on June 27, and to some Canadian travellers on Aug. 8.
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney rolled out the province’s three-stage reopening plan under which almost all health restrictions could be lifted by early July.
Across Canada, as many provinces begin to announce COVID-19 reopening plans, a group of ombudsmen are warning about potential pitfalls of vaccine passports.
- The Canadian Council of Parliamentary Ombudsman released a report yesterday outlining how proof of COVID-19 vaccination can avoid complaints and challenges by establishing clear and transparent rules.
- The report states that to create a fair system, any government must give clear direction on the new rules by passing a new law or making the new policy publicly available and have a clear review and appeal mechanism.
Herd immunity: Several countries with high vaccination rates – among them Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Seychelles and Chile – are struggling to contain new COVID-19 surges even though the math says they should be on the verge of herd immunity.
COVID-19 origins: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed U.S. President Joe Biden’s directive to U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19.
Coronavirus around the world
- U.S. President Joe Biden ordered intelligence officials to investigate the coronavirus’ origins, including the “fringe theory” that would lead to a Chinese laboratory.
- China’s Foreign Ministry is hitting back after the U.S. ordered a further review of COVID-19 origins.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he disagreed with his former aide Dominic Cummings’s claim that tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the government’s inaction on COVID-19.
- Because of the coronavirus pandemic, an annual vigil to commemorate the Chinese Communist government’s bloody crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 has been banned for a second year in a row.
Coronavirus and business
The Canada Revenue Agency estimates about 30,000 self-employed people won’t have to repay their CERB payments, representing about $240-million in benefits, or about $8,000 on average.
- The government provided Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments with few validation checks to speed up payments during lockdowns last spring when three million jobs were lost.
- The CRA sent out more than 441,000 letters to CERB recipients late last year asking them to verify they met eligibility rules for the payments.
Also today: Canadian personal protective equipment companies are confronting the sober reality of long-term production.
And: Toronto-Dominion Bank reported a sharp increase in quarterly profit, driven partly by new mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic.
- David Parkinson: COVID-19′s ‘she-cession’ spawned a wave of ‘she-ducation’ - and young men risk being left behind
- Rob Carrick: Want to cool the housing market? Raise property taxes
- Jillian Horton: Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister’s embarrassing plea for vaccines from Joe Biden misses its mark
- In the middle of a pandemic, why is film and television production in Canada the picture of health?
- Should I get my second AstraZeneca shot or wait for another type of vaccine?
- First Person: I’ve been in slides so long, my Fluevogs don’t fit
- Overbidding on a home? Here are four things that could go wrong
- 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.