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

Top headlines:

  1. Most of the nursing- and retirement-home residents who have succumbed to COVID-19 in Canada died inside the virus-stricken, understaffed facilities as hospital beds sat empty
  2. Large companies applying for new coronavirus loan program must give Ottawa option of owning shares
  3. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. predicts house prices could drop up to 18 per cent

In Canada, 80,081 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 29 days ago. There have also been 40,956 recoveries and 6,027 deaths. Health officials have administered 1,419,230 tests.

Worldwide, 4,951,769 cases have been confirmed; with 1,874,019 recoveries and 325,633 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.

Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province

Photo of the day

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In Essen, Germany, a cafe owner sits beside a display mannequin. The Cafe Livres uses life-size dolls as placeholders to help enforce physical distancing. (Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images)INA FASSBENDER/AFP/Getty Images

Number of the day

53 per cent

More than half of cases and deaths in Canada are women, counter to global trends, new research shows. Overall, women account for 53 per cent of deaths.

  • In Quebec, 54.9 per cent of deaths have been among women; in Ontario, its 54.4 per cent.
  • In Portugal and Finland, the proportion of female deaths is 51 per cent.
  • In the United States, Sweden, France and England, the proportion of female deaths is between 40 and 44 per cent.

The higher proportion of women dying is likely related to outbreaks in long-term care homes, which account for the majority of all deaths in Canada. In Ontario and Quebec, 70 per cent of residents are women. More than 80 per cent of personal support workers and nurses working at high risk of infection in long-term care homes are also women.

Coronavirus in Canada

There are currently at least 2,630 hospitalized cases, a 14% drop from a week ago. Of those, 370 are in intensive care.

  • Pushed to the forefront by recent comments from Ontario’s Education Minister that teachers should administer real-time learning, a debate has emerged over how teachers can and should connect with their students. The province urged passengers to wear face masks while on transit.
  • In British Columbia, nearly 600 vulnerable people have been moved from tent encampments into temporary housing, the government said.
  • Starting Friday, limited outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three families will be allowed in Quebec, as long as they maintain physical distancing. Starting June 1, dentist offices and hair salons outside the Montreal and Joliette regions can reopen.
  • Starting immediately, international travellers arriving at two airports in Alberta will be subjected to mandatory temperature checks, and must present self-isolation plans.
  • Starting Friday, crowds in Manitoba will be capped at 25 people for indoor gathering, up from the current 10-person restriction.
  • Starting June 1, seasonal visitors to Prince Edward Island will be allowed to enter the province. Individuals will be required to provide travel and property ownership documents, and plans to self-isolate.
  • All but seven of Newfoundland and Labrador’s coronavirus cases are recovered, the province said. Nearly two weeks have passed without a new case.

Theresa Tam issued a recommendation today for Canadians to wear non-medical masks when physical distancing is not possible.

  • Non-medical face masks are a supplementary measure to be used when physical distancing is not possible. Hygiene measures, such as frequent handwashing, and staying at home as much as possible, are still necessary.

The Prime Minister said he will wear a mask on Parliament Hill when physical distancing is not possible.

Also today: Trudeau is open to a “hybrid” model of Parliament, in which some MPs are physically in the chamber while others participate virtually. Opposition parties are in favour of this approach.

Long-term care homes: Thousands of seniors were discharged from hospitals to nursing and retirement homes to makes space in hospitals.

As a result, it appears most of the nursing- and retirement-home residents who have succumbed to COVID-19 died inside the virus-stricken, understaffed facilities, while many of the hospital beds opened for coronavirus patients sat empty.

And: The Wu-Tang Clan is raising money to help three Ottawa charities “triumph” over COVID-19. The New York-based rap collective announced its official partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Food Bank and the Ottawa Mission shelter on Wednesday

Coronavirus around the world

  • U.S. researches found a test-set of monkeys developed natural immunity to the coronavirus after surviving an infection, and that a vaccine protected the animals from infection in a lab setting.
  • Experts believe China will struggle to meet its Paris Agreement climate pledges in 2020, as the country will likely pivot to carbon-intensive projects to repair economic damage from the pandemic.
  • In his latest Plague Diary entry, The Globe’s Eric Reguly reports from Italy as shops reopen and streets are once again filled with people. “Epidemiologists and hospital bosses, and a few enlightened politicians, warn that a second outbreak – and lockdown – is inevitable," he writes.
  • WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the agency was “very concerned about rising cases in low and middle income countries,” as many richer countries have begun easing lockdowns.
  • Watch: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a contact tracing program for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 would be in place by June 1.

Coronavirus and business

Finance Minister Bill Morneau released new details for LEFF, the loan program for large employers with more than $300-million in revenue who are otherwise unable to secure financing.

  • Loan recipients cannot pay executives more than $1-million a year until the loan is repaid.
  • The unsecured loans will start at $60-million, and will be offered at 5 per cent per annum in the first year, 8 per cent in the second year, and increasing a further 2 per cent per year thereafter.
  • Recipients must give the government the option to purchase common shares via a stock warrant or cash equivalents.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the money is a loan of last resort, not a bailout.

Also today:

  • Trudeau “really hopes” landlords will apply for the commercial rent relief program, jointly delivered by federal and provincial governments. Applications open Monday.
  • Canada’s national housing agency is predicting home prices could plummet up to 18 per cent and mortgage arrears could soar to 20 per cent, a forecast some economists and real estate experts say is a particularly dire assessment of the pandemic’s effect on the housing market. [For subscribers]

How might COVID-19 change the future of sport?

The Globe and Mail assembled a wide list of ways COVID-19 and its aftereffects will transform society. Sports is one of three parts of that series: The others focus on national, urban and foreign affairs, and business.

Question: What will the future of sports look like?

Answer: It will be a boom time for esports while the some sporting traditions – like kissing the Stanley Cup – will be done away with entirely.

As for the Olympics: Several of the rolling crises in the world converge noisily at the Olympics, and without a widely distributed vaccine, the Tokyo games are just not possible. There are 10,000 or 12,000 athletes who participate in the Olympics, plus thousands more coaches and support staff. Adding that many people to a city transforms it into a petri dish. Instead, writes Cathal Kelly, in the future, the Olympics should centralize into hubs.

An act of kindness

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Illustration by Adam De Souza

First Person: Solving the puzzle of the jigsaw that consumed me

I thought I’d never have time for a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. But with nowhere to go, I began to solve it and the activity made me ponder the larger reasons why it consumed me.

Ultimately, a jigsaw puzzle is a testament to one’s character. You usually complete this arbitrary, time consuming but ultimately useless task for no better reason than not allowing yourself to be a quitter. I documented the odyssey on Facebook and received both encouragement along the way and hearty congratulations upon our eventual success. It was reminiscent of the praise my mother would heap on me for my handmade Mother’s Day card.

Have you witnessed or performed acts of kindness in your neighbourhood? Share your stories, photos and videos and they might be included in The Globe and Mail. Email


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🍞For the baker who has mastered the basics: These new cookbooks offer plenty of culinary challenge

  • New World Sourdough by Bryan Ford: Level up with clear explanations of sourdough starters, instructions for building a levain and kneading techniques, along with plenty of recipes for classic loaves.
  • Blooms and Baking by Amy Ho: Master decorating with those fiddly buttercream flowers.
  • The New Homemade Kitchen: The book includes everything from home butchery to making your own dry vermouth, sriracha and kosher dill pickles, along with recipes.

More Globe reporting and opinion

  • The pressure is on for Trudeau to use COVID-19 relief to fight climate change. But how? [For subscribers]
  • André Picard: “That’s the important part of the message: Covering your face is in addition to other public health measures – handwashing, cough etiquette, physical distancing, staying home if sick – not instead of doing those things.”
  • Emilio Grandados Franco: “After the Great Lockdown will come the Great Transformation, a series of profound changes to what is already being described as the “old normal.” If we remain passive to emerging risks, we may lose a historical opportunity to shape the new normal we want rather than the one we would be left with.”
  • Cirque du Soleil’s financial collapse is claiming new victims as a group of contract employees for the famed circus troupe say they haven’t been paid for work they did before the coronavirus pandemic shut down live entertainment around the world.
  • “Alberta museums are collecting artifacts related to the pandemic, such as photographs, hand sanitizer bottles and homemade face mask patterns, as they work to record life in the province during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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