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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. How the pandemic is shaping main streets in five Canadian cities
  2. Goggles or face shields not needed for most people to prevent COVID-19, experts say
  3. Britain to drop COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers

In the past seven days, 134,187 cases were reported, down 35 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 1,059 deaths announced, up 30 per cent over the same period. At least 10,491 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 15th 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.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopening

Photo of the day

A demonstrator holds a sign that reads "info instead of fear" during a protest against government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Berlin, Germany, today.CHRISTIAN MANG/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

In cities across Canada, the bustle is largely gone and many storefronts sit empty, but life and businesses still survive and are often thriving in surprising ways after nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Globe and Mail took a look at how the pandemic, and the latest wave driven by the Omicron variant, has affected life along five high streets across Canada.

Sewage study: Scientists and engineers who test waste water in an effort to track the spread of COVID-19 say they have proved the value of this nascent science. But now they need governments to step in to continue sifting through the samples in order to get a head start on confronting subsequent waves of the novel coronavirus or even future pandemics.

Goggles, eye protection: As Omicron spreads, at least one doctor is recommending extra protection for the eyes, but others say COVID-19 infection through eyes is rare.

Life expectancy: According to Statistics Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to an average seven-month decline in national life expectancy, the largest decrease recorded since 1921 when the registration system was introduced. Preliminary data released Monday shows national life expectancy was 81.7 years for those born in 2020 – down from 82.3 the year before.

Migrants entering Canada: A renewed stream of migrants seeking refuge in Canada has begun since the government decided to end a 20-month ban on asylum requests, designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Pandemic restrictions have taken a financial and emotional toll on funeral homes as Canadians are forced to hold simpler memorial ceremonies for loved ones.

  • For funeral homes, the decline in income over the past two years owed partly to rising interest in cremation, which costs less than burial.
  • The losses accelerated as large viewings were cancelled, reducing the need for expensive caskets, said Scott MacCoubrey, a funeral-home owner and president of the Ontario Funeral Service Association.

Also today: With the Omicron variant sweeping across Europe, governments have been encouraging citizens to stay home and avoid socializing, dampening the euro zone’s economic recovery.

And: Trucker convoy raises millions in funds as vaccine-hesitant supporters flock to cause

Globe opinion

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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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