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

Top headlines:

  1. Justin Trudeau accuses Erin O’Toole of irresponsible leadership, says Canadians ‘disgusted’ by protesters’ actions
  2. Britain to scrap compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers
  3. The pandemic kick-started benefit programs such as paid sick days and COVID leave. Why are so many essential workers still falling through the cracks?

In the past seven days, 109,369 cases were reported, down 24 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 1,089 deaths announced, down 2 per cent over the same period. At least 9,713 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

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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

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A man poses today with the sentence "Welcome to Beijing" written on his hazmat suit in the Yanqing District, which will play host to the alpine skiing and sliding events at the Winter Olympics.AFP Contributor#AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the actions of some trucker convoy protesters in Ottawa during a press conference today.

  • “If we choose to put up with and tacitly support conspiracy theorists and folks peddling disinformation, that’s a reflection on what we choose to do as politicians and who we are as leaders,” the Prime Minister said. He says his government won’t be intimidated by protesters who refuse to leave Ottawa.
  • Here’s a visual guide showing where in downtown Ottawa the trucker convoy is based, and where the disruptions have spread

Critics denounce ‘peaceful’ protests: Activists and academics on social media have taken issue with characterizing the trucker convoy as “peaceful,” saying it undermines the fear, damage and disruption the protests have wrought.

Justin Trudeau tests positive: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19, and will work remotely this week. Last week, Trudeau said he was isolating after one of his children tested positive.

Spotify and COVID-19 misinformation: Following the lead of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, other Canadian musicians have vowed to pull their music from Spotify in protest of COVID-19 misinformation being spread on the platform, particularly through the podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.

Hospital stays: People with disabilities have longer COVID-19 hospital stays and high readmission rates, according to a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It found that adult COVID-19 patients with disabilities had 36 per cent longer hospital stays and a 77 per cent increased risk of readmission within 30 days.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Economists, business lobby groups and labour advocates are divided over whether it’s feasible for the federal government to continue offering pandemic-relief programs. But there is also a debate over a more fundamental question: Are these programs actually helping people who stay home while ill?

  • Some economists believe benefits programs have been too generous. But labour advocates argue federal benefits programs, even if they retroactively pay people who can’t work because of illness, are inadequate because the payments are too small and too complicated to access.

Also today: The European economy slowed noticeably at the end of 2021 as surging COVID-19 cases, driven by the Omicron variant, piled on top of supply shortages and rising energy prices.

And: Neil Young’s dispute with Spotify over Joe Rogan increases pressure on streamer to monitor content

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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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