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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- The U.S. border reopening means more Canadian snowbirds are now poised to head south for the winter
- In Africa, a new analysis found that 85 per cent of the continent’s COVID-19 infections are going undetected
In the past seven days, 22,174 cases were reported, down 19 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 277 deaths announced, up 2 per cent over the same period. At least 2,426 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,609,709 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 14th 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
- Ontario is set to unveil a new reopening plan next week that would lift COVID-19 restrictions on businesses where vaccination is required, including ending capacity limits in venues such as restaurants and gyms, according to a senior Ontario government source.
- British Columbia’s provincial health officer has announced new restrictions for the northern health region in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 through those who are unvaccinated.
- In Alberta, downtown Calgary has the highest rate of commercial vacancies in Canada – an economic downturn driven by the price of oil that hollowed out the city’s downtown office towers. And COVID-19 has only compounded the problem.
- Extendicare is ending its contract with the government of Saskatchewan after the province’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak happened in one of its homes. The health authority will take over operations of the national private long-term care provider’s five homes in Saskatchewan, which have more than 540 residents. Meanwhile, the province’s health minister says its low COVID-19 vaccination rate is an underestimation.
- In Quebec, where vaccine mandates for health care workers were pushed back by a month, the health policy is proving to be difficult to implement at a time when hospitals are already operating above their normal capacity.
The reopening of the Canada-U.S. border is expected to mean more snowbirds will be spending winter in the southern U.S. this year.
- “The border is likely going to be a very busy place in the coming months,” says Evan Rachkovsky, director of research and communications at the Canadian Snowbird Association.
- But, pandemic protocols mean there are many more hoops to jump through before Canadians can enter the United States. Here’s what you need to know about the new rules.
The Decibel podcast: Why don’t people want to work at restaurants?
Coronavirus around the world
- In Africa, there have been 59 million infections across the continent, according to the revised data released Thursday by the World Health Organization – a figure that is seven times higher than the official count.
- A Washington town wants a COVD-19 test exemption for Canadian visitors because it only offers testing on Wednesdays and Sundays, which would limit Canadian visitors, an official says.
- COVID-19 infections in the Australian state of Victoria hit a pandemic record on Thursday as Melbourne, the state capital, looked to exit its lockdown next week, several days ahead of plan.
- China is warning against ‘manipulation’ by a World Health Organization probe into the origins of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus and business
The COVID-19 pandemic has warped supply chains around the world, and it seems supply-chain congestion in Canada shows no signs of abating heading into the holiday season.
- “The biggest problem in the Canadian supply chain is that there’s not enough land space. There’s too many containers to move out of terminals, to get to warehouses, and to unpack and move them on trucks,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Chamber of Shipping.
- The level of dysfunction is less severe than in the United States, where the federal government has intervened to try to unclog key transportation bottlenecks off the coast of California.
Also today: Can Canadians keep up pandemic-motivated debt repayment?
And: The Canadian dollar hits a three-month high amid signs of solid economic rebound.
- Gary Mason: The Prairies are showing Canada what a COVID-19 disaster looks like
- Edward Alden: The border reopening is a chance for Ottawa and Washington to learn to co-operate again
- Has gift-giving changed amid virtual, rescheduled and pandemic weddings?
- Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving says refusal to get COVID-19 vaccine about ‘what’s best for me’
- How can I keep my hands from drying out when using hand sanitizer this winter?
- Walgreens’ fourth-quarter results exceed estimates on strong pharmacy sales, COVID-19 vaccinations
- Watch: Will Canadians need a COVID-19 booster shot?
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Waiting for a second dose? We answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions
- What is and isn’t ‘paid sick leave’ in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine ‘hangover’? Here’s why
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.