Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Finance Minister Rod Phillips declares Ontario is in a recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- CRTC providing $72-million to improve internet in 51 northern communities as pandemic shifts life online
- Australia records deadliest day with 21 new deaths and 410 cases
In Canada, there have been at least 120,754 cases reported. In the last week 2,567 new cases were announced, 8 per cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 107,123 recoveries and 9,005 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 4,872,329 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 20,343,040 cases confirmed and 742,607 deaths reported.
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.
Number of the day
Deaths from COVID-19 in Canada have surpassed 9,000.
Coronavirus in Canada
- Ontario’s Finance Minister announced the province’s deficit will hit a record $38.5-billion in 2020-21, almost double the $20.5-billion predicted in March. Rod Phillips said the province is in a recession, and the government will spend $30-billion on its economic recovery plan.
- Students in British Columbia will return to the classroom Sept. 10, a two-day delay from the province’s initial plan. The government will release operational guidelines next week for issues like health and safety protocols, and students’ mental health.
- Quebec will spend $18.9-million to create a reserve of laptops and tablets for students who have limited access to computers at home.
- Opposition parties in Saskatchewan accused Premier Scott Moe of offloading the decision on mask-wearing in schools to local boards, instead of making a provincewide call. Alberta and Ontario have both outlined mask guidance, and Canada has issued national guidelines.
In Ottawa, the government announced an additional $305-million for Indigenous communities, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and better prepare for other emergencies.
- The new money will flow through the Indigenous community support fund, bringing the total amount to $685-million this year.
- Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said communities can also use the money for a variety of other measures, including helping elders and vulnerable people, food insecurity, educational and other supports for children and mental health assistance.
Also today, Miller said a Liberal promise to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is still a top priority, But he could not definitively say whether it is still possible to introduce the needed legislation within the promised timeline, because of the pandemic.
Still in Ottawa, the government also announced $18-million for food producers. The funds follow an initial $252-million bailout package from the government, and is intended to help small producers survive the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
COVID-19 and long-term care: More than 1,000 of the 1,847 deaths in long-term care in Ontario were in 36 older homes with multibed rooms. Ontario has the highest share of beds in ward rooms in the country, at 33.2 per cent compared to 14 per cent in British Columbia.
And: Canadian and international scientists want to find out how COVID-19 affects the central nervous system, and determine if and how coronavirus leads to lasting brain damage.
Coronavirus around the world
- Watch: World Health Organization officials warned that Lebanon’s COVID-19 response plan has become more difficult to implement in the aftermath of the massive blast that rocked Beirut last week.
- In Australia, the state of Victoria reported 21 deaths and 410 new cases in the past 24 hours, ending a run of three consecutive days with new infections below 400. Last week, after a cluster of cases were reported in Victoria, authorities reimposed many lockdown measures.
- Britain’s economy shrank by 20.4 per cent in the second quarter, the biggest contraction on record. An economist from Berenberg Bank attributes the sharp decline to the lockdown measures being imposed at “a later stage,” which meant they had to persist for longer. Countries, including Germany, which imposed restrictions earlier, were also able to reopen more quickly.
- In the United States, policy makers at the Federal Reserve said economic growth will be muted until the spread of coronavirus is contained. The country’s deficit rose to a record-breaking US$2.81-trillion, and consumer prices rose more than expected in July.
Coronavirus and business
Metro reported profit of $263.5-million in its third quarter.
- Same-store sales, a key retail metric, rose more than 10 per cent in the recent quarter.
- The grocery retailer continues to benefit from the pandemic with strong sales and decreasing coronavirus-related costs after it eliminated its temporary wage bump.
The grocer said it is impossible to predict the duration of the pandemic, or how it will shape retail behaviour long term.
Also today: Bay Street law firms are bringing on partners who work on corporate restructuring as they prepare for a wave of insolvencies as emergency relief measures dry up and lenders start to lose patience with struggling businesses.
And: Airbnb reported its quarterly revenue plunged 67 per cent, with bookings down 30 per cent in June from a year earlier.
- Hair salon chain Great Clips hopes that a class-action lawsuit will force insurance companies to pay out claims for the halt of business as a result of the pandemic.
- For former set and costume designer Drew Facey, it’s exit stage left
- National Ballet of Canada cancels The Nutcracker for the first time since 1955.
- Unions and automakers face off in negotiations with COVID-19 and the economy in focus.
- First Person: We took out our pandemic frustrations with a coronavirus pinata.
- The pandemic upended the global diamond industry.
- How does COVID-19 spread? The controversy and the evidence
📚 For the thrill seeker: Three thrillers to entertain readers through the dog days of summer
- Unspeakable Acts by Sarah Weinman: A carefully curated selection of some of the best true crime work happening now.
- The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter: Part of the Sara Linton series, this book centres on an investigation of an old cold crime that may have resulted in the incarceration of an innocent man.
- Dark August by Katie Tallo: The debut novel from the Ottawa author features excellent characters and solid pacing that keep the story moving as readers whip across a Southern Ontario ghost town.
- 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. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.