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

Top headlines:

  1. Canada lost 62,600 jobs in December: StatsCan
  2. Ontario lockdown may continue if cases keep climbing, Doug Ford says
  3. Vaccine hesitancy poses challenge for public health advocates

In the last seven days, 55,906 cases were reported, up 14 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 1,033 deaths announced, up 22 per cent over the same period. At least 4,480 people are being treated in hospitals and 545,140 others are considered recovered.

About 58 per cent of the 436,830 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 0.7 doses for every 100 people in Canada.

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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 charts Lockdown rules and reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources

Photo of the day

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Gloves hang to dry at the Cementerio Jardin cemetery, as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, in Soyapango, El Salvador on January 7, 2021.JOSE CABEZAS/Reuters

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, all but five member of the 93 members of the Senate say they did not travel internationally over the holiday break. Two senators, including Conservative Senate leader Don Plett, admitted to travelling internationally. Three other senators did not respond to repeated inquiries.

Vaccine hesitancy: Many long-term care workers are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, raising concerns about how well vulnerable seniors will be protected. Public-health advocates are looking for ways to persuade staff to accept that the vaccines are effective.

COVID-19 vaccines: Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada overseeing vaccine approvals, says there have been no rare side-effects seen at all during Canada’s immunization campaign so far. The mild and moderate side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, such as fevers, headache and fatigue, were in line, both in severity and frequency, as what was seen during the clinical trials.

Coronavirus around the world

  • In Britain, the mayor of London declared a “major incident” as the number of coronavirus patients in hospital soars 27-per-cent in the week ending on Jan. 6. A “major incident” is defined as one in which there is a risk to life and welfare. The declaration will let London ask for help from other areas.
  • The United Nations fears “massive community transmission” of COVID-19 among the 6 million people in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, fueled by displacement and the collapse of health services.

Coronavirus and business

Canada shed 62,600 jobs (net) in December, the first monthly decline since April, as new restrictions led to a fresh round of layoffs.

  • The unemployment rate edged up to 8.6 per cent from November’s 8.5 per cent, according to Statistics Canada data released today.
  • With December’s job loss, about 636,000 fewer people in Canada are employed than in February, pre-pandemic.
  • Economists say Canada’s near-term outlook is rough, with a senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets saying December’s report captures only “the tip of the iceberg in terms of the contraction in the economy.”

Also today: WestJet announced today that it will lay off 1,000 people and slash its flight schedule. The news follows the federal government’s announcement on Dec. 31 requiring travellers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before returning to Canada.

And: A Globe and Mail analysis shows that many companies with deep pockets tapped Canada’s emergency wage subsidy program.

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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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