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

Top headlines:

  1. Ontario to take over care four long-term care homes in wake of “horrific” CAF report
  2. U.S. hits milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths
  3. With zero pandemic deaths, Vietnam sets the standard for COVID-19 fight

In Canada, 87,482 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 33 days ago. There have also been at least 46,085 recoveries and 6,760 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 1,602,276 tests.

Worldwide, there have been at least 5,635,312 cases confirmed, 2,321,720 recoveries and 352,241 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.


Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province


Photo of the day

An employee of the Berliner Ensemble ensures physical distancing measures are in place in the auditorium in Berlin, Germany.Britta Pedersen/The Associated Press


Number of the day

$152-billion

Emergency federal aid to date is approaching $152-billion in direct spending.


Coronavirus in Canada

There are currently at least 2,320 hospitalized cases, a 12 per cent drop from a week ago. Of those, 352 are in intensive care.

Advocates and experts in long-term health care it is time for federal action to set national standards for care homes.

  • “We have to stop the bickering and the jurisdictional issues and act together so that we have some national standards, some national expectations, some resources that are attached to that,” said one expert.
  • Currently, the federal government has no jurisdiction over long-term care in Canada, unlike the bulk of the country’s universal health-care system.

Trudeau said he would be speaking with premiers about the situation in long-term care during their weekly call Thursday.

Also today:


Coronavirus around the world

  • The U.S. has surpassed 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, representing a stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korea wars combined.
  • The Vietnamese government cracked down on the coronavirus early with quarantines, contact tracing and savvy social-media campaigns to educate the public. The country has recorded zero pandemic deaths. It’s been almost a month since the country’s lockdown lifted, and things are returning to normal.
  • Watch: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday called his Republican rival Donald Trump an ‘absolute fool’ for not wearing a mask at a series of recent public events.
  • In a virtual briefing, the World Health Organization announced the creation of the WHO Foundation, meant to secure sources to help finance its fight to end the global pandemic.
  • Iran’s newly-elected parliament met today under strict physical-distancing rules. However, images from the meeting showed that many did not wear masks and did not observe physical distancing during proceedings, despite the country grappling with the deadliest outbreak in the Middle East.
  • Watch: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wants the country to move on from Dominic Cummings’ lockdown car trip.

Coronavirus and business

Two of the Big Six banks reported second-quarter earnings today. As expected, both banks saw profits fall.

  • Bank of Montreal reported a 54-per-cent plunge in second-quarter profit as it earmarked more than $1.1-billion to cover potential losses on loans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Adjusted for certain items, BMO said it earned $1.04 per share, which fell short of analysts’ expectations of $1.37 per share, according to Refinitiv.
  • Royal Bank of Canada’s second-quarter profit fell 54 per cent as the bank built up massive reserves to cover potential losses on loans as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Profit for the three months that ended April 30 was $689-million, or $1 per share, compared with $1.5-billion, or $2.26 per share, a year earlier.

Yesterday, Royal Bank reported a decline in profit of 41 per cent. By May 29, all of the Big Six banks will have reported second-quarter earnings. [For subscribers]

And: Canada’s housing agency says new home builds could drop by as much as 75 per cent this year, caused by work stoppages and restrictions on construction.


Question and answer

Question: When it hot and humid outside, should we continue to wear masks outside?

Answer: Soaring temperatures and thick humid air can cause breathing difficulties for some people as summer approaches each year. Add a cloth face mask to the equation and those problems can be further exacerbated.

“When you’re breathing through a mask you’re having to work a little bit harder to breathe in the first place, especially depending on how thick your mask is,” said Dr. David Price, chair of the department of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton. “And then the other thing is you’re rebreathing some of your air, so it’s heating it up a little bit."

Colin Furness, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, says masks should be reserved for indoor use, in places such as in grocery stores, when it’s harder to keep a physical distance. In potentially crowded indoor areas without air circulation – like non-air conditioned public transit, for example – Furness suggests wearing the mask during the ride and taking it off once you get back outdoors. And if you wind up in a crowded park where distance becomes harder to maintain, Furness says, “just leave.”

Gary Kobinger, the director of the Research Centre on Infectious Diseases at Laval University, agrees that masks typically aren’t needed outdoors. He suggests people carry them in case a situation arises where they’re needed, keeping masks folded for protection and placed in a Ziploc bag to avoid contamination.

The Globe’s health columnist André Picard answered reader questions on social distancing and many additional topics.


An act of kindness

Illustration by Drew Shannon

First Person: I figured out how to keep my elderly parents active in isolation

“Stuck inside, I scrolled through my friends’ Instagram feeds, wishing that I could release some endorphins running along the beach in Vancouver too, instead of grey cul-de-sacs of Scarborough. I kept getting targeted advertisements for at-home fitness videos, and eventually signed up for a 15-day trial of low-impact barre exercises. Then I convinced my parents to join me.

Have you witnessed or performed acts of kindness in your neighbourhood? Share your stories, photos and videos and they might be included in The Globe and Mail. Email audience@globeandmail.com


Distractions

📚For the thriller fan: Three new titles that will keep you turning the page.

  • Bitter Paradise by Ross Pennie: Pennie’s story is as crisp as today’s headlines.
  • Killings at Little Rose by Finley Martin: This is a quick book with delightful characters and a good puzzle at its heart.
  • Running From The Dead by Mike Knowles: This author does noir really, really well. His new book is a smart, serious, carefully crafted gem.

More Globe reporting and opinion

  • Almost half of Canada’s national parks will reopen for day use on June 1
  • Since the coronavirus pandemic began, [Airbnb] bookings have slowed enough that several of those short-term rentals appear to be finding their way into the long-term rental market, popping up on Craigslist and other rental sites.
  • As restrictions on evictions during the novel coronavirus pandemic extend into their third month, some Ontario home buyers and sellers are discovering renters have incredible leverage over the fate of transactions, and some are willing to wield it.
  • Kristin Hopewell: “Amid an unprecedented global health and economic crisis, Canada urgently needs to increase its aid to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.”
  • Rob Cesrnyik: “We have a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine our world and re-examine the things we value. Entrepreneurs pride themselves on their ability to recognize such opportunities, so let’s make it count."

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