Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Ontario to take over care four long-term care homes in wake of “horrific” CAF report
- U.S. hits milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths
- 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 resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
Photo of the day
Number of the day
Emergency federal aid to date is approaching $152-billion in direct spending.
- Yesterday, the PBO reported the federal deficit will hit an estimated $260-billion this fiscal year.
- Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said some of the programs will have to be phased out, and others modified to help in recovery.
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.
- Ontario will take over management of four of five long-term care homes observed by the Armed Forces. Local health officials say the province needs clearer benchmarks for reopening, and urge the province to consider a regional reopening plan. Ontario’s extended its state of emergency until June 9.
- Ontario also announced on Wednesday that over two dozen different health-care providers who were closed because of the pandemic lockdown can reopen. Dentists, optometrists and massage therapists are among several dozen providers who can start to take clients immediately. Chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians, denturists, and midwives are also included on the list.
- The Armed Forces released a report today on care homes in Quebec, detailing a dysfunctional system – including a lack of on-duty physicians and employees who were late or disappeared during a shift. The report says safety guidelines were not followed, even after the military held briefings with staff.
- In Alberta, the premier said testing, border screening and a focus on high-risk groups is necessary to prevent a second wave.
- Starting Monday, bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms, pools and other facilities in Manitoba will be allowed to reopen.
- A movie theatre in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia will host movie screenings for individual, single-family “bubbles” starting June 10.
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.
- The Prime Minister said there are significant health concerns that must be resolved before G7 leaders could meet in person.
- The House of Commons held its first hybrid session today, with some MPs in person, and other appearing by remote video-conferencing.
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.
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.
An act of kindness
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 email@example.com
📚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."
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize 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.
- How to get physical distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage physical distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
Have questions about the coronavirus? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.