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

Top headlines:

  1. Ontario to speed up second COVID-19 vaccine dose eligibility
  2. Early days in COVID-19 fight lacked focus: panel
  3. Quebec restaurant patios return amid reopening plan

In the past 7 days, 22,154 cases were reported, down 34 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 278 deaths announced, down 5 per cent over the same period. At least 2,633 people are being treated in hospitals. Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

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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 chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopeningVaccine distribution planFour vaccines approved in CanadaEssential resources

Photo of the day

Restaurants in Montreal begin to open their terraces throughout the city, marking the beginning of the deconfinement plan by the Legault Government.


Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, advocacy groups are urging the federal government to exempt refugees from the country’s COVID-19 travel ban as many are left waiting in limbo.

  • Government officials say Canada resettled more than 9,000 refugees last year, and continues to resettle urgent cases. As of mid-May, he said, Canada welcomed about 1,800 refugees and 15,000 protected persons.
  • The Canadian Council for Refugees called on the government months ago to introduce exemptions to the travel measures for people being resettled as refugees and entering to make a refugee protection claim.

COVID-19: A new report from an international panel says world governments lacked focus in the early days of COVID-19 and used the wrong data. Government that relied on leading indicators that captured how coronavirus was spreading, instead of lagging metrics – such as hospitalizations and deaths – had a better handle on the crisis.

Learning loss during COVID-19: Remote learning has allowed for education to continue in the COVID-19 pandemic, but at what cost? Some students are lost and disengaged, parents are exhausted trying to help and many teachers feel frustrated.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

In less than two weeks, Ottawa is set to launch a hiring subsidy program that is aimed at boosting employment. But there’s a problem: the benefit doesn’t require the qualifying business to hire any new employees.

  • Businesses that spend more on payroll because they gave more hours to existing staff, or even just doled out raises or bonuses, can also receive payments to defray those additional costs under the Canada Recovery Hiring Program.
  • That appears to be a feature of, not a loophole in, the benefit, Canada’s fiscal watchdog said, adding that the government already programs that limited reimbursement to new hires.

Also today: Travel agencies are reporting increased demand for international bookings, but say Canada’s mandatory hotel quarantine is holding some back from travelling.

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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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