Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Ottawa to replace CERB with EI-like program; extend small business rent relief
- Racialized people made up 83 per cent of cases between mid-May to mid-July in Toronto
- ‘Kelowna cluster’ accounts for half of British Columbia’s active cases
In Canada, 116,262 cases have been reported. In the last week 3,056 new cases were announced, 14 per cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 101,214 recoveries and 8,934 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 4,294,029 tests.
Worldwide, 17,305,917 cases have been confirmed; and 673,173 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
4.5 per cent
Canada’s GDP rose 4.5 per cent in May from April, higher than Statscan’s previous preliminary estimate of a 3 per cent increase. The new figures are still 15 per cent below prepandemic levels.
- May numbers show a spike in industries most disrupted by lockdown measures: accommodation and food services were up 24.2 per cent, construction jumped 17.6 per cent and retail trade gained 16.6 per cent.
- However, the arts and entertainment industry, similarly hard-hit, fell another 2.9 per cent. The airline industry rose 1.9 per cent but is still down 96 per cent from prepandemic numbers.
Coronavirus in Canada
- In British Columbia, officials say the ‘Kelowna cluster’ now comprises 130 cases – more than half of all active cases in the province. Early-July private parties in short-term rentals and resorts put more than 1,000 people in self-isolation. Earlier this week, the government cracked down on short-term rental owners.
- One hospital in Quebec reported 25 new cases, prompting all doctors and staff to get tested. Meanwhile, the province reported 164 new cases – the third straight day of increases.
- Nova Scotia reported new cases for first time since July 15. The province’s mandatory mask policy for indoor public spaces took effect today.
- In Ontario, Toronto and Peel Region joined most of the province in Stage 3 of reopening. Only Windsor-Essex remains in Stage 2.
In Ottawa, with CERB set to end in the coming weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an EI-like program for gig and contract workers.
- The program will include access to training, and the ability to work more hours with a less steep clawback in benefits. Trudeau said more details of the program will be announced later.
- As of July 26, the government paid out $62.75-billion in CERB payments to 8.46-million Canadians. About half those costs have gone to EI-eligible workers, leaving millions who don’t pay into EI unable to access the program once the emergency benefit ends.
- Even as the some segments of the economy begin to rebound, layoffs continue and the jobs that have returned – nearly one million in June – are not part of an even recovery. For young people, women and gig workers, the recovery remains perilous.
Also today: COVID Alert, the voluntary contact tracing app, is now available to download.
COVID-19 and race: In Toronto, 83 per cent of all COVID-19 cases between mid-May and mid-July were among racialized people, new data from public health officials says. The city’s racialized population is 52 per cent.
- The data shows Black people represented 21 per cent of all cases – the highest share of any group.
- All groups except white and East Asian were overrepresented based on the size of their overall population.
Coronavirus around the world
- Vietnam reported its first-ever death from COVID-19, and 104 new cases last week after going almost 100 days without confirmed cases of local transmission. The country of 97-million people is known as a model for effectively containing the coronavirus.
- In the United States, Dr. Fauci expressed “cautious” optimism that a vaccine would be available next year. Also today, the $600 weekly unemployment benefit, a financial life for millions, will expire at midnight. With 30-million currently collecting benefits, government relief efforts now represent 7.1 per cent of American personal income. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said a deal for a new coronavirus aid bill is not near and that talks with White House would continue Saturday.
- With new daily cases on the rise in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country will “squeeze (the) brake pedal” on plans to ease some restrictions. The country is reporting an estimated 4,900 new daily cases, up from 2,000 a day at the end of June.
- In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte extended restrictions in the capital Manila until mid-August. “My plea is to endure some more,” he said in a televised address. Duterte also said if supplies of a vaccine became available, China will give the Philippines priority access.
Coronavirus and business
Air Canada posted a $1.7-billion second-quarter loss today, as revenue fell 89 per cent and passenger capacity declined 92 per cent.
- The airliner’s CEO, Calin Rovinescu, again attacked the federal government, demanding financial aid and/or looser travel restrictions. “It should be one or both, but it cannot be neither,” he said. Travel restrictions, he said, are to blame for the prolonged drought in airfares.
- Rovinescu said talks with Ottawa on an airline-specific aid package are “active,” and that many foreign competitors have received some sort of government bailout, while enjoying fewer restrictions on travel.
- Stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, he said, were necessary at first, but should now ease. “Other parts of the world have also had a more rational, I would say, science-based approach to opening markets,” he said.
And: Telus reported a 39 per cent drop in profit in its second quarter as store closures and reduced roaming hit the bottom line.
- Alex Bozikovic: “As Canadian society copes with COVID-19, a series of problems are coming to light: physical and mental health; economic inequality and homelessness; a lack of public resources. And they’re all coming together in parks.”
- Pierre Cyr: Looking back at my time in government, I’m haunted by our handling of senior care
- Lisa Kramer: How not to invest during a pandemic
- Summer of envy: How the pandemic has put new light on the things we have and want
- No Caribana this year? 6 songs, 3 books, and 1 recipe to help you create your own
- Hockey is back. 142 days later, the NHL is set to return to its 2019-20 season
- BC Hydro says Site C dam project now faces delays, rising costs due to COVID-19 pandemic
- Ontario firefighters warn of higher chance of house fires due to COVID-19 pandemic
🍿 For the movie and TV buff: It’s the long weekend. Find A/C, a couch, and these streamable titles.
- Canadian thriller White Lie is a wild, nail-biting look at our immeasurable capacity for self-deception
- Warrior Nun is a television show about roving gangs of armed and dangerous nuns. It’s wonderfully weird.
- Trigonometry is a rich, 8-episode look at polyamorous romance
Or try Random Acts of Violence, a movie that Barry Hertz says cements Jay Baruchel’s reputation as Canadian cinema’s sickest little puppy; these three gritty dramas about women; or if it’s a comedy you’re after, stream Schitt’s Creek, now nominated for 15 Emmys.
- Pandemic personal finance: 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, and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face).
- 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.