Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Federal government won’t stretch its pandemic rent-relief program for entrepreneurs into September, leaving thousands of businesses adrift
- In China’s Xinjiang region, harsh pandemic lockdowns create anger toward authorities
- As COVID-19 rocks Latin America, unemployment and food shortages near a crisis point
In Canada, there have been at least 128,948 cases reported. In the last week 3,303 new cases were announced, 16 per cent more than the previous week.
Worldwide, there have been at least 25,222,709 cases confirmed and 846,395 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.
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Many of the 40,000 students across Canada ride buses home from school. When school resumes, many could be on vehicles that are at full capacity and carrying children from different cohorts. Drivers say it will be “near impossible” to maintain physical distancing on buses.
Coronavirus in Canada
- In Ontario, four of the major teachers’ unions are set to file a complaint that the government’s school reopening plan does not take “every reasonable precaution” to protect workers. The union says smaller class sizes, to a maximum of 15 to 20 students per class and a maximum cohort of 50 students, would help make schools safer.
- In Quebec, 81 students in Quebec City are in isolation after three community cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. Health authorities said the students did not contract coronavirus at school and the cases are not linked. Meanwhile, Premier Premier François Legault is warning Quebeckers they must be more vigilant with pandemic rules or they may set off a second coronavirus wave.
- British Columbia reported a deficit of $321-million from a projected surplus of $274-million for the 2019-20 budget. Early measures to tackle the pandemic helped push the province into the red.
- The government of Manitoba is reimposing restrictions on non-essential travel to remote, northern regions as the province reports 28 new cases.
In Ottawa, the federal government announced new deals with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax to reserve millions of doses of the companies’ experimental vaccines.
- The new agreements are for up to 76 million and 38 million doses, respectively, and both vaccines are are in Stage 2 of clinical trials.
- Similar deals were signed this month with U.S. companies Pfizer and Moderna. Those agreements would allow Canada to access to up to 20 million doses of Pfizer’s candidate and up to 56 million doses of Moderna’s version.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said across the four agreements, Canada could get access to at least 88 million vaccine doses. Some vaccines will require more than one dose to be effective.
First Nations’ back-to-school plans: Late funding announcements have left many First Nations’ schools to handle school restart preparations themselves.
‘Pot of cash’: Canada’s statistical agency is paying close attention to disposable income that Canadians have saved up amid the COVID-19 pandemic as it looks to understand who is saving and how that money may contribute to the shape of the recovery.
Coronavirus around the world
- Already one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Spain now has about 440,000 cases and more than 29,000 deaths. Its lockdown, which was one of the world’s strictest, was followed by one of Europe’s hastiest reopenings.
- In China’s Xinjiang region, strict and widespread lockdown measures have created discontent, particularly after the region reported no new cases since Aug. 16.
- The European Commission said it would contribute €400-million ($478-million) to a World Health Organization-led initiative to buy COVID-19 vaccines. The commission did not say whether European Union states would acquire vaccines through the initiative.
Coronavirus and business
The federal government said it will extend two business-loan programs: CEBA, the interest-free loan program, and Business Credit Availability Program, which helps larger business with operating costs. The government did not announce an extension to CECRA, the widely-criticized commercial rent-relief program.
Also today: Canada’s banking regulator is rolling back two emergency programs introduced at the beginning of the pandemic, including a crucial measure that made it easier for banks to offer loan payment deferrals to clients.
And: Starting Sept. 14, all Starbucks locations in Canada will require customers to wear facial coverings.
- Hugh Segal: “On Aug. 20, the federal government announced the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and upcoming changes to Employment Insurance. Not surprisingly, the federal public service appears to have tinkered with existing programs rather than initiating a clear departure from the status quo on income security.”
- Perrin Beatty: “Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and now Minister of Finance, can be forgiven if she feels she’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She faces a grander challenge than any of her peacetime predecessors since the Great Depression. But it is an unfair burden, as erroneous as the idea that governments can borrow or regulate our way back to prosperity.”
- Three World Cup speed-skating events in Canada are cancelled because of COVID-19.
- Seven U.S. Open tennis players put in a ‘bubble in the bubble’ after coming into contact with French competitor Benoît Paire, according to a source.
For the summer cook👩🍳: Use up the last of the summer produce with these 10 simple no-cook recipes
- Creamy cucumber and arugula soup
- The best tomato salad or no-cook tomato soup
- Bresaola and mushroom carpaccio
- 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. Wash your hands. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face). Is flying safe?
- 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.