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

Top headlines:

  1. Health Canada’s chief medical adviser says the first COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada could get approved within two weeks
  2. Contact tracing, the key to B.C.’s COVID-19 restart, is ‘on the edge’ of faltering
  3. Federal deficit on the rise as Liberals plan sector-specific support in fall update

In Canada, there have been at least 352,210 cases reported. In the last week 36,462 new cases were announced, 10% more than the previous week.

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There have also been at least 280,739 recoveries and 11,786 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 12,515,001 tests.

new deaths canada nov 26

The Globe and Mail

Worldwide, there have been at least 60,392,439 cases confirmed and 1,421,308 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: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopening Mask-wearing rules Back to school guide Essential resources

Photo of the day

Skiers wearing face masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 ride a ski lift before hitting the slopes in the Swiss resort of Verbier this month. As European Union countries debate a bloc-wide ban on ski holidays to curb coronavirus infections, downhill enthusiasts may be tempted to head to non-member Switzerland, where the winter season is well under way.


Coronavirus in Canada

  • Quebec reported 1,464 new cases of COVID-19 today and 32 additional deaths. It is the highest number of new cases reported in a single day in the province since the pandemic began.
  • Ontario is moving to cap delivery app fees in regions where indoor dining is prohibited, a senior government source says. As well, new provincial data show COVID-19 hospitalizations went up more than 63 per cent over the past four weeks. Meanwhile in Toronto, the owner of a small chain of barbecue restaurants has been arrested for breaking COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Since case numbers in B.C. began to climb sharply in November, the ability to keep up with contact tracing has been slipping. Increasingly, the province is unable to identify the source of each infection.
  • Nova Scotia is offering financial support for Halifax-area businesses that have been ordered closed under the province’s new COVID-19 restrictions.

In Ottawa, a senior government official told The Globe and Mail that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s fall economic update next week is expected to focus on immediate pandemic challenges, including new aid for hard-hit sectors such as retail, hospitality and tourism, while revealing a projected deficit that exceeds the record $343.2-billion announced in July.

Also today: Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could get Canadian approval next month, Health Canada says

And: Canada expects to deploy COVID-19 vaccines for priority groups in early 2021

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Coronavirus around the world

  • COVID-19 has hit Britain harder than most European countries. Now the country is facing its worst recession in more than 300 years, and the government isn’t expecting the economy to return to prepandemic levels until the end of 2022 – or longer if Brexit goes wrong.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has backed Christian and Jewish houses of worship challenging New York state’s latest restrictions in novel coronavirus hot spots.
  • Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.
  • The quest to trace new arrivals of the virus in China, and the eagerness to pin blame on imported pork and other foods, has taken on great importance for a country that has resisted international demands for an independent investigation into the origins of the pandemic, which first erupted at a seafood market in Wuhan, not far from labs that studied bat coronaviruses.
  • Rome’s Fiumicino airport will run COVID-tested flights to and from the United States operated by Delta Air Lines and Alitalia, it said on Thursday, adding it will be the first airport in Europe to offer the service on transatlantic flights.

Coronavirus and business

Perhaps no industry has been hit as hard as aviation. And no industry is as dependent on consumer sentiment – not only that it is safe to fly, but to visit other countries, eat, gather and see the attractions in those countries.

  • In the before-times, air transportation was a $10-billion industry in Canada, measured by annual gross domestic product, that employed about 80,000 people, according to Statistics Canada.
  • The industry’s GDP plunged to an annualized $350-million as the pandemic took hold, recovering to about $1-billion by August. Employment has held up far better, falling to about 50,000, buoyed by wage subsidies.

This suggests there is scope for more job losses through layoffs and airline mergers, despite the government aid, said Pedro Antunes, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

Also today: Disney has increased its planned layoffs to 32,000 as the pandemic hits theme parks.

And: ROB Magazine speaks with Lisa Lisson, who has led FedEx Canada through the COVID-19 shipping boom, and Corporate Citizen of the Year Dave McKay, who guided Canadian banks’ response to the pandemic.

Globe opinion

  • Globe Editorial: “Given the poor job Ottawa and the provinces have done on testing and tracing, which have the same logistical challenges, there’s reason to be concerned that when vaccines arrive, their distribution will be haphazard.”
  • Mark Fawcett: “For months now, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has made it clear that he will do almost anything – including, it seems, letting COVID-19 spread unchecked – in order to avoid issuing orders or restrictions that would constrain people’s rights.”
  • Mike Medeiros, Daniel Béland and André Lecours: “We believe that most public-health experts who have proposed uniform national measures have done so because they are concerned by the public-health situation. Yet, in the present context, important realities of Canada’s federal system need to be highlighted.”

More reporting

Information centre

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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