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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Pharmacists say they should be playing a bigger role in providing access to COVID-19 medication
  2. Former Unifor boss Jerry Dias accepted $50,000 from supplier of COVID-19 rapid test kits, union alleges
  3. Infants, kids under 6 in U.S., Europe could be cleared for Moderna vaccines by summer after promising trial, company says

Due to changes in the prevalence of testing, case counts alone are no longer a reliable indicator of the spread of COVID-19. Going forward, we will only be including the weekly death rates and hospitalizations in the newsletter. For a snapshot of COVID-19 data in Canada, go to the coronavirus tracker.

In the past seven days, there were 225 deaths announced, down 27 per cent over the same period. At least 3,568 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 15th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

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 reopening

Photo of the day

A security guard wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant on a doorway to a barricaded community which was locked down for health monitoring following the COVID-19 cases detected in Beijing on March 23.Andy Wong/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

Pharmacy associations in Canada say they should be playing a bigger role in providing access to a new COVID-19 antiviral medication.

  • Those who test positive often have to navigate a complex process requiring visits to multiple physical locations in order to get Paxlovid, the brand name of the first oral antiviral medication approved by Health Canada to treat COVID-19, because it’s in short supply.
  • To be effective, Paxlovid has to be administered within the first five days of symptom onset, making the need even more urgent.

Diabetes risk: People may be at increased risk for developing diabetes for up to a year after a diagnosis of COVID-19, according to two studies.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

Former Unifor leader Jerry Dias accepted $50,000 from a supplier of COVID-19 rapid test kits in exchange for promoting it to employers of union members, according to the union.

  • It is unclear what punishment Mr. Dias will face from Unifor, given that he had already tendered his resignation. He still holds union membership, so any kind of punishment for the breach would center on that fact.

Also today: The pandemic has created opportunities for companies to fast-track the virtual office. Lighthouse Labs had physical locations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Victoria, Ottawa and Montreal when the pandemic began. Now, the company has no plans to return to in-person work.

Globe opinion

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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