Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- Pharmacists say they should be playing a bigger role in providing access to COVID-19 medication
- Former Unifor boss Jerry Dias accepted $50,000 from supplier of COVID-19 rapid test kits, union alleges
- 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.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Quebec will offer a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to older and vulnerable Quebecers amid a rise in infections, the province announced today. Beginning next week, Quebecers over the age of 80, those who live in high-risk settings such as seniors homes and long-term care homes, and some immunocompromised people will be able to get a second booster. The number of residents hospitalized with COVID-19 is expected to rise in the coming weeks, according to new projections from the province’s health-care institute.
- Ontario is reporting 611 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 174 in intensive care today.
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
- Infants and kids under 6 in the U.S. and Europe could be cleared for Moderna vaccines by the summer after a promising trial, the company announced today.
- Europe’s drug regulator is expected to give the go-ahead this week to AstraZeneca’s preventative antibody treatment, Evusheld, following U.S. and U.K. approvals. The treatment is meant for adults whose immune system is too weak to respond to vaccines.
- The World Health Organization is reporting that the number of new coronavirus cases globally increased by 7 per cent in the last week, driven by rising infections in the Western Pacific, even as reported deaths from COVID-19 fell.
- In the U.S., a man who pleaded guilty to planning a kidnapping of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told jurors today that he and his allies wanted to attack before the 2020 election to prevent Joe Biden from winning the presidency. The group were angry about Whitmer’s statewide COVID-19 restrictions, according to trial testimony.
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.
- Robyn Urback: We’ve come so far – let’s not turn masking into a political symbol now
- Julia Williams: Building my backyard ‘office’ brought me work-life balance – and a frozen shoulder
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Where do I book a COVID-19 booster or a vaccine appointment for my kids? Latest rules by province
- What is and isn't 'paid sick leave' in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine 'hangover'? Here's why
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.