Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Discrepancy between municipal and provincial case tallies for schools underlines a data and information gap in Canada’s pandemic response
- AstraZeneca CEO says vaccine still on track despite test subject falling ill, halting trials
- Bank of Canada Governor says rising inequality in jobs and income poses the biggest threat to economic recovery
In Canada, there have been at least 134,904 cases reported. In the last week 4,411 new cases were announced, 18% more than the previous week. There have also been at least 118,990 recoveries and 9,163 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 6,419,911 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 27,863,733 cases confirmed and 903,686 deaths reported.
Sources: Canadian 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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As the number of new daily coronavirus infections in Ontario has crept up recently, one city stands out as a hotter spot than any other: Brampton.
The city of nearly 700,000 northwest of Toronto is part of Peel Region, that now has more active cases of COVID-19 – 451 as of Wednesday – than any other public-health unit in the province, according to provincial figures.
Toronto, which has a population more than twice the size of Peel’s, has 439 active cases.
In the past week, Peel’s case counts have reached heights not seen since June, and about three-quarters of the new infections have been diagnosed in Brampton residents, according to Monica Hau, Peel’s Associate Medical Officer of Health.
Coronavirus in Canada
- In Ontario, Peel region has more active cases than any other health unit in the province. Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford accused the federal government of failing to enforce quarantine measures for incoming travellers. He’s prepared to ask doctors to work weekends to clear 180,000 backlogged surgeries, expected to take 18 months to clear. And, parents shouldn’t send their kids trick or treating, Ford said.
- British Columbia reached a record 139 new cases today as schools reopened across the province. The province also said its deficit will climb to $13-billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
- In Alberta, health authorities have confirmed at least 16 infections in 16 different schools. In all cases, the individuals contracted coronavirus outside the school setting.
- Starting Saturday in Quebec, those who fail to comply with rules requiring face coverings in indoor public spaces will face a fine, though the dollar amount has not been determined.
- Newfoundland and Labrador is set to table a budget on Sept. 30, an update from July which projected a $2.1-billion deficit on the dual challenges of the pandemic and weak oil prices.
COVID-19 and schools: Quebec, Ontario and Alberta have promised to make real-time data on each school’s COVID-19 cases and outbreaks available to parents. However, as students return to schools across the country, no province has filled that data gap.
Yesterday in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Throne Speech, set for Sept. 23, will lay out an agenda that is both ambitious and responsible.
Coronavirus around the world
- Journalist Bob Woodward, facing widespread criticism for only now revealing U.S. President Donald Trump’s early concerns about the severity of the coronavirus, said today that he needed time to be sure that Trump’s private comments from February were accurate. Meanwhile stateside, AstraZeneca’s CEO said the company’s COVID-19 vaccine is on track despite the fact that human trials were halted temporarily after a test subject fell ill. Finally, the U.S. plans to end enhanced health screening of travellers from certain countries next week, and those visitors will no longer be funneled through 15 large airports.
- Watch: In a room inside a hillside Taoist monastery in China’s Shandong province lies a collection of 558 memorial tablets inscribed with the names and hometowns of people who died after contracting the coronavirus or while battling the pandemic.
- The London, England, extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was postponed on Thursday because of concern that one of the lawyers involved might have been exposed to COVID-19. As well, British Airways and easyJet urged the government to introduce testing as an alternative to quarantine by the end of the month, in what they described as a “last chance” to save the industry.
Coronavirus and business
The governor of Canada’s central bank said that rising inequality in jobs and income is the biggest threat to a broad economic recovery in the country.
- Tiff Macklem said job losses have disproportionately affected women, young Canadians and low-income workers, and despite the success of CERB replacing lost income, it’s possible these workers will face permanent job losses. Those job losses could weigh down the entire economy, he said.
- In its August report, Statistics Canada noted that employment for low-wage employees (earning $16.03 an hour, or two-thirds of the 2019 median wage) is 87.4 per cent of prepandemic levels. For all other workers, employment at 99.1 per cent.
Yesterday, the bank issued its latest monetary policy decision, in which the bank opted to hold its key interest rate at a record-low 0.25 per cent.
Also today: Mortgage debt in Canada rose 6 per cent year-over-year in May, the fastest pace in three years as payments are deferred. Canada’s mortgage agency warns delinquencies could rise significantly later in the year as loan deferrals end.
And: Sobeys parent company Empire reported its net earnings grew 47 per cent in its first quarter, as the trend of cooking at home continues.
- Robyn Urback: “There was some of that ambitious energy early on in the pandemic, when those gifted with an abundance of extra time and privileged with few existential worries baked sourdough bread and proudly shared their culinary creations on the internet. But six months on, that enthusiasm for a slower version of life has waned. As we wait for life to return to normal, time has shifted from being a luxury to a burden."
- Rita Trichur: “That so many mothers contemplated dropping out of the work force just as the economy opened up is nothing short of a social failing. If a second wave of COVID-19 infections does materialize this fall, and women start leaving their jobs in droves because of a lack of affordable child care, it would derail Canada’s economic recovery."
- Tracy Vaillancourt, Shelly Hymel, Debra Pepler and Peter Szatmari: “Leading child advocacy groups and organizations in Canada also recognize that mental well-being is a key component of children’s health and wellness. Indeed, children’s social-emotional health, a foundation for mental well-being, is cited by physicians as a fundamental consideration for reopening schools during COVID-19.”
- Konrad Yakabuski: "There is plenty to criticize in Mr. Trump’s handling of COVID-19 crisis. But at the time of Mr. Trump’s Feb. 7 conversation with Mr. Woodward, there were literally only a handful of coronavirus cases in the United States and public-health experts almost everywhere were insisting that the risks of a pandemic were low.”
- Curling schedule loses six more events because of COVID-19
- Rob Carrick: Here are four things to do right now if you fear a stock market crash in the fall.
- Bob Woodward’s new book Rage becomes the Trump campaign’s third gut punch in a week
- Roots sales plunge as coronavirus closures, restrictions hamper store traffic
🏃♀️For the fitness buff: If running too much means you’re dealing with an Achilles tendon injury, here’s a more precise way to heal.
- 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.