Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada didn’t address emergency stockpile issues, leaving it less prepared for the pandemic: AG
- Alberta announced its ‘open for summer’ COVID-19 plan
- With COVID-19 vaccine supply on the upswing, provinces are looking at moving up appointments for second shots
In the last 7 days, 25,721 cases were reported, down 30 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 295 deaths announced, down 2 per cent over the same period. At least 2,786 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,293,517 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th 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
- In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney announced an “open for summer” COVID-19 restart plan, which could see all restrictions lifted by mid-July. Each stage of the province’s plan is tied to the percentage of residents who received a COVID-19 vaccine shot and it’s also tied to hospitalization numbers.
- Ontario’s top doctor says he would like to see schools resume in-person learning before entering the first step of its reopening plan in mid-June, something he says most public-health units want.
- Nova Scotia says its COVID-19 vaccine rollout is ahead of schedule, and that those priority individuals due for second doses – including health care workers and those 80 and above – will be able to book appointments in early June.
- Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador say the COVID-19 variant first detected in India is behind a new outbreak involving 46 confirmed infections. The province has 93 reported active cases.
- Pandemic restrictions in eight of the 10 Quebec regions at the province’s highest alert level will be relaxed on Monday, the Premier said.
In Ottawa, the Auditor-General said Canada’s federal health agency failed to address issues with the emergency stockpile, leaving it less prepared for the pandemic.
- Auditor-General Karen Hogan’s office studied the government’s procurement of personal protective equipment, whether it was able to meet the needs of the provinces and territories, and whether sufficient support was provided to Indigenous communities.
- Her report found that the agency didn’t address decade-old issues with PPE and medical devices in the emergency stockpile, but added that the agency and government departments adjusted policies and helped meet the needs of the provinces and territories.
COVID-19 vaccine: With supply increasing, many provinces are looking at moving up appointments for second shots – though it’s not clear how quickly the changes will be made. Also today, more than half of all people in Canada have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Coronavirus around the world
- U.S. President Joe Biden asked the country’s intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A lawyer for the European Union accused AstraZeneca of failing to respect its contract on vaccine supply.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered getting injected with coronavirus on live television to apparently show it was benign, his former adviser said.
- India’s medical professionals are outraged over controversial comments made by influential yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, against modern medicine and doctors on the front lines of the pandemic.
Coronavirus and business
For the second summer in a row, students are facing a tough summer job market. Workplaces where young people traditionally break into the labour market – restaurants, tourism, recreation – remain highly restricted, perhaps for a while longer.
- Young workers were dealt a relatively tough hand in the pandemic. Canadians 15 to 24 accounted for almost half the drop in employment since COVID-19 arrived, and they often work in the hardest-hit sectors.
- But there’s reason for optimism: Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has accelerated and provinces are unveiling reopening plans. The job market is much healthier than it was, with many companies hiring again.
Also today: Job losses owing to the COVID-19 pandemic hit women harder than men, a new Statistics Canada report says.
And: During the coronavirus pandemic, it seems as though more renters are being pushed from their homes as landlords look to cash in on the real estate boom.
- Editorial board: Job No. 1 for the Trudeau government: Get unused American COVID-19 vaccines
- Livio Di Matteo: Among countries that should have known better, Canada’s COVID-19 response was abysmal
- Dave Dinesen: Why Canada must fix its food security issues before the next crisis
- Rob Carrick: How to handle a looming personal finance risk in the postpandemic world
- Nathan Stall, Allison Mcgeer and Irfan Dhalla: Older Canadians should be getting their second vaccine doses, right now
- In a new report, Ontario’s fiscal watchdog said the province is two years behind in its plan to create 15,000 new long-term care beds by 2024
- Charges have been laid following a speech at an anti-lockdown rally in December in which a military officer spoke out against what he called “killer” vaccines
- How well do vaccines work? Here’s what you need to know.
- 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.
- Find answers to your coronavirus and employment questions.
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.