Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Quebec warns Christmas gatherings at risk as hospitalizations rise
- Trudeau says U.S. border to stay closed, likely into 2021
- More than 100 inmates and 23 staff test positive at Saskatoon jail
In Canada, at least 383,468 cases have been reported. In the last week 41,024 new cases were announced, 14% more than the previous week. There have also been 304,888 recoveries and 12,211 deaths. Health officials have administered 13,052,699 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 63,236,804 cases confirmed and 1,467,987 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.
Photo of the day
Coronavirus in Canada
- In Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, COVID-19 has infected at least 503 patients and staff and killed 83 people at the 403-bed – the largest known death toll from Canadian hospital outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Premier François Legault warned the province’s plan to allow Christmas gatherings is at risk as hospitalizations reach the highest point since June.
- In Saskatchewan, Saskatoon is telling community associations to put away outdoor nets to prevent groups from playing hockey. Meanwhile, more than 100 inmates and 23 staff tested positive for COVID-19 at a Saskatoon jail.
- Ontario is reporting 1,707 new cases of COVID-19 today, and seven new deaths.
- Manitoba said strict limits on public gatherings and business will likely continue into the winter, as the province reports increasing case numbers and intensive-care capacity close to the limit. The province reported 282 new cases today.
- Alberta’s Opposition NDP released projections showing that COVID-19 hospitalization rates could soar to 775 by mid-December and the number of intensive care patients could reach 161.
- Nova Scotia reported 10 new COVID-19 cases while New Brunswick identified seven today.
- In the Yukon, a mask mandate for all indoor public spaces is now in effect. Premier Sandy Silver is making 200,000 masks available to ensure residents have access.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S. border will remain closed until the pandemic is “significantly more under control,” likely well into 2021.
Still in Ottawa, the Prime Minister said he’s open to negotiations over additional health funding with the provinces after yesterday’s economic update made no promises to increase transfers. Premiers argue they need billions more for pandemic response and to address the rising costs of an aging population and other expense pressures.
COVID-19 vaccines: While it’s unknown how long it may take for Health Canada to approve COVID-19 vaccines that the federal government has ordered, Moderna’s chief medical officer says Canada would receive doses from the company’s first batches of vaccines, and he anticipated the country would receive larger shipments by the early part of 2021.
Coronavirus around the world
- The European Medicines Agency could decide by Dec. 29 on approval of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Coronavirus and business
The outlook for the global economy is improving despite a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks in many countries as vaccines emerge and a Chinese-led recovery takes hold, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday.
- Overall global gross domestic product will return to precrisis levels by the end of 2021, led by a strong recovery in China, the OECD said.
- After contracting 3.7 per cent this year, the U.S. economy will grow 3.2 per cent in 2021 and 3.5 per cent in 2022. The euro area economy will contract 7.5 per cent this year, then see growth return in 2021 at 3.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent in 2022.
Also today: Canada’s economy grew by 40.5 per cent on an annualized basis in the third quarter, rebounding from a historic plunge in the second quarter, as businesses and stores reopened from COVID-19 lockdowns, Statistics Canada said.
As well: In an open letter, nearly 50 retailers, including Canadian Tire, Indigo and Hudson’s Bay are calling on the Ontario government to lift COVID-19 restrictions that have shuttered stores in time for the holiday shopping season.
And: The hard-hit airline industry is disappointed by its absence in yesterday’s fiscal update.
- Editorial: “The immediate priority has to be subduing COVID-19. Every dollar spent reducing the number of cases, and thereby increasing the degree to which the economy can reopen, will deliver big, instant returns. This investment will pay for itself.”
- Rita Trichur: “Let’s not pretend this child-care crisis started with COVID-19. Fact is, our federal government has been indifferent to the plight of working moms for decades.”
- Robyn Urback: “While [long-term] care is of course the jurisdiction of the provinces, their actions come down to the dollars they’re given by the federal government – and so it is striking that in terms of new, immediately actionable aid for long-term care, not much is coming from the federal government.”
- Alan Bernstein and André Veillette: “For decades, successive governments neglected to rebuild our vaccine manufacturing capacity, fuelled by the belief that vaccines could be purchased from elsewhere and that another pandemic with the devastation of the 1918 Spanish influenza was unlikely to happen again. But it has and here we are today.”
- The Conservatives are calling for a probe of the Liberal government’s plan to refit a National Research Council facility in Montreal to start producing a COVID-19 vaccine as part of a partnership between the NRC and a Chinese company to develop a made-in-Canada vaccine.
- A new study led by the BC Children’s Hospital will test thousands of individuals between newborn and 24 years old to determine how many have already had the coronavirus, even if unaware of it. Three other studies of children that are already up and running across the country will also receive federal support.
- The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has decided to suspend all activities until Jan. 3. The 18-team league has been forced to postpone games regularly because of COVID restrictions.
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province’s largest hospitals are at 91-per-cent capacity because of COVID-19 cases and widespread cancellation of more non-urgent surgeries may be necessary.
- A church in Langley, B.C., was fined $2,300 on the weekend after the congregation declined to disperse when asked to do so by the RCMP.
- Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said he was devastated after testing positive for COVID-19 and being ruled out of Sunday’s penultimate race of the season in Bahrain.
- Britain’s Debenhams announced today that it will wind down its operations after a bid to buy the retail company fell apart over “uncertainty facing the U.K. retail industry.”
- When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in Canada? How well do they 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.