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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. About 17,000 Canadians have filed claims for lost wages because of COVID-19, 75 per cent being health care and social-assistance employees
  2. Florida passes 300,000 mark of confirmed cases and reports more than 100 daily deaths for the third time in a week
  3. Virus resurgence forces countries around the world to reimpose restrictions

In Canada, there have been at least 108,714 cases reported. In the last week, 2,281 new cases were announced, 14 per cent fewer than the previous week. There have also been at least 72,377 recoveries and 8,810 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 3,515,579 tests.

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Worldwide, there have been at least 13,323,530 cases confirmed and 578,628 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.


Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province


Photo of the day

Andrew Lubczuk looks down from the 553-metre (1,815-foot) high CN Tower, which reopened on July 15 for the first time since coronavirus restrictions were imposed in Toronto. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters


Number of the day

300,000

Florida passed the 300,000 mark of confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday and reported more than 100 daily deaths for the third time in a week.

Those figures led state Democratic leaders to accuse Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of not acting aggressively enough to stem the virus.

Health officials reported 10,181 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 301,810 since the outbreak began in the state March 1.

The governor’s “hands-off approach is not working,” State Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson said. “He’s losing the war against the pandemic, and that means the people of the state of Florida are losing the war against the pandemic.”

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Coronavirus in Canada

  • The biggest school board in Ontario, the Toronto District School Board, is costing three options for a fall return. The costliest – with cohorts of 15 and almost 2,500 more teachers – has a price tag of up to $248.9-million. Two alternates are less expensive, but would mean cutting the length of the school day, or increasing the per-cohort number of students and eliminated French classes.
  • Starting July 18, private-sector offices in Quebec can reopen at 25 per cent capacity, in a bid to help revitalize the downtown cores in the province’s major cities. Health authorities are trying to increase Montreal’s testing capacity after it was requested that anyone who was at a bar since July 1 get tested, as at least 30 cases are tied to bars in the city. Health experts warn that indoor bars and parties with alcohol pose significant health risk.
  • British Columbia’s $10-million program – introduced in April following a March outbreak – to quarantine migrant workers is estimated to have prevented more 28 potential outbreaks, officials say. Meanwhile in Ontario, hundreds of migrant workers have tested positive and three have died.
  • Health officials in Saskatchewan attribute nearly 60 new cases in the last three days to communal living arrangements and increased access to testing.
  • Nunavut, the only region in the country without a confirmed coronavirus case, reported two presumptive cases.

In Ottawa, the government has provided no status update to charities on the fate of the $900-million student grant program.

The government says it is still working on the program’s details, but has otherwise provided little to no information.

Also today: About 13,000 health care workers in Canada have filed workplace injury claims tied to the coronavirus. Health care and social-assistance employees account for 75 per cent of total claims, mostly from Quebec and Ontario.


Coronavirus around the world

  • U.S. disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he does not understand the Trump administration’s effort to discredit him in the battle against coronavirus; Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican who attended Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa nearly three weeks ago, has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh has stepped down, plunging the country into a political crisis as it tries to weather the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Watch: Health experts put Tokyo on the highest alert for coronavirus infections and have been alarmed by a recent spike in cases in the city.

Around the world:

  • More than 70 wealthy countries have signed up to a global coronavirus vaccine initiative intended to ensure that any effective shots are fairly distributed around the world – but which may also allow them to buy more vaccines to stockpile for their own citizens.
  • Countries across the globe are reimposing restrictions from the early days of the pandemic as cases continue to surge.

Coronavirus and business

The Bank of Canada says the country’s economy will shrink 7.8 per cent this year.

  • The central bank kept its key interest rate at 0.25 per cent – an all-time low – and left its large-scale bond-purchase programs unchanged. The bank signalled both policies will remain far into Canada’s economic recovery.
  • In the second quarter, Canada lost “about 15 per cent” of its economic activity compared to end of 2019 levels and lost 13.1 per cent of real GDP, the bank said.
  • The bank indicated economic recovery will be slow, warning workers and businesses will likely see an “extended period of difficulty.”

Also today: Canadian home sales rebound up 63% in June.

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And: Canadian factory sales jumped by record 10.7%, still well below pre-pandemic levels.


Globe opinion

  • Campbell Clark: “Those emergency CERB payments of $2,000 a month are set to disappear in six weeks. What’s on deck to replace them is an expanded, CERB-like form of employment insurance – one that’s easier to get and covers more people.”
  • Robyn Urback: “But indoor dining and drinking (which means uncovered faces, blowing on hot foods, potential air-conditioning transmission and so forth) poses a strong risk of regression [in Ontario], which seems unnecessary when we still have many more summer weeks ahead of us.”
  • Shannon Maree Torrens: “While accountability is a noble aspiration – whether through domestic or international prosecution, or some combination of litigation, sanctions or compensation – it will not stop the pandemic nor bring back the dead.”
  • Konrad Yakabuski: “Shutting down schools in March was part of a kitchen-sink approach taken by governments across Canada to halt the spread of COVID-19. Following several European countries, and a hunch that children might be super-spreaders of the coronavirus, kids were pulled out of the classroom and placed in bubble wrap by overprotective parents and policy makers alike.”

More reporting


Distractions


Courtesy of manufacturer

📚 For the struggling parents: Your kids continue to be at home. Here are 3 children’s books to (hopefully) keep them entertained (and quiet, maybe).

  • Don’t Let Go!, by Elisabeth Edues-Pascal: This book, for kids 3-7, shows that nothing beats enjoying a refreshing swim, although the Polar Bear family prefers icebergs to a sandy beachfront.
  • Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer, by Gillian Goerz: For kids 8-12, this book features Shirley, a detective who other children come to when something goes wrong.
  • Be Amazing: A History of Pride, by Desmond Napoles and Dylan Glynn: For kids 6-10, this book offers an introduction to Pride by a 13-year-old drag performer, model and LGBTQ activist.

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