Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Shortly after South Africa received one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, disappointing trial results showed it’s ineffective against the country’s variant
- On the one-year anniversary of the death of Li Wenliang, mourners honour the Chinese whistle-blower
- Call it the loneliest Super Bowl – fans are forgoing big gatherings and watching the NFL championship at home, alone
In the last 7 days, 24,408 cases were reported, down 22 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 735 deaths announced, down 22 per cent over the same period. At least 2,900 people are being treated in hospitals and 738,770 others are considered recovered.
About 89 per cent of the 1,209,531 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 2.8 doses for every 100 people in Canada.
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: Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening • Canada’s vaccine distribution plan • Developing/approved vaccines • Pfizer’s vaccine, explained • Essential resources
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Ontario’s contingency planning for how doctors would cope with an uncontainable COVID-19 surge has occurred largely behind closed doors, raising alarm bells. And, a new hospital opening north of Toronto today will initially be a dedicated treatment hub for COVID-19 patients. Also, Toronto reported Ontario’s first case of a variant initially identified in Brazil. The province reported 1,489 new cases of the virus today.
- Quebec recorded more than 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 today, the highest in Canada.
- An outbreak of COVID-19 at a seniors’ home in Edmundston, New Brunswick, has been brought under control, public-health officials say.
- British Columbia’s Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry is urging British Columbians to stick with the bitter medicine of social restrictions – a “hard push,” she called it – to ensure an easing of those increased measures by the end of this month.
- Alberta’s long-term care homes are pressing the provincial government to protect them from lawsuits related to COVID-19 outbreaks.
The national COVID-19 case count surpassed 800,000 over the weekend as Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, urged Canadians to keep avoiding gatherings with people outside their households, including for tonight’s Super Bowl.
- The country reached the milestone exactly one week after Canada reported its 20,000th death linked to the pandemic, 10,000 of which occurred in Quebec.
Mildest flu season: Canada’s FluWatchers, a crowdsourced surveillance effort that helps public-health officials keep an eye on the spread of viral illnesses, have had next to nothing to watch this flu season.
A new COVID-19 treatment: Canadian scientists have shown that the drug interferon lambda can speed COVID-19 recovery and reduce the likelihood that the disease will spread to others over the course of an illness.
Coronavirus around the world
- Mourners in China are honouring one of eight whistle-blowers who local authorities punished early on for “spreading rumours” about a SARS-like virus on the one year anniversary of his death.
- Ecuador will choose a new president amid unprecedented health measures because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- South Africa will suspend use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot in its vaccination program after data showed it’s ineffective against the country’s coronavirus variant.
Coronavirus and business
Uber Eats couriers in Ontario say they’re earning as little as $3.99 per trip, months after the food delivery service implemented a new pay policy in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- At a time when people are relying on food delivery more than ever before, many delivery workers are seeing their wages shrinking.
- Uber scrapped an earnings structure last June that offered couriers fixed amounts based on pickups, drop offs, distance and time and a series of bonuses for using the service during busy periods.
Also today: Chinese restaurants are operating in a parallel system that remains puzzling to the larger restaurant industry.
- Tiffany Cassidy: ”By participating in a vaccine trial, and remaining in it to this day – meaning I’m either moving through the world with a highly sought-after vaccine or completely vulnerable – I’ve found myself on the front lines of philosophical debates.”
- Pasha Malla: “Among many things that I’ve come to miss over the past year or so – such as friends and sports and handshakes – I also miss the mall.”
- Marcus Gee: “We all need to escape the scroll of doom from time to time. What better way than to behold the serene grandeur of an owl?”
- People who report being lonely have more prominent “default networks,” regions of the brain that are associated with imagination and reminiscence, according to a new study
- 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.