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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. South African scientists have detected a new heavily mutated COVID-19 variant amid spike in cases
  2. In genetic arms race with COVID-19 variants, Canada’s labs fight for better ways to share findings with each other and the world
  3. Job vacancies in Canada soared to more than one million, the latest sign that employers are struggling to fill positions in an increasingly tight labour market as pandemic restrictions have lifted

In the past seven days, 18,259 cases were reported, up 4 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 138 deaths announced, down 30 per cent over the same period. At least 1,527 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 16th 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.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopening

Photo of the day

Avery Rose, 8, poses for her dad Jeff Rose after receiving her COVID-19 vaccination at a Humber River Hospital vaccination clinic in Toronto today.COLE BURSTON/The Canadian Press

Coronavirus in Canada

In the first year of the pandemic, older Canadians who were lonely were twice as likely to experience symptoms of depression after the first lockdown, according to a study.

  • Having a lower socioeconomic status and more pandemic-related stressors put people at higher risk of depression, the study found. Women experienced higher rates of depression than men. Canadians between 50 and 65 fared more poorly than older seniors.

COVID-19 variants: Researchers across Canada are staying vigilant for new forms of the novel coronavirus, but barriers to data-sharing remain between researchers and provincial and federal agencies.

Violence against women: The number of women who were victims of homicide has risen in Canada over the past two years, according to preliminary data that researchers say reflect an increase in lethal domestic violence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transit: Canadian cities are asking for some kind of a funding commitment from the federal government for local transit systems, as ridership levels have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

The average home price across the country is 30 per cent higher than before the pandemic, with smaller cities and semi-rural areas experiencing record price increases.

  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is concerned about speculative investing in residential real estate, saying it’s pushing home prices higher.
  • The CMHC has already warned that the country’s housing market is overvalued and vulnerable to a price correction.

Also today: Job vacancies in Canada soared to more than one million, according to Statistics Canada. Nearly a fifth of all vacancies were in hospitality, which includes restaurants and hotels. That industry’s job vacancy rate was 14.4 per cent in September, the highest of any sector. The national vacancy rate was 6 per cent.

And: The boycott against Chapman’s ice cream over its COVID-19 vaccine policy backfired, instead driving renewed interest in the brand.

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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.

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