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

Top headlines:

  1. Canada on track to log 5,000 daily cases day by late October if country’s pandemic stays on current course
  2. COVID-19 has killed at least 200,000 in the U.S., by far the highest death toll in the world
  3. Ottawa’s offices empty out as federal employees work from home

In Canada, there have been at least 146,663 cases reported. In the past week 7,614 new cases were announced, 44 per cent more than the previous week.

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There have also been at least 9,234 deaths. Six new deaths were reported today, compared with 11 yesterday.

The Globe and Mail

Worldwide, there have been at least 31,320,880 cases confirmed and 964,746 deaths reported.

Sources: Canadian data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.


Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each provinceGlobal rules on mask-wearingBack to school


Photo of the day

A volunteer places American flags representing some of the 200,000 people in United States who died of COVID-19 on the National Mall in Washington, U.S.

JOSHUA ROBERTS/Reuters


Number of the day

200,000

In the United States, 200,000 people have died of COVID-19, the highest confirmed death toll of any country in the world. That’s a 9/11 attack each day for 67 days, or the population of Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • On average, close to 770 people die each day in the U.S, and a widely cited University of Washington model predicts the figure will double to 400,000 by the end of the year.
  • The U.S. has less than 5 per cent of the globe’s population but more than 20 per cent of the reported deaths.

The U.S. surpassed 100,000 dead on May 27.


Coronavirus in Canada

  • In Ontario, the Toronto District School Board says it is drawing on its pool of supply teachers as it rushes to meet a surge in demand for online learning. Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford said encouraging residents to get the flu shot is the first part of the province’s plan to fight COVID-19 this fall, adding the province has spent $70-million on 5.1 million doses.
  • Quebec raised the alert level for two regions to moderate, and another region to early-warning. The moderate designation is the second-highest level, bringing in tighter restrictions on bars and restaurants and limits on most gatherings.
  • In British Columbia, the province’s chief electoral officer says the province has a plan to ensure safe voting procedures ahead of the Oct. 24 election. ElectionsBC is estimating up to 40 per cent of ballots will be cast by mail, which would delay the final election count.

In Ottawa, Canada will see a dramatic resurgence of COVID-19 cases unless people limit contact with others in coming days, the country’s Chief Public Health Officer warns.

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  • Canada is on track to log 5,000 coronavirus cases a day by late October, more than twice the number reported at the height of the spring wave, if the country’s epidemic continues on its current course, the Public Health Agency of Canada is warning.
  • The federal Minister of Health stressed the need for a “surgical approach” to future lockdowns, given the spread of coronavirus is different across the country and within individual provinces.

Still in Ottawa, federal parties disagree over how Parliament should return even with a Throne Speech set for tomorrow afternoon.

  • The federal parties disagree over the best way ensure health and safety while ensuring full parliamentary representation and accountability. Liberals want a hybrid in-person and remote model, while some Conservatives remain uncomfortable with electronic voting.
  • The Throne Speech will focus on the immediate needs such as public health, income replacement supports, and a longer-term plan for economic recovery, sources tell The Globe.
  • In a rare move, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a televised address to the country after the Throne Speech and reinforce the message that Canada is not out of the woods. [What you need to know about the return of Parliament]

Coronavirus around the world

  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across Britain has quadrupled over the past month to more than 4,000 per day. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered pubs to close early and people to work from home as much as possible for the next six months.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” COVID-19 on the world, prompting Beijing to accuse him of “lies” and abusing the UN platform to provoke confrontation.
  • COVID-19 forced the European Union to postpone a scheduled summit for a week after EU Council President Charles Michel went into quarantine because a close collaborator tested positive for the virus.

Coronavirus and business

Global airlines said antigen tests should be administered pre-departure for all international passengers to replace the quarantine measures they say are exacerbating the travel slump.

  • Airlines want governments to use alternative measures in place of blanket travel restrictions.
  • Antigen tests are faster but generally more likely to miss positive cases of the virus than laboratory-based molecular diagnostic tests.

Also today: The federal government is the largest real estate tenant in the Ottawa region and has made no indication it is encouraging its staff to return to their offices. However, commercial real estate industry veterans are not worried about a mass exodus from the downtown core.

And: Lessons from six months of pandemic-hit markets


Globe opinion

  • Thomas Gunton: “The federal government’s upcoming Throne Speech is widely expected to include a green recovery strategy to rebuild the Canadian economy after COVID-19. But what the strategy will say about the future of fossil-fuel production in Canada and the government’s decision to build an oil pipeline remains an open question.”
  • John Ibbitson: “A report released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute, a conservative think tank, shows that a relentlessly aging population, coupled with the economic trauma of COVID-19, has Canada on track to reach debt levels worse even than the 1990s."
  • Dale Smith: “Apparently, in a pandemic, you can forgo democratic norms, in spite of all promises to respect them. Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the by-election dates for Toronto Centre and York Centre a mere day after he unilaterally appointed candidates Marci Ien and Ya’ara Saks, respectively, to run in those ridings.”

More reporting


Distractions

📚 For the book lover: Join Margaret Atwood and Thomas King tomorrow night for a discussion of three works: The Inconvenient Indian, Obsidian and Indians on Vacation.

Sept. 23: Margaret Atwood returns to host the Globe's book club with guest Thomas King, the author of Indians on Vacation, The Inconvenient Indian, and Obsidian. Join Atwood and King for a livestream ⤵️

Posted by The Globe and Mail on Friday, August 21, 2020
  • Join The Globe and Mail on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET for a livestream conversation
  • Readers without a Facebook account will be able to view the conversation on The Globe’s website.

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