Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Tokyo reported nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday – one day before the Olympics begin
- Britain is now facing a surge in COVID-19 infections, causing a ‘pingdemic’ of alerts
- Safetodo.ca – which published the names of businesses in Ontario with fully inoculated staff – was taken down after eliciting bad reviews, false reservations and hateful messages from vaccine-hesitant groups
In the past seven days, 3,125 cases were reported, up 2 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 55 deaths announced, down 18 per cent over the same period. At least 448 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,394,103 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 7th 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.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Yukon is set to lift its COVID-19 restrictions on travel and indoor gatherings as vaccination rates climb and the number of infections remain low.
- Ontario’s science advisers say proof-of-vaccination certificates would allow for a quicker reopening, especially in high-risk settings. The province reported 185 new COVID-19 cases, and seven deaths.
- In Alberta, the office tower vacancy rate in downtown Calgary now sits at 29.2 per cent, an historic high, amid oil and gas industry and pandemic woes.
A website that published the names of businesses with fully inoculated staff shut down after the listed companies experienced an onslaught of bad reviews, false reservations and hateful messages from anti-vaccination groups and individuals.
- “Our goal is to make people feel safe,” said People’s Pint Brewing Co. owner Doug Appeldoorn. But the Toronto brewery started getting one-star ratings on its Google reviews page after his company was listed on safetodo.ca. Mr. Appeldoorn said that, before last week, his establishment had never received anything below four stars.
Coronavirus in Tokyo
- Tokyo hit another six-month high in daily new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, as worries grow of worsening infections during the Games. Eighty-seven Olympic participants have now tested positive for COVID-19 – 20 by airport arrival testing and 67 at regular screening tests. Among them, two more members of the Czech Olympic team have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting an investigation as the team total rises to six.
- Meanwhile, for the better part of three months during the pandemic, testing for performance-enhancing drugs came to a virtual standstill worldwide.
Coronavirus around the world
- In Britain, a rapid rise in alerts, warning users that they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, is causing a ‘pingdemic.’
- Death rates have soared amid record numbers of new cases being reported in countries across Southeast Asia, which have left health care systems struggling to cope and governments scrambling.
- U.S. President Joe Biden pleaded with skeptical Americans to get vaccinated, as rising COVID-19 cases threaten to undermine progress.
- China rejected the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19.
Coronavirus and business
Amazon Prime Day is cancelled in Canada this year, because of the impact of COVID-19 on its operations.
- A company spokesman says the event was cancelled this year while “we focus on the health and safety of our employees, customers and selling partners.”
Also today: The U.S. housing market is coming back to pre-COVID levels, as evidenced by a slew of data released this week.
- Sheldon James and Claudio Rojas: Supporting Canada’s Black economy is key to building back better
- Rob Carrick: Even if housing prices fall, the era of affordable houses in Canada seems to be done
- Why more people plan to retire as the pandemic recedes
- Diving back in: How to handle the stress of transitioning to life after the lockdown
- Why it matters that children are playing sports again
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Waiting for a second dose? We answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions
- What is and isn’t ‘paid sick leave’ in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine ‘hangover’? Here’s why
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.