Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- As coronavirus lockdowns lift, how far can we return to normal without triggering a second wave?
- New data shows that minorities and low-income earners are more susceptible to COVID-19
- Ottawa offers provinces help to boost lagging COVID-19 testing
In Canada, there have been at least 83,621 cases reported, which is more than double the number from 31 days ago. There have also been at least 43,318 recoveries and 6,355 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 1,494,055 tests.
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 resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
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A Toronto Public Health analysis of COVID-19 cases in the city shows that neighbourhoods in the lowest-income group have 205 cases and 34 admissions to hospital per population of 100,000, the highest income group has only 94 cases and 15 admissions.
- That analysis is based on cases tracked up until May 10.
- It looks at census tracts and divides five groups for each category of analysis: income, proportion of newcomers and unemployment.
They found: Neighbourhoods with the lowest incomes, highest rates of unemployment and highest concentrations of newcomers consistently have twice the number of cases of COVID-19 and more than twice the rate of hospital admissions.
Coronavirus in Canada
There are currently at least 2,468 hospitalized cases, a 12% drop from a week ago. Of those 335 are in intensive care.
- Leaders of Tataskweyak Cree Nation locked down access to a Manitoba Hydro work camp, worried about a plan by the provincially owned utility that would bring 1,000 workers to continue construction. Across the country, many small and remote communities are voicing concern as restrictions on work and travel are eased.
- In B.C., Vancouver police have opened 29 cases involving hate-fuelled attacks on people of East Asian descent compared to just four during the same time period last year. Deputy Chief Constable Laurence Rankin said investigators need to work to build cases against suspects, as a disturbing wave of hatred is linked to the pandemic.
- Calgary and Brooks will rejoin the rest of Alberta in opening restaurants, cafés and hair salons on Monday, after the government said COVID-19 infection data show progress on containing the virus. Calgary accounts for more than half of cases in the province.
- Quebec had hundreds more deaths than anticipated in the early weeks of the pandemic that are not accounted for by the official COVID-19 death toll. The preliminary data show fatalities were 8.5-per-cent higher than might have been expected after accounting for the virus.
Nationally, more than 1,000 researchers have written to Ottawa to call for direct investments of up to $28-million per month to help continue their work, saying a lack of immediate support would result in lasting effects on health research in Canada.
Coronavirus around the world
Worldwide, there have been at least 5,270,537 cases confirmed, 2,087,666 recoveries and 340,186 deaths reported.
- Vladimir Putin has seemed conspicuously absent during the COVID-19 crisis. The Russian strongman’s popularity is at historic lows as local governments grapple with outbreaks, uncertainty about official death tolls and anxiety that the Kremlin won’t spend enough to revive the economy.
- British farmers have relied almost exclusively on seasonal workers from Eastern Europe for years. But the pandemic has shut borders and cut off the regular supply of labourers. Now growers and the government are scrambling to fill the void by hiring locals.
- Malaysia welcomed Rohingya and largely turned a blind eye to their illegal employment in low-paying jobs. But, as in some other parts of the world, the coronavirus outbreak has turned sentiment against foreigners, blaming them for disease spread and economic failure.
- U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee on Friday ordered the U.S. government to better explain why it hasn’t released some of the approximate 350 parents and children in three family detention centres.
Question and answer
Question: My finances aren’t rock solid, but could now be a good time to buy a home?
Robert McLister: Aspiring owners should think carefully before buying a home with the minimum down payment. So warns Canada’s most vocal housing official.
"A first-time home buyer purchasing a $300,000 home with a 5-per-cent down payment stands to lose over $45,000 on their $15,000 investment if prices fall just 10 per cent, which we are forecasting,” Evan Siddall, chief executive of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), told a parliamentary committee earlier this week.
This fate could affect a large cohort if they’re forced to realize those losses. An estimated one in three first-time buyers and one in eight new mortgages have less than 10-per-cent equity. Most such folks are putting down just 5 per cent, which, after default-insurance fees, leaves them almost 100-per-cent financed.
If you’re anxious to own a home, I don’t blame you. But if you’re not rock-solid financially, renting a bit longer is sensible risk management.
For the Homebody looking for a change
- Cooking: Revive your weekly menu with these recipes focused on seasonal produce
- Making a move: Why some people are choosing country life over the city
- Child care: Parents turn to virtual sitters and playdates in effort to ease around-the-clock childcare burden
More Globe reporting and opinion
- Amid growing pressure to refund customers’ air fares, Air Canada has broadened its travel credit policy, but is still refusing to give back cash for cancelled flights.
- The pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canada’s growers of ornamental flowers, most of which are in Ontario. As the disease spread, florists, garden centres, funerals, weddings, grocery stores commercial growers all slowed or stopped buying flowers.
- In Canada’s biggest cities, politicians and officials are not yet unveiling permanent efforts to avoid a rise in car traffic.
- Kelly Cryderman: “Perhaps the UCP believes there’s no winning with those who see the environment as a key priority. But many Albertans are concerned by any moves that weaken environmental monitoring, and the world is watching, as well."
- Jennifer Keesmaat,Kwame McKenzie, Richard Florida: “So while the crisis overturns our routines and highlights what’s most important to us, it also provides a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the change we require in Canadian cities”
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize 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.
- How to get physical distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage physical distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
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