Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Trudeau kicks off cabinet retreat, warns against relaxing guard on COVID-19
- Picard: “This pandemic is beginning to feel a lot like Groundhog Day. ... We wake up each day not only with the same news headlines, but also with the same challenges, the same frustrations and, in many cases, a growing feeling of hopelessness.”
- Ford says new regional lockdowns are possible as cases spike for fourth consecutive day in Ontario
In Canada, there have been at least 136,659 cases reported. In the last week 4,200 new cases were announced, 5 per cent more than the previous week. There have also been at least 120,431 recoveries and 9,171 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 6,604,775 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 28,994,824 cases confirmed and 923,873 deaths reported.
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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Ontario reported 313 new cases today, marking the fourth consecutive day the province has experienced a spike in infections.
Premier Doug Ford said he believes a second wave is coming, and that regional lockdowns could be possible if cases don’t come down.
Ford urged people to continue to follow public-health guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. He said social gatherings where people are not respecting those guidelines continue to be a main source of infection.
The head of the province’s hospital association also issued a warning on Monday that the increasing COVID-19 infection rates could plunge Ontario into a second lockdown.
Coronavirus in Canada
- A Quebec teachers’ union is suing the province and demanding the release of documents used to prepare the province’s back-to-school plan, claiming authorities are not being transparent about the number of infections in schools and are taking too long to implement a promised accelerated COVID-19 testing system. Meanwhile, the Bloc Québécois said Leader Yves-François Blanchet and the party’s whole caucus are in self-isolation after a member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.
- In Ontario, three Toronto-area school boards – Peel, Halton and Toronto – said they are delaying the start of virtual learning because of a growing demand for online education in the runup to back-to-school. Meanwhile, London’s public-health unit declared an outbreak at the University of Western Ontario after five students tested positive.
- Voters in New Brunswick cast their ballots in the first provincial election in Canada since the pandemic began. Premier Blaine Higgs said the biggest difference he noticed at the polling station was the hand sanitizer and everyone wearing masks.
- Hundreds of students in Alberta have been sent home because of school-linked cases of COVID-19, just two weeks into the school year.
In Ottawa, Justin Trudeau warned Canadians against relaxing their guard against COVID-19 as he and his cabinet kicked off two days of closed-door meetings to discuss the pandemic and how to lead the country through a possible second wave.
During the past several weeks, there’s been a resurgence in COVID-19 across Canada after a summer lull, which the Prime Minister said is a reminder that Canada is “not out of the woods yet.”
It is in this context that the retreat is being held. Originally focused on building a postpandemic economy, ministers are now expected to spend significant time mulling the immediate challenge of a second wave.
The government is operating on the assumption that the global fight against the deadly coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will continue for at least two more years, and that rebuilding the economy then will depend on protecting it now.
Also today: Three federal cabinet ministers warned COVID-19 researchers to take additional precautions to protect their efforts from thieves and vandals. Signed by Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, the statement recommends strong cybersecurity and physical-security protocols for pandemic-related research.
And: Some Canadians with disabilities have been isolated in their care homes for months. Experts say it could lead to an ‘avalanche’ of mental-health issues
Coronavirus around the world
- Fifteen scientists from five countries sent a formal letter to the international medical journal Lancet on Monday outlining doubts about the accuracy of early data on Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, one of the authors said, adding further fuel to a dispute surrounding the “Sputnik-V” shot.
- Clinical trials for AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University’s potential vaccine resumed in Brazil after AstraZeneca paused global trials temporarily last week after an unexplained illness in a participant in Britain. The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is running the trials, said in a statement that 4,600 of the planned 5,000 volunteers have been vaccinated in Brazil without any of them reporting any serious health issues.
- In the U.S., President Donald Trump held a packed, indoor rally in Nevada on Sunday among thousands of supporters, despite warnings against indoor events from the state’s governor and public-health officials.
- Parliament resumed in India after a five-month absence, with the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the nosediving economy and simmering tensions with China setting the stage for a turbulent session.
- André Picard: “This pandemic is beginning to feel a lot like Groundhog Day. ... We wake up each day not only with the same news headlines, but with the same challenges, the same frustrations and, in many cases, a growing feeling of hopelessness.”
- The Editorial Board: “Four weeks ago, the Trudeau government appeared eager to write a Sept. 23 Throne Speech that was all about the pandemic equivalent of the postwar world. The novel coronavirus has had other ideas. Sorry, Ottawa: It’s not yet VE Day.”
- Christopher Rutty: Canadian biochemist Leone N. Farrell’s "story resonates today for several reasons, especially since her critical work at Connaught Medical Research Laboratories of the University of Toronto was conducted in 1953, during Canada’s worst polio epidemic year. Indeed, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s experience with polio that year was the nation’s last most severe epidemic emergency as it affected most provinces and left some 9,000 reported cases and 500 deaths.”
- Zain Chagla, Isaac Bogoch and Sumon Chakrabarti: “It is important to consider that a vaccine may not automatically equal the end of COVID-19. Vaccination goes back centuries, marking one of the most significant interventions in medicine. Vaccine efficacy lies on a spectrum at the population and individual level.”
- Winnipegger, 95, walks a kilometre a day to raise money for city’s performing arts institutions
- The seven little words I’ve been waiting my whole motherhood to say
- Save Small Business advocacy campaign to wind down its Canadian pandemic policy efforts
For the wine aficionado🍷: Pilfering fruit in late summer is not such a bad thing if it’s on public property
From Adrienne Matei: “In late summer, my desires for light mischief and personal indulgence surpass the social codes I otherwise live by. This is my way of saying: I pick fruit that is not mine. I’m a person who goes for long, frequent walks, and when I walk, I look, and when I look, I am overcome by what is there to find. To quote the author Charlotte Mendelson: ‘There’s no English word for the frenzied state into which I’m thrown when I see a tree thick with crab apples, or greengages, or pears. Are you seriously expecting me, a greedy person, to ignore [them]?’”
- 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. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.