Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Daily U.S. death tolls tops 3,000
- Health care workers in long-term care homes will be among the first Ontarians in line next week to receive vaccine at hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa. Here’s the rollout plans across Canada so far
- Poorer countries worry about barriers to vaccine access, as wealthy countries begin to roll out their programs
In Canada, there have been at least 442,070 cases reported. In the last week 45,800 new cases were announced, 6% more than the previous week. There have also been at least 355,735 recoveries and 13,109 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 14,008,190 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 68,894,596 cases confirmed and 1,569,374 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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Coronavirus in Canada
- Quebec’s long-term care system failed in its duty to ensure the safety and dignity of residents during the first wave of COVID-19, the province’s ombudswoman says. Meanwhile, Quebec’s Health Minister defended his government’s decision to shutter restaurant dining rooms, a move that went beyond public-health recommendations.
- In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced health care workers in Toronto and Ottawa will be the first to receive coronavirus vaccines next week. Also today, teachers are calling for an asymptomatic coronavirus testing pilot program to be expanded to all schools in Toronto. The province reported 1,983 new cases and 35 new deaths from coronavirus today.
- In Alberta, families of COVID-19′s younger victims sound the alarm about disease’s seriousness.
- New Brunswick announced its plan for the initial round of vaccine to be distributed next week.
- Yukon will get its first Moderna vaccine doses in January with more coming in March.
In Ottawa, a request by the provinces to dramatically increase federal health transfers to the provinces was front and centre at today’s first ministers’ meeting.
- Quebec Premier François Legault demanded specifics on vaccines, saying it is urgent to know how many doses the provinces will receive and when.
- The Conference Board of Canada projects that the total cost of health care will reach $246-billion in 2025. This month’s federal economic update said the Canada Health Transfer will be $49.1-billion that year, meaning the federal percentage would decline to about 20 per cent.
Still in Ottawa, the parliamentary budget watchdog said the federal government’s lack of details in its $100-billion stimulus plan is cause for concern and exposes the Finance Minister to significant lobbying efforts.
COVID-19: Jean Claude Dianzenza Bahati, father of nine and a health care aide, died so suddenly of the coronavirus that his family didn’t even get to hold a bedside vigil or have a teary goodbye over FaceTime. His death left layers of devastation.
Coronavirus around the world
- The United States’ daily death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 3,000 for the first time, prompting pleas for Americans to scale back Christmas plans even with vaccines on the cusp of winning regulatory approval. Meanwhile, first-time jobless claims rose to a near three-month high last week. Also, a U.S. government advisory panel endorsed widespread use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. Shots could begin within days, depending on how quickly the Food and Drug Administration signs off. Finally, Uber wants its drivers to get priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
- India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, is getting set for the massive global blitz to contain the coronavirus pandemic with its pharmaceutical industry and partners freeing up capacity and accelerating investments.
- In Denmark, the mass graves of culled mink are potentially contaminating groundwater and nearby protected nature areas. The country slaughtered 17 million mink after hundreds of farms suffered COVID-19 outbreaks.
- As wealthy countries begin to roll out their vaccine programs, poorer countries worry about barriers to access
Coronavirus and business
Hudson’s Bay Co. is taking the Ontario government to court in a bid to ease lockdowns on non-essential retail during the crucial holiday shopping season in Toronto and Peel Region, which include some of the country’s top-performing malls.
- Facing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario shut down all non-essential retailers in Toronto and Peel on Nov. 23.
- HBC and other retailers have argued that stricter physical distancing for all stores, rather than shutdowns of some stores, would be a more effective measure to keep shoppers safe.
Also today: The parent company of Sobeys is planning to accelerate the expansion of its e-commerce business as the pandemic drives demand for online shopping.
As well: B.C. antibody developer AbCellera raises expected IPO price amid huge investor demand.
And: The pandemic has made worse the existing systemic barriers faced by businesses owned by Indigenous women.
- Gary Mason: “I’m sorry, Mr. Kenney, but those are the numbers for which you must be held to account. Questions about your failed pandemic response this fall aren’t anti-Albertan at all; they are questions you should expect as Premier.”
- Jane Philpott, Kieran Moore and Ethan Toumishey: “An appropriate, equitable and fair compensation system with a transparent accountability process for monitoring potential AEFIs (adverse events following immunization) associated with COVID-19 immunization could increase public confidence in vaccines and promote uptake.”
- How did an entire industry speed up the vaccine timeline?
- How tiny towns in Newfoundland are pulling off COVID-19 lockdowns
- Film review: Physically distance yourself from Songbird, a crass and gimmicky ‘COVID-23′ thriller
- Alberta’s vaccinations against COVID-19 will start next week with hospital and care staff
- British Columbia to start its coronavirus vaccine rollout next week as health officials plead for patience
- Developer Concord Pacific is revamping four major projects to include post-COVID-19 design elements
- A group of 16 applicants that includes Canada’s six biggest banks and three largest insurance companies has applied for an order allowing them to hold electronic shareholder or policyholder meetings next year.
- When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in Canada? How well do they work? Here’s what you need to know.
- 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.
- Find answers to your coronavirus and employment questions.
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.