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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. Air travellers returning to Canada from outside the United States should be ready to go into isolation until they receive a negative on-arrival COVID-19 test result, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos warned Friday.
  2. Canada’s expert vaccine panel advises boosters for those over 50, expands eligibility to anyone over 18
  3. Amid soaring demand for pets during the pandemic, the cost of being a pet parent has significantly increased

In the past seven days, 20,183 cases were reported, up two per cent from the previous seven days. There were 139 deaths announced, up one per cent over the same period. At least 1,473 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 16th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

The Globe and Mail

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: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopening

Photo of the day

People who have just received their jab against COVID-19 today wait for their vaccine card to be processed at the Orange Farm, South Africa, multipurpose centre. South Africa has accelerated its vaccination campaign a week after the discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.Jerome Delay/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

Air travellers returning to Canada from outside the United States should be ready to go into isolation pending a negative on-arrival COVID-19 test result, the health minister said.

  • The new rule was announced Tuesday and immediately created confusion for travellers because it came with few details on the timing of the rollout or how it would apply to those with layovers in the U.S. or Canada before reaching their final destination. Airports have been randomly testing passengers on arrival for months.

Booster shots: The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now strongly recommends booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines for people over the age of 50. NACI recommends people get a booster of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine six months after their second shot.

Oral, antiviral drug: Ottawa signed up for an initial one million courses of antiviral COVID-19 treatments in anticipation of Health Canada endorsing their safety and efficacy.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

After passing mostly unscathed through nearly two years of upheaval and grinding uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Canada’s big banks are at last showing signs that the pandemic is taking a financial toll.

  • Profits for The Big Six banks totalled $14.6-billion in the banks’ fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, and were up sharply from low levels in 2020.
  • But growth in new loans, the core engine that drives banks’ earnings higher, is not yet back to its pre-pandemic pace, even as there are indications that demand from borrowers is starting to return.

Also today: Google said it is indefinitely pushing back its January return-to-office plan globally amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus

And: The trucking industry faces a labour shortage as pandemic-driven online sales increased demand for truck drivers, but the number of people entering the industry has dropped. The workforce decline is being blamed on stagnant wages, shifting labour patterns and prohibitive insurance policies that make it difficult for new drivers to earn a living.

Globe opinion

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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.

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