Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Provinces should not use AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors, according to a national panel
- A new online tool allows Metro Vancouver residents to track the viral load of COVID-19 found in untreated waste water
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford overrode medical expert advice by opening up COVID-19 testing to all Ontarians, which overwhelmed the system
In the last 7 days, 20,586 cases were reported, up 1 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 295 deaths announced, down 26 per cent over the same period. At least 1,998 people are being treated in hospitals and 817,591 others are considered recovered.
About 80 per cent of the 2,441,670 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 5.1 doses for every 100 people in Canada.
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 charts • Lockdown rules and reopening • Canada’s vaccine distribution plan • Developing/approved vaccines • Pfizer’s vaccine, explained • Essential resources
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Coronavirus in Canada
- British Columbia will extend the period between first and second vaccine shots to four months because of the “miraculous” protection of the initial BioNTech and Moderna dose, the province’s top doctor said. And, Vancouver residents can now use an online tool that maps waste-water treatment plants and the coronavirus to see a snapshot of the COVID-19 virus trend for their area. Plus, British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions on churches is being challenged in court today.
- Quebec’s mass vaccination campaign is underway, with 200,000 appointments booked as of Monday morning as the province reports the lowest number of new daily infections, just 613 cases, since September.
- In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford went over the advice of his government’s medical experts in May when COVID-19 testing criteria was expanded to anyone in the province, a move that overwhelmed the system and led to a increase turnaround time for results. Meanwhile, some health units in the province are set to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines. And, Toronto will prioritize giving the COVID-19 vaccine to people experiencing homelessness.
- Amid concerns about COVID-19 variants and rising infection numbers, Alberta is set to announce today if the province will move ahead with the second stage of reopenings.
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use Friday on all Canadian adults, but the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is raising some concerns.
- The panel of experts is concerned there is limited data on how well the vaccine will work in older populations.
- There are no concerns that the vaccine is not safe for use.
Quarantine safety: MPs will hear from federal ministers and officials on the safety of returning travellers after two women were allegedly sexually assaulted during a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine.
COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Ottawa hopes to start receiving doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine this week. Canada has ordered 24 million doses, with the majority to be delivered between April and September.
Coronavirus around the world
- Democrats are backpedaling on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion coronavirus relief bill.
- Factory activity in the euro zone was buzzing in February thanks to soaring demand, a new survey showed.
Coronavirus and business
Most of CIBC’s employees will continue to work from home until at least the end of June, the company said today.
- In an internal memo, the bank said its staff will gradually return to the office, informed by public-health guidance. The bank will also survey staff to help refine its plans.
Also today: A new analysis of the financial well-being of Canadians shows broad gains in household wealth, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Globe editorial board: The pandemic was supposed to cool Canada’s hot housing market. Instead, it’s hotter than ever.
- Andrew Willis: Mark Machin’s inoculation controversy shows CEOs losing faith with Canada’s vaccine plan.
- Units in two more Metro Vancouver hospitals closed after COVID-19 outbreaks were declared.
- How well do vaccines 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.