Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
Note: The coronavirus newsletter’s schedule is changing to weekdays only. Watch for it in your inbox from Monday to Friday.
- As COVID-19 restrictions fall, the vaccinated could find themselves sharing more space with those who are unvaccinated. What does that mean for transmissibility?
- Ontario’s health minister won’t seek reelection in June
- Public health officials in Montreal opposed Quebec’s December curfew
In the past seven days, 39,946 cases were reported, down 4 per cent from the previous seven days.
There were 449 deaths announced, down 4 per cent over the same period. At least 4,454 people are being treated in hospitals. Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th among countries with a population of one million or more people.
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
- In Ontario, Health Minister Christine Elliott – who helmed the province’s COVID-19 response – announced she will not run for re-election in June. Nor will Independent MP Randy Hillier, who frequently posted false COVID-19 information during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Toronto’s mayor said major events will return in-person in the coming months.
- In Quebec, internal documents show Montreal public health officials were opposed last December to the province’s curfew, citing a lack of data show its effectiveness. Meanwhile, there were 1,313 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday.
- Long-standing inequities in Nova Scotia’s Black communities have been amplified by COVID-19, community leaders say.
- The government in Newfoundland won’t issue lottery licences to the church and community groups who put on Chase the Ace, the popular fundraiser, over public-health concerns.
In Ottawa, the chief public health officer said that the risk of another massive wave of infection is low in Canada, so long as Omicron is the dominant strain.
- Dr. Theresa Tam said the combination of recent Omicron cases and high vaccination rates means the country has good community-level protection – but if another variant emerges, that may change.
- However, better treatments and availability of rapid tests mean it’s unlikely measures like school closures or capacity limits would be necessary, Dr. Tam said.
After Omicron: Public health restrictions in Canada are being dropped. What does this mean for vaccinated individuals in the face of Omicron?
Coronavirus and business
A series of faculty strikes has hit Canadian universities, led by professors who are fed up with pandemic work conditions and what they call a lack of respect from their employers.
- Faculty say they’re tired and frustrated by two years of pandemic working conditions.
- While they’re willing to accept wage increases that fall short of inflation, they’re demanding concessions elsewhere to compensate.
Also today: An acceleration in U.S. job numbers suggests the labour market was moving past the COVID-19 pandemic and that the economy has weaned itself off government money.
- Why the pandemic is a ‘dress rehearsal’ for planning a retirement beyond finances
- As university strikes ripple across Canada, inflation and pandemic work conditions are shaping negotiations.
- Toronto FC will play in front of 20,000-plus fan at the BMO Field on Saturday. It will be the first time in two years the crowd has been that size, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Where do I book a COVID-19 booster or a vaccine appointment for my kids? Latest rules by province
- What is and isn't 'paid sick leave' in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine 'hangover'? Here's why
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.