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Good evening, we’re updating the coronavirus newsletter to better reflect the pandemic as it changes. What would you like to see included? Send your thoughts to

Top headlines:

  1. The World Health Organization is calling for a halt on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots until at least the end of September
  2. Where, exactly, are the pockets of unvaccinated Canadians?
  3. Ontario announced $25-million in funding to improve ventilation in schools

In the past seven days, 6,052 cases were reported, up 56 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 49 deaths announced, down 14 per cent over the same period. At least 414 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,400,012 others are considered recovered.

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Canada’s inoculation rate is 7th among countries with a population of one million or more people.

aug 4 vaccine tracker

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

Registered Nurse Sarah Reinke with Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa administers a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Iron Gate Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 in Tulsa, Okla. Vaccines were offered to clients as they lined up for a meal in the morning.

Mike Simons, Tulsa World/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Alberta’s top doctor is apologizing for her messaging surrounding the province’s plan to eliminate remaining COVID-19 public-health measures. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says isolation measures were incredibly disruptive and are no longer necessary with vaccine protection. Meanwhile, places like High Level, Alta., lag behind the rest of the country in terms of vaccination rate. Just 16 per cent of the population in High Level have had their first dose.
  • In Manitoba, too, the Rural Municipality of Stanley holds a first-dose vaccination rate of 16 per cent. And, only about 30 per cent of the total population in Winkler has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine – well below the 69-per-cent average across the province.
  • Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced ventilation upgrades in schools today. A standalone HEPA unit will be installed in every classroom that needs one by the fall.

The World Health Organization highlighted the vaccine gap between wealthy and poor countries as the reason why it’s calling for a halt on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September.

  • “I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,” said WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
  • High-income countries administered around 50 doses for every 100 people in May, and that number has since doubled, according to WHO. Low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply.

U.S. visitors: The U.S. is developing a plan to eventually lift travel restrictions. A White House official said under the plan, nearly all foreign visitors to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Canada border strike: Just as Canada is preparing to allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit without having to quarantine, Canadian Border Service Agency workers are preparing to strike if an agreement with the government isn’t made by Friday.

Coronavirus and business

Microsoft will now require employees to be fully vaccinated to enter the company’s U.S. offices and other worksites, according to a report.

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  • The company’s new vaccine mandate won’t be imposed outside of the U.S. due to legal and vaccine-distribution differences, the memo said.
  • Microsoft’s new vaccine policy follows similar moves last week by other employers, including Google and Facebook, along with Disney and Walmart.

Also today: Oil prices fell on worries the spread of the Delta variant will weigh on global energy demand

Globe opinion

More reporting

  • CFL: The league is ready to kick off a new season after it cancelled its plans for an abbreviated 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Cinematic art installation Uninterrupted – interrupted by COVID-19 – returns for new VR show

Information centre

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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