Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- ‘It’s the first step for us’: A Winnipeg high school principal encouraged teachers to get vaccinated once he learned that the age eligibility for the AstraZeneca had lowered – and did his best to streamline the process for staff
- The site of Canada’s largest workplace outbreak – Cargill’s slaughterhouse in High River, Alberta, has postponed a planned vaccine clinic
- Thousands of hospital staff across Canada have not been vaccinated – which could potentially put patients at risk
In the last 7 days, 58,611 cases were reported, down 1 per cent from the previous 7 days. There were 317 deaths announced, up 17 per cent over the same period. At least 4,304 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,034,538 others are considered recovered.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 17th among 84 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, Premier Doug Ford is isolating after one of his close staffers tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the province’s scientific advisers are urging the creation of a lottery for tocilizumab – one of two drugs known to reduce mortality in critically ill patients – in case there is a shortfall during the third wave.
- Alberta postponed a vaccination clinic at the Cargill slaughterhouse that last year was the site of Canada’s biggest workplace outbreak of COVID-19, with more than one thousand workers infected and three deaths. The clinic would have given about 2,100 employees easy access to vaccines.
- When Manitoba lowered the age of eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine, one Winnipeg principal made an announcement to the entire school, allowing teachers to take time to book a shot.
- Business groups say they were looking for more signs of a post-pandemic vision in British Columbia’s budget.
In Ottawa, Canada’s top doctor said the government is doing “further analysis” on flights arriving from India as COVID-19 cases in that country surge.
- Dr. Theresa Tam said Canada will be doing a risk assessment and “using the data that we have now collected at the border to inform our next steps.”
- Calls are mounting for Ottawa to limit travel from hot spots, including India, which saw nearly 300,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday alone, with 2,000 more deaths related to the coronavirus.
- In the last two weeks, 35 flights have arrived from from India with at least one case of COVID-19, according to the Canadian government.
COVID-19 vaccines: Some front-line hospital workers across Canada have still not been vaccinated.
Coronavirus around the world
- In the United States, President Joe Biden is announcing the launch of a tax credit for small businesses to provide paid leave for those getting vaccinated or potentially needing to take time off to recover from side effects. Also today, Biden said the U.S. will help Canada procure more COVID-19 vaccines.
- A first batch of COVID-19 vaccines landed in opposition-held Syria, just as the war-torn country experiences a new surge in infections, overwhelming hospitals already reeling from conflict and deteriorating health care services.
Coronavirus and business
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is urging businesses to have patience on the reopening of the border.
- Pressed by the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce at an event for criteria to reopen the border, Freeland didn’t provide any details, citing the unpredictable nature of COVID-19.
- Freeland acknowledged that Canadian companies want – and need – predictability, but asked for their patience and “flexibility.”
And: Cirque du Soleil is planning to start doing shows beginning in late June.
Also today: Metro is going to give employees gift cards again as a pandemic work bonus, but the union said that was insufficient, calling on the grocery-store chain and other businesses to reinstate temporary pay increases as the pandemic continues.
- John Ibbitson: Will Doug Ford meet the same fate as Mike Harris?
- André Picard: In praise of COVID-19 vaccine selfies: Why you should celebrate your shot with a shot
- The Editorial Board: Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s overbearing leadership has created a leadership vacuum, and now others are rushing to fill it.
- Hockey: Women’s world hockey championship cancelled again due to COVID-19
- Stop making fun of my e-bike: You can find all sorts of online comments from regular cyclists who heap scorn on e-bikers
- Video: A U.S. plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems, including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions
- 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.