Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Worn down by months on the frontlines of COVID-19, nurses are leaving in droves
- Trudeau promises a border restriction update “in the week to come”
- Ontario enters Step 3 of its reopening plan; gyms, movie theatres, and indoor dining return
In the past seven days, 2,732 cases were reported, down 24 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 70 deaths announced, down 14 per cent over the same period. At least 506 people are being treated in hospitals.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 9th 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
- Ontario has loosened guidelines for group homes as the province moves into Step 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan. Scheduled indoor and outdoor non-essential visits, along with recreational outings, will now be permitted. Also today, people in the province were able to return to gyms, movie theatres and restaurant dining rooms.
- Quebec is offering $2 million in cash prizes and student bursaries to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The lottery system will be split into prizes for adults and children aged 12 to 17, who will need to register on the government’s online vaccine-appointment portal to be eligible to win.
- Manitoba is moving forward with the latest step in its reopening plans, allowing cinemas to welcome back audiences for the first time in months. Movie theatres in Manitoba get the go-ahead to resume business on Saturday.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised an announcement on border restrictions “in the week to come,” but is seeking feedback from premiers and territorial leaders on how and when to ease restrictions on international travel to Canada.
- The Canadian border could open to fully-vaccinated Americans for non-essential travel in mid-August, according to a readout from the Prime Minister’s Office. If vaccination rates continue to increase, the country may be able to open its borders to fully-vaccinated travellers from all countries by early September, the readout said.
“We’ve seen nurses leave and leave and leave”: After 16 merciless months on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, worn-down Canadian nurses are retiring early, moving to part-time hours, or are leaving the profession entirely.
- The nursing shortage, a long-standing problem exacerbated by COVID-19, is now forcing some hospitals to close beds temporarily, scale back emergency-department hours over the summer and delay the full reopening of operating rooms.
Coronavirus around the world
- The number of daily COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom has topped 50,000 for the first time since the peak of the pandemic in January, raising concerns about the British government’s plans to ease all remaining restrictions on Monday.
- In the United States, residents of Los Angeles, California will again be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases from the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Coronavirus and business
Travel agents say that while there is no lack of enthusiasm among Canadians to travel abroad, confusing vaccine policies are holding back a full rebound in the industry.
- Before the pandemic, the documents outlining entry requirements that travel agent Kristin Hoogendoorn would hand her clients prior to a trip typically consisted of a single page. Now documents run as long as six pages and consist of complicated entry requirements that often change.
- The situation is also affecting the amount of labour involved in each booking. Tripcentral.ca president Richard Vanderlubbe said booking a trip for a client can now take three times as long as it did before the pandemic.
Also today: The Canadian dollar has been losing ground over the past two months – despite rising employment and inflation, along with declining cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
- Robyn Urback: What good is a pandemic smoke alarm when a government doesn’t even react to flames?
- Elizabeth Renzetti: Unfortunately, nurses can’t live on praise alone
- A field hospital built to deal with COVID-19 cases in Calgary is being used to relieve pressure on emergency departments facing significant strain in recent weeks.
- A one-time tax on Canadians with more than $10-million in net wealth would generate about $60-billion in new revenue, according to a new report by Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who requested the report, argues that a wealth tax could help offset the cost to governments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Waiting for a second dose? We answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions
- 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.