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Top headlines:

  1. Canada is entering a fourth wave, the country’s top doctor says, days ahead of an expected election call
  2. The domino effect: More Ontario universities make vaccinations mandatory for campus access
  3. Canada is donating all of its Johnson & Johnson vaccines to low and middle-income countries

In the past seven days, 11,258 cases were reported, up 71 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 59 deaths announced, down 6 per cent over the same period. At least 515 people are being treated in hospitals and 1,406,054 others are considered recovered.

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.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopening

Photo of the day

Students wearing masks listen to their teacher during their first day of transitional kindergarten at Tustin Ranch Elementary School in Tustin, Calif., on Thursday.Paul Bersebach/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, Canada announced it will donate 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccines – the entirety of supply purchased from J&J – to low and middle-income countries through COVAX.

  • Health Canada authorized the one-shot vaccine in early March, but J&J doses were never administered in Canada.
  • Canada will make the donation through COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing alliance. According to International Development Minister Karina Gould, Canada has now committed to donate a total of 40 million vaccine doses.
  • The donation news arrives as many developing nations continue to struggle with a shortage of shots.

Canada is now in the grip of a fourth wave of COVID-19, says Canada’s top doctor, just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to trigger an election on Sunday.

  • Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam warned that “a fourth wave is underway in Canada and that cases are plotting along a strong resurgence trajectory.” The update comes just as Prime Minister is expected to call a snap election for September.
  • “Nationally, there are now over 13,000 active cases – more than double from two weeks ago,” Dr. Tam said.

Campaign pledges: In its pre-election campaign promises, the NDP included provisions for ensuring Canada is better prepared for a pandemic and for improving the long-term care system.

Vaccine passports: The National Airlines Council of Canada approves of the standardized digital certification of vaccine status, saying it is critical to restart the country’s travel and tourism sectors.

Coronavirus around the world

  • A third booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines for people with weakened immune systems is expected to be authorized by the U.S. FDA.
  • Surging infections in the Tokyo area are severely affecting the health-care system, a key medical adviser to Japan’s Prime Minister warned.
  • Despite seven weeks of lockdown in Sydney, daily infections continue to hover near record highs, prompting the possibility that extra Australian military personnel may be called in to ensure compliance with lockdown rules.
  • Israel is poised to give COVID-19 vaccine boosters to those 50 and older.

Coronavirus and business

Canada’s three largest grocers offered a clearer picture of how the COVID-19 crisis has shaped shopping habits.

  • At the onset of the pandemic, Metro, Empire Co. and Loblaw saw sales soar as shoppers stockpiled everything, prompting shortages of items such as flour and toilet paper. Now, the trend is quite the opposite, they report.

Also today: As Canadians make their gradual return to the office, will they be as willing as before to suit up? According to an IWG poll, 59 per cent think it’ll be acceptable to dress less formally in the office when they return.

And: The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated in a report Thursday that the federal government could make about $177-million from an aid deal reached with Air Canada in April.

Plus: The Toronto International Film Festival announced it will not mandate COVID-19 vaccines to attend its venues – but will make masks and testing mandatory for talent and media.

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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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