Good evening. The coronavirus newsletter will pause on Monday, for Labour Day. It will return Friday, Sept. 9.
- Many teachers hope to continue ‘ungrading’ students – scrapping exams for alternative methods that proved useful during the pandemic
- Health Canada approved a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron variant, yesterday. Here’s what you need to know
- Members of Ontario’s outgoing science table say they would have advised against the decision to scrap COVID-19 isolation requirements, had they been consulted
An increasing number of health agencies have changed how they're reporting data on the coronavirus. A look at the current numbers in Canada for reported cases, deaths from COVID-19 and for hospitalizations can be found here.
COVID-19 updates from Canada and the world
- For the last two years, as waves of COVID-19 upended school life across the country, school boards were forced to change many of their evaluation practices – including finding alternatives to exams. Now, as we enter what will likely be a more typical school year, some school boards and educators are hoping that the lessons learned over the last two years will reshape how students are evaluated. Students in the U.S. have seen some of the worst drops in test scores on record over the last two years, underlining the severity and longevity of the pandemic’s toll on children.
- Health Canada has approved an updated version of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant. It offers better protection against Omicron BA.1 – the initial strain of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 – than Moderna’s original vaccine, according to a study comparing the two versions. Canada is receiving 10.5 million doses of the vaccine, known as “Spikevax Bivalent,” later this month, the health minister said yesterday. Here’s what you need to know about bivalent vaccines.
- Ontario’s guidelines for COVID-19 will no longer require a five-day isolation period, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health announced Wednesday, meaning that even COVID-19 positive people could return to work or school, provided their symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours. But, the scientific director for the Ontario science table, set to be dissolved next week, says he disagrees with the decision to scrap isolation requirements.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared two new vaccine options aimed at the BA.5 variant of Omicron that is now dominant: one made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for use in people as young as 12, and the other by Moderna, for those 18 and older. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed updated COVID-19 boosters.
- European Union countries are being urged to start offering COVID-19 boosters to their populations now to contain a fresh wave of infections expected this autumn and winter.
- Some districts of China’s southern tech hub Shenzhen extended curbs on public activities, dining out and entertainment venues on Friday, as they try to rein in rising COVID-19 cases.
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- In most parts of the country, life has resumed to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy – gyms are open and filled with people; concert arenas, sports centres and movie theatres are packed; festivals of all kinds have taken place again. But the office has been an exception, and many buildings in the downtown cores of major cities are still largely empty.
- According to research conducted by Environics Analytics, city centres are falling behind outlying regions when it comes to returning to the office. For example, in Mississauga, as well as neighbouring Toronto, the aggregate number of days people spent at a regular workplace in July was still 40 per cent lower than in January, 2020, before the pandemic lockdowns began. Meanwhile, workplace levels in Maple Ridge, in B.C.’s Fraser Valley, were actually 24 per cent higher than before the pandemic.
- After reassessing their careers during the pandemic, some workers are trading in the 9-to-5 grind for less traditional jobs. Here are five Canadians who made a career switch during the pandemic.
- We spoke to four chief remote officers – all of whom have managed thousands of employees working out of their homes during the pandemic – about the challenges they have faced, but also why and how they intend to continue letting their employees work remotely.
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The Editorial Board: Better vaccines are coming, just in time for a new booster campaign
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- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- When will COVID-19 be endemic? The four factors that will shape the virus’s future
- Wastewater is filling the COVID-19 data gap
Thank you for subscribing to our Coronavirus Update Newsletter. As the pandemic eases, we plan to wind this down and eventually cease sending, but have many other newsletters to keep you informed, including Globe Climate, Carrick on Money and Breaking News.
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