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Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. ‘It’s likely COVID-19′: Saskatchewan seeing spike in ER visits among children under age of five
  2. Canadians embrace travel as COVID-19 measures relax
  3. After two years of record-low interest rates, held down by the bank to support the Canadian economy through the pandemic, the Bank of Canada raised interest rate to 0.5 per cent

In the past seven days, 40,958 cases were reported, down 3 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 446 deaths announced, down 2 per cent over the same period. At least 4,726 people are being treated in hospitals.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 13th 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

A man throws a desk onto a fire that rages on the grounds in front of Parliament as police move in to clear anti-vaccine mandate protesters in Wellington, New Zealand, today.AFP Contributor#AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus in Canada

It’s now easier for Canadians to take vacations they’ve put off amid the pandemic since rapid antigen tests can be used for re-entry instead of PCR tests and quarantine requirements have ended for children travelling with fully vaccinated parents.

  • New recommendations that no longer caution Canadians to avoid travel for non-essential purposes came into effect Monday. Instead, they urge residents to “practise special precautions.”

Ottawa protests: Tamara Lich, one of the Ottawa convoy protest organizers, submitted an affidavit as part of a bail review saying that if she had known the judge who denied her release was a former Liberal candidate, she would have had her lawyer ask for a recusal.

Alberta border blockade: One of four people charged with conspiracy to commit murder following arrests at last month’s border blockade at Coutts, Alta., has been denied bail.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

The Bank of Canada’s decision today to increase interest rates to 0.5 per cent comes almost exactly two years after the Bank of Canada began the first in a series of emergency rate cuts that rapidly slashed the policy rate to 0.25 per cent from 1.75 per cent in response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The central bank’s decision to start tightening monetary policy comes in response to the highest inflation in decades, which has eroded the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar and challenged the central bank’s credibility as an inflation fighter.

Also today: WestJet Group is buying Toronto-based Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations just as airlines attempt to rebuild after two years of COVID-19 border closures.

And: Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, home prices have climbed at a record pace with home buyers looking for roomy properties. Today’s interest rate increase isn’t expected to cool that.

Also see: Why some CERB recipients who did everything right may still owe up to $2,000

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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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