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January 29, 2021

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Follow the latest updates and read full coverage

The outbreak by the numbers (as of 9:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29, 2021):
  • Canada: 766,103 cases | 55,535 active | 19,664 deceased
  • Globally: 101,575,252 cases | 56,173,762 recovered | 2,193,717 deceased
Vaccinations by the numbers (as of 9:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29, 2021)
  • Globally: 80,312,801 doses administered  |  1.03% of population
  • Canada: 824,030 first doses  |  91,604 second doses  |  2.17%
  • British Columbia: 123,070 first doses  |  4,185 second doses  |  2.39%
  • Alberta: 89,852 first doses  | 12,672 second doses  |  2.03%
  • Saskatchewan: 30,322 first doses  |  4,350 second doses  |  2.57%
  • Manitoba: 29,404 first doses  |  5,934 second doses  |  2.13%
  • Ontario: 261,954 first doses  |  55,286 second doses  |  1.78%
  • Quebec: 232,986 first doses  |  0 second doses  |  2.72%
  • New Brunswick: 11,418 first doses  |  2,839 second doses  |  1.46%
  • Nova Scotia: 10,795 first doses  |  2,709 second doses  |  1.1%
  • Prince Edward Island: 5,225 first doses  |  1,892 second doses  |  3.27%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 8,343 first doses | 1,737 second doses | 1.6%
  • Yukon: 5,966 first doses  |  0 second doses  |  14.15%
  • Northwest Territories: 9,471 first doses  |  0 second doses  |  21.01%
  • Nunavut: 5,224 first doses  |  0 second doses  |  13.3%

Here's what's been happening in Canada

Cases pass 766,000Since the last newsletter, officials have confirmed more than 9,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 2,093 in Ontario on Thursday, an increase for the province after three days of declining case numbers. Since Monday, Ontario has also recorded more than 200 additional deaths related to the virus.

Dominant strain. New pandemic modelling suggests that the highly-contagious SARS-COV-2 variant from the U.K. could become the dominant strain of the coronavirus by March in Ontario, which has recorded more cases than any other province in the country. "The new variants give us less room to relax and
less room for error," said one official.

Double masks?
Some experts are suggesting that it might be time for Canadians to wear two masks -- a medical mask underneath a reusable fabric mask -- while indoors and one mask while outdoors where transmission is typically considered less likely. Top officials in the U.S. have also suggested that 
double-masking could increase protection.

Vacancy rates.
The rental market vacancy rate edged up higher than ever in 2020 for some of Canada's biggest cities, according to a
new report that cites the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for a reduction in rental demand. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said vacancies in the Greater Toronto Area hit a 14-year high.  

The Pfizer dosing dilemma

Is it five or six doses? That's the question surrounding vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which the pharmaceutical company says contain enough inoculant for six shots. Since Health Canada had approved the vaccine based on a five-dose regiment, there is now concern that the company won't meet the Canadian shipment target of four million doses by the end of March. 

Federal officials maintain that Pfizer has assured the government that the four million doses are on track, though some experts around the country question whether provinces even have the ability to extract six doses from a vial, a process that requires a particular type of syringe. While Canada has ordered millions of those 1-millilitre, or 1cc, syringes, some areas of the country are using 3-millilitre, or 3cc, syringes that require a precise level of skill to extract a sixth dose


#ABrightSide in dark times

Find uplifting moments during the pandemic with the #ABrightSide series. 

Here's #ABrightSide for Friday:

A 10-year-old from Ontario has been channelling her pandemic anxieties into music and getting some attention online. In her song "Mayhem," which is accompanied by a slickly produced
music video, Anushka Sabeshan sings about the difficulties of living through the COVID-19 pandemic: "Gives me anxiety, constantly sanitizing just to stay alive. People think I'm weird, but it is because I care." 

Share your tips for stories that provide "a bright side" of a dark time by emailing us at Please include your full name, city, and a phone number or email where we can reach you.

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