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Business Highlights – CityNews Vancouver

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Here come COVID-19 tracing apps – and privacy trade-offs

Many governments eager to reopen their societies are starting to bet on smartphone apps to help stanch the coronavirus pandemic. But their decisions on which technologies to use highlight some uncomfortable trade-offs between protecting privacy and public health. The first such apps collect user data and sometimes their location history to warn people about possible exposure to COVID-19. Such information could help authorities detect new outbreak hot spots, but it could also potentially be abused by police or immigration agents. By contrast, Apple and Google are offering new software designed to support apps that will alert individuals directly about exposure, an approach increasingly popular in Europe.

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As US piles up debt to aid economy, even usual critics cheer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government has opened the spigots and let loose nearly $3 trillion to try to rescue the economy from the coronavirus outbreak — a river of debt that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. And yet the response, even from people who built careers as skeptics of federal debt, speaks to the gravity of the crisis: Almost no one has blinked. Not yet, anyway. With the U.S. economy in a frightening free-fall, they say, the government has no choice but to pour trillions into an emergency rescue operation. Doing less would risk a catastrophe — a recession that could devolve into a full-fledged depression.

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Production shutdowns shrink meat supplies at stores

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. meat supplies are dwindling due to coronavirus-related production shutdowns. As a result, some stores like Costco and restaurants like Wendy’s are limiting sales. U.S. beef and pork processing capacity is down 40% from last year. On Monday night, nearly 20% of U.S. Wendy’s didn’t have beef available on their online menus, according to an analysis by Stephens, an investment bank. Wendy’s confirms it’s seeing temporary shortages. Meat production plants are gradually reopening. In the meantime, some alternative meat companies like Impossible Foods are hoping to fill the void.

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Texas eases underground oil storage rules, raising concerns

NEW YORK (AP) — Texas regulators are relaxing rules about where companies can store oil underground. That’s raising concern among environmentalists about potential groundwater contamination and other dangers. The members of the Railroad Commission of Texas voted Tuesday to allow companies to store liquid hydrocarbons underground in places other than salt caverns, which are considered better at preventing leaks than other geological formations. The shift aimed to help oil producers whose wells are spewing out far more oil than the world can use after the coronavirus pandemic gutted global demand for jet fuel and gasoline.

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Detroit automakers push for restart of plants within 2 weeks

DETROIT (AP) — Major U.S. automakers are planning to reopen North American factories within two weeks, potentially putting thousands of workers back on the assembly line as part of a gradual return to normality. Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said Tuesday that his company plans to start reopening factories on May 18, but that requires an easing of government restrictions. For now, Michigan’s shelter-at-home order remains in effect until May 15. Detroit automakers will likely be on the same timetable because their workers are represented by the same union. The United Auto Workers union on Tuesday appeared to be onboard.

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Disney profit sinks amid shuttered parks, movies and sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney reported a steep decline in profit as many segments of its media and entertainment offerings ground to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic. Its second quarter profit dropped 91% to $475 million. Overall, the company said costs related to COVID-19 cut Disney’s pretax profit by $1.4 billion. One bright spot was its Disney Plus streaming service, which contributed to an almost $3 billion revenue increase for direct-to-consumer and international business. Overall revenue rose 21 per cent to $18.01 billion, just short of the $18.06 billion analysts expected.

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US trade gap rises to $44.4 billlion as virus slams commerce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit rose in March as the coronavirus outbreak battered America’s trade with the world. The gap between what the United States sells and what it buys abroad rose 11.6% in March to $44.4 billion from $39.8 billion in February. U.S. exports fell 9.6% to $187.7 billion, and imports fell 6.2% to $232.2 billion. .

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Coronavirus cuts ‘deep scars’ through meatpacking cities

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The coronavirus is devastating the nation’s meatpacking communities — places like Waterloo and Sioux City in Iowa, Grand Island, Nebraska, and Worthington, Minnesota. Within weeks, the outbreaks around slaughterhouses have turned into full-scale disasters. The virus is killing, sickening and frightening workers and devastating their extended families.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed higher on Wall Street but gave up about half of their early gains in a late-afternoon bout of selling. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% Tuesday after being up 2% earlier. Overseas markets also rose as more countries relaxed restrictions on businesses and stay-at-home orders, raising hopes for a recovery from the historic plunge sweeping the global economy. Crude oil closed sharply higher, continuing its mini-rally after falling to record lows late last month.

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The S&P 500 index gained 25.70 points, or 0.9%, to 2,868.44. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 133.33 points, or 0.6%, to 23,883.09. The Nasdaq climbed 98.41 points, or 1.1%, to 8,809.12. Smaller-company stocks in the Russell 2000 index rose 9.54 points, or 0.8%, to 1,273.51.

The Associated Press

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on May 29, 2020 – CBC.ca

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THE LATEST:

  • Health officials will give their daily update in a written statement at 3 p.m. PT.
  • To date, 2,558 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in B.C.
  • 164 people have died of the illness.
  • 2,153 people have recovered.
  • There are currently 241 active cases of COVID-19.
  • As of Thursday, 33 patients were in hospital with COVID-19, including six in intensive care.

B.C. has now had 2,558 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but less than a 10th of those are still active.

As of Thursday, there were 241 active cases in the province, while 2,153 people have recovered. Sadly, 164 people have now died from the novel coronavirus, including 93 residents of long-term care homes.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital has fallen to 33, including six who are in intensive care.

However, officials continue to be concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the elderly and care home residents, and specialized response teams have been sent in to deal with outbreaks at two facilities in the Fraser Health region.

READ MORE: 

Top COVID-19 stories today

Important reminders:

Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 10 p.m. PT on Thursday, Canada had 88,512 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 46,480 considered resolved or recovered. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial health data, regional information and CBC’s reporting stood at 6,963.

The numbers are not a complete picture, as they don’t account for people who haven’t been tested, those being investigated as a potential case and people still waiting for test results. 

For a look at what’s happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in B.C. from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick.
  • When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Masks won’t fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, May 29 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments:

What’s happening today?

Families of people living at the Almonte Country Haven long-term care home just west of Ottawa say they asked for staffing help early in the pandemic, but didn’t get it.

All but 10 of the home’s 82 residents contracted COVID-19 and 28 died. The home’s administrator says it met Ontario’s staffing standards at all times.

WATCH: Staffing at hard-hit care home

Kim Narraway, whose sister is a resident of Almonte Country Haven, says the facility needed more staff to adequately deal with the pandemic. 0:43

Canadian Blood Services needs more people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma for a project to see if they have antibodies that could potentially help treat the virus.

Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan is calling on the city to open up more public washrooms during the pandemic, even with the portable toilets installed downtown. 

WATCH: How to keep public washrooms safe

Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan says public washrooms should be open, but special care should be taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the facilities. 0:57

How many cases are there?

There have been 1,930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 240 deaths linked to the respiratory illness. There are more than 3,070 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

More than 2,300 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.

The deaths of 49 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties and 32 more in the wider region have also been tied to the coronavirus. 

Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because not everyone can be tested and results take time to process, though testing criteria are being expanded.

What’s open and closed?

Ontario is in “stage one” of its three-stage reopening plan. When ready, its next stage should bring more offices, outdoor spaces and gatherings back.

This Sunday, the farmers market at Lansdowne Park reopens for preordering and picking up at a designated time.

Artwork by Ottawa artist Daniel Martelock stands in the ByWard Market on May 28, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Quebec malls, campgrounds and Airbnbs, courts and services such as dentist offices and hair salons can reopen Monday

So can national parks and historic sites across Canada, which includes Rideau Canal lockstations.

Many parks are now open with limits, such as not using playground equipment or gathering.

A sign advises people to practise physical distancing as they enter Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Que., on Sunday, May 24, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Quebec elementary schools outside Montreal are open. Schools for its older students and all Ontario schools are closed through summer.

Post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes this fall, with Ontario promising a fall plan for younger students by July and Quebec hoping to have students back in class full-time.

Curbside pickup, return of borrowed items and homebound delivery are the services on offer when the Ottawa Public Library partially resumes next month. 8:30

Distancing and isolating

The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as working from home and staying at least two metres away from anyone they don’t live with.

Ottawa Public Health now wants people to think about how to safely do certain things and recommends people wear a fabric or non-medical mask when they can’t always stay two metres from strangers, such as at a grocery store.

Hurdman station during physical distancing for the COVID-19 pandemic March 31, 2020. (Jonathan Dupaul/CBC)

Anyone who has symptoms, travelled recently outside Canada or, specifically in Ottawa, is waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

The same goes for anyone in Ontario who’s been in contact with someone who’s tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.

People 70 and older or with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions should also self-isolate.

A car passes a sign near a school Monday May 11, 2020 in Chelsea, Quebec. (Adrian Wyld/CBC)

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

WATCH: What it’s like to be new to Canada during the pandemic

Yazan Souliman arrived in Canada with his wife in mid-February looking forward to meeting new people and finding work. Then the pandemic hit. 0:56

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can now be tested.

Tests are done at the Brewer Arena from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., seven days a week, or at 595 Moodie Dr. and 1485 Heron Rd. those same hours on weekdays.

Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.

There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead and others in Rockland, and Cornwall that require an appointment.

In Kingston, the assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for anyone with symptoms. 

Napanee‘s test centre is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for people who call for an appointment.

Taking a break by the water during a heat warning in Ottawa-Gatineau May 26, 2020. All heat warnings are now over in the region. (Francis Ferland/CBC )

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.

It has a walk-in site in Brockville open seven days a week at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

WATCH: The National‘s nightly COVID-19 Q&A

An infectious disease specialist answers viewer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, including whether someone who has recovered from COVID-19 can stop physical distancing. 2:46

The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it at 613-966-5500, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.

If you have no symptoms, you can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting 613-813-6864. You can also call Picton’s number as a backup.

You may also qualify for a home test.

Renfrew County is also providing home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

If you’re concerned about the coronavirus, take the self-assessment.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents should call 819-644-4545 if they have symptoms. They could end up being referred to Gatineau’s testing centre.

WATCH: Quebec’s latest projections show need to follow rules

Projections from Quebec’s Public Health Research Institute show a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Montreal is possible as the city reopens, if people maintain physical distancing measures. 1:52

First Nations:

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

Akwesasne has opened a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to Akwesasne who’s been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.

Pikwakanagan‘s council planned to let businesses reopen as of today and Kitigan Zibi is keeping schools closed through the summer.

For more information

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What's open Ottawa: H&M reopens Rideau Street store | CTV News – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Malls remain closed in the capital, under provincial orders, but stores with street entrances are allowed to reopen, and that means a popular fashion brand has reopened one of its stores in Ottawa.

H&M announced Thursday that its store at the Rideau Centre would reopen via its Rideau Street entrance.

Only 15 people will be allowed in the store at one time. The hours are to 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

There are markers on the floor for physical distancing. Fitting rooms have been closed and there is no garment recycling program for now.

Hand sanitizer is being provided.

While the store accepts cash, they are encouraging card use. There is one line for cash users and one line for card users at the registers.

Employees will be wearing masks, and will be behind barriers at the register. The store will be cleaned more often.

H&M will still accept returns, but says it will hold all returned items for at least 24 hours before putting them back on the sales floor.

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