COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:July 8, 2020

Navigator Sight is an AI-powered news service for decision makers to stay abreast of the issues that matter most. As readers engage with a story, our machine learning algorithm improves. View updates here or sign up below to receive them in your inbox.

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Navigator Sight: AI-powered COVID-19 news service for decision makers

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Times like these remind us of the importance of decision-making based on sound data and informed opinions.

Like all Canadians, Navigator is carefully watching the development and spread of the COVID-19 virus and working to appropriately adapt our business practices.

The volume of information is overwhelming, making it difficult to identify information and opinions that matter most in any news cycle. To help you make sense of it all, Navigator Sight uses AI and machine learning to separate the signal from the noise. Browse the latest recommendations or subscribe to receive email updates.

Latest

How Canadians and Americans are responding differently to wearing face masks (CTV News) Published on: July 7, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • Canadians are more likely than Americans to praise their government’s handling of COVID-19 and keep their hands to themselves in public, but less likely to wear masks when out of the house, according to recent polling data.
  • Nearly three in five Canadians – 58 per cent – reported as of June 11 that they were regularly wearing face masks when out in public.
  • This was one of the lower rates of face-mask usage, as only six of the 25 other countries surveyed reported less take-up of the masks: the United Kingdom (31 per cent), Australia (21 per cent) and the four surveyed Scandinavian nations, with Denmark at the very bottom at three per cent.
US small-business recovery after the COVID-19 crisis (McKinsey) Published on: July 7, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • After the 2008 recession, larger companies recovered to their precrisis contribution to GDP in an average of four years, while smaller ones took an average of six.
  • Among respondents to our survey, close to a third were operating at a loss or breaking even prior to the crisis.
  • Navigating the current crisis and thriving in the next normal will require significant changes in business and operating models for all businesses. Since early in the COVID-19 crisis, around 60 per cent of restaurants in the country have added curbside pickup, and more than a third of consumers who have ordered food for in-store or curbside pickup were first-time users of the service.
The Pandemic Experts Are Not Okay (The Atlantic) Published on: July 7, 2020 | Category: Leadership
  • Many American public-health specialists are at risk of burning out as the coronavirus surges back.
  • Popescu is one of many public-health experts who have been preparing for and battling the pandemic since the start of the year. They’re not treating sick people, as doctors or nurses might be, but are instead advising policy makers, monitoring the pandemic’s movements, modeling its likely trajectory, and ensuring that hospitals are ready.
  • America isn’t just facing a shortfall of testing kits, masks, or health-care workers. It is also looking at a drought of expertise, as the very people whose skills are sorely needed to handle the pandemic are on the verge of burning out.
Unemployment Expected to Reach Highest Level Since Great Depression (WSJ) Published on: July 7, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Unemployment rates in the world’s advanced economies will end the year higher than at any time since the Great Depression and not return to their pre-pandemic levels until 2022 at the earliest, the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Tuesday.
  • Jobless rates could be even higher if a second wave of outbreaks leads to fresh, if partial lockdowns, the OECD said.
  • Even if further outbreaks are avoided—an outcome the OECD labels the “optimistic” scenario—the jobless rate is expected to fall only gradually, to 7.7% by the end of 2021. In the event of a second wave, it is expected to stand at 8.9%.
Lockdown heroes: will they ever get a raise? (FT) Published on: July 7, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • The pandemic has upended the hierarchy of work, demonstrating that many of the people critical to the functioning of a modern economy are also among the least well paid — from the nurses treating Covid-19 patients to the warehouse and delivery workers who provide vital supplies.
  • Many also face the kind of precarious existence that results in part from the flexible labour market policies of the last four decades — lack of job security or control over hours, an inability to save and, especially in the US, little or no paid sick leave.
  • In the wake of the financial crisis just over a decade ago, there was a similar debate about how capitalism’s rough edges should be smoothed, but most peoples’ experience of the post-crisis years was of austerity rather than inclusion.
US online grocery sales hit record $7.2 billion in June (TechCrunch) Published on: July 6, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • According to new research released today by Brick Meets Click and Mercatus, U.S. online grocery sales hit a record $7.2 billion in June, up 9% over May, as 45.6 million households turned to online grocery pickup and delivery services for a larger portion of their grocery needs.
  • This figure is higher than the $4 billion seen in March 2020, when the U.S. first went under coronavirus lockdowns. Since then, online grocery sales have been growing quickly — jumping to $5.3 billion in April, then $6.6 billion in May, as more consumers shifted their shopping to online services, grocery included.
  • The growth isn’t just due to a large influx of new customers to online grocery, but also due to more frequent orders.
  • Customers may be ordering from online services not only for their large “stocking up” trips, but also for those smaller grocery runs they would often do in between — to grab ingredients for their weekly recipes or to replace the more quickly depleted items, like milk, bread and other staples, perhaps.
Poll finds 81% of Canadians say the Canada-U.S. border should remain closed (The Globe and Mail) Published on: July 6, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • More than eight in 10 Canadians say the Canada-U.S. border should remain closed to non-essential travellers for the foreseeable future, according to a new Nanos Research survey.
  • The survey suggests that there is strong support across regions and age groups for keeping the border closed.
  • “The response is actually quite surprising considering we are a border country that relies on the United States for our livelihood … [it] suggests that Canadians have a very high level of anxiety about what’s happening in the pandemic in the United States,” Pollster Nik Nanos said.
‘Effects of isolation’ are surfacing: Pediatricians call for return to school (CTV News) Published on: July 6, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Global Response
  • Children should be allowed to use the playground in small groups, but should wear cloth face masks and maintain a 1-metre distance from others (that’s half the widely recommended 2 metres), the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a series of recommendations issued June 26.
  • They provide important mental health supports, nutritious food and – for some children – a refuge. Pediatric organizations on both sides of the border say the risk of COVID-19 among children is low and that safety measures can further minimize the risk of transmission.
  • Health care leaders at Canada’s top children’s hospitals sounded the alarm Monday, saying COVID-19 is creating a “crisis” in children’s health and even violating children’s human rights, including their rights to a quality education, highest standards of health, protection from violence and access to recreation.
Companies are hiring their own epidemiologists to help deal with the pandemic (Washington Post) Published on: July 6, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • In a sign of just how complicated it has become to navigate the pandemic, companies are rushing to hire disease detectives such as Trivedi to help guide their efforts to reopen and stay open — especially when state and federal safety guidelines are sometimes short on specific advice and are viewed by some as watered-down by political influence.
  • Six Flags noted in a news release that its “epidemiologist consultants” helped craft its reopening plans for its theme parks.
  • The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America has seen such a surge in requests for help that it recently published tips for members launching new consulting practices.
Bank of Canada says business sentiment is at lowest since 2009 (BNN Bloomberg) Published on: July 6, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • The results show that even as provinces begin to reopen their economies, many businesses are still struggling with weak demand.
  • Almost half of all Canadian businesses reported a decline in sales in the past 12 months because of the impact from COVID-19, lower energy prices and heightened uncertainty. Businesses continue to expect weak demand in the future with more firms expecting lower future sales growth in the next year.
  • More than half of firms expect their sales and employment levels to be near pre-pandemic levels within a year.
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