5:25 p.m.: Ontario reports 185 new cases, no deaths
3:53 p.m.: Toronto opening sports fields on Tuesday
1:10 p.m.: Leamington, Kingsville given go-ahead to go to Stage 2
The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
9:36 p.m.: President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil said Monday night he went to the hospital for a lung scan and would take a new test for the novel coronavirus.
He took those steps after developing symptoms, including a fever, according to a report from CNN Brasil.
Even as several of Bolsonaro’s aides have tested positive for the virus in recent months, the president has often eschewed precautions. He attended a luncheon Saturday hosted by the American ambassador in Brazil to celebrate the Fourth of July.
A photo taken during the lunch and posted on Twitter by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo shows the president sitting next to the U.S. ambassador, Todd Chapman, giving a thumbs-up sign at a table decorated for the holiday. Neither was wearing a mask.
The president’s office and the foreign ministry did not immediately respond to emails from the New York Times about the president’s health.
9:30 p.m.: A hospital in Edmonton is tightening restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to increase at the facility.
An outbreak at the Misericordia Community Hospital was first declared by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health on June 23 when six patients and two staff on one unit tested positive.
Alberta Health Services said in a news release Monday that there are now 18 patients and 14 staff members with COVID-19. Eight new cases were identified on the weekend.
“Two patients linked to this outbreak have passed away, and our sympathies are with their family members and loved ones at this difficult time,” said the release.
The health authority said the Misericordia is closed to new admissions and to transfers of surgical and medicine patients.
Read the full story here.
6:23 p.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 6:23 p.m.:
There are 105,805 confirmed cases in Canada.
Quebec: 55,937 confirmed (including 5,577 deaths, 25,378 resolved)
Ontario: 35,948 confirmed (including 2,689 deaths, 31,426 resolved) (NOTE: See the Star’s updated tally just below in this story)
Alberta: 8,259 confirmed (including 155 deaths, 7,532 resolved)
British Columbia: 2,978 confirmed (including 183 deaths, 2,629 resolved)
Nova Scotia: 1,065 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)
Saskatchewan: 805 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 732 resolved)
Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 304 resolved), 11 presumptive
Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)
New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 162 resolved)
Prince Edward Island: 32 confirmed (including 27 resolved)
Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)
Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 1 presumptive
Total: 105,805 (12 presumptive, 105,793 confirmed including 8,693 deaths, 69,475 resolved)
5:25 p.m.: As of 5 p.m. Monday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting no new COVID-19 deaths since Sunday evening, by the Star’s count. It’s been 105 days since the regional health units last reported a day with no COVID deaths.
As of 5 p.m., the health units are reporting a total of 37,984 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,734 deaths, up a total of 185 cases since Sunday evening, according to the Star’s count.
The last time the units reported zero dead was March 23, back when the province had seen just six fatal cases total among a few hundred confirmed infections.
In the three and a half months since that early date, Ontario’s epidemic first grew to a frightening April-May peak that prompted a provincewide lockdown amid hundreds of deaths before the rates of infection and death began to fall nearly as sharply as they had risen.
Amid the worst of it in early May, the health units reported as many as 94 deaths in a single day. All told, 2,728 people have died in Ontario since the last day the province saw zero deaths.
Earlier Monday, the province reported 118 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 36 in an intensive care unit, of whom 21 are on a ventilator — numbers that are themselves the lowest the province has reported since first publishing hospitalization data in early April.
The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths — 2,689 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”
The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.
5:14 p.m.: Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps finally left for Florida on Monday after delays related to COVID-19.
Vancouver was originally slated to depart last Wednesday, while Toronto was scheduled to take off last Friday for the MLS is Back Tournament in the Orlando area.
The Whitecaps had to delay their flight south because of a pair of inconclusive test results. That prompted more testing, which came back negative.
Toronto pushed its departure to Saturday, citing the need for more time to complete pre-travel coronavirus testing. The club had to postpone again after a member of its travelling party reported “experiencing symptoms,” requiring another round of testing.
The Montreal Impact arrived in Florida last Thursday.
5:01 p.m.: Public health officials are warning of potential fines for skirting public health orders as images from a St. John’s bar overflowing with patrons on the weekend draw criticism on social media.
Photos shared widely online Monday show dozens of people crowded outside and on the balconies of popular George Street bars The Rob Roy and Konfusion, and another shows people packed close together on a dance floor.
The provincial health department responded with a statement expressing concern about the scenes captured on the downtown bar strip known for attracting big crowds on weekends. It pointed to the potential for fines of $5,000 to $50,000 for businesss.
Bars and lounges are currently allowed to open in the province with reduced capacity, if physical distancing can be maintained.
4:46 p.m.: Physical distancing was impossible to maintain in often-overbooked courtrooms across Ontario on Monday, lawyers said as some provincial court proceedings resumed after shuttering for months because of the pandemic.
Toronto defence lawyer Daniel Brown, who serves as vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, said the partial reopening was mired in confusion. Too many matters were scheduled for the number of courtrooms available, prompting some prosecutors to suggest switching to virtual trials despite no planning or preparation for those cases to proceed remotely, Brown said.
There was also confusion surrounding the wearing of masks, he said, with only government staff such as Crown attorneys being provided with personal protective equipment, leaving other participants to bring their own.
3:53 p.m.: (UPDATED) The City of Toronto will open multi-use fields for “team training” with a maximum of 10 people as of Tuesday. No matches or scrimmages will be allowed.
There are 700 city sports fields in 170 locations that will become accessible and available for permitting, a city press release said Monday afternoon.
The recreation amenities include fields for soccer, softball, lacrosse, baseball and cricket and other activities. Permits for outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields will resume this week, the city said. Types of activities and the number of people allowed on the field will be restricted as a precaution.
It should be noted that the limit of 10 people per field includes “participants and coaches as well as parents and guardians, and no additional spectators are permitted.” The city also notes that scrimmages are not allowed — nor are activities likely to lead to a breach of the two-metre physical distance rule.
3:24 p.m.: New York state hospitals released more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during the height of the pandemic under a controversial, now-scrapped policy, state officials said Monday, but they argued it was not to blame for one of the nation’s highest nursing home death tolls.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, which has taken intense criticism over the policy, instead contended the virus’s rampant spread through the state’s nursing homes was propelled by more than 20,000 infected home staffers, many of whom kept going to work unaware they had the virus.
A March 25 Health Department directive required nursing homes to take recovering coronavirus patients. The directive was intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But several relatives, patient advocates and nursing administrators who spoke to the AP at the time blamed the policy for helping to spread the virus among the state’s most fragile residents.
To date, more than 6,400 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in New York’s nursing home and long-term care-facilities.
2:30 p.m.: All previously announced concerts in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 season are being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the orchestra does intend to perform: just in different venues and smaller configurations.
In a news release, the TSO said it would “perform redesigned concerts and programs in communities across the GTA, including at Roy Thomson Hall, for audience and ensemble sizes that align with current health regulations.”
What that means exactly won’t be revealed until the fall, but CEO Matthew Loden said in the release that the TSO is “fiercely committed to continuing to perform for Torontonians as the pandemic situation permits.”
The orchestra is looking to evolve “in a way that reflects Toronto’s vibrancy, diversity and creativity,” he added, part of which involves performing outside its traditional venue at Roy Thomson Hall.
2:30 p.m.: The Shaw Festival has cancelled all performances and public events in the month of August due to the pandemic.
However, there’s still hope the Niagara-on-the-Lake theatre festival can return to its venues in September, according to CEO Tim Jennings, “even if in a more limited way.”
Whereas the larger Stratford Festival announced a blanket suspension of its 2020 season, the Shaw has been taking things month to month.
1:55 p.m.: Toronto’s homeless advocates have relaunched a lawsuit against the city over unsafe shelter conditions.
In a notice of motion filed Friday, a coalition of public-interest groups alleges that the city has failed to follow a settlement agreement meant to ensure physical distancing standards within the shelter system.
The lawsuit, first launched earlier this year, alleges the city put people’s lives at risk amid the pandemic by not following public health distancing recommendations.
The Star’s Jenna Moon has the full story.
1:10 p.m. (updated): Premier Doug Ford says the final two communities remaining in the first stage of Ontario’s reopening plan will move ahead tomorrow.
Ford says Kingsville and Leamington, Ont., will move to Stage 2 as of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
He says COVID-19 outbreaks on local farms are under control and community spread of the virus is low.
The premier says he will visit the Windsor-Essex region in the coming days to thank the community for its patience.
Last week, the government dispatched Emergency Management Ontario to help co-ordinate health care and housing for more than 190 agri-food workers who have tested positive for the virus.
Most of Windsor-Essex, except for the two towns, moved to the second stage of reopening on June 25 after being held back because of the farm outbreaks.
1:06 p.m.: Prince Edward Island’s chief medical officer of health is warning that the five new cases of COVID-19 discovered over the weekend indicate the province is still susceptible to the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Heather Morrison said there were no new cases to report today, however, leaving the provincial total at 32.
Four of the five people recently infected are all in their 20s.
Three of them had come into contact with a fourth person who had travelled to Nova Scotia. The fifth case on the island is a man in his 50s who had travelled out-of-province.
Morrison says the five infected people are doing well self-isolating at home and all their contacts have so far tested negative.
1:05 p.m.: Virtual voting options are under review by the committee of MPs tasked with figuring out how to run Parliament in the COVID-19 era.
Speaker Anthony Rota told MPs today that virtual voting could be done using a special mobile app that would give MPs the option of voting from nearly anywhere.
MPs have been grappling since March with how they can fulfil their obligations when COVID-19 restrictions have largely precluded business as usual in the House of Commons.
Several compromises have been reached along the way, including a hybrid model that allows MPs to participate in person or virtually in debates or committee meetings.
But those debates and meetings have been limited in scope and the Opposition Conservatives have pressed for a full return to business.
The Liberals have said one thing that would need to be sorted out, however, is virtual voting to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission among hundreds of MPs who would otherwise pack the Commons chamber.
11:41 a.m.: Quebec is reporting three new deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, for a total of 5,577.
The province also reported today 74 more cases of the novel coronavirus, for a total of 55,937, including 25,378 cases that are considered recovered.
Hospitalizations rose slightly for the first time in more than a week to reach 377, an increase of six. Of those patients, 25 are in intensive care, one less than the prior day.
Public health authorities conducted 6,122 tests on Saturday, the last day for which numbers are available.
11:15 a.m.: Mayors from Ontario’s largest cities say the federal and provincial governments must provide emergency funding to municipalities to cover costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario says upper levels of government must act now to prevent property tax increases, service cuts, and user fee hikes.
The group has been calling for several months for a least $10 billion in relief funding for municipalities across the country.
10:50 a.m. (updated): Ontario has reached an encouraging landmark with no new COVID-19 deaths reported in the province, the first time since March that that had happened.
Ontario is reporting 154 new cases of COVID-19 with 29 of the province’s local public health units reporting five or fewer cases and 18 reporting no cases at all.
Monday’s data shows there are six fewer active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario than the day before.
In Windsor-Essex, which has been a hot spot due to an outbreak among migrant farm workers, there were just four new cases.
The province completed roughly 17,303 tests for the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.
10:15 a.m.: Celebrities shared their thoughts and memories after the death of Canadian actor and Broadway star Nick Cordero.
Cordero, who was raised in Hamilton and attended Ryerson University, had been hospitalized since April and was in an intensive care unit after falling ill with COVID-19.
Cordero was known for his performances in “Rock of Ages,” “Waitress” and “A Bronx Tale: The Musical.” In 2014, he starred in the adaptation of the Woody Allen film, “Bullets Over Broadway,” for which he also earned a Tony nomination.
10 a.m.: A Toronto woman is drawing online ridicule after a video she posted of herself refusing to wear a mask at St. Joseph’s hospital went viral.
Letitia Montana tweeted that she went with her son for a “suspected broken finger” to the emergency department at the hospital at 30 The Queensway on Saturday.
The video shows hospital staff asking her to wear a mask, which she refused to do.
The Star’s Abhya Adlakha has the story.
9:47 a.m. Britain’s arts sector, largely shuttered since March because of the pandemic and warning of an imminent collapse, is being given a lifeline through what Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as a “world-leading” rescue package for cultural and heritage institutions.
The organizations will be handed about $2 billion (U.S.), the culture ministry said Sunday evening.
Johnson said in a statement that the money would “help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring art groups and venues across the U.K. can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.”
The money will go to a variety of recipients, including Britain’s “local basement” music venues and museums, he added, although he did not provide details. Museums in England were allowed to reopen Saturday, but it is unclear when theaters and music venues will be permitted to.
Although Johnson’s claim that the package is “world-leading” aligns with his tendency toward hyperbole and tub-thumping, the figure is on par with rescue packages for the arts in Europe’s largest nations.
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9:32 a.m. U.S. stocks climbed as a huge rally in Chinese shares pushed a global equity benchmark toward a one-month high. The dollar fell for a fifth day and Treasuries dipped.
Automakers and insurers were among the best performers as the S&P 500 Index headed toward its fifth-straight increase. Uber Technologies Inc. jumped after the company agreed to buy Postmates Inc. in a $2.65 billion all-stock deal. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed more than 1 per cent. Copper was on the cusp of erasing this year’s losses after virus-related disruptions tightened supplies.
Global stock markets started the week in an upbeat mood after a front-page editorial in China’s Securities Times on Monday said that fostering a “healthy” bull market after the pandemic is now more important to the economy than ever. The Shanghai Composite Index posted its biggest advance since 2015, fueling bullish spirits around the world, even as investors kept a wary eye on the coronavirus infections sweeping parts of the U.S.
9:09 a.m.: Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion (U.S.) in federal coronavirus aid, among them five former administration officials whose work potentially violates Trump’s own ethics policy, according to a report.
The lobbyists identified Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen either worked in the Trump executive branch, served on his campaign, were part of the committee that raised money for inaugural festivities or were part of his presidential transition. Many are donors to Trump’s campaigns, and some are prolific fundraisers for his re-election.
They include Brian Ballard, who served on the transition, is the finance chair for the Republican National Committee and has bundled more than $1 million (U.S.) for Trump’s fundraising committees. He was hired in March by Laundrylux, a supplier of commercial laundry machines, after the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance that didn’t include laundromats as essential businesses that could stay open during the lockdown. A week later, the administration issued new guidance adding laundromats to the list.
Dave Urban, a Trump adviser and confidant, has collected more than $2.3 million (U.S.) in lobbying fees this year. The firm he leads, American Continental Group, represents 15 companies, including Walgreens and the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, on coronavirus issues.
Trump pledged to clamp down on Washington’s influence peddling with a “drain the swamp” campaign mantra. But during his administration, the lobbying industry has flourished, a trend that intensified once Congress passed more than $3.6 trillion (U.S.) in coronavirus stimulus.
While the money is intended as a lifeline to a nation whose economy has been upended by the pandemic, it also jump-started a familiar lobbying bonanza.
“The swamp is alive and well in Washington, D.C.,” said Mike Tanglis, one of the report’s authors. “These (lobbying) booms that these people are having, you can really attribute them to their connection to Trump.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
8:45 a.m. A businessman who has never held elected office has won the presidency of the Dominican Republic, according to results Monday, ending a 16-year run in power by a centre-left party.
Luis Rodolfo Abinader had won about 53 per cent of Sunday’s vote with most of the polling places reporting, topping Gonzalo Castillo of the Dominican Liberation Party, which has governed since 2004. Trailing far behind was three-time President Leonel Fernandez.
Castillo acknowledged “an irreversable tendency” in favour of Abinader and congratulated him, as did outgoing President Daniel Medina, who was barred by term limits from seeking a third four-year term.
The elections took place as the new coronavirus pandemic was sweeping across the Caribbean nation of some 10.5 million people. Abinader himself spent most of the past month in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 and the vote itself had been postponed from May due to the disease.
The Health Ministry on Saturday reported the highest daily count of new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1,241. The country has reported 794 deaths from the disease.
Voters were required to wear face masks and only one at a time was allowed into polling places, though those outside often appeared to ignore physical disancing recommendations.
Abinader, 52, is part of a family with extensive business holdings in the Dominican Republic, including hotels. While he has never held office, he finished second in the 2016 presidential election.
8:12 a.m. The Mona Lisa is back in business. Paris’ Louvre Museum, which houses the world’s most famous portrait, has reopened after a four-month coronavirus lockdown.
Just 7,000 visitors were expected on the reopening day Monday. That is a drastic plunge in numbers compared with before the pandemic, when the museum used to attract up to 50,000 visitors a day in the busiest summer months. Reservations and face masks are now required for visitors.
About 70 per cent of the giant museum, housing 30,000 works, is again accessible to visitors.
7:45 a.m. China’s tens of thousands of cinemas closed Jan. 23, months before the novel coronavirus forced similar closures around the world. They have, with limited exceptions, remained shut. The shutdown arrived just ahead of the usually lucrative Lunar New Year moviegoing season, and uncertainty over when they will reopen has complicated planning on both sides of the Pacific.
Without a clear road map, executives in China and the U.S. have looked for guidance from Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Chinese officials have offered limited financial relief to the country’s movie theaters, but an industry trade group recently projected more than two-fifths of the nation’s cinemas could shut down permanently.
The pandemic and its economic fallout appear to be leading to a plot twist for China’s film industry. In the past decade, the country has gone from an afterthought in the global entertainment industry to the world’s second-largest film market behind only North America, topping $9 billion in annual grosses. The country was on track to have 80,000 screens this year, showing a mix of Hollywood imports and domestic productions that have generated a growing share of ticket sales in recent years. Analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted 2020 was the year China’s box office would overtake the U.S.’s.
Conditions are so dire that the China Film Association, a state-backed industry guild, released a “Movie Theater Survival Status Survey Report” in late May that found 47 per cent of cinemas would run short on cash, and 42 per cent could face permanent closure. A fifth of cinemas surveyed laid off employees in the first two months of the shutdown to cut costs.
That is more dramatic than in the U.S., where there hasn’t been as thorough a study but theater executives privately expect that about 20 per cent of domestic locations could permanently close, particularly independent operations that were already struggling.
7:39 a.m.: Troops in Serbia set up an emergency 500-bed field hospital Monday, a day after neighbouring Kosovo re-imposed a nighttime curfew in four cities, as the Balkans battled to contain a surge in coronavirus infections that underscored the risks of swiftly easing lockdowns.
The makeshift hospital in a sports hall in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, is a “precautionary measure” as hospitals in the capital are reaching their capacity because of the coronavirus outbreak, the city’s deputy mayor, Goran Vesic, said. Serbian infections have returned to levels last seen at the peak of the pandemic in the Balkan country in March and April.
Serbia’s rising infections provide a chilling insight into how the virus, while retreating in much of Europe, can roar back if lockdowns are lifted too swiftly.
The country went from having some of Europe’s toughest lockdown measures to a near-complete reopening at the beginning of May. Soccer and tennis matches were played in front of packed stands, resulting in several players testing positive. Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic and other players also caught the virus following an event he organized in Serbia and the Croatian Adriatic resort of Zadar.
7:08 a.m. Thousands of South African students are returning to school Monday after nearly four months when their classes were closed to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.
Students in grades 6 and 11 are starting classes Monday, as the second stage of a phased reopening of schools. The first group of pupils, from grades 7 and 12, returned to classes last month.
Returning learners were required to produce indemnity forms signed by their parents granting them permission to resume classes.
South Africa’s government last week won a legal challenge permitting it to proceed with reopening schools. The lawsuit had said that schools should remain closed because of the danger of the disease spreading among learners and teachers.
However, in recent days the government has postponed plans for further grades to return to class amid a quickening speed in the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases. South Africa has 196,750 cases as of Monday, more than 40 per cent of all the cases reported by Africa’s 54 countries. South Africa has recorded 3,199 deaths.
7 a.m.: The coronavirus pandemic has instilled extra unpredictability into the already fickle Paris Fashion Week. After first cancelling the July shows for menswear and Haute Couture, the French fashion federation has now organized an unprecedented schedule of digital-only events instead.
Top houses such as Chanel, Dior and Hermes are set to show their new Fall-Winter 2020/2021 couture collections or their Spring-Summer 2021 menswear collections online this week — but with no celebrity guests, no Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and none of the usual frenzied media circus.
No one from the public will be allowed to see the clothes in person at all, in fact, during this on-screen-only version of fashion week that starts Monday. Some shows will be live-streamed, and others may be pre-recorded.
The federation decided this spring that because of social distancing guidelines, Paris Fashion Week would skip in-person shows for a season, and return to normal, or, at least a new normal, in September, barring a second wave.
6:08 a.m.: Opposition parties have laid out their demands for the federal Liberal government as Ottawa prepares to update Canadians on the country’s finances after four months of COVID-19 — and where it expects the economy to head for the rest of the year.
Wednesday’s fiscal snapshot will be the first public assessment of the country’s economic and financial situation since the pandemic started in earnest in March, forcing provinces into lockdown and the Liberal government to start doling out billions in aid in lieu of a federal budget.
The snapshot is expected to give an idea of how the government sees the rest of the fiscal year playing out, including figures for a potential deficit.
But the Conservatives and NDP made clear Sunday that they want more than just numbers: they want action. That includes additions, changes and expansions to federal COVID-19 support programs along with more accountability and transparency.
6:05 a.m.: As Egyptian authorities fight the swelling coronavirus outbreak, security agencies have tried to stifle criticism about the handling of the health crisis by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
At least 10 doctors and six journalists have been arrested since the virus first hit Egypt in February, according to rights groups. Other health workers say they have been warned by administrators to keep quiet or face punishment. One foreign correspondent has fled the country, fearing arrest, and another two have been summoned for reprimand over “professional violations.”
Coronavirus infections are surging in the country of 100 million, threatening to overwhelm hospitals. As of Monday, the Health Ministry had recorded 76,253 infections, including 3,343 deaths — the highest death toll in the Arab world.
6 a.m.: The Philippines has seen a big recent spike in infections, raising the possibility its overcrowded capital may be placed back under a strict lockdown. The Department of Health reported 2,434 cases in recent days, the majority in metropolitan Manila, raising cases nationwide to more than 44,250, including 1,297 deaths.
6 a.m.: India has overtaken Russia to become the third worst-affected nation by the coronavirus after the country reported 24,248 new cases Monday.
India has now confirmed 697,413 cases, including 19,693 deaths. Russia has 680,283 cases. Indian authorities late Sunday withdrew a planned reopening of the famed Taj Mahal monument, after new cases were detected in the area.
India’s Culture Ministry had decided to reopen all monuments across the country on Monday after more than three months with a cap on the number of visitors and mandatory wearing of face masks.
After a strict nationwide lockdown, India has eased restrictions in most of the country except for the highest-risk areas.
6 a.m.: The hard-hit Australian state of Victoria recorded two deaths and its highest-ever daily increase in coronavirus cases on Monday as authorities prepare to close its border with New South Wales.
The death of the two men, one in his 60s and the other in his 90s, brings the national death toll from COVID-19 to 106.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said of the 127 new cases, 53 were among 3,000 people who have been confined by police to their apartments in nine public housing blocks since Saturday.
Andrews said the high number of cases reflected a daily record number of tests exceeding 24,500.
5:50 a.m.: Ontario’s courts will resume in-person proceedings today after being shuttered for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of the Attorney General has said courtrooms will reopen gradually, with the goal of having all courtrooms operational by November 1.
The initial plan was to have 149 courtrooms in both the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice open today for trials and preliminary inquiries in 44 locations, but on Saturday the ministry announced that two of those locations were not yet ready to reopen.
It says the College Park courthouse in Toronto and the Guelph courthouse did not have the necessary health and safety precautions in place.
In the courthouses that are reopening, there will be plexiglass barriers in courtrooms, interview rooms, intake offices and at public counters.
The ministry also says everyone will be required to answer COVID-19 screening questions before entering and masks will be mandatory.
The courthouses have been closed since March 16, with some operations moving online.
5:14 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump is set to hold an outdoor campaign rally Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The rally at Portsmouth International Airport will come three weeks after an indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
That gathering was the president’s first of the COVID-19 era, and it drew a smaller-than-expected crowd amid concerns of rising infections in the region.
Trump was narrowly defeated in 2016 in New Hampshire by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Before the pandemic, campaign officials had pointed to the state as a place where they saw a chance to expand the electoral map during Trump’s re-election effort.
2:25 a.m.: A renewed COVID-19 outbreak in Australia’s second-largest city is marring the country’s reputation as a standout in suppressing the virus, and risks further damaging a regional economy that relies heavily on international tourists, students and migrants.
Melbourne, capital of Victoria state with a population of just under 5 million, has locked down 12 areas after recording 127 cases overnight, its biggest daily increase. Over the weekend Victorian authorities took the toughest control measures to date in Australia, barring 3,000 residents of nine public-housing towers from leaving their apartments.
Victoria doesn’t have the natural resources that other Australian states have, leaving it heavily reliant on population growth, international students and tourists, said Alex Joiner, chief economist at IFM Investors in Melbourne.
Once known as the nation’s manufacturing powerhouse, Victoria has pivoted to international services as Australia’s economy de-industrialized. Its two largest exporters by value are the University of Melbourne and Monash University. It’s also a major tourist draw, hosting international sporting events like the Australian Open tennis championship, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and Melbourne Cup horse race.
Sunday 10 p.m.: The Blue Jays arrived in Toronto Sunday night from their spring training site in Florida, expecting to practice at the Rogers Centre on Monday.
The team and staff arrived in four buses outside of Rogers Centre just after 10 p.m.
Rogers Centre and the adjoining Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel will be the home of the Jays’ modified coronavirus quarantine.
Earlier this week, federal, provincial and municipal governments jointly approved the Jays’ application to host their summer training camp in Toronto.
Players and staff travelled to the stadium by private, sterilized bus and will not be allowed to leave the premises throughout camp.
Read more from Sunday’s coverage.