BC Coronavirus: The latest developments you need to know for April 22, 2020

BC Coronavirus: The latest developments you need to know for April 22, 2020
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Here are the latest developments surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia for April 22, 2020:

Here are the latest developments surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia for April 22, 2020:

Thrifty Foods employees getting weekly bonus, call for more protection

Grocery store employees are recognized as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but experts say the virus has highlighted their low pay and lack of protections. Sobeys, which operates Thrifty Foods, is among employers including that are offering the temporary extra pay. Sobeys spokeswoman Jacquelin Weatherbee says all employees are also receiving a bonus of $50 per week as part of their essential work. While employees are now behind plexiglass shields at checkouts, Paul Meinema (MY’-nuh-mah), president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, says masks, gloves and face shields are also needed to protect other workers. He says one of the union’s biggest concerns is the number of customers allowed into the stores a one time, leaving too many customers in aisles as employees stock shelves.

BC Update

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will be providing their daily COVID-19 update at 3 pm PT on Wednesday afternoon. The live stream will be available on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. During Tuesday’s update, Dr. Henry announced that there were seven more confirmed cases in the Island Health region, bringing the total to 109. The virus has claimed the lives of 87 people in British Columbia as well.

Horgan available for media questions

BC Premier John Horgan will be holding a press conference today at 1:30 pm PT to acknowledge Earth Day and answer media’s questions on COVID-19. A live stream of the question period will be available online and through various social media channels, courtesy of the BC Government.

Air pollution plunging this Earth Day

This Earth Day, stats have already been released that show signs of air pollution levels plunging around the world as people stay inside because of the coronavirus. It’s only temporary, but data from NASA shows that compared to the previous five years, March air pollution is down 46 percent in Paris, 35 percent in Bengaluru, India, 38 percent in Sydney, Australia, 29 in Los Angeles and 49 percent in Rome. One conservation scientist says it is giving us an extraordinary insight into just how much of a mess we humans are making of our beautiful planet and giving us an opportunity to magically see how much better it can be.

Tim Hortons mandating staff temperature checks

Starting Wednesday, Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons will be requiring staff at all stores across Canada to wear disposable masks for the duration of their shift. In addition, thermometers will be on-site and all employees must have their temperature checked prior to starting their shift. Delivery drivers will fall into the mandatory temperature checks as well. The company has also recently mandated the installation of acrylic protective shields at front counters and drive-thru windows.

Feds to announce more student help

Ottawa is set to bolster earlier promised support for young Canadians and students who are trying to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. New measures will be announced today, which are intended to help young people who have fallen through the cracks of other financial assistance from the government. The additional assistance will be on top of the already announced six-month, interest-free moratorium on student loan repayments and a shored up Canada Summer Jobs program. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be taking the stand for his daily address to Canadians at 8:15 am PT and you can watch the live stream on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Annual inflation rate cools as pandemic takes hold

Statistics Canada reports the annual pace of inflation in March slowed to a pace last seen in 2015 as the economy was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency says the consumer price index for March was up 0.9 percent compared with a year ago. The reading compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.2 percent in February. Economists on average had expected a reading of 1.2 percent for March, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv. Energy prices fell 11.6 percent on a year-over-year basis in March. Excluding energy, the consumer price index rose 1.7 percent.

With files to Canadian Press.


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