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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: August 20th, 2021

U.S. extends travel curbs at Canada and Mexico land borders

Today, the United States extended the closure of its land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel such as tourism through Sept. 21 despite Ottawa’s decision to open its border to vaccinated Americans.

The latest 30-day extension by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), came after Canada said in July it would start allowing in fully vaccinated U.S. visitors starting Aug. 9 for non-essential travel after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lengthy ban that many businesses have called crippling. The United States has continued to extend the extraordinary restrictions on Canada and Mexico on a monthly basis since March 2020. For more information, click here.

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

The latest national 7-day average of 2,216 new cases reported daily (Aug 13-19) is an increase of 38% over the previous week. After several weeks of rising case counts in some of Canada’s most populous jurisdictions, national severity trends have begun to increase, primarily involving unvaccinated people.

During this fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, infections and severe outcomes have several key features:

  • Nationally, the highly contagious Delta Variant of Concern (VOC), accounts for the majority of recently reported cases, is associated with increased severity, and may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines
  • Most reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among unvaccinated people
  • Virus spread in areas with low vaccination coverage presents an ongoing risk for emergence of and replacement by new variants of concern, including a risk of variants with the ability to evade vaccine protection.

Based on data as of July 31, 0.03% of fully vaccinated people became infected, with the majority of recent cases and hospitalizations occurring in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people. As of August 19, provinces and territories have administered over 52 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with the latest data indicating that 83% of people aged 12 years or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 74% are now fully vaccinated. For more information, click here.

Canada’s Big 5 banks will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for staff

All five of Canada’s big banks will soon make vaccines mandatory for all staff who wish to return to the office, and those who don’t comply will have to agree to regular testing.

TD told its employees in an email Friday that all employees are being asked to register their vaccination status with the bank by the end of next month. For more information, read here.

Niagara municipalities to review Toronto mandatory vaccination policy

The City of  Toronto announced Thursday it’s mandating vaccinations for its employees but Niagara’s largest municipalities haven’t followed suit just yet. Local municipalities say they will be looking closely at what Toronto is implementing though in the constantly evolving COVID-19 environment. For more information, click here.

Reading Recommendations

Is sacrificing profitability in favour of growth a good idea for all start-ups?

Forbes, Abdo Riani

The story of Jeff Bezos running Amazon with ever-growing revenues and zero profits for decades has become legendary in the tech world. Initially, a part of the investment community believed that its razor-thin margins are a sign that the business is unsustainable in the long run. Nowadays, however, it’s widely accepted that reinvesting every single free penny into the business for two decades was the key strategy that made Amazon the world leader in e-commerce.

How to avoid gender bias in job postings

The Conversation

Women remain underrepresented in a number of high-profile fields like finance and STEM. Experts say there is a number of reasons for these imbalances, including an overly masculine culture, gender stereotypes, scarcity of role models for women, and perceptions of poor work-life balance across various male-dominated industries.

Whether organizations are doing so because they’ve recognized the practical benefits of gender diversity or they’re responding to external pressures — including investors pushing for gender representation — companies around the world have responded by investing substantial resources into recruiting and retaining women.

The world’s fastest growing cities

Visual Capitalist

By 2025, the world’s population will reach over 8.1 billion people. The majority of the world’s fastest growing cities are located in Africa—in fact, 17 of the 20 are located on the continent, with four of the 20 cities being located in Nigeria specifically.

Population booms can lead to massive economic growth, a larger working population, and a growing domestic consumer market. As those cities continue their rapid expansion, it could represent the beginning of an important economic shift that is worth keeping an eye on.

Niagara COVID-19 data

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions.

Current number of admitted Niagara Health patients with COVID-19: 5

Patients with COVID-19 in Niagara Health ICU’s: 1

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Last updated: August 20, 2021

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 649,648

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 1,630

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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