Premiers promise more coronavirus tests, masks as Canada’s economy shrinks

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The COVID-19 pandemic’s economic toll came into sharper focus on Friday as several provinces revamped their efforts to root out the novel coronavirus and slow its spread.

Statistics Canada announced gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 8.2 per cent in the first three months of 2020 — the worst quarterly showing since 2009 — even though efforts to contain the novel coronavirus by shuttering businesses and schools didn’t begin in earnest until March.

Many of those businesses are now reopening in a bid to re-employ some of the three million people who lost their jobs, putting workers and clients in close proximity and lending new urgency to the testing and tracing process.

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“Moving forward it will become even more important to quickly identify and isolate this virus,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “To do that effectively, we need to co-ordinate across the country.”

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1:14Coronavirus outbreak: Federal and provincial governments working on COVID-19 data sharing platform

Coronavirus outbreak: Federal and provincial governments working on COVID-19 data sharing platform

He said some provinces were already asking for help with contact tracing and they’re all working together on developing an app to ease the process.


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