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Hard Numbers: COVID hospitalizations, fiery moves, banking job cuts, traffic jams

A medical worker administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center

A medical worker administers a nasal swab to a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center


21.6 & 7: Data from the CDC and Canada’s government show that, since last week, COVID-19 hospitalization rates have risen in the US and Canada by 21.6% and 7%, respectively. The Canadian number seems low, but it follows an 11% increase the week before, putting hospitalizations 20% percent higher than they were last year. Both countries are seeing increases in positive cases – early signals that a fall COVID wave could be approaching while updated booster shots are still weeks away.

13: Following the wildfire summer from hell and the smoky conditions of the past two years,13% of Canadians say they would consider relocating to a place that feels safer, according to a new Angus Reid survey. Many have seen their health problems worsen because of the poor air quality during this record-breaking wildfire season.

2: The Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s most valuable company, is cutting 2% of its workforce – despite making Q3 profits that towered over the other Big Six banks. Following an earlier cut in May, it has just announced that it will cut another 2% of its workforce this quarter. It cites overhiring and the need to set aside capital for potential credit losses due to rate hikes.

199 vs. 236: This could drive folks crazy. Drivers in Toronto spend 199 hours a year in rush hour traffic, and in New York City, they can expect to spend a whopping 236 hours stuck idling each year. Hollywood star Tom Cruise recently criticized Toronto’s traffic during an interview for his “Mission Impossible” (he shot the movie there) tour. But, according to this study by the UK’s Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, Cruise’s mission would’ve been even more impossible in the Big Apple.


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