Your daily COVID-19 update: April 6

Welcome to our daily COVID-19 update. We’ll bring you the latest coronavirus news and stories about how Canadians are coping during these scary, uncertain times. 

What’s the government doing? The federal government’s COVID-19 benefits program portal opened this morning. Applicants can go to to see if they qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is offering support for those who can’t normally receive EI. 

Over the weekend, the Ontario government launched a jobs portal to connect unemployed workers with agriculture jobs, as farmers are scrambling to plug holes in their workforce. The federal government has said that the vital temporary foreign workers they require for the coming growing season will be allowed into the country, but that they will have to complete a two-week quarantine. Those two weeks could cause a lot of disruption for farmers at a time they’re looking to plant crops.

What’s happening across Canada? Alberta reported 69 new confirmed cases of the virus on Sunday, and three new deaths.

Winnipeg has closed its underground concourse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that the city closed the doors to the walkway Friday, which is vital to get from building to building downtown during cold Manitoba winters. 

Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, Ont. says 23 of its residents have now died from COVID-19. Ontario reported 408 new cases of the disease on Sunday.

The provincial government in Nova Scotia has said it will increase testing in clusters of outbreaks. 

The number of confirmed cases in Canada now stands at 15,496 and there have been 280 deaths. 

Lift me up. The Guardian asked a number of novelists to recommend books that would be good, uplifting escapism for these times. Here’s what they came up with.

We leave you today with the news that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. He claimed that his hospitalization was only precautionary, and that he’s still running the government. 

Stay safe.