Your daily COVID-19 update: March 31

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. 

It’s the last day of what has been a very long March. 

What’s the government doing? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government will expand wage subsidies to non-profits, charities and all businesses that have seen revenues drop by 30 per cent. Last week, the government unveiled that it would cover 75 per cent of wages for small businesses that would keep their workers employed.

The Ontario government announced it is closing “all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities.”  

Manitoba announced it will be closing down non-critical services starting Tuesday. 

What’s happening across Canada? Starting Friday, Air Canada will temporarily lay off 16,500 employees. There have now been more than a million Canadians who have applied for employment assistance since the crisis began. Maclean’s is tracking layoffs as they’re announced, and want to hear from you if they’re missing any. 

Saskatchewan reported its first two deaths due to COVID-19 on Monday. Both people were in their 70s. 

New Brunswick confirmed Monday that the province now has had cases due to community transmissions. 

The number of confirmed cases in Canada now stands at 7,424 and there have been 89 deaths. 

Lift me up. It’s a tough time to be a sports reporter. But some writers have found creative ways to get around the problem that there are no sports going on. The Globe and Mail’s Brad Wheeler is simulating a baseball bracket, in which the 1985 Blue Jays play against the 1993 Blue Jays in a seven-game series on one side, and the 1981 Expos are taking on the 1994 Expos. He’s writing about the simulation game-by-game. Josh Dubow (of the Associated Press) wrote yesterday about what the NFL would have been like if the league’s new playoff rules had been implemented back in 2002, when the league grew to 32 teams. 

We leave you today with this interactive photo series the New York Times put together last week, showing some of the world’s usually busiest places now standing empty.  

Stay safe.