Nursing home delays prove deadly; Many stores differ on COVID-19 precautions: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Consumer and health news you need from the week

Ontario's nursing homes have been devastated by COVID-19. Many of them haven't been updated to meet the province's 1998 safety standards, which advised that no more than two people should be housed in one room. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

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The deadly cost of delaying nursing home upgrades 

A failure to make safety upgrades to their buildings in the past two decades appears to have left many Ontario long-term-care homes particularly vulnerable to the deadly spread of COVID-19. The province changed its structural safety standards back in 1998 — mandating, among other things, that nursing home bedrooms should house no more than two residents. But 22 years later, many of the hardest-hit homes still haven't been updated to meet those requirements, and that's had deadly consequences. Read more about why the failure to make upgrade may be contributing to outbreaks.

Ontario nursing homes devastated by COVID-19 knew upgrades were needed 22 years ago

2 years ago
Duration 2:34
Data analyzed by CBC News shows Ontario nursing homes have had 22 years to upgrade safety features. COVID-19 has devastated many long-term care homes that didn’t and the facilities that haven't upgraded are largely for-profit.

Some businesses are going all-in on new COVID-19 safety protocols. Others, not so much 

It's a brave new world as businesses gradually begin to reopen across the country. But not all shops are adopting the same safety protocols, leading to widely different experiences for consumers at different businesses. Government advice only asks companies to "consider" various risk-mitigation measures, which leaves plenty of latitude for businesses to do whatever they think is appropriate. Read more about how customers' experiences differ.

Many stores across Canada, like this Winners location in Halifax, are now requiring that people wear masks to shop. (Anjui Patil/CBC)

Think twice before flushing COVID-19 masks, gloves and wipes down your toilet

It looks like all that disposable PPE we're using isn't great for the environment. In fact, it's clogging up some sewage plants. "Whether they're wipes, whether they're masks, whether they're rubber gloves, all of those things can't be treated in the sewage system and, in fact, damage our equipment," said Jerry Dobrovolny, chief administrative officer for Metro Vancouver. Read more about how discarded PPE is causing water-treatment issues.

All those disposable gloves, masks and wipes that people are using to protect themselves against COVID-19 are creating a waste problem. (Opération Mer Propre)

Air Transat planning to resume flying on July 23

The airline, which is still moving forward with plans to be taken over by Air Canada, says it's planning to offer flights to 23 destinations across Europe, the Caribbean, the U.S. and Canada starting in July. But it's going to be a different travel experience than we're used to. Passengers will be provided a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes before boarding. Read more about Air Transat's new procedures.

Air Transat lost almost $180 million in the past quarter. But the Montreal-based airline says plans to be taken over by Air Canada are continuing. (Marcus Schmal/Shutterstock, Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

What else is going on?

Health Canada recalls some hand sanitizers over industrial-grade ethanol content
The recall list includes Eltraderm Hand Sanitizer, Gel 700 Hand Sanitizer and Sanilabs Hand Sanitizer.

Accounting industry group CPA victimized by cyberattack, some data on 329,000 people stolen
The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada says a cyberattack on its website has affected the personal information of more than 329,000 members and stakeholders.

New WHO study confirms face masks are effective in reducing COVID-19 spread
Researchers who reviewed 172 studies about the effectiveness of masks, eye protection and physical distancing in decreasing the spread of COVID-19 confirm what many health officials have already been saying: They work.

Pandemic worsens Canada's deadly opioid overdose epidemic
An epidemic of fatal drug overdoses is on the rise amid pandemic restrictions that harm-reduction workers and doctors say exacerbates the toxic supply.

Marketplace needs your help


Technology is keeping us connected like never before, especially with physical distancing measures in place. But what happens when the devices we rely on breakdown? Were you able to get your smartphone, tablet or computer fixed? How much did it cost? Share your breakdown stories with us by emailing


Are you a big online shopper? Send us your videos and examples of over-packaging, including excessive wrapping, too much plastic or giant boxes for small items. Remember to include your name, city, what you bought, and where. For a good example of a video contribution, check out this one by Marketplace viewer Alfy in Brampton, Ont.

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