The last news about coronavirus from Canada and around the world on Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

5:50 am: The Manitoulin Island Health Center said in a statement that it is preparing for an increase in COVID-19 cases.

This includes moving patients from one facility to another to coordinate COVID and non-COVID sites.

“If there is an increase in COVID-positive patients, further activation of the surge plan includes designation of the Little Current site as the site of COVID-19,” the statement said.

“Under the augmentation plan, the majority of non-COVID patients will be transferred to the Mindemoya site.”

The MHC is moving toward its surge preparedness plan following an announcement that the health unit said there are 17 active cases on Manitoulin Island.

“This is not intended to scare or alarm you, but rather to remind you that you must continue to be diligent,” the statement said.

“We must continue to wash our hands, wear our masks, maintain social distancing when necessary, and if we are not vaccinated, we encourage them to do so.”

The MHC also said that the Delta variant is circulating in the community, and even if you are twice vaccinated, you can still contract and transmit the virus.

5:49 am: British Columbia hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients unless stricter public health measures are taken to quell the fourth wave of the pandemic, an independent modeling group warned today.

BC currently has the highest per capita infection rate in Canada and is on track to see 90 percent of ICU beds filled with COVID-19 patients, the BC COVID-19 Modeling Group said in a report.

“It is urgent that steps be taken to reduce transmission and expand vaccination coverage in order to avoid overwhelming BC’s medical system,” says the report from experts in infectious diseases and modeling of all BC.

Overwhelmed hospitals not only impact sick patients with COVID-19, but could mean that those in need of emergency care for heart attacks, car accidents, and other life-threatening conditions are unable to receive proper care or at all.

The new BC model project could receive more than 1,000 new cases a day at the end of the month, more than double the current rate. Cases of the Delta variant, 95 percent of current infections, double every nine days, according to the report.

BC public health officials have argued that rising case rates are unlikely to lead to increased hospitalizations because vaccines reduce the severity of COVID-19.

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But 17.3 percent of eligible people remain unvaccinated. They account for more than three-quarters of the cases in the province and the vast majority of those hospitalized, according to the most recent data from BC last month.

5:47 am: Tourists and waiters alike dance on tables and in the aisles of a restaurant on the “Redneck Riviera,” a stretch of beloved towns along the northern Gulf coast where beaches, bars and shops are packed. . Yet just a few miles away, a hospital is running out of intensive care beds and its rooms are full of unvaccinated people fighting for their lives.

On maps showing the virus “hot spots” in red, this part of the United States coast glows like a sunburn. And a summer of booming tourism that followed the 2020 closures and travel restrictions is taking a turn into fall with only a few signs of slowing down.

Health officials believe the increase is due to a combination of some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, constant tourism, disregard for basic health precautions, and the region’s carefree lifestyle, all combined in a time when the mutated virus is more contagious than ever and conservative. states resist new sanitary restrictions.

On a recent afternoon, shopper after shopper walked through the mouth of a giant mock shark to a Gulf Shores souvenir shop. The miniature golf courses, bars, go-kart tracks, hotels, and condo towers were packed. The National Shrimp Festival, which draws up to 250,000 people to the Alabama coast, is scheduled for October despite the COVID-19 explosion.

5:46 am: All teachers and school personnel in Washington state, including coaches, bus drivers and volunteers, will need to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment, according to a new policy announced by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday. The requirement applies to staff regardless of the type of school in which they work: public, autonomous or private.

The policy is the most stringent vaccination mandate imposed to date by any state for teachers and other staff members in schools, allowing only a few exceptions. School personnel must be vaccinated by October 18 or they will face possible layoff.

“We have passed the point where testing is enough to keep people safe,” Inslee told a news conference. “We have tested it. It has not been adequate for the task at hand ”.

He stressed that 95% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Washington were not vaccinated and reminded the public that children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccines.

“When you decide to get a vaccine, you are protecting a child who cannot get it,” he said.

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Thursday 5:45 am: What is being done to distribute COVID-19 vaccines globally?

Various groups are working to bring vaccines to poor countries, but they are falling short of what is needed to curb outbreaks around the world.

Among the efforts is COVAX, which relies on donations from rich countries and private funders. The group did not meet its own distribution goals in large part because it did not have the resources to secure vaccine supplies early in the pandemic.

As of mid-August, COVAX has distributed about 207 million doses to 138 countries and territories. That compares with more than 417 million doses distributed in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVAX was created last year to try to ensure that vaccines are distributed fairly and is run by public health agencies, including the World Health Organization. Without enough purchased vaccines, COVAX now relies on donated injections from rich countries, but most of the promised doses will not be delivered this year.

Logistics is another problem. To obtain COVAX vaccines, countries must show how they will distribute the vaccines and prioritize high-risk individuals such as healthcare workers and the elderly. But some countries in desperate need of vaccines have not been able to demonstrate that they can carry out such plans and lack the funds to carry out immunization campaigns.

Other groups have been stepping in to help. In July, the African Union said it purchased 400 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson injection for 45 African countries. China, Russia and the United States have donated millions of vaccines to countries. And in June, major industrial nations known as the Group of Seven said they would donate 1 billion doses to poor countries. The G-7 countries are Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Still, that’s well below the 11 billion doses the WHO says are necessary to stop the pandemic.

To protect people at high risk for serious diseases in poor countries, WHO has urged rich countries to donate more doses immediately and to suspend plans to immunize children and give them booster doses.

“We are making conscious decisions at this time not to protect those in need,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Read the news about the coronavirus on Wednesday.

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