Today’s Coronavirus News: High Tension Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated in Canada: Survey; WHO Researchers Searching for COVID-19 Origins Return to China: Report

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

7:25 am In an attempt to obtain rapid exams in the schools of the York region, Muna Kadri encountered many dead ends. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be few options for asymptomatic students other than paying $ 40 each at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Now Kadri, president of Ontario Federation of Secondary School Teachers District 16, says she is ready, if needed, to rent a U-Haul and drive 130 kilometers for quick tests through a free program in the region. of Waterloo. Although grateful for the appeal, she says the situation can only be described as “mind-blowing.”

“How absurd is it that these are the extremes we have to go through?”

Read the full story of Sara Mojtehedzadeh from Star

6:21 am: The World Health Organization is launching new research into the origins of COVID-19, months after a previous investigation ended without drawing firm conclusions, according to a report released Sunday.

WHO is putting together a team of about 20 scientists who will be tasked with finding new evidence in China and elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The group will examine whether the virus emerged from a laboratory, a theory that China has angrily rejected.

In December 2020, WHO researchers began visits to Wuhan, China, where the first known outbreak of the virus took place.

But their March 2021 report said they had not received enough information from Chinese scientists to answer key questions about the origin of COVID-19.

In August, US intelligence agencies released a separate report saying that they were also unable to draw firm conclusions about the origins of COVID-19.

6:19 am: With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, US health authorities said they are confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom it is expected. that initial vaccines are approved in the future. Distant future.

The surge in demand, expected following last week’s federal recommendation on booster injections, would be the first significant increase in months. More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the temptation of lottery prizes, free food or gifts, and pleas from exhausted healthcare workers, as the average number of deaths per day rose to more than 1,900 in recent weeks. .

Federal and state health authorities said the current supply and steady production of more doses can easily accommodate those seeking boosters or initial vaccination, preventing a repeat of the frustratingly slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the country through early this year.

“I hope we get the level of interest in the booster … that we need more vaccines,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday. “It’s just not where we are today. We have a lot of vaccines. “

Solid supply in the US enabled President Joe Biden this week to pledge an additional 500 million COVID-19 injections from Pfizer to share with the world, doubling the US global contribution. Aid groups and health organizations have lobbied the US and other countries to improve access to vaccines in countries where even the most vulnerable people have not been injected.

Among the challenges states face is not ordering too many doses and letting them go to waste. Several states with low vaccination rates, including Idaho and Kansas, have reported that they have thrown away thousands of expired doses or are struggling to use vaccines that are nearing expiration this fall.

While most vaccines can sit on the shelf unopened for months, once a vial is opened, the clock starts ticking. The vaccines can only be used for six to 12 hours, depending on the manufacturer, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

6:18 am: Public health officials have identified more than 200 coronavirus outbreaks in police or fire agencies throughout Los Angeles County since the start of the pandemic, according to data obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The 211 outbreaks, representing more than 2,500 cases between March 2020 and last month, account for 9% of the total workplace outbreaks countywide, the newspaper reported Sunday. However, they have continued to occur regularly even as vaccination rates have risen among police and fire personnel and the number of individual coronavirus cases per outbreak has decreased since last winter.

The data showed that 38 outbreaks were identified in public safety agencies in April this year, the most in any month since the start of the pandemic. A month later, the county Department of Public Health recorded 35 outbreaks, the second-highest number.

Overall, more than half of the outbreaks occurred at the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department, where some employees have filed lawsuits challenging a new rule that requires them to be vaccinated next month. Thousands of people have submitted a notice that they intend to claim a medical or religious exemption from the mandate.

Vaccination rates for LAPD and LAFD employees generally lag behind the 68% of eligible county residents who have received their vaccinations.

Critics have accused city police officers and firefighters of ignoring public safety, and their sworn duties to defend it, by refusing to get vaccinated.

6:17 am: A Washington state trooper who helped develop the agency’s use of drones died after a battle with COVID-19 contracted on duty.

The Washington State Patrol said Detective Eric Gunderson died Sunday surrounded by his family and friends. He was 38 years old. Gunderson frequently traveled across the country to speak about the use of drones by the state patrol.

The patrol said he contracted COVID-19 on one of those trips. Gunderson helped investigate the 2017 Amtrak derailment at DuPont and his work is credited with reopening roads more quickly after accidents.

He is survived by a wife and two children. Gunderson’s death is the first death in the line of duty for the agency since it celebrated its centennial a few weeks ago, Chief John Batiste said. “How I expected our second century of service to be more forgiving. But serving the public, as we do, has inherent dangers and this pandemic has been an enemy to our agency and, indeed, to our state and nation, ”he said.

Governor Jay Inslee tweeted his condolences to Gunderson’s family, friends and colleagues.

6:17 am: Australia’s prime minister says he hopes his country will open its international border well before the end of the year.

Australian governments have agreed to ease strict restrictions on overseas travel when 80% of the population aged 16 and over were fully vaccinated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the first steps would allow Australians to leave and

citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated to return home.

“That will happen before the end of the year. It could happen long before that, “Morrison told US broadcaster CBS News.

More than 90% of the target age group in Australia’s most populous state and hardest hit by the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak, New South Wales, will be vaccinated by the end of November, the New Wales premier said. South, Gladys Berejiklian.

New South Wales reported 787 new locally acquired infections on Monday and 12 deaths in the last 24-hour period.

The Sydney lockdown would be eased on October 11 after 70% of the state’s population received second doses of the vaccine, Berejiklian said. With 85% of the target population already injected with at least a single dose of vaccine, the 80% target is expected to be reached two weeks after the 70% benchmark.

Pandemic restrictions on unvaccinated people are expected to be lifted on December 1.

State Health Director Dr. Kerry Chant said she expected 92% of the target population to eventually be vaccinated.

New South Wales has the fastest vaccination rollout in Australia after the Australian Capital Territory.

6:16 am: New Zealand’s prime minister says the government will launch a pilot home isolation program for foreign travelers, ahead of what she hopes will be increased vaccination levels.

Currently, New Zealanders must be quarantined in hotels for two weeks when they return home from abroad.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that a pilot program that will allow New Zealanders to self-quarantine at home will include 150 business travelers arriving between October 30 and December 8. The program will include monitoring and testing.

“The only reason we are running this self-isolation pilot now is in preparation for a highly vaccinated population,” Ardern said.

“The intention is that in the first quarter of 2022, when more New Zealanders are vaccinated, it will be safer to run self-isolation at home,” he added.

Of the eligible New Zealand population aged 12 and over, 43% had been fully vaccinated, Ardern said.

In Auckland, the most populous city in the country that has been closed since Aug. 17 after the highly contagious Delta variant leaked from the hotel quarantine, 82% of the eligible population had at least a single dose of the vaccine. Double injection Pfizer said. said.

New Zealand has taken an unusual zero-tolerance approach to the coronavirus and has been trying to eliminate the delta variant entirely.

6:15 am: A new survey suggests tensions over COVID-19 vaccines in Canada are high as frictions mount between those who are vaccinated against the virus and those who are not.

The Leger poll, conducted for the Association for Canadian Studies, found that more than three in four respondents have negative opinions about those who are not immunized.

Association president Jack Jedwab says relationships between vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians are also viewed negatively by two out of three survey participants.

The online survey surveyed 1,549 Canadians between September 10 and 12.

Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not considered truly random samples of the population.

The survey found that vaccinated people view the unvaccinated as irresponsible and selfish, a viewpoint questioned by those who are not immunized.

Some members of the latter group have held demonstrations outside hospitals and schools in recent weeks to protest against vaccine passports and other public health measures.

“I would say there is a high level of antipathy or animosity towards people who are not vaccinated at this time,” Jedwab said. “What you are seeing is the tension that develops between family and friends, co-workers, where there are relationships between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.”

The situation creates friction and is persistent, he added.

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