Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 554 new cases of COVID-19; WHO chief urges halt to booster shots for rest of the year

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

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4:21 PM: Porter Airlines and Air Canada Rouge flights have resumed for the first time in months due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

Porter flights resume to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Thunder Bay within the next 10 days, followed by other Canadian destinations such as Halifax, Quebec City, St. Johns and Moncton, NB. Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington will return on September 17 while other year-round destinations will resume on October 6.


“Our passengers and team members look forward to the arrival of this day,” said Michael Deleus, the airline’s president and CEO.

The Toronto-based airline is recalling hundreds of workers as it resumes operations after nearly 18 months of grounding.

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Porter says it has raised its health standards with a high level of hygiene to protect passengers and staff.

Employees must be fully vaccinated or submit a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the start of their shift.

Bookings made before 30th September will be eligible for replacement or cancellation at no charge. Passengers also have the option of paying $40 plus taxes to receive a full refund if their flight is canceled in advance for any reason.

2:54 PM: A Florida judge has ruled that the state cannot enforce a ban on masks in public schools while an appeals court decides whether the ban is legal.

Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper last week lifted an automatic stay on his decision that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials had exceeded their authority by imposing sweeping restrictions through an executive order.

Cooper says there is overwhelming evidence before him in a lawsuit challenging the ban by parents wearing masks, which offer some protection for children in crowded school settings, especially those under 12. For children of age for whom no vaccine yet exists.

“We are not in normal times. We are in a pandemic,” Cooper said during a remote hearing. “We have a type that is more contagious and dangerous to children than last year.”

The case next goes before the First District Appeals Court in Tallahassee. DeSantis says he is optimistic the state will win.

2:35 PM: The summer was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19, but it ended with the US firmly under the command of the coronavirus, up to the level of deaths per day in March.

The Delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening alarming numbers of children, and in some places driving coronavirus deaths to the highest levels of an entire pandemic. School systems that reopened their classrooms are suddenly turning back to distance learning because of the outbreak.

The US recorded 26,800 deaths and more than 4.2 million infections in August. The number of monthly positive cases was the fourth highest since the start of the pandemic.

On average, more than 150,000 new cases are being reported in the US every day, which has not been seen since January. The death toll is closer to 1,500 per day, up more than a third since late August. Overall, the outbreak is still well below all peaks reached in winter, when deaths hit 3,400 per day and new cases 250,000 per day.

The death toll in the US exceeds 650,000, with a leading forecasting model predicting it will rise above 750,000 by December 1.

2:35 PM: City health officer Eileen de Villa says that to achieve 90 percent complete vaccination, Toronto needs to deliver 336,000 more doses.

2:30 pm: New Brunswick health officials are reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 today.

29 new patients have been cured, taking the number of active cases in the state to 112.

Five people are hospitalized due to the virus, including four in the intensive care unit.

Six of the new cases are in the Moncton area, three in the Fredericton area, and one in the Edmondston area.

There are two new cases each in the Campbelton, Bathurst and Miramichi areas.

As of today, 76.3 percent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 85.2 percent have received their first dose of vaccine.

at 2 pm The City of Toronto is holding a presser on Wednesday, its first COVID-19 briefing in a while. Officials expect to release more information about vaccination rates, back to school, and more.

1:55 pm A research study based on data from Bloomington, Minnesota-based HealthPartners and medical centers across the country found that pregnant women who received the COVID-19 vaccine were not at increased risk of miscarriage.

Doctors hope the results will prove reassuring for pregnant women who, as a group in the US, have been relatively slow to get vaccinated.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 105,000 patients with their pregnancies between December 15, 2020, and June 28, 2021. They found that women who had miscarriages were no more likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than women with ongoing pregnancies. .

The new study, to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at patients who had received two-dose mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

Dr Alice Kharbanda, senior investigator from the HealthPartners Institute and lead author of the study, said: “Our data adds to a growing body of research that should give pregnant people the confidence to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they have previously Haven’t done it.” . “It is especially important for pregnant people to protect themselves from the virus because COVID-19 infection can affect them more severely and lead to birth complications.”

1:38 pm Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are reporting nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

They are also reporting two new potential cases in the Labrador-Grenfell health area.

One person is in hospital with the disease and there are 40 active reported COVID-19 infections across the province.

Officials say the sources of clusters of cases in the western, eastern and Labrador-Grenfell health regions are under investigation.

Several communities in the Labrador-Grenfell health area were moved to Alert Level 3 yesterday, which mandates masks for indoor public spaces.

Officials are asking all residents to be tested for COVID-19 if they experience at least one of the symptoms related to the coronavirus, including new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing. difficulty is involved.

1:05 pm The head of the World Health Organization has called on rich countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines to refrain from offering booster shots until the end of the year, expanding an earlier request that fell on largely deaf ears Is.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said on Wednesday that he was “shocked” at comments from a major union of drugmakers a day earlier, which said vaccine supplies were in dire need of jabs for both booster shots and vaccinations. enough to allow countries. But there is a shortage.

“I will not be silent when the companies and countries that control the global supply of vaccines think that the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers,” he told a news conference in Geneva.

Tedros had previously called for a “postponement” on booster shots until the end of September. But countries in wealthier countries – including Israel, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and the United States – have plans to offer their third shots of the two-dose vaccine to vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with compromised immunity. have started or are considering. system

The WHO chief said he had received a message of “clear support” from health ministers at a meeting of the influential grouping of 20 countries this month for a commitment to help achieve the WHO’s goal that all countries have at least their Vaccinate 40% of people. End.

Tedros said, “A month ago, I called for a global moratorium on booster doses, at least until the end of September, to prioritize vaccination to most at-risk people around the world who have not yet received their first dose.” Got it.” “The global situation has changed very little since then.”

“So today, I’m calling for an extension of the moratorium until at least the end of the year so that every country can vaccinate at least 40 percent of its population,” he said.

12:00 pm Ontario is reporting another 554 COVID-19 cases and 16 more deaths, According to its latest report Released on Wednesday morning. Due to data cleaning, out of 16 deaths reported on Wednesday, 5 died more than 2 months ago

Ontario has administered 38,174 Vaccine dosage since your last daily updateA total of 21,023,890 vaccines were given till 8 pm last night.

According to the Star’s vaccine tracker, 10,934,656 people in Ontario have received at least one shot. This equates to about 83.9 percent of the eligible population 12 years and older and 73.6 percent of the total population, including those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

The province says 10,089,234 people have completed their vaccinations, meaning they have had both doses. This equates to about 77.4 percent of the eligible population age 12 and older and 67.9 percent of the total population, including those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Read the full story from the star’s Zena Salem

11:32 am Quebec is reporting 600 new…

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