Coronavirus News Today: Ontario Reports 1,033 New COVID-19 Cases, Lowest Number Since March 6; Australian and New Zealand leaders meet to discuss reopening borders
Sunday, the latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
12:17 p.m .: The UK government can demand that National Health Service workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 – a controversial proposal that was immediately criticized by opposition leaders as counterproductive.
UK Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News on Sunday that officials are considering the move in hopes of preventing medical workers from spreading COVID-19 to their patients. The government has previously asked the public for comment on a similar requirement for nursing home employees.
“This is absolutely the right thing and it would be up to any responsible government to have the debate, to think about how we are going to protect the most vulnerable by ensuring that those who care for them are vaccinated”, Zahawi said. “There is a precedent for this. Obviously, surgeons get the hepatitis B vaccine, so that’s something we absolutely think about. ”
11:20 am: Health Minister Christine Elliott said the Ontario government will bring forward a motion in the legislature on Monday to appoint Dr. Kieren Moore as chief medical officer of health, effective June 26.
“Dr. Moore’s years of experience in public health will be crucial as we begin to gradually lift public health measures, ”Elliott said on Sunday. “I want to thank Dr. (David) Williams for his dedication to protecting the health and safety of Ontarians during his many years of service.
Elliott expressed gratitude for Williams’ “experienced leadership” in leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moore would work alongside Williams for a few weeks, starting June 7, to ensure a smooth transition, she said.
Moore, who has extensive experience in public health and emergency medicine, has been a medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health since July 1, 2017.
In his own statement, he said the candidacy for the new post was a “great honor”.
“I would stand firm in my commitment to fight COVID-19,” Moore said. “I would provide whatever advice the government needs to ensure the health and safety of all Ontarians.
Williams has been a chief medical officer since February 2016. Williams, who is due to retire on June 25, previously postponed the move. The province returned him in November and he was to remain in this role until September 1.
Read the Star’s Bruce Arthur story.
11:15 am: Ontario is reporting 1,033 more cases of COVID-19 and 18 more deaths, according to its latest report released Sunday morning.
This is the lowest number of cases since 990 cases were reported on March 6.
Ontario has administered 144,833 doses of vaccine since its last daily update, with 8,984,278 vaccines administered in total at 8 p.m. the night before.
According to The Star’s vaccine tracking system, 8,296,384 people in Ontario have received at least one vaccine. This represents approximately 56.3% of the total population and the equivalent of 69.7% of the adult population.
The province says 687,894 people have completed their vaccinations, meaning they received both doses. This represents about 4.7% of the total population and the equivalent of 5.8% of the adult population.
The number of people vaccinated in Ontario includes a relatively small number of young people between the ages of 12 and 17.
The province reports that 26,565 tests were performed the day before and a positivity rate of 4.2%.
There are currently 749 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the province, including 614 intensive care patients. There are 417 people on ventilators.
Locally, Health Minister Christine Elliott says 237 cases are in Toronto, 214 in Peel Region and 80 in York Region.
There are 125,035 confirmed cases in Ontario of the highly contagious variant first detected in the UK, an increase of 863 from the previous day.
There are 947 cases in Ontario of the variant first detected in South Africa, and two more than the day before.
There are 2,814 cases of the variant first found in Brazil, an increase of 20 from the previous day.
11:01 am: Two military veterans walk the winding, hilly paths of a historic Boston cemetery, searching for soldiers’ graves and planting American flags in front of them.
About 10 miles away, many other veterans and volunteers do the same, placing more than 37,000 small flags over downtown Boston Common – a sea of red, white and blue believed to symbolize all of the Massachusetts soldiers killed. in combat since the war of independence. It’s an annual tradition that comes back fully this year after being drastically curtailed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In Boston and elsewhere, this holiday weekend will look like something closer to the Memorial Days of yore, as COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted in many places.
“This Memorial Day almost has a different and better feel,” said Craig DeOld, a 50-year-old retired Army Reserve captain, as he took a break from his flag duties at Fairview Cemetery over early this week. “We breathe a sigh of relief at having overcome another struggle, but we are also now able to return to what this holiday is – remembering our fallen comrades.
Across the country, Americans will be able to honor fallen troops in a way that was not possible last year, when virus restrictions were in place in many places. It will also be a time to remember the tens of thousands of former COVID-19 combatants and recommit to vaccinating those who remain reluctant.
9:14 am: As of May 21, the first round of inmate vaccinations was completed in 25 provincial correctional facilities where 6,794 inmates are held, according to a solicitor general briefing note obtained by the Star. The average vaccination rate was around 50 percent.
Yet only 400, or 29 percent, of the approximately 1,370 inmates at CDST were vaccinated in April and only 13 percent at the East Toronto Detention Center, where only 50 of the approximately 400 inmates were vaccinated, according to reports. separate ministry figures. The figures do not reflect the current number of inmates vaccinated, as provincial prison turnover is high …
Vaccine conspiracy theories are ‘rampant’ inside prisons – just as they are in the outside world – but one key difference is that those locked up don’t have access to sources of information that could help. to dispel misconceptions, says Michael Amichand, who now works for the John Howard Society to help released inmates find housing …
His colleague from the John Howard Society, Julia Laine, along with defense lawyers Daniel Brown, Frank Addario and Dr. Gary Bloch, family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto, joined in Amichand at the prison.
They and others appear in an educational video about COVID produced by the Criminal Lawyers Association – of which Brown is a vice-president – that the Ministry of the Solicitor General has agreed to broadcast to provincial correctional facilities.
Read Betsy Powell’s full story here.
7:47 am: As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats prepared to pounce. The state’s economy was in tatters, infections and deaths were on the rise, and there were doubts about the Republican’s plan to pull Florida out of the crisis.
Now that the pandemic appears to be abating and DeSantis is heading towards his re-election campaign next year, he has emerged from political uncertainty as one of the most important Republican governors and one of the first favorites in the country. White House in 2024 among the acolytes of Donald Trump, if the former president no longer shows up.
7:44 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds tied the knot on Saturday in a small private ceremony in London, his Downing Street office announced on Sunday.
Johnson’s office confirmed information in the Mail on Sunday and the Sun that the couple got married at Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral in front of a small group of friends and family.
“The Prime Minister and Mrs Symonds got married yesterday afternoon in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral,” Downing Street said. “The couple will celebrate their wedding with family and friends next summer.”
The couple are said to have sent back-up cards to family and friends for a celebration on July 30, 2022.
Under England’s current coronavirus restrictions, no more than 30 people can attend a wedding.
7:41 a.m. Sunday: Growing friction with China and how to reopen borders after the pandemic will likely be among the topics discussed by Australian and New Zealand leaders during their first in-person meeting since the coronavirus outbreak prompted the two countries to close their borders.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived at the Queenstown tourist resort on Sunday for an overnight visit. He greeted his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern with a traditional Maori hongi, in which the two hugged each other.
Morrison is the first major world leader to visit New Zealand since the two countries closed their borders last year to contain the virus. Neighbors opened a non-quarantine travel bubble last month, although a recent outbreak of the virus in Melbourne prompted New Zealand to suspend the deal with the state of Victoria.
Read the coronavirus news from Saturday.