Coronavirus News Update – April 18: After Heavy Criticism, Ontario Backpedals on New Police Powers to Make Random Stops

Oregon Bucks Trend, Plans ‘Permanent’ Mask Rule

By Anna Breuer on 18 April 2021
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Portland, Oregon’s bright orange bikes

Officials in Ontario backpedaled on day after extending and expanding the province’s stay-at-home orders and granting sweeping new powers granted to the police that would allow them to randomly stop and question people, including those traveling in private automobiles, to ensure that their trips outside the home were “essential.” The measures had been intended to address the rising number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations there.

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded over 141.6 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.03 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information.  In addition, over 120 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 884 million doses, the equivalent of over 11.2 doses for every 100 people as of Sunday morning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Friday, 129.5 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 49.7% of the population over the age of 18 – some 128.3 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including over 82 million people, or 31.8% of the same population, more than a quarter of all adults in the country, who have received both doses. Overall, 24.8% of the population has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Officials in Oregon, which already has some of the strictest Covid prevention measures in the United States, are considering a “permanent” rule to require masks and social distancing in all places of business.  The proposed measure would require masks until they are  “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.“

The number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations relating to the virus is surging in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and officials there are blaming the increase in travel, the relaxation of mask and social-distancing rules in some areas, and new, more contagious variants of the virus. The Keystone State is reporting an average of 4.922 new daily cases versus just 2,515 one month earlier.

Meanwhile, the state of Alaska will start to invite tourists to visit and get vaccinated at the same time. The state will offer both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine at four airports, namely Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, or Ketchikan Governor Mike Dunleavy announced.

A student at the University of Cincinnati died one day after being inoculated.  John Foley, who was 21, had received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson Jannsen vaccine.  The Hamilton County Coroner, Lakshmi Kode Sammarco, said there was no “direct evidence” that ties the death directly to the vaccine, however. The coroner also ruled out “[blood] clots or pulmonary emboli” as a cause of death.

France will impose a strict ten-day quarantine for all travellers coming from Brazil, the prime minister’s office said. The move, which goes into effect on April 24, is intended prevent the spread of a coronavirus variant first found in the South American county.

The situation for hospital beds in India is “dire.” New Delhi health officials recorded 25,500 new coronaviruses cases in a 24-hour period, with one in three people testing positive, a positivity rate of over 33%. Few than 100 hospital beds were available as of Sunday, and hospital beds were being set up in schools, according to latest reports.

A new study submitted to the Lancet found a strong correlation between Covid spikes and NFL games with fans in attendance.“The evidence overwhelmingly supports that fan attendance at N.F.L. games led to episodic spikes” in the number of Covid-19 cases, the researchers, led by JustinKurland of the University of Southern Mississippi, wrote.

Finally, a number of football players on 14 of the National Football League’s 32 teams including the Jets and the Giants said they would not participate in off-season workouts because they believe it would be unsafe to gather, the league said in multiple statements.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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