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COVID-19

Local Kingston businesses prepare for Ontario’s Step 2 reopening day on June 30

The move to step two of Ontario’s reopening will allow several businesses to reopen for the first time in nearly three months, including personal care services such as hair and nail salons.Excitement has filled the air in Kingston with the news, as Ontario inches closer to freedom from the provincial COVID-19 lockdown.Steve Wallace, owner of Luce Hair Studio, says although the chairs at his salon are empty for now, they won’t be for long.“Ever since rumous have been out there that we’re allowed to open a little bit early, our phones have been ringing off the hook,” Wallace says.After speaking to some people on the streets, it was noted that personal care services are what many are looking forward to most. Story continues below advertisement And although Wallace is excited to serve clients ...

British Columbia’s top doctor visits Okanagan, consults with local health authority

B.C.’s top doctor was in Kelowna today.Dr. Bonnie Henry is on a tour visiting different health regions in the province, promoting vaccinations and listening to potential issues each region may be experiencing.“It’s been an opportunity to meet some of the teams. We’ve been connecting virtually all this time and to thank them, to let them know they are appreciated,” said Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.“And it’s also about raising awareness about immunization.”When asked about anti-lockdown rallies in Kelowna, Henry said it’s ideologies that are misguided.“We’ve seen this in a few pockets around the province. It’s a small number of people and we know that. There’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation, where (protesters) are intentionally misleading people,” said Henry. Story co...

McMaster researchers working with biotech firm in hopes of creating oral COVID-19 vaccine strip

Researchers at McMaster University have teamed up with a Burlington, Ont., biotechnology company in the hopes of creating an orally deliverable COVID-19 vaccine in the form of dissolvable film, much like current store-bought breath strips.Dr. Alex Adronov, a polymer expert, says his group successfully completed the first stage of the technology with partner Rapid Dose Therapeutics Corp. (RDT) who’s QuickStrip technology was able to deliver proteins to an individual when placed on the inside of the cheek or under the tongue.The development means an immune response could be triggered by a strip which would be ideal for the delivery of an oral vaccine.“With these positive results we are moving quickly into stage two of the investigation and expect that this research will lead to new technolog...

Here’s what Step 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening road map means for outdoor live events, films

TORONTO — Outdoor concerts, open-air movie screens and performing arts shows are getting the green light in Ontario starting on Wednesday as the province moves forward with a COVID-19 reopening plan that hinges on strict capacity limits.Provincial leaders outlined specifics on Thursday for the second stage of reopening, which includes small but crucial steps towards getting the local entertainment industry back into gear.While hardly a return to normal, the loosened restrictions will allow for outdoor events, such as concerts and live theatre shows, to go ahead at a fraction of their usual size.Audience capacity will be capped at 25 per cent of the outdoor space or seating area, with organizers required to have the maximum capacity restrictions visibly posted within the outdoor space. All ...

Hamilton reports 21 new COVID-19 cases, over 50% of Ontario’s new cases likely Delta variant

A Hamilton infectious disease expert says the province’s dropping daily case numbers mean Ontario is on the “right track” in suppressing COVID-19 but he suggests with less than 30 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, the ever-present Delta variant could “prolong the battle.”Dr. Dominik Mertz with Hamilton Health Sciences told Global News public health units have been generally “stable” over the past few weeks, which he credits to the large numbers of residents who have gotten at least one shot of the approved vaccines available at clinics.However, he says the “curveball” variants of concern (VOC), like Delta, could keep the affliction around for an indefinite period.“So it will prolong our battle, I would say, until we have higher vaccination rates eventually,” Mertz said. Story co...

Number of Albertans with 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine continues to creep up as 73 new cases confirmed

As the number of Albertans who have received one dose of COVID-19 continues to creep up, the province confirmed an additional 73 cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.As of Thursday’s update, 71.1 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That’s an increase of only .08 per cent in a week.The province needed to hit 70 per cent first-dose coverage for the province to enter Stage 3 of the Open for Summer plan. That benchmark was reached on June 17 with 70.3 per cent of eligible Albertans receiving their first dose.One additional COVID-19 death was reported by Alberta Health on Thursday. A man in his 70s with comorbidities has died in the Calgary zone. Story continues below advertisement 3:21Growing unease and lots of questions about the ‘Delta Pl...

9 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases in the region on Thursday, bringing the local total number of cases up to 12,240, including 249 deaths.Local public health also reported four new cases of a coronavirus variant on Thursday, bringing that total to 4,879, including 63 of which that are active.Four of the new cases are in Barrie, while one is in Bradford, one is in Midland, one is Springwater, one is in Tiny Township and another is in Wasaga Beach.Three of the cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while one is community-acquired and another is travel-related. The rest are all under investigation. Story continues below advertisement Meanwhile, 64 per cent of the region’s population has received one dose of a COVID-19 va...

Owen Sound, Ont. man with COVID-19 ‘repeatedly and blatantly’ disregarded isolation order

Local police have charged a 26-year-old man who “repeatedly and blatantly” disregarded orders to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 in Owen Sound, Ont.Officers found the man had left his residence for non-essential purposes after the Grey Bruce Health Unit directed him to self-isolate at home earlier in the week.In April, Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce’s top doctor, issued an order for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, have virus symptoms, are a close contact of someone who’s tested positive or have been directed to self-isolate by public health.The order was put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.Police charged the 26-year-old man for failing to comply with an order regarding a communicable disease. He was fined $880. Story continues below advertisement...

London Ont. hairdressers ready to get back to work with Step 2 reopening plans in place

With the province moving ahead of schedule with Step 2 in its reponing plan, hair salons and other personal care services in London Ont. are ready and willing to reopen their doors.On Thursday morning, the provincial government announced Ontario will move to the next step of the reopening plan on Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m.The move comes two days earlier than expected as the province has surpassed its Step 2 reopening threshold of needing 70 per cent of all eligible Ontario residents to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 20 per cent of residents with two.On Wednesday, health officials reported first-dose coverage for adults aged 18 and older hit over 76 per cent with over 27 per cent second-dose coverage for adults. Story continues below advertisement The early reopening is we...

MLHU expands eligibility to re-book 2nd-dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments

The Middlesex-London Health Unit confirmed Thursday that it was expanding eligibility for re-booking appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine to include anyone who received their first dose on or before May 30.Previously, second-dose appointment re-booking was only available to those who received their first dose on or before May 9, anyone over 70, and other select individuals.“That’s a huge new group, about three more weeks’ worth of first doses from May 9 to May 30. Those folks are all now eligible to book their second doses,” medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie confirmed Thursday.“Between May 9 and May 30, we vaccinated something in the range of 75,000 to 80,000 people, so that’s a large new population.” Story continues below advertisement However, the health unit stressed that seco...

Laval hopes to score with vaccination clinic outside popular bar on Habs game night

Public health officials in Laval, Que., are hoping to entice young adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19.To make things easier, they have set up a mobile clinic outside a popular pub located at the Centropolis commercial lifestyle centre in Laval, with opening hours from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday.In Quebec, more than 80 per cent of the population over the age of 12 has received at least one dose of the vaccine, but young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are lagging behind at 65 per cent.With Fête nationale festivities and an all-important Habs game on the menu, the 3 Brasseurs Microbrewery Restaurant is likely to be a high-traffic area, with lots of potential arms to jab, officials said. Trending Stories Story continues below advertisement 2:54Are misunderstandings to blame for...

7-day average of new COVID-19 infections down to 55 in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan reported its lowest seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 infections so far this year on Thursday.Health officials said there were 52 new cases, bringing the overall infection total in Saskatchewan to 48,590. The seven-day average of new daily infections is down to 55, which is the lowest since Oct. 26, 2020, when it was the same.According to the provincial government, 15 new variant of concern (VOC) cases have been identified in Saskatchewan, while the total is reported at 12,035.The province’s hospitals are currently providing care for 76 patients with COVID-19: 62 are receiving inpatient care and 14 are in intensive care units.Active cases, which are total cases minus recoveries and deaths, now sit at 605 in Saskatchewan, according to the press release from the province. ...

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