Eat This, Not That!
“Bars: really not good, really not good,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said. “We really have got to stop that.” Bars have indeed been proven to be a source of COVID spread, according to the CDC, along with indoor restaurants that have poor ventilation and gyms. But according to one new study out of the U.K., they are not always the single worst spreader of COVID-19. “You will be interested to know that recent research from Public Health England, based on the NHS Test and Trace app, has shown that the most common place people visited in the few days before testing positive to COVID, was not a pub or a bar,” says Dr. Deborah Lee. Read on to see what was the worst, in this list ranked from places responsible for the least spread to the most spread—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Restaurant or Cafe – 1.0% Despite the NHS Test and Trace app finding only a small spread of COVID coming from U.K. restaurants or cafes, here in America, Dr. Fauci recommends you eat outdoors, get takeout or have food delivered. “I feel badly about restaurants losing business,” Fauci told CNN. “And I feel it’s almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat.” The CDC says you’re at “highest risk” if you’re enjoying “on-site dining with indoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart.” Lowest risk would be: “Food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up.” 2 Gym – 1.1% The CDC have tracked COVID spread to the gym; less so in the U.K. As COVID is spread via droplets, an environment where people are exhaling strenuously, even with masks, can result in spread. “On average across metro areas, full-service restaurants, gyms, hotels, cafes, religious organizations and limited-service restaurants produced the largest predicted increases in infections when reopened,” reports a study in Nature. 3 General Practice – 1.1% Your family doctor is an essential resource during a pandemic. Just don’t visit him unless you have to. Although the U.K. study found only a small percentage of COVID cases tracked back to the GP, the Mayo Clinic recommends: “Before you make an appointment, call the clinic or check its website to find out what’s being done to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.” While there, social distance, avoid frequently touched surfaces and of course wear a mask. 4 Household Fewer Than Five – 1.2% “Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is common and occurs early after illness onset,” says the CDC. “Persons should self-isolate immediately at the onset of COVID-like symptoms, at the time of testing as a result of a high risk exposure, or at time of a positive test result, whichever comes first. All household members, including the index case, should wear masks within shared spaces in the household.” 5 Hospitality – 1.5% Needless to say, the many people going in and out of hotels raises the risk. “Hotels or multi-unit guest lodgings (e.g., bed and breakfasts), staying at a family member’s or friend’s home or a house or cabin with people that are not in your household (e.g., vacation rentals)” are dubbed quite risky by the CDC, with “Shared spaces with many people and shared bathroom facilities (e.g., dormitory-style hostels)” judged “highest risk.” 6 Pub or Bar – 1.6% The low percentage of cases traced back to U.K. bars surprised experts and cheered bar-owners; the social centers have been a key point of contention during the country’s lockdown. Here in the United States, the public health experts remain firm. Fauci has said they should be closed, recently adding “so long as you subsidize and help the restaurateurs and the bar owners so that they don’t go down and essentially crash because of the economic strain…” CDC Chief Robert Redfield said you should consider closing bars to save lives. “The mortality concerns are real,” Redfield said. “And I do think unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans [who] have died from this virus.” 7 Nursery Preschool – 1.8% If you’re a parent of a young one, you know that COVID transmission in schools depends a lot on the parents. “This school year will require schools and families to work together even more than before,” says the CDC. “Schools will be making changes to their policies and operations with several goals: supporting learning; providing important services, such as school meals, extended daycare, extracurricular activities, and social services; and limiting the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Teachers and staff can teach and encourage preventive behaviors at school. Likewise, it will be important for families to emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home and to talk to your children about changes to expect this school year.” 8 Warehouse – 2.2% No business has not been affected. “Amazon.com Inc. has temporarily closed a New Jersey warehouse after a spike there in asymptomatic Covid-19 cases, a rare move that comes as the company gears up for a final push in what’s widely expected to be a record holiday shopping season,” reported Bloomberg this week. (For the record, in the U.K.’s Test and Trace app, the similar Manufacture Engineering was separated and ranked 1.4%.)RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 9 College – 2.4% Here in the U.S.: “Tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to emerge on college campuses. A New York Times survey of more than 1,900 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports — has revealed more than 397,000 cases and at least 90 deaths since the pandemic began,” reports the paper. (For the record, in the U.K.’s Test and Trace app, the similar University was separated and ranked 1.4%.) 10 Care Home – 2.8% Those in nursing homes are among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine—and not a moment too soon. The virus has ripped through these vulnerable communities, and continues to, with surges in Rhode Island, South Dakota and Pennsylvania—not to mention the many deaths in New York earlier this Spring. “You almost feel like a battle zone,” nursing home administrator Laura Wilson in South Dakota told the Center for Public Integrity. “We said, ‘You know, right now, we just need to survive.'” 11 Hospital – 3.6% In the early throes of the coronavirus, experts advised patients to stay at home unless their symptoms requires hospitalization. The same is basically true now. “If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home,” reports the CDC. “If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider….If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately.” 12 Primary School – 10.1% Schools for little ones have been shown to spread coronavirus, according to the NHS Test and Trace app. Here in the USA, Dr. Fauci has a different take: “Close the bars and keep the schools open,” Fauci said to host Martha Raddatz on ABC’s This Week. “Obviously, you don’t have one size fits all. But as I said in the past, the default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school, or to get them back to school.” He said community spread was pegged to gatherings, not schools. 13 Secondary School – 12.7% Also known as junior high and high school in the States, secondary schools are the #2 spreader of COVID-19 in the U.K. according to the most recent data.RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 14 Supermarket – 18.3% This makes a certain amount of logical sense. “Supermarkets are one of the very few places that people can visit during lockdown so it is unsurprising that they feature strongly when people are asked where they have visited,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium. “Retailers continue to follow all safety guidance to make their premises COVID-secure.”Despite those efforts, fears remain. Researchers in one new study, published in BMJ Journal, zeroed in on a single store in Massachusetts in the Spring. “We found a considerable asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among grocery workers,” said the authors. “Employees with direct customer exposure were five times more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2.” That rate might be lower now that social distancing and face mask wearing have become more strictly enforced, but don’t risk it if you don’t have to. “It’s a simple message—get your food delivered where possible,” says Dr. Lee. 15 How to Survive This Pandemic As for yourself, follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Ford to make an announcement in Ottawa Monday afternoon – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Premier Doug Ford will be making an announcement in Ottawa Monday afternoon.
Ford will be joined by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean Jeremy Roberts and President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Cameron Love.
The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the province entered Step 3 of the COVID-19 reopening framework on July 16.
Step 3 allowed for indoor dining to resume and for gyms and theatres to reopen with capacity limits.
The provincial government said Ontario will remain in Step 3 for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of eligible residents 12 years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second dose.
In addition, at least 70 per cent of eligible residents in all public health units must be fully vaccinated in order for the province to move to the final stage of the framework.
If all of these requirements are met, Ontario could enter so-called Step 4 at the end of next week which would lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures.
However, last week Ontario’s top doctor recommended that 90 per cent of eligible residents be fully vaccinated before entering the final step, due to the risk of the Delta variant.
“If we remain at around 20 per cent of the population unvaccinated we won’t build a community immunity and you’ll get breakthrough infections in those individuals that are vaccinated because not all individuals, especially those that are elderly or vulnerable or immune suppressed, will get full protection from the vaccine,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said to reporters.
Currently, about 80 per cent of those 18-plus in Ontario have had at least one dose and 67 per cent have had two doses. Meanwhile, 64 per cent of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 have had one dose and 40 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The provincial government has not said if it will raise the threshold for fully vaccinated Ontarians before entering the final step of the plan.
Ford is expected to speak at 1:15 p.m. and CP24.com will stream the announcement live.
Officials say 90% of population needs vaccine to reach herd immunity – CBC.ca
Like the last leg of a marathon, public health officials say reaching the final segment of the unvaccinated population will be a grind as Ottawa tries to attain herd immunity — when enough of the population is protected against COVID-19.
The city of Ottawa has set a daunting target to fully vaccinate 90 per cent of its population, including those still not eligible to be vaccinated, which has eluded most regions around the world.
As of July 23, 73 per cent of the city’s entire population had received at least one dose of vaccine, slightly higher than the Ontario rate of 69 per cent, and one of the highest vaccination rates for first doses among cities around the world.
Ontario’s first-shot vaccination rate has dropped from a high of six per cent per week in May to below one per cent in July, and it continues to trend downward. That means it will take longer to inoculate the remaining portion of the unvaccinated population — likely a venture that continues into 2022.
“I think I can’t understate how important it is to get very high levels of vaccination,” said Dr. Trevor Arnason of Ottawa Public Health.
“If we head into the fall with vaccination where it is now, we’re definitely going to see outbreaks.”
Vaccination targets need to change
Ontario, which has now been in Stage 3 of the reopening plan for 10 days, must reach 80 per cent of its eligible population with at least one dose, and 75 per cent with both doses, to consider removing all public health restrictions.
Some public health experts believe that target is not high enough due to the growing number of cases of the delta variant and the potential for breakthrough cases.
“We need to establish herd immunity, and we would need to be at a higher level: 85, 90 per cent vaccination rates,” explained Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, who also heads a group of public health units across Ontario.
Roumeliotis and Arnason say restrictions could return in the fall if delta spreads, even if they’re not as strict as those we’ve seen throughout the pandemic. Ontario public health officials hope to avoid a spike in cases seen during the reopening in the U.K., Israel, and the United States.
A comparable situation exists in the Netherlands, which has a population only slightly larger than Ontario, and similar vaccination rates. There, cases jumped to 10,000 per day only a few weeks after reopening due to the delta variant, which is now responsible for more than 80 per cent of new infections in Ontario.
WATCH: Getting people ‘through the doors’ biggest part of vaccinating holdouts, doctor says:
‘Get them through the doors’
Officials estimate anywhere from five to 10 per cent of the population will never get the COVID-19 vaccine, but they need to target those who will roll up their sleeves to help avoid a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Health-care workers at community clinics, including one at Lansdowne in Ottawa, have used lulls in the day to approach people nearby about getting the vaccine.
“The first thing is to get them through the doors, that’s the hardest part,” said Dr. Lorne Wiesenfeld, an emergency physician at The Ottawa Hospital who has also spent time administering the vaccine.
“You want to make it easy. Just remove one barrier that may hinder them, encouraging them in a non-judgmental way.”
Half of Ottawa’s community clinics closed last week as Ottawa Public Health refocused its outreach by offering mobile vaccine clinics at workplaces, community organizations and places of worship, as well as pop-up clinics throughout the city to target young adults.
in Ottawa, only 72 per cent of the population aged 18-29 have the first dose, which is the lowest of any age demographic. That is followed closely by 73 per cent of those aged 30-39 with at least one dose.
Public health messaging difficult with low case numbers
The “receptivity” of public health messaging about the risk of a delta resurgence is non-existent when the number of active cases of COVID-19 remains low and pandemic fatigue persists, according to Doug Manuel, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and a member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
People may only begin to become more sensitive to messaging if cases begin to rise, as they have in the U.K. and Israel, Manuel said.
Public health officials believe the 90 per cent goal is attainable partly because Ottawa has traditionally reached higher rates of vaccination for the flu and child immunization programs.
Arnason says once children younger than 12 become eligible, which could happen in the fall, the city could see a bump of about 10 per cent with at least one dose.
“I think Ottawa is one of those places where there’s no reason why we can’t be a world leader,” he said.
Inter Pipeline walks away from friendly Pembina merger, will pay $350-million break fee – The Globe and Mail
Inter Pipeline Ltd. is abandoning its friendly merger with Pembina Pipeline Corp., opening the door to a deal with rival bidder Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP.
To walk away, Inter Pipeline will pay Pembina a $350-million termination fee, also known as a break fee. The payment was negotiated when Pembina emerged as a white knight in late May to help block Brookfield’s hostile takeover bid.
Brookfield has since raised its takeover price twice and also given Inter Pipeline shareholders the option to take their payout in cash if they favour Brookfield’s bid. Pembina’s friendly deal was to be paid solely in Pembina shares, and Pembina would not budge on the offer price it had agreed to in May.
Brookfield’s latest offer comes in two forms: Inter Pipeline shareholders can elect for $20 a share in cash, up from its previous bid of $19.50 a share, or they can take some shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Corp. at an elevated price instead of cash.
BIPC was created in 2020 to broaden the company’s investor base and shareholders who are limited in the types of securities they can own; its shares are effectively the same as the Brookfield Infrastructure’s limited partnership units.
When the most recent offer was made, Brookfield’s stock portion was worth $23.85 for every Inter Pipeline share. However, Brookfield is only willing to pay a maximum of 32 per cent of its total purchase price in shares, and BIPC’s shares have also dropped eight per cent since the offer was made.
Two leading proxy advisers, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, both recommended Inter Pipeline investors vote against the Pembina bid.
While Inter Pipeline’s board has scrapped its support for Pembina’s deal, its directors have yet to fully embrace Brookfield’s offer. In a statement Monday, Inter Pipeline said it is “open to engaging with Brookfield in an effort to reach a mutually agreeable transaction in the best interests of shareholders.”
Brookfield’s shareholder vote is set for August 6.
The battle for Inter Pipeline has been heated from the very beginning. Brookfield started building a position in Inter Pipeline in 2020 and privately approached the target’s board about a deal last fall, but was repeatedly rebuffed. Brookfield then went hostile with a bid worth $16.50 in February.
Many analysts believed Brookfield was likely to face little competition in its pursuit of Inter Pipeline, but Pembina emerged as a white knight in May, agreeing to an all-share deal worth $8.3-billion. Brookfield’s original hostile bid was worth $7.1-billion.
Brookfield and Pembina ended up taking each other to court, with both sides filing arguments with the Alberta Securities Commission.
The arguments were heard in early July and the ASC ultimately ruled against Brookfield by raising the percentage of shares that must be tendered to Brookfield’s hostile takeover bid. Pembina had alleged Brookfield was using “coercive tactics” to win the takeover battle.
Before the ruling, Brookfield needed the support of a simple majority of Inter Pipeline’s independent shareholders, but it will now need the support of 55 per cent under a modified tender condition.
The ASC also shot down Brookfield’s request to have the potential $350-million break fee to Pembina scrapped.
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