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Canada government, provinces agree COVID-19 vaccine travel passport – officials

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Canada’s federal government and the 10 provinces have agreed on a standard COVID-19 electronic vaccination passport allowing domestic and foreign travel, government officials told reporters on Thursday.

The deal prevents possible confusion that could be caused if each of the provinces – which have primary responsibility for health care – issued their own unique certificates. The officials spoke on the condition they not be identified.

The document will have a federal Canadian identifying mark and meets major international smart health card standards.

“Many (countries) have said they want to see a digital … verifiable proof of vaccination, which is what we’re delivering,” said one official.

In addition, federal officials are talking to nations that are popular with Canadian travelers to brief them about the document.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this month that from Oct 30, people wishing to travel domestically by plane, train or ship would have to show proof of full vaccination.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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WECHU issues additional COVID-19 measures | CTV News – CTV News Windsor

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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has issued a letter of instruction, aiming to address a surge in COVID-19 cases.

With cases of COVID-19 climbing steadily in the past month, local health officials say they are once again putting in place restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

According to the health unit, the updated letter addresses the key settings associated with COVID-19 transmission identified through ongoing case investigations, which have identified social gatherings as an area of significant concern.

In particular, the revised Letter of Instruction contains the following additional measures:

  • Social gatherings limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
  • Added measures for wedding receptions and the social events tied to funerals and religious services.
  • Limiting indoor capacity for bars and restaurants to 50% of their total occupancy.
  • Strict adherence to face covering requirements in all public settings.

Without further intervention, WECHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai believes cases can reach levels similar to those seen at the same time last year.

“We are very worried that we are already seeing this surge of cases in advance of the holiday season and its associated social gatherings,” said Nesathurai. “Immediate action needs to be taken by all residents to address the known sources of transmission which are social gatherings, both in homes and in the community.”

The updated changes go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10. 

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INQUINTE.CA | Health unit warns of COVID exposure at Signal – inquinte.ca

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Public health unit in Ontario reinstates COVID-19 measures amid surge of cases – Powell River Peak

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WINDSOR, Ont. — A public health unit in southwestern Ontario said Sunday that it would soon reduce gathering limits and encourage work-from-home measures as the region faces a surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, issued a letter of instruction on Sunday detailing the new measures. 

“Given the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on the region of Windsor-Essex … I am issuing these instructions to control the spread of COVID-19,” Nesathurai wrote. 

The new measures, which go beyond provincial regulations, take effect on Friday at 12:01 a.m. and will remain in place until further notice, Nesathurai said. 

They impose a maximum of 10 people allowed to participate in a social gathering indoors, with exceptions for weddings and funerals, and a maximum of 25 people if the gathering is held outdoors. 

Gatherings associated with a wedding, funeral or a religious service or ceremony must ensure assigned seating for all attendees and that everyone wears a mask or face covering, except when at their assigned seat and consuming food or beverages. Capacity is limited so physical distancing can be maintained. 

People should also keep a list of the names and numbers of all attendees of a social gathering and make them available immediately upon request by the public health unit. 

Among other measures, businesses and organizations must review workplace safety plans with their employees at least once per month and make adjustments as needed. They must also enable remote work for employees, where possible, and limit the gathering of employees. 

Restaurants and bars, along with meeting and event spaces, must limit their indoor capacity to 50 per cent to enable physical distancing and post visible signage indicating the number of people permitted based on this limit. 

Nesathurai noted that failing to comply with provincial requirements and those identified under the letter of instruction is an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act, for which a person, business or organization may be liable. 

The new measures come in the wake of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, along with three local hospitals and local paramedics, warning about strained acute care and hospital capacity issues. 

In a joint statement released Friday, the groups said there’s been a recent surge in both COVID-19 patients and other respiratory ailments. 

They said patients should expect wait times and treatment for anything other than emergencies to be much longer than usual, and that those who do not have emergencies should seek care elsewhere, such as family doctors and clinics, to help alleviate pressure on the hospitals. 

They also said they’re seeing a dramatic increase in young children with severe respiratory issues needing an immediate higher level of care, noting that 11 children with respiratory syncytial virus had to be transferred from the Windsor Regional Hospital to hospitals in either London, Ont., or Detroit. 

“We must work to preserve capacity in our healthcare system for patients. Our local partners will continue to collaborate to ensure our regional system is able to handle an influx of patients that will challenge our capacity to ensure timely access to care,” the groups said in the statement. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2021. 

–By Noushin Ziafati in Toronto 

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. 

The Canadian Press

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