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N.B. COVID roundup: 5 possible exposures reported – CBC.ca

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New Brunswick Public Health reported 18 news cases of COVID-19 over Saturday and Sunday in the Moncton and Saint John regions.

There are now 37 active cases in the province. 

The 18 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 include:

Moncton region, Zone 1, 17 cases:

  • Two people under 19.
  • 11 people 20 to 29.
  • Three people 30 to 39.
  • A person 40 to 49.

Nine of the cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases, six cases are under investigation and two are travel-related.

The one case in the Saint John region, Zone 2, is a person age 20 to 29 and is travel-related. 

“With the number of new cases over the weekend, the importance of getting vaccinated is stronger than ever,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a news release. 

“Getting vaccinated will not only reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 and of being seriously ill, it will also help to protect your family, friends and our health-care system.” 

Russell said New Brunswickers should continue to get tested even if they show mild symptoms. 

That have now been 2,383 cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and 46 deaths. There are no hospitalizations of COVID-19 in the province. 

The entire province is now in the green alert level, a change that was made Friday at midnight.

Vaccination rate up to 67.9 per cent

A total of 67.9 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated, bumped up from 66.7 per cent. 

More than 82 per cent of the population over age 12 has at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vaccination clinic are being held across the province this holiday weekend.

More will take place Monday:

  • Saint John, Exhibition Park, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • Moncton, Moncton Coliseum, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • Edmundston, St-Jacques Chevalier de Colomb, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • Bathurst, Bathurst Public Heath, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • Fredericton, Crowne Plaza, noon to 5 p.m. – Pfizer-BioNTech.

New public exposures

Public Health has identified five new possible exposures of COVID-19. 

All of the new possible exposure locations are in the Saint John region. 

Saint John region, Zone 2:

  • Saint John Ale House, 1 Market Square, Saint John, July 27 between 5:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m. 
  • Hopscotch, 4 Canterbury St., Saint John, July 27 between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 
  • Italian By Night, 97 Germain  St., Saint John, July 27 between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. 
  • Churchill’s Bar and Pub, 8 Grannan St., Saint John, July 27 between 10:15 p.m. and midnight.
  • Uptown Pub Down Under Bar, 88 Prince William St., Saint John, July 27 between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.  

Public Health identified exposures in the Moncton area earlier this week. 

Moncton region, Zone 1:

  • Maritime Bus, Coach 1908 – from Moncton to Fredericton, departed at 4:20 p.m., July 26
  • Tony’s Bistro & Patisserie, 137 McLaughlin Rd., Moncton, July 23, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • Tony’s Bakery (50 rue du Marché, Dieppe, July 20 between 12:45 p.m. and 1:20 p.m., July 26 between noon and 1 p.m. and July 27 between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill Restaurant, 1000 Main St., Moncton, July 20 between 4 p.m. and 11:35 p.m., July 22 between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and July 23 between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 
  • The Third Glass Bar, 819 Main St., Moncton, July 21 between 7 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., July 22 between 4 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., July 23 between 6:30 p.m. and 3 a.m., July 24 between 2 p.m. and 3 a.m. and July 26 between 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
  • Gusto’s Italian Grill and Bar, 130 Westmorland Dr., Moncton, July 22 between 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. 
  • Starbucks, 361 Champlain St., Dieppe, July 22 between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

What to do if you have a symptom

People concerned they might have COVID-19 can take a self-assessment test online.

Public Health says symptoms of the illness have included a fever above 38 C, a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, a new onset of fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.

People with one of those symptoms should stay at home, call 811 or their doctor and follow instructions.

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Scientists may have accidentally detected dark energy – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Dark energy, a mysterious force believed to be causing the universe to expand at an accelerated rate, may have been detected by scientists for the first time.

In a new study, published Wednesday in the journal Physical Review D, the authors suggest certain unexplained results from an experiment designed to detect dark matter could have been caused by dark energy.

“Despite both components being invisible, we know a lot more about dark matter, since its existence was suggested as early as the 1920s, while dark energy wasn’t discovered until 1998,” Sunny Vagnozzi, of the University of Cambridge’s Kavli Institute for Cosmology, said in a story posted by the university. “Large-scale experiments like XENON1T have been designed to directly detect dark matter, by searching for signs of dark matter ‘hitting’ ordinary matter, but dark energy is even more elusive.”

Nearly everything we can see and interact with, from bacteria to entire galaxies, is considered ordinary matter and energy, and makes up about five per cent of our universe, according to scientists. The rest is made up of dark matter (27 per cent), an invisible attractive force that holds the cosmos together, and dark energy (68 per cent), a repulsive force considered to be responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

The XENON research project is a collaboration of 160 scientists from around the world who have come together to perform a series of experiments aimed at detecting dark matter particles. These experiments involve the use of ultra-pure liquid xenon, a colourless, dense, odourless noble gas found in trace amounts in Earth’s atmosphere.

Experiments are performed at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, the largest underground laboratory in the world, located approximately 1.4 kilometres beneath the Gran Sasso mountains in central Italy, about 120 kilometres northeast of Rome.

The XENON1T experiment was the latest phase of the project. About a year ago, it detected an unexpected signal, or excess, over the expected background profile.

“These sorts of excesses are often flukes, but once in a while they can also lead to fundamental discoveries,” Luca Visinelli, researcher at Frascati National Laboratories in Italy, said. “We explored a model in which this signal could be attributable to dark energy, rather than the dark matter the experiment was originally devised to detect.”

The researchers created a physical model that used a type of screening mechanism known as chameleon screening to show that dark energy particles produced in the Sun’s strong magnetic fields could explain the XENON1T signal.

“It was really surprising that this excess could in principle have been caused by dark energy rather than dark matter,” Vagnozzi said. “When things click together like that, it’s really special.”

A discovery such as this would mean that experiments designed to detect dark matter, including those performed during the XENON project, could also be used to detect dark energy. But further research is required to confirm these findings.

“We first need to know that this wasn’t simply a fluke,” Visinelli said. “If XENON1T actually saw something, you’d expect to see a similar excess again in future experiments, but this time with a much stronger signal.”

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'Happy' SpaceX tourist crew spend first day whizzing around Earth – Phys.org

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Graphic on the four all-civilian passengers on SpaceX’s mission to orbit around the Earth, lauched September 15 from Florida.

SpaceX’s all-civilian Inspiration4 crew spent their first day in orbit conducting scientific research and talking to children at a pediatric cancer hospital, after blasting off on their pioneering mission from Cape Canaveral the night before.

St Jude tweeted its patients got to speak with the four American space tourists, “asking the questions we all want to know like ‘are there cows on the Moon?'”

Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the flight, is trying to raise $200 million for the research facility.

Inspiration4 is the first orbital spaceflight with only private citizens aboard.

Earlier, Elon Musk’s company tweeted that the four were “healthy” and “happy,” had completed their first round of , and enjoyed a couple of meals.

Musk himself tweeted that he had personally spoken with the crew and “all is well.”

By now, they should have also been able to gaze out from the Dragon ship’s cupola—the largest space window ever built, which has been fitted onto the vessel for the first time in place of its usual docking mechanism.

Most humans in space

The Inspiration4 mission also brings the total number of humans currently in space to 14—a new record. In 2009, there were 13 people on the International Space Station (ISS).

There are currently seven people aboard the ISS, including two Russian cosmonauts, and three Chinese astronauts on spaceship Shenzhou-12, which is bound home after its crew spent 90 days at the Tiangong space station.

Isaacman, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, geoscientist Sian Proctor and aerospace data engineer Chris Sembroski are whizzing around the planet at an altitude that at times reaches 590 kilometers (367 miles).

That is deeper in space than the ISS, which orbits at 420 kilometers (260 miles), and the furthest any humans have ventured since a 2009 maintenance mission for the Hubble telescope.

Their ship is moving at about 17,500 mph (28,000 kph) and each day they will experience about 15 sunrises and sunsets.

Their high speed means they are experiencing time slightly slower than people on the surface, because of a phenomenon called “relative velocity time dilation.”

Apart from fundraising for charity, the mission aims to study the biological effects of deep space on the astronauts’ bodies.

“Missions like Inspiration4 help advance spaceflight to enable ultimately anyone to go to orbit & beyond,” added Musk in a tweet.

The adventure bookends a summer marked by the battle of the billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to reach the final frontier.

But these flights only offered a few minutes of weightlessness—rather than the three full days of orbit the Inspiration4 crew will experience, before splashing down off the coast of Florida on Saturday.


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SpaceX’s tourist crew ‘healthy, happy and resting’


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Chinese astronauts return after 90-day mission to space station – Al Jazeera English

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Shenzhou-12 mission carrying three Chinese men landed safely in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia in northern China.

Three Chinese astronauts have returned to earth after a 90-day visit to an unfinished space station in the country’s first crewed mission since 2016.

In a small return capsule, the three men – Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo – landed safely in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia in the north of China at 1:34pm (05:34 GMT), state media reported.

The Shenzhou-12 mission was the first of four crewed missions planned for 2021-2022 as China assembles its first permanent space station. The process requires 11 missions, including the launches of the station’s three modules.

Construction kicked off in April with the launch of the Tianhe module, the future living quarters of the space station. Slightly larger than a city bus, Tianhe was where Nie, Liu and Tang have stayed since mid-June, marking China’s longest spaceflight mission.

While in orbit, the astronauts conducted spacewalks, validated Tianhe’s life-support system, tested the module’s robotic arm, and sorted supplies for upcoming crewed missions.

The second crewed mission is planned for October, with the next batch of astronauts expected to stay on Tianhe for six months.

Ahead of that Shenzhou-13 mission, China will send an automated cargo spacecraft – Tianzhou-3 – to Tianhe carrying supplies needed by the next crew.

Tianzhou-3 will be launched in the near future, state media said recently.

Blocked by US law from working with NASA and by extension on the US-led International Space Station (ISS), China has spent the past 10 years developing technologies to construct its own space station.

China’s space station, expected to be completed by the end of 2022, will be the sole alternative to the 20-year-old ISS, which may be retired in 2024.

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