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Olympics-Small minority of U.S. Olympians oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandate, say officials

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The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said on Monday its decision to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for those competing at next year’s Beijing Olympics has been met with some resistance.

In a bid to create a safe environment and restore some level of consistency in planning, the USOPC announced last month that Team USA athletes hoping to compete in the Beijing Olympics will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The response is as you would expect: Within our general population, there are some people who are extremely happy that we introduced this policy,” Jonathan Finnoff, the USOPC’s chief medical officer, said during the virtual Team USA media summit.

“And there are others that are upset and would like to not have any mandate regarding vaccinations.”

According to Finnoff, it is only a “very small minority” of Team USA athletes who oppose the mandate and the USOPC is having one-on-one conversations with each one to discuss their feelings and explain why the decision was made.

Last month’s announcement by the USOPC came days before the International Olympic Committee said the Beijing Olympics would have tight COVID-19 measures in place to ensure the safety of all participants during the Feb. 4-20 event.

Finnoff said the “more stringent” Beijing measures, which he added unlike the USOPC’s rules will not grant religious exemption, would supersede the  U.S. policy.

Any athlete who is granted a medical exemption will have to go through a 21-day quarantine in Beijing before they can begin training ahead of their event.

“These are challenging times but the vaccine policy that we’ve put in place and that China has put in place is going to make the Games as safe as possible,” said Finnoff.

USOPC Chief Executive Sarah Hirshland said the COVID-19 mandate is all about the safety and health of the team.

“The presence of this virus makes the challenge greater for all of us in a Games environment but we are committed to doing everything we can to mitigate illness and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Hirshland.

 

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Canadian province of Ontario records another new case of Omicron variant

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The town of Durham in the central Canadian province of Ontario has recorded a case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the local health authority said in a tweet on Thursday.

The person involved had traveled to one of the 10 countries in southern Africa that Ottawa had identified as high risk. The announcement brings to 10 the number of people in Canada diagnosed with the new variant.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren)

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Canada confirms first Covid cases in wildlife – RFI

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Issued on: 02/12/2021 – 16:58Modified: 02/12/2021 – 16:56

Ottawa (AFP) – Canada has confirmed its first cases of coronavirus in wildlife — in three white-tailed deer.

The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease said the samples were collected in early November from the free-ranging animals in the Estrie region of Quebec along the border with the United States.

“Similar to findings in the United States, the deer showed no evidence of clinical signs of disease, and were all apparently healthy,” the agency said in a statement late Wednesday.

The World Organisation for Animal Health was notified on December 1, it added.

There is limited information on animals and Covid-19.

Authorities urged mask-wearing around wild deer, while they “continue to monitor and assess the potential implications of the virus on Canadian wildlife.”

The virus has previously infected multiple species of animals globally, including farmed mink, companion animals such as cats and dogs, and zoo animals.

The United States recently reported evidence of spillover of Covid from humans to wild white-tailed deer, with subsequent spread of the virus among deer.

But there has been no known transmission from deer to humans.

The first case of Covid-19 was detected at an animal market in Wuhan, China, where wild and domestic animals were sold. It is believed to have originated in an animal.

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Canada confirms first Covid cases in wildlife – FRANCE 24

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Issued on: 02/12/2021 – 16:58Modified: 02/12/2021 – 16:56

Ottawa (AFP) – Canada has confirmed its first cases of coronavirus in wildlife — in three white-tailed deer.

The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease said the samples were collected in early November from the free-ranging animals in the Estrie region of Quebec along the border with the United States.

“Similar to findings in the United States, the deer showed no evidence of clinical signs of disease, and were all apparently healthy,” the agency said in a statement late Wednesday.

The World Organisation for Animal Health was notified on December 1, it added.

There is limited information on animals and Covid-19.

Authorities urged mask-wearing around wild deer, while they “continue to monitor and assess the potential implications of the virus on Canadian wildlife.”

The virus has previously infected multiple species of animals globally, including farmed mink, companion animals such as cats and dogs, and zoo animals.

The United States recently reported evidence of spillover of Covid from humans to wild white-tailed deer, with subsequent spread of the virus among deer.

But there has been no known transmission from deer to humans.

The first case of Covid-19 was detected at an animal market in Wuhan, China, where wild and domestic animals were sold. It is believed to have originated in an animal.

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Source link

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