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Restricting travel over vaccine type could be discrimination, PAHO warns

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Countries should grant entry to vaccinated travelers regardless of which shot they received to prevent discrimination and facilitate business, a top official of the Pan American Health Organization(PAHO) said on Wednesday.

With vaccination rates on the rise, countries are facing fresh questions about how to contain the spread of COVID-19 while easing pandemic travel restrictions.

The United States last week said it would reopen the land border with Mexico – the busiest in the world – but only allow people who have been inoculated with vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO), leaving out two shots heavily used in Mexico – Russia’s Sputnik V and one from China’s Cansino Biologics.

“It is very important that countries can reach bilateral, multilateral agreements, so that all the vaccines that are being used can be accepted,” PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa told a news conference.

“It can facilitate tourism, it can facilitate business, it is in the interest of society,” Barbosa said.

Turning away people based on their vaccine could unfairly impact certain travelers, he said, adding, “This could undoubtedly create a kind of discrimination.”

Millions of Mexicans have been vaccinated with Sputnik V and Cansino shots. Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he will urge the WHO to speed up approvals.

Forty-one percent of people across Latin America and the Caribbean have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, although not evenly across the region, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said.

The COVAX vaccine sharing program is scheduled to provide another 4.6 million shots to the region by the end of the week.

Etienne urged people to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and influenza, noting that some people could have lower defenses against the flu from staying at home and social distancing.

 

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)

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RELEASE: COVID concerns at Signal Brewery – Quinte News

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Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is advising individuals who attended Signal Brewery (Corbyville) between November 19 – December 4 that they may have had an exposure to COVID-19. HPEPH is in the process of investigating multiple cases of COVID-19 that were present at the restaurant during this time frame. Signal Brewery has closed voluntarily while the investigation is underway.

All individuals who attended Signal Brewery between November 19 – December 4 are:

  • Advised to seek testing immediately for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms.
    • Book an appointment online for the Belleville or Trenton testing centre. You can also call 613-961-5544).
    • For other testing options, please visit hpepublichealth.ca/getting-tested-for-covid-19/
    • When seeking testing, please provide investigation number 2238-2021-51372 to the testing centre.
  • Monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If symptoms develop, even mild ones such as a runny nose or sore throat, isolate at home and away from others, and seek testing again, even if you were negative the first time.

While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of COVID-19 cases in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed to meet public health objectives such as prompt notification of potential contacts and reducing the risk of further transmission. HPEPH is in the process of contacting identified high-risk contacts related to these cases. All high-risk contacts will be instructed by HPEPH to self-isolate immediately and to get tested.

“I am urging individuals who attended Signal Brewery on these dates to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms, in order to protect those around them,” says Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “All residents are asked to remain vigilant and protect one another – and this includes getting tested if advised, staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms, and limiting your close contacts. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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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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