While most see the necessity for tighter COVID-19 restrictions in Sudbury, the new rules from Public Health Sudbury and Districts are likely to put a bit of a dent in the Christmas social schedule.
Crosscut Distillery in Sudbury has holiday parties booked every weekend until Christmas and the owners are not sure which ones will be able to go ahead, if any.
“The holiday bookings are definitely a huge part of our business this time of year, so, it will definitely be a setback,” said Corrisa Blaseg, the marketing and events manager. “But of course, we want to keep the safety of the public and our customers of utmost importance.”
Due to an increase in COVID cases, the Sudbury and District Health unit has instituted new restrictions which come into effect this Saturday at 12:01 a.m. They also apply to Manitoulin Island, Espanola, Massey, the French River and other areas.
Some of the restrictions for businesses include limiting the size of social gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Restaurants are not able to offer buffets and have to ensure customers generally remain seated.
Blaseg said she is already getting phone calls from those who’ve booked their parties and is trying to get further clarification from the health unit.
“We’re finding it difficult to differentiate the restrictions between businesses, whether that’s the shopping mall or a restaurant. So when we seek out that information we just find it very vague.”
The Sudbury Theatre Centre staff are also making a lot of calls. They’re letting people who’ve booked tickets for this weekend’s performance of a Christmas Carol know that it is cancelled. It opened a week and a half ago but three performances this weekend will not be allowed.
“If we could have just made it through this weekend,” said McHenry. “It is very difficult to put on a performance for just 10 people.
Sue Peters is also switching gears this weekend. She has a number of private parties booked at her fine dining restaurant called The Cedar Nest.
Some of her patrons have decided to do takeout.
“Because they don’t want us to lose the business, which is really nice and considerate on their behalf,” said Peters.
Another change in the new restrictions will see more establishments required to check for proof of vaccination for those 12 and older. Previously it was voluntary for places such as personal care services, museums, galleries and science centres.
Jimmy Giroux’s salon and barber shop, Collective Haus, will fall into that category on December 15th. He said that they’ve already pushed to have people vaccinated and they did require proof of vaccination for beard trims and shaves. He would like to have seen it mandatory from the beginning for his industry as well.
“They said it was okay to do beard trims and shaves. Well, I’m six inches away from someone’s face while I’m doing that. I have my mask on, but for them to have a shave, they don’t. I think you should at least have your vaccine, or you should lose your privilege to get a shave.”
The health unit said despite being in the 21st month of the pandemic, more than one quarter of total cases have been reported in the last 30 days.
Third COVID-19 outbreak declared this month at Cambridge Memorial Hospital – TheRecord.com
Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) has declared its third COVID-19 outbreak of the month.
The outbreak was announced on Jan. 18 in medicine B (wing B, level 4) with two patients and one staff member testing positive.
A hospital outbreak is declared when two or more patients and/or staff test positive for a respiratory illness that was acquired in hospital within a time frame that is consistent with the epidemiology of the disease, and when there is a link between the cases.
According to CMH, safety precautions added include: enhanced surveillance by increased swabbing and testing non-infected patients and staff; enhanced cleaning, especially to high touch areas; and visits to inpatients have been paused for the entire hospital as of Jan. 8.
Virtual visits and phone connections for patients and families can be arranged.
The outbreak in medicine B could be declared over on Jan. 28 after 10 consecutive days with no new infections.
The hospital is still in outbreak in two other units, rebab and inpatient surgery.
The rehabilitation unit outbreak was declared Jan. 4.
As of Jan. 19, 12 patients and three staff have been infected, with the last positive test detected on Jan. 16, targeting the earliest possible end date at Jan. 26 if there are no new cases.
The inpatient surgery outbreak was declared Jan. 7 and at this time, seven patients and six staff have been infected. The last positive test was detected on Jan. 15, which targets the outbreak’s end date at Jan. 25 should there be no new cases.
Those who had COVID-19 and are vaccinated have best protection, study finds – National | Globalnews.ca – Globalnews.ca
A new study in two states that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19.
The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection.
But unvaccinated people with a past infection were a close second. By fall, when the more contagious delta variant had taken over but boosters weren’t yet widespread, that group had a lower case rate than vaccinated people who had no past infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the study Wednesday, noted several caveats to the research. And some outside experts were cautious of the findings and wary of how they might be interpreted.
“The bottom line message is that from symptomatic COVID infection you do generate some immunity,” said immunologist E. John Wherry of the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s still much safer to get your immunity from vaccination than from infection.”
Vaccination has long been urged even after a prior case of COVID-19 because both kinds of protection eventually wane — and there are too many unknowns to rely only on a past infection, especially a long-ago one, added immunologist Ali Ellebedy at Washington University in St. Louis.
“There are so many variables you cannot control that you just cannot use it as a way to say, `Oh, I’m infected then I am protected,”’ Ellebedy said.
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The research does fall in line with a small cluster of studies that found unvaccinated people with a previous infection had lower risks of COVID-19 diagnosis or illness than vaccinated people who were never before infected.
The new study’s findings do make sense, said Christine Petersen, a University of Iowa epidemiologist. She said a vaccine developed against an earlier form of the coronavirus is likely to become less and less effective against newer, mutated versions.
However, experts said, there are a number of possible other factors at play, including whether the vaccine’s effectiveness simply faded over time in many people and to what extent mask wearing and other behaviors played a part in what happened.
Another thing to consider: The “staunchly unvaccinated” aren’t likely to get tested and the study only included lab-confirmed cases, Wherry said.
“It may be that we’re not picking up as many reinfections in the unvaccinated group,” he said.
CDC officials noted other limitations. The study was done before the omicron variant took over and before many Americans received booster doses, which have been shown to dramatically amplify protection by raising levels of virus-fighting antibodies. The analysis also did not include information on the severity of past infections, or address the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.
The study authors concluded vaccination “remains the safest strategy” to prevent infections and “all eligible persons should be up to date with COVID-19 vaccination.”
The researchers looked at infections in California and New York, which together account for about 18 per cent of the U.S. population. They also looked at COVID-19 hospitalizations in California.
Overall, about 70 per cent of the adults in each state were vaccinated; another five per cent were vaccinated and had a previous infection. A little under 20 per cent weren’t vaccinated; and roughly five per cent were unvaccinated but had a past infection.
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The researchers looked at COVID-19 cases from the end of last May until mid-November, and calculated how often new infections happened in each group. As time went on, vaccine-only protection looked less and less impressive.
By early October, compared with unvaccinated people who didn’t have a prior infection, case rates were:
— Six-fold lower in California and 4.5-fold lower in New York in those who were vaccinated but not previously infected.
— 29-fold lower in California and 15-fold lower in New York in those who had been infected but never vaccinated.
— 32.5-fold lower in California and 20-fold lower in New York in those who had been infected and vaccinated.
But the difference in the rates between those last two groups was not statistically significant, the researchers found.
Hospitalization data, only from California, followed a similar pattern.
© 2022 The Canadian Press
Over 1.2 million people died from drug-resistant infections in 2019 – study
More than 1.2 million people died in 2019 from infections caused by bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics, higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria, according to a new report published on Thursday.
Global health officials have repeatedly warned about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and other microbes due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which encourages microorganisms to evolve into “superbugs”.
The new Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance report, published in The Lancet, revealed that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was directly responsible for an estimated 1.27 million deaths and associated with about 4.95 million deaths. The study analysed data from 204 countries and territories.
“These new data reveal the true scale of antimicrobial resistance worldwide… Previous estimates had predicted 10 million annual deaths from AMR by 2050, but we now know for certain that we are already far closer to that figure than we thought,” said Chris Murray, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Washington.
Last year, the World Health Organization warned that none of the 43 antibiotics in development or recently approved medicines were enough to combat antimicrobial resistance.
Cornelius Clancy, professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, said one of the ways to tackle AMR is to look at a new treatment model.
“The traditional antibiotic model that we’ve had for past number of decades since penicillin. I think it is tapped out.”
Most of 2019’s deaths were caused by drug resistance in lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia, followed by bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections.
AMR’s impact is now most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while around one in five deaths is in children aged under five years.
There was limited availability of data for some regions, particularly many low and middle-income countries, which may restrict the accuracy of the study’s estimates.
Clancy said the focus has been on COVID-19 for the past two years, but AMR is a “long-term kind of challenge”.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Devika Syamnath)
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