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Today’s coronavirus news: Head of Tokyo Olympics again says games will not be cancelled; Ontario set to impose new restrictions Friday to curb surging COVID-19 rates


The newest coronavirus news from Canada and all over the world Friday. This file will likely be up to date all through the day. Internet hyperlinks to longer tales if out there.

7:45 a.m. As COVID-19 case counts and intensive care admissions attain disaster ranges in Toronto, the sector hospital below building in a car parking zone at Sunnybrook Well being Sciences Centre will start accepting sufferers subsequent week, the Star has realized.

As properly, subsequent week, Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto Common Hospital, each a part of the College Well being Community, could have giant tents serving as further affected person ready areas to assist scale back crowding within the overstretched emergency departments.  

The tent adjoining to Toronto Western was partly constructed on Thursday and the tent outdoors Toronto Common will likely be put up on Saturday; each will likely be “operationalized early subsequent week,” Dr. Erin O’Connor, deputy medical director of emergency departments at UHN, advised the Star.  

“These tents will present ready house to assist sufferers bodily distance as a result of we at the moment are not ready to do this in our ER. At this level, there are simply too many individuals coming in.”  

That is the primary time UHN has wanted to construct tents to accommodate sufferers ready for emergency care, O’Connor mentioned.

Read the full story from the Star’s Megan Ogilvie, Amy Dempsey and Rachel Mendleson

7:35 a.m. With hospitals at breaking level, the hole between who wants COVID vaccines and who’s getting them is especially unhealthy in Toronto, new analysis exhibits. The neighbourhoods with the best populations of racialized individuals have the bottom vaccination charges, regardless of the disproportionate influence of the illness on these communities.

The findings, shared completely with the Star, come from the Wellesley Institute, and the analysis takes into consideration components reminiscent of age.

The evaluation, revealed Friday, attracts on information damaged down by the primary three letters of a postal code on COVID-19 danger and the proportion of the inhabitants which have had at the very least one shot. It was first launched final week by the Toronto-based non-profit ICES, previously the Institute for Medical Evaluative Sciences.

Trying on the M postal codes within the metropolis, the upper the COVID-19 price, the decrease the vaccination stage, mentioned report writer James Iveniuk, a researcher for the Wellesley Institute, a non-profit assume tank.

“Should you wished to say the place are these inequities the strongest, you’d zero in on the town of Toronto.”

Read the full story from the Star’s May Warren

7:23 a.m. Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory desk will maintain a media briefing to current up to date modelling Friday at 1 p.m.

6:36 a.m. As COVID-19 instances and deaths hit new highs, grim new modelling forecasts and potential new lockdown measures are anticipated Friday.

Premier Doug Ford’s cupboard met for hours Thursday to debate choices, the Star’s Rob Ferguson and Robert Benzie reported. It’s nonetheless not clear precisely what they’ll do, however they’ll meet once more to make a remaining determination.

The province has been below a stay-at-home order since April 8, though the police have restricted capacity to implement it. Some faculties within the province moved on-line final week, whereas some are shifting on-line after April break.

A senior official mentioned a curfew was unlikely.

However, “all choices are on the desk,” Solicitor Common Sylvia Jones advised reporters at Queen’s Park Thursday.

“Sadly, the scenario is dire,” affiliate chief medical officer, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, added at a press convention later within the day.

Read what we’re watching for on Friday

5:35 a.m. When Ian Haydon walked into the analysis clinic in downtown Seattle, he was much less confused than normal concerning the injection to come back — in any case, it was his third COVID-19 vaccine.

The primary time he’d proven as much as voluntarily roll up his sleeve for an experimental shot had been virtually precisely a yr earlier.

That shot? Was made by an organization known as Moderna. Again earlier than the American firm was a family title, Haydon was one of many first individuals on the earth to volunteer to assist check its experimental dose that, up to now 12 months, has gone from idea, to large-scale medical trials, to authorization in nations all over the world, to an unprecedented world rollout.

Now he’s rolled up his sleeve once more, as the corporate begins a brand new trial of a shot designed to focus on the variant that first emerged in South Africa. It might even ultimately be an annual booster. Suppose a flu shot, however for COVID-19.

“As soon as once more, we type of needed to be OK with entering into that unknown and actually seeing what will occur, which is, in fact, the entire level of this research,” Haydon mentioned, referring to the volunteers who signed as much as come again and assist check a booster.

Read the full story from the Star’s Alex Boyd

5:30 a.m. The top of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday was once more compelled to guarantee the world that the postponed video games will open in simply over three months and never be cancelled regardless of surging COVID-19 instances in Japan.

Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto was requested at a information convention if there have been any situations below which the Olympics can be cancelled.

The query comes as the final secretary of ruling LDP political celebration, Toshihiro Nikai, raised the chance the day earlier than.

“There are a number of issues however because the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee we aren’t eager about cancelling the video games,” Hashimoto mentioned.

Nikai, the No. 2 individual within the LDP celebration, was requested on Thursday in an interview if cancellation was nonetheless an possibility.

“In fact,” he replied, including that if the Tokyo Video games precipitated a surge in infections “there can be no which means to having the Olympics.”

Nikai tried to backtrack later, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued a press release Thursday saying there may be “no change to the federal government place to do all the pieces to realize secure and safe Olympics.”

Hashimoto acknowledged Nikai’s concern and steered it was most likely shared by the Japanese public. Polls present as many as 80% in Japan oppose holding the Olympics in the course of the pandemic.

“The truth that he (Nikai) is anxious is some extent that we have to take severely as Tokyo 2020,” she mentioned. “His remark has reminded us of how tedious it was for us to really feel assured or be absolutely ready for delivering the video games.”

COVID-19 instances have been rising throughout Japan. Regardless of this, the Worldwide Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers are urgent on. The IOC, which depends on promoting broadcast rights for 73% of its earnings, has seen its money circulate stalled by the postponement. Japan has already invested at the very least $15 billion to arrange the Olympics, and nationwide audits recommend it is likely to be twice that a lot. All however $6.7 billion is public cash.

In an editorial this week, the British Medical Journal questioned Japan and the IOC going forward with the Olympics. Organizers have mentioned the Olympics will likely be “secure and safe,” which the editorial challenged.

“Whereas the dedication is encouraging, there was an absence of transparency about the advantages and danger, and worldwide mass gathering occasions reminiscent of Tokyo 2020 are nonetheless neither secure nor safe,” the editorial mentioned.

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On Thursday, the federal government minister in command of Japan’s vaccine rollout, Taro Kono, mentioned even when the Olympics go on, there could also be no followers of any form within the venues. He mentioned it’s doubtless that the Olympics should be held in empty venues, significantly as instances surge throughout the nation.

Followers from overseas have already been barred.

5:28 a.m. The pandemic will worsen earlier than it will get higher.

After that grim warning from public well being officers, Premier Doug Ford is about to impose the third set of recent COVID-19 restrictions in three weeks, together with additional limits on which companies and industries can keep open.

Whereas Ford’s cupboard met for hours Thursday and mentioned a spread of choices, senior authorities officers mentioned a province-wide curfew was “unlikely.”

However with new an infection modelling from the federal government’s science advisers coming Friday that can forecast charges might triple or quadruple if issues proceed on the present tempo, the premier will announce new strikes in hopes of curbing the unfold.

“Sadly, the scenario is dire,” affiliate chief medical officer Dr. Barbara Yaffe mentioned Thursday as new infections, hospitalizations and intensive care admissions all set new information, and extra vaccinations clinics closed briefly due to an absence of provide from the federal authorities.

Read the full story from the Star’s Rob Ferguson and Robert Benzie

5:25 a.m. Unity Well being Toronto is closing its clinics for first-dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments at St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals, attributable to a scarcity of vaccine.

“Our hospital clinics will likely be closed as of April 18,” the hospital community mentioned in a statement on its web site.

Each clinics “is not going to be open for first dose appointments till at the very least April 26,” the assertion learn.

Vaccination appointments already booked at these places is not going to be cancelled, “however could also be modified to accommodate new clinic hours.”

The community mentioned that is being completed to focus out there sources on high-risk teams recognized by the Province.

Read the full story from the Star’s Akrit Michael

Friday 5:23 a.m. The Toronto Transit Fee, Maple Leaf Meals, and UPS are among the many employers in COVID-19 scorching spots who’ve approached — or been approached by — the province about internet hosting office vaccination clinics, the Star has realized.

Others who expressed curiosity embody Maple Lodge Farms and, as beforehand reported by the Star, Amazon. All are employers in hard-hit sectors who’ve skilled outbreaks over the previous yr, and are designated important below lockdown tips.

It’s a part of a crucial push to immunize weak residents in communities disproportionately impacted by the virus. However specialists are urging a worker-centred method the place these within the highest-risk workplaces are prioritized — and have barrier-free entry to vaccines with out necessities like authorities identification.

“If we don’t have the vaccine going first to the individuals who want it most, the virus will beat us,” mentioned Dr. Kwame McKenzie, the CEO of Wellesley Institute, a coverage and well being analysis group.

Employers wishing to host office clinics have to be primarily based in a COVID scorching spot, have a historical past or danger of outbreaks, and be prepared to vaccinate staff who can’t make money working from home in addition to local people members. They need to additionally assume duty for organizing and funding the clinic, based on provincial standards detailed this week.

Read the full story from the Star’s Sara Mojtehedzadeh and Olivia Bowden

Thursday 8:45 p.m.: British Columbia’s high physician says the province doubtless has Canada’s largest proportion of COVID-19 instances involving the extra transmissible variant first recognized in Brazil, however that is partly as a result of it’s testing extra for that pressure.

Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned Thursday the Vancouver Coastal area is main all different well being authorities with about 70 per cent of P.1 variant instances due to numerous instances linked to the resort city of Whistler.

Total, slightly below 60 per cent of each day instances contain variants, together with the one first related to South Africa, although these instances are negligible in contrast with P.1 and the variant first recognized in the UK.

Henry mentioned the upper danger of transmission with variants prompted the three-week “circuit breaker” imposed final month that included closing indoor eating at eating places and bars.

5:45 p.m.: Alberta is reporting 1,646 new instances of COVID-19, The Canadian Press experiences.

The province says 1,020 instances of variants have additionally been detected within the final 24 hours, based on CP.

5 further deaths linked to the virus had been reported.

There are 416 individuals in hospital due to COVID-19, and 86 are in intensive care.



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