The coronavirus infection rate at the Beijing Olympics was 0.01% in the four weeks that have passed since a restrictive, three-tier test system was introduced, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Sunday.
More than 1.8 million tests were conducted since Jan. 23, and only 437 people tested positive, Bach said. Only 98 athletes and 87 team leaders confirmed positive at a match that ended Sunday. The other 252 confirmed positives were described as “stakeholders”.
“It has been one of the safest places on this planet, if not the safest,” Bach said.
The three-tier test involved athletes taking samples before departure in their own country and again on arrival in Beijing. All participants were also subjected to daily PCR testing in the Olympic villages and at the Olympic venues.
“The message to the world is that if everyone respects the rules of solidarity, you could even have such a big event as the Olympics under the conditions of a pandemic,” Bach said.
Also in the news:
►Brites with COVID-19 will not be legally required to isolate themselves from this week as part of a government plan to “live with COVID” that includes dropping all restrictions.
►Organizers of Milwaukee’s Summerfest, marketed as the world’s largest music festival, say guests do not have to wear masks, show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or show evidence of vaccination. Summerfest will take place over three weekends (Thursday-Saturday) from noon to midnight, 23-25. June, June 30-2. July and 7.-9. July.
“Strict anti-virus controls banning public assemblies in Hong Kong with more than two people could be tightened further to halt an increase in infections, “the region’s chief health official said on Sunday. Fourteen deaths and more than 6,000 new cases were reported.
►Indiana’s K-12 schools no longer need to report COVID-19 cases to the stateand the Indiana Department of Health announced Thursday that it dropped the remaining contact tracing and quarantine requirements for close contacts for schools without mask mandates.
📈Today’s figures: The United States has recorded more than 78.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 935,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: More than 423.8 million cases and over 5.8 million deaths. More than 214.7 million Americans – 64.7% – are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Queen Elizabeth II experiences mild, cold-like symptoms after tested positive for COVID-19, Buckingham Palace announced on Sunday. The palace said Britain’s longest-ruling monarch, 95, expects to continue light duties at Windsor Castle over the coming week. The queen is fully vaccinated after receiving three shots of a coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this month, Prince Charles tested positive for COVID-19. It was the second time he got it. Four days later, Duchess Camilla tested positive. Both are fully vaccinated and had received a booster injection.
“She will continue to receive medical care and will follow all relevant guidelines,” the palace said in a statement.
– Kim Hjelmgaard
Protesters who had been wreaking havoc in the streets of the Canadian capital Ottawa for the past three weeks were almost completely gone Sunday, driven away by police in riots.
Nearly 200 arrests later, the roaring truck horns had disappeared and streets that had been blocked by parked vehicles and traveling protesters were open to traffic. Police said they had towed 57 vehicles and planned to keep them for seven days.
“Remind that the secured area remains in effect,” Ottawa police tweeted Sunday. “We continue to maintain a police presence in and around the area where the illegal protest took place. We use fences to ensure that the land that has been reclaimed is not lost.”
A protest that was hanging near the parliament received a stern warning from the police: “If you are involved in this protest, we will actively seek to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges.”
The protest began as an attack on COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers. But it grew to include other restrictions and even targeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose popularity sank like a stone in the latest poll.
Teamsters Canada, which represents over 55,000 professional drivers, washed its hands in the protest two weeks ago.
The so-called “freedom convoy” and the despicable display of hatred led by the political right and shame encouraged by elected conservative politicians do not reflect Teamsters Canada’s values or the vast majority of our members, and have in fact served to delegitimize the real concerns of most truck drivers, “wrote Teamsters Canada President François Laporte.
On Sunday, Pope Francis hailed health workers as heroes for their service and asked the public in St. Peter’s Square to join him in applause. Francis clapped his hands in what he said was a “big thank you” to health workers, including volunteers who take care of the sick. Italy marks Sunday as a national day to pay tribute to health professionals. The Italian professional association of doctors and dentists counts 370 doctors who have died of COVID-19 in Italy alone.
“We need to remember the many doctors, nurses, volunteers who are close to the sick, treat them, make them feel better, help them,” Francis said.
President Joe Biden said in a letter to Congress that he would extend the national emergency declared in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which is set to expire on March 1. The national emergency, declared by former President Donald Trump, allows the federal government more freedom to spend money and take emergency measures that would otherwise be limited.
“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose a significant risk to the public health and safety of the nation,” Biden wrote in the letter.
A Wisconsin child dies of the rare and poorly understood COVID-19-related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, becomes the state’s first fatal accident and only the 60th in the nation. State health officials said the child, who was under 10, came from southeastern Wisconsin, but declined to say the age, gender or date of the child’s death. The child, one of 183 who contracted the disease in Wisconsin, died within the last month, said Tom Haupt, a respiratory disease epidemiologist for the state Department of Health Services. Nationwide, there have been 6,851 cases, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on January 31st.
The syndrome, which occurs two to six weeks after a child has been exposed to COVID-19, can affect children who have not shown any COVID symptoms.
“The kids are all universally very sick. They have fever, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea,” said Greg Demuri, a pediatric infectious disease physician at UW Health in Madison. “The most important component is a weakening of the heart muscle. We have had to put a few children on heart medicine.”
– Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Starring: Associated Press