sunny.png
Thursday March 4th, 2021 4:31PM

The Latest: Quebec to close all non-essential businesses

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is closing all non-essential businesses across the Canadian province from Christmas until at least Jan. 11.

Premier Francois Legault says that big box stores will be prohibited from selling any goods that are deemed non-essential. The premier is also forcing all office towers to empty starting Thursday and requiring employees to work from home until at least Jan. 11.

Legault says elementary and secondary schools will close Dec. 17 and can reopen at the earliest on Jan. 11. He says hospitals across the province are under too much pressure because of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow non-essential businesses to stay open during the holidays.

Quebec reported 1,741 COVID-19 infections on Tuesday.

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Poor countries face long wait for vaccines despite promises

— Over-the-counter home test for COVID-19 gets U.S. green light

— French theater, cinema workers protest against virus closure

— Pandemic backlash jeopardizes public health powers, leaders

— Sweden’s prime minister says health officials misjudged new infection wave

— U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 300,000 just as vaccinations begin

___

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SALT LAKE CITY -- An intensive care nurse in Salt Lake City became the first person in Utah to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Utah hospitals began administering vaccinations to front-line healthcare workers with the highest risk of exposure. Hospital leaders expect about a total of 100 doses to be administered across the state on Tuesday.

Christy Mulder, a nurse at University of Utah Hospital, was the first person in the state to receive the vaccine.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn says she is thrilled that vaccines are finally being distributed in Utah. But she urges people to continue public health measures like wearing masks and social distancing.

___

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in West Virginia pushed past 1,000 with the announcement Tuesday of a record 34 deaths.

Health officials said the deaths broke the one-day mark of 31 deaths reported last Wednesday.

At least 1,012 people in West Virginia have died from the virus since the pandemic began. The number of deaths has more than doubled since early November, along with virus-related hospitalizations.

The number of virus patients in hospitals reached 774 as of Monday. That’s up 124, or 19%, in the past week alone. That includes a record 207 patients in hospital intensive care units, up from 180 a week earlier.

There are more than 21,000 active cases in the state, where officials began administering a vaccine for the virus on Monday.

—-

RENO, Nev. -- A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of two Nevada churches that say the state’s COVID-19 restrictions violate their First Amendment rights.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with the churches in Las Vegas and rural Lyon County that the state’s limits are unconstitutional because they place harsher attendance limits on religious gatherings than casinos and other secular businesses.

The appellate court reversed earlier federal court rulings Tuesday that upheld Nevada’s hard cap on the size of worship services. It instructed the district judges to preliminary enjoin Nevada from imposing attendance limits for churches stricter than those for other gatherings or businesses.

___

PHOENIX -- Arizona on Tuesday reported more than 60 additional deaths as the current coronavirus surge saw the rolling seven-day averages of additional cases and deaths more than double over the past two weeks.

The state on Tuesday reported 4,134 additional known cases and 64 deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 424,382 cases and 7,422 deaths. The rolling average of daily new cases rose from 3,499 on Nov. 30 to 7,772.1 on Monday while the rolling average of daily deaths rose from 25 to 58.3.

The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations reached 3,702 on Monday, setting another record.

Arizona on Friday exceeded the summer surge’s peak of 3,517 hospitalizations.

___

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The new COVID-19 vaccine arrived at an Appalachian hospital in Kentucky, and medical workers received the first injections.

The Pikeville Medical Center was one of a handful of regional hospitals to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday.

Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass, Pikeville Medical’s infectious disease specialist, received the first injection during a live-streamed news conference Tuesday afternoon. Al Akrass urged the public to have confidence in the vaccine.

“I’m a true believer that this is going to be our only option, and it’s going to be an amazing option to turn around this pandemic,” he said.

The hospital, which was required to have facilities for ultra-cold storage, received 975 doses meant for medical workers. A Louisville hospital received the first Kentucky shipment of the vaccine on Monday.

Health care workers are first in line for the vaccine, but about 25,000 doses from the first batch to Kentucky will be dedicated to vaccinating people in long-term care facilities. Gov. Andy Beshear said he hopes to have the entire long-term care population vaccinated within two months.

___

INDIANAPOLIS — A coalition of some of Indiana’s top hospital systems is warning that facilities are struggling to cope with the surge in COVID-19 patients — a sobering reminder that the coronavirus is still spreading quickly in the state despite the arrival of a vaccine.

With COVID-19 patient numbers hovering above 3,000 for nearly a month, Indiana hospitals are treating more than four times as many as they were in September and are worried they soon could get overwhelmed.

“Local hospitals are fast approaching crisis,” the Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, which represents several central Indiana health-system systems, said Monday in a statement.

During an online news conference Monday, members of the hospital coalition painted a grim picture of what has been unfolding in their emergency rooms and intensive care units. They also pleaded with members of the public to continue wearing masks and socially distancing and to forgo in-person holiday gatherings.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday added another 129 COVID-19 deaths to the state’s death toll, pushing the overall figure of confirmed or presumed coronavirus deaths to 6,968 since the start of the pandemic.

___

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A registered nurse who does coronavirus testing and contact tracing got Wyoming’s first COVID-19 vaccination Tuesday.

Terry Thayn’s regular job is overseeing maternal and child health matters for the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department, but this year, she has been busy working to contain the virus.

“I was excited for the vaccine,” Thayn said after getting the shot at a health department news conference. “Whenever it was here, I was taking it.”

Thayn is set to get a follow-up shot of the Pfizer vaccine in three weeks.

Her initial dose came from a shipment of 975 in a box that arrived Monday at the health department. Small glass vials of the vaccine came packaged in a box within a box and were kept cold by dry ice.

Almost 35,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 321 have died of the virus in Wyoming since the pandemic began, according to state health officials.

___

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence says he looks forward in the days ahead to receiving a vaccine for COVID-19 and will do so without hesitation.

Pence is speaking Tuesday at a Catalent Biologics plant in his home state of Indiana. The plant is producing a vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.

He is trying to inject confidence in the vaccine a day after the rollout of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus shots and as the Food and Drug Administration says in a preliminary report that the Moderna vaccine is also safe and effective.

Pence declared, “we have come to the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Pence is also stressing the need for Americans to stay focused on limiting the spread of the virus before a vaccine is in widespread use. He says cases and hospitalizations are continuing to rise in many parts of the country. The death toll from the coronavirus topped 300,000 Monday.

“It’s been a marathon this year. It’s been a marathon of heartbreak for many American families,” he said.

___

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging elected officials to “step up” and encourage wary Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Republican leader said that as a childhood polio survivor, he’s a “huge supporter” of being vaccinated.

“Whenever my turn comes, I’m going to be anxious to take the vaccine and do my part to reassure those who are doubtful about this,” McConnell said at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

For those who say they will resist the vaccine, he said it’s “not good news.”

“We really need to get the country vaccinated,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do for yourself, for your family and for the country.”

___

NORFOLK, Va. — Healthcare workers in Virginia started receiving the state’s first doses of a coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, kicking off what is likely to be a months long process of inoculating people from the potentially deadly disease.

The Ballad Health system broadcast live video of registered nurse Emily Boucher, who works in the hospital’s COVID-19 intensive care unit, getting her first shot of the vaccine.

“I will never stop trying to convince everyone about the reality of COVID-19,” Boucher said before pulling up her left sleeve at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, an area in southwestern Virginia.

Several health care workers at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in the eastern part of the state also received injections.

Healthcare workers are a priority as vaccines are distributed. And supplies will be limited for months to come. There likely won’t be enough for the average person to get a shot until spring.

___

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little will wait his turn in line to get a coronavirus vaccination.

A spokesperson for the 66-year-old Republican governor said Tuesday that the state’s limited supply of the vaccine is prioritized for front-line healthcare workers and the most vulnerable citizens. Marissa Morrison says the governor has never tested positive for the virus, and he intends to receive his vaccination when he’s eligible.

Healthcare officials say the virus has been surging in Idaho and fear delayed or no treatment for some if the system is overwhelmed with patients. State officials say the virus has infected more than 120,000 residents and killed nearly 1,200.

___

ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk has tested positive for COVID-19. That makes him the fourth Republican representative from Georgia to contract the virus.

Loudermilk said in a statement Tuesday that he’s quarantining at home and experiencing mild symptoms, but hopes to resume legislative duties soon.

He represents Georgia’s 11th District northwest of Atlanta. Georgia Republican Reps. Austin Scott, Rick Allen and Drew Ferguson previously tested positive for the virus.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler briefly isolated after she tested positive for COVID-19 in November. But she later received two negative tests and quickly returned to in-person campaigning ahead of her Jan. 5 runoff against Democrat Raphael Warnock. Early in-person voting the runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats began Monday.

___

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Health care workers began receiving the first vaccinations against the new coronavirus in Alabama on Tuesday as cases of the illness caused by the virus soared.

Cullman Regional Medical Center said a longtime nurse, Donna Snow, had received an initial dose of the two-step vaccine a day after the hospital, located north of Birmingham, received its first shipment.

“I’m hopeful that more people are able to take the vaccine so we can begin to see a decline in the number of critically ill patients and families impacted by this disease,” Snow, who works in critical care, said in a statement released by the hospital.

More than 300,000 people in Alabama have contracted the virus, and COVID-19 has killed more than 4,120 people statewide.

The Alabama Department of Corrections, which has one of the nation’s highest rates of inmate deaths from COVID-19, said three more elderly inmates had died of the illness caused by the coronavirus. All three men had serious health problems before contracting the virus, the agency said in a statement.

___

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana’s education superintendent is asking Gov. John Bel Edwards and state health leaders to prioritize childcare workers and school teachers, staff and bus drivers when divvying up future vaccine shipments.

Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley told Louisiana’s education board Tuesday that’s an estimated 166,000 employees at daycare centers, pre-K programs and K-12 schools.

Louisiana started coronavirus immunizations Monday for hospital workers. Next up are people who live and work at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Edwards has said he largely intends to follow the recommendations of scientific experts that advise the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That advisory group hasn’t set its second phase guidance yet.

___

MADRID — One in ten residents in Spain had been infected by the coronavirus by mid-November and almost half that contagion occurred during the summer resurgence of outbreaks. That’s according to preliminary results of an official survey on the presence of antibodies.

The fourth and latest round of a national seroprevalence study found that 9.9% of the more than 51,400 people tested had developed antibodies at some point since the onset of the pandemic, officials from Spain’s main epidemiological study center, the Carlos III Health Institute, and the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

The study suggests that at least 4.7 million people have contracted the virus so far, although official Health Ministry figures have logged 1.75 million infections from laboratory tests as of Monday.

Spain has also confirmed 48,000 deaths for COVID-19, although excess mortality registries suggest a much higher real death toll.

Marina Pollán, director of the National Epidemiological Center, said that health workers and women taking care of the elderly, working as cleaners and in nursing homes showed the highest prevalence of antibodies.

___

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is now contracted to receive up to 168,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December, pending approval by Canada’s health regulator.

Trudeau says deliveries could begin within 48 hours of regulatory approval. Officials say they expect to approve use of the second vaccine soon.

Canadians have already started to receive vaccine shots developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Trudeau says Canada expects to receive about 200,000 doses from Pfizer next week.

___

ROME — Italian health authorities on Tuesday lamented the still dramatically high daily number of deaths as the country struggles through a second surge of coronavirus infections.

Italy registered 846 deaths since Monday, increasing the known number of dead in the pandemic to 65,857, the highest in Europe.

Gianni Rezza, the Health Ministry’s director general for protection, said it was difficult to strike a balance between restrictive measures and easing them.

“When we put more restrictive measures in place, behavior becomes more prudent, the virus slows down,” he told reporters. “As we ease the measures, the cases go up. As we restrict them, in a few weeks, they (the data) improve.”

There were just under 15,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising Italy’s overall count to more than 1,870,000.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Health - Senior Health, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Quebec to close all non-essential businesses
Quebec’s premier is closing all non-essential businesses across the Canadian province from Christmas until at least Jan. 11
7:36PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Biden taps Buttigieg for transportation, Granholm for energy
President-elect Joe Biden is nominating his former rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation and intends to choose former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary
7:28PM ( 18 minutes ago )
'Bama, ND, Clemson, OSU enter champ weekend in CFP position
Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State will enter championship weekend in position to make the College Football Playoff with very little drama
7:27PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden tells Georgia he needs a Democratic Senate to govern
President-elect Joe Biden is telling Georgia voters that they must deliver two Democratic Senate runoffs victories so his administration can confront the coronavirus pandemic and other national challenges
6:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hack may have exposed deep US secrets; damage yet unknown
Some of America’s most deeply held secrets may have been stolen in a disciplined, monthslong operation being blamed on elite Russian government hackers
6:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
FBI won't 'sidestep' sexual misconduct claims, director says
FBI Director Christopher Wray is seeking to reassure agents that the bureau won’t tolerate sexual misconduct in the workplace, promising more resources and full investigations into claims brought against FBI officials — regardless of rank or title
6:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Biden thanks Ga. voters, asks for Senate support
President-elect Joe Biden is thanking Georgia voters for delivering him the state in last month’s election and asking them to follow up by electing Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock
4:30PM ( 3 hours ago )
Biden tells Georgia that GOP Senate would block his agenda
President-elect Joe Biden is telling Georgia voters that they must deliver two Democratic Senate runoffs victories so his administration can confront the coronavirus pandemic and other national challenges
4:23PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Appalachian hospital in Ky. vaccinates workers
The new COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at an Appalachian hospital in Kentucky, and medical workers have received the first injections
4:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Canada getting 168K Moderna vaccine doses before year end
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is contracted to receive up to 168,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December, pending approval by Canada’s health regulator
7:02PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Hopeful sign: Midwestern states see drop in new virus cases
After a punishing fall that left hospitals struggling, some Midwestern states are seeing a decline in new coronavirus cases
5:33PM ( 2 hours ago )
Mrs. Trump visits children's hospital, a holiday tradition
Melania Trump isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic halt a decadeslong tradition of first ladies visiting a Washington, D
5:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Health
Boko Haram claims abduction of students in northern Nigeria
Rebels from the Boko Haram extremist group claimed responsibility for abducting hundreds of boys from a school in Nigeria’s northern Katsina State last week
6:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Fashion mogul Peter Nygard arrested in Canada on sex charges
Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard has been arrested on charges alleging he sexually assaulted women and girls after luring them into his orbit with fashion and modeling opportunities
4:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
EU, Britain to toughen rules, fines for tech giants
Big tech companies face hefty fines in Britain and the European Union if they treat rivals unfairly or fail to protect users on their platforms, in proposed regulations unveiled Tuesday
1:07PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
Lilly lays out 2021 expectations, gene therapy acquisition
Shares of Eli Lilly have climbed after the drugmaker laid out a better-than-expected revenue forecast and plans to buy a young company developing a potential Parkinson’s disease treatment
6:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Twin football games leads Fox to ratings win
With pro football games accounting for all of its prime time programming on Tuesday and Thursday, Fox led the television networks in viewership last week
6:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
How to spot fake shopping sites and avoid being scammed
Online shopping scams are on the rise as thieves look to take advantage of the increase in people shopping online during the pandemic
4:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
French theater, cinema workers protest against virus closure
Thousands of people working in the theater and cinema industries have staged a street demonstration in Paris against the prolonged closure of entertainment facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic
11:19AM ( 8 hours ago )
US industrial production up 0.4% in November with auto boost
U.S. industrial production increased 0.4% in November with manufacturing receiving a boost from a rebound in output at auto plants after three months of declines
10:22AM ( 9 hours ago )
Stocks start higher on Wall Street as vaccinations roll out
Wall Street is getting off to a solid start as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out in the U.S. and as a second vaccine candidate moved closer to winning approval from regulators
9:41AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Canada administers first doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Canada has administered its first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine
9:07PM ( 22 hours ago )
The Latest: Canada gives first doses COVID-19 vaccine
Canada has administered its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine
12:49PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: London faces highest-level COVID-19 restrictions
Britain’s health secretary says London and surrounding areas will be placed under the highest level of coronavirus restrictions starting Wednesday as infections rise rapidly in the capital
12:10PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21
The European Union’s medicines agency said Tuesday it has moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for provisional approval in the 27-nation bloc to Dec. 21
8:59AM ( 10 hours ago )
Germany demands EU agency approve vaccine before Christmas
Germany is increasing the pressure on the European Union’s regulatory agency, with its health minister, a leading hospital association and lawmakers all demanding that the agency approve a coronavirus vaccine before Christmas
7:24AM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Germany pushes for quick EU vaccine approval
Germany’s health minister has increased his pressure on the European Union’s regulatory agency and demanded that a coronavirus vaccine will be approved before Christmas
4:11AM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
U.S. stocks turn choppy following worst week since Halloween
Stocks are moving sideways on Wall Street Monday as the country’s first vaccinations against COVID-19 have the end of the pandemic slowly materializing into hazy sight
3:10PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Nurse is 1st to get COVID-19 vaccine in Florida
Canada has administered its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine
2:49PM ( 1 day ago )
U.S. stocks edge higher following worst week since Halloween
Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street Monday as the country’s first vaccinations against COVID-19 have the end of the pandemic slowly materializing into hazy sight
1:12PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Biden taps Buttigieg for transportation, Granholm for energy
President-elect Joe Biden is nominating his former rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation and intends to choose former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary
7:28PM ( 19 minutes ago )
'Bama, ND, Clemson, OSU enter champ weekend in CFP position
Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State will enter championship weekend in position to make the College Football Playoff with very little drama
7:27PM ( 20 minutes ago )
AP sources: Biden to add Buttigieg, Granholm to Cabinet
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick his former rival Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary
7:17PM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Biden set to pick McCarthy as US climate czar
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap former Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy to spearhead his ambitions for a massive, coordinated domestic campaign to slow climate change
7:14PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Negotiators report progress on long-delayed COVID aid bill
Top negotiators are reporting at least some progress on a long-delayed COVID-19 aid package after a rare meeting of Capitol Hill’s four most senior lawmakers
7:10PM ( 37 minutes ago )