Relaxation of restrictions and Cargill concern: in the news for May 11

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In The News is a roundup of articles from The Canadian Press designed to start your day. Here’s what’s on our editors’ radar for the morning of May 11…

COVID-19 in Canada….

Important steps will be taken today in the slow process of lifting restrictions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Quebec, which accounts for more than half of the country’s new coronavirus cases, is reopening elementary schools and daycares outside of the Montreal area.

Students will be subjected to physical distance and frequent hand washing while school officials will follow public health guidelines for cleaning and disinfection.

However, attendance is not compulsory and two school boards have told The Canadian Press that most of their students will be staying at home for the time being.

Quebec also allows most retail stores outside of Montreal to open today.

Meanwhile, Ontario allows non-essential retail stores to open for curbside pickup today, and also opens its provincial parks, albeit with restrictions.

Alberta is also allowing certain retail stores to open this week, while across the country, Newfoundland and Labrador is allowing certain medical procedures to resume today, as well as low-activity activities risk, such as golfing, hunting and fishing. Low-risk businesses, including garden centers, and professional services such as law firms can also reopen.

This morning, Canada had recorded 68,848 confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19, including 4,871 deaths and 32,109 cases resolved.

Also that …

MONTREAL – A Cargill meat processing plant south of Montreal is closing after at least 64 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

The epidemic in Chambly, Quebec, marks the second time the company has experienced a closure of COVID-19 at one of its facilities in Canada.

A union spokesperson representing the workers said the Cargill plant will temporarily close as of Wednesday so that all of its workers can be tested.

Roxane Larouche said 171 workers were sent home last week as a preventative measure and 30 of them were tested negative. The tests are expected to last until Friday and the plant will reopen once there are enough uninfected employees to operate it safely.

Cargill said the 64 workers make up 13 percent of the factory’s workforce. The company said three employees have recovered.

The workplace has implemented security measures for employees, including the installation of Plexiglas between workers as much as possible, the spreading of arrival and departure times and the provision of masks, visors and safety glasses, confirmed Larouche.

A Cargill beef packing plant in High River, Alberta, reopened last Monday after a two-week shutdown.

More than 900 of the 2,000 workers at this plant tested positive for the new coronavirus.

COVID-19 in the United States…

WASHINGTON – Vice President of the United States Mike Pence self-isolates after an assistant tested positive for coronavirus last week.

An administration official said that Pence voluntarily maintained his distances from the others in accordance with CDC directives.

The official claims that Pence has repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 since exposure, but follows the advice of medical authorities.

Pence’s decision comes on the heels of three members of the White House Coronavirus task force quarantining themselves after being exposed to someone in the White House who had the virus.

COVID-19 worldwide…

PARIS – The French began leaving their homes and apartments today for the first time in two months without a permit, as the country began to carefully lift its strict lockdown of the virus.

In Paris, the crowd crowded into certain metro lines and stations despite new rules of social distancing. Clothing stores, hair salons and estate agents were among the large and small businesses that reopened today, but with strict precautions to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Teachers returned to prepare lessons to welcome students later in the week, but in limited numbers.

But Health Minister Olivier Veran has considered the possibility of further containment if infections escalate.

France is one of the countries most affected by the virus, with more than 26,000 deaths in hospitals and nursing homes.

COVID-19 in sport…

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – UFC president Dana White wanted a major battle card a few weeks ago. He believed his team could do it, whether on tribal land, on a private island, or in one of the 10 states offering to host it.

Coronavirus test. Fanless arena. Social distancing. Self-isolation. White considered all of these unprecedented details that seemed too complex and too risky for some strangers to be mere additional challenges.

But White and the UFC look like the big winners after their big show at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night. And UFC 249 could serve as a model for other sports leagues in the United States and around the world as they begin to recover during a global pandemic.

The NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and NASCAR, all had to have an eye on how the UFC approached and managed the first major human-centered sporting event in the United States since the new coronavirus closed much of the country almost two months ago.

The UFC created a 25-page document to discuss health and safety protocols, which included disinfecting the octagon between fights and mandatory tests and masks for almost everyone present.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 11, 2020



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