The spike in numbers also comes a week before the Canada-U.S. Border ban expires – July 21.
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“I think it could have an impact on the reopening of the border,” said Raywat Deonandan, epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa. “Trudeau has already said that unvaccinated tourists are not welcome. “
The Canadian border remains closed to foreigners, with a few exceptions, and will be at least until July 21.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday reiterated that Canada will take a “cautious” approach to its plans to reopen the border and will make an announcement on next steps in due course.
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“As keen as people are to open up, I know no one wants to go back,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Gaspé, Que.
“The reality is we know how incredibly expensive and heartbreaking it would be to fall into a fourth wave of this pandemic. We’ll make sure we don’t. “
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Trudeau had previously said there would be a series of phased approaches to lifting restrictions on Canada’s border, with the ultimate goal of “keeping Canadians safe.”
Last week, he also pointed out that unvaccinated tourists would not be allowed into Canada for “a long time.”
Canada gradually began easing quarantine requirements on July 5, but only for fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents and other eligible travelers.
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Not only could the increase in coronavirus infections in the United States affect the opening of borders, it should also be of concern to Canadians – even if they are fully vaccinated – who wish to travel south this summer. , warned Deonandan.
“People who are fully vaccinated can still carry the infection,” he said.
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The problem with the United States, he argued, is that it’s such a diverse place and every state is very different when it comes to tackling COVID-19. There’s Mississippi, which ranks dead last nationally for vaccinations (33.6% of eligible people are fully vaccinated) versus Vermont, which has the highest vaccination rate (67.4% of people eligible are fully vaccinated).
“This makes Canadian travel difficult with some states,” he said. “Canadians traveling to US states that grew up in the Delta variant in particular are advised to self-quarantine upon return, test negative, or not go in the first place. “
He explained that while fully vaccinated Canadians who wish to travel may be protected from hospitalizations, this does not protect the community around you from catching COVID-19 from you.
US states struggle to curb the spread
But it’s not just the Red States that are grappling with an increase in the number of COVID-19.
Infection rates in the United States reached an average of about 23,600 per day on Monday, up from 11,300 on June 23, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And all but two states – Maine and South Dakota – have reported that the number of cases has increased in the past two weeks.
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The five states with the largest two-week jump in per capita cases all had lower vaccination rates: Missouri, 45.9%; Arkansas, 43%; Nevada, 50.9%; Louisiana, 39.2%; and Utah, 49.5%.
There may be several reasons for the rise in infections – and one of them is the recent July 4th rallies, some experts say.
“It is certainly no coincidence that we are looking at exactly when we expect cases to occur after the weekend of July 4,” said Dr Bill Powderly, co-director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Washington medical school told The Associated Press.
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Anne Rimoin, Canadian infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), said the increase in cases is coming from the unvaccinated population and the risk of infection for this group is “considerably higher. Amid the spread of the most communicable diseases. Delta variant.
The Delta variant now accounts for nearly 58% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This is going to continue to be a problem,” Rimoin told Global News, adding that the latest increase in cases in the United States was “just the beginning.”
“What we are seeing here in the United States… we are already seeing it in the world and there is a lot of international travel going on. “
“We know that an infection anywhere is potentially an infection everywhere. “
At the same time, parts of the country are facing deep resistance to vaccines.
In Tennessee, the Department of Health has halted all awareness efforts around any type of vaccine for children, not just those against COVID-19.
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Rimoin said it was a “blow to public health in general”.
Meanwhile, some states are also rethinking their plans to reopen.
In Louisiana, which also has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, New Orleans city officials said Tuesday they would be likely to extend mitigation efforts until the fall. of the virus currently in place at large sports and entertainment gatherings, including warrants or mask requirements that attendees be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.
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Mississippi officials also recommend that people 65 and older and those with chronic underlying illnesses stay away from large indoor gatherings due to a 150% increase in hospitalizations in the past three weeks. .
Rimoin said it is important to continue to take all necessary precautions, even if you are fully vaccinated.
“This vaccine will protect you against serious illness, hospitalization and death.
“But it’s not 100% effective in preventing you from getting infected or being part of a chain of transmission. “
– with files from Jackson Proskow of Global News and The Associated Press
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