The latest coronavirus news in Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
7h30 : Relaxed capacity limits are now in effect at some sites in Ontario where proof of vaccination is required, including arenas, stadiums, concert halls and theaters.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Kieran Moore says the change is due to the stabilization of key public health measures in recent days.
The province says capacity limits at outdoor events where people stand will increase to 75 percent of capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less.
Indoor theaters, concert halls, sporting events, banquet halls, convention centers, racing venues and movie studios will have capacity limits of up to 50% or 10,000 people, depending on the lower of the two.
That means more fans in games for the Toronto Blue Jays when they face the New York Yankees in a crucial three-game streak next week as they chase a playoff berth.
More fans will also be allowed into the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs games as the NHL preseason begins soon.
6h35 : Israel continues its aggressive campaign of offering coronavirus boosters to almost anyone over the age of 12 and says its approach was further justified by a US decision to vaccinate older patients or those at higher risk.
Israeli officials attribute to the booster, which has already been administered to around a third of the population, helping to suppress the country’s latest wave of COVID-19 infections. They say the different approaches are based on the same awareness that boostering is the right way to go, and expect the United States and other countries to expand their campaigns in the coming months.
“The decision bolstered our findings that the third dose is safe,” said Dr Nadav Davidovich, director of the school of public health at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University and president of the Association of Medical Doctors. public of the country. “The main question now is to prioritize. “
The World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on recalls until at least the end of the year so more people in poor countries can receive their first two doses, but Israeli officials say the recall is equally important in preventing infections.
“We know for sure that the current system of vaccine nationalism is harming us all and creating variants,” said Davidovich, who is also a member of an Israeli government panel. But he added that the problem is “much bigger than Israel.
6h : People who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because of personal preferences or “singular beliefs” are not entitled to accommodations under Ontario human rights law, according to the provincial rights watchdog
The decision to be vaccinated is voluntary, and a “person who chooses not to be vaccinated because of personal preferences is not entitled to housing under the (Human Rights Code)”, said the Ontario Human Rights Commission said this week in a guidance document. discuss mandate limits for vaccination and proof of vaccination requirements.
While human rights law prohibits discrimination based on creed – a person’s religion or a non-religious belief system that shapes their identity, worldview and way of life – personal preferences or the singular beliefs do not constitute a belief, the commission said, adding that it “is not aware of any court or tribunal ruling that has found that a singular belief against vaccinations or masks amounted to a belief within the meaning of the Code ”.
In addition, even if someone can prove that they have been refused a service or a job because of their beliefs, “the duty to accommodate does not necessarily require that he be exempt from vaccination warrants, certification or COVID testing requirements, ”the commission said. “The duty to accommodate may be limited if it significantly compromises health and safety amounting to undue hardship – such as in a pandemic. “
Read more from The Star’s Jim Rankin.
5:30 am: When Wongalwethu Mbanjwa tried to get the COVID-19 vaccine and found his local center closed, a friend told him there was another option: to get one on the train.
So the prisoner did it.
Not just any train, but South Africa’s vaccine train – which has now made its way to the small town of Swartkops on the country’s south coast. Carrying doctors, nurses and, most importantly, doses of vaccines, its mission is to bring vaccines closer to the inhabitants of the small towns and poorer regions of South Africa, which has the highest number of infections to coronavirus from the continent with more than 2.8 million.
The train is parked at Swartkops station, the first stop on a three-month trip through the poor Eastern Cape province. There will be about two weeks at a time at seven stations across the province to vaccinate as many people as possible.
State-owned railway company Transnet launched the program to help the government roll it out. The initiative aims to tackle two of the government’s biggest challenges head-on: distributing doses beyond major cities to areas with limited health facilities and trying to convince hesitant people in those areas to get vaccinated.
The train, named Transvaco, can hold up to 108,000 doses of vaccine in ultra-cold refrigerators. It has nine coaches, including accommodation coaches and a staff kitchen and dining room, a vaccination area and consultation rooms.
5 am: British Columbia hit the 80% mark with the number of eligible residents who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The province says this compares to nearly 88% of people who were vaccinated with their initial dose.
It says British Columbia recorded 743 new cases on Friday and that three-quarters of those diagnosed between September 16 and September 22 were not fully vaccinated.
Seven other people have died from the infection, for a total of 1,922 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The province says that after controlling for age, unvaccinated people are nearly 26 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated.