Protesters who had wreaked havoc on the streets of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, for the past three weeks were almost entirely gone by Sunday, chased away by police in riot gear.
Nearly 200 arrests later, the blaring horns of trucks were gone and streets that had been blocked by parked vehicles and traveling protesters were open to traffic. But the fate of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other political leaders still hung in the balance.
The protest began as an assault on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for cross-border truckers. But it grew to include other restrictions and even took aim at Trudeau, whose popularity has sunk like a stone in recent polls.
On Friday, authorities in Ottawa launched the largest police operation in Canadian history, making mass arrests and towing dozens of vehicles. The pressure remained on Saturday as protesters fled, with many vowing they would be back.
“I think we started something here,” said Mark Suitor, a 33-year-old protester from Hamilton, Ont. “It is going to be a very big division in our country. I don’t believe this is the end.
Also in the news:
►Organizers of the Milwaukee Summerfest, billed as the world’s largest music festival, say guests won’t need to wear masks, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or show proof vaccination. Summerfest will take place over three weekends (Thursday-Saturday) from noon to midnight, June 23-25, June 30-July 2, and July 7-9.
►Strict virus controls that prohibit public gatherings in Hong Kong of more than two people could be further tightened to stop a spike in infections, the territory’s top health official said on Sunday. Fourteen deaths and more than 6,000 new cases have been reported.
►Indiana’s K-12 schools no longer need to report COVID-19 cases to the state, and the Indiana Department of Health announced Thursday that it is removing the remaining requirements for the contact tracing and close contact quarantine for schools without a mask mandate.
📈Today’s numbers: The United States has had more than 78.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 935,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 423 million cases and over 5.8 million deaths. More than 214.7 million Americans — 64.7% — are fully immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Queen Elizabeth has ‘mild’ symptoms after testing positive
Queen Elizabeth II is showing mild cold-like symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19, Buckingham Palace announced on Sunday. The palace said Britain’s oldest reigning monarch, 95, expects to continue her light duties at Windsor Castle over the coming week. The Queen is fully vaccinated, having received three injections of a coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this month, Prince Charles tested positive for COVID-19. It was the second time he contracted it. Four days later, Duchess Camilla tested positive. Both are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot.
“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all appropriate guidelines,” the palace said in a statement.
– Kim Hjelmgaard
Pope Francis and crowd in St. Peter’s Square applaud healthcare workers
On Sunday, Pope Francis hailed healthcare workers as heroes for their service, asking the public in St. Peter’s Square to join him in applause. Francis applauded in what he said was a “huge thank you” to health workers, including volunteers, caring for the sick. Italy marked Sunday as a national day to pay tribute to healthcare workers. The Italian Professional Association of Doctors and Dentists counts 370 doctors who have died of COVID-19 in Italy alone.
“We must remember the many doctors, nurses, volunteers who are close to the sick, treat them, make them feel better, help them,” said François.
Biden to extend national COVID emergency
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 response actions that would otherwise be restricted.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a significant public health and safety risk to the nation,” Biden wrote in the letter.
Wisconsin reports death of child from rare disease linked to COVID-19
A Wisconsin child has died of the rare and poorly understood multisystem inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 in children, becoming the first such death in the state and only the 60th in the country. State health officials said the child, who was under 10, was from southeastern Wisconsin, but declined to provide the child’s age, gender or date of death. child. The child, one of 183 to contract the disease in Wisconsin, died in the past month, said Tom Haupt, respiratory disease epidemiologist with the state Department of Health Services. Nationwide, there have been 6,851 cases, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Jan. 31.
The syndrome, which appears two to six weeks after a child has been exposed to COVID-19, can affect children who have shown no symptoms of COVID.
“The (children 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 biggest component is a weakening of the heart muscle. We had to put a few kids on heart medication.”
– Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Contributor: The Associated Press