Tag: Measures

 

London spin studio owner worries new safety measures will sink group fitness

With new measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 for fitness studios, restaurants and personal care providers, one local fitness facility is questioning whether they can survive another financial hit sprung by the ongoing pandemic.

Courtney Grafton opened Lost Cycle, a rhythm-riding, indoor cycling studio in south London, just a little more than a year ago.

Since being allowed to reopen back in July, the studio has been able to offer classes at pre-pandemic capacity while keeping riders and staff two metres apart, but Grafton doesn’t think she’ll be able to keep afloat with the new cap of 10 people, including the instructor, per class. 

“Our classes are built off of an environment of a group fitness class and by limiting that so much, it makes us almost impossible to operate,” she said.

“No one needs to be a mathematician to figure out that the numbers they’re giving us with the amount that it costs me to operate a business do not add up. I cannot survive off of nine people in a class, while still paying [instructors] their regular rate.” 

In the last few months, the studio has been able to weather the storm thanks to constant support from dedicated cyclists in the city who have been keeping the studio’s 21 weekly classes fairly busy, despite an outbreak at Spinco, a cycling studio in Hamilton that has made headlines across the country for being linked to 81 COVID-19 cases. 

“I don’t get to decide how scared someone is,” Grafton said. “I really feel for Spinco … but it’s a full time job to make sure that everything is cleaned properly … You have to really be diligent and treat it very, very seriously every single day. You don’t get a break from it,” she said, adding that her biggest expenses are cleaning supplies, including a steam cleaner staff use on bikes in between each class. 

Keeping bikes two metres apart from one another, steam cleaning them in between rides, having staff wear microphones to reduce the need to shout in class as well as checking every rider’s temperature ahead of class are some of the guidelines the fitness studios has already been following. Now, they’ll have to bring capacity down to 10 and space bikes by three metres, along with the other measures already taken. (Submitted by Courtney Grafton)

On Wednesday, Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, cited the outbreak in the Hamilton cycling studio as an example of why he’s decided to implement the new measures, despite the absence any outbreaks linked to fitness facilities in the region. 

“That’s the sort of thing where we’re not going to sit around and wait for a huge outbreak in our community before taking some reasonable actions that will potentially eliminate the possibility of having that level of outbreak at all,” he said. 

“As much as we watch very closely what is happening in our community and learn from the cases and outbreaks we have here,

The Latest: Cases in Czech Rep soar to 12K amid new measures

PRAGUE — Coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic have hit new record levels as the number of confirmed cases in one day soared to almost 12,000.

The Health Ministry says the day-to-day increase reached 11,984 on Tuesday, almost 900 more than the previous record set on Friday.

The country has registered a total of 193,246 cases since the start of the pandemic, about one third in the last seven days.

The number of the hospitalized surpassed 4,000 with 634 in serious condition, putting pressure on the health system. So far, 1,619 have died with 97 the highest day increase recorded on Monday.

New restrictive measures are coming into effect on Wednesday with mandatory mask-wearing outdoors and in cars. The government is also meeting early Wednesday to consider additional measures.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Leaders in US, Europe divided on response to surging virus

— From Detroit to Oakland, pandemic threatens urban renewal

— McConnell warns White House against COVID relief deal

— Some teenage girls in Nairobi have turned to sex work to help feed their families. They cannot remember how many men they have had to sleep with since their schools closed this year.

— South Korea may be one of the world’s most wired nations, but remote learning is a challenge for many students and is particularly worrisome in a country so obsessed with education that 70% of high school graduates attend university.

— British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is imposing strict coronavirus restrictions on England’s second-largest urban area, after talks with officials in Greater Manchester collapsed over how much financial aid should be handed to people whose livelihoods will be hit by the new measures.

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Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has lifted a ban on non-essential foreign trips by Filipinos, but the immigration bureau says the move did not immediately spark large numbers of departures for tourism and leisure.

The government has gradually eased restrictions on international and domestic travel as part of efforts to bolster the economy, which slipped into recession in the second quarter following months of lockdown and quarantine to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Travelers to other countries are required to show confirmed roundtrip tickets, travel and health insurance, a declaration acknowledging the risks of travel and trip delays and a medical test within 24 hours of departure that clears them of COVID-19.

Aside from tedious pre-departure requirements, many countries still restrict the entry of travelers from nations with high number of coronavirus infections, including the Philippines. The Department of Health has reported more than 360,000 confirmed cases, the second-highest in Southeast Asia, with at least 6,690 deaths.

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NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says laxity could lead to a new surge in infections, as authorities reported 54,044 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the overall tally past 7.6 million.

The Health

Swiss tighten measures to combat COVID-19 second wave

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland announced tighter restrictions on Sunday to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus hitting the country, including a nation-wide obligation to wear masks and a ban on large scale public gatherings.

Gatherings of more than 15 people in public places will be banned from Monday and masks must be worn in all indoor public places, the government announced following an extraordinary meeting.

An order to wear masks on public transport has been extended to cover train stations, airports, bus and tram stops, the government said, replacing a patchwork of regulations which applied across Switzerland’s different regions.

The obligation to wear a mask will also apply to shops, banks, churches, and cinemas, the government said. It recommended people work from home if they can.

“The COVID-19 infection rate has increased at a very quick rate,” Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga told reporters at a press conference in Bern. “Unlike before it is affecting all cantons and all age groups.

“With winter coming it is very important to slow the spread of the virus now. Every day counts.”

Switzerland, a country of 8.6 million people, on Friday reported the highest daily number of infections since the COVID-19 crisis began, with 3,105 new cases.

So far 74,422 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus, and 1,823 people have died.

Sommaruga said the government was prepared to impose more drastic restrictions if the new ones did not work.

No time limit has been set for how long the measures – designed to safeguard both the population and the economy – will remain in place, she added.

Health Minister Alain Berset confirmed the second wave of the coronavirus had now materialised.

“I can say that over the last 10 days, the second wave is here… It has come rather earlier and stronger than we thought, but we are prepared for the situation.”

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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As coronavirus cases rise, red-state governors resist measures to slow the spread, preach ‘personal responsibility’

The novel coronavirus is hammering America’s heartland this fall, with records shattered daily in states that had escaped the worst of the disease this spring and summer. Case numbers also are rising again in other states where the virus was thought to be under control after months of widespread illness.

Yet even as health authorities in small cities and rural towns plead for help in tamping down deadly outbreaks, many Republican governors are resisting new measures to stop the spread. Some are even loosening rules already on the books.

Instead, they preach the mantra of “personal responsibility,” insisting that government interventions such as mask mandates or business restrictions are either unnecessary or harmful, and that people should be trusted to make their own decisions about how to keep themselves — and each other — healthy.

“This is a job for everybody,” Burgum said, describing recommendations for safe behavior, but no new requirements.

Public health experts say that is an inadequate prescription, one that carries great peril as infections climb, the weather drives people indoors and large segments of the population are proving less willing to take the virus seriously.

“This really demands a coordinated, orchestrated higher-level response than just saying to an individual person, ‘Here’s what you might want to try,’ ” said David Aronoff, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

An overreliance on personal responsibility, health officials say, is one of the reasons America’s struggle with the coronavirus has been so destructive, with more than 8 million cases and at least 218,000 people dead. And they maintain it is unlikely to be the solution now — especially as Republican leaders from President Trump on down send misleading messages and model dangerous behavior.

Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, sent Trump to the hospital for four days this month, with doctors deploying the latest therapeutics — drugs unavailable to many Americans. Yet he has continued to cast doubt on the effectiveness of masks while maintaining that people should not be “afraid” of the coronavirus and bashing public health measures intended to limit viral spread.

Republican governors have mimicked aspects of that stance. While Democratic governors in blue states such as New York, New Mexico and California have rolled back reopening plans in response to rising coronavirus rates, the opposite has been true of Republican leaders in red states where the virus is now running rampant.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Iowa have regularly hit new highs this month, and the state last week surpassed 1,500 total deaths. But Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has refused to revisit her decision to lift most restrictions on businesses and to allow students back to class without masks.

Trump, the Republican said, was “right. We can’t let covid-19 dominate our lives.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), meanwhile, has forged ahead with plans to reopen bars, despite the fact that infectious-disease specialists say they are a prime vector for coronavirus transmission. The state has been averaging nearly 5,000 new

2 drug measures on Oregon ballot

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — War veterans with PTSD, terminally ill patients and others suffering from anxiety are backing a ballot measure that would legalize controlled, therapeutic use in Oregon of psilocybin mushrooms, which they say has helped them immeasurably.

“After chemo failed, I went to a pretty dark place,” said Mara McGraw, a Portland woman who has terminal cancer. “I was feeling hopeless about treatment and about the future.”

Then she tried the psychedelic mushroom, more commonly known as “magic mushrooms,” with a trained facilitator standing by.


“It was a very safe and nurturing experience for me. I immediately felt a release from the fear,” McGraw told a video news conference.

On the national level, a clinical trial of psilocybin is underway to test its potential antidepressant properties, the U.S. government’s National Library of Medicine says. Backers of Measure 109 say the state, which was the first in the nation to decriminalize marijuana, should lead the way in legalizing therapeutic, regulated use of psilocybin, often referred to as magic mushrooms.

A second Oregon ballot question, Measure 110, would decriminalize possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, LSD, oxycodone and some other drugs. Its backers say drug addiction is a health issue and should not cause people to be imprisoned and saddled with criminal records. If Oregon voters approve Measure 110, the state would be the first to decriminalize those drugs.

The psilocybin initiative, however, is about overcoming depression, supporters say.

“An estimated 1 in every 5 adults in Oregon is coping with a mental health condition,” 20 doctors and other health care workers wrote in the voters pamphlet. “We support Measure 109 because it provides a new treatment for many that might break through where others fall short.”

It would require the Oregon Health Authority to allow licensed, regulated production and possession of psilocybin exclusively for administration by licensed facilitators to clients. There would be a two-year development period for the program.

The only argument in opposition in the pamphlet came from the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

“We believe that science does not yet indicate that psilocybin is a safe medical treatment for mental health conditions,” the groups said.

But several military veterans believe psilocybin therapy is a life-saver, especially when suicide among veterans is so high. Some 20 veterans die by suicide each day in the U.S., about 1.5 times higher than those who have not served in the military.

Chad Kuske said he developed post-traumatic stress disorder after serving as a Navy SEAL for 18 years with 12 combat deployments,

“I was really suffering from stress, anxiety, depression. I was angry all the time,” Kuske said. Then a former member of his team visited Kuske in Portland on his way to a psilocybin therapy session. Through his friend, Kuske also signed up for one.

“I’m very fortunate that that I was able to find this therapy, administered by people who care and who really had my best interests in mind and do it

2 drug legalization measures on Oregon ballot

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — War veterans with PTSD, terminally ill patients and others suffering from anxiety are backing a ballot measure that would legalize controlled, therapeutic use in Oregon of psilocybin mushrooms, which they say has helped them immeasurably.

“After chemo failed, I went to a pretty dark place,” said Mara McGraw, a Portland woman who has terminal cancer. “I was feeling hopeless about treatment and about the future.”

Then she tried the psychedelic mushroom, more commonly known as “magic mushrooms,” with a trained facilitator standing by.


“It was a very safe and nurturing experience for me. I immediately felt a release from the fear,” McGraw told a video news conference.

On the national level, a clinical trial of psilocybin is underway to test its potential antidepressant properties, the U.S. government’s National Library of Medicine says. Backers of Measure 109 say the state, which was the first in the nation to decriminalize marijuana, should lead the way in legalizing therapeutic, regulated use of psilocybin, often referred to as magic mushrooms.

A second Oregon ballot question, Measure 110, would decriminalize possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, LSD, oxycodone and some other drugs. Its backers say drug addiction is a health issue and should not cause people to be imprisoned and saddled with criminal records. If Oregon voters approve Measure 110, the state would be the first to decriminalize those drugs.

The psilocybin initiative, however, is about overcoming depression, supporters say.

“An estimated 1 in every 5 adults in Oregon is coping with a mental health condition,” 20 doctors and other health care workers wrote in the voters pamphlet. “We support Measure 109 because it provides a new treatment for many that might break through where others fall short.”

It would require the Oregon Health Authority to allow licensed, regulated production and possession of psilocybin exclusively for administration by licensed facilitators to clients. There would be a two-year development period for the program.

The only argument in opposition in the pamphlet came from the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

“We believe that science does not yet indicate that psilocybin is a safe medical treatment for mental health conditions,” the groups said.

But several military veterans believe psilocybin therapy is a life-saver, especially when suicide among veterans is so high. Some 20 veterans die by suicide each day in the U.S., about 1.5 times higher than those who have not served in the military.

Chad Kuske said he developed post-traumatic stress disorder after serving as a Navy SEAL for 18 years with 12 combat deployments,

“I was really suffering from stress, anxiety, depression. I was angry all the time,” Kuske said. Then a former member of his team visited Kuske in Portland on his way to a psilocybin therapy session. Through his friend, Kuske also signed up for one.

“I’m very fortunate that that I was able to find this therapy, administered by people who care and who really had my best interests in mind and do it

Britain Changes Vaccine Rollout Measures for COVID and Flu | Top News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it had changed its rules around administering and distributing vaccines to make the speedy rollout of any COVID-19 vaccine easier and increase the number of people able to give jabs.

The change comes into force after a consultation on the plans, which include giving Britain’s medical regulator the ability to grant temporary authorisation for any coronavirus vaccine that meets safety and quality standards but before it has received a full licence.

The new rules also allow more healthcare workers to give COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

“These legal changes will help us in doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to roll out a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it has passed clinical trials and undergone rigorous checks by the regulator,” health minister Matt Hancock said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday there were some hopeful signs that a vaccine would be secured for COVID-19 but he warned that the country must be realistic because it could not be taken for granted.

A report on Thursday said the National Health Service (NHS) was in talks with the British Medical Association (BMA) which represents doctors, and others around mobilising the rollout of a potential COVID-19 vaccine from December, estimating there was around a 50% chance of a vaccine being available at that time.

Asked about the report, a spokesman for the health ministry said there were no certainties in the development, production or timing of a vaccine.

“We are working at pace for the delivery of any potential COVID-19 vaccination programme as quickly as possible, but the scale of what is rolled out and when will depend on a safe, effective vaccine being available,” he said.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout, additional reporting by Rebekah Mathew; editing by Stephen Addison)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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