WHO warns of rise in Covid instances throughout Europe for third consecutive week as restrictions are eased

A Covid patient breathes oxygen through a mask on October 13, 2021 in the sub-intensive care unit of the Casalpalocco Hospital south of Rome.

Alberto Pizzoli | AFP | Getty Images

Covid cases in Europe have increased for the third week in a row, World Health Organization officials said at a briefing on Wednesday, urging caution as temperatures drop and work, travel and leisure activities return to normal.

Europe is the only area of ​​the six WHO member states where cases are increasing, researchers wrote in an epidemiological update published on Tuesday. In the week leading up to Sunday, more than 1.3 million Covid cases were reported across the continent, a 7% increase from the seven days before.

“That’s three weeks of progressive increase,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO Executive Director, Emergency Health Program, during a Q&A stream on the organization’s social media channels. “Although the overall global curve looks like it is going down, Europe has gone up for three weeks in a row.”

The situation in Europe is being driven in part by surges in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, where Ryan said Covid cases rose 50% in the past week. With the coming winter, said Ryan, Covid is already beginning to weigh heavily on the health systems in some countries and is limiting the availability of intensive care beds.

Ryan blamed the increase, at least in part, on easing Covid restrictions.

“The northern hemisphere is approaching yet another winter and we just have to worry a little about this uptrend across Europe as we step into late, late, deep autumn,” said Ryan. “And as societies open up, we see these numbers increasing, and in a number of countries we are already seeing the health systems under pressure, we are seeing the number of available ICU beds falling.”

And as people prepare for the Christmas season for travel and face-to-face meetings, Ryan urged unvaccinated individuals to immunize themselves against the virus in hopes of preventing Covid outbreaks in the months ahead.

“There is good news in the sense that we are not seeing this massive increase, but it is still worrying even with relatively high vaccination rates,” he said.

In addition to the highly transferable Delta variant, which fueled the global Covid peaks in the summer, researchers are now observing a development of the strain that could be even more dangerous. Known as Delta Plus, Experts in the UK see the mutation in a growing number of Covid patients.

But there is currently no evidence that Delta Plus is more contagious than its predecessor, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

And amid a spike in Covid cases and deaths, Russian President Vladimir Putin is asking most workers to stay home for a week from October 30, according to the Associated Press. Russia reported a seven-day average of nearly 31,700 new Covid cases on Tuesday, up from more than 27,200 a week earlier, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Watch now: Shakespeare Competition opening delayed to Saturday; masks guidelines eased | Leisure

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival prepares for opening night at the Ewing Cultural Center on Thursday.

BLOOMINGTON – The Illinois Shakespeare Festival canceled the preview performance of “Measure for Measure” on Friday but the rest of the schedule remains in place and some restrictions due to COVID-19 protocols are being relaxed.

The festival organizers announced on Thursday that the Friday performance had been canceled “due to unforeseen circumstances”. The play opens on Saturday.

The Illinois State University box office will be in touch with those with tickets to the Friday performance and help them exchange tickets for another performance or process a refund.



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Nora McKirdie, left, who plays Hermione; Ben Mathew, who plays King Leo; Carol Kelleher, who plays Paulina, and Haven Crawley, who plays Polixenes, play a scene from their adapted Illinois Shakespeare Festival play, “A Summer’s Winter Tale,” which will be performed at the Ewing Cultural Center on Thursdays and Saturdays through August 7th.


DAVID PROEBER, PANTAGRAPH FILE PHOTO

Contrary to previous information, festival officials also said that fully vaccinated guests at the Ewing Theater on Emerson Street and Towanda Avenue do not require face-covering.

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As the coronavirus guidelines have evolved, the festival has also announced that seat cushions and water fountains will be available. However, the concession area will remain closed for the 2021 season.

“Guests are cordially invited to picnic on the meadow and bring their water to the theater,” said a message from the festival.

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In addition to “Measure for Measure”, William Shakespeare’s “Winter Tale” will be performed at the festival, which runs through August 6th.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the box office in the ISU Center for the Performing, 351 S. School St., Normal, or by calling 309-438-2535. The box offices are open Monday to Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and one hour before all performances in the Ewing Theater.

As part of the festival, free performances of “A Winter’s Tale” will be offered on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 August in the theater for young audiences on the grounds of the Ewing cultural center.

More information can be found on the festival website, illinoishakes.com.

Check out the new Illinois laws that go into effect today

665 notes

665 notes

The Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly has passed 665 bills this legislature, with the vast majority awaiting the signature of Governor JB Pritzker.

But Pritzker signed 42 bills. A handful of these will go into effect on January 1, 2022, but most of them went into effect immediately after they were signed or will go into effect this Thursday.

Here are some notable new laws that are in effect now or Thursday that Illinois people should know about.


CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS


Electoral reform

Electoral reform

With delays in the redistribution of the U.S. census numbers caused by the pandemic, lawmakers have postponed the 2022 state primaries from March 15 to June 28. The legislation also makes Election Day a national holiday and requires that every county have at least one universal voting center and allow people to be allowed on a permanent mailing list. (SB825)


Photo by Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune

Vote by email

Vote by email

Some changes in voting for the 2020 general election caused by a pandemic, such as: Post-polling and roadside delivery, for example, will now be permanent features of future elections. (House bill 1871)

Legal redistribution of land

Legal redistribution of land

Since they are mandated every 10 years, lawmakers approved new county boundaries for the Illinois House and Senate. The maps drawn by the Democrats, using the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census instead of waiting for the 10-year census numbers to arrive later this year, have been challenged in court by Republicans and a few other groups. (HB2777)


Photo by Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court reassignment

Illinois Supreme Court reassignment

The county boundaries of the nine-member Illinois Supreme Court were successfully redrawn for the first time since the 1960s. Again, the Republicans are questioning the map. (SB642)


Photo by Capitol News Illinois

Police reform

Police reform

No more controversial law was passed that year than House Law 3653, also known as the SAFE-T Law, which was passed during the lame duck this January. The provisions on the termination of the cash deposit and the obligation of all police officers to wear body cameras will not come into force until 2023 and 2025 respectively. But from Thursday the police must provide assistance to the injured, intervene in the event of excessive use of force and limit the use of force. It also provides stricter guidelines for decertifying officers and would allow people to file anonymous complaints about police misconduct. (HB3653)

Payday loan

Payday loan

Lenders are now prohibited from charging more than 36% of the annual interest rate on consumer loans. The average rate in Illinois before the law was signed was nearly 300%. (SB1792)

Vaccination lottery

Vaccination lottery

The state budget for fiscal year 2022 includes $ 10 million for a “vaccine lottery”. All Illinois residents vaccinated by July 1 will automatically be entered into the competition. It includes $ 7 million in cash prizes for vaccinated adults ranging from $ 100,000 to $ 1 million and $ 3 million in scholarships for vaccinated teenagers. (SB2800)


Photo by Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune


COVID-19 emergency shelter

COVID-19 emergency shelter

Creates guidelines for distributing more than $ 1 billion to federal stimulus funds for COVID-related housing assistance. Also creates an automatic sealing of evictions during the pandemic. (SB2877)

Pre-negotiation interest

Pre-negotiation interest

Victims in personal injury and wrongful death cases can claim interest from the defendants from the time a lawsuit is filed. There should be incentives to resolve these cases. It was supported by the trial attorneys and rejected by business groups. (SB72)

Casino work

Casino work

All Illinois casino applicants are now required to enter into a project employment contract when applying for a new or renewed license. (SB1360)

Compensation for crime victims

Compensation for crime victims

Specifies that a victim’s criminal history or crime does not automatically prevent compensation for that victim or the victim’s family. Extends the applicant’s time to provide the requested information from 30 days to 45 days and provides that a final arbitration award will not exceed $ 45,000 (previously $ 27,000) for a crime committed on or after August 7, 2022 may. (HB3295)

Electronic signature

Electronic signature

Specifies that a contract, record, or signature cannot be denied validity or enforceability simply because it is in electronic form or because an electronic record was used in its creation. Specifies that if a law requires it to be in writing, an electronic record will satisfy the law. (SB2176)

Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

Eased COVID-19 restrictions assist Raleigh stay leisure, occasion planning companies

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Standing behind his turntables on a Friday night is a feeling Joe Bunn has missed for almost a year.

“I mean, we postponed 350 weddings last year. There’s never been a worse year being a DJ, ”said Bunn, owner of the Bunn DJ Company.

However, this is not just true for DJs. The entire live entertainment and event planning industry suffered great success when it was forced to close its stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicole Flynn, Marketing Representative at Catering Works, also felt the blow.

“We had to take pretty much all of our employees on leave. We usually have more than 100 employees here and now there are only 24, ”said Flynn.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Starting Friday, restrictions in North Carolina – including greater indoor capacity, a later curfew, and the ability to serve alcohol for longer – will ease not just for bar owners.

“Since the announcement, our phones have been ringing a little more, and we have received a few more emails and inquiries. I think my start is in early April and then it’s every single weekend until next year. I’m very glad about that. People really need to dance and listen to music now, ”said Bunn.

Many companies look forward to the chance to regain a little sense of normalcy in the midst of a business boom.

“People are becoming more confident and comfortable planning events again. There are still some concerns but we are going in the right direction which is great, ”said Flynn.

Both are aware that another shutdown might be possible in the future, but they are optimistic that people will continue to wear masks and keep social distancing.