The county of 10 million people was one of several that moved into the state’s orange tier, which is the second-least restrictive of California’s four-tier system.,The International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee said they fully respect and accept the move

Placer County is one of 13 California counties that have moved Sunday to the red tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening framework, loosening some restrictions.,The counties became eligible to move from the purple tier (“widespread”) to the red tier (“substantial” spread) after the state hit its goal Friday of delivering 2 million COVID-19 doses to communities hit hardest by the pandemic, triggering new thresholds.,Butte County has qualified to move from the most stringent purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan.,For a county to move down to the red tier, there should be a case rate of 4-7 per 100,000 residents with a 5-8% test positivity rate. read more

TORONTO — Ontario lost more than 355,000 jobs last year - the single largest annual decline on record - due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the province's fiscal watchdog said Thursday.,In addition to the job losses, more than 765,000 Ontarians saw their work hours reduced, Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman said in a new report that looked at the impact COVID-19 and the public health measures to fight it have had on communities.,"We've seen a lot of people exit the labour force because a lot of them weren't going to look for jobs in areas that have been hammered, or had other concerns about going back into a labor force while there was a pandemic in play.",Ontario has gone through two lockdown periods in the pandemic where public health measures have restricted business operations across the province.,Deputy Premier Christine Elliott said the government's focus has been on protecting the health and safety of people in the province, but called the job losses "concerning".

The end-of-day totals from California public health websites for Tuesday, Feb. 16, registered 8,855 people needing hospital care, a 61.3% drop since the Jan. 1 high of 22,853.,Reports for Tuesday, indicated a 75.9% drop in the 14-day total of 10,208 new cases from a Jan. 1 high of 42,268.,And the 14-day average of 401.9 new deaths represents a 26% decline since its Feb. 1 high of 543.1.,California communities reported 11,236 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,478,579.,There were 388 new deaths reported Tuesday, for a total of 47,507 people in California who have died from the virus.

5:16 p.m.: In diverse Stockton, people of color still underrepresented in vaccination People of color in California are still underrepresented among COVID vaccine recipients, even in Stockton, which U.S. News and World Report ranked last year as the most racially diverse city in the country.,According to the Associated Press, as more people are vaccinated and the daily number of COVID-19 cases and deaths drop, public health officials are starting to relax on containment strategies.,While stressing that people should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside their household, the city’s public health department told the San Francisco Chronicle it was updating guidance it first issued last year “to reflect the latest science on COVID-19.”,12:09 p.m.: Some fitness trainers got vaccine as 'health care workers'

Some fitness trainers in California were able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after state health officials created a loophole that helped them qualify as health care workers.,KGO-TV reports that in January, the California Department of Public Health released updated guidelines on vaccination allocation that classified outdoor recreation as health care, the first tier eligible to get the vaccine along with people over 75. read more

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LOS ANGELES — The rates of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to fall across California, but the state’s death toll remains persistently high.,___ read more

Vaccine certifications might be a fair price to pay for our freedoms of movement and commerce, but this fair price would come with hidden social costs, write Brian R. Spisak and Eric J. McNulty

There are increasing calls for issuing Covid-19 testing and vaccination status certificates as a way out of broad stay-at-home orders.,At the governmental level, effective protocols for individuals testing positive for Covid-19 would supply subsidised quarantine, job security, and other features of a strong social safety net.,As society returns to work, school, and so on, the organisational level will need to create inclusive environments in which vigilant (re)testing and vaccination (not just certifications) are the measurable and formally supported outcomes.,Interpersonal relationships based on these intrinsic factors will encourage prosocial norms of (re)testing and vaccination, in contrast with what extrinsic certification anxiety offers - such as animosity and disgust.,On an intrapersonal level, avoiding maladaptive guilt and shame also requires an emphasis on supporting what an individual can actively control, such as (re)testing and vaccination, rather than punishing less controllable certification outcomes. read more

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ROME — On the eve of what was supposed to finally be the much-delayed opening of Italy’s ski slopes, the government yanked permission because high circulation of a coronavirus variant.,PRAGUE — The Czech government has re-declared its state of emergency for next two weeks to be able to effectively tackle the coronavirus pandemic in one of the hardest hit European countries.,UNDATED -- Though many people with disabilities are more vulnerable to COVID-19, in some U.S. states they’re being left behind in the massive effort to get limited vaccines into the arms of those who need them most.,LONDON — The U.K. government said Sunday that it reached its goal of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to at least 15 million of the most vulnerable people in the country by mid-February, increasing pressure on ministers to clarify when they will ease a lockdown imposed in early January.,NEW YORK — Millions of New Yorkers with health conditions that leave them at high risk of illness from COVID-19 can theoretically sign up for appointments at state-run vaccination sites starting Sunday, but a lack of vaccine supply means many will be frustrated in thei read more

In the last couple of weeks, however, Newsom has shifted venues to orchestrated outdoor events at sports arenas and other mass vaccination sites.,At one event in Oakland, the city’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, gushed — extemporaneously, of course — “I can’t tell you how lucky we are in California to have Gavin Newsom as our governor.”,At a similar event in San Diego, newly elected Mayor Todd Gloria, chimed in, “Gavin Newsom has always done the right thing to protect public health, even when it’s hard.”,On Monday, John Cox, the Republican businessman whom Newsom defeated to win the governorship in 2018, launched a statewide ad campaign aimed at both Newsom and Republican rival Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego.,The 30-second ad, titled “Gavin Faulconer” depicts both Newsom and Faulconer as corrupt politicians, citing Newsom’s infamous attendance at a maskless birthday dinner in Napa and San Diego’s purchase of an asbestos-ridden building during Faulconer’s mayoralty.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial centered on a phone call Americans never heard with the leader of a country very far away.,Trump’s second impeachment trial was a steroidal sequel centered on the rage, violence and anguish of one day in Washington.,In a broadside against Trump every bit as brutal as that leveled by Democrats, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declared the ex-president “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day” with his “unconscionable behavior” and “disgraceful dereliction of duty.”,This was an impeachment driven by what people saw happen and by Trump’s voluminous public rhetoric, heard that day, for weeks before, and after — until Twitter exiled him and he let his lawyers and supporters do the talking while the trial played out.,The peril to Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, who was presiding in the Senate during the day’s election certification, also came into sharper relief.

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LOS ANGELES — The rates of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to fall across California, but the state’s death toll remains persistently high.,___ read more