The Latest: Australian capital locks down after 1 infection

Aug 11, 2021, 10:37 AM | Updated: 10:56 pm
A man reads a newspaper on the steps of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday,...

A man reads a newspaper on the steps of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Australia's second-largest city has extended its lockdown in a bid to eliminate COVID-19 while authorities in Sydney flagged restrictions easing for vaccinated residents despite the delta variant continuing to spread. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)

(AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)

              A man reads a newspaper on the steps of Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Australia's second-largest city has extended its lockdown in a bid to eliminate COVID-19 while authorities in Sydney flagged restrictions easing for vaccinated residents despite the delta variant continuing to spread. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)
            
              FILE - In this July 26, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom appears at a news conference in Oakland, Calif. The Orange County Board of Education in Southern California announced plans to sue Newsom over a state mandate requiring K-12 students to wear masks in classrooms. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s capital will go into lockdown for a week from Thursday after a single case of COVID-19 was detected and the virus was found in wastewater.

Canberra joins Sydney, Melbourne and several cities in New South Wales state that are locked down due to the delta variant.

Canberra residents can only leave home for essential reasons from 5 p.m. on Thursday, general retail stores will be closed and hospitality venues will only to able to sell takeout, an Australian Capital Territory government statement said.

Schools will be open to students who cannot stay at home.

The infection is the first locally-acquired case in the city of 460,000 since July 10 last year.

A Canberra resident, a man aged in his 20s, had been infectious in Canberra since Sunday and tested positive on Thursday, Australian Capital Territory Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said.

The source of the infection was unknown, she said. Coronavirus was detected in wastewater late Wednesday, she said.

The lockdown starts on the final day of a two-week sitting of the Federal Parliament.

___

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— U.S. Republicans take to mask wars as virus surges in red states

— California 1st state to require COVID-19 vaccine or test for teachers, staff

— New Zealand plans to start reopening borders early next year

— CDC urges COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy as delta surges

___

— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ISLAMABAD– Pakistan on Thursday reported 102 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll from COVID-19 since April.

The National Command and Operations Center says 4,934 new infections were reported across the country in the past 24 hours amid continued violations of social distancing rules.

Most infections and fatalities are being reported in southern Sindh and eastern Punjab provinces.

The spike has added pressure on the country’s fragile healthcare system and authorities.

The government is requesting people to get vaccinated against coronavirus as soon as possible to return to a normal life.

Pakistan has reduced the maximum duration for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines from 48 to 28 days after importing millions of doses of vaccines from China. Pakistan is also expected to get more vaccine under the COVAX scheme this month.

Pakistan has reported 1,085,294 confirmed cases and 24,187 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

__

ATLANTA — Four tiny Georgia public school districts have temporarily shut down in-person instruction within days of starting school, saying high COVID-19 case counts among students and staff makes it unsafe to continue.

Other districts have closed individual schools or sent hundreds of students into quarantine after exposure to people with COVID-19.

The 1,100-student Macon County district on Wednesday became the fourth district to suspend in-person classes, following the smaller Taliaferro, Glascock and Talbot counties in recent days. The four districts combined serve a fraction of 1% of Georgia’s 1.7 million students.

“The difference now in this outbreak that we see than the outbreak that happened last school year is that this seems to be more centered on kids…rather than adults so that scares me to death,” Talbot County Superintendent Jack Catrett told WTVM-TV.

The moves show the difficulty of keeping schools open as COVID-19 surges in Georgia’s broader society, despite the determination of local school leaders to focus on in-person classes this year.

___

HOUSTON — Defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates continued on Wednesday as another Texas school district announced plans to require students to wear face coverings and another county scored a legal victory in its efforts to issue such mandates amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the state.

The Houston suburb of Spring became the latest to require its students, teachers and staff to wear masks. School districts in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth have also issued mask mandates. The superintendent of Houston’s school district, the state’s largest, planned to ask his school board to approve a mask mandate during a Thursday meeting.

The mandates go against an executive order Abbott repeated last month banning mask mandates by any state, county or local government entity.

On Wednesday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins signed an executive order requiring that masks be worn inside schools, county buildings and businesses. The action by Jenkins, the top elected official in Dallas County, came after a state district judge on Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order against Abbott’s executive order, allowing Jenkins to issue the mask mandate.

The legal ruling from Dallas County follows one from earlier Tuesday when another judge issued a different temporary restraining order, allowing officials in San Antonio and Bexar County to mandate masks in public schools.

Officials in Fort County, located just southwest of Houston, announced Wednesday afternoon they would also file a lawsuit seeking to override Abbott’s ban on mask mandates.

Renae Eze, a spokeswoman for Abbott, said in a statement that violating the governor’s executive orders “and violating parental rights — is not the way to do it.”

___

OTTAWA — Canada’s immigration minister says fully vaccinated Canadians will soon be able to get a government document that will certify their COVID-19 vaccine history for the purpose of international travel.

The document, expected to be ready by the fall, will be digital, with an option for those who cannot or do not want a digital certificate. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says it will include data on the type of vaccines received, the dates and the location.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the program has to be done in cooperation with provinces and territories because they have the data that is needed. He says if provinces want to use the same passport within their province that could be an option.

Quebec is introducing a provincial passport next month that will be required for people who want to attend public events, go to the gym or frequent a restaurant or bar.

___

OKLAHOMA CITY — The superintendent of a public charter school in Oklahoma City said students and staff must begin wearing masks indoors, defying a state law that prohibits such mandates.

Superintendent Chris Brewster at Santa Fe South Schools, a 3,500-student, pre-K through 12 district in south Oklahoma City, also said in a letter on the district’s website that he is exploring whether to require vaccinations for school employees.

Brewster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a law earlier this year prohibiting public schools, technology centers and colleges and universities from requiring vaccinations or masks unless there is a declared state of emergency. Stitt ended Oklahoma’s emergency declaration in May.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said she plans to meet with Stitt to discuss reinstating the emergency declaration. Stitt’s office didn’t immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment on whether he’s reconsidering a declaration.

While many districts have indicated they expect students and staff to wear masks, Santa Fe South is the first in Oklahoma to require them. Tulsa Public Schools planned a meeting Wednesday to consider possible litigation against Stitt over the mask prohibition.

Similar defiance to mask laws is occurring in other states that have imposed such bans.

___

PHOENIX — Arizona State University on Wednesday announced the school will require masks in certain indoor settings, such as classrooms and labs, regardless of vaccination status to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

A university policy statement posted Wednesday said other settings where masks will be required include “close-quarter environments where physical distancing may not be possible.” Those include facilities that serve the public, meeting rooms, workshops and any indoor areas designated by posted signage.

Arizona on Wednesday reported 1,970 new COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths. There were 1,513 hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Washington State Department of Agriculture worker displays an Asian giant hornet taken from a nes...
Associated Press

No northern giant hornets found in 2022 in Washington state

Citizen trapping of northern giant hornets in northwest Washington ended Nov. 30 without any confirmed sightings of the hornets this year, state officials said Tuesday.
6 hours ago
Associated Press

27 flee plane in Spain after pregnant woman simulates labor

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish police were searching for 14 people who ran from a plane at Barcelona’s airport after it made an emergency landing Wednesday to obtain assistance for a pregnant woman who allegedly simulated that she was about to give birth, authorities said. The office for Spain’s government in the Catalonia region said […]
1 day ago
FILE - Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during a reception to celeb...
Associated Press

Emhoff: ‘Epidemic of hate’ exists in US, can’t be normalized

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, says a rise in antisemitism in the United States shows that an “epidemic of hate” exists in the country and cannot be normalized. Emhoff, who is Jewish, was leading a White House discussion on the issue Wednesday with Jewish leaders representing the Reform, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Italy’s La Scala opens season to Ukrainian protests

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s most famous opera house, Teatro alla Scala, opens its new season Wednesday with the Russian opera “Boris Godunov,” a selection that sparked Ukrainian protests of the cultural event serving as a propaganda win for the Kremlin against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, in her first […]
1 day ago
Mark Hager, left, positions a camera with the help of Anthony Lucia, right, as captain Al Cottone w...
Associated Press

Could trawler cams help save world’s dwindling fish stocks?

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — For years, Mark Hager’s job as an observer aboard New England fishing boats made him a marked man, seen as a meddling cop on the ocean, counting and scrutinizing every cod, haddock and flounder to help set crucial quotas. On one particularly perilous voyage, he was met on the dock at […]
1 day ago
File - Indonesian Muslim militant Umar Patek is escorted by prosecutors and plain-clothed police of...
Associated Press

Indonesia releases bombmaker in Bali attacks on parole

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks that killed 202 people was released from an Indonesian prison on parole Wednesday after serving half his 20-year sentence, despite the opposition of Australia’s prime minister, who described him as “abhorrent.” Umar Patek was a leading member of the al Qaida-linked network Jemaah Islamiyah, […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
The Latest: Australian capital locks down after 1 infection