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Worries surrounding new, highly transmissible COVID variants as public events take place

Worries surrounding new, highly transmissible COVID variants as public events take place

From the White House to local hospital systems, the word is going around about the latest mutation of the coronavirus.

“There’s no question that we are in the midst of a surge,” said Dr. William Tseng, assistant area medical director for Kaiser Permanente.

Tseng said everyone should be stepping up their efforts to stay safe from the virus by masking, distancing — all the precautions we’ve become so familiar with over the last couple of years.

And Tseng said this current surge is likely much bigger than we can measure.

“The numbers that we have are the ones where we’re able to test. So there’s a lot of numbers that we can’t see at this point because a lot of them are positive when they test at home and they don’t let us know the results,” he said.

The latest surge is happening just as San Diego’s two biggest public events are about to unfold, in person. Pride is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people this weekend.

Then, just a week later, Comic Con descends on San Diego. Organizers are letting everyone know that strict rules will be in place.

Attendees, vendors, and everyone else will have to wear a mask at indoor events. The mask has to be visible outside of costumes. Verification of full vaccination status or proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours must be shown, and it’s all subject to change.

KPBS asked Pride organizers what measures they’re taking, but they didn’t respond by the time this story went to print.

“The statement has always been if you’re outside, you’re OK,” said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, chief medical officer for acute care operations at Scripps.

Sharieff said it is safer to be outside, but with these new, but it’s no time to let your guard down.

“With these variants being so infectious, we still have to be extra careful,” she said.

Dr. Sharieff said the number of people with Covid is climbing throughout the Scripps system, as with all hospitals in the county. We reached out to multiple people with the county health department for a comment. A spokesperson told us late on Tuesday afternoon no one was available.

Fortunately, we’re much better prepared now for an increase in cases. There are treatments like monoclonal antibodies and drugs like Paxlovid that are very effective.

But you can hear the concern in the voices of Doctors Sharieff and Tseng. Another surge is building and big events with lots of people will help fuel it.

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Surrounding Suburbs Cancel 4th of July Events in Wake of Highland Park Parade Shooting

Surrounding Suburbs Cancel 4th of July Events in Wake of Highland Park Parade Shooting

Multiple northern Chicago suburbs canceled Fourth of July events following a mass shooting along the Highland Park Independence Day Parade route Monday.

Glencoe officials said the village was canceling its Fourth of July parade as the city urged residents to “remain home” with the “threat still at large.”

“There have been no incidents or direct threats to Glencoe. Public Safety are monitoring the situation and recommend avoiding public and crowded areas at this time,” the village tweeted.

Glenview police announced around 11 a.m. that the town’s Fourth of July Parade was canceled “out of an abundance of caution.”

“There have been no incidents or direct threats to Glenview,” the department tweeted, adding that police were clearing the parade area, but the town’s fireworks display is still expected to take place Monday evening.

Nearby Deerfield announced its Family Days activities at Jewett Park were cleared and the parade in the town was canceled.

Evanston police said its holiday celebrations were canceled “effective immediately” due to the “tragic mass shooting.”

“While there is no known threat to Evanston residents, the shooter is still at large; therefore, cancelations are taking place in an abundance of caution,” the suburb stated in an alert. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors to the north.”

Northbrook announced its holiday activities, including the bike parade, mile-long parade and fireworks show were all canceled.

“Our thoughts are with our Highland Park neighbors,” the suburb said in an alert to residents.

Morton Grove also announced its parade was canceled Monday.

The public is being asked to avoid downtown Highland Park Monday as police respond to a shooting “in the area of the Independence Day parade route,” the Lake County Sheriff posted on Twitter.

“STAY OUT OF THE AREA – allow law-enforcement and first responders to do their work,” the sheriff posted.

Illinois State Police said the shooting situation is “active.”

“The Illinois State Police is currently assisting Highland Park PD with an active shoot situation that occurred at the Highland Park Parade,” police tweeted. “The public is advised to avoid the area of Central Ave and 2nd St. in Highland Park.”

According to multiple reports on Twitter, gunshots were heard at Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade. Further details were not immediately confirmed by police.

The city of Highland Park also urged people to avoid the area.

“Fourth Fest has been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available,” the north suburban Chicago town posted.

This is a breaking news story. Check back as details emerge.

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Dundas and surrounding areas host fundraising cycling events

Dundas and surrounding areas host fundraising cycling events
A cyclist on the temporary Hatt Street bikeway shortly after it opened in August 2021

Two fundraising cycling events may impact traffic in and around Dundas, but won’t require any temporary road closures, according to the City of Hamilton.

Ride to Conquer Cancer comes to Dundas and Flamborough June 11 and 12, then ALS Revolution Ride hits Valley Town and Ancaster roads Sunday, Sept. 25.

“They are ‘moving lane occupancies’ with the assistance of Hamilton Police at all controlled intersections,” said city spokesperson Michelle Shantz.

Several Ride to Conquer Cancer routes pass through Dundas and Flamborough June 11 from 10 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 5 p.m., and again June 12 from 6 to 10 a.m.

Affected streets both days include: Brock Road, Harvest Road, Rock Chapel Road, Valley Road, York Road, Olympic Drive and Cootes Drive. Westoby Ice Surface on Olympic is identified as a “cheering station.”

More information on the Ride to Conquer Cancer can be found at:

The September ALS Revolution ride includes two routes, one 40 kilometres and one 90 km, both starting and finishing on Hatt Street at Shawn & Ed Brewing.

Both routes travel through Dundas to Cootes Drive and through Ainslie Wood to Wilson Street in Ancaster and Jerseyville Road, Shaver Road, Book Road, Butter Road, Fiddlers Green Road, and back to Dundas through Ainslie Wood residential streets to the Cootes Drive multi-use trail. The exact route through Dundas was not confirmed by deadline.

More information on the ALS Revolution ride can be found at

Ride to Conquer Cancer

June 11

Day 1 — Classic Route — Toronto to Hamilton

10 a.m. to noon

June 11

Day 1 — The Hammer — Toronto to Hamilton

12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

June 12

Day 2 — Classic Route — Hamilton to Niagara Falls

6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

—Maps provided by City of Hamilton

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TIMELINE: Events surrounding the Uvalde, Texas, school siege

TIMELINE: Events surrounding the Uvalde, Texas, school siege

In the hours and days following the fatal shooting of 19 children and their two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, authorities gave shifting and at times contradictory information of what happened and how they responded.

The investigation of the massacre is still ongoing, but much is already known about the nearly two hours that passed between when authorities say Salvador Ramos shot his grandmother and when police radio traffic indicated that the 18-year-old gunman was dead and the siege was over.


Sometime after 11 a.m. — Ramos shoots his grandmother in the face, according to Texas Public Safety Director Steve McCraw. Gilbert Gallegos, 82, who lives across the street from Ramos and his grandmother, heard a shot as he was in his yard. He ran to the front and sees Ramos speed away in a pickup truck and Ramos’ grandmother coming toward him pleading for help. Covered in blood, “She says, ‘Berto, this is what he did. He shot me,’” according to Gallegos, whose wife calls the police to report the shooting.

11:27 a.m. — Video shows a teacher, whom authorities haven’t publicly identified, propping open an exterior door of the school, McCraw said.

11:28 a.m. — The teacher exits to retrieve a phone and then returns through the exit door, which remains propped open, McCraw said. It’s not clear why the teacher was retrieving a phone. Department of Public Safety spokesman Travis Considine said Thursday that investigators hadn’t determined why the door was propped open.

11:28 a.m. — Ramos crashes the pickup into a drainage ditch behind the school, McCraw said. Two men at a nearby funeral home hear the crash and run out to see what happened. They see Ramos jump out of the passenger side carrying an AR-15-style rifle and a bag full of ammunition. The men run and Ramos fires at them but doesn’t hit them. One of the men falls to the ground but both make it back to the funeral home. A panicked teacher then emerges from the school and calls 911.

11:30 a.m. — 911 receives a call saying there was a crash and a man with a gun at the school, McCraw said.

11:31 a.m. — Ramos begins shooting at the school from the school parking lot as police cars begin to arrive at the funeral home, McCraw said. Ramos then makes his way around the school building.

The school district police officer who was working that day wasn’t on campus around this time, contrary to previous reports, McCraw said Friday. The officer drives to the school “immediately” after getting the 911 call and approaches someone at the back of the school who he thought was the gunman. As the officer “sped” toward the man, who turned out to be a teacher, McCraw said the officer “drove right by the suspect who was hunkered down behind“ a vehicle.

11:32 a.m. — Ramos fires multiple shots at the school and then makes his way toward the open door, McCraw said.

11:33 a.m. — Five minutes after crashing the pickup, Ramos enters the school and begins shooting into two adjoining classrooms, 111 and 112, McCraw said. He fires more than 100 rounds.

11:35 a.m. — Three city police officers enter the school through the same door that Ramos used and are later followed by four other officers, McCraw said, putting a total of seven inside the building. Two officers receive “grazing wounds” from Ramos, McCraw said.

11:37 a.m. — Gunfire continues, with 16 rounds being shot in total, McCraw said. It’s unclear who fired the shots.

11:51 a.m. — A police sergeant and other law enforcement begin to arrive, McCraw said.

12:03 p.m. — A female (age unknown) calls 911 and whispers that she’s in classroom 112, McCraw said. The call lasts 1 minute and 23 seconds.

12:03 p.m. — Officers continue to enter the school, with as many as 19 officers in the hallway near the room where Ramos is holed up, McCraw said.

12:06 p.m. — Anne Marie Espinoza, a spokeswoman for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, posts on the district’s Facebook page: “All campuses are under a Lockdown Status.

“Uvalde CISD Parents: Please know at this time all campuses are under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the buildings. The buildings are secure in a Lockdown Status. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus. As soon as the Lockdown Status is lifted you will be notified.“

“Thank you for your cooperation!”

12:10 p.m. — The female (age unknown) who called 911 at 12:03 p.m. calls 911 again and says there are multiple dead, McCraw said. She calls again at 12:13 p.m. and then again at 12:16 p.m., when she says there are eight to nine students alive.

12:10 p.m. — The first group of deputy U.S. marshals from Del Rio arrive from nearly 70 miles (113 kilometers) away to assist the various other law enforcement officers already on scene, according to the Marshals Service.

12:15 p.m. — U.S. Border Patrol tactical team members arrive with shields, McCraw said.

12:19 p.m. — Another girl in room 111 calls 911 and ends the call when a fellow student tells her to hang up, McCraw said.

12:21 p.m. — Ramos fires his gun again and officers believe he’s at one of the door of one of the adjoining classrooms, McCraw said. Police move down the hallway.

12:21 p.m. — Three shots can be heard during a 911 call, McCraw said.

Around this time, police are stuck in the hallway because both classroom doors are locked and they must seek keys from a school employee.

12:36 p.m. — A child calls 911 for 21 seconds.

Around this time, a girl calls 911 and is told to stay on the line and stay very quiet, McCraw said. The girl says, “He shot the door.”

12:43 p.m. —The girl urges the 911 dispatcher to “please send the police now.”

12:46 p.m. — The girl says she can “hear the police next door.”

12:47 p.m. — She again asks 911 to “please send the police now.”

12:50 p.m. — Officers open the doors with keys from a school employee, enter the classroom and kill Ramos, McCraw said. Shots can be heard over the 911 call.

12:51 p.m. — Officers can be heard moving children out of the room, McCraw said.

12:58 p.m. — Law enforcement radio chatter says Ramos has been killed and the siege is over, said Victor Escalon, regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety.


For more AP coverage of the Uvalde school shooting:

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Israeli police will investigate ‘events’ surrounding funeral of Palestinian journalist: Minister – ABC17NEWS

Israeli police will investigate 'events' surrounding funeral of Palestinian journalist: Minister - ABC17NEWS

By Abeer Salman, Celine Alkhaldi and Colin McCullough, CNN

Israeli police say they will hold an investigation “into the events that ensued during the funeral” procession of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Friday.

“Unfortunately, during the course of the funeral, severe violent events unfolded on the part of those participating that worsened the situation on the ground,” Israeli Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev said in a statement to CNN.

“The investigative team appointed by Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and headed by Brigadier General Anna Ben Mordechai — a seasoned commander who is familiar with the area in which the funeral took place — will hold a comprehensive investigation into what happened during the funeral over the next day, in order to produce lessons from the incident. These lessons will be presented to the police commissioner and then to me,” he added.

Israeli police came under criticism following Friday’s procession, in which television footage showed officers striking mourners with batons, forcibly taking down Palestinian flags, and arresting individuals carrying the flag. One video released by the Israeli police shows officers ripping Palestinian flags off the hearse carrying Abu Akleh’s coffin.

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court ruled in September 2021 that flying the Palestinian flag is not a criminal offense in Israel. Nevertheless, CNN witnessed the arrest of at least two individuals carrying a flag during Abu Akleh’s procession.

“Flying the Palestinian flag does not constitute an offense under Israeli law,” Israeli Knesset member Ahmad Tibi told CNN on Friday.

“When Omer Bar-Lev was appointed as Israel’s Public Security Minister, he issued a directive limiting confiscation of Palestinian flags from demonstrators to cases where there is an immediate risk of disturbance of the peace. But what the police are doing directly opposes the minister’s orders…What we see is flag-phobia of the Palestinian flag,” he added.

When asked by CNN to clarify the reason for the taking down of Palestinian flags and the arrest of individuals carrying the flag, Israel’s police force responded with a statement, which was also shared publicly on its Twitter account.

“Israel Police prepared yesterday to facilitate a calm and dignified funeral for journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and had coordinated the funeral arrangements with her family. Unfortunately, hundreds of rioters tried to sabotage the ceremony and harm the police,” read the statement.

“Israel Police supports its police officers, but as a professional organization that seeks to learn and improve, it will also draw lessons from the incident,” it added.

On Friday, mourners carried Abu Akleh’s coffin out of the St. Joseph hospital in East Jerusalem, where her body remained until the burial, but were met with strong resistance from Israeli police who compelled them to transport the body by car. A flash bomb and tear gas were fired, according to CNN reporters.

The 51-year-old Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist was a prominent voice across the Arab world, delivering what many said was “the voice of Palestinian suffering” and their “aspirations of freedom.”

“She made a huge impact on Palestine and all the people. She left her fingerprint on everyone’s heart,” Lareen Abu Akleh, Shireen’s niece told CNN.

Nafisa Khwais, a Palestinian woman who considered herself a mother figure to Shireen, told CNN that she had spent all night at the funeral home where people came to mourn the veteran journalist.

“Shireen is my daughter. Her parents died, but we are all her parents. We are all her family,” Khwais said.

“Two weeks ago, she hid me behind her back when clashes erupted by Damascus Gate, and said to me: ‘Mother, come here. I’m so worried about you’ and handed me a bottle of water. I loved Shireen. She was the voice of all Palestinians,” she said.

Friday’s events prompted global reactions by various officials who said they were “shocked” by what they had seen.

“We were deeply troubled by the images of Israeli police intruding into the funeral procession of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Akleh. Every family deserves to lay their loved ones to rest in a dignified and unimpeded manner,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a post on Twitter on Friday.

A senior State Department official said later that Blinken had spoken to the journalist’s family and expressed his condolences while en route to an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, Germany.

Blinken offered “his deep condolences for their loss,” the official said. Blinken also offered the continued support of the State Department team in Jerusalem to their family and noted the importance of a free and independent press, the official said.

Norway’s Ambassador to Israel, Kåre R. Aas, said in a tweet that he was “shocked by the violent conduct of Israeli police forces during the funeral procession” adding that “such disproportionate force is inappropriate and unacceptable.”

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