COVID-19 live updates: Ottawa declares state of emergency over trucker-led protests

Written by on February 7, 2022

Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.7 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 902,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 64.1% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Feb 07, 8:09 am
New Jersey governor to end mask mandate for schools

New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy is expected to announce Monday that the state’s requirement to wear face masks in schools will end the second week of March.

Murphy, a Democrat, has imposed some of the strictest pandemic-related mandates in the United States. The move would follow a decision last month by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, also a Democrat, to rescind his state’s mask mandate for schools.

Meanwhile, the Democratic governors of New York and Connecticut have said that they are reevaluating school mask mandates set to expire later this month.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky

Feb 07, 5:48 am
Ottawa declares state of emergency over trucker-led protests

Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency on Sunday because of trucker-led protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions.

The move by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government,” according to a statement from the city.

“It also provides greater flexibility within the municipal administration to enable the City of Ottawa to manage business continuity for essential services for its residents and enables a more flexible procurement process, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders,” the city said.

Seven people were arrested in Ottawa on Sunday due to enforcement measures around the demonstration, according to a press release from the Ottawa Police Service.

“There are over 60 criminal investigations so far related to the demonstration,” police said. “They are primarily for mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage.”

Sunday marked the 10th straight day of the so-called “freedom convoy” protests, which began with truckers critical of a new rule that they must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to cross the United States-Canada border. The demonstrations have since grown into broader challenges to pandemic-related public health measures and opposition to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Thousands of protesters have occupied the streets of Ottawa and other cities across Canada in support of the movement, paralyzing the capital’s city center with traffic jams, nonstop noise and complaints of harassment. Protesters have said they won’t leave until all COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions are lifted nationwide. They are also calling for the removal of Trudeau’s government, even though most of the public health measures were put in place by provincial governments.

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