Queen has Covid, ‘Freedom Convoy’ news, Ohio numbers, Hong Kong’s crisis, more – coronavirus timeline Feb. 19 – cleveland.com

Our coronavirus timeline covers facts and news Feb. 19-25, from the Queen testing positive to news about the ‘Freedom Convoy’ and case counts from Ohio to Hong Kong.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – From the Queen testing positive to news about the ‘Freedom Convoy’ and case counts from Ohio to Hong Kong, here is our regular roundup of coronavirus facts, figures and numbers regarding Ohio, the United States and the world Feb. 19-25, followed by our quotes of the week:
Ohio reports 1,599 new coronavirus cases and 113 more hospitalizations. … Police presence continues in Ottawa as authorities crack down on Freedom Convoy protesters. They cleared Wellington Street in front of Parliament as well as other areas. More than 170 people were taken into custody.
Ohio Department of Health reports 899 new cases, the smallest daily tally in more than six months. The last time the 24-hour change in reported cases was lower was Aug. 2, 2021, at 895 – just before Ohio began seeing rising case numbers due to the delta variant. … Swimmer Aleksandr Sidorenko, the 1980 Olympic champion in the men’s 400 individual medley at the Moscow Olympics, dies of Covid. He was 61.
Ohio reports 851 new cases. The last time the state reported two consecutive days of case counts below 1,000 was Aug. 1-2. … More nations are rolling out, or are discussing the possibility of, fourth doses of coronavirus vaccine for their most vulnerable. In the United States, public-health officials say they are “very carefully” monitoring if or when fourth doses might be needed, CNN says. … Reuters reports British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s (above photo, bottom right) “living with COVID” plan, scrapping restrictions and cutting access to free tests, drew late objections. Some say it is premature and would leave the country vulnerable to viral variants. Meanwhile, Hong Kong will expand its vaccine bubble to include malls and supermarkets, authorities confirmed, but added there would be exemptions and random inspections as they battle a record surge in cases. The outbreak has overwhelmed healthcare facilities in the global financial hub, with a new daily high of 7,533 infections and 13 deaths, among them an 11-month-old. … Queen Elizabeth II (above photo, top left) has tested positive for Covid. News drew shock, concern and messages of goodwill from across England with well wishes for the 95-year-old.
CNN reports the Defense Department approves the use of 700 National Guard members and 50 large tactical vehicles ahead of possible trucker-convoy protests set for the Washington, D.C. area in coming days. Guard members, activated on two missions, will provide command and control and support at traffic points, but they will not be armed and they will not be authorized to conduct law-enforcement or domestic-surveillance activities. The DC Guard also reportedly is not approved to use aircraft. … Hong Kong orders mandatory citywide testing by March amid its worst coronavirus outbreak.
Several Northeast Ohio counties are among state leaders for the rate of vaccinated adults returning to get Covid booster shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Regionally, this is led by Geauga County, which has a 61.5% booster rate among its residents, matched only by Delaware County north of Columbus. Cuyahoga’s rate is 57.5%, sixth-best among Ohio’s 88 counties. … Taking a cue from demonstrations that paralyzed Canada’s capital city for weeks, U.S. truckers plan to embark on a 2,500-mile cross-country drive toward Washington, D.C. to protest coronavirus restrictions, Reuters reports. Organizers of the ‘People’s Convoy’ say they want to “jumpstart the economy” and reopen the country. Their 11-day trek will approach the capital on Saturday, March 5, “but will not be going into D.C. proper,” according to a statement. … CNN reports BA.2 is about 30% more transmissible than the original omicron variant, BA.1, according to early studies from the United Kingdom and Denmark, and it is causing about one in five Covid cases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Even as Covid cases have been dropping around the world, the relative proportion of cases caused by BA.2 has been increasing. It is outcompeting the original omicron strain in at least 43 countries, prompting fears of another devastating pandemic wave.
Ohio report 1,321 cases. It is the 21st consecutive day with daily case counts below 5,000, and the 13th straight day under 2,500. Total case count has reached 2,649,692. Ohio’s death toll since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 36,267. … The number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents continues to fall in Ohio, hitting 160.7, compared to last week’s 255.8. This is also more than a 90% drop from peak levels seen during the omicron surge. On Jan. 20, there were 2,154.8 cases per 100,000. … CNN reports at least 5.2 million children globally have lost a parent, grandparent or family caretaker to Covid, according to a study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health medical journal. About 5.9 million people worldwide have died of Covid, the World Health Organization says. Also, plummeting case counts across the United States are leading to lifted mask mandates, but more people are dying of the virus now than during most points of the pandemic. More than 2,000 Covid deaths have been reported in the United States each day for the past month. … Associated Press reports that Hong Kong launched a vaccination requirement to enter shopping malls, restaurants and other places as it battles an expanding omicron outbreak. Businesses posted a QR code (above photo, bottom left) at entrances for people to scan to check their vaccine status.
Hong Kong reports another sharp jump in new cases, to more than 10,000 in the latest 24-hour period as it battles its worst outbreak. The new daily case count reached 10,010, health officials said, after topping 6,000 last week. The city has been reporting about 50 deaths a day, many among the unvaccinated elderly.
Angela RasmussenAP
• “I think what’s influencing the decline, of course, is that omicron is starting to run out of people to infect.” – Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and infectious disease chief at the University of Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, to the Associated Press.
• “The situation that we’re seeing on the ground, and I get this from talking to a number of my colleagues who actually do the genomic surveillance, is BA.2 is kind of creeping up in terms of numbers, but it’s not the meteoric rise that we saw with BA.1.” – Virologist Angela Rasmussen of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, regarding omicron variants, cited by CNN.
We compile our coronavirus timeline from cleveland.com stories and wire reports. Each Saturday morning, we recap news and stats regarding the virus. Here is the previous coronavirus recap Feb. 12-18.
I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. Twitter: @mbona30.
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