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Global COVID cases ebb amid testing blind-spot worries

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After rising for 2 weeks, global cases declined again, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest weekly snapshot of the pandemic, but it urged caution about interpreting trends, due to reduced testing in a number of countries.In other global developments, the WHO today released its third strategic plan for battling the pandemic, along with a decade-long plan for improving genomic surveillance of pathogens.WHO raises concerns about drops in testingThe world's COVID-19 cases dropped 14% last week, compared to the week before, with decreases seen across all of the WHO's regions.

However, deaths rose 45%, primarily due to changes in how some countries define COVID deaths and retrospective adjustments from others.Overall, about 10 million cases were reported to the WHO last week.

The five countries reporting the most cases were South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, France, and Italy.The WHO noted that recent case rises earlier this month occurred despite reduced testing in many countries, which it says is a sign that the virus is still circulating at very high levels.

It warned that a decline in testing could lead to less robust data that makes it harder to track the virus and how it is spreading and evolving.

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Waterloo public school parents to get daily reports about COVID-19 cases - - city Waterloo
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COVID-19, the Waterloo Region District School Board says it will soon be providing parents with more information about the situation.The board says caregivers of children will begin receiving daily reports from their school’s principals which will show the number of COVID-19 cases reported as well as the classes which have been affected.It says that if a COVID-19 case is reported in a child’s class, that kid can still attend school. Testing positive weeks after a COVID-19 diagnosis: What it means for travel The reports will not identify any staff or students.If a caregiver does not receive a report on a particular day, that means there were no new cases reported at their child’s school.A spokesperson for the board told Global News that this is a local initiative that is not being implemented at the behest of the province.The board is also warning parents that there is the possibility that classrooms or entire schools may be forced to close going forward.“We are facing increased staffing challenges due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, and continue to implement a number of strategies to ensure schools stay open for learning,” the letter from the board read.“We have been very fortunate that to date, no WRDSB schools have been closed due to staff shortages.”The board says parents will receive 24-hours notice through School-Day if there is a closure.