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Photo: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday said that all public viewing during this summer's Olympics will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan Times reports.

The state of play: After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Koike told reporters that the locations where viewings were scheduled will instead be used as vaccination sites.

What he's saying: "I believe these are necessary measures, when looking from various perspectives, for a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games," Koike said, per Reuters.

The big picture: The announcement comes as the Japanese government faces heavy criticism from the public for hosting the games, as Japan has struggled to get its coronavirus cases under control.

  • Japanese health experts on Friday said that spectators should not be allowed, adding that it is the safest way to host the Olympics, the Japan Times notes.
  • Tokyo Olympics organizers said in March that spectators from overseas would not be permitted to attend.

What to watch: Koike and Suga will meet with International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee on Monday to discuss how many fans will be allowed to attend, Reuters reports.

Go deeper

Sep 26, 2021 - Health

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.

Sep 25, 2021 - Health

Montana VA medical center to treat non-veterans amid COVID surge

Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana, on Nov. 11, 2020. Photo: Lynn Donaldson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A veterans medical facility in Montana is planning to accept non-eligible patients as a COVID-19 surge overwhelms nearby hospitals in the state, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The move underscores the dire health situation in Montana due to the latest COVID-19 case surge, where some hospitals in the state have started to consider rationing care, according to the Montana Free Press.

Sep 26, 2021 - Health

U.S. has enough COVID vaccines to meet demand for kids, boosters

A 12-year-old receives the first dose of the Pfiizer vaccine. Photo: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The U.S. COVID-19 vaccine supply is large enough to meet the rise in demand prompted by the approval of booster shots and the imminent authorization of vaccines for younger children, AP reported.

Driving the news: Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people over 65 or at risk of developing severe COVID-19.