Health officials are reminding people to make the Halloween weekend safe for everyone by maintaining safe physical distances from one another.
The Saskatchewan government reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.
There were six cases recorded in the Saskatoon area, including two that are linked to the outbreak at a Brandt Industries workplace in the city.
“The latest confirmed cases are from testing completed on close contacts of the employees and are not occurring in the workplace itself,” the government said in a media release.
The release added there have been 19 cases connected to the Brandt Industries cluster to date.
Two of the other four new cases are in the Regina region, with one each in the far northeast and central-west zones.
The total number of cases reported in the province to date is 1,824.
There were nine recoveries reported Tuesday, increasing that total so far to 1,654. To date, 24 residents of the province have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
There are 146 active cases being reported.
Nine people are in hospital around the province. Eight people — seven in Saskatoon and one in Regina – are receiving inpatient care, while one person is in intensive care in Saskatoon.
Increased testing coming
With Premier Scott Moe’s stated goal of having 4,000 tests done per day, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has been increasing testing capacity.
To that end, it’s hiring for 76 positions; so far, 27 people have been hired.
The authority also is starting pooled testing, which means combining several specimens and doing one laboratory test to look for the virus.
“If any pooled test produces a positive result, all samples within the batch will be retested individually before results are released,” the government said in a release.
The pooled testing of asymptomatic swabs allows labs to test more specimens with fewer testing materials, thus increasing testing output.
As well, the SHA is increasing the number of GeneXpert tests being performed in the province. The number is going from 200 per week to 1,200 per week by early October.
“The GeneXpert is a molecular testing platform located in more than 20 locations throughout the province, providing more immediate diagnostics on-site,” the province said in its release. “It significantly expands testing capacity while improving turn-around times.”
A look at the numbers
Of the total number of cases in the province, 894 are community contacts, 528 don’t have any known exposures, 271 are travellers and 131 are being investigated by local public health officials.
There have been 69 cases involving health-care workers.
The total comprises 595 cases in the 20-to-39 age range, 562 between the ages of 40 and 59, 306 involving people 19 and under, 300 from age 60 to 79, and 61 aged 80 and over.
There have been 439 cases from the south area (222 southwest, 199 south-central, 18 southeast), 359 in the Saskatoon area, 358 from the far north (349 far northwest, nine far north east), 271 in the north zone (131 northwest, 73 north-central, 67 northeast), 235 in the central area (173 central-west, 62 central-east) and 162 from the Regina region.
Saskatoon has recorded 54 cases over the past week, while Regina has reported 23 cases over the same time period.
The 1,641 tests done in Saskatchewan on Monday increased the province’s total to date to 175,405.
More to come.
COVID-19 update for Oct. 30: Now is not the time for parties or large gatherings, say health officials – Standard Freeholder
Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 30, 2020.
We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.
Check back here for more updates throughout the day.
B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS
As of the latest figures given on Oct. 30:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 14,381 (2,390 active)
• New cases since Oct. 29: 272
• Hospitalized cases: 78
• Intensive care: 25
• COVID-19 related deaths: 263 (1 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 6,003
• Recovered: 11,670
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 26
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
The province reported another 272 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and one additional death, bringing the total number of people who have died to 263.
There are 2,390 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 6,003 people are under public health monitoring after being exposed to a known case.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced this week that gatherings are now limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six”’ guests.
The B.C. government says it will increase surveillance this weekend as the new order came into effect.
In a joint statement, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are reminding people to make the Halloween weekend safe for everyone by maintaining safe physical distances from one another.
They say this is also not the time for large gatherings in homes as the number of cases of COVID-19 spikes.
— The Canadian Press
Transport Canada has extended a ban on cruise ships to the end of February as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s the third time the federal agency has imposed a ban on visiting cruise ships, after the federal government extended the ban at the end of May, sinking Vancouver’s lucrative summer cruise ship season.
Port of Vancouver spokesperson Arpen Rana said Friday that Vancouver’s cruise season begins in April and concludes in October, so they can’t speculate on the revenue impact for 2021 but said the port supports the decision.
“As a Canada Port Authority, we support and follow the direction of Transport Canada regarding the recently announced extension of measures pertaining to cruise ships,” said Rana.
“We are actively engaged in discussions with the cruise industry and tourism partners to support the industry under these challenging conditions.”
Rana did not say when the port expected the ban to lift, or whether it might be extended into the spring, but said the agency is working with the Association of Canadian Port Authorities Cruise Committee to resume safe cruises sometime next year.
The committee is made up of all port authorities with cruise terminals in Canada.
Given that the extension ends before the season kicks into gear in May, it does not change much in terms of anticipated revenue lost, said Sabrina Tey, a spokesperson for Tourism Vancouver.
The ban has taken a heavy toll this year on Vancouver’s tourism industry, however, as an estimated 1.3 million cruise ship passengers on 310 ships were scheduled to make port in Vancouver in 2020 before the pandemic hit.
Each ship translates into $3 million in tourism spending.
11:30 a.m. – To report Halloween parties in Vancouver call 311
Vancouver residents are being reminded ahead of Halloween that reports of large gatherings or parties, which are not allowed under a new COVID-19 rules, should be reported to 311 and not 911.
This follows an order this week from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry limiting gatherings in private residences to the household members plus six others within the household’s bubble. B.C.’s cases have been going up, with more than 200 cases reported a day for more than a week.
Health officials have said most of the new cases are in the Fraser Health Authority, and are linked to social gatherings such as weddings, celebrations of life, and holidays.
Vancouver police said they are asking residents to keep 911 lines free for emergencies and to call 311 if there is a large gathering. The VPD has issued two tickets on the order, one to a host of a party and the other to an individual for failure to comply.
Meantime, in the last month the city of Vancouver has received hundreds of complaints on 311 about the pandemic, including 130 complaints of too many people being inside a business, 120 calls about house parties, 61 complaints about gatherings exceeding 50 people.
Thirty-three callers complained about people promoting parties or gatherings, three were upset about banquet halls being open, and 16 called to complain about people not adhering to social distancing measures.
There were also 160 other pandemic-related calls. Of those 49 had to do with too many people gathering together.
For more on this, read How do I have a Safe Halloween?
Health officials shared a sobering story during Thursday’s COVID-19 update, meant to drive home the tragedy that could be prevented when people adhere health orders and guidelines.
“It is something that reminds us of how important the measures that we need to take right now can be in protective lives,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, who said Thursday that B.C. is “in a danger zone.”
Henry said the latest death recorded was of a woman in her 80s who attended a small birthday party of less than 10 people in a private home.
Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO of Fraser Health hosted Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing in Surrey on Thursday.
B.C. saw 234 new cases and one death reported between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the province’s total number of reported cases up to 14,109 since the start of the pandemic. There are are now 2,344 active cases of COVID-19.
Of those, 86 remain in hospital, of which 24 are in the intensive care unit.
There are 4,588 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 8,036 in Fraser Health, 256 in Vancouver Island, 734 in Interior Health, 464 in Northern Health and 89 who are non-B.C. residents.
LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
–with files from The Canadian Press
7 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health as warning issued for Halloween – Lake Country Calendar
There are seven new cases of COVID-19 being reported in the Interior Health region overnight, bringing the total in the health authority since the start of the pandemic to 741.
There are currently 87 active cases that are in isolation.
No one is in hospital.
Interior Health is reporting no additional exposures in schools.
Across the province there are an additional 272 cases of COVID-19, with one death and three new outbreaks in the health care system.
There has been a community outbreak declared at Suncor’s Firebag oil sands project, 120 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the second time an Alberta oil industry facility has dealt with coronavirus as workers travel in and out to B.C. and other locations.
Dr. Albert De Villiers, chief medical health officer for Interior Health said the health authority has seen an increase in cases as the province moves through the second wave of COVID-19.
“This rise in cases is reflected across B.C. and it is important we all do our part to reduce the risk of further exposures in our communities,” he stated. “The Provincial Health Officer has issued a new order on household visitors, which means households cannot have more than six people of any age visit at one time. The order applies to all gatherings – indoor and outdoor – hosted at households, such as a Halloween or large dinner party, celebration of life, wedding or baby shower.”
De Villiers went on to say while the restrictions pose challenges, everyone is being asked to celebrate Halloween in an alternative way.
272 new cases of COVID-19 reported in B.C., with zero new in Island Health – CHEK
British Columbia’s health officials have revealed that there have been 272 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, with zero of those cases linked to the Island Health region.
The total number of active cases in British Columbia has increased to 2,390 – a rise of 46 from October 29 – while 6,003 residents remain under active public health monitoring.
On Friday, there was one additional death related to the virus, meaning the provincial total over the course of the pandemic is 263.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says that there are currently 78 individuals hospitalized from COVID-19 in B.C. – a decrease of eight since Thursday – with 25 people in intensive care (increasing by one from Thursday).
As of Friday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has been 14,381.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,664 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 8,219 in the Fraser Health region, 256 in the Island Health region, 741 in the Interior Health region, 412 in the Northern Health region and 89 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a written statement that there have been three new health-care facility outbreaks as of Friday as well. Outbreaks have been reported at Hawthorne Seniors Care Community, CareLife Fleetwood and Queen’s Park Hospital unit 3C NMSK 2.
While three new outbreaks were reported on Friday, another three came to an end. The outbreaks at Fort Langley Seniors Community, The Village and Sunset Manor and Good Samaritan Victoria Heights have been declared over. In total, 24 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
Active cases within the Island Health region have decreased to 8.
Of those active cases, three are in the South Vancouver Island area, three are in the Central Vancouver Island region, while two are located on the northern parts of Vancouver Island.
Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.
Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.
Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.
With Halloween coming up this weekend, Health officials also issued a reminder to British Columbians to stay safe and keep gatherings small.
“As we all enjoy Halloween tomorrow, make it about the treats and not the tricks. Respect homes that are choosing not to participate this year and give everyone the space to stay safe, both indoors and outdoors,” reads a joint statement from Dix and Dr. Henry.
“There are many ways to make fun memories this fall. This weekend is a great opportunity to be outside, enjoying the fall foliage and Halloween decorations.”
According to Dr. Henry and Minister Dix, surveillance will be increased this weekend as authorities monitor for large gatherings.
“Now is not the time for parties or large gatherings in our homes. Instead, let’s spend time with others in a safe way, outside or in venues that have COVID-19 safety plans in place,” reads the joint statement.
Earlier this week, Dr. Henry announced new limitations for the number of people that could visit our homes, restricting gatherings to immediate household members and a “safe six.”
The BC Centre for Disease Control has also released a set of guidelines aimed at helping British Columbians stay safe this year on Halloween.
The BC CDC is advising British Columbians to try to incorporate a non-medical mask or face covering into costumes. With this in mind, officials are suggesting that costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe.
Health officials are asking for anyone trick-or-treating to stay in their own neighbourhoods this year and avoid busy areas or indoors (in places like malls).
It is also being recommended that homeowners find creative ways to hand out treats while keeping physical distance and limiting contact. For any homeowner feeling ill, the BC CDC asks them to turn off their porch lights and stay home.
“Let’s make this weekend a safe and fun experience by keeping our groups small and by practising our COVID-19 sense,” concludes the written statement.
More COVID-19 information
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, public health contacts affected school community members directly. Regional health authorities also post school notifications on their websites, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools.
The Island Health school site can be found here.
Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down North, Central and South Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here along with any public exposures.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 45.4 million. More than 1.18 million deaths have been recorded.
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