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12 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka, local total reaches 790 – Global News

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health unit confirmed 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the local total number of cases to 790, including 37 deaths.

Five of the new cases are in Barrie, while the rest are in Bradford, Wasaga Beach, New Tecumseth, Oro-Medonte and Collingwood.

Read more:
Reduce social circles to household members, Simcoe Muskoka’s top doc urges amid COVID-19 uptick

Three of the new cases are a result of close contact with another positive COVID-19 case, while one is community-acquired and the rest are under investigation.

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Of the health unit’s total 790 cases, 86 per cent — or 682 — have recovered, while two people remain in hospital. Nineteen per cent of the health unit’s total cases are related to local institutional outbreaks.

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There have been 21 COVID-19 outbreaks in Simcoe County and Muskoka — two of which are ongoing at a long-term care home in Barrie and at a workplace in Muskoka.

Read more:
Ontario reports 293 new coronavirus cases with majority in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa

Other regional outbreaks that have ended include 11 long-term care homes in the region, three workplaces, four retirement homes and one group home.

On Thursday, Ontario reported 293 new coronavirus cases, bringing the provincial case count to 45,676, including 2,825 deaths.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Local pharmacist expects huge turnout for the flu vaccine this year

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To pre-book an appointment, you can call your local pharmacy or fill out the request on their website.

Though some pharmacies are offering walk-ins.

Greg’s Remedy’s Pharmacy says they are offering walk-ins with two dedicated pharmacists giving injections.

Owner Greg Bueckert says they’re expecting a huge turnout this year.

He says people were lined up at 8 AM Monday morning to get their flu vaccine.

“The idea of the influenza shot is to make sure that the hospitals are not overwhelmed with influenza and COVID, so they can dedicate most of the resources to COVID. So we’re encouraging everybody to get a shot this year. Especially high risk,” Bueckert told Chat News.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw also requests that all Albertans get a flu shot.

In her COVID-19 update on Friday and again in a Tweet on Monday, she says getting immunized supports Alberta’s pandemic response.

Last year, nearly 8,500 Albertans contracted the flu and 41 people died.

“Getting immunized is an easy way to protect your health. The flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19 but it will reduce your chances of getting sick with influenza and spreading it to others. Seniors, young children, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions are the most at risk of suffering severe and sometimes fatal complications from the flu,” Dr. Hinshaw said.

AHS is offering vaccines through public health clinics for children under 5, plus their family and household members.

Those vaccines are by appointment only and can be booked online.

Source: – CHAT News Today

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Three Toronto hospitals dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks – Toronto Sun

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Three hospitals in Toronto are facing COVID-19 outbreaks, with several patients and staff confirmed to be infected.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre in the west end, as of this morning, has seven active COVID-19 positive patients and 11 active COVID-19 positive staff related to the outbreaks.

The total number of patient cases that tested positive for the virus at the hospital is 14, which includes the seven aforementioned patients as well as another seven unrelated to this outbreak, according to the hospital.

The outbreak stemmed from four units within the hospital — the 2L medicine unit, the 2E unit, the 3M unit and the 4E unit between Oct. 3 and Oct. 16.

“We are managing a significant number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at St. Joseph’s Health Centre,” said spokesperson Jennifer Stranges.

“Our patients, staff and community are our top priority, and we have implemented additional hospital-wide precautions to keep everyone safe.”

According to provincial health guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as “at least two cases within a 14-day period where both could reasonably have been acquired” in a congregate setting.

Toronto Western Hospital on Bathurst at Dundas St. W. is pictured on Monday, October 19, 2020. Photo by Jack Boland /Toronto Sun

At Toronto Western Hospital, three patients and six staff members have tested positive for coronavirus.

Since Oct. 15, the outbreak has affected units 8A and 8B of the general internal medicine department in the hospital’s Fell Pavilion.

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According to University Health Network spokesperson Gillian Howard, additional testing of patients and staff is ongoing.

“The only new information is that there are no additional positive tests today from the swabbing that has been underway from Oct. 12 forward, so we remain at three patients and six staff with positive tests which may be hospital-acquired,” Howard said on Monday.

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is also facing an outbreak at its Queen St. W. location after two patients fell ill and tested positive for the virus.

According to its website, the cases are tied to Unit 1-4.

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Struggling Manitoba hotel industry pleads for tax relief from province – CBC.ca

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Hotel owners in Manitoba are on edge as heightened pandemic restrictions come into force in Winnipeg and the surrounding area on Monday — and say they need government help to get through this.

“It’s like my worst nightmare ever. The impact is just, I can’t paint a more gloomy picture,” said Manitoba Hotel Association president and CEO Scott Jocelyn.

“It’s been a really tough seven or eight months dealing with all of this, and today we’ll see more challenges for our people. People are on edge. They’re very frustrated and really, really struggling.”

Starting Monday, stand-alone nightclubs, bars and beverage rooms (which are attached to hotels) must close, along with casinos, entertainment facilities with live entertainment, video lottery lounges and bingo halls.

Businesses licensed as restaurants and lounges can stay open but are limited to 50 per cent capacity and can only seat up to five people at a table.

The restrictions will stay in place at least two weeks and come as the Winnipeg region battles the worst surge of COVID-19 cases Manitoba has seen since the pandemic began.

Jocelyn said the provincial government has tried hard to balance the economy and the public’s safety through all of the measures it has instituted since March, “but the reality is, the protocols they’re putting upon us are having a huge impact on what we do.

“If people can’t travel into the city or the province, then we can’t put people in our rooms, we can’t hold events, we can’t have people congregating in our bars, in our restaurants. Everything we do is being impacted.”

Several broad assistance programs for business and individuals have been introduced by the province, but Jocelyn said the hotel association is hoping for specific relief.

Other provinces have better supported their hotel industry, he said.

“That’s one of the frustrations. Some of the things that have happened in other provinces — those provinces have handled them with some sector-specific relief, and the biggest one for us is paying the tax bill,” Jocelyn said. 

A hotel’s taxes are based on revenues, but from two years ago, he explained. 

“There isn’t a hotel in Manitoba that’s doing what they were doing two years ago [in terms of revenues due to COVID-19]. So how do you pay that bill?” Jocelyn said.

“They’ve weathered many storms but not a storm like this, and they really need some relief so they can continue to do all the great things that we do. We work hard for the province, we collect lots of taxes for the province in good times, and we need some help today.”

Jocelyn doesn’t believe the government knows how wounded the industry is, so his organization is just wrapping up a full economic impact study by accounting firm Meyers Norris Penny.

“We really need some numbers that we can put in front of them to paint that picture. I’m anxiously awaiting that report,” he said. He expects it will be released around the second week of November.

While some hotels in the province benefited from Manitobans taking stay-cations this year and exploring more of their own province, it’s not enough to turn the year around, Jocelyn said.

Some of the biggest hotels in Winnipeg have had single-digit occupancy rates after being closed for a few months due to COVID-19, he said.

“The stay-cation model, that’s not going to work for them.”

It’s difficult to remain viable when you’re only filling two out of every 10 rooms, agreed Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Loren Remillard, who echoed Jocelyn’s call for help.

“We need to have measures in place so we can ensure when we do get through this, we have a business community to return to, we have a restaurant sector, we have viable hotels and an arts and culture community that’s still vibrant.”

While there have been hardships across-the-board in the business community since the onset of the pandemic, those sectors have been disproportionately damaged, Remillard said. When the economy reopened in phases through late spring and early summer, they did not see a significant bounce back.

The restaurant, hotels and arts and culture communities have taken a big hit since the pandemic began, says the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

The restrictions that kicked in Monday will exacerbate an already-precarious situation, he said.

The business community fully understands the need, around public health, to implement those conditions, but it is “frustrating” to not see a corresponding level of relief measures in Manitoba for those hard-hit industries, he said.

For perspective, the Quebec government set aside $100 million to help businesses cover 80 per cent of fixed expenses such as rent and electricity for shuttered bars and restaurants, Remillard noted, adding that Saskatchewan’s government has specific funding streams for hotels, hospitality and the event industry.

Rainbow Stage was one of the many attractions that went quiet due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Kayla Kocian/Rainbow Stage)

On Friday, when the latest restrictions were revealed, Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen said it’s too early to talk about providing financial assistance to businesses impacted by the measures.

Remillard strong disagrees.

“We needed to be talking about this months ago. There is no too soon,” he said. “Two weeks is a lifetime for a business that’s holding on on a day-to-day basis.

“We need government to be a partner with the business community, to say ‘we recognize the difficulty you’re in and that it’s made worse by these necessary public health measures. We’re here to work with you to find solutions to ensure that you remain viable.'”

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