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1st Ebola relapse recorded in Congo outbreak, WHO says – CBC.ca

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Health officials in eastern Congo have documented the first relapse in the current Ebola epidemic, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
 
The Ebola outbreak in Congo has so far infected more than 3,300 people and killed more than 2,200 since the middle of last year, making it the second-worst on record.
 
In early December, Congolese health authorities reported that a survivor in Mabalako, North Kivu province, had fallen ill with the virus again.
 
Preliminary tests have since classified it as a relapse, the WHO said in a weekly report.
 
“Rare cases of relapse — in which a person who has recovered from EVD [Ebola] gets disease symptoms again — have been documented during past outbreaks, but this is the first relapse documented in this outbreak,” it said.
 
Eleven new Ebola cases were confirmed in the past week, all of whom are believed to have caught the virus from the person who relapsed, according to the WHO. Overall the case was a potential source of infection for 28 people, it said.
 
“It is a single transmission chain but it is worrying,” said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, on Thursday.
 
He said the situation in Mabalako was worrying partly due to its proximity to the town of Butembo, a populous trading hub and one-time epicentre of the outbreak.

Virus goes underground+

“We had a massive problem [in Butembo] only six months ago, so there is real concern that any continued transmission in Mabalako may potentially re-infect Butembo.”

 
Despite the development of an effective vaccine and treatments, a recent surge in violence by rebel militias and criminal bands near Congo’s borders with Uganda and Rwanda has hampered efforts to contain the outbreak.
 
“That has created the perfect storm that has [the] allowed virus to get away from us and go on underground,” Ryan said. 

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 18 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments:

  • The City of Ottawa says it plans to collect all pandemic-related fines, even those for illegally using parks.
  • There’s been a rise in the demand for youth mental health services in Ottawa.
  • Another 123 cases of COVID-19 and one death were recorded in Ottawa on Sunday.
  • A Para Transpo operator who last worked Jan. 16 has tested positive, the city says.

What’s the latest?

The City of Ottawa says it plans to collect all fines issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ones handed out in municipal parks that some in the legal community have called “legally dubious.”

Several $880 tickets were handed out during the first wave to people who allegedly sat on park benches or used off-limits payground equipment, neither of which have been outlawed since.

Clinics and other agencies that help young Ottawans deal with mental health issues say they’ve seen demand for their services spike since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 123 new cases of COVID-19 and one death on Sunday, while another 22 cases and three more deaths were also recorded in the Outaouais. 

East of the nation’s capital, the mayor of Cornwall, Ont., and the Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne are both condemning angry notes left on driver’s windshields in the city.

Some of the notes — which say things like “go home” — have been placed on vehicles belonging to residents of Akwesasne, which borders Cornwall and straddles Ontario, Quebec and New York State. 

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday, 12,286 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic. There are 1,274 known active cases, 10,609 resolved cases and 403 deaths from COVID-19. 

Public health officials have reported more than 21,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 19,000 resolved cases.

One hundred and three people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 142 people have died in western Quebec. 

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Ontario says people must only leave home when it’s essential to avoid more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

People who leave home for non-essential reasons can now be fined, though police won’t be stopping people just for being outside.

Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.

Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five. It’s strongly recommended people stick to their own households.

People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household.

Outdoor recreation venues remain open, and the Rideau Canal Skateway will still launch once temperatures permit. In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.

A person in a mask walks by Ottawa’s Rideau Centre mall on Dec. 21, 2020, the day the current lockdown rules in Ontario were announced. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

The province will announce by Wednesday which schools can offer general in-person learning. The Ottawa-Carleton School Board has said it won’t bring that back for secondary schools until at least Feb. 1.

Child-care centres remain open.

The lockdown rules are in place until at least Feb. 11.

In western Quebec, residents are also being asked to stay home unless it’s essential and not see anyone they don’t live with, with an exception for people living alone.

They can visit one other home.

Quebec’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is now in effect, with fines of up to $6,000 for breaking the rules.

The province has shut down non-essential businesses and has extended secondary school closures until later this week.

Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.

Those rules are in place until Feb. 8.

WATCH | CHEO sees ‘drastic’ increase in youth struggling with eating disorders

Joanne Lowe, executive director of the youth services bureau at CHEO, says the hospital has seen a 63-per-cent increase in the number of youth seeking help for eating disorders since the start of the pandemic. 1:06

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means it’s important to take precautions like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with — even with a mask on.

Masks, preferably with three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Ontario and Quebec.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.

Anyone returning to Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days. Air travellers have to show recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

A note recently left on a vehicle in Cornwall, Ont. Several such notes have been left on the vehicles of residents from Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, which straddles both the interprovincial and international border and whose residents are allowed to access essential services in the city. (Todd Bennett/Facebook)

Symptoms and vaccines

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help.

COVID-19 vaccines have been given to health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

WATCH | Rick Hillier provides update on Ontario’s vaccination timeline

Retired general told CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live he wants to see everyone who wants a vaccine get one by late July or early August. 7:52

The exception for now is Renfrew County, which says it expects its first doses in early February.

Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15

In Ottawa, it’s now expected the second phase of vaccination, which includes older adults and essential workers, will begin closer to April.

The province is aiming to have vaccines widely available to the public in August, and Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by then.

Quebec has a somewhat controversial policy of giving a single dose to as many people as possible rather than giving fewer people two doses. It says people will get their second dose within 90 days.

As of Jan. 14, western Quebec’s health authority had given out about 4,400 doses. It says it will have reached all of its long-term care homes by early this week.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria.

People without symptoms but part of the province’s targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.

Ottawa has 10 permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

Two people wear masks as they wait for a bus to arrive outside the Parliament LRT station in downtown Ottawa on Jan. 14, 2021. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. Its Alexandria and Casselman sites are temporarily closed.

People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile clinic.

Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.

Kingston’s main test site is at the Beechgrove Complex, another is in Napanee.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave. Buckingham. They can check the wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had at least 116 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and five deaths. More than 230 people have tested positive across the community.

Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only.

Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Kitigan Zibi logged its first case in mid-December and has had a total of 18. The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte had its only confirmed case in November. 

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

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Social Exclusion in Canada

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Social exclusion is something that hasn’t been talked about directly before because it is either a cause of something or an effect of something. Either way it is a reality and Canada unfortunately are experiencing a lot of it.

But the question popping up in a lot the people minds would be; what is social exclusion? Well, the answer is quite simple actually. Social exclusion refers to the lack of belonging, acceptance and recognition.

People who are socially excluded are more economically and socially vulnerable, and hence they tend to have diminished life experiences. Social exclusion has been associated with economic and social changes. Social exclusion is becoming one of the most common reasons for people to become more vulnerable, which cause them to have unacceptable experiences at school and in their personal life. Children are the ones who experience all of this to it’s maximum potential.

Children who live in persistent poverty are twice as likely to live in a “dysfunctional” family, they are twice as likely to live with violence, and more than three times as likely to live with a depressed parent. All risk factors for social exclusion and eventual criminality.

Another alarming fact is that child poverty has shown no decrease in the past years. Last time a decrease was seen in the 1990s. the latest figure show a child poverty rate of 15.6%. The UK study found that social exclusion and deprivation consistently emerge as underlying factors in the over-representation of certain visible minority groups in the criminal justice system.

In Western countries, members of disadvantaged minority groups are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for violent crimes, property crimes, and drug-related crimes. Canada is no exception. Data from Ontario correctional facilities reveal a prison admission rate of 705 per 100,000 population for Canadians of European ancestry, and a rate of 3,686 per 100,000 for Canadians of African ancestry.

These number are very disappointing to look at especially in the 21st century and more importantly in a developed country like Canada and we see that countries like the United Kingdom have taken initiative to counter these kinds of problems but on the other hand we don’t see Canada doing much to counter all of this.

For example, lets have a look at the United Kingdom;

In the UK, a social inclusion approach that was adopted in 1997 seems to have already helped to substantially diminish the risk factors for criminality. Their Social Exclusion Unit was launched as a multi-sectoral way to try to tackle poverty, housing, health, and crime issues. It aimed at stopping people from “falling through the cracks” in social services, and reintegrating those who had already fallen behind.

 

As a parallel to the Social Exclusion Unit, the UK’s Neighborhood Renewal Unit was created to narrow the gap between deprived neighborhoods and the rest of the country. Since the launch of these initiatives, there has been a 66% reduction in people sleeping on streets at night, a 33% reduction in the number of children excluded from school, and the successful placement of over 17,000 disaffected youth into school, training or employment.

If the United Kingdom took take these steps into the betterment of their citizen, I am sure Canada could take the same if not a different approach to handle these problems. Then the real question is what is stopping them?

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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Jan. 18, 2021 – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Some COVID-19 statistics in Ottawa declined slightly on Sunday, but the city still saw a triple-digit number of new cases.
  • A Nepean retirement home has lost four residents to COVID-19 due to a recent outbreak.
  • The Ontario government is cracking down on COVID-19 violations at big box stores, visiting more than 100 in the GTHA this weekend, with plans to inspect stores all across the province.

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New cases: 123 new cases on Sunday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 12,286
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 85.6
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.1 per cent (Jan. 8 – Jan. 14)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.03 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are five reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms. OR
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app. OR
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care OR
  • You have traveled to the UK, or have come into contact with someone who recently traveled to the UK, please go get tested immediately (even if you have no symptoms).

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre

Open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre at National Arts Centre: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The COVID-19 Assessment Centre at McNabb Community Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

The number of people in Ottawa with known active cases of COVID-19 fell slightly on Sunday after hitting a record high on Saturday.

Ottawa Public Health reported 1,274 active cases of COVID-19 Sunday, down from a peak of 1,286 on Saturday.

The number of people in the hospital and in the ICU also fell by two on Sunday to 38 and eight, respectively. 

The weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 residents–considered more of a stable metric to judge the progress of the pandemic compared to daily case counts–dipped as well, to 85.6, down from 88.9. It was at nearly 100 late last week.

OPH added 123 new cases of COVID-19, 134 recoveries and one new death to its pandemic totals on Sunday.

As COVID-19 vaccines are delivered to local long-term care homes, one Ottawa retirement home is battling an outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of four residents.

The Valley Stream retirement home on Valley Stream Drive in Nepean has, to date, seen 46 residents and 27 staff members test positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 2.

In a statement dated Jan. 14, Dr. Rhonda Collins, chief medical officer for Revera, the company that runs the home, said COVID-19 protocols are in place to help limit the spread.

On Friday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said vaccination teams had visited all 28 local long-term care homes and the focus of the city’s inoculation efforts would turn to retirement homes.

A spokesperson for Revera told CTV News on Sunday that Valley Stream is awaiting confirmation from Ottawa Public Health of a date for residents to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations and staff have been preparing the informed consents required.

Safety inspectors found more than 30 businesses violating COVID-19 safety rules during a big-box blitz across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said Sunday, and the blitz will soon be expanding across the province.

The ministry said that inspectors visited 110 stores on Saturday and found 31 stores in violation of provincial orders, which is equal to about 70 per cent compliance.

“We’ll be expanding that in the days and weeks to come across the whole province,” Minister Monte McNaughton said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press. “We’re going to continue targeting bad actors and we’ll continue issuing fines and close them down if we have to.”

The most common violations inspectors found big box stores contravening were linked to screening of customers and staff, masking protocols and physical distancing problems, McNaughton said.

With files from CTV Toronto’s Sean Davidson and The Canadian Press.

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