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2020 novel coronavirus bulletin – 209 – mySteinbach.ca

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The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 2.2 per cent and 36 new cases of the virus have been identified as of 9:30am on October 4, 2020. Four previously announced cases have been removed from the case totals, bringing the net number of new cases today to 32 and the total number of cases in Manitoba to 2,140.

Public health officials advise the 23rd death related to COVID-19 has been reported in a previously announced case from the Winnipeg health region, a male in his 50s.

The data shows:

  • one case in the Prairie Mountain Health region;
  • five in the Interlake-Eastern health region;
  • seven cases in the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region; and
  • 23 cases in the Winnipeg health region.

The data also shows:

  • 696 active cases and 1,421 individuals have recovered from COVID-19;
  • there are 20 people in hospital and five people in intensive care; and
  • the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 23.

Laboratory testing numbers show 2,103 tests were completed yesterday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 192,164. Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified.

In partnership with the chief and council from Little Grand Rapids First Nation, provincial public health officials are advising that multiple individuals in the community have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending events at the recreation centre in Little Grand Rapids First Nation from Sept. 24 to 27. People from other First Nations communities were also present. If you attended events at the recreation centre in Little Grand Rapids on those dates, contact the nursing station or health centre in your community.

Provincial public health officials are working with the community and other partners to address the situation. The community has been moved to Critical (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System. The chief and council have directed that public gatherings are not permitted, and community residents are required to stay at home. People should only leave their residence to seek testing or medical care, or to send one person from a household for essential supplies. People who work in essential services are able to leave their residence for work. Non-medical masks must be worn outside the home.

The public is being advised of possible exposures at these sites:

  • Hooters Restaurant at 1501 St. Matthews Ave. in Winnipeg on Sept. 24 from 4 to 11 p.m.;
  • 1600-2300 Bourbon Billiards at 241 Vaughan St. in Winnipeg on Sept. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.;
  • Earls Polo Park at 1455 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg on Sept. 25 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.;
  • Montana’s Polo Park at 665 Empress St. in Winnipeg on Sept. 25 from 9 to 10 p.m.; and
  • Crspy Bnch on 806 Sargent Ave. in Winnipeg on Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. until noon.

People who attended any of the above locations on the dates/times listed should self-monitor for symptoms and immediately isolate if they develop and seek testing.

Public health officials also advised of a possible airline exposure on Air Canada flight 296 (affected rows 27 to 31) from Vancouver to Winnipeg on Sept. 27. Individuals in the affected rows on this flight are advised to self-isolate for 14 days following the flight and monitor for symptoms. Passengers on this flight, but not in the affected rows, should self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate if they develop.

The Health Canada COVID Alert app is now available to Manitoba residents and provides digital COVID-19 exposure alerts once the app is downloaded to a smartphone. It is available at no cost in the Apple and Google Play app stores. For more information, visit manitoba.ca.

The chief provincial public health officer strongly encourages Manitobans to reduce the number of close contacts outside their household, and avoid closed-in or crowded spaces. In addition, they should focus on these fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands and cover your cough.
  • Physically distance when you are with people outside your household.
  • If you cannot physically distance, wear a mask to help reduce the risk to others or as required by public health orders.

Unless recommended by public health officials, only individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should go for testing. Individuals with symptoms are asked to seek testing as soon as possible once symptoms are present. Employers are asked to only send employees for testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health officials.

The online assessment tool can be found at sharedhealthmb.ca and COVID-19 symptoms can be found at gov.mb.ca.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit manitoba.ca.

For up-to-date information on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, visit manitoba.ca.

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Coronavirus: First COVID vaccines 'likely to be imperfect' and 'might not prevent infection', says taskforce boss – Sky News

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The chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce has said the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines “is likely to be imperfect” and that they “might not work for everyone”.

Writing in The Lancet, Kate Bingham said no vaccine in the history of medicine “has been as eagerly anticipated” and that “vaccination is widely regarded as the only true exit strategy from the pandemic that is currently spreading globally”.

But she cautioned against over-optimism and that any vaccine might not work for everyone, or for very long.

“We do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all,” she wrote. “It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism.

“The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long.”

The Vaccine Taskforce was created by Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK government’s chief scientific advisor. It was set up under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in May 2020, and Ms Bingham reports directly to the prime minister.

In her Lancet article she said that the “strategy has been to build a diverse portfolio across different formats to give the UK the greatest chance of providing a safe and effective vaccine, recognising that many, and possibly all, of these vaccines could fail”.

More from Covid-19

Ms Bingham’s article came as a review of coronavirus vaccine research called for a standardised approach to assessing the effectiveness of all potential COVID-19 inoculations.

Publishing their conclusions in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, researchers from the University of Oxford said a meaningful comparison of different candidates is required to ensure only the most effective vaccines are deployed.

Dr Susanne Hodgson, of the University of Oxford, who is the lead author of the review, said: “It is unlikely that we will see a single vaccine winner in the race against Covid-19.

“Different technologies will bring distinct advantages that are relevant in different situations, and additionally, there will probably be challenges with manufacturing and supplying a single vaccine at the scale required, at least initially.

“Taking a standardised approach to measuring the success of vaccines in clinical trials will be important for making meaningful comparisons, so that the most effective candidates can be taken forward for wider use.”

There are more than 200 vaccine candidates in development around the world, with 44 in clinical trials.

Of the 44, nine are in the phase three stage of clinical evaluation and are being given to thousands of people to confirm safety and effectiveness.

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South Korea begins preliminary review of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate – The Guardian

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SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s food and drug ministry said on Tuesday it had begun a preliminary review of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC for potential fast-track approval.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in a statement that it had formed a screening team to review the vaccine candidate, with an application for formal approval expected in 90 days under its rapid approval programme for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

The team is reviewing the vaccine’s non-clinical test data, the ministry said.

The ministry added that it had given a green light to some 26 clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines as of Monday, by entities such as pharmaceutical companies Celltrion Inc and Genexine Inc, with seven completed and 19 ongoing.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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COVID-19 'blind spots': The workplace lunchroom found to be source of viral transmission, top doc says – CTV News Ottawa

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OTTAWA —
As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on, public health officials continue to urge residents to be cautious about the risk of viral spread, especially in relaxed settings with friends or family.

While regulations are in place governing mask use in public spaces and gathering spots like bars and restaurants are closed, Ottawa’s top doctor says there is still a risk outside of those places.

“Watch your blind spots,” said Dr. Vera Etches at a press conference on Tuesday. “Data collected during our case management process is indicating that we also have significant blind spots in situations that are not covered by provincial or municipal regulations, like crowd gathering limits or the mandatory mask by-law.”

Some of the so-called “blind spots” includes gathering with extended family or larger friend circles and thinking the risk of transmission isn’t there. Carpools without masks and social gatherings before and after sports were other examples.

Dr. Etches did not have any immediate data to compare the rate of transmission in these “blind spots” versus other kinds of high-risk activities or places, but stressed that close contact is the main driver of spread.

“Transmission of COVID-19 will occur in any setting if given the opportunity and the risk is there whenever people are less than two metres from each other and not wearing masks,” she said.

One particular source of transmission stands out: lunch.

“Employees having lunch together seems to be something that comes up over and over again as a source of outbreak,” Dr. Etches said. “It’s this idea that when we’re with our colleagues or our friends, we relax and it’s okay and think the risk isn’t there and that’s just not true. It is what gives the virus the opportunity to spread.”

In these cases, it’s recommended colleagues sit at least two metres apart during shared lunch breaks and wear masks when socializing.

While the message Tuesday was about individual actions, Dr. Etches also acknowledged the stress many people have been under during the pandemic.

“This is no one’s fault. This is a virus that is often present when people don’t know it. People have no symptoms or very mild symptoms they might not realize are COVID-19,” she said. “That’s why we need the distance between each other and we need to wear masks. The lunch is particularly challenging because we need to take off our masks to eat but even if you’re with your colleagues, that’s a risk.”

Daily case counts in Ottawa have been decreasing compared to earlier in the month, when there were several days of triple-digit increases. Dr. Etches says it shows people are largely doing the right thing to limit spread of the virus.

“I want to say congratulations to the people of Ottawa. There is some encouraging indication that we’re having some success in decreasing COVID in our community,” Dr. Etches said. “The rapid rise in people testing positive has changed. I want to encourage people to do what has been making a difference, that is, limiting our contacts with people outside our household.”

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