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510 new coronavirus cases in Ontario, total rises to 12,245 with 659 deaths – Global News



Ontario reported 510 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday and 37 additional deaths, bringing the provincial total to 12,245 cases.

The death toll has risen to 659.

Meanwhile, 6,221 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 50.8 per cent of cases.

The province has done 184,531 tests so far for the virus. This is up 10,361 tests from the previous day. Ontario has increased testing capacity since mid-April.

Ontario says COVID-19 community cases peaked. What does that mean for Canada?

Wednesday’s report marks a 4.3 per cent increase in cases compared to the day prior. That number has declined over the last week.

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On Monday, Ontario health officials said it appears cases within the community have peaked, while cases in long-term care and other congregate settings have been growing.

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Ontario has 878 patients (up by 19) hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 243 patients in an intensive care unit (down by seven) and 192 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (down by two).

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario’s rate of growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations has slowed, new data suggests

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario’s rate of growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations has slowed, new data suggests

There have been 125 outbreaks reported in long-term care homes — an increase of four from the previous report. Ontario has 295 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes (up by 22 deaths).

Health-care workers in Ontario account for 1,499 of the total reported cases, which is 12.2 per cent of the infected population.

Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 59.3 per cent of all cases in the province.

Here is a breakdown of Ontario cases by gender and age:

  • 5,169 people are male (42.2 per cent)
  • 6,952 people are female (56.8 per cent)
  • 19 and younger: 270 people (2.2 per cent)
  • 20-39: 2,781 people (22.7 per cent)
  • 40-59: 3,798 people (31 per cent)
  • 60-79: 2,778 people (22.7 per cent)
  • 80 and older: 2,609 people (21.3 per cent)

There are 6,845 people currently under investigation awaiting test results.

The newly reported numbers are valid as of 2 p.m. Tuesday from the Toronto Public Health Coronavirus Rapid Entry System (CORES) and 4 p.m. Tuesday from the province’s integrated Pubic Health Information System (iPHIS).

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

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N.B. reports two new cases of COVID-19 in Campbellton region; case involving doctor takes ugly, racist turn – CTV News



There are two new cases of COVID-19 in the Campbellton region of New Brunswick.

“One case is linked to a close contact of a previously identified case in the outbreak and the other one is linked to Manoir de la Vallée, a long-term care facility in Atholville,” the government said in a news release.

The new cases are a person in their 40s and a person in their 60s.

New Brunswick public health said a Quebec resident has also tested positive for COVID-19 and the case is linked to the Atholville long-term care facility. The case will be counted in Quebec’s statistics.

The Campbellton COVID-19 cluster started when a child in the Campbellton region was diagnoed on May 21.

Five days later, an individual in their nineties tested positive in the same zone.

The next day, the province announced a person in their fifties had tested positive and that the two previous cases were linked to this individual, a health-care worker.

A total of 15 cases make up the Campbellton cluster.

The situation has sparked rumours and speculation about the doctor on many social media feeds.

The doctor has been publicly criticized for his action and now, the case is taking on an ugly racist tone.

Including, posts like this one:

Today, the medical society said it’s deeply concerned that the physician — Dr. Jean Robert Ngola — has been the target of racist attacks.

“It is understandable that citizens are concerned and upset about the COVID-19 outbreak in northern New Brunswick,” said Dr. Chris Goodyear, the president of the Medical Society of New Brunswick. “Dr. Ngola has admitted making an ‘error in judgment’ by crossing the border into Quebec and returning to New Brunswick without self-isolating. However, there is no excuse for the dissemination of his personal information or the racist verbal attacks and false reports to police that he has endured.”

Campbellton-Dalhousie MLA Guy Arseneault says the behaviour is unpardonable.

“There’s racism in Canada, there’s racism anywhere, it’s what level it’s at, and I think that it heightens in a state of anxiety,” he said.

Arseneault returned home after the house adjourned late last week and went into self-isolation.

He was tested and it came back negative.

“Let’s get all the facts, let’s not pass judgement,” Arseneault. “Let’s concentrate on the virus and put all our energies and our thoughts there.”

Since the outbreak began, five residents and three staff at an Atholville special care home have tested positive for COVID-19.

Of the five residents, three are in hospital.

Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard says they are in stable condition.

“We put three admin supports in, and those supports, who are also familiar with the home and the residents, are in contact with families on a daily basis,” Shephard said.

Shephard also said because of extra-mural help staffing levels at the home are stable after 10 staff resigned last week.

‘Remain vigilant’

The province’s chief medical officer of health cautioned people to not let their guard down as they try to enjoy the nice weather.

“I remind New Brunswickers to remain vigilant and watch for symptoms since COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell.

The two new cases bring New Brunswick’s total of confirmed cases to 135. Of those, 120 had recovered before the Campbellton cluster emerged. That includes all of the province’s 15 active cases.

Five of those people are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of Wednesday, the province had performed 31,791 tests.

Check for symptoms

Anyone showing two of the following symptoms should contact Tele-Care 811 or their primary health-care provider for further direction:

  • fever above 38 C or signs of fever (such as chills);
  • new cough or worsening chronic cough;
  • sore throat;
  • runny nose;
  • headache;
  • new onset of fatigue;
  • new onset of muscle pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
  • in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.

self-assessment will help you determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

Up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available online.

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Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t prevent COVID-19 in people exposed to the virus, study finds –



Hydroxychloroquine is not effective in preventing the development of COVID-19 in people exposed to the novel coronavirus, a new study involving Canadian researchers concludes.

The results are published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The clinical trial was led in Canada by Dr. Todd Lee and Dr. Emily McDonald of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, in conjunction with partners at the University of Manitoba and University of Alberta.

The Canadian research is co-ordinated with a large study by Dr. David Boulware at the University of Minnesota.

Medical journal questioning findings of hydroxychloroquine coronavirus study

It is the first double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to be completed assessing the effectiveness of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19.

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“We conducted an international, randomized controlled trial to look at whether the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients who’d had a high-risk exposure to COVID-19 would prevent the development of symptomatic disease compared to placebo,” Lee said in an interview.

Participants were recruited from Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and across the United States. In total, the study involved 821 asymptomatic adults who had been exposed at home or in the health-care setting to someone with COVID-19.

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Among them, 719 participants reported a high-risk exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 _ being within two metres of the person for more than 10 minutes — without adequate personal protective equipment.

Most of these people were healthy young adults living in the community, with an average age of 40.

Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as preventive measure against COVID-19

Within four days of exposure, participants received the placebo or hydroxychloroquine by mail, to be taken for a period of five days, beginning with a higher dose on the first day. Researchers and participants were not told which treatment was being administered.

“The approach was if we could load the patient with hydroxychloroquine in the tissues before the incubation period was over, then maybe we could prevent those people who’ve been exposed from getting sick,” Lee said.

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“There was some observational, anecdotal stories suggesting that this was going to be effective, and the purpose of the randomized controlled trial was to demonstrate whether that was true or not true.”

Out of 821 participants, 107 developed COVID-19 — confirmed either by a test or by compatible symptoms — during the 14 days of followup.

Among those who received hydroxychloroquine, 49 developed the disease or symptoms like fever and cough, compared to 58 in the group who received the placebo, meaning that statistically, the drug was no more effective than the placebo.

“We found that there was no statistical difference between patients who got the placebo — which was a vitamin pill — versus those who received the active drug hydroxychloroquine,” Lee said.

Two patients were hospitalized, one from each group, but no one has died.

Coronavirus outbreak: U.K. health workers begin hydroxychloroquine trial

Coronavirus outbreak: U.K. health workers begin hydroxychloroquine trial

Side effects from the medication, such as nausea and abdominal discomfort, were more common in patients taking hydroxychloroquine than in those receiving placebo.

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Hydroxychloroquine is still being studied around the world, including whether it could reduce the risk of infection during exposure or lower the risk of hospitalization in infected patients. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is taking hydroxychloroquine even though he has not tested positive for the coronavirus.

At the McGill University Health Centre, a trial looking at early treatment in the community is underway.

“I would have loved to have a positive study, but in circumstances like this you need the negative studies too so you can redirect attention,” Lee said.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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'Think local, buy local': Nova Scotia's premier encourages residents to support local as businesses reopen – CTV News



As Nova Scotians count down the days until the province reopens, Premier Stephen McNeil is thanking them for working hard to follow protocols and flatten the curve.

“We haven’t had a lot of good news in this province in the last few months, but when I wake up and see the low numbers and feel the level of relief and gratitude, knowing what all of you have been doing to keep Nova Scotians safe,” says MaNeil.

“We have said all along that we are in this together and you have proven that every day.”

The premier is reassuring Nova Scotians that testing will continue and immediate action will be taken if there is a spike in cases.

“I know many of you are nervous but we have to get our economy moving again. We are taking it slow, we are reducing capacity, protocols will be in place, and we need everyone to follow them. I believe we all understand the importance of self-distancing and wearing a mask,” says McNeil.

“What’s really important is for all of you to support your local businesses. They need you and they want to welcome you back. So think local, buy local, support local. That makes us Nova Scotia strong and Nova Scotia proud.”

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says every sector that was closed down under the public health order has submitted their reopen plans, however not all of them have had final approval.

“There are a few that are in the final stages. I have a number of emails and plans that I have to approve later today, but we are in a place that everybody has a plan at least somewhere in the process. The majority have already been sent back and approved,” says Strang.

Customer experience will be different

When businesses reopen, Strang says the customer experience will be different and expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

“Whether you are going to a restaurant, whether you are going to a hair salon, whether you continue to go shopping, your experience will look different,” says Strang.

“Certainly in restaurants we know you can expect tables to be further apart, so that they can maintain that six-foot social distancing. There are other public health measures that support better handwashing, controlling how people move around in a restaurant or a bar space, and limitations on the type of activities that can happen in terms of entertainment and dancing.”

Bubble rules still apply

Strang also clarified that, at this time, they are not ready to have people from multiple households come together at a single table at a restaurant.

“The physical distancing requirements and the rules around household bubbles and family household bubbles haven’t changed and they pertain to restaurants and bars, like everywhere else,” says Strang.

“While people may be at tables in up to groups of 10, unless they can be separated by six feet while they are at that single table, which is not likely, they have to be people from the same household or household bubble.”

Public health is working with business and community partners to create environments that support public health requirements.

“At the end of the day, there is an obligation and a need for all Nova Scotians to participate and follow those public health requirements that are being put in place in all our public spaces and retail and business places,” says Strang.

“One of the critical things is that, people need to understand that if you are not feeling well, then it is not the time to go out. You may have COVID-19. If you meet any of the symptoms, if you are not sure do the 811 online assessment, but if you are not feeling well it is critically important that you not go out and potentially expose others to COVID-19.”


When the pandemic hit, the federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), designed to help people who lost income due to COVID-19. The program is available until Oct. 3 and provides successful applicants with $2,000 a month for up to four months.

As businesses prepare to reopen in Nova Scotia, one of the challenges presented is the reality that some employees who receive CERB are making more to stay home than go to work.

“I strongly encourage all Nova Scotians to take the opportunity to go back to work. While it may have a short-term impact, your hard work and effort in the business you are working with will determine the long-term future of that business and, quite frankly, your long-term employment,” says McNeil.

“Let’s not look at this in the short term, let’s look at this in the long term. Every business needs its employees to go back to work to help with the viability and that means that that business will be there for years to come, not just for a few months when we know that CERB program is going to run out.”

Public schools

With businesses opening on June 5 and daycares not far behind, many Nova Scotians are wondering about the status of public schools.

“We haven’t started a conversation yet about public schools, it’s coming very soon,” says Strang.

“I know we’ve got some meetings coming up in the next couple of weeks. Understanding that we are very busy focusing on getting to Friday and then we are focusing on working on our daycares who are coming soon, so we haven’t had a detailed conversation yet about schools but we need to get there.”

New case in eastern zone

For the first time in over three weeks, a new case of COVID-19 has been identified in Nova Scotia’s eastern zone.

The province last reported a new case of the virus in the eastern zone on May 10.  The eastern zone now has 52 cases of COVID-19.

Strang said Wednesday that the person who tested positive had travelled outside of Nova Scotia.

“Fortunately, this individual followed public health protocol and was in self-isolation from the time they returned to the province, and had minimal exposure at the time they may have been infectious,” said Strang during a news conference in Halifax.

The province isn’t reporting any additional cases, or deaths, at this time.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 639 Nova Scotia tests on Tuesday.

To date, Nova Scotia has 43,340 negative test results, 1,058 positive COVID-19 test results and 60 deaths.

Fifty-three of the deaths have been at Halifax’s Northwood long-term care home, which has seen the most significant outbreak in the province.

A Halifax law firm is proposing a class-action lawsuit against the facility, claiming normal standards of care weren’t met to protect against infection from COVID-19.

993 people recovered

The province says one more person has recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 993 recoveries.

This would leave five active cases in all of Nova Scotia. However, Northwood is still reporting five active cases involving three residents and two staff members.

During the pandemic, there has been confusion over the number of recovered and active cases reported by the province, which don’t always match up with the numbers reported at Northwood.

Strang has explained that the data from long-term care homes comes from a different data source than the one used by public health and is on a different timeline. As a result, the data doesn’t always reconcile.

Two more people released from hospital

The province says two more people have been released from hospital. There are now three people in hospital, with one patient in the intensive care unit.

The province’s confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Sixty-two per cent of cases are female and 38 per cent are male.

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality, has seen the largest number of cases.

The western, central and northern zones are reporting no additional cases at this time.

  • western zone: 54 cases
  • central zone: 907 cases
  • northern zone: 45 cases
  • eastern zone: 52 cases

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public for 14 days.

Anyone who travels outside of Nova Scotia must also self-isolate for two weeks.

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to June 14.

COVID-19 symptoms

Last month, the province expanded the list of symptoms for which it is screening.

Anyone who experiences one of the following symptoms is encouraged to take an online test to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:

  • fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
  • cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle aches
  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion/runny nose
  • hoarse voice
  • diarrhea
  • unusual fatigue
  • loss of sense of smell or taste

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