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89 new COVID-19 cases in BC, 3 in Northern Health – My PG Now

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BC Health officials announced 89 new cases of COVID-19 today (Thursday), 3 of which are in Northern Health.

The province has reached 6,041 cases, including 167 in the North.

Currently, 1,175 cases are active, 34 of which are in hospital and 14 are in ICU.

There have been a whopping 547 new cases identified in the past week, 25 are from Northern Health.

Nearly 3,000 people are self-isolating, 4,446 people have recovered from the virus, and after 1 new death, the toll has reached 210.

There are no new community outbreaks, however, there have been two new health care outbreaks, one is in Fraser Health and the other is in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

“The focus has returned to the Lower Mainland, where the majority of cases are being identified,” said Dr.Bonnie Henry.

The median age of those being diagnosed has gone down from the ’50s to 41, and there has also been a great increase in people aged 30-39 testing positive.

According to officials, the hospitalization rate has gone down as well, which indicates more younger people are testing positive.

BC is now conducting the highest number of tests per-day, as they are currently testing all symptomatic people, 4-5 thousand people are being tested each day.

On average, for every 100 tests that are done, two are positive.

“Today, we shared the latest modelling data,” adds Henry,”The data shows us that although we have been able to find our balance – keeping essential services and businesses going, while protecting our most vulnerable, we continue to have new cases and new clusters across the province.

Breakdown by Health Authority:

Vancouver Coastal – 2012 (+38)

Fraser – 3155 (+43)

Island – 178 (=)

Interior – 450 (+5)

North – 167 (+3)

Outside of Canada 79 (=)

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10 new COVID cases, 9 more recoveries reported in Sask. – CKOM News Talk Sports

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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.

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Tam Concerned By Rising COVID-19 Cases Nationally – country94.ca

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Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer is concerned with the rising trend of COVID-19 case numbers.

Theresa Tam gave an update on national COVID-19 modelling, which shows the country is “at a crossroads” in its pandemic-response.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Tam said the rate of contact in the country needs to decrease in order to suppress the rise of new cases.

The Chief Public Health Officer cited other countries as evidence that a second surge of the virus can exceed the initial wave.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 145,000 cases of COVID-19 had been diagnosed, and at least 9,228 people have died since the pandemic was declared.

Last week, Ontario saw the reinstatement of stricter caps on indoor and outdoor gatherings, but Tam says they aren’t the only province seeing an uptick in instances of the virus.

“Although the pattern of epidemic curves varies by region, all provinces west of the Atlantic region are showing increasing incidents of COVID-19,” Tam said.

Tam says the current surge in cases hasn’t yet led to a big rise in COVID-related deaths, or hospitalizations, but those numbers often lag behind the discovery of new cases.

Since June, Canadians in their 20s have been the leading factor in rising case numbers across the country.

Tam says that while younger patients seem to be less at risk of fatal outcomes, the increase in carriers can lead to spread to other demographics.

“Ongoing circulation of the virus in younger, more mobile and socially-connected adults builds a reservoir for the virus,” Tam said. “Increasing the risk of spread to individuals and population at a higher risk of severe outcomes, and threatening our ability to maintain epidemic control.”

As society continues to await an effective COVID-19 vaccine, the goal of world governments continues to be to maintain the number of caseloads at a low enough volume so as not to overwhelm emergency room capacity.

Tam did say that the number of cases stemming from each outbreak appears to be in decline.

“A review of publicly-reported outbreaks in long-term care settings over the course of the epidemic suggests that the number of cases per outbreak has declined from over 30 cases per outbreak in April, to less than five cases per outbreak in August.”

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More flu vaccine being ordered by Ministry of Health – 620 CKRM.com

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With flu season right around the corner, the Ministry of Health is purchasing more over a third more  vaccine than last year to meet what is expected to be an increase in demand.
In a release from the Saskatchewan government Tuesday morning, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says it is always a good idea to receive the influenza vaccination but it is particularly important during the pandemic as receiving the vaccine will help prevent the spread of influenza.”
Another enhancement to the seasonal influenza immunization program is the addition of no cost access to the high dose vaccine for personal care home residents 65 years of age or older.  Long-term care residents in the same age bracket will receive the high dose vaccine at no cost again for the third year.
Flu shots are recommended for those at higher risk, including seniors, people with underlying chronic health conditions, children under five and pregnant women.  Seniors often have chronic health conditions (like heart or lung disease or diabetes) and weaker immune systems, which makes them particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza.
There will be modifications to where and how flu shots will be administered this year.  To accommodate public health precautions due to COVID-19, there will be increased physical distancing and sanitization procedures.  Details will be available when the fall immunization program gets underway in mid-October.

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