“Instead, Albertans who are not within these priority groups who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be asked to notify their own close contacts of the exposure. Event organizers will also still be directed to notify event attendees of an exposure and workplaces will be informed by AHS of a case and directed to send out the notification to employees.”
A new webpage has been created at ahs.ca/closecontacts to aid Albertans in the notification process. The webpage includes phone call scripts and email/text content that Albertans can use when notifying their own close contacts, as well as guidelines and worksheets to help identify and track those requiring notification.
AHS will continue to directly contact all positive cases of COVID-19 to notify them of the result, identify priority contacts whom AHS will notify, and provide the case with guidance on notification of their own contacts.
AHS defines close contacts as anyone who was within two metres of a positive case of COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, even if a mask was worn during that contact. A close contact is also someone who has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on), or who provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19. Anyone who falls into any of the above categories is considered a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.
The identification and notification of close contacts of COVID-19 remains critical to Alberta’s fight against COVID-19, says AHS. Rapid notification of close contacts ensures that those exposed can isolate and get tested before potentially spreading disease to others.
AHS also continues to hire more staff and develop additional, innovative approaches to augment the contact tracing team.
“This pilot approach will improve the efficiency of all contact tracing and allow the contact tracing team to focus on populations at greatest risk of illness and further spread,” states the release.
“As we move these changes forward, it’s imperative that all Albertans consider limiting their social bubble. To the extent that we limit the number of contacts we each have, we can further reduce the risk and scope of exposures when a case is confirmed.”
For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta, all Albertans can visit ahs.ca/covid.
(CHAT News Today)
Canada public health officials urge reduced contacts as COVID cases continue to rise – Kamloops This Week
The federal government says it’s extending a slew of travel restrictions and rules meant to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic into the new year as case counts continue their steady rise across the country.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patty Hajdu say the rules, first imposed near the beginning of the global outbreak, will now be in effect until Jan. 21, 2021 for travellers entering Canada from a country other than the United States.
The ministers say restrictions for visitors crossing the border from the U.S. are currently in place until Dec. 21, but may be extended.
Among the rules is a requirement for anyone entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry into Canada.
But the ministers also say they’re looking to make it possible for “high-performance, amateur sporting organizations” to hold major international events on Canadian soil.
They say the successful applicants would need to present a public health plan as well as show they’ve secured the support of provincial and territorial governments and health authorities.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 case counts continued to mount, though at levels slightly below the record-setting daily tallies seen in several regions in recent weeks.
Public health officials in Quebec are reporting 1,395 new cases in the past 24 hours, while Ontario is reporting 1,708 new infections.
The provincial totals since the pandemic began now stand at 141,038 and 114,746, respectively.
Cases are also rising steadily in Atlantic Canada, with New Brunswick reporting 14 new diagnoses on Sunday and Newfoundland and Labrador recording four additional infections.
Public health officials in Nova Scotia logged 10 new cases, all in the province’s central zone, which includes Halifax.
Authorities in Manitoba reported 365 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 11 new deaths — almost all of which were linked to outbreaks in care homes.
The case count in Nunavut also rose by 13.
Canada’s top public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the highest rate of infection is among people aged 80 and over, while more outbreaks are happening in long-term care homes.
Both Quebec and Manitoba are reporting new, significant outbreaks at such facilities.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020.
Coronavirus: Hamilton reports 61 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death – Global News
After hitting new daily highs with COVID-19 cases over three days, Hamilton’s new cases on Sunday were lower compared to the two previous days.
The city reported 61 new positive tests on Sunday which puts active cases up to 503 as of Nov. 29.
Public health also reported another death, a 70-year-old woman from the community died on Nov 27.
The city has had 84 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
Hamilton has 19 active outbreaks involving a total of 306 people as of Nov. 29 at:
- Six long-term care homes — Alexander Place, Baywoods Place, Chartwell Willowgrove, Hamilton Continuing Care, Idlewyld Manor, and St. Joseph’s Villa (south tower).
- Three retirement homes — First Place Hamilton, Grace Villa, and The Village at Wentworth Heights
- Five workplaces — Rainbow Cleaning, Golden Auto Service, Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd., Red Hill Orthodontics, and Universal Precision Technology
- One school — Rehoboth Christian School — Copetown.
There are also outbreaks at four other locations including Hamilton Police Services-Records Department, Rygiel Supports for Community Living, CONNECT Communities and St. Joseph’s Healthcare-CTU Charlton.
The outbreak at Chartwell Willowgrove involves 86 total cases since the outbreak began, including 56 residents, 28 staff members and two other people connected to the home.
Hamilton Continuing Care’s outbreak, now being managed by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, is at 46 cases tied to 28 residents, 17 staff and one other person.
Baywoods Place and Grace Villa have reported more than 30 cases each since their outbreaks began.
The city has 3,111 total cases since the pandemic began. Twenty-five people with COVID-19 are now in hospital requiring specialized care.
Health officials say there have been 553 positive coronavirus cases in Hamilton in the last 10 days.
Hamilton is in the “red-control” level of the province’s new COVID-19 response framework as of Sunday.
Halton Region reports 32 new COVID-19 cases, one death at LTC
Halton region reported 32 new COVID cases on Sunday. The region now has 722 active cases as of Nov. 29, with Oakville accounting for 237 and Burlington accounting for 124 cases.
The latest death revealed on Sunday was from the Wyndham Manor LTC outbreak in Oakville. The facility’s outbreak involves 56 residents, 15 staff members and nine deaths.
The region now has 63 deaths tied to the coronavirus.
Halton has 21 outbreaks involving 216 people at six long-term care homes (Allendale in Milton, Wellington Park Care in Burlington and Chartwell Waterford, Post Inn Village, West Oak Village and Wyndham Manor, all in Oakville), two retirement homes (Amica Georgetown as well as Sunrise in Burlington), and one hospital (acute medicine unit of Joeseph Brant Hospital in Burlington).
The region has one active outbreak at a school which involves four cases at Alfajrul Bassem Academy, a private Islamic elementary.
Halton has 3,630 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
Halton Region is in the red-control level of the province’s new COVID-19 response framework as of Sunday.
Niagara Region reports 25 new COVID-19 cases
Niagara public health reported 25 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. There are 202 active cases as of Nov 28.
The region has 16 active outbreaks connected with the coronavirus in the community.
There are seven institutional outbreaks at two retirement homes (The Meadows of Dorchester in Niagara Falls, and Garden City Manor in St. Catharines) and six long-term care homes (Millennium Trail Manor and Bella Senior Care Residence in Niagara Falls, Gilmore Lodge in Fort Erie, as well as Woodlands of Sunset and Rapelje Lodge in Welland).
The region has 83 virus-related deaths and 2,128 total positive cases since the pandemic began.
Niagara Region is in the orange-restrict level of the province’s new COVID-19 response framework as of Sunday.
Haldimand-Norfolk reports five new COVID-19 cases
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reported five new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The region has had 654 lab-confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began.
The region has just one institutional outbreak as of Sunday at Dover Cliffs LTC in Port Dover with a staff member testing positive for the coronavirus. No residents have tested positive.
There are 44 active cases as of Nov. 29.
Both counties have had 32 combined COVID-19-connected deaths since the pandemic began.
Haldimand-Norfolk is in the yellow-protect level of the province’s new COVID-19 response framework as of Sunday.
However, Queen’s Park will be downgrading the region into the orange-restrict level effective on Monday.
Brant County reports 10 new COVID-19 cases
Brant County’s health unit (BCHU) reported 10 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The region now has 498 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
There are 69 active cases as of Nov. 29 with six people receiving hospital care.
Brant County also has 36 cases tied to four institutional outbreaks at a retirement home (Brucefield Manor in Mount Pleasant), a long-term care centre (Brierwood Gardens in Brantford), the surgical inpatient unit at Brantford General and Community Living Brant in Brantford.
The outbreak at Brucefield Manor involves 25 people, with five staff members and 20 residents testing positive for COVID-19.
Brant County is in the orange-restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework as of Sunday.
The region has had five deaths tied to COVID-19.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers – Terrace Standard
Canada remains on a troubling path for new COVID-19 infections as case counts continue to mount, the country’s top doctor said Saturday.
The most recent infection rates indicate Canada is on track to hit as many as 10,000 new cases a day by next month, Dr. Theresa Tam said.
“If we continue on the current pace, our longer range models continue to forecast significant increases in daily case counts and estimate that there could be up to 10,000 cases reported daily by mid-December,” Tam said in a written statement.
“Right now, we have a window of opportunity to act collectively together with public health authorities to bring the infection rate down to a safer trajectory.”
Canada is currently recording caseloads at about half that level, with the most recent seven-day average standing at 5,335 between Nov. 20 and Nov. 26.
Tam said Canada is also averaging 76 deaths a day and more than 2,100 people in hospital.
People 80 years and older are experiencing Canada’s highest COVID-19 death rate, and there are now more and larger outbreaks in long-term care facilities, hospitals, group living settings, Indigenous communities and remote areas, she said.
“Those developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies,” Tam said.
Her assessment came as case counts continued to soar in numerous provinces.
Quebec set a new single-day record with 1,480 new infections Saturday as the provincial death toll crossed the 7,000 threshold.
Alberta also broke its own record, reporting 1,731 new cases of the virus on Saturday. It also counted five new deaths.
Ontario logged case numbers just shy of Friday’s one-day record as it reported 1,822 new diagnoses in the past 24 hours.
Case numbers also jumped sharply in Manitoba, where officials recorded 487 new infections and 10 new deaths.
Among those who died was a boy under the age of 10, officials said, though they offered no other details.
Saskatchewan reported 197 COVID-19 cases and one death Saturday.
The province ordered the suspension of team sports earlier this week until Dec. 17 after confirmed COVID-19 cases among several minor and recreational hockey teams.
The Saskatchewan suspension applies to hockey and curling leagues and dance studios.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority posted notices Saturday of COVID-19 exposure risks at curling and recreation centres at Christopher Lake and Shellbrook. Those curling or socializing at either of the two facilities last month must self-isolate for 14 days, the health authority said.
In British Columbia, Fraser Health announced the closure of an elementary school in Surrey after confirming 16 COVID-19 cases.
Newton Elementary School will close for two weeks, said Fraser Health.
B.C. reported a daily record of 911 COVID-19 cases Friday. The province will update its numbers Monday.
People must continue to practise physical distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home as much as possible, said a newly appointed member of B.C. Premier John Horgan’s cabinet.
“I just think it’s important for us to be thoughtful and caring, but at the same time it’s critical that people follow the rules because it’s vital to be able to keep our schools open and keep as many of our business open as possible,” said Ravi Kahlon, whose ministry includes economic recovery.
Figures from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador show more modest increases of four and two cases, respectively.
Prince Edward Island reported two new COVID-19 cases, but they involved young males aged 10 and 19.
There were 14 new cases in Nova Scotia and five COVID-19 cases in Nunavut.
Tam redoubled her calls for Canadians to heed public health advice, limit their social interactions and practice physical distancing in a bid to bring surging case counts under control.
The Canadian Press
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