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Alberta reports 359 new COVID-19 cases from Friday to Sunday, 3 more deaths



Alberta recorded 285 new cases of COVID-19 from Friday to Sunday and three more deaths, says the province’s top doctor.

On Monday, Alberta Health posted numbers for the three days that totalled 359 cases.

That figure included 177 cases for Friday.

But Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said later on Twitter that the Friday case numbers included 74 that were actually included in the database from dates before Aug. 14.

“Case numbers historically go up and down a little each day as probable cases are reconciled,” Hinshaw said on Twitter. “Today’s numbers include 74 cases from before Aug.14 that were reconciled in the database on this day. This is a much larger than usual number of reconciled cases reported in one day.”

Alberta Health will further analyze the information, Hinshaw said, and will provide more information at a news conference already scheduled for Tuesday.

Over the three-day period, 103 new cases were confirmed on Friday, 86 on Saturday and 96 on Sunday, according to the latest update from Alberta Health.

By end of day Sunday, there were 1,132 active cases in the province, an increase of 96 from Thursday’s total.

Alberta Health Services is investigating after 13 confirmed cases were linked to the Bible Pentecostal Church in Edmonton, a government spokesperson told CBC News on Monday.

Anyone who attended the church between July 26 and Aug. 12, or who has been in close contact with someone who did, should book a COVID-19 test online and continue to monitor for symptoms, Sherene Khawa, an assistant communications director with the province, said in an email.

Provincial laboratories conducted more than 28,000 tests over the same three-day period.

The regional breakdown as of Sunday was:

  • Edmonton zone, 593 active cases, up 96 from Thursday.
  • Calgary zone, 300 active cases, up five from Thursday.
  • North zone, 102 active cases, down one from Thursday.
  • Central zone, 85 active cases, up four from Thursday.
  • South zone, 42 active cases, down three from Thursday.
  • Unknown zone, 10 active cases, up five from Thursday.

By the end of Sunday, 45 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals for the illness, with 10 of them in ICU beds.

A total of 12,412 cases have been reported in Alberta since the beginning of the pandemic, with 11,056 listed as recovered.

The death toll in the province is now 224.

The three most recent deaths were a man in his 80s from the North zone, a man in his 60s from the South zone and a man in his 60s from the Calgary zone.

None of them were residents in continuing care centres.

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Manitobans waiting more than 2 hours to speak to Health Links – CTV News Winnipeg



As COVID-19 cases rise in Manitoba, Health Links is experiencing increased call volumes, resulting in longer wait times for callers.

According to a spokesperson from Shared Health, the increase in calls is attributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases, as well as the return to school on Sept. 8. They noted a small number of callers are looking for the results to their COVID-19 tests.

In a statement on Sept. 23, the spokesperson said because of the increase in calls, Manitobans are experiencing longer-than-average wait times to talk to Health Links, noting that wait times vary throughout the day.

On average in the past week, wait times have ranged between 53 and 128 minutes, though those calling at peak times may wait even longer.

“As COVID-19 activity in Manitoba can be expected to continue to vary, the volume of calls to HL-IS is being monitored closely with consideration being given to how current wait times may be addressed,” the statement said.

The spokesperson reminded Manitobans that they can get their COVID-19 test results through the online results portal on Shared Health’s website, as long as they have a Manitoba health card.

Anyone who tests positive will be contacted directly, but the posting of negative results could take several days.

Health Links, a phone-based nursing triage system, is the flagship program for the Provincial Health Contact Centre.

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Four Ottawa schools under outbreak as number of COVID-19 cases inches up – Ottawa Citizen



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The other three schools with outbreaks remain open although some students have been sent home to isolate.

Whether a school remains open during an outbreak depends on how many groups of students are affected, said the statement from Ottawa Public Health.

Officials trace close contacts, which usually includes anyone in the same classroom as someone who has tested positive. Close contacts are usually sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.

“If there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there is risk of spread to additional cohorts, there may be a decision to close the entire school in order to stop transmission in the school,” said Public Health.

At Franco Ouest, where three students tested positive for COVID-19, parents were sent a letter from public health saying a “partial dismissal” of students at the school had been decided upon because the outbreak was “contained to a small group.”

“There is no evidence of widespread transmission within the school,” the letter said. The duration of the dismissal has not been established, but it could be two or more weeks, said the letter.

Public health officials notify students who need to isolate or be tested for COVID-19.

However, all students and staff at schools under outbreak should monitor themselves for symptoms and avoid going to “facilities where physical distancing cannot be maintained, in particular daycare centres, play groups, etc.” said the letter to parents. “Visiting older persons or those with chronic illness is also not recommended during this time.”

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Murder trial on pause while Winnipeg juror tested for COVID-19 – Medicine Hat News



By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on September 23, 2020.

People enter the Law Courts in Winnipeg on February 5, 2018. Jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial in Manitoba have been put on hold for a juror to get tested for COVID-19. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the remaining 11 jurors that the man was exhibiting symptoms and was not allowed to enter the courthouse on Wednesday morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

WINNIPEG – Jury deliberations for a second-degree murder trial in Manitoba have been put on hold so a juror can be tested for COVID-19.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the remaining 11 jurors that the man was exhibiting symptoms and was not allowed to enter the courthouse.

The other jurors were sent home and advised to self-isolate until the man’s test results are complete.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

They resumed in Manitoba at the start of September with the trial of Kane Moar, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ricardo Hibi.

Hibi, a 34-year-old foster home manager, was stabbed to death in 2018.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre near the courthouse and there has been physical distancing in courtrooms during trials.

Masks also became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.

Toews reassured jurors in the Moar trial about the precautions before sending them home Wednesday.

“At this time, the best advice I can give you is simply go home,” he said. “I would advise you to self-isolate over this period of time, minimize your contacts as much as you can and you will be contacted by the court as to when you come back.”

The judge said he was optimistic that jurors would return as soon as Thursday to hear the charge before beginning deliberations on a verdict. However, Toews said there may have to be other actions if the juror’s results come back positive for COVID-19.

“I’m taking instructions from the public health officials, not only in respect of the results of testing of your colleague on the jury, but what implications that has for you.”

Manitoba announced 42 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Wednesday, as the number of people testing positive in the capital city continued to surge.

Thirty of those new cases are in the Winnipeg health region and the province announced possible exposures at restaurants, bars and during a trivia night at a pub.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said earlier this week he was worried by the rising numbers in Winnipeg, where some people who tested positive had visited multiple locations while symptomatic.

The province also announced confirmed cases in three more schools, but said the infections were not acquired in the classroom and the risk is low.

There have so far been 1,674 cases in Manitoba and 18 people have died.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.

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