Recent religious activities are responsible for two COVID-19 outbreaks, Alberta’s top doctor says, including one in the province’s capital where the number of people testing positive has been rising steadily.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of heath, said Tuesday that 15 cases are tied to services at the Bible Pentecostal Church in north Edmonton between July 26 and Aug. 12.
She advised anyone who has been at the church during that time, or anyone close to those who have, to get tested.
“It is a stark reminder that coming together in large gatherings risks sharing more than fellowship, it risks sharing the COVID-19 virus,” Hinshaw said.
“It is critical to not stigmatize those who test positive or those who have come in close contact, as we do not want to discourage people from being tested.”
Another 15 cases in Alberta were from a separate religious gathering in the hamlet of Deadwood in the northwestern part of the province, Hinshaw said.
The event, called It Is Time Canada, took place between July 30 and Aug. 2.
Health officials in northern British Columbia issued an alert Monday linking 17 cases of their own to the same event. Twelve cases were due to attendance and five were believed to be from secondary exposures. Another 24 people identified as “close contacts” are in self-isolation.
Most of the cases are in the Fort St. John, B.C., area.
Hinshaw said it is likely that more cases will be identified in both provinces.
“An estimated 200 to 300 people attended over the course of the three-day gather,” she said. “We are working with B.C. Health to ensure that contract tracing is completed for all those who had attended.”
The organizer, evangelist Chris Lindberg, said in a video posted on social media that he was one of those diagnosed with COVID-19.
Alberta Health reported Tuesday that the Edmonton zone has the highest number of active cases in the province with 636, well over double than any other area.
The city of Edmonton itself had 572 active cases, and the entire city is under a COVID-19 watch. A watch is triggered when an area of the province has more than 50 active cases per 100,000 population.
Indoor social gatherings seem to be where a lot of the Edmonton transmission is happening, Hinshaw added.
“I think we had a provincewide wake-up call a few weeks ago, when we were seeing high daily totals across the province. But this may be an Edmonton-specific wake-up call,” Hinshaw said.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said he was disappointed about the high numbers and was trying to get more details to help protect those at risk.
In total, there are 1,169 active cases in Alberta, with 89 new ones reported Tuesday. There was one new death, bringing that total to 225 since the pandemic began in March.
The province also announced Tuesday that Shoppers Drug Mart and its parent company, Loblaw, will offer testing in Alberta communities.
All 234 Alberta-based Superstore, Wholesale Club, Extra Foods, No Frills, Independent and Loblaws City Market stores will offer testing to asymptomatic people over the next two weeks.
Hinshaw said it increases testing capacity by about 3,000 to 4,000 tests per day.
“That would serve half or more of Alberta’s teachers and school staff,” she said. “We will need this added capacity, plus that of all community pharmacists who are already testing for COVID-19, if we are to test these 90,000 teachers and school staff in just a few weeks.”
In central Alberta, a pork-processing plant sent more than a dozen employees home after a worker tested positive for the virus last week.
The employee at the Olymel facility in Red Deer, Alta., was sent home and told to get tested after showing symptoms of COVID-19 on Aug. 11, a company spokesman said.
Richard Vigneault said the positive test result came in two days later and 13 other employees who were at risk of exposure were sent home for testing.
Vigneault said the company expects test results in the coming days and the plant will remain open in the meantime.
The Canadian Press
CBC Windsor September 20 COVID-19 update: 9 new cases and new limits on gatherings – CBC.ca
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported nine new cases of COVID-19 in the region this weekend.
Six of the new cases are from people having close contact with confirmed cases, two of the cases were acquired in the community and one case is under investigation.
There are 86 people with the virus currently in self isolation.
According to the health unit, 76 people have died because of the virus and 2,453 cases are resolved.
As of Sunday, three senior facilities are considered to be in outbreaks, the most recent being Dolce Vita in Windsor which has had an outbreak since September 10. Four residents and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility.
Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington had one staff member test positive for the virus. New Begninnings, also in Leamington, has had an outbreak since August 10 where 21 residents have tested positive along with seven staff members.
New gathering limits take hold
On Saturday, the province of Ontario extended its limits on social gatherings to the entire province which were previously imposed in just the Toronto, Peel region and Ottawa areas.
The decision comes following “alarming growth in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province.”
“Clearly, the numbers are heading in the wrong direction,” the premier said in a release. “We need everyone to follow the public health rules in order to prevent another province wide lockdown, and protect all our citizens, especially the elderly and the vulnerable.”
The limit on indoor gatherings was reduced from 50 people down to ten people, and only 25 people are allowed to gather outside rather than the previous limit of 100 people.
The new limits, which were made effective immediately, will apply to functions such as, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.
Organizers who hold such events face a minimum $10,000 fine.
The rules do not apply to “events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events.”
The limits are set to be in place for the next 28 days.
Potential public exposures
Over the past few weeks, the health unit has flagged several businesses for potential COVID-19 exposures.
In each case, a customer or staff member has tested positive and the health unit wants anybody who may have come into contact to be alerted, self-monitor for symptoms and seek care if symptoms develop.
The affected businesses and dates include:
- The Chelsea at 576 Ouellette Ave. on Sept. 6
- Spagos at 3850 Dougall Ave. on Sept. 6, Sept. 9, Sept. 10
- Crunch Fitness LaSalle at 5844 Malden Rd. on Sept. 8.
COVID-19 in Sarnia-Lambton
Lambton Public Health has recorded a total of 344 cases of COVID-19.
Two cases are currently active and 317 are resolved.
Twenty-five people have died.
COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent
Chatham-Kent Public Health reported no new cases on Sunday. There have been a total of 366 positive cases, with three active cases in the community.
Two of those cases are active and 362 people have recovered.
Two people have died from the virus in the region.
Nova Scotia reports no new coronavirus cases for 13th straight day – Global News
Nova Scotia is reporting no new cases of the novel coronavirus for the 13th day in a row.
Sunday also marks the third day with no active cases of the virus in the province.
On Friday the province announced it is easing restrictions by increasing the gathering limit for organized sports and performing arts.
The number of people allowed to participate, including coaches, crew and anyone involved, is now 50.
A news release says 858 negative tests were completed on Saturday, bringing the total number of tests completed since the pandemic began to 88,514.
To date, Nova Scotia has reported 1,086 active cases of COVID-19 and considers 1,021 cases resolved.
There have been 65 deaths as a result of the virus in the province.
COVID-19 delayed opening of new YMCA in Halifax
The province’s health officials urge anyone currently experiencing a fever or cough to visit the 811 website to see if an assessment is needed.
In addition, if an individual is experiencing two or more of the following symptoms, they are also asked to see if an assessment is needed:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
The Atlantic travel bubble remains operational.
The bubble permits interprovincial travel between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador without self-isolation.
However, restrictions will be in place. You can learn what you need to do ahead of time for each province here.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
No reported cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia – HalifaxToday.ca
As of today, Sept. 20, Nova Scotia has no active cases of COVID-19. No new cases were identified Saturday, Sept. 19.
Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 858 Nova Scotia tests on Sept. 19.
To date, Nova Scotia has 87,428 negative test results, 1,086 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. One thousand and twenty-one cases are now resolved. Cases have been identified in all parts of the province. Cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama.
Visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had, or you are currently experiencing:
— fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening)
Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
— sore throat
— runny nose/ nasal congestion
— shortness of breath
When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. Those individuals who have been confirmed are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.
Anyone who has travelled outside of Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better.
It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives – practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most indoor public places.
As of July 3, interprovincial travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, without the requirement to self-isolate for permanent Atlantic Canadian residents, is permitted. All public health directives of each province must be followed. Under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act order, visitors from other Canadian provinces and territories must self-isolate for 14 days. Other visitors from outside the Atlantic provinces who have self-isolated for 14 days in another Atlantic province may travel to Nova Scotia without self-isolating again.
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .
Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Oct. 4
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
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