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B.C. clamps down on COVID-19 enforcement with fines for party hosts, guests – Cochrane Today

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VANCOUVER — Property owners and organizers can be fined $2,000 for hosting events found in violation of public health orders in British Columbia under stronger enforcement measures announced Friday.

The fines can be levied for hosting a gathering in excess of 50 people, failing to keep the contact information of everyone who attends an event, or inviting more than five guests into a vacation rental property, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth told a news conference.

A party with fewer than 50 people is not necessarily legal, he added, since all other public health measures must still be followed.

“Police have their discretion, but if you have 38 people crammed into a kitchen and, you know, there’s no social distancing (taking) place, then clearly that’s in violation of the order and the owner would be subject to a $2,000 ticket,” he said.

Farnworth said “problematic” guests may also face $200 tickets for behaviour that could include refusing to leave when directed or disregarding COVID-19 safety plans at restaurants and other businesses.

B.C. reported 90 new positive tests for COVID-19 on Friday, pushing the number of active cases to 824, including 13 people who are hospitalized.

And for the second day in a row, two more people in the Fraser Health region died after contracting the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 202.

In a statement, officials said public health workers are monitoring 2,594 people as a result of exposure to known cases of COVID-19, up by 20 from the day before.

There have been 4,915 cases of COVID-19 reported in B.C. so far.

The province is enlisting liquor, cannabis and gaming inspectors, as well as conservation officers and WorkSafeBC investigators, to help issue the violation tickets for the duration of the pandemic.

It’s also working with local governments to revoke business and liquor licences where violations occur, said Farnworth.

“The province is building a comprehensive and integrated compliance and enforcement regime to put a halt to bad actors in all corners of B.C.,” he said.

B.C. is taking stronger action because the behaviour of a small minority of “selfish individuals” is putting vulnerable people at risk across the province, Farnworth said.

“We can’t let the bad decisions made by a few erode the progress that we have made together.”

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said Thursday the majority of the latest cases of COVID-19 are still being detected in younger adults.

Vancouver Coastal Health has launched a campaign in response to that trend, which includes tips for visiting restaurants, spending time with friends, playing recreational sports, heading to the beach, going on road trips and practising safe sex during the pandemic.

In a release on Friday, the health authority’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Patricia Daly, said the reopening of restaurants and bars, where many young adults work, has contributed to the rise.

But, she said, partying is another factor.

“We’re seeing transmission take place in nightclubs in particular, but also at bars and restaurants, while boating and in other indoor social settings,” Daly said in a statement.

“It’s the way people act and interact in these settings that’s problematic: sharing food and drinks, speaking loudly and in close proximity if there’s background noise, and not social distancing among strangers, especially if they’ve been drinking alcohol.”

At a COVID-19 briefing in Ottawa on Friday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the federal government is also planning to step up messaging aimed at young people next week.

She said Ottawa is working to reach young people through non-traditional media and the best way to measure success will be looking at whether infection rates go down.

BC Ferries and TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation network, are also taking further action to stop the spread of COVID-19. Starting Monday, non-medical masks or face coverings will be mandatory for passengers on both transit services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2020.

Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press



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One confirmed COVID-19 case reported at L'Essor – Windsor Star

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Article content continued

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens issued as statement late Satuday morning encouraging residents to comply with the newest restrictions.

“We are all in the drivers seat when it comes to the regulations and limitations that are imposed on Windsor and Essex County,” Dilkens said. “The stronger our collective response, the more flexible guidelines I am confident our region will be permitted.

“To ensure that our region is not further restricted, I would strongly urge all residents to take this news to heart and to follow these guidelines strictly.”

Locally, Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence has confirmed one case of COVID-19 at L’Essor high school.

The school board released the information Friday, saying in the interest of privacy it will not identify the student or staff member who tested positive for the virus but will immediately notify parents, students and staff if a class, cohort or school is ordered closed by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

The health unit reported eight additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday in the region.

The new cases bring the cumulative total to 2,623 since March.

Three outbreaks continue at long-term care or retirement homes.

Those homes are Dolce Vita in Windsor, where there are four residents and two staff members who have tested positive for the virus.

Two Leamington homes have positive cases – Rosewood Erie Glen with one staff member testing positive and New Beginnings with 21 residents and seven staff members testing positive.

There are currently no workplace outbreaks.

A total of 76 people in Windsor-Essex have died as a result of COVID-19.

Also as of Saturday, 2,452 cases in the region have been categorized as resolved, two more since Friday.

For more information on COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex, including public exposure notifications, visit www.wechu.org/cv.

jkotsis@postmedia.com

twitter.com/KotsisStar

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VIDEO: BC to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids – Goldstream News Gazette

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A new made-in-B.C. test will soon be available for children and youth to help make COVID-19 testing easier and more comfortable, the province’s top doctor has announced.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters Thursday (Sept. 18) that B.C. will be one of the first places in the world to implement a new saline gargle test to diagnose the novel coronavirus.

“Unlike the [nasal] swab, this is a new saline gargle where you put a little bit of saline water, that is sterile water, in your mouth, you swish it around and spit it into a little tube,” she explained.

ALSO READ: Health Canada reverses course, will review applications for COVID-19 home tests

“This test is kind of cool and something we’ve had in the works for a while. This new method is more comfortable, particularly for our younger children.”

Henry said the new alternative will soon be made available to health officials across the province, noting the test has some key benefits ahead of influenza season: it is more efficient and can be done without a doctor or nurse involved.

ALSO READ: Easier, quicker saliva sampling eyed for next stage of COVID-19 testing

Currently, the province has been using a nasal swab test – the gold standard for confirming if someone has COVID-19 – which involves putting a six-inch long Q-tip into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and then rotating it several times. A swab is repeated on the other side of the nose.

[embedded content]

For now, the test will be available for those aged four to 18.

The less-intrusive swab comes as B.C. sees an ongoing rise in daily COVID-19 cases. There have been a total 7,663 confirmed cases in B.C. since January.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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VIDEO: BC to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids – Chilliwack Progress

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A new made-in-B.C. test will soon be available for children and youth to help make COVID-19 testing easier and more comfortable, the province’s top doctor has announced.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters Thursday (Sept. 18) that B.C. will be one of the first places in the world to implement a new saline gargle test to diagnose the novel coronavirus.

“Unlike the [nasal] swab, this is a new saline gargle where you put a little bit of saline water, that is sterile water, in your mouth, you swish it around and spit it into a little tube,” she explained.

ALSO READ: Health Canada reverses course, will review applications for COVID-19 home tests

“This test is kind of cool and something we’ve had in the works for a while. This new method is more comfortable, particularly for our younger children.”

Henry said the new alternative will soon be made available to health officials across the province, noting the test has some key benefits ahead of influenza season: it is more efficient and can be done without a doctor or nurse involved.

ALSO READ: Easier, quicker saliva sampling eyed for next stage of COVID-19 testing

Currently, the province has been using a nasal swab test – the gold standard for confirming if someone has COVID-19 – which involves putting a six-inch long Q-tip into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and then rotating it several times. A swab is repeated on the other side of the nose.

[embedded content]

For now, the test will be available for those aged four to 18.

The less-intrusive swab comes as B.C. sees an ongoing rise in daily COVID-19 cases. There have been a total 7,663 confirmed cases in B.C. since January.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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