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B.C. considering extending winter school break to deal with COVID-19 spread – Global News

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British Columbia health officials and the Ministry of Education are looking at the option of starting the winter school break early to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province has been looking at the option “for some time” and is trying to determine whether an early break would have the intended outcome.

Read more:
Schools still open amid Canadian coronavirus resurgence. But for how long?

“We’re looking at what are the measures that help us reduce risk in our communities and therefore protect our schools more,” Henry said.

“We can see that transmission rates are less in schools than they are in other parts of our communities, and we know they are also incredibly important for families and for children to have in-person, in-class schools. But we’re looking at all of our options — there are a whole bunch of things that are happening hopefully within the next months.”

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Henry has repeatedly communicated the province is prioritizing hospitals and schools over other parts of the economy. The message from public health is that cases of the virus in a school is a reflection of cases in the community, and will only go down if community spread goes down.






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Surrey School forced to temporarily close because of a COVID-19 outbreak


Surrey School forced to temporarily close because of a COVID-19 outbreak

There has been one school in Fraser Health, Cambridge Elementary, closed due to an outbreak of the virus. The school will be closed for 14 days. There have been three other Metro Vancouver schools closed because of staffing issues connected to the virus.

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Ontario has ruled out pushing up its own winter break, but is considering extending the break later into January.

Henry said the province is currently weighing the positives and negatives of making changes to the winter break before coming to its own decision.

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“We know some of the downsides are that there are many essential workers in our community, and finding places for children to be safely during the day needs to be considered,” Henry said.

“We know that older children will naturally congregate in other settings. So how do we make sure that those aren’t more risky than some of the things that we’re seeing happening now?”


Click to play video 'BC Teachers’ Federation calling on province to drop class sizes in Fraser Health to 15 students'



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BC Teachers’ Federation calling on province to drop class sizes in Fraser Health to 15 students


BC Teachers’ Federation calling on province to drop class sizes in Fraser Health to 15 students

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation said there has not been a broad conversation among teachers about whether the winter break should start early. Most students in the province are currently scheduled to be in class until Dec. 18.

Union president Teri Mooring says a lot can happen between now and mid-December and the priority should be an immediate solution. The BCTF is proposing the province cut class sizes in half in Fraser Health to allow for physical distancing and establish a more robust mask policy.

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“Winter break seems light-years away right now and we know how quickly things are changing week to week,” Mooring said.

“We need action right now. We need action today. We don’t believe we can afford to wait a few more weeks.”

Read more:
B.C. teachers’ union calls for 15-student cap in Fraser Health region schools

One of the challenges with going to break early is how parents will deal with taking care of their children. Rani Sanghera, the Cambridge Elementary Parent Advisory Committee president, says she believes parents will find ways to make it work.

“I have heard most parents are saying let school out a bit early, a week, maybe two weeks early, to get control of this so we are healthy for Christmas so we can see family and be somewhat healthy,” Sanghera said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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COVID-19 update for Nov. 26: B.C. records deadliest day so far in pandemic with 13 deaths – Standard Freeholder

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The latest case numbers, exposure alerts and guidelines: Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C.

The latest case numbers, exposure alerts and guidelines: Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C.

Handout via REUTERS

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 26, 2020.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Nov. 25:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 29,086 (7,616 active)
• New cases since Nov. 24: 738
• Hospitalized cases: 294
• Intensive care: 61
• COVID-19 related deaths: 371 (13 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 10,270
• Recovered: 19,814
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 63

IN-DEPTH: COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

12 a.m. –B.C. records 738 new cases, 13 additional deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday that a further 738 people tested positive for COVID-19 and an additional 13 people have died from the respiratory disease. It was the pandemic’s deadliest day so far in British Columbia.

Of the new cases, 443 were recorded in the Fraser Health District, while 169 tested positive in Vancouver Coastal Health.

There are 294 people being treated in hospital with 61 in critical care.

There has been total of 29,066 positive tests and 371 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C. since the start of the pandemic. There have been more than 100 deaths in November alone.

There are 7,615 active cases in B.C.


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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Vancouver doctor, patient raising awarness about dangerous condition linked to COVID-19 – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
There’s a dangerous complication from COVID-19 you might not know about.

But 29-year-old Jordan Hoey and doctors at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver are trying to raise awareness about what it is and how serious it can be.

“Honestly, I was terrified. It was nothing I was expecting when I first got that positive diagnosis,” Hoey said in an interview with CTV News.

Last May, Hoey ended up testing positive for COVID-19 .

“My partner works in health care. There was an outbreak in her workplace,” he explained. “I was pretty scared. It was quite shocking, for sure.”

He battled the virus, but just as he thought he was turning a corner in the right direction, his health took a turn for the worse.

“A couple days after the fevers ended, I started getting a bit of chest pain and then noticing a little bit of red when I was coughing.”

And it didn’t improve.

“I coughed, filled the whole inside of the mask with blood. We knew it was time to go to the emergency room right away,” he said.

At St. Paul’s Hospital, he says, a CT scan revealed multiple pulmonary embolisms.

Dr. Anna Rahmani of the hospital’s thrombosis clinic said they’ve been seeing an increase in blood clots associated with COVID-19 infections.

The doctor told CTV News that while incidents of blood clots are higher in COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized, they are also seeing the condition in patients like Hoey who are young and otherwise healthy.

“Blood clots don’t really discriminate. They can affect any age, race,” Rahmani explained.

She said it’s crucial that people know the warning signs.

“Signs and symptoms of blood clot in the leg include tenderness, redness, increased swelling and pain,” Rahmani said.

But she said there are other signs people might be less familiar with.

“Symptoms and signs of blood clot in the lung (like Hoey experienced) include increasing shortness of breath, cough, bloody cough. Some people even experience dizziness and light headedness,” she said, urging anyone with symptoms to seek medical help right away.

Meanwhile, Hoey has only recently returned to working from home on a part-time basis as he continues to recover.

“I’m getting better but I’m not what I used to be yet,” he said.

“People need to be more aware of the serious side effects and serious complications of COVID itself. It’s not just a flu. It will take you out.”

On Thursday, Nov. 26 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the thrombosis clinic at St. Paul’s will be presenting a free public Zoom session. You can find out more information here.

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Manitoba Human Rights Commission reports increased calls from mandatory mask opponents – CBC.ca

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Manitoba’s attempt to cut rising COVID-19 numbers appears to be paying off, officials say, but it’s leading to some public anger and a sharp rise in complaints to the province’s human rights commission.

“I would say our office is dealing with anywhere between 50 to 100 calls per month on the mask issue, from individuals who are telling us that they’re being denied access to retail premises or being asked to wear a mask for some reason or other,” Karen Sharma, the commission’s acting executive director, said Wednesday.

Overall call volumes are running about 30 per cent above normal, Sharma said.

“We tell people that the province’s current mask mandate, from a human rights perspective, is generally not an issue unless … that person does have a disability-related need not to wear a mask, in which case they might require some form of accommodation.”

Manitoba has implemented a series of increasingly tough restrictions over the last two months as COVID-19 numbers have spiked. The most recent orders mandate mask use in all indoor public areas, require restaurants and bars to close except for takeout and delivery, and forbid people from having guests in their home with some exceptions.

The public health orders also require that when someone has come into close contact with a known COVID-19 case, that person must self-isolate, even from other members of his or her household.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said nurses and others who call known contacts of COVID-19 cases often face abuse.

“We are again hearing reports from public health contact tracers … of very angry people on the other end of the telephone line when they’re advising them that they’re contacts or cases and need to self-isolate,” Roussin said.

“When someone is isolating … the whole purpose is that should you become a case, which a certain proportion do, you’re going to have zero contacts. There’s not anyone you could have passed (the virus) to.”

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