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B.C. dance studios, other indoor group activity spaces must close amid COVID-19 restrictions – Global News



​All gymnastic centres, dance studios, martial arts venues and yoga studios in British Columbia must immediately close, according to the province.

The new guidelines were posted on the B.C. government website Tuesday under the heading “Athletic Activities.”

“Venues that organize or operate other types of indoor group physical activities must suspend them temporarily while new guidance is being developed,” the website reads.

“Venues must use the new guidance to update and re-post their COVID-19 Safety Plan before resuming operations.”

Click to play video 'Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school'

Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school

Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school – Nov 3, 2020

The new guidelines also apply to venues for pilates, strength and conditioning, and cheerleading.

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In a statement, the Ministry of Health notes the province is constantly learning about the virus and updating guidance based on what we are seeing around the world, across Canada and in B.C.

“Right now we are seeing record COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations in our communities, and this is putting a strain on our testing staff, contact tracers, and frontline health-care workers,” the statement reads.

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“The orders issued last week by the Provincial Health Officer are to reduce the rapid transmission we are seeing in indoor settings, including during group fitness activities.”

Click to play video 'Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging'

Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging

Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging

The new guidance is being finalized and is expected to be available this week. Facilities will not need to seek permission from local health authorities before opening, but there will be increased inspections to ensure facilities are complying with the new guidelines.

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The measures are part of sweeping, and sometimes confusing, new rules that aim to cut down on social gatherings in the province.

Businesses that close due to COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible for rent support from the Government of Canada.

Dance studio operators have repeatedly expressed frustration about being shut down as part of the COVID-19 measures and many insist they have health and safety plans in place to ensure the virus does not spread.

But dance studios have also been the site of major outbreak events, include 30 cases linked to a studio in Chilliwack.

Click to play video 'Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure'

Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure

Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure – Nov 15, 2020

Read more:
Dancers, studio owners urge B.C. to remove them from latest COVID-19 restrictions

A group of dance studio owners and dance parents are supporting an online petition that calls for dance studios to be exempt from the provincial orders.

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“It is unfair for us to be targeted. We have suffered from March onwards as we have navigated COVID protocols with no overseeing sports or arts organization, with decreased participation due to reluctant parents and little rent relief as it was left optional for our landlords,” petition creator Denise Akester writes.

“We have worked tirelessly to keep dance spaces safe so children can return and continue what they love. We understand that B.C. is in the middle of a health crisis and increased measures need to be taken but we also think it is unjust to ask us to shoulder this burden when we are already providing the safest environment possible and we are not responsible for the recent dramatic increase in cases.”

New research and advice from provincial health officers around the world have led B.C. officials to express concerns about indoor, group physical activities.

The province has shut down high-risk indoor group physical activities — such as spin classes, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training — indefinitely. These businesses will not be able to create a new health and safety plan for now because the province does not know how to create guidelines that would prevent transmission in these settings.

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

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Mental Illness in Canada




Mental illnesses affect 6.7 million Canadians annually—but how prepared are we as a country to support those who are suffering?

The million-dollar question has been presented.

Regardless of mental illness now becoming a much more talked about thing than before. There are still many people that tend to misunderstand mental illnesses. About 6.7 million Canadians suffer from metal illnesses and therefore this is something that the government should actively become a part of overtaking.

Let’s get the numbers in a much more understandable term. 1 out of every 5 Canadians is suffering form a metal health disorder. This means that they are diagnosed with some sort of mental condition that would be treatable under common circumstances. Which means that this does not includes people who did not or cannot go to a problem doctor.

Out of those diagnosed with mental illness annually, depression and bipolar disorder, substance abuse disorder or addiction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and PTSD are among the most common.

In any given week, 500,000 Canadians aren’t able to work due to mental illness,”

says Hosseiny.

This is how serious this issue is and not to mention that by 2020 mental issues would be a leading cause of disability in most Canadian workplaces.

“an estimated $50 billion is lost annually through unemployment, absenteeism and presenteeism,”

This is clearly going to have not only a personal but an economical impact as well.

When it comes to mental illness, our public health system is still set up in a way that concentrates on treatment versus preventative measures.

“We’ve done a lot of great work to tackle the stigma and, as a result, people are coming out and having discussions [and seeking treatment],”

says Hosseiny.

“But the problem is that the system isn’t ready to respond to that.”

While many say Canada has universal health care, it’s really universal medical care as mental health and illness are still not treated in the same way as physical care.

The government would need to take proactive prevention measures that would allow them to limit

“We don’t wait until stage 4 to treat cancer, so why do we [wait so long] with mental illness?”

We have a great set of initiative by the recent government but then again due to a lack of funding on the projects and ideas things have seen a lag. Lagging on such matters can be dangerous as can leave people scared for life. They should be treated the same as people that are going through physical pain.

Though making sure services such as addiction counsel, psychologists and social workers are publicly funded would be a major leap in the right direction but there is still a lot of effort that is needed when it comes to educating people about these problems and actually take control of the matters and solving them for real.

Lack of funding for a developed economy seems like a joke. This needs to end and things need to take care of soon. With out proper mental health, people, children, workforce and every other aspect of life and economy could be severely and negatively be effected by this.

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Ontario inspectors find 36 stores violating COVID-19 rules during big-box safety blitz – CTV Toronto



Safety inspectors found more than 30 businesses violating COVID-19 safety rules during a big-box blitz across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said Sunday. 

The ministry said that inspectors visited 110 stores on Saturday and found 31 stores in violation of provincial orders, which is equal to about 70 per cent compliance. 

The government said 11 formal warnings and 11 tickets were issued on Saturday as a result of the blitz. 

Five additional stores were found violating health orders on Sunday, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said.  He added that on Saturday there were five box-box corporations slapped with fines.

The ministry did not name the stores they said were found violating the orders.

Individuals found violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for as long as a year, while corporations can be fined up to $1.5 million per charge.

More than 34,000 COVID-19-related workplace inspections have happened since the beginning of the pandemic.

McNaughton has said inspectors are focusing on compliance with masking and physical distancing rules, as well as other health guidelines. He said they have the authority to temporarily shut down facilities found to be breaching the rules, and to disperse groups of more than five people.

The government said big-box stores would remain a key target during the provincewide safety blitz. The ministry issued a document late last week saying inspections would also involve workplaces which reported COVID-19 outbreaks and businesses focused on manufacturing, warehousing, distribution centres and food processing.

Premier Doug Ford, who has faced criticism for allowing big-box stores to remain open for on-site shopping while smaller businesses are restricted to curbside pickup or online sales, vowed this week to crack down on big lineups and other infractions at large retailers.

The weekend blitz comes days after the province enacted an order requiring residents to stay at home for all but essential purposes, such as shopping for groceries or accessing health care.

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Due to data issue, Quebec reports just 1,744 new COVID-19 cases – Montreal Gazette



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Quebec reported 1,744 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The figure, which is the lowest daily tally reported in more than a month, has been attributed to a data transmission problem.

The health ministry said in a statement some laboratory data had been delayed, causing a dip in case numbers. The issue will be resolved during the day and the rest of the cases will be reported on Monday.

With Sunday’s incomplete figures, a total of 242,714 cases have now been confirmed in Quebec.

Additionally, the province announced 50 more deaths, eight of which occurred in the last 24 hours for which there is data.

At total of 9,055 deaths have now been attributed to the virus in Quebec.

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decreased by 14 to 1,460. Of those patients, 215 are in intensive care — a drop of 12.

Quebec also announced that 8,838 vaccine doses were administered on Saturday.

A total of 146,694 doses have now been administered since the vaccination campaign began in late December.

Montreal was once again the region with the most new cases, reporting 754 new cases on Sunday.

This figure may be lower than the actual number of new cases due to the province’s aforementioned problem with laboratory data.

A total of 86,493 cases have been confirmed in the city since the pandemic began.

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