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B.C.’s daily COVID-19 case count jumps to 50 – Revelstoke Review

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B.C. recorded 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, heading into a long weekend with public health officials renewing their warnings to stay safe as summer activities and rising coronavirus infections continue.

Case numbers have climbed in recent days, with the total for July 31 topping the 41 new cases reported July 29. There has been a cluster in the Okanagan after a series of infection events related to parties around Kelowna. Interior Health is keeping a list of potential exposure sites, including resorts, a spin studio, restaurants and bars identified this month.

No new community public exposures were reported Friday, with monitoring and contact tracing continuing for active outbreaks previously identified on Haida Gwaii and at Fraser Valley Packers, a berry processing facility near Abbotsford.

Fraser Health, the region with the most B.C. cases since the pandemic began, had no reported community exposure sites as of Friday. Island Health has no current community warnings, and Northern Health has recorded no community outbreaks since the pandemic began early this year.

Vancouver Coastal Health has current public exposure warnings for Vancouver, Sandman Suites on Davie Street July 7 to 16, and the No5 Orange strip club on Main, July 1, 3, 4 and 7.

RELATED: Interior Health steps up contract tracing for COVID-19

RELATED: Survey finds 21,000 B.C. small businesses risk closure

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has an updated list of cases reported and possible exposures during flights to and within B.C. As of Friday it listed 17 domestic flights and 17 international flights, mostly to Vancouver from cities including Dallas, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Seoul, Korea, and two outbound flights to Seattle and Hong Kong.

One new health care outbreak has been reported, at Dania Home, a nursing home and assisted living residence in Burnaby. The only other one with ongoing outbreak protocol is at Holy Family Hospital, a long-term care facility in Vancouver.

Yukon’s government also issued an alert Friday for possible exposures in Whitehorse and Dawson City. Yukon’s chief medical officer was notified Thursday evening of two people who tested positive after returning from visits July 20 to 22.

“We can make this B.C. Day holiday weekend one where we find the right balance,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement. “Having those important social connections with our friends and family, while taking precautions to protect ourselves and those around us. Let’s socialize safely by keeping our groups small, using the layers of protection and giving everyone enough space to stay safe, whether at a backyard barbecue, on a friend’s boat or enjoying a nearby park.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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Fatal COVID-19 outbreak over at Edmonton hospital; 84 new cases in Alberta

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EDMONTON — The Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton has started a phased reopening following a COVID-19 outbreak linked to 58 cases, including 11 patient deaths.

The hospital was closed to new patients on July 8 due to what officials called a full facility outbreak.

Alberta Health Services says there have been no new COVID-19 cases linked to the Misericordia’s outbreak since July 18.

Patients who were in the hospital continued to receive treatment, while labouring mothers and patients with scheduled day procedures were rebooked or cared for at other Edmonton-area hospitals.

The hospital’s emergency department as well as its labour and baby delivery services resumed operations on Friday.

Officials say the hospital will also begin phased reopening of scheduled ambulatory appointments and surgical procedures.

“Early in the outbreak at the Misericordia, we took significant measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of patients, staff, physicians, and volunteers,” Dr. David Zygun, medical director, AHS Edmonton Zone, said in a release.

“With an abundance of caution, and nearly a month without a new case linked to the initial outbreak, we are confident the site is ready to begin accepting incoming patients to a safe environment of care.”

Also Friday, health officials reported 84 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta and one new death.

Since the pandemic began in March, there have been a total of 12,053 cases and 221 deaths in the province.

There are 1,036 active cases in Alberta, as well as 48 people in hospital and 13 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 14, 2020

The Canadian Press

Source: – Cochrane Today

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Tam warns of possible surge in COVID-19 cases – Canada News – Castanet.net

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Only a small fraction of the 40,000 new ventilators Canada ordered for hospitals last spring have already been delivered but several companies involved say their production lines will start delivering the products faster in the next few weeks.

The promise of new arrivals comes as Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, warned Friday that a fall surge of COVID-19 cases could overwhelm the health-care system, including its supply of critical care beds and ventilators.

“What we know based on what we learned from other countries and cities that had a devastating impact in that initial wave, if you exceeded that capacity the mortality goes up really, really high,” she said.

Flu season and other respiratory infections common in the fall could put added pressure on the system if COVID-19 flares up in a big way.

Tam said there were many lessons learned from the spring, when the government was ill-prepared and without enough protective equipment for health-care workers, and feared a massive surge of COVID-19 would overwhelm the health-care system.

“We are much better prepared than we were before,” she said.

In March, Canadians watched in horror as northern Italy’s COVID-19 outbreak overran its health-care system, leaving doctors to choose which patients got a ventilator and which were left without one. That experience, coupled with warnings it could happen here too, compelled federal and provincial governments to order thousands of new ventilators.

But much like surgical face masks and N95 respirators, Canada didn’t already produce many ventilators domestically, and getting them from international sources is tough when global need for new ventilators is in the hundreds of thousands. So Canada asked firms here if they could step up, and out of that four new consortiums to build ventilators were formed.

A fifth contract was signed with Thornhill Medical, a Toronto firm that at that point was making about 50 of its portable breathing machines a month.

In all, Canada ordered 40,328 ventilators, for an estimated $1.1 billion, and as of Friday, it had just 606 in hand.

Paul-Emile Cloutier, the president of national health-care advocate HealthCareCAN, said there is concern about the status of the government’s orders for personal protective equipment and ventilators ahead of the possibility COVID-19 will surge again in Canada this fall.

“Details are crucial as we prepare for the expected next wave of COVID-19,” he said.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Friday the government is pushing on to get the entirety of the orders in place. A statement from her department said “Canada currently has sufficient ventilators to meet current demands” and that the ones on order are to bolster existing Public Health Agency of Canada stockpiles, as well as the units already in hospitals and provincial warehouses across the country.

But Health Canada won’t say how many ventilators the country now has in total. It will also not disclose any modelling for how many could be needed in a worst-case scenario situation. In March there were about 5,000 ventilators nationally, and another 500 in the national emergency stockpile.

Canada’s ability to plank the COVID-19 curve in the spring meant warnings about running out of ventilators never came to fruition.

John Walmsley, the executive vice president at Starfish Medical in Victoria, said that took the pressure off his new coalition, Canadian Emergency Ventilators, Inc.

“We have a little bit more elbow room to do things in a bit of a controlled manner but I would say we’re looking to get it done this year,” he said.

“We’re all concerned about a second wave and being ready for that and so we’re on board to deliver for that.”

Canadian Emergency Ventilators is still waiting for Health Canada approval before it can start shipping its promised 7,500 machines. It submitted the documents in June and it is taking a bit longer than expected to get the green light.

Once that happens, the Public Health Agency of Canada would have to test the product, and then the units that have already been built could be shipped, said Walmsley. He is still hopeful to fill the order by the end of the year.

Thornhill Medical CEO Lesley Gouldie said her company’s partnership with Linamar, a manufacturer based in Guelph, Ont., has been a great success. Thornhill is to provide 1,020 machines to Canada, and has shipped 27 so far.

Gouldie said Linamar can make as many as 100 of the units a week, but getting the supplies for the 1,500 parts that make up their portable device proved to be difficult in a pandemic.

“The limiting factor is the supply chains,” Gouldie said.

She said the kinks are mostly worked out now, and she expects to ship enough machines each week to fulfil their contract by early December.

Rick Jamieson, the CEO of FTI Professional Grade, said they expect to fulfil their entire contract for 10,000 ventilators by Dec. 12. FTI is one of several companies in a consortium called Ventilators for Canadians, which has already delivered 132 ventilators. Another 120 are on track for delivery next week and 240 in the last week of August.

“We have activated a fourth shift to increase production knowing that a second wave is likely this fall and winter,” said Jamieson.

Montreal’s CAE received Health Canada approval for its new ventilator on June 17, and said that day it expected to begin shipping “hundreds each week.” It has a contract to deliver 10,000.

The final company, Vexos, was the last to sign a contract, and had to submit its product to Health Canada as well, and began shipping in late July.

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Ventilator supply starts to increase as Tam warns of possible surge of COVID-19 – Toronto Sun

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OTTAWA — Less than two per cent of the 40,000 new ventilators Canada ordered for hospitals last spring have already been delivered.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada is better prepared for a fall wave of COVID-19 than it was in the spring, but also says that wave could be big enough to overwhelm Canada’s health-care system, including its supply of ventilators.

Health Canada won’t say how many ventilators hospitals could need to respond to such a surge, but insists it has enough for now, with the new ones ordered meant to augment existing stockpiles.

Only 606 of the 40,328 ventilators Ottawa ordered in April and May have arrived, but at least three of the companies involved say they expect to double or even triple the number they ship in the coming weeks.

Four of them needed Health Canada approval for their product, which is still outstanding in two cases, and another said supply chain issues delayed production.

While the contracts for the ventilators, worth more than $1.1 billion, run through March 2021, most of the companies expect to fulfil their entire order before the end of the year.

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