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B.C. with sixth case of coronavirus

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A woman in her 30s who returned from Iran within the past week is British Columbia’s sixth case of COVID-19.

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said Thursday that the woman, who tested presumptive positive, has a “relatively milder form of the disease.” She was assessed at a hospital and is now in self-isolation at home in the Fraser Health region, which spans from Burnaby to Hope.

“This one, clearly, is a bit unusual in that the travel to Iran is something new,” Dr. Henry said. “Iran has recently started reporting cases, and we are working, and will be working, with our national and international colleagues to better understand where the risks are and where she may have been exposed to this virus prior to her return to Canada.”

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Health officials are now investigating details of the woman’s travel and will work to determine whether other passengers on her flight home need to be notified.

Iran has so far reported five cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

“That, obviously, triggered a bit of interest from people around the world who are looking into this virus,” Dr. Henry said.

“This is what we call an indicator, or a sentinel event, as well, [which is] a marker that something may be going on broader than what we expect.”

Cases are deemed presumptive positive, or presumptive confirmed, when local tests turn up positive for the virus. However, all samples must then be sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for official confirmation.

This latest case is Canada’s ninth, with six of those in B.C. and three in Ontario. As of Thursday, three of those nine cases have been resolved. A person is deemed fully recovered with the resolution of symptoms and two negative test results taken 24 hours apart.

Dr. Henry said the risk of the virus spreading within B.C. remains low.

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The most important measures to prevent respiratory illness, including COVID-19, are regular hand-washing, avoiding touching the face, coughing or sneezing into the elbow rather than hands and staying away from others if sick.

As of Feb. 20, there have been 75,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, and 2,129 deaths.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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KFL&A reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, 304 active – Globalnews.ca

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The Kingston region is once again over the 300 active cases mark, as Wednesday’s 34 new cases bring the daily active case count to 304.

Of the new cases, 10 are in the five-to-11 age group.

Nineteen people remain in hospital, with 11 of those cases are in the intensive care unit. Six people are on ventilators.

Read more:

COVID-19 — Influx of cases causing strain on Kingston hospitals

The cases per 100,000 over the past week is up slightly to 104.7, from 102.8 Tuesday.

The rise in cases locally has also forced the postponing of at least one local event. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes was scheduled to have its grand opening on Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant impacts throughout our communities, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston is committed to supporting the community through this time of heightened risk and uncertainty,” the Marine Museum said in a statement Wednesday.

“We consider the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors paramount.”


Click to play video: 'As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts'



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As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts


As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Roussin takes aim at HIV stigma – Brandon Sun

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Wednesday was World AIDS Day and the province is getting behind the message to end the stigma of the disease.

There were 117 new cases of HIV identified in the province in 2020, slightly fewer than in 2019.

“Even though there are fewer cases, there was also significantly less testing,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said Wednesday.

“Around 25 per cent of people with HIV are unaware they have it, and that can contribute to the spread.”

The stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS continues to be a significant public health issue in the province. Roussin said the populations most at risk are also facing problems of accessibility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roussin urged people who may be at risk to get regular testing and speak to their health-care providers regarding prevention, testing and treatment options.

All these services are confidential and free of charge.

Those living with HIV are also encouraged to stay connected to care and treatments.

Roussin said it is considered a chronic infection and there are effective treatments for HIV, with many being able to get the virus level down to undetectable levels and minimizing risk of transmitting it to other people.

» The Brandon Sun

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COVID-19 vaccines: 18% of Ottawa kids 5-11 have 1st doses – Globalnews.ca

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Nearly 14,000 Ottawa kids have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccine shots in their first week of eligibility, according to the local health unit.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports that 13,887 kids aged five to 11, representing 18 per cent of the total age group in the city, have their initial shots as of Wednesday morning.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said earlier this week that 40 per cent of local kids in this youngest eligible demographic have appointments booked through the provincial vaccination system. This doesn’t account for shots booked at pharmacies or doctors’ offices.

Read more:

No need for new restrictions yet in Ottawa amid Omicron cases, Dr. Etches says

City-wide, 86 per cent of the population aged five and older now have at least one dose.

Meanwhile, OPH reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the 32,000-case mark since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active infections held relatively steady at 329 in the latest report.

There are now 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, two of whom are in the intensive care unit.


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COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada


COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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