The social and economic response to the coronavirus threat is changing by the hour in Southwestern Ontario and across Canada. Here is a rundown of our latest coverage on the London-area fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic
As the number of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia continues to climb while Italy reels from its largest single-day death count, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said she does not believe the province is on the same trajectory as the hard-hit European country.
Henry’s comments came on Tuesday afternoon, following an announcement that 145 more coronavirus cases have been identified in BC, bringing the province’s total number to 617, with 59 of those people currently in hospital, and 13 cases resulting in death.
“We’re all very concerned about Italy, obviously, and we’re watching other countries as well,” said Henry. “I think there’s been a lot of social media, a lot of clinicians from Italy, a lot of connections that we’re hearing about what’s happening there.”
Henry said she “will be presenting the modelling in some detail,” but in the meantime, she does not believe we’re on Italy’s trajectory.
“[BC] put in measures at a point in time that is quite different from when [Italy] put in measures, and I really do believe that our testing strategy early on helped us better understand what was happening in our community and when we started to have community spread.”
By contrast, she continued, “I think both northern Italy and in our neighbours to the south – particularly Washington State – not having access to that testing early on meant that they were trying to play catch-up in understanding where people were in the community.”
In BC, “we now clearly have community spread and have had [it] for some time, and we still have a better understanding of where that spread is and how to manage it than if we had not done the amount of testing that we had done ahead of time,” she added.
Almost 30,000 tests conducted in BC
Henry said BC’s testing strategy has been informed by “looking at what is happening around the world” and “being nimble in our response.”
“To be clear, we are absolutely testing and contact tracing anybody for whom we don’t know the source of their infection, and that’s the important thing,” she said.
For individuals who travelled outside the country and returned, the source of infection is known, added Henry.
“Since we put that order that everyone who has travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days, if they do become sick, we know the source of their infection and we don’t need to have them go out of their house to go someplace to be tested, maybe exposing other people,” she said. “We assume that they have this disease and we manage them accordingly, and we make sure that they don’t have contacts and pass it on to others.”
This process allows health authorities to focus on community cases, where the source of infection is not known.
Nearly 30,000 tests have been conducted in BC, and Henry says the backlog of testing has now been cleared up.
“But now this allows us to widely test anybody for whom we don’t have an idea where they came in contact with this. So that’s community cases that are involved with a cluster or outbreak,” stated Henry.
“It also means that we can aggressively test healthcare workers in our health system as well as the long-term care residents … so that we can manage outbreaks and protect our healthcare system.”
Henry and will update the public again on new cases on Wednesday at 3 pm, along with BC Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Got COVID-19 symptoms? Avoid snuggling with Fluffy and Fido, experts advise – CTV News
Canadians who are sick with COVID-19 or suspect they have the virus are being warned to be careful around their pets and other animals.
“COVID-19 virus infections have become widely distributed in the human population. In some rare circumstances, some animals have become infected through close contact with infected humans,” says a statement on the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association website.
The association points out that there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of COVID-19 and that human outbreaks are driven by person-to-person contact.
But as a precautionary measure, it refers to recent recommendations from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency which say anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or those who are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case should follow similar recommendations around pets and livestock as they would around people.
That includes avoiding close contact with animals, good handwashing and avoiding coughing and sneezing on animals. It also means limiting your animal’s contact with other people and animals outside the household, and if possible, have someone else in your home care for your animals.
“Scientists are still trying to understand if and how (COVID-19) affects animals. This is an area that continues to be studied,” the CFIA website says, citing the World Organisation for Animal Health.
The organisation says on its website that evidence suggests COVID-19 emerged from an animal source, and that genetic sequence data shows it is a close relative of other coronaviruses in horseshoe bat populations.
But it says to date, there is not enough scientific evidence to identify the source or to explain the original route of transmission from an animal source to humans.
“Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals are playing a significant epidemiological role in this human disease,” the organization’s website states.
“However, because animals and people can sometimes share diseases (known as zoonotic diseases), it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.”
The Saskatchewan government said Sunday that anyone with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals.
“If there is already an animal in the household, that animal should remain in isolation along with the patient,” a provincial news release said.
The Bronx Zoo announced Sunday that one of its tigers tested positive for the new coronavirus. The four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia – and six other tigers and lions that have also fallen ill – are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee who wasn’t yet showing symptoms, the zoo said.
Despite warnings to avoid animals, the CFIA notes that if you’re not showing COVID-19 symptoms or self-isolating, taking walks with pets and spending time with them is still beneficial for both of you.
“Pets contribute to our overall happiness and well-being, especially in times of stress,” the agency’s website says.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2020.
Coronavirus: Woman explains day-by-day symptoms of COVID-19 – 'literal fire in my lungs' – Express
“Now, I can really understand and support the seriousness of just staying home, and not spreading this.
“It truly affects every person differently, and I consider myself to be very lucky to have it only last a couple of weeks, and some people it’s very mild, and some people die. You just don’t know, it’s literally a roll of the dice.
“So, if anything I can just say please stay home.
“I’ve done it. It’s like 22 days now, and I’m actually cool. It’s all good.”
LFP's providing unlimited access to our COVID-19 coverage. Here's the latest: April 6 – The London Free Press
The social and economic response to the coronavirus threat is changing by the hour in Southwestern Ontario and across Canada. Here is a rundown of our latest coverage on the London-area fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic:
ICYMI: News from the weekend:
CORONAVIRUS CASES: THE NUMBERS
(*Figures for Southwestern Ontario as of Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 5 p.m.)
- Ontario: 4,038 cases; 119 deaths
- London and Middlesex County: 134 cases; five deaths
- Oxford and Elgin counties (combined): 21 cases; two deaths
- Brant County: 46 cases; one death
- Chatham-Kent: 12 cases; one death
- Sarnia-Lambton: 79 cases; eight deaths
- Huron-Perth: 17 cases; one death
- Grey-Bruce: 21 cases; no deaths
- Windsor-Essex: 184 cases; three deaths
- Regional case total: 514
- Regional deaths: 21
Each day we will have a rundown of our latest coverage on the London-area fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic
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