British Columbia’s top doctor says she’s received death threats in her role as a public figure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says she’s had to have security in her home and has been targeted with death threats, along with abusive letters and phone calls to staff.
She says she believes it’s partly due to her status as a woman in a high-profile position, and that people feel comfortable targeting her in ways they would not necessarily do to male leaders.
Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with shoe designer John Fluevog naming a pair of shoes after her.
Her comments came during a panel presentation at the Union of B.C. Municipalities on leadership during the pandemic alongside Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and former Tsawwassen chief Kim Baird.
Henry says it’s important to discuss these issues when trying to mentor the next generation of leaders.
St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak among ER staff – Toronto Star
TORONTO – Another hospital in downtown Toronto has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 among its staff.
Unity Health says there are five active coronavirus cases among emergency room staff at St. Michael’s Hospital.
In a statement Tuesday evening, the health network says “no patient cases have been identified to date” and the risk of patient exposure is low.
However, it recommends anyone who visited the ER at St. Michael’s within the last two weeks to self-monitor.
The hospital is one of four in Toronto that have declared COVID-19 outbreaks in recent days.
The others are St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.
CDC redefines what counts as close contact for coronavirus, adds short encounters – Global News
U.S. health officials Wednesday redefined what counts as close contact with someone with COVID-19 to include briefer but repeated encounters.
For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within six feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more — so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count.
The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks.
The change may prompt health departments to do contact tracing in cases where an exposure might previously have been considered too brief, said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert.
It also serves notice that the coronavirus can spread more easily than many people realize, he added.
The definition change was triggered by a report on that case of a 20-year-old Vermont correctional officer, who was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection in August. The guard, who wore a mask and goggles, had multiple brief encounters with six transferred prisoners before test results showed they were positive. At times, the prisoners wore masks, but there were encounters in cell doorways or in a recreational room where prisoners did not have them on, the report said.
Coronavirus: COVID-19 vaccine unlikely before late 2021, CDC director says
An investigation that reviewed video footage concluded the guard’s brief interactions totalled 17 minutes during an 8-hour shift.
The report didn’t identify the prison but Vermont officials have said that in late July, six inmates tested positive when they arrived at the Marble Valley Correctional Facility in Rutland.
In a statement, CDC officials said the case highlights again the importance of wearing masks to prevent transmission, and that the agency’s guidance can change as new information comes in.
“As we get more data and understand this COVID we’re going to continue to incorporate that in our recommendations,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a press conference in Atlanta.
The CDC also says close contact can include hugging and kissing, sharing eating or drinking utensils with someone infected, and providing home care to someone who is sick. Someone sneezing or coughing on you also counts.
The risk of spread is considered to be lower outdoors, but the CDC guidance update “makes scientific sense,” said Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
© 2020 The Canadian Press
New Brunswick reports fourth COVID-19 death, 6 new cases – CTV News Atlantic
New Brunswick reported its fourth COVID-19-related death, as well as six new cases in the Campbellton region (Zone 5), on Wednesday.
Public Health confirms that an individual between the ages of 70 and 79 died Wednesday in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19.
“The loss of another person in our province related to COVID-19 is not news we ever want to have to share,” said New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release. “I, along with all New Brunswickers, send sincere condolences to the family and friends of this individual, as well as to everyone who continues to be impacted by the recent outbreaks.”
“I ask all New Brunswick to join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased,” added Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health. “It has been difficult to witness the unfolding outbreak in the Campbellton-Restigouche region.”
In addition to the death, New Brunswick is reporting six new cases of COVID-19, all in the Campbellton region. The individuals are all self-isolating and the cases are under investigation.
The new cases involve:
- One individual under the age of 19
- One individual in their 30s
- Two people in their 40s
- One individual in their 50s
- One individual in their 60s
Nine previously reported cases are now considered recovered, dropping the total number of active cases in the province to 92, with 57 of those reported in the Campbellton area (Zone 5).
The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 319 and 223 cases are considered recovered, leaving 92 active cases in the province. There have been four deaths in the province.
Five patients are hospitalized, with one in an intensive care unit.
As of Tuesday, 94,322 COVID-19 tests have been conducted.
The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:
- Zone 1 – Moncton region: 93 confirmed cases (33 active cases)
- Zone 2 – Saint John region: 32 confirmed cases (1 active case)
- Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 60 confirmed cases (1 active case)
- Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 8 confirmed cases
- Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 120 confirmed cases (57 active cases)
- Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 3 confirmed cases
- Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 3 confirmed cases
SECOND CASE CONFIRMED AT DALHOUSIE SCHOOL
Dalhousie Regional High School is reporting its second positive case of COVID-19 in just over a week.
The school confirmed the case in a letter to parents on Tuesday.
The case is not connected to the first positive case at the school, which was first confirmed on Oct. 12.
ZONE 1 AND ZONE 5 REMAIN IN ORANGE PHASE
Both Zone 1 (Moncton region) and Zone 5 in New Brunswick remained in the orange phase Wednesday, but it is anticipated that Zone 1 will return to the yellow phase this week.
There are 33 active cases in Zone 1, but Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, has said the novel coronavirus appears to be contained, and, if current trends continue, the Moncton region will return to the yellow phase this Friday.
Zone 5 will remain at the orange level, however.
VEHICLE TRAFFIC INFORMATION
New Brunswick’s online dashboard includes information about vehicle traffic attempting to enter the province.
On Tuesday, 1,807 personal and 1,530 commercial vehicles attempted to cross the border into the province.
Of the vehicles attempting to cross the border, 29 were refused entry, for a refusal rate of 0.9 per cent.
This is a developing story, more to come.
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