The recent surge of new COVID-19 cases in British Columbia should encourage residents to start preparing for a second wave this fall, says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Henry confirmed a second wave is likely, but was also quick to point out the difference between what we’re seeing now and what took place in March.
“Our first wave was quite low, so these are numbers we’re not used to seeing, and rightly so. We don’t want them to go any higher.
“This is a surge. It’s increased numbers that we haven’t seen, but we’re not seeing that flooding of hospitals. We’re not seeing large numbers of people in intensive care, and we’re not seeing the transmission and rates in the older age group that we were seeing.”
Minister of Health Adrian Dix echoed her sentiment, comparing the 28 people in acute care on Monday to the 149 people hospitalized on April 5.
On the same day, 72 people were in ICU in B.C., compared to 10 people on Aug. 31.
It is therefore a different challenge, says Dix, but a challenge nonetheless, and one that requires the collective effort of B.C. residents to overcome.
He says COVID-19 will be “aggressively knocking at our doors” this fall – this time disguised as an activity we’ve missed participating in, or a group of friends we haven’t seen in a while.
Nearly 300 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend in B.C. were announced on Monday, as well as four new deaths, bringing the province’s total death count to 208 since the start of the pandemic.
Stepping back will be essential if we want to safely move forward in this next phase of the pandemic, says Henry.
She specifically referred to taking a step back from social interactions, particularly for those who have a responsibility to care for, or spend a lot of time, with an elderly person.
This means keeping groups small, reconsidering involvement in after-school activities or sports teams, and staying home with even the slightest of flu symptoms.
“It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold and allergies and influenza and COVID-19, and as a result, the first step for everyone is to stay home if we’re not 100 per cent healthy. That is a challenging thing, but the bar to stay home needs to be lower than we’ve ever had it before.
“Our superheroes now are not the people who put aside our illness and go to work, but the people who protect our colleagues and our communities by staying away until we’re healthy again.”
Starting September with a united focus to keep going and keep our communities safe is the goal right now, says Henry.
“No one knows for sure what the fall is going to bring. We may see a surge, we may see a surge in influenza. We all need to be prepared now for whatever challenge may emerge.”
Three employees of Regulars Bar on King Street West test positive for COVID-19 – Toronto Star
Three staff at the restaurant Regulars Bar on King St. West have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Toronto Public Health.
The period for the potential exposure for those visiting the bar, 668 King St. W., is between Sept. 13 and Sept. 22, according to TPH’s news release issued Sunday. According to TPH, about 600 people may have visited during that span.
TPH said it has followed up with individuals that have been in close contacts with three employees that tested positive and have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested. Individuals that have visited Regulars Bar during Sept. 13 and Sept. 22 are considered as low risk, said TPH, but should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their visit.
Meanwhile, Reyna on King, a restaurant on King Street East, announced via Instagram Sunday that a staffer had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked on Wednesday, Sept. 24. In the post, the restaurant said it will be closing down its doors until further notice and has since cancelled all reservations for the next couple of days.
On Saturday, the city of Toronto said it had shut down three King Street restaurants after COVID-19 violations.
Those restaurants include MARBL, Mexican eatery Caza Mezcal, and sprawling craft-beer purveyor King Taps.
Ontario reports 491 new cases of COVID-19, highest daily increase since early May – CBC.ca
Ontario reported that the province had 491 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the highest number since May 2.
Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa and York Region led the daily case count, according to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott.
Elliott said in a tweet that there are 137 new cases in Toronto, 131 in Peel Region, 58 in Ottawa and 58 in York Region.
A full 63 per cent of cases are among people under the age of 40.
The province processed more than 42,500 tests on Saturday.
Ontario is reporting 491 cases of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> as more than 42,500 tests were completed. Locally, there are 137 new cases in Toronto with 131 in Peel, 58 in Ottawa and 58 in York Region. 63% of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40.
As of Sunday at 10:30 a.m., a total of 2,839 people in Ontario had died of COVID-19, according to provincial figures.
A total of 112 are hospitalized, a number that is on the rise. On Saturday, the province reported that there were 100 people in hospital.
Of the people in hospital, the province says 28 are in intensive care units and 16 of them are on ventilators. The number of people on ventilators has increased by one since Saturday.
Ontario has a cumulative total of 49,831 cases, of which 42,796 are marked as resolved.
Rise in new cases ‘of great concern,’ province says
Ivana Yelich, spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford, said the provincial government is concerned about the increase in the daily case count.
“The rise in cases continues to be of great concern. That is why our government took action to tighten public health measures on private social gatherings as well as restaurants and bars. It’s important to note that the results of these actions will not be seen immediately,” Yelich said on Sunday.
“It is, however, critical that Ontarians continue to do their part in controlling the spread of COVID-19 by following the rules that are in place,” she added.
“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and act on the public health advice of the Chief Medical Office of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table.”
The tightening of public health measures to slow the spread of the virus took effect in the last 10 days in Ontario.
Ontario’s bars and restaurants, for example, can no longer serve alcohol after 11 p.m. as of this weekend. Strip clubs have also been closed.
As well, private social gatherings across Ontario are now limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. That limit was imposed on Sept. 19.
In a separate statement, the Ontario health ministry said it is keeping a close eye on the number of hospitalizations and is continuing to build capacity in the health care system.
“We are in the process of rolling out our comprehensive fall preparedness plan, which includes public health measures to prepare the health system for a second wave of COVID-19,” the health ministry said.
Toronto Public Health closes 3 restaurants
In Toronto, where 1,178 have died of the virus as of Friday, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has temporarily closed three downtown restaurants to protect the public from COVID-19.
MARBL, King Taps and Casa Mezcal received orders on Friday night to close. A fourth is being served with an order.
TPH is notifying staff and patrons of two other establishments, Yonge Street Warehouse and Regulars Bar, this weekend that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Seven cases are linked to Yonge Street Warehouse, while three cases are linked to Regulars Bar.
Individual protective measures matter, health officer says
On Sunday, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in a statement that, as of Friday, an average of 1,175 cases were being reported daily across Canada over a seven-day period.
She said labs across Canada continue to test at a high rate, with an average of nearly 70,000 people tested daily last week and 1.4 per cent of these testing positive.
“As we head into another week, we need to be vigilant about rising cases and increasing hospitalizations, particularly in areas where cases are increasing most rapidly,” Tam said.
“Surges in cases, leading to increases in hospitalizations can quickly overwhelm public health and healthcare system resources in localized areas, while increasing the likelihood of spread to more areas.”
Tam said every protective measure that Canadians can take matters to lower the overall rate of infection in communities because every person that people encounter brings a “whole network of contacts history with them.”
Reducing the number, duration and closeness of encounters makes a difference, she added.
“The quickest and safest way for Canada to get back on the slow burn is for us all to for us to take every measure during every moment of our day, and always act in a way that can prevent the spread of illness to others,” Tam said.
That means keeping a two metre distance from others outside of individual bubbles, frequent hand washing, wearing a mask where appropriate, limiting the amount of time and number of people in close contact, choosing lower risk settings or situations where public health measures are in place whenever possible.
Still have questions about COVID-19? These CBC News stories will help.
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New COVID-19 cases in Ontario surge to highest level in nearly five months – CTV Toronto
Ontario is reporting the highest number of new COVID-19 cases since early May.
Health officials added 491 lab-confirmed cases on Sunday, the highest daily total since May 2 when 511 cases were confirmed.
The province also recorded two COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24-hour period as well as 289 cases which are now considered to be resolved.
Sunday’s report pushes the province’s lab-confirmed case count to 49,831, including 2,839 deaths and 42,796 recoveries.
Right now, there are 4,196 active cases of the disease in Ontario.
The new cases represent an increase over Saturday’s total when 435 new infections were logged and mark the fourth straight day in which the province has recorded more than 400 new cases.
On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford warned of a “more challenging” and “more complicated” second wave of COVID-19 as he announced the government’s first part of a fall preparedness plan.
Days later, the premier would impose stricter rules on restaurants and bars to control “outbreak clusters” of COVID-19 in the province. The new restrictions mean that all food and drink establishments can no longer sell alcohol after 11 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol on these premises will be prohibited after 12 a.m.
In a tweet published Sunday morning, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said that most of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.
According to the province’s daily epidemiologic summary, 236 of the new infections were reported in people between the ages of 20 and 39. That age group now accounts for 17,000 lab-confirmed infections, the most of any age group in Ontario.
Another 118 cases were reported in people between the ages of 40 and 59. Seventy-five cases were reported in people 19 years of age and younger and 51 cases were reported in people between the ages of 60 and 79.
Thirteen new cases were reported in people 80 years of age and older.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario continue to be reported by just four regions.
There are 137 new cases in Toronto, 131 in Peel Region and 58 in both Ottawa and York Region.
At least five other public health units are also reporting new case numbers in the double digits, including Niagara, Halton and Waterloo.
The number of hospitalizations has also increased to 112, up from the 100 reported a day earlier. However, the ministry of health says that number will likely increase as approximately 35 Ontario hospitals did not report patient data on Sunday.
Of those 112 patients, 28 are being treated in an intensive care unit, 16 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Update on COVID-19 testing in Ontario
Testing for COVID-19 in Ontario remains high with 42,509 tests completed since yesterday. A day earlier, the province would set a new record for most tests completed in a single day with 43,238 tests completed.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the province has processed more than 3.8 million tests for the disease.
There are 65,061 tests currently under investigation.
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