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Calgary COVID outbreak of at least 49 active cases linked to recent wedding: officials – The Province

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CALGARY — Alberta Health says 49 active COVID-19 cases have been linked to a wedding in Calgary earlier this month.

The health agency says the wedding had a large number of Albertans from different households.

Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan says aggressive contact tracing is underway to identify anyone who may have been exposed to make sure they are isolating and getting tested.

He did not say how many people attended the wedding and says specifics about individual cases cannot be disclosed because of patient confidentiality.

COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the province say a maximum of 100 people can attend outdoor and indoor seated events, such as wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances.

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings.

“This is a reminder to all Albertans that this virus is still here and any social gathering carries a risk of exposure,” he said in an email Tuesday.

“It is important that nobody attend if they are feeling ill with even mild symptoms, or if they are awaiting test results.”

He says it is also important that organizers do everything possible to comply with the public health guidance in place, including having enough space for physical distancing between cohorts, following gathering size restrictions and avoiding sharing food and utensils.

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The reason why liquor and cannabis stores are considered essential services in Manitoba – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
With high COVID-19 case counts, many in Manitoba are asking why certain businesses are still open – including liquor and cannabis stores.

On Monday, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health official, said taking liquor stores and cannabis stores off the list of the essential services and shutting them down could cause more harm than good.

“Unintended consequences of not allowing access to theses types of products,” Roussin said.

For more than 40 years, Mitch Bourbonniere, a community outreach worker, has been working with those who are impacted by mental health and addiction. He says those untended consequences can be physical, emotional, and psychological withdrawals, and it could be life-threatening.

“Addiction has no demographic. Anyone and everyone can be afflicted by addiction in the wrong circumstance,” he said.

Addiction is an illness, he said, that causes intense suffering usually brought on by trauma. If the stores are closed, people are most likely to turn to more dangerous substances.

“Whether it is home brew, whether it is crack, whether it is meth, prescription drugs, anything they can get their hands on, if they can’t get a safe, viable, government-run product,” Bourbonniere said.

Bourbonniere also says closing stores opens the door for organized crime to take over the sales.

“People are absolutely going to get desperate and go to organized crime, they are going to go to the street, they are going to go to gangs,” said Bourbonniere.

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Manitoba reports record spike of more than 540 new COVID-19 cases on Monday – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
Manitoba has once again set a record of COVID-19 cases, with more than 540 people testing positive for COVID-19 as of Monday morning.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, reported 546 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, though three cases were removed from the total due to an error. This is the highest single-day spike of cases the province has seen yet.

The majority of the cases were reported in the Winnipeg region, which had 368 new cases as of Monday morning. The five-day test positivity rate in Winnipeg is now at 13.8 per cent.

The Southern Health region also reported a significant spike in cases, with 118 more cases.

The other cases include:

  • 21 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region;
  • 27 cases in the Northern health region; and
  • 12 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

The new cases bring Manitoba’s total since March to 14,087 and raises the five-day test positivity rate to 14 per cent.

DEATHS SURGE IN PAST 23 DAYS IN MANITOBA

Along with the cases, Roussin reported seven more people had died of COVID-19.

These people include:

  • A woman in her 90s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the Maples Long-Term Care Home outbreak;
  • A woman in her 70s from the Winnipeg health region, linked to the Holy Family Personal Care Home outbreak;
  • A man in his 80s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region, linked to the Menno Home outbreak;
  • Two women in their 80s, and a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg health region; and
  • A man in his 70s from the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region.

Since March, 236 Manitobans have died of COVID-19. Deaths caused by COVID-19 have been surging in recent weeks. Roussin said the past 23 days, 161 people have died due to the virus.

“It might be easy just to think of these as numbers, but we all know these are Manitobans. These are people who were loved, who are missed right now,” Roussin said.

Hospitalizations also saw a jump as 296 people are now in hospital with COVID-19, 52 of whom are in the intensive care unit.

On Monday, 160 more Manitobans had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 5,353. The number of active cases in Manitoba is reported to be 8,498.

TOP DOCTOR SEES SOME RESULTS OF RESTRICTIONS

This Thursday it will be two weeks – one full incubation cycle of the virus – since the entire province was placed under code red restrictions, which included closures of non-essential business and further restrictions on gathering sizes.

Roussin said health officials are starting to see some positive results from these restrictions.

“We have a fewer number of contacts per case right now, which can certainly be an early indicator that our restrictions are having their intended benefit,” he said. “It is expected that that is going to translate into fewer cases in the next week or 10 days.”

Roussin said three weeks ago, there was an average of seven contacts per case, which has gradually dropped to between four and two contacts in some cases.

“Certainly the trend is in the right direction.”

He said the province is still at a critical point, once again urging Manitobans to stay home.

“We have these critical restrictions in place for a reason – we are seeing these numbers that we cannot sustain in our health care system,” he said. “We need to bring these numbers down, and we need to act now to do so.” 

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Coronavirus: Manitoba reports record-breaking 543 new cases, 7 additional deaths | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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Manitoba’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Brent Roussin on Monday reported a record-breaking 543 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and seven additional deaths. It is the highest single-day increase the province has seen since the pandemic began, breaking the previous record of 494 cases announced Nov. 15.

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