It took Manitoba Public Health officials five days to notify a Winnipeg woman that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
Global News has agreed to not identify the woman in this story, over concerns of public stigma.
“On the Sunday I went to get a test,” the woman said. “I still had very mild symptoms, definitely didn’t think I had COVID, I just wanted to be careful.”
The woman said she was experiencing a slight sore throat and sniffles, but thought it could just be a cold.
She waited four days in isolation with no test results, adhering to the public health orders. Because her symptoms got worse, she decided to call health links.
“I finally got a hold of someone and she took my information, looked up my results, then told me she was having technical difficulties and passed me on to her manager,” she said.
“Then that’s the person that essentially told me that I tested positive. Although she did recommend that I don’t tell anyone until I got the official call from the health nurse, which I did not get the official call from the health nurse until Friday.”
The woman notes up until that point she didn’t think she had contracted the virus.
“We didn’t really have any reason necessarily to think that I was going to test positive for COVID, with all the information that we’ve heard, which is that the positive results are within two days, so the longer it was, the more I was thinking it was going to be negative.”
A public health official called the woman on Friday to notify her of her positive result, five days after her COVID-19 test was administered.
“What I don’t understand is why a positive result was sitting in their system, but I didn’t know about it,” the woman said.
“I mean, what if I had called that morning, what if I called the day before? Did they have it and just hadn’t told me or did it actually take that long?”
Winnipeg Health Region Authorities did confirm to Global News that the woman’s test results were shared with her five days following her test, but couldn’t go into the details as to why due to patient confidentiality.
Officials pointed to what Manitoba’s Chief Public Health officer said on Monday about delays in positive test result notification.
“Roughly 97 per cent of people, of positives, are getting their results back within 48 hours,” Dr. Brent Roussin said.
“So certainly we want to continue to improve that. We hear of anecdotes of delays of getting positives, so (we are) going to constantly look at why that might be.”
The woman’s symptoms have worsened and she remains insolation with concerns over the province’s delay in relaying critical information.
“I don’t want people who aren’t going to do what I did, which is stay home, to have to wait five days.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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.
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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.
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health – Goldstream News Gazette
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.
The Canadian Press
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