Canada surpassed 15,000 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, and at least one infectious disease expert says the somber milestone should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks the dangers of the disease are overhyped.
Quebec reported 37 deaths Monday, pushing Canada past 15,000. Health officials in that province said seven deaths took place in the last 24 hours, 27 occurred between Dec. 21 and Dec. 26, and three were from unspecified dates.
Alberta followed later in the day, announcing that 112 people died over the course of the holidays between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27, with a high of 30 deaths on Dec. 23 and a low of 17 on Christmas.
More than 1,000 people have now died in Alberta since the pandemic began.
“This tragic milestone is more than a number or statistic,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.
“It represents more than 1,000 mothers, wives, fathers, husbands — empty spaces around the table that can never be filled. Each one means that there is a family that is grieving, a friend who has lost someone they loved, a child who lost their parent, a partner who lost their true love.”
Reaching more than 15,000 deaths in the nine months since the pandemic began highlights just how serious COVID-19 is, said Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of the infectious diseases division at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.
Canada had earlier surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 deaths on Oct. 27 and passed the 5,000 mark on May 12.
“We are seeing exactly what’s being seen around the world, which is that there are substantially large numbers of deaths from this virus. It’s not the flu,” Evans said in an interview on Monday.
“I would hope that it would reinforce to these people who are saying that it’s a big hype,” he said. “It’s not a hype. People are dying from this. This is a deadly disease.”
Quebec also reported 2,265 new cases of COVID-19 — the second day in a row the province recorded more than 2,200 new infections.
“The situation is critical in hospitals,” Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted Monday, urging Quebecers to respect a provincewide lockdown over the holiday period.
The province has 1,124 COVID-19 hospitalizations, including 150 people in intensive care, and officials warned that many hospitals were full.
Manitoba reported 107 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and nine additional deaths linked to the virus, increasing the provincial total to 654 deaths since the pandemic began.
Nunavut reported one new infection in Whale Cove, a community that went into lockdown on Christmas Eve. The territory now has nine active cases of COVID-19.
In Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, while New Brunswick said one new infection was detected in the Fredericton area.
After a break in reporting, authorities in Nova Scotia also said they had identified 13 new cases of COVID-19 since Dec. 25. The new infections are all linked to close contact with a previous case or to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.
Officials in N.L. said one of the new infections related to international travel, while the other is a man who returned from working in Alberta.
The province had 19 active cases of COVID-19 with one person in hospital.
New Brunswick had 33 active cases, including three hospitalizations.
“Non-essential travel is very risky right now,” New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Jennifer Russell, said in a statement.
“We are seeing more travel-related cases and transmission to household members when self-isolation measures are not strictly adhered to,” Russell said, calling on people who need to self-isolate to do so for the full 14 days as per public health directives.
Ontario was not reporting new COVID-19 case numbers on Monday after registering 2,005 new infections on Sunday, as well as 18 more deaths.
Meanwhile on Monday, Alberta became the third province in Canada to report a case of a more contagious strain of the virus.
Provincial medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said that person started showing symptoms after returning from the United Kingdom, where the variant was first seen, and did everything correctly in terms of isolating upon their return.
Cases of the new variant have also been detected in the Toronto area, Ottawa and on Vancouver Island in B.C.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said while early data suggests the new variant may be more transmissible, there is no evidence the variant causes more severe symptoms or impacts vaccine effectiveness.
B.C. didn’t update its numbers Monday, but three regional health authorities reported new outbreaks in assisted-living and long-term care facilities.
— With files from Denise Paglinawan in Toronto, Sarah Smellie in St. John’s and Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 28, 2020.
2 people in their 20s in Calgary zone among Alberta’s COVID-19 fatalities Saturday – Global News
Two people in their 20s with no known pre-existing conditions were added to Alberta’s COVID-19 fatality list on Saturday.
Alberta recorded a total of 13 additional deaths Saturday, including a woman and a man in their 20s, both in Calgary zone. Neither had known co-morbidities, Alberta Health said.
Officials said the man died on Jan. 16, while the woman’s death was recorded Jan. 18.
The province also added 573 new cases of the disease. The active case numbers in the province now sit at 9,727, with 820 new recoveries outweighing the new cases and deaths.
The positive cases come from 10,894 new tests, giving a provincial positivity rate of just over five per cent.
Hospitalizations are also down, with 676 people currently in hospital, 114 of whom are in intensive care.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said on social media Saturday that even as numbers drop, the province needs to continue to follow health orders to keep them trending downwards.
According to the provincial numbers, 1,022 Albertans received vaccine doses on Jan. 22.
Alberta has been affected by shortages of COVID-19 vaccine supply that have led to a pausing of first doses and delays for some second doses in the province, although Hinshaw said this week that she believes there is enough vaccine to distribute second doses.
“At the moment, we don’t anticipate needing to push our second dose appointments past the 42 days,” she said Tuesday.
What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist
Of the 13 deaths reported Saturday, only five were connected to outbreaks at long-term care homes.
The rest were people who were not in care.
In the Edmonton zone, three men in their 80s with pre-existing conditions who were connected to the outbreak at Youville Home, the outbreak at Terra Losa Lifestyle Options, and the outbreak at Rivercrest Care Centre died.
A woman in her 60s in Edmonton zone with comorbidities died.
In the Calgary zone, along with the two fatalities of people in their 20s, a man in his 70s with pre-existing conditions who was linked to the outbreak at Academy of Aging also died.
The North zone saw four fatalities recorded, A man in his 60s with pre-existing conditions died in the William J.Cadzoe – Lac La Biche Healthcare Centre outbreak.
Also in North zone, a man and woman in their 70s and a woman in her 80s, all with comorbidities but none connected to outbreaks, died.
Two men in their 50s died in Central zone. Neither had any known pre-existing conditions.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
2 Albertans in their 20s among the 13 COVID-19 deaths reported Saturday – CTV Edmonton
Two Albertans in their 20s are among the 13 COVID-19 fatalities the province reported on Saturday.
The deaths of one man and one woman both occurred in the Calgary Zone, which is significantly bigger than the city itself.
Neither death involved any confirmed comorbidities. Fourteen people under the age of 40 have now died due to COVID-19, including seven under the age of 30.
The province’s death toll now stands at 1,525 people.
The province reported 573 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday as active cases fell for a seventh straight day. Its total case count also rose above the 120,000 mark to 120,330.
Hospitalizations continue a general downward trend as the number of COVID-19 patients fell by 27, to 676. The number of patients in intensive care units fell by one to 114.
The province administered 10,894 tests with a 5.32 per cent positivity rate.
More than 98,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given to Albertans.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, will return for an in-person update on Monday.
WestJet cancels Boeing 737 MAX flight moments before takeoff | Venture – Daily Hive
WestJet cancelled a Boeing 737 MAX flight after it had already left its gate at Calgary International Airport on January 22.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Daily Hive that WestJet flight WS658, which was supposed to travel to Toronto, had to return to its gate after push off on Friday morning.
“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset,” said Lauren Stewart, a media relations manager at WestJet.
“This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board.”
The flight, as well as its Toronto to Calgary return, were cancelled in the interest of passenger’s time. Guests were rebooked on the next available flight.
Stewart stressed that the decision to cancel the flight was only made because there was space on a Toronto-bound Dreamliner flight.
Had passengers not already been on their way, the WS658 flight would have operated as normal following the all-clear by a maintenance team, she said. The plane has since been inspected and will return to operation on January 24.
“There was no safety risk to our guests and this was unrelated to any previous matter,” Stewart said.
In March 2019, Transport Canada grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes across the country following a pair of deadly crashes that killed 346 people.
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2 people in their 20s in Calgary zone among Alberta’s COVID-19 fatalities Saturday – Global News
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