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Concerns continue as Northern Health boasts B.C.'s highest COVID-19 positive-test return rate – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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There’s one word describing the north’s current COVID-19 situation: concerning. 

Cases are still surging while hospitalizations are also on a steep incline, which is pushing the health care system in the region to its max, where resources were already limited before the pandemic landed in March. 

Christmas break has also started for schools throughout Northern Health, something that may be needed for the time-being as the list of exposure events has rapidly expanded over the past month. 

But perhaps the most concerning part is that Northern Health currently has the highest positivity rate for the virus in all of B.C., currently at 10.2 per cent from the most recent data from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). 

The rates that are recorded are a seven-day rolling average. The data currently resides as of Thursday (Dec. 17). 

Yesterday’s rate (Dec. 18) was 12 per cent alone after 47 positive cases were recorded out of 383 tests were administered.

The highest rate for the region was on Dec. 14 at 10.7 per cent.

Other health authorities in B.C. have much lower positivity rate with Vancouver Coastal Health currently at 3.5 per cent, Island Health at one per cent, Interior Health at 6.8 per cent and Fraser Health at 7.7 per cent. 

As of Dec. 17, the rolling seven-day average for positive returns across the province is 5.8 per cent.

The latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) shows Northern Health (Green) has the highest positivity return rate in the province as of Dec. 17. / BCCDC

Northern B.C.’s test turn-around time is sitting at 34.5 hours; the province as a whole is 23.3 hours.

As of publication (Dec. 19, 1:15 p.m.) Northern Health has a recorded total of 1,509 cases (47 new yesterday) while 419 are currently active. 

There are 45 people in hospitals throughout the north while 20 of those are currently in ICU. 

The authority has 15 recorded deaths. 

The BCCDC also released the latest geographic data for the province yesterday (Dec. 18). 

Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Health Service Delivery Area of Case Residence numbers show from Dec. 11 to 17, the northern interior region (which includes Prince George) recorded 115 cases alone. 

Northwest B.C. added 58 while the northeast added 39.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 17., the northern interior has seen 755 cases while the northwest has recorded 321 and northeast B.C. has 386.

Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence data shows Prince George has had 95 COVID-19 cases from Dec. 6 to 12. 

The Nechako areas recorded 43 while Terrace added 22. 

In a one-on-one interview on Dec. 3 with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, she said the developments in the north are concerning to her and her team, adding the region’s contact tracing is getting challenging. 

“There’s still really important things we can do and Northern Health is keeping up with the contact tracing part but it is getting more challenging,” she said.

“So yes, it is concerning. It’s concerning because we now have quite a few people who are in hospital in the north and we all know that the capacity in the north for critical care and hospital care is limited and we want to make sure we have the resources for everybody who needs health care in the north.”

Numerous schools have been listed by Northern Health for COVID-19 exposure events with some in the past few weeks being listed for second, third or fourth times while some are being warned of their first events. 

The full current list is as follows: 

  • Mountain View Christian Academy (Independent) – Dec. 7-8, 2020
  • Thornhill Primary School (SD82) – Dec. 4, 7-11, 14-17, 2020
  • Walnut Park Elementary (SD54) – Dec. 9-10, 2020
  • Shas Ti-Kelly Road Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
  • St. Mary’s Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) – Dec. 7-10, 2020; Dec. 3-4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 10 and 11, 2020
  • D.P. Todd Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 1 and 2, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary – South Peace Campus (SD59) – Dec. 8, 2020; Nov. 16-18, 2020; Sept. 23-25, 2020
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) – Dec. 7 and 10, 2020
  • Westwood Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 8, 2020
  • Heather Park Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 1-2, 3, 4, 7-8, 2020
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) – Dec. 7, 2020; Oct. 15-16, 2020
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) – Dec. 4 and 7, 2020
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 4, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Dec. 3-4, 2020; Nov. 22-25, 2020; Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 2-3, 2020
  • Suwilaawks Community School – Terrace (SD82) – Dec. 1-2, 3-4, 2020; Nov. 27, 30, 2020
  • Kitwanga Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1-3, 2020
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 1-3, 2020; Nov. 18, 2020; Oct. 2, 2020
  • Bert Bowes Middle (SD60) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Nov. 16, 18-20, 30, 2020
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Nov. 23-26, 27, 30, 2020
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) – Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 19-20, 20-26, 30, 2020
  • Veritas Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • Anne Roberts Young Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) – Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 25-26, 2020; Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • William Konkin Elementary in Burns Lake (SD91) – Nov. 16, 23-24, 23-27, 2020
  • Energetic Learning Campus in Fort St. John (SD60) – Nov. 16-20, 23-27, 30, 2020
  • Peden Hill Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 12-17, 17-20, 24-27, Nov. 30, 2020
  • Centennial Christian in Terrace (Independent) – Nov. 23-26, 2020
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Nov. 10, 12-13, 16, 19-20, 24-26, 2020
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) – Nov. 25-27, 2020
  • Charlie Lake Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 23-24, 16-26, 2020
  • Ecole College Heights Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 19-20, 20-24, 2020
  • Beaverly Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 23-24, 2020
  • Foothills Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 23, 2020
  • Lakes District Secondary (SD91) – Nov. 23, 2020
  • Chetwynd Secondary (SD59) – Nov. 13, 2020
  • Van Bien Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 9-10, 2020
  • Ron Brent Elementary (SD57) – Oct. 30, 2020
  • Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) – Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
  • Immaculate Conception School (Diocese of Prince George) – Oct. 21-23, 2020
  • Roosevelt Park Elementary (SD52) – Oct. 21-22, 2020
  • Notre Dame in Dawson Creek (Private) – Oct. 13-14, 2020
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) – Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) – Sept. 10-11, 2020

Travel exposures are also beginning to appear again with Prince George. 

For the 20th time since the virus reached the region in March, a flight involving YXS Airport was flagged for exposure and its a first for the month of December.

Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 with service to Vancouver on Wednesday (Dec. 16) has been listed by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) when travellers may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Passengers who sat in rows 14 through 20 are cited that those affected by the alert.

This is the fifth Air Canada flight departing or arriving in Prince George.

A WestJet flight (3287) on Oct. 22 from Vancouver to Prince George was also recently added to the BCCDC’s list with rows three to nine possibly affected.

Since March 27, passengers seated near a case of COVID-19 that was recognized after arrival are no longer being directly notified of their potential exposure, but are asked to check online and monitor their symptoms.

The full list of flights is as follows: 

– with files from Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters

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COVID: Less than 200 cases, 2 deaths in Manitoba Saturday – CHVN Radio

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According to Public health officials, there have been 180 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths in the province.

The deaths include a male in his 70s from the Rural East District in Southern Health-Santé Sud, and a male in his 80s from the Winnipeg Health Region.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.2%. As of 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 180 new cases of the virus have been identified bringing the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba to 27,322.

Of the 180 new cases announced Saturday, 10 are in Southern Health. One of those is in Steinbach and four are in the Niverville/Ritchot Health District.

Today’s COVID-19 data shows:

  • 10 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region.
  • 69 cases in the Northern health region.
  • Eight cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region.
  • 10 cases in the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region.
  • 83 cases in the Winnipeg health region.

The data also shows:

  • 2,986 active cases and 23,575 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.
  • There are 122 people in hospital with active COVID-19 as well as 161 people in hospital with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require care, for a total of 283 hospitalizations.
  • There are 19 people in intensive care units with active COVID-19 as well as 17 people with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care for a total of 36 ICU patients.
  • The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 761. Due to a data error, one death that had been reported earlier has been removed.

Laboratory testing numbers show 2,043 tests were completed yesterday bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 450,104. Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified. 

The chief provincial public health officer reminds Manitobans to self-isolate immediately at the onset of possible COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild. This means staying home from work, school, or other daily activities. Testing should be done as soon as possible once symptoms appear.

Manitobans should only leave their homes for essential purposes. When leaving the house to obtain essentials, be sure to physically distance, wear a mask in indoor public places, and avoid crowded spaces. Do not leave the home if you are sick, or when any member of your family is sick. Further, do not socialize with anyone from outside your household.

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2 deaths, 180 COVID-19 cases announced in Manitoba Saturday – Global News

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Manitoba public health officials confirm two additional deaths in people with COVID-19 have been reported.

The deaths are a man in his 70s from Southern Health-Santé Sud and a man in his 80s from the Winnipeg health region.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Manitoba business advocates propose ‘sweet spot’ reopening strategy

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 10.2 per cent provincially and 7 per cent in Winnipeg.

As of 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 180 new cases of the virus have been identified and the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba has risen to 27,322.

The new cases are in the following regions:

  • 10 cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region
  • 69 cases in the Northern health region
  • eight cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region
  • 10 cases in the Southern Health-Santé Sud health region
  • 83 cases in the Winnipeg health region.

The data also shows there are 2,986 active cases and 23,575 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

There are 122 people in hospital with active COVID-19 as well as 161 people in hospital with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require care, for a total of 283 hospitalizations.


Click to play video 'COVID-19 cases rising in the north'



1:42
COVID-19 cases rising in the north


COVID-19 cases rising in the north

There are 19 people being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units, as well as 17 people with COVID-19 who are no longer infectious but continue to require critical care, for a total of 36 ICU patients.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 761. Due to a data error, one death that had been reported earlier has been removed.

Laboratory testing numbers show 2,043 tests were completed Friday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 450,104.

Read more:
Coronavirus: New vaccine appointments paused in Manitoba as Pfizer announces delay

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An outbreak has been declared at Lynn Lake Hospital in northwestern Manitoba. The site has been moved to Critical (red) on the Pandemic Response System.

The outbreak at Seven Oaks General Hospital, 4U4-7 in Winnipeg is now declared over.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Over half of Canadians think vaccine should be mandatory, Ipsos poll shows'



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Coronavirus: Over half of Canadians think vaccine should be mandatory, Ipsos poll shows


Coronavirus: Over half of Canadians think vaccine should be mandatory, Ipsos poll shows

Local epidemiologist Cynthia Carr says while it has been challenging to follow health restrictions, it has made a difference.

“These restrictions and the work we have done together really does matter on the serious of levels. working together we have saved almost 2,000 lives. It might have been 1,700, 1,800 or 1,600 but the reality is it mattered,” she said.

And while our numbers remain steady for now, there are still obstacles in certain regions — particularly the North.

Read more:
Manitoba asks for feedback on COVID-19 restriction changes as 5 new deaths reported

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Carr says if the pandemic hasn’t ripped the issue of housing wide open in other areas, she doesn’t know what will.

“This is an ongoing challenge. When I go to a community and do community health assessments and I talk to leadership about health, they won’t say we need a fancy hospital, X-ray machines, etc., one of the first things will be the foundation of housing.”

She says infrastructure is absolutely related to health, and it hasn’t been attended to in our northern communities.

–With files from Anya Nazeravich

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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One of Canada's oldest seniors, at 110 years old, gets COVID-19 vaccine at Surrey care home – Cowichan Valley Citizen

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JaHyung Lee, a resident at a Newton care home, received his COVID-19 vaccine at the age of 110.

Amenida Seniors Community said in a news release that residents at the facility received the first dose of their vaccines on Thursday (Jan. 14). JaHyung Lee is one of Canada’s oldest seniors to be inoculated.

The second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be administered “in the coming weeks.”

“We are extremely lucky that we have received enough supplies to vaccinate all of our residents in care,” said Rosa Park, general manager at Amenida.

“As many of our seniors are elderly and require complex care, we can feel safer knowing that the virus won’t be spreading within our community.”

A reporter with the Now-Leader attended Lee’s 109th birthday in 2019. He was born on Aug. 27, 1910.

RELATED: 109th birthday party for ‘amazing’ Surrey man who still shops on his own and plays bingo, Sept. 23, 2019

Meantime, Fraser Health says it has completed 151 vaccine clinics for long-term care and assisted living in the health region.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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