British Columbia has recorded three new deaths from the novel coronavirus, along with 48 new cases since Saturday.
The province’s total stands at 472 cases and 13 deaths, as of Monday. Thirty-three people are in hospital, with 14 of them in intensive care.
Meanwhile, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters testing confirms that 100 people have recovered from the virus.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province is now testing between 3,300 and 3,600 people per day.
One of the three new deaths is linked to North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre, while another was linked to Vancouver’s Haro Park Centre seniors’ home. The third person who died lived in the Fraser Health region.
Ten of the 13 deaths in B.C. stem from the Lynn Valley seniors’ facility. Thirty-six residents and 19 health-care workers there have also been infected.
At the Haro Centre, 10 residents and a dozen health-care workers have been infected.
Over the weekend, Fraser Health confirmed a staff member at Delta View Care Centre had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Henry said a staff member at a sixth facility, Vancouver’s German-Canadian Care Home, has also tested positive.
If you can, stay home
B.C.’s provincial health officer on enforcing social-distance rules and keeping essential services going
Henry has previously issued orders banning gatherings of more than 50 people and closing bars, restaurants and personal service businesses, but has resisted more heavy-handed orders that could legally require people to stay home.
The public has been told to follow social-distancing rules — namely to remain two metres (six feet) apart from others in public.
Henry responded to widely expressed concerns about people not following those guidelines over the weekend.
“We do need to be sure we’re addressing some of those issues we have seen with people congregating in groups, often outside where it’s very visible,” she said.
“If you’re not in self-isolation, yes, you can go outside, but only go with your family members in small groups. Maintain those distances.”
Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed frustration about people ignoring social distancing rules, and said he would be speaking with premiers to co-ordinate a crackdown on violators.
But Henry said most people have been obeying the rules, but she didn’t rule out using the police to enforce regulations if necessary.
“These reflect on the monumental changes that we’ve asked society to do, and it takes a while for those to sink in, and it takes a while for people to really understand that means ‘me too.’
“We are encouraging people to be kind in how they address this.”
Importance of protecting B.C. healthcare works and long-term care home residents
Henry said essential services, including grocery stores, must remain open, but people need to keep their distance from others when shopping.
Dix reiterated that anyone feeling unwell should not leave their home, noting that even someone with mild symptoms could put a senior or other vulnerable person’s life at risk.
“We need to think about them and act for them every single day, and that’s why we need 100-per-cent compliance,” said Dix.
Henry called on health-care workers to be particularly vigilant for even minor COVID-19 symptoms, to ensure they don’t spread the disease to coworkers or patients.
Although just 48 new cases were confirmed since Saturday, Henry reiterated that the province is focusing on testing health-care workers, hospital patients, long-term care home residents and outbreak clusters, and that others who have the disease are not included in her confirmed count.
B.C. health minister on the impact of 13 deaths so far due to COVID-19
Officials will soon provide numbers on these patients — that is, those who have COVID-19, but were diagnosed by a doctor, not a test, based on their symptoms and possible exposure history.
Dix said the province had freed up more than 1,200 acute-care hospital beds since Friday.
Bed capacity, which would normally be at about 103 per cent this time of year, was at 63 per cent, he said.
Around the province there have been 248 confirmed cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 150 in the Fraser Health region, 39 in the Island Health region, 30 in the Interior Health region and five in the Northern Health region.
Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. provides data on COVID-19 cases in province
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says fines, business closures, and other penalties could be on the way to enforce social-distancing.
Stewart said council will meet virtually on Monday morning to vote on an amendment to the city’s emergency powers bylaw that would allow bylaw officers to issue penalties to anyone either gathering in large groups or not doing what they can to keep two metres apart.
— With files from Sean Boynton
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
OPH investigating 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, bringing total to 122 – OttawaMatters.com
Ottawa Public Health says it is investigation 122 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city — that’s 16 new cases in total.
The city health authority is also investigating two institutional outbreaks of the virus, one of which at Maplewood Retirement Community, OPH confirmed in a Sunday statement.
This is following the health authority’s announcement of 31 confirmed cases on Saturday.
According to Dr. Vera Etches, the retirement home has implemented outbreak management and OPH is connecting with close contacts.
“All residents have been notified and are in self-isolation,” Etches said in a statement. “Staff at the retirement home continue to be screened and have been instructed to wear personal protective equipment in the building, specifically wearing a mask when entering the building and following droplet/contact procedures in all resident rooms.”
Further details of individuals who have tested positive were not provided.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and every citizen must continue doing their part to keep themselves, their family members, their neighbours, co-workers and community members healthy and safe, and reduce the spread of the virus,” Etches added.
Etches urges everyone to continue to practicing physical distancing and to self-isolate if symptoms develop for 14 days or travel was involved. Those with the virus are also to continue their isolation 24 hours after symptoms have fully resolved.
People are also encouraged to avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential.
For more tips on how to stay safe, visit the OPH website.
The total number of positive cases in Ontario is now at 1,355.
‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand – Red Deer Advocate
OTTAWA — Canadians have been coming forward in large numbers to donate blood after Canadian Blood Services warned of a possible shortage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blood donor clinics have extended their hours and put in place strict safety protocols for anyone giving blood.
“The response has been tremendous,” Dr. Isra Levy, the agency’s vice-president of medical affairs and innovation, said Friday.
“From our point of view, the numbers are very, very satisfying in the sense that we’re able to match demand with supply. We really need to keep up that altruism that has motivated donors to come in.”
Canadian Blood Services operates a national blood inventory that allows products to be regularly shifted around the country to meet hospital and patient needs.
About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis.
Levy warned nearly two weeks ago that Canada was facing a critical blood shortage. Donations had dropped about 20 per cent because of concerns about the novel coronavirus.
Because of a suspension of elective surgeries, the demand for blood is also down about 15 per cent, Levy said Friday.
While things are going well now, he added, the concern is whether Canadians will continue to keep donating over the long run.
“We’re going to have this challenge for many weeks to come and the implication is we’re going to need our donors to really continue to show up,” Levy said.
“They need to think about things not about as an urgent and immediate need for blood, but as an ongoing, pressing concern that we have about a potential for a sudden drop in inventory.”
Calgary’s blood donor clinic had to reduce appointments last week because of long lineups and wait times.
Donors waited behind a red line outside the clinic while checking in. Inside, chairs were placed strategically in the waiting room and every other bed was used. Health workers wiped down every donor station thoroughly between patients.
Some donors recently took to social media to discuss the importance of giving.
“First real trip out of the house in a while to Canadian Blood Services. As a former recipient, I understand first hand the importance of donors,” wrote Katie Mitchell on Instagram.
“They have put great steps in place to have donors maintain social distancing requirements. So happy I wasn’t rejected.”
“My dad needs transfusions every three weeks so in addition to worrying about COVID-19, he’s concerned about blood supply shortages,” wrote Sara Jane O’Neill on Twitter.
“Please donate if you can.”
Levy said some donors in Ottawa have told him that they feel they’re able to make a difference when everything else in the world is out of their control.
“It’s a sense of contribution in an uncertain time,” he said.
“The people who are showing up at our donor collection centres, anecdotally, express a sense of satisfaction that they’re able to do something for the community beyond staying at home and finding ways to fill their time.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2020
— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
The Canadian Press
8 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, bringing total to 72 – CBC.ca
There are eight new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, bringing the province’s total to 72.
Health officials made the announcement at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building Sunday morning.
Officials are looking into the new cases to determine where those people got the coronavirus and whether they could have passed it to anyone else.
One of the patients is in an intensive care unit, and another has been admitted to hospital, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.
He said two Manitobans have recovered from the virus so far.
The total number of deaths from the virus reported in Manitoba remains at one: a Winnipeg woman in her 60s, who died Friday after she was admitted to an intensive care unit in critical condition the previous week.
More than 7,000 tests for COVID-19 have been done in the province so far.
Roussin reiterated that the measures the province has taken under the Public Health Act will come into effect on Monday, including limiting public gatherings to 10 people and requiring retail businesses like grocery stores to make sure people are one to two metres apart.
These new measures bolster what was previously only a recommendation.
On Saturday, Manitoba saw its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases since the virus was first detected here, as health officials announced 25 new patients had been identified.
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