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Coronavirus case counts in Toronto are 'horrific,' top health official says – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Public health officials in three COVID-19 hotspots, including Toronto and Peel, are calling on the Ford government to issue a provincewide stay-at-home order similar to the one that was introduced during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic in January.

The medical officers of health for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa sent a joint letter to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams over the weekend asking him to consider putting the order in place amid surging COVID-19 case counts and hospitalization rates that have been driven by the prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant.

“A stay-at-home order issued by the Province through an Emergency Order is necessary to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the health care system,” they say in the letter. “Stricter lockdowns have been shown to be effective in other countries to control transmission while vaccine campaigns progressed to achieve sufficient population coverage to suppress transmission.”

The province’s science table released modelling last week that suggested that the province could reduce daily COVID-19 case counts to between 1,000 and 1,500 by the end of April but only if they were to implement a month-long stay-at-home order.

The province, however, has resisted taking the advice and last week Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the government wouldn’t replicate the stay-at-home order from the second wave because of the “tremendous ill effect” it had on residents and the need for people to enjoy the outdoors as the weather improves.

Instead, the province issued its so-called “emergency brake” to bring all 34 public health units under enhanced restrictions.

In their letter, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh and Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches did welcome the “additional province-wide public health measures” announced last week but they warn that “stronger measures will be required to reverse the surge” in case counts being experienced in their communities.

In addition to the stay-at-home order they also want Williams to reconsider the long list of businesses and services that are deemed essential in Ontario and to implement staffing limits of no more than 50 per cent for essential businesses and services.

They are also asking that the province consider imposing travel restrictions between regions in Ontario and move schools to “online or hybrid learning where local jurisdictions’ school outbreaks are significant and capacity to manage is stretched.”

“While continued expansion of vaccine administration remains a critical component of our long-term pandemic response, public health measures are needed immediately to reverse, as quickly as possible, the concerning trends we are seeing in our health units,” they say.

Intensive care units swell with COVID-19 patients

The request from de Villa, Loh and Etches comes with Ontario’s rolling seven-day average of new cases sitting at 2,758, up from 2,094 just one week ago.

The number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 also continues to reach new highs and is now at 494.

In a statement provided to CTV News Toronto on Monday, a spokesperson for Minister of Health Christine Elliott conceded that Ontario is very much in the midst of a third wave of the pandemic and said that “immediate action is required to help turn the tide.”

But the spokesperson said that the province already took action by invoking its emergency brake and needs to wait to see what impact, if any, that has on infection rates.

“It’s critical to point out that after applying public health measures it takes time for the intended effects of the measures to be realized due to the incubation period of the virus,” the spokesperson said. “Our government will continue act on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health who will review the science, data and trends along with collaborating with local medical officers of health and our team of expert health officials on if and when public health measure can be loosened or strengthened.”

De Villa calls case counts ‘horrific’

The rapid rise in cases in Ontario over the last few weeks came as the Ford government loosened some restrictions, only to re-impose them with the invoking of the emergency brake.

De Villa was asked about the situation while touring a new mass vaccination clinic at the Hangar in North York on Monday morning and said that there “is no question the case counts are horrific.”

De Villa also said there are “measures that promote distance whether taken at a policy level or taken by us as individuals that will help reduce transmission” but stopped short of providing specifics.

For his part, Mayor John Tory said that he would be open to having “a discussion about what more might need to be done in order to wrestle this to the ground.”

“The fact is people around the world are searching for the right thing to do and looking at additional things we can do in workplaces, in the community, I think has proven more often than not to be as successful as anything else in addition to keeping distance and wearing masks,” he said.

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Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study – Hindustan Times

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Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study(Unsplash)

Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study

  • A new study finds that more mental health support is needed for pregnant people during the pandemic after it was found that nearly three-quarters of individuals who were pregnant during this time reported moderate to high levels of distress. 
ANI | , Toronto [canada]
UPDATED ON SEP 16, 2021 11:18 AM IST

A team of researchers suggested that more mental health support is needed for pregnant individuals after a survey found nearly three-quarters of individuals who had been pregnant during the pandemic reported moderate to high levels of distress, and one in five experienced depressive symptoms.

The findings of the study appeared in the journal titled ‘Canadian Family Physician’.

The researchers, led by clinicians at Unity Health Toronto, surveyed nearly 1,500 participants online – 87 per cent of whom were Canadian – who had been pregnant during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 69 per cent of respondents reported moderate to high levels of distress and 20 per cent had depressive symptoms.

“The high levels of distress highlight the importance of considering mental health centrally in support for this population,” said Dr Tali Bogler, study lead author and family physician and chair of family medicine obstetrics at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto.

“The findings also highlight the overall impact the pandemic has had on families in general and the downstream impact this will have,” added Dr Bogler.

A limitation of the study was that it did not have comparable data on distress levels among pregnant people prior to the pandemic. However, a population-based survey conducted in Japan before the pandemic found 28 to 32 per cent of pregnant people reported distress.

Researchers also sought to learn more about what the common sources of concern were for expectant parents during the pandemic. Participants were provided with a list of 27 concerns and asked to indicate their level of concern for each issue.

The top five concerns during pregnancy included: hospital policies regarding support persons in labour; not being able to introduce their baby to loved ones; getting sick from Covid-19 while pregnant; not being able to rely on family or friends after labour for support; and conflicting medical information on Covid-19 in pregnancy and newborns, especially early in the pandemic.

There were differences in the concerns of first-time and second/third-time parents. First-time parents were more concerned about the cancellation of in-person prenatal classes and hospital tours, whereas second/third-time parents were more concerned about the transmission of Covid-19 from older children in the home.

The authors said that family physicians are well placed to support perinatal mental health and can engage in screening practices and offer appropriate treatment, such as counselling, public health nursing, and psychiatric appointments. They also recommend hospitals better utilize technology to help address parents’ concerns by arranging more virtual check-ins and hospital tours and provide more online resources with evidence-based information on Covid-19 relevant to expectant and new parents.

ALSO READ: Pregnancy cravings out of control? Here’s what you MUST know to contain them

“Clinicians and hospital administrators need to explore innovative ways to increase perinatal support,” said Dr Bogler, who is also one of the leads of the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide, a virtual platform that provides medical information on pregnancy and Covid-19 and helps form a community for expecting parents during the pandemic. 

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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‘No longer safe’: Family flees Manitoba city over COVID-19 attitudes – Flipboard

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Ridin’ Dirty: Guinea Pigs Cruise Around in Style

Two summer-ready guinea pigs took a ride in a remote-controlled car in Montreal, Quebec.The footage was captured by Melissa Trihey, who regularly documents the adventures of her pet guinea pigs, pugs,…

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B.C. reports 66 new COVID-19 cases in Island Health, two deaths – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials have reported 661 new cases and seven deaths from COVID-19 since their last update on Tuesday.

In the Island Health region, 66 new cases were reported, increasing the number of active cases in the health authority to 615, along with two deaths.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 168,459 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,873.

READ MORE: B.C. introducing COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health-care workers

In addition to the new cases in Island Health, 99 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 237 were in Fraser Health, 196 in Interior Health, and 62 in Northern Health.

There are currently 5,791 active cases in the province and 288 people in hospital — 137 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 168,459 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,643,973 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide. Out of all eligible adults in the province, 79.5 per cent have received two doses of vaccine and 86.7 per cent have received one dose.

The Ministry of Health said that 76.5 per cent of cases recorded Sept. 7-13 were in people who have not been vaccinated. Unvaccinated people have also accounted for 87.3 per cent of hospitalizations, the ministry said.

Island Health

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

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