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Coronavirus cases in Alberta and B.C. are linked. What does that mean for further spread? – Global News

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One of B.C.’s confirmed cases of the new coronavirus is responsible for a presumptive case in Alberta, health officials in that province announced Sunday — marking the first instance of spread between provinces.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the Edmonton-area case first announced Friday, a man in his 40s, had visited Michigan, Illinois and Ohio and was travelling with a companion from B.C.


READ MORE:
2 new presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Alberta: 1 in Calgary, 1 in Edmonton

The B.C. man had been on the Grand Princess cruise ship, where COVID-19 has spread to several passengers on a previous sailing, including multiple Canadians.

B.C.’s Ministry of Health confirmed Sunday that the B.C. case is one of six new cases announced in the province Saturday. Both the man and another woman who tested positive for the virus after leaving the ship are now in isolation at home in the Fraser Health region. They are both in their 60s.

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Hinshaw said the Edmonton case contracted the coronavirus from that male B.C. case.






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B.C. announces six new COVID-19 cases including two at North Vancouver care home


B.C. announces six new COVID-19 cases including two at North Vancouver care home

Tom Koch, an adjunct professor of medical geography at the University of British Columbia, says while the spread of the virus directly from one province to another is an “interesting” development, it’s not unusual.

“This is what you expect a virus like this one to do,” he said. “This is the way microbes get around. They don’t travel on their own. There’s no microbe bus, there’s no microbe plane, there’s no microbe army. They just wait for us to carry them to new sites.


READ MORE:
B.C. declares COVID-19 outbreak at North Vancouver care home, 6 new cases announced

“What this emphasizes is that the virus is present and active in Canada, and is active in places where we didn’t expect it until we find a new infection.”

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Koch says COVID-19 is acting similarly to influenza outbreaks that occur every year, which spread across provincial and national borders easily, but with “qualities that make it seem like it’s going farther and faster than otherwise would have been expected.”

“It’s doing what we would expect, but it’s doing it more efficiently than we’ve seen in a while,” he said. “We’re used to it (in) influenza, but we weren’t expecting it with this cousin of influenza.”

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Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. officials confirm 6 new cases of COVID-19 in province


Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. officials confirm 6 new cases of COVID-19 in province

While the connection between the Lower Mainland and Edmonton isn’t cause for alarm just yet, Koch says he’s more concerned about localized outbreak areas like Washington state, or the North Vancouver care home that was put under an “outbreak protocol” Saturday due to at least three cases there.

Of particular concern to Koch is the potential spread from an outbreak zone or large population area to more remote communities in the north, particularly Indigenous reserves, where little to no medical infrastructure exists to handle an outbreak.


READ MORE:
B.C. premier outlines province’s COVID-19 response plan

We have the advantage in Canada of being a huge country geographically, so while we have a lot of travel between cities, that’s a lot of distance between Vancouver and Toronto, Regina to Halifax,” he said. “But it’s far shorter between Vancouver and Prince George, or Vancouver and 100 Mile House.

“We still have time before [northern spread] happens, which means we have more time to prepare. But it may still become a particular concern if they don’t have the same resources.”

B.C.’s response plan for the new coronavirus, announced on Friday, includes precautions and preparations that are underway or will be launched if the outbreak grows in the province.






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Premier Horgan outlines B.C.’s emergency response plan for possible COVID-19 pandemic


Premier Horgan outlines B.C.’s emergency response plan for possible COVID-19 pandemic

The plan directs the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation to work as a liaison between Indigenous communities and the Ministry of Health to ensure those communities are properly engaged and notified in the event of a pandemic.

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The plan includes expanding sites where COVID-19 tests can be done, expanding testing capacity, increasing the advice businesses will receive around protecting staff, ensuring resources are in place if health facilities are maxed out with positive cases, and providing support to family physicians and community-based specialists.

Alberta has yet to release a similar plan, although several measures have been taken by the province including mobilizing health care resources and providing regular updates.

—With a file from Richard Zussman

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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'Plate-shaming' is happening in Atlantic Canada as locals fear those from outside the 'bubble' – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Atlantic Canada’s reputation for being warm and welcoming has long been a source of pride.

But instead of hospitality, the pandemic is exposing a glimpse of hostility aimed at those who are assumed to be outsiders.

“Being from Halifax, growing up here all but eight years of my life, I really didn’t expect this,” resident Tony Mountenay told CTV News.

Tony and Debbie Mountenay chose to return to Nova Scotia during the pandemic because they were looking for a laid back retirement.

As required, they isolated after they arrived. But then they decided to go out and run errands.

“And we had three different incidents where people came up beside us, yelling at us, through the window, and when it first happened, we had to try to think, well what was that about?” Debbie said.

The answer was the licence plate on their truck — showing that they came from Ontario.

Visitors from beyond the “Atlantic bubble” have been vilified by locals fearing the virus could be imported.

Though relatively rare, there have been incidents of “plate-shaming.”

A woman from Quebec was told to go home while walking on a New Brunswick beach.

More than 15,000 Newfoundlanders signed a petition demanding their province not open the border to anyone.

Debbie said one woman who had harassed the couple had done so in front of her own children.

“She really shouldn’t have been doing that in my opinion,” she said. “Another man, you could tell he was out of control.”

The Atlantic bubble, which encompasses the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, is a concept that was introduced recently to allow easier travel between the Eastern provinces as the region reopens.

People from all across Canada are allowed to travel to any Atlantic province, but those outside of the Atlantic bubble must isolate for 14 days — as leaders in the region are quick to remind people.

“The Atlantic bubble is open today, [but] that does not apply to those who are from Ontario, Quebec or Western Canada,” Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said. “If you’re coming into our province, you’re required to self isolate as well.”

The Atlantic provinces have largely fared well during the pandemic compared to provinces such as Ontario or Quebec. Of the Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia has had the most cases in total, at just over 1,000 — a far cry from Quebec’s 56,521 cumulative cases.

The stress for locals in the Atlantic provinces is that out-of-bubble visitors could lead to a second wave of the virus.

Only last week, a string of new cases in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were proven to be related to travel from outside of the bubble. One individual flew from the United States to Toronto, and then to Halifax. This case was then connected to cases in Prince Edward Island.

McNeil said on July 6 that he is frustrated with travellers who do not isolate for the 14 days after they arrive.

“We have worked hard together and sacrificed so much in this province to help flatten the curve only to have some people come into our province who think they’re above it all, who think that the rules don’t apply to them,” he said. “Guess what? They do.”

But the Mountenay’s experience in Nova Scotia suggests that the uncertainty over who has isolated and who has not has led to some rather un-neighbourly behaviour.

In response, the couple has come with a way to alert people they’re not a threat. A piece of paper that clearly states a person has completed isolation.

“I don’t want to get [COVID-19],” Debbie said. “And I don’t want to give it to anybody.”

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Quebec adds 114 new COVID-19 cases as Montreal health raises concerns about bars – National Post

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MONTREAL — Quebec reported 114 new COVID-19 infections Sunday as health officials in Montreal urged bar patrons and employees having frequented an establishment since July 1 to get tested.

With the new confirmed cases, the province has now had 56,521 cases of COVID-19.

The province also added seven further deaths linked to the virus for a total of 5,627.

Of those, three deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.

On Saturday, Montreal’s public health authority urged people and employees having frequented bars since Canada Day to get tested.

Authorities said there are investigations involving at least eight cases stemming from five Montreal bars, but feared that was but the tip of the iceberg.

Some Montreal bars took to their social media accounts to announce they’d had positive cases in their establishments.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante also called on citizens falling into the public health warning to get tested.

“The nice summer weather may be upon us, but the virus is far from gone,” she wrote on Twitter, urging people respect distancing and face-covering rules.

Quebec is to introduce mandatory masks on public transit beginning Monday, with a two-week grace period before users will be denied service as of July 27.

Montreal has also indicated it intends to bring in mandatory masks for enclosed public spaces as of that date.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.

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Atlantic Provinces See 1 New COVID-19 Case Sunday – country94.ca

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Prince Edward Island was the only maritime province to report a case of COVID-19 this weekend.

The patient is a woman in her 80s, and according to the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Heather Morrison, is not believed to be related to the previous cluster reported on the island last week.

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia all reported no new cases this weekend.

P.E.I. now has seven active cases of the virus, while New Brunswick and Newfoundland have one, and Nova Scotia has three.

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