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Coronavirus: COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 28 days on mobile phones and banknotes, study suggests – Sky News

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The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces including mobile phones and banknotes for up to four weeks, according to new research.

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO found that Sars-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” at 20C (68F), or room temperature.

The study also found that the virus survived longer at lower temperatures.

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Researchers said the virus survived longer on smooth surfaces such as glass and stainless steel compared with porous surfaces such as cotton.

They also found the virus survived longer on paper banknotes than plastic banknotes.

A previous study in The Lancet in April found that SARS-Cov-2 could not be detected on glass or banknotes after four days or seven days for stainless steel.

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The research from CSIRO found the virus was surviving for 28 days.

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However, the research was conducted in a dark area which negates the effects of UV light, as studies have shown direct sunlight can rapidly inactivate the virus.

Dr Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said: “Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular handwashing and cleaning surfaces.

“At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes.

“For context, similar experiments for Influenza A have found that it survived on surfaces for 17 days, which highlights just how resilient SARS-CoV-2 is.”

There is uncertainty about surface transmission of the virus.

The virus is mostly transmitted when a person coughs, sneezes or talks.

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COVID and the conflicting science

Dr Eagles added: “While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas.”

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said its latest research builds on the national science agency’s other COVID-19 work such as vaccine testing.

He said: “Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people.”

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At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health – CityNews Edmonton

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CALGARY – Alberta Health said 49 active COVID-19 cases have been linked to a wedding in Calgary earlier this month.

The health agency said the wedding had a large number of Albertans from different households.

Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan said aggressive contact tracing is underway to identify anyone who may have been exposed to make sure they are isolating and getting tested.

He did not say how many people attended the wedding and said specifics about individual cases cannot be disclosed because of patient confidentiality.

COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the province state a maximum of 100 people can attend outdoor and indoor seated events, such as
wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances.

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings.

WATCH: Recent rise in numbers due to large social events 

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Active COVID-19 cases in Calgary zone exceed 1,000 – Calgary Herald

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Sixteen of the 70 ICU beds allocated for COVID-19 patients are currently in use in Alberta, which marks 23 per cent of available space.

Due to the rise in case numbers, delayed wait times for test results and an increase in flu and cold symptoms, the province has placed more restrictions on asymptomatic testing.

“We must take further action,” said Hinshaw. “Effective immediately, we will be pressing pause on all asymptomatic testing in those who have no known exposure. This is an important and necessary step to help us reduce testing wait times, get results to Albertans and limit the spread.”

Asymptomatic testing was only available for priority groups before Tuesday’s announcement.

Alberta’s top doctor said Alberta has seen a handful of examples of gatherings gone wrong in recent weeks, adding to the provincial COVID-19 case count.

She noted a Calgary “superspreader” wedding linked to at least 49 cases, a workplace gathering connected to nine cases, and a party where one-third of the attendees have tested positive.

“COVID-19 really does love parties and we need to keep this in mind while planning or attending social events,” said Hinshaw, reminding Albertans to keep gatherings small while following all public health guidance.

There are no immediate plans for the government to implement additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases grow, unlike other provinces such as Ontario that have rolled back relaxed directives.

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Manitoba seeking nurses, health-care aides, contact tracers in fight against COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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Manitoba is appealing to the public for help filling a number of nursing and health care aide jobs to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

People from all health-care disciplines are asked to apply, including current and former nurses, and people with comparable training, said Shared Health’s Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa in a news release on Monday.

“These are unprecedented times and we are appealing to everyone who has chosen a career in caring to consider how they can help,” she said.

“Right now, some of Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens need our help. Whether you are a student just starting your career, are already working in our health system or are looking to step back into patient care after some time away, we have a role for you.”

Jobs are available for people with varied levels of training and experience, including health care students, new graduates as well as current and former health care workers, Siragusa said.

Although there is a need for nurses and health care aides in personal care homes, there are also positions in areas like contact tracing, call centres and testing sites.

Staff are provided with personal protective equipment, training and support. Every precaution is taken to ensure their safety, according to the release.

People with health-care education, as well as those with comparable training including dietitians, spiritual health providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and others are invited to apply.

“Across the province, compassionate and caring individuals have stepped up to ensure we are able to continue offering the services and support needed by those most vulnerable in our community, but we need additional help in a variety of direct care and behind-the-scenes areas,” Siragusa said.

This comes after Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Wab Kinew shared health-care vacancy numbers in western Manitoba during question period Thursday.

The NDP obtained information from Prairie Mountain Health last week showing that 22 per cent of licensed practical nurse positions were open as of August, as well 19 per cent of registered nursing positions and 16 per cent of nurse practitioners jobs.

In addition, 15 per cent of home-care aide and health-care aide positions were sitting vacant.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) says nurses are working well below baseline staffing, at times hovering around half their normal complement.

MNU says nurses are being mandated to work overtime at Parkview Place, a private care home run by Revera which is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. 

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