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COVID-19: Central zone active cases down 50 per cent Wednesday; one more death – Bashaw Star

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The total number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta rose by 82 Wednesday.

That brings the active number of cases to 1,107. To date, 12,501 cases have been confirmed in Alberta, according the government’s website.

Across the province, there have been 11,167 recoveries from the virus, while 48 people remain in hospital and 12 are in the ICU.

Two additional deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 227. One of those deaths is in the central zone, brining the death toll to seven.

In the central zone, there are 40 active cases, down significantly from Tuesday’s 87. In total, 517 people have recovered in the region, while four people are in hospital.

Red Deer sits at 11 active cases of COVID-19, down from Tuesday’s 14. To date, 62 people have recovered in the city.

Lacombe County and the County of Stettler each have five active cases. The City of Lacombe, Camrose and Red Deer County each have one active case.

Kneehill County and Mountain View County both have two cases. Tofield and Viking have nine cases combined, while Drumheller has three cases.

Wektaskiwin, the County of Wetaskiwin, Sylvan Lake, Olds and Ponoka County have no active cases.

The Edmonton zone continues to be hard hit by the virus, with more than half of the province’s active cases, at 631. They also have 22 cases in hospital and seven in the ICU.

The Calgary zone sits at 294 cases, with 6,544 recovered cases. Ten people are in hospital in the region and one is in the ICU.

South zone has 33 active cases with three people in hospital and one in intensive care.

In the north zone, there are 103 active cases with nine people in hospital and three in intensive care.



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Number of COVID-19 cases in schools on the rise in Quebec – Global News

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Two Lower Canada College (LCC) teachers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school.

The college located in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough sent a letter to parents with the news Thursday.

“In order to limit the possibility of further transmission in the school and after consulting with Public Health, teachers and staff who were in close contact with these teachers have been asked to be tested for COVID-19 and will remain at home for a period of 14 days following their exposure,” the letter read in part.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Quebec school bus drivers want to be informed of positive cases they’ve transported

According to the school’s headmaster Christopher Shannon, no student was exposed. Shannon says teachers are in full personal protective equipment when they are with students and maintain a two-metre distance at all times.

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Lower Canada College is just one of 489 schools that have reported cases of the virus in Quebec so far, according to numbers released by the province on Friday.

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It brings the total of cases in schools to 1,163 of which 722 are currently active.

Read more:
Quebec reports 377 coronavirus cases at 223 schools

Olivier Drouin, a Montreal-based parent who decided to track COVID-19 cases in schools on a website he created, says he’s alarmed about the increase in cases lately.

Drouin believes it’s time for the government to take more measures in schools.

“I am worried and I would like at least — if the schools are going to stay open — that we introduce maybe mandatory masks in schools, or a little bit more of social distancing, or online learning,” Drouin said. “But [that] doesn’t seem the way the government is going right now.”






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Coronavirus: Parents worried over differing protocols in Quebec schools


Coronavirus: Parents worried over differing protocols in Quebec schools

Health officials insist schools are not a problem.

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READ MORE: Quebec raises coronavirus alert level for Montreal, other regions as situation becomes ‘critical’

“There are a lot of cases because there are a lot of schools and schools are a reflection of what’s going on in the community,” said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director.

“There’s going to be small outbreaks under control. If they are not in control then we can go to other steps.”

Arruda added that the virus is being brought into schools rather than it being a matter of schools driving the spread.

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

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Toronto's top doctor orders closure of four businesses over concerns about transmission of COVID-19 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Chris Fox, CP24.com


Published Friday, September 25, 2020 4:43PM EDT


Last Updated Friday, September 25, 2020 6:17PM EDT

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of four hospitality businesses that she says failed to take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa says that the reasons behind the closure orders are specific to each business but generally point to an abdication of responsibility to help control the spread of COVID-19.

As an example, she said that investigators with Toronto Public Health found that one of the businesses served food buffet-style in direct contravention of provincial regulations.

Others, she said, pressured employees to work when they were ill and were “frequently uncooperative” with Toronto Public Health investigators as they attempted to trace cases of COVID-19.

De Villa also said that investigators found a “concerning link” among the businesses with many people who contracted COVID-19 having visited more than one of them. There were also instances in which staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 worked at more than one of the locations.

“These factors combined to create a significant risk to efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 so I am acting under my authority to close down these businesses,” de Villa said during a briefing at city hall on Friday afternoon. “These are not actions I take lightly but I act first in the interest s of public health and in these circumstances the action taken is the right action to protect your health.”

De Villa said that orders requiring the closure of all four businesses are currently being issued, at which point their names and locations will be released to the public.

She said that in order to reopen each business will have to satisfy the specific conditions spelled out in the closure orders.

Speaking with reporters alongside de Villa, Mayor John Tory said that her decision to use her powers under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to order the closure of the business is the sort of “tactical responses” that the city will have to take when it finds “specific hot spots contributing to the spread of COVID-19” going forward.

“The action that Dr. de Villa is taking today will close some businesses but they must close so the vast majority of businesses can stay open,” he said.

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Chinese company says coronavirus vaccine ready by early 2021 – WellandTribune.ca

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BEIJING – A Chinese pharmaceutical company said Thursday the coronavirus vaccine it is developing should be ready by early 2021 for distribution worldwide, including the United States.

Yin Weidong, the CEO of SinoVac, vowed to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell CoronaVac in the United States if it passes its third and final round of testing in humans. Yin said he personally has been given the experimental vaccine.

“At the very beginning, our strategy was designed for China and for Wuhan. Soon after that in June and July we adjusted our strategy, that is to face the world,” Yin said, referring to the Chinese city were the virus first emerged.

“Our goal is to provide the vaccine to the world including the U.S., EU and others,” Yin said.

Stringent regulations in the U.S., European Union, Japan and Australia have historically blocked the sale of Chinese vaccines. But Yin said that could change.

SinoVac is developing one of China’s top four vaccine candidates along with state-owned SinoPharm, which has two in development, and military-affiliated private firm CanSino.

More than 24,000 people are participating in clinical trials of CoronaVac in Brazil, Turkey, and Indonesia, with additional trials scheduled for Bangladesh and possibly Chile, Yin said. SinoVac chose those countries because they all had serious outbreaks, large populations and limited research and development capacity, he said.

He spoke to reporters during a tour of a SinoVac plant south of Beijing. Built in a few months from scratch, the plant is designed to enable SinoVac to produce half a million vaccine doses a year. The bio-secure facility was already busy on Thursday filling tiny bottles with the vaccine and boxing them. The company projects it will be able to produce a few hundred million doses of the vaccine by February or March of next year.

SinoVac is also starting to test small doses of CoronaVac on children and the elderly in China after noticing rising numbers of cases globally among those two groups.

Yin said the company would prioritize distribution of the vaccine to countries hosting human trials of CoronaVac.

While the vaccine has not yet passed the phase 3 clinical trials, a globally accepted standard, SinoVac has already injected thousands of people in China under an emergency use provision.

Yin said he was one of the first to receive the experimental vaccine months ago along with researchers after phase one and two of human trials showed no serious adverse effects. He said that self-injecting showed his support for CoronaVac.

“This is kind of a tradition of our company,” Yin said, adding that he had done the same with a hepatitis vaccine under development.

Earlier this year, China permitted “emergency use” of vaccine candidates for at-risk populations like border personnel and medical workers if companies could show “good safety and good antibodies” from tests of about 1,000 people, Yin said.

SinoVac received that approval in June along with SinoPharm and CanSino, and was able to provide tens of thousands of doses of CoronaVac to Beijing’s municipal government, Yin said.

SinoVac employees qualified for emergency use of the vaccine because an outbreak inside the company would cripple its ability to develop a vaccine, he said. About 90% of the company’s staff have received it.

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“We are confident that our research of the COVI-19 vaccines can meet the standards of the U.S. and EU countries,” Yin said.

___ Associated Press video producer Olivia Zhang contributed to this report.

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