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COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday – Lacombe Express – Lacombe Express

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Alberta confirmed 1,440 COVID-19 cases from over the weekend and seven additional deaths.

The cases are: 364 on Friday, 572 on Saturday and 504 on Sunday. The Saturday case number is another record for the province.

That’s identifying, on average, 480 COVID-19 cases over the weekend, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

She said one of the challenges is to find a balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions.

“This requires us to keep the spread of COVID-19 manageable. We’ve now crossed a tipping point and are losing the balance we’ve been seeking,” said Hinshaw.

The government imposed new temporary mandatory limits Monday – of 15 people – at most social gatherings for the City of Calgary and Edmonton.

In total, 118 people in Alberta are in hospitals with 16 in intensive care.

The total number of active cases in the province sat at 4,477 Monday afternoon up 826 from Friday’s 3,651.

The number of active cases in the central zone jumped to 162 from Friday’s 126. There are three people in hospital in the local zone with none in intensive care.

To date, there have been 953 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the local zone with 783 recoveries.

The deaths were in Edmonton and Calgary zones. The virus-death toll is at 307.

The City of Red Deer’s active cases sits at 39 up from Friday’s 31.

A letter was sent Monday to families alerting them of a positive case of the virus at Gateway Christian School in Red Deer.

On Monday, Red Deer’s Hunting Hills High School was on province’s watch list.

Red Deer County had 10 active cases Monday afternoon, two in Town of Sylvan Lake, six in Lacombe County, one in the City of Lacombe, 45 in Ponoka County, two in County of Wetaskiwin, and 11 in City of Wetaskiwin.

There were two active cases in the Town of Olds, three in Clearwater County, five in Kneehill County, four in Camrose County, six in City of Camrose and one in Town of Drumheller.

There are no active cases in Mountain View County, Starland County and County of Stettler.

One of the challenges of the increasing active case numbers is it creates pressure on COVID-19 response including contact-tracing, said Hinshaw.

She said Alberta is also challenged between polarizing views on the virus: on one hand “we have to drive to zero cases” and on another “COVID is a mild illness for most so we should let it spread freely and pursue herd immunity.”

“COVID is a novel disease that is not just the flu,” Hinshaw said. “It has the ability to overwhelm our health system and weaken essential services if we let it do so.”

She encouraged Albertans to maintain respectful dialogue and to not let COVID-19 divide the province.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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COVID-19 outbreak declared at another Winnipeg hospital – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
Another hospital in Winnipeg is declaring a COVID-19 outbreak in one of its units.

The province announced Thursday afternoon that the N3 West unit at Concordia Hospital has declared a COVID-19 outbreak. The site is now at the critical or red level on the province’s Pandemic Response System.

“Outbreak protocols have been implemented at the hospital to ensure the ongoing protection of patients, staff and visitors,” the hospital said in a statement. “Anyone potentially exposed are being identified and directed to self-isolate and, if necessary, will be tested as we investigate the origins of the transmission.”

The hospital will suspend new patient admissions to the impacted unit, and visits are also suspended.

Other hospitals in Winnipeg currently dealing with active COVID-19 outbreaks include the Health Sciences Centre, Grace Hospital, and Victoria General Hospital.

CTV Winnipeg has reached out to Concordia Hospital for more information, including the number of cases connected to the outbreak.

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Coronavirus: Community cluster declared in Revelstoke; 22 cases in past 2 weeks – Global News

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A coronavirus cluster has been declared in the small B.C. city of Revelstoke.

On Thursday, Interior Health announced a spike in cases in Revelstoke and the surrounding area, stating 22 cases have been identified over the past 14 days, including 12 cases reported on Tuesday.

The health agency said social gatherings appear to be responsible for some of these transmissions.

Read more:
Pressure grows for Alberta and B.C. to join COVID Alert app as cases surge

“This highlights the importance, especially at this time, of limiting your social activities and following COVID-19 protocols when indoors,” said Interior Health.

“This includes maintaining physical distancing and masking when unable to stay apart.”

It also said “this cluster illustrates that COVID-19 is in smaller rural communities as well as larger urban centres.”

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According to the health agency, no exposures have been identified in Revelstoke school settings at this time, and that students can continue to go to school.

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“If there is a case, school administration will be alerted and appropriate steps taken to communicate with parents and ensure the safety of our school population,” it said.

Interior Health said it will monitor this cluster for additional cases, adding “we also would like to highlight the importance of limiting travel to essential travel only.”

Located around 560 kilometres east of Vancouver along the Trans-Canada Highway, Revelstoke has an official population of around 7,000 – though that was from 2016. Last year, following a third-party count, the city said in a press release its population was around 13,000.


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B.C. solicitor general: Anti-mask scofflaws face multiple fines

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BC adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases – Salmon Arm Observer

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The growing number of COVID-19 positive tests without the likely source identified is a key sign of rapid community spread that is outpacing the growth and reach of B.C.’s contact tracing teams.

Contact tracers have been hired, transferred and trained as quickly as possible to keep up with the current surge of novel coronavirus infections, particularly in the Fraser Health region where about 70 per cent of the new cases are being identified. Public health officials have also pleaded with people to cooperate when they are contacted about their movements in likely exposure situations.

The number of “unknown” sources has been running at about 20 to 25 per cent in Fraser Health, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, and reorganizing the reporting system has helped as the case numbers have taken off in November. Specialized teams have been assigned for workplaces, schools and health care facilities, where people are exposed in the community and then go to work or school. And test results are now being transmitted by automated text message.

“I wouldn’t say we’re losing but we’re on the edge for sure,” Henry said at a briefing for reporters in Victoria Nov. 27. “Contact tracing is something where we need to spend time with people. We’ve automated some things including the automated response so people are now getting their test results, whether positive or negative, by text with information about what to do and how to start the process of determining who they had contact with so when they are contacted, that can speed it up and there’s an online form we’re putting in place for that as well.”

RELATED: B.C. sees deadliest day Wednesday, 13 deaths, 738 cases

RELATED: B.C. plans for COVID-19 vaccine rollout in early 2021

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the original goal of adding 500 contact tracers has been revised to 1,200, and retired health care staff are stepping up to help keep up with demand. The return of the province-wide essential-only travel advisory is showing up, as people limit their movements and social contacts in a bid to get infections down before the Christmas season.

“COVID-19 everywhere in the world, the second wave is incredibly tough, and regardless of the question of resources and on top of it, we need everyone to be all-in,” Dix said. “In the last week in terms of activity in the province we’ve seen a decline in ferry traffic and other things that show how committed people are.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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