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COVID-19: Dire warning from Dix as B.C. reports record caseload – The Sudbury Star

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Health minister Dix says COVID-19 will be around for “months and months and months and months and months to come.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix warned British Columbians on Monday that COVID-19 would be around for “months and months and months and months and months,” as the daily caseload record was smashed two days in a row.

Earlier, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson reported 1,120 new cases of COVID-19 over the previous three days, and six deaths. Of those cases, 47 were children aged under 10.

There were 352 cases reported between noon Friday and noon Saturday, 389 between noon Saturday and noon Sunday, and 379 between noon Sunday and noon Monday. The previous one-day record was 317 reported on Oct. 24.

“Our desire to be together, our desire to party together, can sometimes be our greatest weakness in a time of pandemic. Those connections that we count on, our need to come together, are the things that COVID-19 seeks to spread,” said Dix, adding the COVID-19 tide was rising. “You see that all around the world, where we are in a significant new phase of the pandemic. And we must now act to respond to what COVID-19 is doing in our province, to get our own house in order for the cold weather ahead.

“We’re facing COVID-19 for a long time to come. For months and months and months and months and months and months and months to come. We’re going to be dealing with COVID-19 and for us to do all the things that we want, to have children in school, to have surgeries performed, to have businesses operating, to have some normalcy in these extraordinary times in our lives, we need to follow public health guidance and public health advice.”

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Gustafson said there were now 2,945 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., of which 90 were in hospital, including 19 in intensive care. She said that while those numbers were very concerning, hospitalizations were stable.

Of the new cases, the majority (830) were in the Fraser Health region, with 234 reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

There have been 15,501 cases of COVID-19 reported since the first case appeared in B.C. in late January and 269 deaths.

Gustafson said there were 6,448 people in self-isolation after potentially being exposed to the disease.

There are 28 active outbreaks in health-care facilities, including three reported over the weekend. Of these, 26 are in long-term care facilities and two in acute-care settings. So far, 457 health-care workers at long-term care facilities have contracted the virus. All six people who died over the weekend were in long-term care.

Late on Monday, Fraser Health reported a community outbreak at Capella Dance Academy in Chilliwack where 26 people have tested COVID positive. The facility closed on Oct. 28 and is subject to inspection.

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Dix said there were 24,771 COVID-19 tests performed over the weekend and over 5,000 calls were made to the 811 COVID-19 helpline — and the Ministry of Health was hiring more COVID-19 contact tracers.

Gustafson said more detailed information on where COVID-19 cases had appeared would be available soon.

She said her office was still resisting adopting the federal government’s COVID Alert smartphone app but the office was looking for online tools that would be more helpful. She said the app couldn’t provide meaningful information — like when the exposure occurred and for how long — and needed to be improved.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue – Victoria News

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The country’s top doctor is asking Canadians to limit their contacts and gatherings as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in several provinces.

In a statement released Sunday (Nov. 29), chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam said there has been an average of 5,335 new cases daily over the past week, compared to 4,739 daily new cases from Nov. 13-19.

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior, while the positivity rate has increased from 6.6 per cent to 7.6 per cent. The number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 has increased to 2,111 from Nov. 20 to 26, up from 1,840 the week prior. The number of ICU patients treated daily jumped from 376 to 432 over the same time period, while average daily deaths increased by five to 76.

“More and larger outbreaks are occurring in long term care homes, congregate living settings and hospitals, and spreading in Indigenous communities and more remote areas of the country,” Tam said. “These developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies.”

Tam said that this time period was crucial, as the weather continues to get colder across the country and gathering indoors becomes more tempting.

“Avoid or limit time spent in the 3Cs – closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings and situations,” she said, as well as urging people to wear masks, stay home if they are sick and wash their hands frequently.

In total, Canada has reported 370,278 confirmed cases and 12,032 deaths due to COVID-19.

B.C. recorded a record-breaking 911 cases on Friday, the last day of a week that has proven to be its deadliest of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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Alberta's central zone now has 1101 active COVID-19 cases – Stettler Independent

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The Government of Alberta reported 1,609 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

The province now has 15,692 active cases, to go along with 40,219 recovered cases, according to the latest statistics on the government’s website.

Alberta Health Services’ central zone has risen to 1,101 active cases, while the Edmonton zone has 7,230, Calgary has 5,756, the north zone has 857, the south zone has 642 and 223 cases are in an unknown area.

The provincial death toll has risen to 533, which is an increase of nine.

The City of Red Deer currently has 191 active cases, Red Deer County has 61, Sylvan Lake has 48, Lacombe County has 42, Clearwater County has 31, the City of Lacombe has 28, Olds has 21, Mountain View County has 15 and Stettler County has six.

Collectively, Ponoka County and Wetaskiwin County have 349.

“The next few weeks will be hard for all of us in light of the restrictions on social gatherings. I want to thank all of you for doing the right thing and making these sacrifices to help bend the curve,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of healthDr. Deena Hinshaw said on Twitter Sunday.

“While we may be physically separated from each other, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your friends and family and stay connected virtually. We are all in this together – so please reach out to a loved one if you need to.”

Provincially, 435 are in the hospital due to COVID-19 – 95 of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit. In the central zone, 27 people have been hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care.

In the past 24 hours, 23,282 tests were completed in the province, which brings the total number of tests to 2,234,470.

Hinshaw’s next live update is Monday.



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Red Deer up to 191 active COVID-19 cases – rdnewsnow.com

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Another nine deaths from COVID-19 were reported to bring Alberta’s total to 533.

Red Deer has 191 active cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, an increase of 20. There have now been 334 recovered cases, an increase of three, as the total number of cases attributed to the city rose by 24 to 525.

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Red Deer County has 64 active cases as of Saturday, an increase of seven, while Sylvan Lake added four to sit with 48.

Lacombe County has 42 active cases, an increase of seven, while Lacombe has 28, also an increase of six.

Clearwater County (Rocky Mtn. House) added 10 more active cases for a total of 31.

Ponoka County added 12 active cases to sit with 250.

Mountain View County holds steady with 15 active cases, Olds added three for a total of 21, and Kneehill County added one for a total of 16. Starland County remains with four and the County of Stettler is up two for a total of six active cases.

There are now 1,101 active cases in the Central zone, an increase of 110, with 27 hospitalizations, including five in intensive care.

“The next few weeks will be hard for all of us in light of the restrictions on social gatherings. I want to thank all of you for doing the right thing and making these sacrifices to help bend the curve,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Tweeted on Sunday.

“While we may be physically separated from each other, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your friends and family and stay connected virtually. We are all in this together – so please reach out to a loved one if you need to.”

Hinshaw is scheduled to share her next live update on Monday.

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