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COVID-19: Dire warning from Dix as B.C. reports record caseload



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.


Source: – Standard Freeholder

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A look at what provinces and territories have said about COVID-19 vaccine plans – Preeceville Progress



The federal government is laying plans for the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, inking contracts with seven potential manufacturers and saying six million doses could arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021. The most recent development from Ottawa came Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tapped former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the national distribution effort. But various provinces have started spelling out their plans as well. Here’s a look at what they’ve said so far:

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Nova Scotia

The province’s chief medical officer of health says he will release a detailed plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once Ottawa shares more information.

Dr. Robert Strang said Friday there is no certainty yet about the availability of a vaccine, but expressed hopes an initial supply will trickle into Nova Scotia early in the new year.

Strang said a detailed provincial plan, to be released once the federal government has shared more specifics on its end, will include tight control of the supply and clear rules dictating who can be first in line for immunization.

He said he’s waiting for more federal guidance on issues ranging from priority groups to transportation and storage logistics.


The province will be ready to start rolling out its vaccine plan as of Jan. 1, say senior politicians.

Premier Francois Legault said Thursday that public health officials have already settled on the list of priority vaccine recipients, but did not release details.

Legault said the province is also working to put the necessary infrastructure in place to support a vaccine rollout. That includes obtaining fridges capable of maintaining the extremely low temperatures needed by one of the most promising potential vaccine options, currently in development through pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Quebec has also tasked assistant deputy health minister Jerome Gagnon, and former provincial public health director Dr. Richard Masse to oversee the province’s vaccination effort.


Premier Doug Ford is among those leaders calling on Ottawa to provide more clarity as officials scramble to develop a provincewide vaccination strategy.

Early speculation on the number of doses the province could receive was put to rest earlier this week when federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said such details were still in the works.

But Ford has forged ahead, naming former chief of national defence Gen. Rick Hillier to oversee the province’s vaccine rollout.

Hillier said on Friday he hopes to have a plan developed by year’s end, while Ford urged Ottawa to provide detailed information on potential vaccine delivery.

“We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments,” Ford said.


The province’s top medical official has said she expects to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year, a figure not yet confirmed by the federal government.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw has also said a number of hurdles and unknowns remain as the province works to devise its vaccination scheme.

“These (vaccine) numbers, of course, depend on many factors,” Hinshaw said on Nov. 18. “They depend on the final pieces of the trials that are underway going well. They depend on ensuring that the safety and the effectiveness of the early vaccines can be assured. All of those checks and balances must be cleared.”

On Friday, Hinshaw said the province is working with Ottawa to get vaccine, but it is “a bit of a moving target” on when vaccines might be available.

“But our goal is that whenever vaccine is available, we will be ready to start immunizing individuals on that highest priority list.”

British Columbia

Provincial health officials announced on Wednesday that a vaccine strategy for the province is already in the works.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s top doctor, said Dr. Ross Brown of Vancouver Coastal Health will join the group working to organize the logistics around the distribution of vaccines.

Henry said front-line workers as well as those in long-term care homes will likely have priority for vaccinations.

She cautioned that while the province has contracts with vaccine makers, there can be challenges with offshore manufacturing.

“It’s very much focused on who is most at risk and how do we protect them best,” Henry said. “There’s a lot of discussion that needs to happen.”

Henry said the province hopes to have vaccines in hand by January.


Premier Sandy Silver told the legislature on Wednesday that the territory has been in discussions with various levels of government on a vaccine rollout plan.

He said the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers.

Silver said rural and remote communities should also get priority status in northern regions, a fact he said he’s emphasized with federal authorities.

The premier said he has joined the other provincial and territorial leaders in pushing for a national strategy to distribute the vaccine.

“How confusing would it be for 13 different strategies right across the nation?” he said.

Silver said the Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements, but those issues may not apply to other vaccines under development.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020.

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COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers – CFJC Today Kamloops



Her assessment comes as case counts continued to soar in numerous provinces.

Quebec set a new single-day record with 1,480 new infections today as the provincial death toll crossed the 7,000 threshold.

Ontario, meanwhile, logged case numbers just shy of Friday’s one-day record as it reported 1,822 new diagnoses in the past 24 hours.

Case numbers also jumped sharply in Manitoba where officials recorded 487 new infections and 10 new deaths.

Among those who died was a boy under the age of 10, officials said, though they offered no other details.

Figures from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador show more modest increases of four and two cases, respectively.

“If we continue on the current pace, our longer range models continue to forecast significant increases in daily case counts and estimate that there could be up to 10,000 cases reported daily by mid-December,” Tam said in a statement. “Right now, we have a window of opportunity to act collectively together with public health authorities to bring the infection rate down to a safer trajectory.”

Tam redoubled her calls for Canadians to heed public health advice, limit their social interactions and practice physical distancing in a bid to bring surging case counts under control.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 29 –



Recent developments:

What’s the latest?

Ottawa reported 46 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday and one new death.

Ottawa Public Health reduced the city’s overall death toll by one, however, after an investigation revealed that two earlier COVID-19 deaths could no longer be tied to the virus.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) says it supports the province’s decision to dispatch education and enforcement teams to the region to ensure businesses are following COVID-19 protocols.

The teams will show up in the EOHU later this week, although the head of the chamber of commerce in Cornwall, Ont., says businesses aren’t to blame for spreading COVID-19.

In western Quebec, public health officials recorded 33 new cases Saturday and one new death.

How many cases are there?

As of Saturday, 8,379 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa. There are 309 known active cases, 7,698 cases now considered resolved and 372 people who have died of COVID-19.

Public health officials have reported more than 13,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 12,300 resolved cases.

Ninety people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 80 in western Quebec. 

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Ontario says this will apply through December’s holidays, with people who live away from home such as post-secondary students asked to reduce close contacts for 10 to 14 days before going back.

Quebec has shared what it will take to have at most two small holiday gatherings next month. Rules won’t be loosened until mid-January at the earliest.

Travel from one region to another discouraged throughout the Outaouais.

WATCH: Vanier BIA head urges people to shop local this holiday season

Nathalie Carrier, executive director of the Vanier BIA, is asking residents to support local businesses this holiday season to help those shops stay afloat during the pandemic. 0:48

Ontario says people shouldn’t travel to a lower-level region from a higher one and some lower-level health units want residents to stay put to curb the spread.

Ottawa is currently in the orange zone of the provincial pandemic scale, which allows organized gatherings and restaurants, gyms and theatres to bring people inside.

Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, has said Ottawa’s situation is stable and people should focus on managing risks and taking precautions, such as seeing a few friends outside at a distance, to bring the spread down further.

Communities in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) and Eastern Ontario health units are under yellow zone restrictions, while the Hastings Prince Edward region will enter the zone just after midnight tonight.

That means restaurant hours, table limits and rules around capacity fall somewhere between those in place in Ottawa and the rest of eastern Ontario, which is currently green, the lowest level.

In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec’s red zones, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it’s essential.

There is no indoor dining at restaurants and gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.

The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — more in seated venues.

A sign at the Mont Ste-Marie ski hill east of Kazabazua, Que., reminds skiers to abide by COVID-19 rules on Nov. 26, 2020. The ski hill, located in one of the province’s orange zones, opened this weekend. (Christian Milette/Radio-Canada)

What about schools?

There have been about 200 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there’s a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don’t live with — even with a mask on.

Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can’t distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.

A pedestrian in a mask walks by a sign telling people to wear masks in Ottawa’s ByWard Market because of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-November 2020. (David Richard/Radio-Canada)

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. 

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province.

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.

Ottawa has nine permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

Kingston’s test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area’s other site is in Napanee.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile test site visiting smaller communities.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.

They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had its most known COVID-19 cases of the pandemic this month, with 22 and counting in its Ontario portion and more on the American side of the border. Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

Akwesasne schools and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre are temporarily closed to in-person learning. It has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.

Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte reported its first confirmed case this month.

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. 

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

For more information

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