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COVID-19: Here's the situation in Collingwood today – CollingwoodToday

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There have been no further cases of COVID-19 reported in Collingwood today. 

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has added three cases from Collingwood Nursing Home to its list of area cases, but they were reported yesterday by the home. 

The three residents confirmed positive are all women, one in her 90s and one in her 80s, and one in her 100s.

Another recovery was reported out of Collingwood by the health unit today, and there is just one Collingwood case now hospitalized. 

To date, there have been 15 cases confirmed in Collingwood residents, and nine have recovered. 

The Collingwood COVID-19 Assessment Centre will remain open for the long weekend with normal hours of operation (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.). You can get tested by calling ahead to make an appointment. The assessment centre is only testing people with at least one COVID-19 symptom.

Ontario reported 428 new COVID-19 cases today, which includes about 87 cases that were missed in yesterday’s update. The province also reported 27 deaths and 437 recoveries.

Collingwood has announced it will be opening its public boat launch on Heritage Drive tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. But there are no washroom facilities available, so go before you leave.

Area golf courses are also getting ready to open this weekend and next, thanks to a green light from the provincial government. There will be some changes to accommodate public health measures and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Today’s essential worker of the day is Pam HIllier. 

CollingwoodToday would like your help in recognizing local essential workers from health care workers, physicians, cashiers and delivery drivers. If you’d like to say thanks to someone you know, please send a photo, their name, their job title, and your words of thanks to erika@collingwoodtoday.ca. Please only send photos and information with permission.

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Nova Scotia court ruling orders province to better protect endangered species – CTV News

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HALIFAX —
The Nova Scotia government has failed to meet “certain statutory duties” to protect species at risk says a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge, who also ordered the province’s minister of lands and forestry to fulfil his obligations under the Endangered Species Act.

In a ruling issued Friday, Justice Christa Brothers says the public record has shown a “chronic and systemic failure” to implement action required under the act.

“The minister and the department must uphold the law, all the more so when their duties are as plain as they are in this case,” Brothers wrote. “If they conduct themselves unlawfully without good reason, the court must hold them to account.”

The judge quoted from the 1971 Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax” in the preamble to her 58-page ruling: “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Brothers also cited a 2016 report by the provincial auditor general that criticized department inaction, a followup report by the department on the auditor’s recommendations in 2018, and the 2018 Lahey Report on forestry practices to back her conclusion.

The ruling is the result of a judicial review application by the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists, the Blomidon Naturalists Society, the Halifax Field Naturalists and wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft that was heard last fall.

The groups argued that Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin has failed to meet requirements under the act, including requirements to devise and implement recovery plans for species at risk, create recovery teams and identify core habitats.

They cited six animal and plant species as examples — the mainland moose, Canada warbler, eastern wood pewee, wood turtle, ram’s head lady’s slipper and black ash.

“Nature won,” Bancroft said of the court ruling in an interview Monday. “The question is whether they (politicians) will actually do anything or not.”

Bancroft said he believes nature has been compromised over the years on many fronts because of an “industrial agenda” within the department, particularly when it comes to forestry practices.

“At least we got to the bottom of the species at risk issue effectively in law, so I’m grateful to the lawyers and Judge Brothers for that.”

Brothers noted that in the case of the Canada warbler, which was listed as endangered in 2013, the minister had one year to appoint a recovery team under the act.

But she said a team wasn’t appointed until March 2019, shortly after the naturalist groups filed for judicial review and “some five years after the time frame contemplated by the Endangered Species Act.”

Brothers said little action also occurred when it came to the ram’s head lady’s slipper, a plant listed as endangered in 2007.

“The minister neither appointed a recovery team nor prepared a plan in 2008,” she wrote. “According to the record, a draft recovery plan was created in 2009. There is nothing in either the record or submissions to explain why this plan was never finalized.”

Brothers said a plants recovery team was appointed in May 2019 that included the lady slipper and a recovery plan is pending.

“What of the 11 years that elapsed between the designation of the species and the appointment of the team?” the ruling asks.

The judge also said lawyers for the province had cited “several somewhat vague suggestions” of limited departmental resources as justification for the delay.

“There is no apparent support in the record for the claim that institutional restraints, such as lack of resources, are at fault for this failure to observe statutory requirements,” she said.

During two days of hearings last September the lawyer for the naturalist groups, James Simpson, argued that the language in the act, with its use of the word “shall”, creates an imperative for the department to enforce the existing law.

Brothers agreed in her ruling. “The minister has no discretion to avoid this duty,” she wrote.

In an email, Lands and Forestry Department spokeswoman Lisa Jarrett said there’s no word yet on a potential appeal of the ruling.

“The province has just received the ruling and is currently reviewing it to determine next steps,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.

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Nova Scotia researchers to evaluate treatments for moderate, severe COVID-19 – The Telegram

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A Nova Scotia study will look into the effectiveness of treatments for hospital patients suffering from moderate to severe COVID-19. 

The study, called CO-VIC for COVID victory, will involve about 600 patients from Nova Scotia Health Authority sites across the province, an NSHA news release said Monday. 

The study, which the authority is doing in conjunction with Dalhousie University, will test out potential therapies and their impact on COVID-19 symptoms. 

“When additional cutting-edge therapies become available, they will also be assessed,” the release said. “Personalized measurements of immune response will help develop future therapies and predict when and how severe COVID-19 happens.”

The work, which is being led by infectious disease clinician and researcher Dr. Lisa Barrett, aims to advance our understanding of how the immune system responds to COVID and help develop future treatments and second-wave vaccines.

 “We need the best knowledge of treatments and immunity, to save lives now and in the future as we continue to fight COVID-19.”

– CO-VIC study leader Dr. Lisa Barrett

CO-VIC is partially funded by the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Health Research Coalition.

 “As COVID-19 related deaths increase in the older population, in the young who didn’t ever expect to be ill, and in health care workers, our research community feels the overwhelming urgency to protect Nova Scotians with research that tests treatments, predicts disease, and promotes understanding of immunity,” Barrett said in the release.

 “We need the best knowledge of treatments and immunity, to save lives now and in the future as we continue to fight COVID-19.”

The NSHA called the treatment study an integral part of Nova Scotia’s pandemic response. Compared with other provinces, Nova Scotia’s population includes a high proportion of vulnerable people who are older, have underlying respiratory conditions or are immunosuppressed.

“These are all people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease and this work may aid in protecting our population.”

Most Nova Scotians will be eligible to take part at hospitals outside traditional research facilities to ensure fair access to research and potential therapies, the release said. 

“While data will be gathered from Nova Scotians, for Nova Scotians, the study is designed to mirror larger international trials to promote the comparison of global data. This will allow the research team to leverage international information so it can be applied here in Nova Scotia.”

For more information, visit the study website

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Nova Scotia reports one new case of COVID-19, bringing total to 1057 – Winnipeg Free Press

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HALIFAX – Nova Scotia is reporting one new case of COVID-19 bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 1,057.

Health officials say there is one long-term care home in the province with active cases of the virus.

Northwood in Halifax currently has 10 residents and four staff active cases.

Six people are currently in hospital, with two of those patients in intensive care.

To date, Nova Scotia has registered 42,426 negative test results and 60 deaths.

Officials say 984 people have now recovered from the illness.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.

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