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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fact facts for Sept. 4, 2020 – Newstalk 1010 (iHeartRadio)

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Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Ottawa’s new COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre opens today
  • The COVID-19 case count in Ottawa surpasses 3,000
  • CERB payments delayed this week after CRA adds new due diligence measures: CTV News
  • COVID-19 outbreak declared at West End Villa
  • Cineplex Cinemas Ottawa on Carling Avenue will reopen on Friday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s kids return to school

Testing:

  • The COVID-19 assessment centre at 151 Brewer Way is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today.
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today.
  • The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today.
  • You can book an appointment for the COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at RCGT Park

Symptoms:

• Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

• Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

• Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

Ottawa’s first drive-thru COVID-19 testing centre opens today at RCGT Park on Coventry Road.

The facility will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week.

The rules for the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre are:

  • An appointment must be booked in advance through the Ottawa Public Health website 
  • You will remain in your car at all times
  • A maximum of four people per vehicle can be tested
  • Minors under the age of 14 will not be tested at the COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre. CHEO offers testing at the COVID-19 assessment centre at Brewer Arena and the two COVID-19 Care Clinics

 

Ottawa Public Health reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with zero new deaths.

It’s the tenth time in 11 days that Ottawa has seen a double-digit increase in COVID-19 cases in Ottawa.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 3,009 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, along with 267 deaths.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 fell below 200 on Thursday.

 
COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa

Infogram

 

The CERB acronym was trending on Twitter Wednesday and Thursday as people expressed frustration with delays in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Many CERB recipients have been accustomed to receiving direct deposit payments within 48 hours of reapplying for the benefit.  The Canada Revenue Agency said the standard is to issue these payments within three to five business days.

However, an official speaking on background to CTV News said the CRA has added new due diligence measures to ensure the payments are reaching the correct bank accounts. The funds will be arriving in bank accounts on Friday.

An Ottawa long-term care home is dealing with its largest COVID-19 outbreak in months.

In a memo to families, obtained by CTV News Ottawa, Extendicare West End Villa says at least eight residents and a staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. Nearly 300 test results are still outstanding.

The outbreak was declared on Aug. 30 after a resident who had returned to the home from a hospital tested positive for COVID-19.

The Cineplex Cinemas Ottawa on Carling Avenue is scheduled to reopen today after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Cineplex says an employee tested positive after last being in the theatre on Aug. 29.

The theatre was closed for a deep cleaning and sanitization before reopening.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, sent their kids back to class with other students on Thursday.

In mid-August, the Prime Minister admitted his family was in the midst of “very active discussions” on whether to have their three kids return to school.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to CTV News on Thursday that, for now, Trudeau’s three children have returned to in-class learning at public schools in Ottawa.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and his wife also said they will send their two children back to school.

They grow up so fast – Hadrien starts the first grade today. Have a great first day, big guy. And to all the kids heading back to school: it’ll be a bit different this year, but remember you’ve still got what it takes to do great things. pic.twitter.com/OOFqEpQ7gK

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau)
September 3, 2020

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Up to Half a Million Sharks Could Be Killed to Produce Coronavirus Vaccine, Warn Conservationists – Sputnik International

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Squalene, an organic compound harvested from shark livers, is used in a variety of areas, including pharmacology. It is the main ingredient in adjuvants, which are used to improve immune system responses to vaccines. Squalene-based adjuvants are currently used in vaccines to prevent different strains of influenza and coronaviruses.

Up to 500,000 sharks could be killed in order to produce a coronavirus vaccine, warned Shark Allies, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to restoring and preserving the shark population. The group’s estimates suggest that in order to vaccinate the world’s population with one inoculation for COVID-19, around 250,000 sharks would need to be killed. Given that previous studies said people would need two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to develop an immune response, means that half a million of sharks could be killed to rid humanity of COVID-19. 

Greedy Pharma

Shark Allies notes that many shark species, such as the gulper shark and basking shark have been classified as vulnerable, meaning their populations are decreasing. The group notes that the use of squalene harvested from sharks, could result in a disaster, with some species becoming endangered or even going extinct.

“Harvesting something from a wild animal is never going to be sustainable, especially if it’s a top predator that doesn’t reproduce in huge numbers”, said Stefanie Brendl, founder and executive director of Shark Allies.

The conservationist group says that squalene could also be produced from plants, but that process is approximately 30 percent more expensive than harvesting squalene from sharks.

“One of the reasons shark squalene is cheaper is because of the ease of extraction of squalene from the shark. Squalene with a purity of >98% is obtained directly from the liver oil of a shark after a single distillation phase in a vacuum at temperatures of 200-230 degrees Celsius. This process takes only 10 hours whereas nearly 70 hours of processing are required to obtain olive oil squalene with a purity higher than 92%. The purity of non-shark-derived squalene, however, can be comparable to that of shark squalene”, Shark Allies wrote in their petition addressed to various agencies in Britain, the European Union, and the United States and signed by more than 11,000 people.

The group notes that it is in no way asking pharmaceutical companies to slow down the process of producing a COVID-19 vaccine, but merely asks them to use non-animal derived squalene.

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Doctors fear flu shot, PPE supply will lag: survey – mississauga.com

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Nevertheless, three quarters believed the health-care system was better prepared with COVID-19 resurgences than during the first wave.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday it was preparing for the potential of simultaneous outbreaks of the flu and COVID-19.

The agency said provincial and territorial governments have ordered more than 13 million doses of vaccine — an increase from last season’s order of 11.2 million doses.


Collins says the CMA has been assured by public health officials there will be enough doses to meet demand but says they cannot predict what the uptake will be. Still, they encourage all Canadians to get the vaccine.

Each province and territorial government decides how much to purchase for their populations, where they are distributed and when to begin the rollout.

While this varies, many start their vaccination programs in October or early November.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford stressed multiple investments to bolster the health system as it attempts to address a backlog of surgeries while grappling with COVID-19 and the coming flu season.

“We put a billion dollars into testing and tracing, which is absolutely imperative. We also have the immunization program for the flu vaccine which is 5.1 million doses. That is the largest ever in Canadian history,” Ford said.

While virtual care has reduced in-person appointments, Collins said doctors still need to see some patients face-to-face.

In addition to PPE, she said each visit requires cleaning supplies to sanitize between visits and time and staff to do that work. Collins said that all costs money.

“Doctors need to know … that there’s a concerted effort to co-ordinate (resources) amongst those different bodies and to communicate clearly to physicians what is available and to support those physicians,” she said.

“There are people with all kinds of other health-care conditions that need to be seen, they need to be assessed. And so there needs to be protection for them, protection for the doctor seeing them.

“Because COVID is among us.”

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

By Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, September 29 – Bring Me The News

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The death toll has reached 2,020.

Five more deaths has brought Minnesota’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,020. The newly reported deaths released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Tuesday include one person each aged in their 60s, 70s and 80s, respectively, and two patients who were in their 90s. 

Of the 2,020 total deaths, 1,449 have been residents of long-term care, including two of the five newly reported cases Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized is unclear because the MDH stopped publicizing that data last Thursday. Instead, the MDH is only releasing new admissions to the hospital and ICU in its daily report, and on Tuesday it announced six new hospital admissions. There were also 20 new ICU admissions in Tuesday’s report. 

According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, the maximum ICU capacity of Minnesota’s hospitals is 2,158 – 1,071 of which are currently occupied (this is for all ailments, not just COVID-19). That’s an increase from 1,063 in Monday’s update. 

Tuesday’s update includes 817 new positive tests for the coronavirus, eight of which have been removed for an official count of 809 cases. Those positives are the result of 8,713 people tested, creating a 24-hour reporting period test positivity rate of 9.28%.

The positive test rate is lower from the perspective when the number of individuals producing positive tests (809) divided by total completed tests (15,257). In that case, the positivity rate is 5.30%.

The “tests completed” number is always higher than the “people tested” metric because some people get tested multiple times and those who test positive are only counted once, so it produces a less accurate positivity rate.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:

  • Total tests: 2,017,350 (up from 2,003,115)
  • People tested: 1,406,578 (up from 1,397,865)
  • Positive cases: 98,447 (up from 97,638)
  • Deaths: 2,020 (up from 2,015) 
  • Hospitalized (cumulative): 7,633 (up from 7,627)
  • ICU admissions (cumulative: 2,129 (up from 2,109)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 88,380 (up from 87,330)

There have also been 52 deaths where COVID-19 is listed by doctors as the “probable” cause, though it’s not included in the official COVID-19 death toll.

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