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COVID-19: Ontario reports 748 new cases; 42 reported in Ottawa – Ottawa Citizen

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Ontario reported 748 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, and five new deaths, bringing the province’s total number of cases to 614,270, and its death toll to 9,985.

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Toronto, with 77 new cases, was the province’s worst-hit area, followed by Windsor-Essex, with 57, Simcoe-Muskoka’s 55, and 48 in Peel.

In health units in the capital area, Eastern Ontario reported 13 new cases, while Kingston had 35. Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District’s case count increased by seven, as did Renfrew County’s.

There are 5,552 active cases in the province.

The province also reported 257 patients hospitalized with COVID-related conditions. According to PHO, 137 patients were in intensive care, 87 on ventilators.

Seven of the hospitalized patients are from Saskatchewan, all but one of them in intensive care.

Meanwhile, 12,566 vaccine doses were administered in the province in the 24 hours ending Wednesday evening, for a province-wide total of 22,845,723. A total of 11,230,866 Ontario residents are fully vaccinated.

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The testing positivity rate on Wednesday was 2.6 per cent, with 33,932 tests conducted.

In Toronto, kids and parents braved the rain, cold and needles Thursday in Toronto as the COVID-19 vaccination effort for the five-to-11 age cohort ramped up.

Those lining up in on-and-off drizzle outside a north Toronto walk-in clinic said they were looking forward to safely having sleepovers and birthday parties with their friends again.

Child-friendly clinics were starting to pick up steam in Ontario days after bookings opened. Some early doses were administered earlier this week following the shots’ Sunday arrival in Canada.

Ottawa’s children clinics kick off Friday at a number of sites.

Latest COVID-19 news in Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health reported 42 new COVID-19 cases and one new death on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 31,790 since the pandemic started, while the death toll rose to 617.

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There are 304 active cases in Ottawa. Of those, 13 people are in hospital with COVID, none in intensive care.

Four new outbreaks were reported, all in school settings. This brings the number of active outbreaks to 36. Ten of those are in health-care institutions, 25 in schools and one in a community/recreation setting. The latter, which involved a 10 Ottawa Senators players and an associate coach, remains unresolved with now just one player, Drake Batherson, stricken.

The city’s seven-day infection rate, meanwhile, is 23.0 per 100,000 population as of Tuesday, while the seven-day positivity rate, also to Tuesday, is 1.6 per cent. The estimated seven-day reproduction rate, or R(t), is 0.82 as of Wednesday, indicating that the virus’s spread is decreasing.

Latest COVID-19 news in Quebec

Quebec confirmed 902 new COVID cases on Thursday, and five new deaths.

The new figures bring the province’s overall case count to 442,246 since the pandemic began, and its death toll to 11,571. The number of fatalities in the Outaouais region remained unchanged at 223.

There are 210 COVID patients currently hospitalized in Quebec, including 45 in intensive care.

Additionally, the province administered 16,218 vaccine doses in the most recent 24-hour reporting period, for a province-wide total of 13,501,953.

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‘I was shocked’: Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Comox Valley Record

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A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family.

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five.

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced.

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor.

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations.

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

– Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press

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Two hippos in Belgian zoo test positive for COVID-19

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Two hippos have tested positive for COVID-19 at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium in what could be the first reported cases in the species, zoo staff said.

Hippos Imani, aged 14, and 41-year-old Hermien have no symptoms apart from a runny nose, but the zoo said the pair had been put into quarantine as a precaution.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time in this species. Worldwide, this virus has been reported mainly in great apes and felines,” said the zoo’s vet, Francis Vercammen.

The coronavirus is thought to have jumped from an animal to a human, and it is proved to have passed from humans to animals.

Pets including cats, dogs and ferrets have become infected following contact with their owners, while in zoos, cases have been reported in animals such as big cats, otters, primates and hyenas.

The disease has also spread in mink farms and to wild animals, such as deer.

Antwerp Zoo is investigating the causes of the contagion. None of the zookeepers had recently shown COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the virus, the zoo said.

 

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Helen Popper)

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'I was shocked': Mother, child mistakenly given COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shot – Squamish Chief

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WINNIPEG — A Manitoba mother says a routine appointment for her and her three-year-old to get flu shots ended in frustration and mixed messages after they were each mistakenly given an adult dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Jenna Bardarson is calling for policy changes at the province’s vaccination centres to make sure that doesn’t happen to another family. 

The shots were administered on Nov. 24 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

Bardarson says that shortly after she and her daughter, Dali, got their shots, the health worker who had given them excused herself to speak with a supervisor. When the worker returned, she told them she had made a mistake and given them both the adult Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say. My immediate concerns were, of course, would my daughter be OK and also who could I speak to about this,” Bardarson said in online social media messages Friday to The Canadian Press.

Once she got home, Bardarson made multiple calls to different departments with the regional medical authority, hoping to speak with someone about the error and her concerns, she said.

She said no one was able to provide her with the answers or information she needed. “The conversations with various Prairie Mountain Health members have been frustrating, to say the least.”

Bardarson said she already had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and was due for her booster shot next month. Her daughter is too young to be eligible.

Health Canada last month approved a pediatric version of the Pfizer shot for children ages five to 11, but it has not yet approved a vaccine for those under five. 

Bardarson said she and her daughter had headaches and sore arms the following day. Her daughter had no appetite and was throwing up.

Manitoba Health confirmed the mistake in a statement and said staff from Prairie Mountain have reached out to the mother to discuss what happened as well as to provide an update on an investigation.

“Patient safety is a critical aspect of all health-care services in Manitoba. We are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure that our systems support our staff in preventing errors,” it said.

“In this case … our team reviewed the existing processes to make adjustments that would help avoid a similar error from occurring in the future.”

Bardarson said the health region has not provided her with updated information on the investigation and would not discuss any consequences the health worker may have faced. 

Manitoba Health said no further action would be taken against the worker, because she immediately recognized the error and told a supervisor. 

For Bardarson, that’s not enough.

“I by no means want her fired; however, there should be some sort of measures in place for harm reduction.”

Bardarson suggested taking away the worker’s injection privileges or enhanced supervision during vaccinations. 

She said she would also like to see areas at vaccination centres separated by vaccine types, instead of having different vaccines offered in the same booth.

Manitoba Health could not say if others have been given a COVID-19 vaccine by mistake, but acknowledged that medication errors, although rare, do occur. It added that Bardarson was provided with information about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine, which in this case it says are low.

Health Canada said it is not in charge of immunization monitoring and could not comment on whether similar mistakes have occurred in other parts of the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.

___

The story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. 

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press


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