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COVID-19 outbreak at Hastings Manor – Belleville Intelligencer

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An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at Hastings Manor in Belleville.
BRUCE BELL


jpg, BI

Hastings County has been advised by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health that Hastings Manor has been declared to be in a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak.

The County was advised Thursday morning of a second lab-confirmed positive test of COVID-19 for an employee who works at Hastings Manor. Manor staff and officials from Public Health have been working to identify residents and staff who might have been in close contact with the employee.

The employee last worked on March 31.

“As with any facility outbreak of an infectious disease in our region, we are working closely with Hastings Manor to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. “Together we will take all possible steps to protect Hastings Manor residents, staff, and the community.”

“Keeping residents and employees safe and healthy is our first priority,” stated Warden Rick Phillips. Our staff are working closely with Public Health in this effort.”

“This will be an incredibly difficult time for our residents in the Manor, their families, and our employees who are doing their level best to care for them,” said Phillips. “Our thoughts and best wishes for speedy recovery are with the employee who has tested positive and those employees now off on 14 days of isolation.”

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), in a separate media release, noted a staff member at another local long-term care facility, Hallowell House, has also tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, only two staff members at Hastings Manor and one staff member at Hallowell House have been confirmed as positive cases. These individuals, as well as close contacts, are self-isolating at home.

HPEPH does not typically release statements about these situations until the employer has had the opportunity to notify their staff and provide their own statement. However, HPEPH is legally required to post notice of outbreaks in local long-term care homes and retirement homes, the media release noted.

As the Ministry of Health has declared that even a single case of COVID-19 in a long-term care or retirement home is considered an outbreak, any and all occurrences of COVID-19 in a long-term care home will be included in the facility outbreaks notices.

Outbreak control measures have been instituted at both facilities and all staff members have been asked to self-monitor for symptoms.  Staff have undertaken enhanced cleaning of the home, including extra housekeeping staff to do more frequent cleaning, especially for high touch areas such as doorknobs, handrails, common areas, staff rooms and seating areas.

“This reinforces the reality of COVID-19 in our community and I urge individuals to do everything they can to prevent its spread, recognizing that many are at higher risk from the virus. Stay home, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, practise physical distancing and wash your hands frequently,” stated Oglaza.

Lab-confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 are provided with the same requirement – to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days, including from others in your home – monitor symptoms, keep HPEPH informed of any changes in health or symptoms, and wear a mask if you must leave home to seek medical attention.

Visit the HPEPH website, hpePublicHealth.ca for current information and answers to many questions about COVID-19. Individuals who still have questions after reviewing web content can call the COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500, Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 8:30 pm and weekends from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine trial on Covid-19 patients – ITIJ

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On May 25, WHO suspended the trial of the drug, which is usually used to treat malaria patients, after a study published in medical journal The Lancet found that Covid-19 hospitalised patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death, as well as an increased frequency of irregular heartbeats, than those who weren’t treated with it. 

However, WHO officials have since asserted that there is no evidence that the drug reduces the mortality in these patients, and the study has since been retracted over data concerns. 

“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference 3 June, adding that WHO planned to continue to monitor the safety of the therapeutics being tested in trials involving over 3,500 patients spanning over 35 countries. 

“WHO is committed to accelerating the development of effective therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions and solidarity,” Ghebreyesus said. 

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'Truly sorry': Scientists pull panned Lancet study of Trump-touted drug – National Post

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NEW YORK/LONDON — An influential study that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients has been withdrawn a week after it led to major trials being halted, adding to confusion about a malaria drug championed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Lancet medical journal pulled the study after three of its authors retracted it, citing concerns about the quality and veracity of data in it. The World Health Organization (WHO) will resume its hydroxychloroquine trials after pausing them in the wake of the study. Dozens of other trials have resumed or are in process.

The three authors said Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”

The fourth author of the study, Dr. Sapan Desai, chief executive of Surgisphere, declined to comment on the retraction.

The Lancet said it “takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously” adding: “There are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study.”

Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that used Surgisphere data and shared the same lead author, Harvard Medical School Professor Mandeep Mehra, was retracted for the same reason.

The Lancet said reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations were urgently needed.

The race to understand and treat the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of research and peer-reviewed scientific journals are go-to sources of information for doctors, policymakers and lay people alike.

Chris Chambers, a professor of psychology and an expert at the UK Center for Open Science, said The Lancet and the NEJM – which he described as “ostensibly two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals” – should investigate how the studies got through peer review and editorial checks.

“The failure to resolve such basic concerns about the data” raises “serious questions about the standard of editing” and about the process of peer review, he said.

The Lancet did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The NEJM could not immediately be reached for comment.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

The observational study published in The Lancet on May 22 said it looked at 96,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, some treated with the decades-old malaria drug. It claimed that those treated with hydroxychloroquine or the related chloroquine had higher risk of death and heart rhythm problems than patients who were not given the medicines.

“I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use,” the study’s lead author, Professor Mehra, said in a statement. “For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry.”

Many scientists voiced concern about the study, which had already been corrected last week because some location data was wrong. Nearly 150 doctors signed an open letter to The Lancet calling the article’s conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer review comments that preceded publication.

Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said the retraction decision was “correct” but still left unanswered the question about whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in COVID-19.

“It remains the case that the results from randomized trials are necessary to draw reliable conclusions,” he said. (Reporting by Michael Erman, Peter Henderson, Kate Kelland and Josephine Mason Editing by Leslie Adler, Tom Brown, Giles Elgood and Carmel Crimmins)

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Possible link between more overdoses and pandemic isolation: Guelph health officials – CTV News

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GUELPH —
The number of suspect overdose deaths in Guelph since the outbreak of COVID-19 has already surpassed the number of deaths in all of 2019.

Health officials say isolation could be a contributing factor, as staff at the consumption treatment centre have seen about half of the regular users during the time of the pandemic.

“From mid March until just the end of May we’ve seen eight deaths,” said Raechelle Devereaux, executive director of the Guelph Community Health Centre.

In 2018, there were seven overdose deaths in Guelph.

Jade McAfee uses the CTS site and say she’s lost a lot of friends to overdoses.

“It is scary,” she said. “I myself have overdosed 13 times.”

While officials say a toxic supply is to blame for overdoses, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a hurdle when it comes to prevention.

“The same things that are keeping people safe during the pandemic like isolating and staying home are some things that work against us,” said Devereaux.

Registered nurse Danielle Castledine supervises injections and says they would normally see 30 people a day before the pandemic.

“Before we had an intermediate space where people could be before and after,” she said. “So even if they were waiting they were waiting with peer workers and nurses and social workers.”

To help with better spacing, they’ve opened a new booth to decrease wait times and encourage more people to use the services.

“[Before the crisis] you didn’t have to have a mask, get stopped, have your temperature taken when you could blow in and out easily,” said Eric Cunningham, a user of the CTS site.

Staff say the lack of foot traffic at the CTS is a bad sign and worry the alternative is using in isolation, which decreases the likelihood of potentially life-saving intervention.

“It’s better for anybody to not do it alone,” said McAfee.

The health centre says between March 17 and May 30 there were 63 overdoses.

In the same time period last year there were 74, but only one overdose death.

The Guelph Community Health Centre says the team is door knocking at vulnerable apartment and shelters to give more information on harm reduction to help those potential using alone.

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