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COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey Loblaws warehouse, 80 new cases in B.C. – News 1130

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — A Loblaws warehouse in Surrey is the latest community outbreak of COVID-19 in the province, with nine linked infections.

Fraser Health is monitoring the outbreak, and those close to the infected employees have been told to self-isolate.

“There is no demonstrated evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through consumption of packaged foods, is a foodborne illnesses or is linked to transmission of any foodborne illnesses. Consequently, there is no evidence of risk to those outside the distribution centre,” the health authority says.

During Thursday’s update, provincial health officials also announced 80 new cases of the virus, as well as two more deaths at long-term care facilities in the Fraser Health region.

Active cases are down slightly from Wednesday to 780 in the province, with 11 patients hospitalized and four of them in critical care. But 3,045 people have recovered and the rate is at 79.7 per cent.

As for people under public health monitoring, 2,574 people are in isolation after coming into contact with someone with COVID-19.

However, Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Réka Gustafson says everyone infected on Haida Gwaii has recovered from the virus, but the outbreak is still being monitored before it is declared over.

There aren’t any new outbreaks in health-care facilities, though, nine are still being managed by the province.

Dozens of new cases have been reported on a daily basis in the province, with the highest daily-case count recorded earlier this week.

Gustafson notes the new infections are relatively stable and the number of people in hospital remains low. But there has been a small increase in infection for people between the ages of 40 to 60.

“We are carefully monitoring this trend because we know that the risk of severe illness goes up with age,” she says, adding the newly announced deaths reflect this.

RELATED: Young people not immune to long-term effects of COVID-19, B.C. top doctor warns

The majority of new cases are still in the young adult population, Gustafson adds.

Two-hundred people have died from the coronavirus in B.C. and 4,825 cases have been confirmed.

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'I can take it:' Ottawa top doctor receiving 'ugly emails' – OttawaMatters.com

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Ottawa’s top doctor says she has received some “ugly emails” during the COVID-19 pandemic but isn’t letting them distract her from her job.

“I take in that information and I think about how we can better support people with our social services, with economic recovery,” said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health. “I’m focused on trying to make sure we manage through this pandemic so people can get back on their feet.” 

Dr. Etches says she hasn’t received any death threats and doesn’t think she is in any danger.

“Of course people are frustrated. People have been harmed by losing their jobs, losing their businesses. Those are not small impacts, it’s very serious.” 

The doctor says she recognizes that everyone is suffering from the pandemic.

“I know that this is a stressful time and people are angry, and I appreciate that,” explains Dr. Etches. “They’re looking for someone to blame or to express that anger and I think it’s important to hear from people who are negatively impacted.”

Dr. Etches’ comments come after British Columbia’s top doctor said she’s been receiving death threats and abusive letters in her role as a public figure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Bonnie Henry told a panel discussion at the annual convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities that she’s had to have security in her home and has been targeted by people who don’t agree with her.

– With files from the Canadian Press

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Manitobans waiting more than 2 hours to speak to Health Links – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
As COVID-19 cases rise in Manitoba, Health Links is experiencing increased call volumes, resulting in longer wait times for callers.

According to a spokesperson from Shared Health, the increase in calls is attributed to the spike in COVID-19 cases, as well as the return to school on Sept. 8. They noted a small number of callers are looking for the results to their COVID-19 tests.

In a statement on Sept. 23, the spokesperson said because of the increase in calls, Manitobans are experiencing longer-than-average wait times to talk to Health Links, noting that wait times vary throughout the day.

On average in the past week, wait times have ranged between 53 and 128 minutes, though those calling at peak times may wait even longer.

“As COVID-19 activity in Manitoba can be expected to continue to vary, the volume of calls to HL-IS is being monitored closely with consideration being given to how current wait times may be addressed,” the statement said.

The spokesperson reminded Manitobans that they can get their COVID-19 test results through the online results portal on Shared Health’s website, as long as they have a Manitoba health card.

Anyone who tests positive will be contacted directly, but the posting of negative results could take several days.

Health Links, a phone-based nursing triage system, is the flagship program for the Provincial Health Contact Centre.

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Four Ottawa schools under outbreak as number of COVID-19 cases inches up – Ottawa Citizen

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The other three schools with outbreaks remain open although some students have been sent home to isolate.

Whether a school remains open during an outbreak depends on how many groups of students are affected, said the statement from Ottawa Public Health.

Officials trace close contacts, which usually includes anyone in the same classroom as someone who has tested positive. Close contacts are usually sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.

“If there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there is risk of spread to additional cohorts, there may be a decision to close the entire school in order to stop transmission in the school,” said Public Health.

At Franco Ouest, where three students tested positive for COVID-19, parents were sent a letter from public health saying a “partial dismissal” of students at the school had been decided upon because the outbreak was “contained to a small group.”

“There is no evidence of widespread transmission within the school,” the letter said. The duration of the dismissal has not been established, but it could be two or more weeks, said the letter.

Public health officials notify students who need to isolate or be tested for COVID-19.

However, all students and staff at schools under outbreak should monitor themselves for symptoms and avoid going to “facilities where physical distancing cannot be maintained, in particular daycare centres, play groups, etc.” said the letter to parents. “Visiting older persons or those with chronic illness is also not recommended during this time.”

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