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COVID-19 outbreak declared at another Winnipeg hospital – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
Another hospital in Winnipeg is declaring a COVID-19 outbreak in one of its units.

The province announced Thursday afternoon that the N3 West unit at Concordia Hospital has declared a COVID-19 outbreak. The site is now at the critical or red level on the province’s Pandemic Response System.

“Outbreak protocols have been implemented at the hospital to ensure the ongoing protection of patients, staff and visitors,” the hospital said in a statement. “Anyone potentially exposed are being identified and directed to self-isolate and, if necessary, will be tested as we investigate the origins of the transmission.”

The hospital will suspend new patient admissions to the impacted unit, and visits are also suspended.

Other hospitals in Winnipeg currently dealing with active COVID-19 outbreaks include the Health Sciences Centre, Grace Hospital, and Victoria General Hospital.

CTV Winnipeg has reached out to Concordia Hospital for more information, including the number of cases connected to the outbreak.

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Quebec reports 50 more COVID-19 deaths, partial tally of 1,744 cases – Vancouver Is Awesome

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Boxes of doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived by plane in nine Cree communities in Quebec’s James Bay region over the weekend and were immediately put to work to protect the community, the head of the regional health board said Sunday.

Bertie Wapachee, the chairperson of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, said vaccination was already underway in many of the communities, with the rest of the vaccine centres opening on Monday.

“In some ways, it represents a light at the end of the tunnel for us,” he said in a phone interview.

“It’s an added tool to defeating the virus as we move forward.”

Wapachee said he didn’t know the exact number of vaccines received, but said the communities would be able to offer a first dose to any adult community members who want them.

He said the remote Cree communities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks due to overcrowded housing conditions that make isolating difficult, as well as a limited number of local health-care workers.

He said he was “confident” most of the community members would want the shot.

The region has contended with at least one outbreak involving about 40 cases.

While there are logistical challenges in delivering the vaccine to isolated communities, Wapachee said the area is well-served by regional airline Air Creebec, a strong team on the ground and a population that has done a good job respecting the health measures overall.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 50 new deaths due to COVID-19 on Sunday as well as a preliminary total of 1,744 new cases.

The province said a delay in transmitting data from Quebec’s labs means the number of cases is incomplete and will be adjusted in a future update.

Hospitalizations declined for the third straight day, down 14 to 1,460.

There were also 12 fewer people in intensive care, for a total of 215.

While the number of new cases recorded in Quebec has declined slightly over the past week, Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that it’s too soon to describe the movement as a trend.

He urged Quebecers to keep following health measures because the battle is “not yet won.”

The province administered just over 8,800 doses of vaccine on Saturday, he added.

Quebec has reported a total of 242,714 cases and 9,055 deaths since the pandemic began.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

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Quebec pins all its hopes on the vaccine, but experts say action is needed on multiple fronts – Yahoo News Canada

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Initiative de journalisme local

Grassy Mountain, un projet minier qui «décapiterait» les Rocheuses albertaines

Un immense projet d’exploitation de charbon métallurgique à ciel ouvert dans les Rocheuses, signifiant ni plus ni moins la « décapitation » des montagnes, fait débat en Alberta. Une filiale de la compagnie Riversdale Resources Limited, Benga Mining Limited, propose de construire et d’exploiter une mine pour produire de l’acier, près de Crowsnest Pass, à sept kilomètres au nord de la communauté de Blairmore, dans le sud-ouest de l’Alberta. Le projet Grassy Mountain, s’il aboutit, produirait 4,5 millions de tonnes de charbon métallurgique par an, et ce, durant 25 ans. Ce projet minier trouve actuellement un écho négatif dans la province. « Il n’a pas fait l’objet d’une consultation publique auprès des Albertains », déplore Leor Rotchild, directeur de l’association professionnelle Canadian Business for Social Responsability, basée à Calgary.  Cependant, le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé le 19 mars 2020 le début d’une période de consultation publique, qui se terminait vendredi. Le 1er juin dernier, afin de faciliter le projet, le premier ministre, Jason Kenney, a levé l’interdiction d’une réglementation environnementale datant de 1976. Le gouvernement albertain a décidé en effet de ne pas la renouveler en la laissant expirer. Cette réglementation interdisait jusqu’à présent les compagnies de charbon d’extraire du minerai à ciel ouvert le long des pentes des montagnes Rocheuses. Dans certaines zones, l’exploitation souterraine était elle aussi limitée, en fonction des effets qu’elle pouvait occasionner en surface. La ministre de l’Énergie, Sonya Savage, avait salué la nouvelle, voyant dans cette décision un moyen « d’attirer de nouveaux investissements pour une industrie importante ». Cependant, Leor Rotchild, l’entrepreneur écomilitant, y voit un manque de vision. « Je comprends que le gouvernement cherche à créer désespérément de l’activité économique en Alberta, mais le désespoir est une mauvaise stratégie », lance-t-il. Pour ce faire, il faudrait décapiter le haut de la montagne, à l’instar du projet minier de Teck Resources à Elk Valley, se situant entre l’Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique. « Quand tu élimines le haut d’une montagne, c’est très mauvais pour le tourisme, surtout en période de crise économique, car ce secteur est important ici. Ça sera difficile de continuer comme avant », explique Joseph Vipond, président de l’Association canadienne des médecins pour l’environnement. Cependant, il n’y a pas que le secteur touristique qui risque des dommages collatéraux. La faune est elle aussi en danger, l’habitat des caribous, des grizzlys, ainsi que celui de certaines espèces de truites étant menacés. En Colombie-Britannique, d’après le Dr Vipond, « il a déjà été démontré que ces mines de charbon à ciel ouvert rejettent de fortes concentrations d’un élément appelé sélénium, que l’on retrouve dans le bassin de la rivière Elk ».  Aujourd’hui, « ce qui effraie vraiment les Albertains, c’est la contamination de l’eau potable. On retrouve maintenant dans toutes les rivières du sud-est [de la Colombie-Britannique] cet élément qui tue tous les poissons. C’est un phénomène qu’on devrait éviter ici », alerte-t-il. Ces concentrations de sélénium dans l’eau inquiètent aussi les éleveurs de l’Alberta quant aux effets sur l’agriculture et leur élevage. « La qualité de l’eau a une répercussion sur les bovins », précise Joseph Vipond. Le Conseil des Canadiens, une organisation citoyenne, s’est exprimé clairement sur son compte Twitter en invitant les gens à répondre jusqu’à vendredi à la consultation publique lancée par l’Agence d’évaluation d’impact du Canada. « Décapiter les montagnes et ouvrir de nouvelles mines de charbon ne devraient pas être une option en 2021, l’audition pour le projet de mine de charbon de Grassy Mountain dans les montagnes Rocheuses continue d’avancer. Dites non au charbon », tweetent-ils. Les professionnels du charbon, eux, se déclarent satisfaits, a indiqué Robin Campbell, président de l’Association canadienne du charbon et ancien ministre provincial de l’Environnement. Ce projet de mine, s’il voit le jour, créerait dans la région de Crowsnest Pass, ancienne ville minière, 500 emplois durant sa construction et 385 postes à plein temps durant son exploitation. Selon l’Association canadienne du charbon, l’estimation des recettes fiscales de Grassy Mountain s’élèverait à plus de 1,7 milliard de dollars de redevances et de taxes gouvernementales, sur environ 25 ans. Les taxes municipales devraient, elles, s’élever à 1,5 million de dollars par an, soit 35 millions de dollars en un quart de siècle. Cependant, il faudra encore attendre le résultat des consultations publiques sur ce projet qui divise l’opinion publique.Hélène Lequitte, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 18 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments:

  • The City of Ottawa says it plans to collect all pandemic-related fines, even those for illegally using parks.
  • There’s been a rise in the demand for youth mental health services in Ottawa.
  • Another 123 cases of COVID-19 and one death were recorded in Ottawa on Sunday.
  • A Para Transpo operator who last worked Jan. 16 has tested positive, the city says.

What’s the latest?

The City of Ottawa says it plans to collect all fines issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ones handed out in municipal parks that some in the legal community have called “legally dubious.”

Several $880 tickets were handed out during the first wave to people who allegedly sat on park benches or used off-limits payground equipment, neither of which have been outlawed since.

Clinics and other agencies that help young Ottawans deal with mental health issues say they’ve seen demand for their services spike since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 123 new cases of COVID-19 and one death on Sunday, while another 22 cases and three more deaths were also recorded in the Outaouais. 

East of the nation’s capital, the mayor of Cornwall, Ont., and the Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne are both condemning angry notes left on driver’s windshields in the city.

Some of the notes — which say things like “go home” — have been placed on vehicles belonging to residents of Akwesasne, which borders Cornwall and straddles Ontario, Quebec and New York State. 

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday, 12,286 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic. There are 1,274 known active cases, 10,609 resolved cases and 403 deaths from COVID-19. 

Public health officials have reported more than 21,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 19,000 resolved cases.

One hundred and three people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario and 142 people have died in western Quebec. 

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Ontario says people must only leave home when it’s essential to avoid more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

People who leave home for non-essential reasons can now be fined, though police won’t be stopping people just for being outside.

Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.

Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five. It’s strongly recommended people stick to their own households.

People who live alone are still allowed to interact with one other household.

Outdoor recreation venues remain open, and the Rideau Canal Skateway will still launch once temperatures permit. In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery.

A person in a mask walks by Ottawa’s Rideau Centre mall on Dec. 21, 2020, the day the current lockdown rules in Ontario were announced. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

The province will announce by Wednesday which schools can offer general in-person learning. The Ottawa-Carleton School Board has said it won’t bring that back for secondary schools until at least Feb. 1.

Child-care centres remain open.

The lockdown rules are in place until at least Feb. 11.

In western Quebec, residents are also being asked to stay home unless it’s essential and not see anyone they don’t live with, with an exception for people living alone.

They can visit one other home.

Quebec’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is now in effect, with fines of up to $6,000 for breaking the rules.

The province has shut down non-essential businesses and has extended secondary school closures until later this week.

Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.

Those rules are in place until Feb. 8.

WATCH | CHEO sees ‘drastic’ increase in youth struggling with eating disorders

Joanne Lowe, executive director of the youth services bureau at CHEO, says the hospital has seen a 63-per-cent increase in the number of youth seeking help for eating disorders since the start of the pandemic. 1:06

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means it’s important to take precautions like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with — even with a mask on.

Masks, preferably with three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Ontario and Quebec.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.

Anyone returning to Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days. Air travellers have to show recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

A note recently left on a vehicle in Cornwall, Ont. Several such notes have been left on the vehicles of residents from Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, which straddles both the interprovincial and international border and whose residents are allowed to access essential services in the city. (Todd Bennett/Facebook)

Symptoms and vaccines

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help.

COVID-19 vaccines have been given to health-care workers and long-term care residents in most of the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

WATCH | Rick Hillier provides update on Ontario’s vaccination timeline

Retired general told CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live he wants to see everyone who wants a vaccine get one by late July or early August. 7:52

The exception for now is Renfrew County, which says it expects its first doses in early February.

Ontario wants every long-term care resident and worker to have at least one shot by Feb. 15

In Ottawa, it’s now expected the second phase of vaccination, which includes older adults and essential workers, will begin closer to April.

The province is aiming to have vaccines widely available to the public in August, and Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by then.

Quebec has a somewhat controversial policy of giving a single dose to as many people as possible rather than giving fewer people two doses. It says people will get their second dose within 90 days.

As of Jan. 14, western Quebec’s health authority had given out about 4,400 doses. It says it will have reached all of its long-term care homes by early this week.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria.

People without symptoms but part of the province’s targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.

Ottawa has 10 permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

Two people wear masks as they wait for a bus to arrive outside the Parliament LRT station in downtown Ottawa on Jan. 14, 2021. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. Its Alexandria and Casselman sites are temporarily closed.

People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile clinic.

Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.

Kingston’s main test site is at the Beechgrove Complex, another is in Napanee.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave. Buckingham. They can check the wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had at least 116 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and five deaths. More than 230 people have tested positive across the community.

Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only.

Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Kitigan Zibi logged its first case in mid-December and has had a total of 18. The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte had its only confirmed case in November. 

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

For more information

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