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COVID-19 outbreak declared at fifth Ottawa school, 52 schools with a COVID-19 case – Newstalk 1010 (iHeartRadio)

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With COVID-19 cases reported at 52 schools across Ottawa, public health officials warn staff and students are beginning to contact COVID-19 while at school.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Lycee Claudel, the fifth outbreak at an Ottawa school since the start of the school year three weeks ago. Ottawa Public Health reports two students at the French private school have tested positive for the virus.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health says it’s starting to see that some students and staff are getting sick from interactions at school.

“The first handful of cases were of students and staff that went to school unknowing that they were sick with COVID, meaning they became infected with COVID outside of the school setting,” said the statement from Ottawa Public Health.

“Over the last couple of weeks, OPH is starting to see that some students and staff are now getting sick from interactions at school. These are situations when OPH declares an outbreak.”

COVID-19 cases have been reported at 52 schools with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Ottawa Catholic School Board, and the French public and catholic school boards.

Speaking on CTV Morning Live Thursday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said her goal was to keep schools open during the pandemic, adding that takes limiting the COVID-19 transmission in the community. 

Ottawa Public Health says once an outbreak is confirmed in a school, it reaches out to parents of close contacts to let them know and help them with the next steps, which include staying home, monitoring for symptoms and presenting for testing when it’s appropriate.

COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at the following Ottawa schools:

  • Ecole elementaire catholique Montfort
  • Franco-Ouest
  • Gabrielle Roy Public School
  • Lycee Claudel
  • Monsignor Paul Baxter School

Ottawa Public Health ordered Monsignor Paul Baxter School closed for at least two weeks following four cases of COVID-19. Two students and two staff members have tested positive.

Ottawa Public Health says in the event of a school outbreak, the ability for the school to remain open will depend on how many groups of students are affected.  Some cohorts may be advised to go for testing and to self-isolate at home until a date determined by OPH.

“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.”

Here is a breakdown of the COVID-19 cases in Ottawa’s schools:

Ottawa Carleton District School Board: Nine students (eight students, one teacher tested positive)

Ottawa Catholic School Board: 11 schools (14 students, two staff members tested positive)

Conseil des ecole Catholique Centre-Est: 21 schools (32 cases in all schools)

Conseil des ecoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario: 11 schools (15 student cases in schools)

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At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health – CityNews Edmonton

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CALGARY – Alberta Health said 49 active COVID-19 cases have been linked to a wedding in Calgary earlier this month.

The health agency said the wedding had a large number of Albertans from different households.

Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan said aggressive contact tracing is underway to identify anyone who may have been exposed to make sure they are isolating and getting tested.

He did not say how many people attended the wedding and said specifics about individual cases cannot be disclosed because of patient confidentiality.

COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the province state a maximum of 100 people can attend outdoor and indoor seated events, such as
wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances.

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings.

WATCH: Recent rise in numbers due to large social events 

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Active COVID-19 cases in Calgary zone exceed 1,000 – Calgary Herald

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Sixteen of the 70 ICU beds allocated for COVID-19 patients are currently in use in Alberta, which marks 23 per cent of available space.

Due to the rise in case numbers, delayed wait times for test results and an increase in flu and cold symptoms, the province has placed more restrictions on asymptomatic testing.

“We must take further action,” said Hinshaw. “Effective immediately, we will be pressing pause on all asymptomatic testing in those who have no known exposure. This is an important and necessary step to help us reduce testing wait times, get results to Albertans and limit the spread.”

Asymptomatic testing was only available for priority groups before Tuesday’s announcement.

Alberta’s top doctor said Alberta has seen a handful of examples of gatherings gone wrong in recent weeks, adding to the provincial COVID-19 case count.

She noted a Calgary “superspreader” wedding linked to at least 49 cases, a workplace gathering connected to nine cases, and a party where one-third of the attendees have tested positive.

“COVID-19 really does love parties and we need to keep this in mind while planning or attending social events,” said Hinshaw, reminding Albertans to keep gatherings small while following all public health guidance.

There are no immediate plans for the government to implement additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases grow, unlike other provinces such as Ontario that have rolled back relaxed directives.

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Manitoba seeking nurses, health-care aides, contact tracers in fight against COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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Manitoba is appealing to the public for help filling a number of nursing and health care aide jobs to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

People from all health-care disciplines are asked to apply, including current and former nurses, and people with comparable training, said Shared Health’s Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa in a news release on Monday.

“These are unprecedented times and we are appealing to everyone who has chosen a career in caring to consider how they can help,” she said.

“Right now, some of Manitoba’s most vulnerable citizens need our help. Whether you are a student just starting your career, are already working in our health system or are looking to step back into patient care after some time away, we have a role for you.”

Jobs are available for people with varied levels of training and experience, including health care students, new graduates as well as current and former health care workers, Siragusa said.

Although there is a need for nurses and health care aides in personal care homes, there are also positions in areas like contact tracing, call centres and testing sites.

Staff are provided with personal protective equipment, training and support. Every precaution is taken to ensure their safety, according to the release.

People with health-care education, as well as those with comparable training including dietitians, spiritual health providers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers and others are invited to apply.

“Across the province, compassionate and caring individuals have stepped up to ensure we are able to continue offering the services and support needed by those most vulnerable in our community, but we need additional help in a variety of direct care and behind-the-scenes areas,” Siragusa said.

This comes after Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Wab Kinew shared health-care vacancy numbers in western Manitoba during question period Thursday.

The NDP obtained information from Prairie Mountain Health last week showing that 22 per cent of licensed practical nurse positions were open as of August, as well 19 per cent of registered nursing positions and 16 per cent of nurse practitioners jobs.

In addition, 15 per cent of home-care aide and health-care aide positions were sitting vacant.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) says nurses are working well below baseline staffing, at times hovering around half their normal complement.

MNU says nurses are being mandated to work overtime at Parkview Place, a private care home run by Revera which is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. 

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