A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a ninth school in Ottawa.
Officials have declared an outbreak at Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School in Gloucester, with two cases at the school.
There is conflicting information about the nature of the cases. Ottawa Public Health says one student and one staff member tested positive. The Ottawa Catholic School Board is reporting two student cases and zero staff cases.
The board says four classes have been closed as a result of the outbreak.
Ottawa Public Health defines an outbreak in a school as two COVID-19 cases with a proven link between them.
The school is the ninth in Ottawa to have an outbreak since classes resumed. Only one—Monsignor Paul Baxter school in Barrhaven—has been forced to close entirely for at least two weeks.
British Columbia reports 272 new cases of COVID-19, none in Island Health – Times Colonist
The B.C. government says it will increase surveillance this weekend as an order limiting the number of people who can visit a home is in effect because of COVID-19.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced this week that gatherings are now limited to people in an immediate household, plus their so-called “safe six”’ guests.
In a joint statement, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are reminding people to make the Halloween weekend safe for everyone by maintaining safe physical distances from one another.
They say this is also not the time for large gatherings in homes as the number of cases of COVID-19 spikes.
The province reported another 272 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and one additional death, bringing the total number of people who have died to 263.
No new cases were reported by Island Health. There are eight known active cases in the region, where there have been 256 confirmed cases to date.
There are 2,390 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 6,003 people are under public health monitoring after being exposed to a known case.
BC health officials to release final coronavirus update of the week this afternoon | News – Daily Hive
On Friday afternoon, BC health officials will release their final coronavirus update for this week in the form of a written statement.
The update is expected between 3 and 4 pm and comes after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix held a live update on the virus in Surrey on Thursday, focusing on the Fraser Health region.
Henry said on Thursday that 234 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the province, for a recorded total of 14,109 in BC.
By specific health region, this equates to 4,588 known cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 8,036 in Fraser Health, 256 on Vancouver Island, 734 in Interior Health, 406 in Northern Health, and 89 from those who reside outside the province.
There are currently 2,344 active cases in British Columbia. Out of these active cases, 86 people are in hospital, and 24 of these are in intensive care.
As well, 5,714 people are currently under “active monitoring” for symptoms as a result of their exposure to known cases.
There has also been one additional death.
A total of 11,448 cases are now considered fully recovered in the province.
BC regional health officers can now issue COVID-19 restrictions in their own jurisdictions | News – Daily Hive
After hinting on Thursday that region-specific public health orders could become a reality, BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released an amendment to her public health order around public and private gatherings on Friday.
The amendment gives regional medical health officers the power to issue COVID-19 restrictions for their own jurisdictions instead of being bound to province-wide rules.
Henry states the order was made in recognition of the fact that “the risk differs in different regions of the province and that medical health officers are in the best position to assess local circumstances and to determine whether or not additional or more restrictive steps need to be taken.”
Henry states such orders by health officers could mean further prohibitions or the imposing of more restrictive limitations or conditions, “with respect to gatherings and events in the geographic area of the province, or a part of the geographic area of the province, for which the medical health officer is designated.”
Henry issued the original public health order around household gatherings this past Monday, which stated household gatherings must be limited “in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus “your safe six.”
This, she said at the time, “is a province-wide order that applies to all homes for all occasions.”
Henry said she issued the order because “similar to what occurred in the summer with vacation homes and rentals, we have seen a notable increase in new cases and transmission of COVID-19 as a direct result of social gatherings in private homes.”
Until this week, provincial orders on gatherings and events allowed events of up to 50 people, as long as a number of guidelines could be met, including a sufficient amount of space for patrons to maintain a two-metre distance from one another and a limit of six patrons at each table, even if they were part of the same party.
However, “we know the vast majority of homes cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people,” said Henry on Monday.
For those trying to flout the new rules, “enforcement will be stepped up to ensure people are following this new order, with the immediate focus on the Fraser Health region, where the increase in new cases is most notable,” said Henry.
Then, on Thursday, Henry again singled out the Fraser Health region as an area of the province that is seeing a surge of infections and reporting high test positivity. She characterized the rise of cases in the region – which encompasses the eastern Lower Mainland from Burnaby to Boston Bar – as “quite dramatic.”
Fraser Health officials also asked residents in the region not to invite friends or family into their homes ahead of Halloween weekend because private gatherings have been driving new infections in recent weeks.
Other provinces such as Ontario and Quebec have already implemented tighter restrictions in their biggest cities that were seeing high coronavirus transmission.
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