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COVID-19 outbreaks declared at Holy Trinity and St. Gabriel schools, two other schools find cases – Melfort Journal

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Holy Trinity Catholic High School is pictured in this file photo.

Update: This story was updated at 6:20 p.m. to include new information on COVID-19 cases linked to Fort McMurray schools.

Alberta Health Services have declared COVID-19 outbreaks at St. Gabriel School and Holy Trinity High School.

In a Sunday morning letter, the Fort McMurray Catholic School Division (FMCSD) said that at least two individuals with a connection to St. Gabriel School in Thickwood have tested positive for COVID-19.

A letter sent Sunday afternoon declared an outbreak at Holy Trinity High School and that there are two active COVID-19 cases connected to the school. A COVID-19 case had been announced on Sept. 19 and 4.

“Alberta Health Services has now determined that the case in relation to Holy Trinity Catholic High School from Sept. 4, though unrelated to the case of Sept. 19, does meet the AHS definition of the term ‘outbreak,’” said a FMCSD letter.

Health officials have allowed the schools to remain open.

“Out of respect to this individual and in accordance with Alberta Health Services guidelines, we cannot disclose personal details of the individual that has tested positive for COVID-19,” each letter states.

People who may have come into contact with COVID-19 patients are being identified through contact tracing. Virtual learning will be available for any students required to quarantine.

People connected to two other Catholic schools in Fort McMurray have also tested positive for the virus.

Parents and guardians at Sister Mary Phillips were told of a COVID-19 case on Sept. 19. Elsie Yanik High School families were told of a case on Sept. 18.

Those schools are also allowed to remain open.

The schools have had additional cleaning this weekend, with a focus on areas where the individuals may have been.

As of Friday, 57 out of Alberta’s 2,415 schools, roughly 2.3 per cent, have reported an infectious case attended school.

On Friday, Alberta reported it’s first case of likely in-school transmission after two individuals at Waverley School in Edmonton tested positive for COVID-19.

Fort McMurray has 48 active cases, 167 recoveries and one death. Wood Buffalo’s rural areas had four active cases, 60 recoveries and no deaths.

The next update on COVID-19 numbers will be Monday at 3:30 p.m.

FMCSD reminds parents, guardians, staff, visitors and volunteers to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to complete the AHS checklist every day before school.

If any symptoms are present in students or staff, they are reminded to fill out AHS’s online COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 881 and stay home.

vmcdermott@postmedia.com

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Canadian Press NewsAlert: Quebec reaches more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19 – St. Albert Today

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MONTREAL — Quebec reached more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, becoming the first province in Canada to hit the somber milestone since the pandemic began in March.

But despite remaining the country’s coronavirus epicentre, public health experts say a recent downward trend of infections is an encouraging sign.

“It’s a moment where we all sit up and say wow, 100,000 – that’s a lot of zeroes,” said Erin Strumpf, an associate professor at McGill University specialized in health economics.

“But again I think the more important thing to be paying attention to is the trend that we’ve been seeing recently in the province.”

The province reported 879 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 100,114 infections since the start of the pandemic.

The curve of new infections appears to have flattened over the past few weeks though, Strumpf said in an interview.

That downward trend, she said, coincides with stricter public health guidelines that aimed to stem the spread of the virus.

The government ordered the closure of bars and gyms, among other places, in hard-hit areas and advised residents to limit their contact with people who do not live in their households.

Montreal and Quebec City are among several Quebec regions that remain under the highest COVID-19 alert.

Strumpf said it is hard to pinpoint what exact measures are responsible for flattening the curve, however.

She added that she expects to see many public health restrictions remain in place moving forward. “It’s very difficult to know right now or to predict how long those closures may stay in place,” she said.

Still, the high COVID-19 infection numbers bring up painful memories for Quebecers who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

July Mak, whose 68-year-old father Paul contracted COVID-19 in a long-term care home in Montreal and died at the end of March, said the pain of her father’s death has not eased with time.

“To see these numbers this high… it blows my mind,” Mak said in an interview Sunday.

She said she wants the Quebec government to recognize that its COVID-19 data is more than just numbers — and thousands of people across the province have been directly affected.

“They mattered,” Mak said, about the thousands who have died.

On Sunday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of new infections is “stable but remains high.”

Those cases can turn into hospitalizations and deaths, Dube warned, urging Quebecers to remain vigilant to reduce transmission.

Quebec health officials also reported 11 additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 6,143.

Five of those additional deaths took place in the past 24 hours, five were reported between Oct. 18-23 and one occurred at an unspecified date.

Hospitalizations went up by two across the province, for a total of 551. Of those, 97 people were in intensive care — an increase of four compared to the previous day.

The province said it conducted 25,378 COVID-19 tests on Friday, the last date for which the testing data is available.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Canadian Press

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Sobering milestones: Quebec passes 100,000 COVID-19 mark, Ontario counts highest daily count since pandemic start – National Post

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Article content continued

The province’s recent COVID-19 numbers are more encouraging than they were last month, however, said Helene Carabin, a professor at Universite de Montreal.

The population has clearly understood that in order to limit transmission, we have to be more careful

Carabin said Quebec’s COVID-19 reproduction number, which measures the virus’ ability to spread, is slowly creeping lower — a positive sign that indicates people are following public health guidelines.

“The population has clearly understood that in order to limit transmission, we have to be more careful,” she said in an interview.

“We’re going in the right direction, unlike what was the case in September. Now what it tells us is that probably we will continue to have to keep being very careful during the winter months for it not to creep up.”

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s top public health officer, said in a statement Sunday that a “resurgence” of COVID-19 continues across the country.

Tam said there is a concern that Canada has not yet seen the full impact of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, as hospitalizations and deaths generally lag behind case numbers.

Canada reported 215,879 total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including 9,940 deaths.

Manitoba announced 161 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and the deaths of four people — two of which were related to an outbreak at a Winnipeg long-term care home where 17 people have now died.

Public health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case of COVID-19, while officials in New Brunswick reported two new infections and two additional deaths.

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Canadian Press NewsAlert: Quebec reaches more than 100000 total cases of COVID-19 – Kamsack Times

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MONTREAL — Quebec reached more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, becoming the first province in Canada to hit the somber milestone since the pandemic began in March.

But despite remaining the country’s coronavirus epicentre, public health experts say a recent downward trend of infections is an encouraging sign.

article continues below

“It’s a moment where we all sit up and say wow, 100,000 – that’s a lot of zeroes,” said Erin Strumpf, an associate professor at McGill University specialized in health economics.

“But again I think the more important thing to be paying attention to is the trend that we’ve been seeing recently in the province.”

The province reported 879 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 100,114infections since the start of the pandemic.

The curve of new infections appears to have flattened over the past few weeks though, Strumpf said in an interview.

That downward trend, she said, coincides with stricter public health guidelines that aimed to stem the spread of the virus.

The government ordered the closure of bars and gyms, among other places, in hard-hit areas and advised residents to limit their contact with people who do not live in their households.

Montreal and Quebec City are among several Quebec regions that remain under the highest COVID-19 alert.

Strumpf said it is hard to pinpoint what exact measures are responsible for flattening the curve, however.

She added that she expects to see many public health restrictions remain in place moving forward. “It’s very difficult to know right now or to predict how long those closures may stay in place,” she said.

Still, the high COVID-19 infection numbers bring up painful memories for Quebecers who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

July Mak, whose 68-year-old father Paul contracted COVID-19 in a long-term care home in Montreal and died at the end of March, said the pain of her father’s death has not eased with time.

“To see these numbers this high… it blows my mind,” Mak said in an interview Sunday.

She said she wants the Quebec government to recognize that its COVID-19 data is more than just numbers — and thousands of people across the province have been directly affected.

“They mattered,” Mak said, about the thousands who have died.

On Sunday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of new infections is “stable but remains high.”

Those cases can turn into hospitalizations and deaths, Dube warned, urging Quebecers to remain vigilant to reduce transmission.

Quebec health officials also reported 11 additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 6,143.

Five of those additional deaths took place in the past 24 hours, five were reported between Oct. 18-23 and one occurred at an unspecified date.

Hospitalizations went up by two across the province, for a total of 551. Of those, 97 people were in intensive care — an increase of four compared to the previous day.

The province said it conducted 25,378 COVID-19 tests on Friday, the last date for which the testing data is available.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020.

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