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COVID-19: 'Remain on guard' to keep surfaces clean of coronavirus, experts say – Cochrane Times Post

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Whether you’re continuing to hunker down or getting ready for the new normal, now is a good time to review best practices

As parts of Canada begin to reopen following a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the country’s chief public health officer is warning people to remain vigilant.

Canada’s reported more than 2,290 deaths and about 43,500 cases of the virus since the pandemic was declared on March 11. And while the spread may be slowing in Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, it’s still peaking in the country’s most populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

“I think we have to tread very carefully at this point,” Dr. Theresa Tam said. “We are seeing some bumps in the road that remind us we can’t let down our guard.”

Whether you’re continuing to hunker down, getting ready for the new normal, or bracing for subsequent waves of the pandemic, now is a good time to review best practices for dealing with the coronavirus on everyday surfaces.

How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus can spread from an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when someone coughs or sneezes, through personal contact (such as shaking hands) with an infected person, or by touching something with the virus on it.

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How long can the coronavirus survive on surfaces?
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in March, which tested how long the virus could remain on various surfaces in a lab setting. It showed that the virus was detected on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.

The amount of the virus decreased over time and so the risk of infection from touching the surfaces would likely fall over time as well.

What are some of the most dangerous surfaces?
Any surface in a public place is potentially hazardous because you don’t know who has been there, or if they were infected.

For this reason, it’s important to avoid high-touch areas such as public transit, or grocery stores.

It’s important to avoid touching door handles, light switches, or taps that others may have touched and contaminated.


A worker in a protective suit inside a bus at the Toronto Transit Commission – Queensway Garage – on Evans Ave. near Kipling Ave. in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday April 16, 2020.

Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia

Can you get the virus from food?
There haven’t been any reported cases of COVID-19 being spread through food, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

However, it’s still recommended to follow safe food handling and cooking practices — such as washing fruits and vegetables in running water, properly cooking food and keeping counters and prep areas disinfected and clean.

Could you get the virus from groceries?
There’s no evidence that you can get the virus from food packaging, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible, said Dr. Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“The potential risk is that an infected person recently handled our groceries, and then we touch those items and go on to touch our eyes, nose, or mouth,” she said. “There are several ways to reduce this risk, including letting the groceries sit untouched for some time, disposing of outer food packaging, or disinfecting hard surfaces like bottles or cans, but the most important thing is to wash your hands well after handling anything new that comes into your home.”

Is it possible that food deliveries or packages received in the post are contaminated?
There is a chance that a delivery person, or container could spread the virus. That’s why it’s best to use contactless payment methods.

And best practise would be to throw out or recycle any packaging. Also, remember to carefully wash your hands after handling it.

That said, if you’re receiving a book, or clothing that’s been packed in cardboard, it’s much more likely that the cardboard could be contaminated than the contents, which likely already spent days packed up.

High-touch surfaces such as toys, toilets, phones, electronics, door handles and TV remotes should be cleaned regularly

How safe are non-medical grade masks?
“The recommendation is to use a cloth face mask that fits snugly and has multiple layers of fabric,” said Harvard’s Dr. Marcus. “Cloth masks can be reused, but should be washed in between uses with hot water and laundry detergent.”

Are there any tips for cleaning surfaces?
Coronaviruses can be destroyed on surfaces by using appropriate disinfectants and following the instructions, according to Canada’s health agency.

Regular household cleaners including bleach solutions and cleaners with at least 70 per cent alcohol content should be effective.

High-touch surfaces such as toys, toilets, phones, electronics, door handles and TV remotes should be cleaned regularly.

And if somebody in your home has been diagnosed with the virus then everything should be disinfected more frequently.

This story idea initially came from a reader who took part in our COVID-19 ‘Ask Us Anything’ initiative. Want to know more? Ask us a question here.

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Another COVID-19 case reported in northern New Brunswick on Saturday – Deloraine Times

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CAMPBELLTON, N.B. — People from a city in northern New Brunswick lined up outside testing centres Saturday, anxiously waiting to find out if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

Health officials have been focusing on Campbellton, N.B., since earlier in the week when it was learned that a health-care professional who contracted the novel coronavirus outside the province didn’t self-isolate after returning to New Brunswick.

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Public Health officials confirmed another new case in Zone 5, the Campbellton region, Saturday — bringing to nine the number of active cases in the area in just over a week.

The new case, which is under investigation, is an individual in their 70s.

To date, there have been 129 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 120 people have recovered from their illness.

Three people are hospitalized and there are no patients in an intensive care unit.

Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin said people were waiting about 15 minutes in the lineups to be tested, while seniors could call the 811 Tele-Care line to make an appointment to avoid the lines.

She said people are not happy that a health-care professional would put the public at risk.

“People have been pretty hateful and nasty on social media,” she said.

The mayor said she was embarrassed by many of the comments and urged people to help each other and limit their contacts for the next two weeks.

“The man is human and I don’t think it’s my place to judge him. His professional association will judge what they have to judge if there was any wrongdoing done,” she said.

Premier Blaine Higgs has criticized the worker at the centre of the cluster as “irresponsible.” He said this week that information had been passed to the RCMP and suggested the individual could be charged with violating public health orders.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for the New Brunswick RCMP confirmed that the force is looking into the matter.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said people need to show understanding, forgiveness and compassion during this pandemic.

“Please remember that COVID-19 brings out many emotions in us,” said Russell. “It causes many of us to experience feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear and grief. Some may also be angry. It is completely normal to feel these feelings when we face situations that are beyond our control.”

Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of the Vitalite Health Network confirmed the health-care professional thought to be patient zero in the outbreak has been suspended from work indefinitely after coming into contact with more than 100 people at the Campbellton Regional Hospital.

Elective surgeries have been suspended, and ambulances are being diverted to another hospital. Zone 5 has been moved back to the “orange” phase of the province’s reopening plan, with previous restrictions reinstated.

“We can get through this. It all will be fine,” Anglehart-Paulin said.

“We’ve got 14 days they tell us to hold our breath, so we’re going to hold our breath for another 14 days.”

Russell said everyone must be vigilant and self monitor for symptoms, regardless if they have been recently tested for COVID-19.

Before the Campbellton area cases, the province had gone two weeks without new cases and was actively reopening many businesses and services.

The latest cases follow a protest earlier in the month by more than 400 people from Campbellton and the Quebec communities of Pointe-a-la-Croix and Listuguj First Nation, calling for a “bubble” to be created between them.

Anglehart-Paulin said the flood of emails she was getting in support of opening the border suddenly stopped when the latest cases were reported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2020.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

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Another COVID-19 case reported in northern New Brunswick on Saturday – CHAT News Today

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To date, there have been 129 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 120 people have recovered from their illness. 

Three people are hospitalized and there are no patients in an intensive care unit.

Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin said people were waiting about 15 minutes in the lineups to be tested, while seniors could call the 811 Tele-Care line to make an appointment to avoid the lines.

She said people are not happy that a health-care professional would put the public at risk.

“People have been pretty hateful and nasty on social media,” she said.

The mayor said she was embarrassed by many of the comments and urged people to help each other and limit their contacts for the next two weeks.

“The man is human and I don’t think it’s my place to judge him. His professional association will judge what they have to judge if there was any wrongdoing done,” she said.

Premier Blaine Higgs has criticized the worker at the centre of the cluster as “irresponsible.” He said this week that information had been passed to the RCMP and suggested the individual could be charged with violating public health orders.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for the New Brunswick RCMP confirmed that the force is looking into the matter.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said people need to show understanding, forgiveness and compassion during this pandemic.

“Please remember that COVID-19 brings out many emotions in us,” said Russell. “It causes many of us to experience feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear and grief. Some may also be angry. It is completely normal to feel these feelings when we face situations that are beyond our control.”

Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of the Vitalite Health Network confirmed the health-care professional thought to be patient zero in the outbreak has been suspended from work indefinitely after coming into contact with more than 100 people at the Campbellton Regional Hospital.

Elective surgeries have been suspended, and ambulances are being diverted to another hospital. Zone 5 has been moved back to the “orange” phase of the province’s reopening plan, with previous restrictions reinstated.

“We can get through this. It all will be fine,” Anglehart-Paulin said.

“We’ve got 14 days they tell us to hold our breath, so we’re going to hold our breath for another 14 days.”

Russell said everyone must be vigilant and self monitor for symptoms, regardless if they have been recently tested for COVID-19.

Before the Campbellton area cases, the province had gone two weeks without new cases and was actively reopening many businesses and services.

The latest cases follow a protest earlier in the month by more than 400 people from Campbellton and the Quebec communities of Pointe-a-la-Croix and Listuguj First Nation, calling for a “bubble” to be created between them.

Anglehart-Paulin said the flood of emails she was getting in support of opening the border suddenly stopped when the latest cases were reported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2020.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

The Canadian Press

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344 new coronavirus cases, 41 deaths in Ontario as total cases rise to 27210

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Ontario reported 344 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 27,210.

The death toll has risen to 2,230, as 41 more deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 20,983 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 77 per cent of cases.

Ontario has completed 680,687 tests so far for the virus. This is up 18,525 tests from the previous day, which is the highest number of tests completed in a 24-hour period in almost three weeks.

The province has previously said it has a testing capacity of over 20,000 daily tests. Ontario is set to reveal a new coronavirus testing strategy Friday to gauge phased reopening.

Friday’s report marks an increase of 1.3 per cent in total cumulative cases. That figure has mostly hovered between 1.1 and 1.8 over the past week.

Ontario has 826 patients (down by seven) hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 129 patients in an intensive care unit (down by eight) and 100 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by six).

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,625 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of 34 deaths, and there are 123 current outbreaks. Six health-care workers in long-term care homes have died.

Ontario officials have said there may be a discrepancy between overall deaths and deaths at long-term care homes due to how the province’s health database system, called iPHIS, is tracking data and how the Ministry of Long-Term Care is tracking data.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 1,476 confirmed cases among long-term care residents and 1,113 cases among staff.

Health-care workers in Ontario account for 4,634 of the total reported cases, which is 17 per cent of the infected population.

Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 65 per cent of all cases in the province.

Here is a breakdown of Ontario cases by gender and age:

  • 11,818 people are male (43.4 per cent).
  • 15,162 people are female (55.7 per cent).
  • 948 people are 19 and under (3.5 per cent).
  • 6,992 people are 20 to 39 (25.7 per cent).
  • 8,310 people are 40 to 59 (30.5 per cent).
  • 5,551 people are 60 to 79 (20.4 per cent).
  • 5,394 people are 80 and over (19.8 per cent).
  • 230 cases did not specify male or female and 15 cases had an unknown age.

There are 13,351 people currently under investigation awaiting test results.

The newly reported numbers are valid as of 2 p.m. Thursday for Toronto and Ottawa public health units, and 4 p.m. for the rest of the province.

Source: – cjoy.com

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Edited By Harry Miller

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