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COVID-19: variant cases on the rise – Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser

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The Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services (AHS)  provided a COVID-19 updated on Tuesday, March 30.

Fort Saskatchewan reported 32 active cases of the virus. Nearby, Sherwood Park reported 62 active cases, Strathcona County reported 26 active cases, and Sturgeon County reported 20 active cases.

St. John Paul II Catholic School informed parents that there were 10 cases of COVID-19 in the school being investigated by AHS. Cases were identified in Grades 5, 7, and 8. Out of an abundance of caution, all students will be moved to at-home learning in the days following spring break — Apr.6 to 9.

All cases will have completed their 14-day quarantine period by the time in-person classes resume on Apr.12.

Provincially, Alberta hit a single-day record for the number of new variant cases in the province after 332 were identified on Tuesday.

All of the new variant cases identified Tuesday were of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

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Across the province, there are 7,975 active cases of COVID-19. With 2,376 of those identified as variants of concern, the variants now make up nearly 30 per cent of all the province’s active COVID-19 cases.

There were 576 new cases of COVID-19 recorded on Tuesday after 8,078 tests were completed over the last 24 hours, for a positivity rate of 7.1 per cent.

There are currently 301 people hospitalized with the virus, an increase of 13 from Monday. Of those, 58 are in intensive care units, a decrease of six.

Four more people have died, raising the provincial death toll from COVID-19 to 1,987.

Meanwhile, Phase 2B of the province’s COVID-19 immunization program began on Tuesday for anyone with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19.

With nearly one million people under Phase 2B, Hinshaw said this is the largest single group made eligible for vaccination. This means the province will have to move slowly as more doses arrive.

“Albertans born in 1963 or earlier with underlying health conditions can book an appointment at participating pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer,” Hinshaw said. “Pharmacies in other communities will start booking later next week as more doses arrive.”

On April 5, Albertans born in 1957, 1958, and 1959 with one or more of the high-risk underlying health conditions will also be able to book appointments with Alberta Health Services.

Additional birth years will become eligible as more vaccines arrive.

Those who are eligible include cancer patients, transplant recipients, and individuals with severe disabilities. A full list of who will be eligible in Phase 2B is available at alberta.ca/vaccine.

-with files from Anna Junker

jhamilton@postmedia.com

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Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study – Hindustan Times

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Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study(Unsplash)

Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study

  • A new study finds that more mental health support is needed for pregnant people during the pandemic after it was found that nearly three-quarters of individuals who were pregnant during this time reported moderate to high levels of distress. 
ANI | , Toronto [canada]
UPDATED ON SEP 16, 2021 11:18 AM IST

A team of researchers suggested that more mental health support is needed for pregnant individuals after a survey found nearly three-quarters of individuals who had been pregnant during the pandemic reported moderate to high levels of distress, and one in five experienced depressive symptoms.

The findings of the study appeared in the journal titled ‘Canadian Family Physician’.

The researchers, led by clinicians at Unity Health Toronto, surveyed nearly 1,500 participants online – 87 per cent of whom were Canadian – who had been pregnant during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 69 per cent of respondents reported moderate to high levels of distress and 20 per cent had depressive symptoms.

“The high levels of distress highlight the importance of considering mental health centrally in support for this population,” said Dr Tali Bogler, study lead author and family physician and chair of family medicine obstetrics at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto.

“The findings also highlight the overall impact the pandemic has had on families in general and the downstream impact this will have,” added Dr Bogler.

A limitation of the study was that it did not have comparable data on distress levels among pregnant people prior to the pandemic. However, a population-based survey conducted in Japan before the pandemic found 28 to 32 per cent of pregnant people reported distress.

Researchers also sought to learn more about what the common sources of concern were for expectant parents during the pandemic. Participants were provided with a list of 27 concerns and asked to indicate their level of concern for each issue.

The top five concerns during pregnancy included: hospital policies regarding support persons in labour; not being able to introduce their baby to loved ones; getting sick from Covid-19 while pregnant; not being able to rely on family or friends after labour for support; and conflicting medical information on Covid-19 in pregnancy and newborns, especially early in the pandemic.

There were differences in the concerns of first-time and second/third-time parents. First-time parents were more concerned about the cancellation of in-person prenatal classes and hospital tours, whereas second/third-time parents were more concerned about the transmission of Covid-19 from older children in the home.

The authors said that family physicians are well placed to support perinatal mental health and can engage in screening practices and offer appropriate treatment, such as counselling, public health nursing, and psychiatric appointments. They also recommend hospitals better utilize technology to help address parents’ concerns by arranging more virtual check-ins and hospital tours and provide more online resources with evidence-based information on Covid-19 relevant to expectant and new parents.

ALSO READ: Pregnancy cravings out of control? Here’s what you MUST know to contain them

“Clinicians and hospital administrators need to explore innovative ways to increase perinatal support,” said Dr Bogler, who is also one of the leads of the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide, a virtual platform that provides medical information on pregnancy and Covid-19 and helps form a community for expecting parents during the pandemic. 

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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‘No longer safe’: Family flees Manitoba city over COVID-19 attitudes – Flipboard

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Ridin’ Dirty: Guinea Pigs Cruise Around in Style

Two summer-ready guinea pigs took a ride in a remote-controlled car in Montreal, Quebec.The footage was captured by Melissa Trihey, who regularly documents the adventures of her pet guinea pigs, pugs,…

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B.C. reports 66 new COVID-19 cases in Island Health, two deaths – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials have reported 661 new cases and seven deaths from COVID-19 since their last update on Tuesday.

In the Island Health region, 66 new cases were reported, increasing the number of active cases in the health authority to 615, along with two deaths.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 168,459 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,873.

READ MORE: B.C. introducing COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health-care workers

In addition to the new cases in Island Health, 99 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 237 were in Fraser Health, 196 in Interior Health, and 62 in Northern Health.

There are currently 5,791 active cases in the province and 288 people in hospital — 137 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 168,459 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,643,973 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide. Out of all eligible adults in the province, 79.5 per cent have received two doses of vaccine and 86.7 per cent have received one dose.

The Ministry of Health said that 76.5 per cent of cases recorded Sept. 7-13 were in people who have not been vaccinated. Unvaccinated people have also accounted for 87.3 per cent of hospitalizations, the ministry said.

Island Health

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

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