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Deutsche Post says it is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccine – SaltWire Network

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BERLIN (Reuters) – German logistics group Deutsche Post AG said on Tuesday it is well prepared to distribute potential vaccines against COVID-19 and is talking to pharmaceutical companies and governments on the details, including the need for cooling.

The comments come after Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday became the first drugmakers to release successful trial data, saying their vaccine was shown to be more than 90% effective.

Deutsche Post said its contract logistics division operates more than 180 locations worldwide, tailored to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, where sensitive medical products can be stored and packaged at different temperatures.

“Distribution will not fail because of logistics,” Chief Executive Frank Appel told journalists.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told Reuters on Monday that the genetic compound would have to be shipped and centrally stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

For transport to and at the site of administration it can be kept for up to five days at fridge temperatures, Sahin said, adding he was confident logistics would work very well.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Matthias Inverardi; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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British Columbia reports 656 COVID-19 cases, 16 new deaths – Global News

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Another 16 people in B.C. have died from COVID-19, the province reported Tuesday.

B.C. health officials also recorded 656 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 33,894.

The number of people in hospital rose by 20 to 336, a record high. Seventy-six of those patients are in intensive care, also an all-time high.






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Monday’s three-day B.C. COVID-19 numbers with shocking total of deaths


Monday’s three-day B.C. COVID-19 numbers with shocking total of deaths

Tuesday marks the eighth straight day the province has recorded 10 or more coronavirus-related deaths. The province’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 457.

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Read more:
‘Like nothing I have felt before’: B.C. COVID-19 survivor blasts virus deniers in online post

The number of active cases in the province dipped slightly to 8,796, and 10,123 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

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On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a total of 2,354 new cases, including all those diagnosed between Friday and Monday and another 277 historical cases added in a data correction.


Click to play video 'Another young B.C. COVID-19 victim warns it’s not just ‘another flu’'



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Another young B.C. COVID-19 victim warns it’s not just ‘another flu’


Another young B.C. COVID-19 victim warns it’s not just ‘another flu’

Henry became emotional Monday as she expressed her condolences to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

Read more:
Canada added over 6,000 new coronavirus cases each day since Friday, new data shows

“These people have faces, have names, have stories, have families,” Henry said.

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“This tragedy is all of our tragedy and we all mourn their loss. If you are thinking it may be OK to bend the rules, please remember that this virus takes lives and it is the lives of those closest to us that are most at risk when we take risks.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ontario's number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs climbs as Toronto reports a record 761 new cases – Toronto Star

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The increasing number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 amid the relentless spread of the virus are signs Ontario will have to keep tightening pandemic restrictions.

That was the message from the president of the Ontario Hospital Association as admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care units approached 200, a level above which non-emergency surgeries are hampered.

“My sense is stronger measures are inevitable at the rate we’re going,” Anthony Dale said Tuesday as Ontario marked more than 1,700 new infections for the fifth straight day, as well as seven more deaths.

They fuelled a major jump in the closely watched seven-day average of cases, which surged by an even 100 to 1,670, an all-time high. Toronto alone reported a record 761 new cases, which medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa called a “blunt warning” of community spread.

With hospitalizations typically lagging new cases by several weeks, hospitals are expecting their number of COVID-19 patients to keep climbing — perhaps at a faster pace.

The Ministry of Health reported Tuesday that 27 more people were admitted to hospitals, bringing the total to 645, with at least 112 patients on ventilators, up from 91 a week ago.

A separate overnight survey found 26 more critically ill patients with COVID-19 were transferred to intensive care units, raising that total to 193.

That type of increase is “no surprise,” said Dr. Irfan Dhalla, an internist and vice-president at St. Michael’s Hospital, who noted this is “definitely not the time to be musing about relaxing restrictions.”

Health Minister Christine Elliott said Scarborough General Hospital is one of several hospitals that has had to postpone procedures because ICU beds are filling up.

“We know that there are some hospitals that are in the hot zones that are already having to shut down somewhat their non-emergency procedures,” she told reporters at a news conference Premier Doug Ford missed because of what his staff called an unexpected but “non-urgent” medical appointment.

“As tragic as it is to have lost a loved one to COVID, it would be equally tragic to lose someone because of a cancer surgery or a cardiac surgery that wasn’t performed in time,” Elliott said.

Elliott said more than 3,100 hospital beds have been added since March to help cope with the second wave of the pandemic as Ontarians await a vaccine next year.

The 28-day lockdown for Toronto and Peel Region is in place until Dec. 21 when it will be reviewed, with Ontario chief medical officer Dr. David Williams looking for indications that restrictions such as a ban on indoor dining and the closures of gyms, cinemas, hair salons and non-essential retailers are working.

Health experts have cautioned that lifting those restrictions in the week before Christmas could send the wrong signals about risks from the pandemic, lead to a mad dash of holiday shopping and a further spike in cases.

“Officials will look at the situation in areas that are locked down, see if we’re flattening or reducing the rate of community growth. They’ll look at areas that are not in lockdown but are at different levels in the provincial framework,” Dale said.

“If those trends are not in the right place or heading in the wrong direction, we’re hopeful they’ll take the aggressive action that, really, has been shown worldwide to be necessary if we’re to halt the spread of COVID-19.”

Epidemiologists and doctors have said any easing of restrictions should be tied to vigorous testing and the full ability of public health units to trace the contacts of people testing positive for the virus to keep it in check.

Provincial officials keeping an eye on computer modelling have warned that Ontario could hit 400 patients in intensive care units with weeks; when that number hits 350, non-emergency surgeries become almost impossible.

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Another risk factor for hospitals is the number of outbreaks that are occurring within their walls because there are so many cases in the community, said Dale.

In London, University Hospital was hit so hard recently it had to close admissions to medical wards and cancel elective surgeries, with the added complication of an outbreak in its acclaimed organ transplant unit.

“It’s very sobering,” said Dale.

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34 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa; more than 1700 in Ontario – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 34 additional people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died. 

The figure marks a slight increase from Monday’s report, when 29 new positive tests were reported.

Across Ontario, another 1,707 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and seven more people have died. Figures are highest in Toronto, where more than 700 new positive cases were reported. 

According to Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 8,521 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began.

Ottawa’s death toll from the pandemic is now 375.

In the past seven days, Nov. 25 to Dec. 1 inclusive, OPH has reported an average of 41.4 new cases of COVID-19 per day. In the seven days previous, Nov. 18 to Nov. 24 inclusive, OPH reported an average of 37.6 new cases per day.

OPH says the rate per 100,000 popluation in the city over the past seven days is 26.8, down from 27.2 on Monday. The R(t) number — that is, the number of additional people an indivudual who has tested positive spreads the virus to — is estimated at 1.18 as of Nov. 30. A week prior, on Nov. 23, the estimated R(t) number was 0.87. 

“R(t) values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading faster and each case infects more than one contact, and less than 1 indicates the spread is slowing and the epidemic is coming under control,” OPH says.

TESTING

Ontario health officials say 34,640 COVID-19 tests were performed across Ontario on Monday and 34,046 people are still waiting for test results provincewide.

Updated local figures from the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce are due this afternoon.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

The number of people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 remained steady on Tuesday.

OPH says there are 24 people in hospitals in the city with COVID-19 and one person is in intensive care.

Of the people in hospital, one is in their 20s, one is in their 30s, one is in their 40s, three are in their 60s, seven are in their 70s, eight are in their 80s (one in the ICU) and three are 90 or older.

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

The number of people with known active infections of COVID-19 has risen to 351 from 344 on Monday.

OPH reported 26 additional recoveries on Tuesday, bringing the number of resolved cases in Ottawa to 7,794.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

Here is a breakdown of all known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa by age category:

  • 0-9 years old: Two new cases (581 cases total)
  • 10-19 years-old: Four new cases (986 cases total)
  • 20-29 years-old: 11 new cases (1,746 cases total)
  • 30-39 years-old: Six new cases (1,145 cases total)
  • 40-49 years-old: Four new cases (1,072 cases total)
  • 50-59 years-old: One new case (992 cases total)
  • 60-69-years-old: Two new cases (664 cases total)
  • 70-79 years-old: Two new cases (438 cases total)
  • 80-89 years-old: Two new cases (531 cases total)
  • 90+ years old: Zero new cases (366 cases total)

CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION

According to provincial figures, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Six more people in the Hasting Prince Edward Public Health region have tested positive.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health have added one new case.

The Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit has two additional cases of COVID-19 in its region.

There are no new COVID-19 cases in the Renfrew County and District Health Unit’s area on Tuesday.

The Quebec government reports that 15 more people in the Outaouais region have tested positive for COVID-19 and one additional person has died.

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 25 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

One new outbreak was declared on Tuesday at the Carleton Lodge long-term care home.

There are five active community outbreaks: one linked to an unidentified community organization, one from an unspecified social event and three at unidentified workplaces in the city.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. École élémentaire publique Gabrielle Roy
  2. Manordale Public School
  3. Ottawa Technical Secondary School

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Alta Vista Manor
  2. Amica Westboro Park
  3. Association Intégration Sociale d’Ottawa – 21034
  4. Bearbrook Retirement Residence
  5. Bridlewood Trails Retirement Home
  6. Carleton Lodge long-term care home (NEW)
  7. Courtyards on Eagleson
  8. Couvent Mont-Saint-Joseph retirement home
  9. Extendicare Medex
  10. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
  11. Extendicare Starwood
  12. Forest Hill long-term care home
  13. Garden Terrace long-term care home
  14. Montfort Hospital – 3C
  15. Park Place
  16. Peter D. Clark long-term care home
  17. Shelter – 20868
  18. St. Patrick’s Home
  19. The Glebe Centre
  20. The Ravines retirement home
  21. The Ottawa Hospital General Campus – 5E
  22. Waterford Retirement

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).  

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