Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that the department has published a request for applications for entities to conduct collaborative research on COVID-19, focusing on the health impacts and novel treatments of the virus.
“The lessons learned from COVID-19 will inform public health for years, decades and centuries to come,” Dr. Levine said. “There continues to be much to learn about the COVID-19 virus, the health impacts of the virus, what treatments exist, and the usability of those treatments. We look forward to receiving a number of applications from Pennsylvania’s research institutions that are looking to conduct collaborative research to inform public health as we work to produce a healthy Pennsylvania for all.”
The Request for Applications opened on October 28,and the deadline for collaborative research is December 9. The grant work will begin on June 1, 2021 and end on May 31, 2025. Interested entities must submit a letter of intent as instructed.
The collaborative research must involve an applicant and one or more collaborating organizations that will coordinate to identify priorities and conduct research. Types of research allowed include biomedical research, clinical research and health services research.
The department anticipates approximately $10 million will be available to fund three collaborative research grants that are consistent with the priorities outlined.
Potential topics for research may include, but are not limited to:
- Research related to improving the knowledge of the genetic makeup of COVID-19 and associated viruses, like SARS-CoV-2;
- Research related to the population, behavioral, and mental health impacts of COVID-19; and
- Research related to vaccine development and testing to support public health through immunization.
For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
- Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.
B.C. sees new daily high of 911 COVID-19 cases, reports 11 deaths – News 1130
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As the province’s second wave pushes new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to new records on a nearly daily basis, health officials are urging British Columbians to keep each other safe.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 911 new infections Friday, pushing B.C. over the 30,000 mark of confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
It is also another day deaths were in the double digits, with 11 more people losing their lives to COVID-19.
Dr. Henry says if you are opposed to wearing a mask, shop online, order take out, stay outside. Don’t put others at risk.
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) November 27, 2020
“Please remember that this requirement to wear a mask in indoor public locations is a provincial order that everyone must follow,” she said, while comparing masks to seatbelts and helmets. “It’s a layer of protection for everybody and a courtesy to those around you. And if you are opposed to wearing a mask, then I asked you to shop online, order takeout, or stay home and not put other people at risk.”
She again offered a reminder that we don’t always know each other’s story, and we need to show each other respect.
“We have people who are suffering in our hospitals, right now, and their families are suffering too. And that these small simple actions, make a big difference for all of us,” Henry added.
There are a record 301 patients currently hospitalized, with 69 of them in intensive care.
Bc #covid19 Nov 27
LTC 54/5 3new 1over
1162 active – 718 residents #bcpoli @news1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) November 27, 2020
While Health Minister Adrian Dix assures there is enough capacity in acute care, there is still the challenge of having ample staffing and resources.
“We do for the moment, but it is important, I think, for everyone to understand how critical is for those waiting for other procedures and for everyone that we do everything we can to stop the spread over the last number of days as well.”
No info given for number of known active cases
301 in hospital (+7) NEW RECORD YET AGAIN
69 in ICU (+5)
21,304 fully recovered (+1,306 or 68.9% of all recorded cases)
10,430 people under active public health monitoring after coming in close contact with a positive person (+123)
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) November 27, 2020
Given there are more than 10,000 people under public health monitoring because they’re been in close contact with an infected person, nearly 8,000 active cases, and rising daily infections, Henry reminded British Columbians that there can be a delay in receiving a negative test result.
“Public health teams may conduct, or may ask and offer widespread testing of people whether symptomatic or asymptomatic in settings like workplaces like schools and long-term care homes even if there’s not widespread community transmission in that area. The priority is to contact those who are positive first to make sure that people are isolating so there may be a delay in people getting results,” she explained.
Meanwhile, three more outbreaks in health-care facilities were reported at the German-Canadian Benevolent Society, Villa Cathay Care Home, and Morgan Place Care Home. The Peace Portal Senior Village outbreak has ended.
Basically message is, BC will restrict daily life in areas where we see #COVID19 transmission, and won’t put as harsh of restrictions in areas where current policies are working.
This is why schools are not shut down, but weddings are. Exposures do not mean transmission
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) November 27, 2020
N.B. could have COVID-19 vaccine by January. Now comes deciding who gets it first – CBC.ca
All things considered, it’s a good problem to have: eight months into managing the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health officials in New Brunswick now must start sorting out who to vaccinate first.
It won’t be easy, given that the number of New Brunswickers old enough to be considered high-risk far exceeds the number of doses coming in the first wave of vaccines early next year.
The province could receive enough doses for 60,000 people early in January.
But the number of people over the age of 60 — the point at which the risk of serious COVID-19 impacts increases dramatically — is more than 200,000.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said choosing who will be at the front of the line will be a complicated calculation.
“That’s the point of prioritizing,” she said. “We know there’s not going to be enough, and this is going to be the most complex immunization program ever delivered in this country and around the world.”
Federal distribution plan based on population
The federal government has agreed to distribute the first batch of vaccines, due in the first three months of 2021, using a formula roughly based on population.
With enough doses for three million people, that would translate into about 60,000 New Brunswickers vaccinated by April.
Russell said she and her counterparts federally and in other provinces have agreed on a general plan that will be hammered into place in time for expected regulatory approval of the first vaccines next month.
Distribution could begin as early as January.
“I think long-term care nursing home facilities would be priority one, certainly, as a very vulnerable section of our population,” said Premier Blaine Higgs.
The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes said there are 4,800 beds in its member homes.
“I think you would move quickly into the health-care workers and protecting them, and then the likely next step would be seniors,” Higgs said.
Nursing home workers would account for 4,800 doses
First responders would also be near the top of the list, Higgs said.
“And then you just kind of work through the age demographics.”
Vaccinating unionized nursing home workers around the province would require more than 4,800 doses.
That’s how many members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees work in more than 50 nursing homes, according to union spokesperson Simon Ouellette.
Vulnerable people should be prioritized, but so should the people who work with them.– Simon Ouellette, CUPE spokesperson
Five long-term care or nursing homes have been hit by outbreaks in New Brunswick.
Some nursing home workers, including maintenance and cleaning staff, must move from room to room, creating the risk of becoming a super-spreader, Ouellette said.
“Vulnerable people should be prioritized, but so should the people who work with them.”
There are also 1,875 doctors in the province, according to Dr. Jeff Steeves, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society. The New Brunswick Nurses Union estimates 6,400 nurses are in the workforce now.
Those doctors include emergency department and critical care physicians who are potentially exposed to COVID-19 frequently.
“Those most exposed to those being ill are going to need it first,” Steeves said.
People with chronic conditions on high-priority list
And there are 950 ambulance paramedics who are “seeing folks that they don’t have a really good understanding of when they initially respond about what may or may not be wrong with them,” said Chris Hood, executive director of the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick.
“The association feels strongly that to protect the members, who are obviously in short supply, and to protect the public that they serve, they should be one of the first groups to be done,” he said.
Russell said New Brunswickers with chronic conditions are also “somewhere on that list” of high-priority patients.
According to the New Brunswick Health Council, 11.6 per cent of adults in the province have been diagnosed with asthma and 11.4 per cent have been diagnosed with diabetes, two conditions that COVID-19 can quickly make life-threatening.
Russell said Indigenous people will also be a high priority because COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on them.
But it’s possible the federal government, which has responsibility for Indigenous issues, will hang on to a small percentage of vaccine doses and do that itself, along with immunizing some military members and federal inmates.
She said the goal is to have 75 per cent of the province vaccinated, enough to create herd immunity in the population. She doesn’t see that happening until next fall or later.
Cardy wants schoolchildren to follow high-priority groups
Higgs said Thursday that the fact some people will want to wait to ensure the vaccines are safe could make the process easier.
“There’s a number of people that want to be vaccinated early, and there are probably others that want to kind of wait a bit,” he told CBC’s Power and Politics. “So it may not be a rush to the front of the line immediately.”
Last week Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy said he would support immunizing schoolchildren soon after the high-priority groups are done.
“We’re seeing, unfortunately, in the last few months, a significant increase in the number of young people who are becoming not just infected with COVID-19 but are then passing it on,” he said.
“Younger people get less sick, but they can be just as efficient a disease vector as anyone of any age, so I’d certainly argue that. I think that would make sense.”
News Releases | COVID-19 Bulletin #268 – news.gov.mb.ca
Need More Info?
Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-794-0732.
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