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Dramatic rise of substance use, STDs in Winnipeg: WRHA – CTV News

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Sexually transmitted blood borne infections have been on a dramatic increase in the city over the past four years.

That’s according to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, which says some STBBIs have increased by nearly 400 per cent.

According to the WRHA’s Community Health Assessment, there has been a significant increase in lab-confirmed cases of STBBIs from 2014 to 2018.

During this four year period, WRHA said cases of syphilis increased by 394 per cent, cases of gonorrhea increased by 297 per cent, and cases of chlamydia increased by 20 per cent.

But as case counts continue to rise in 2019, which is resulting in a substantial burden on public health resources, WRHA said more work needs to be done to provide people safe access to care.

“We are trying to manage an increased substance use issue within Manitoba, but this is also across Canada as well, specifically around methamphetamine use,” said Gina Trinidad, Chief Health Operations Officer for continuing care and health services with the WRHA.

“We want to make sure that individuals have access to clean needles, as an example, that there are targeted strategies for testing and treatment for individuals.”

Trinidad said the purpose is to bolster support for the education of public health with the goal of getting people tested to prevent the spread of STBBIs.

One major part of this is the WRHA’s Street Connections Program which handed out over 2 million clean needles in the 2018-19 fiscal year. This is compared to the 1.7 million clean needles that were handed out in the 2017-18 year, and the 1.4 million clean needles handed out in the 2016-17 year.

The assessment said the root causes of these increases need to be investigated and addressed.

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Doctors fear flu shot, PPE supply will lag: survey – mississauga.com

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Nevertheless, three quarters believed the health-care system was better prepared with COVID-19 resurgences than during the first wave.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday it was preparing for the potential of simultaneous outbreaks of the flu and COVID-19.

The agency said provincial and territorial governments have ordered more than 13 million doses of vaccine — an increase from last season’s order of 11.2 million doses.


Collins says the CMA has been assured by public health officials there will be enough doses to meet demand but says they cannot predict what the uptake will be. Still, they encourage all Canadians to get the vaccine.

Each province and territorial government decides how much to purchase for their populations, where they are distributed and when to begin the rollout.

While this varies, many start their vaccination programs in October or early November.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford stressed multiple investments to bolster the health system as it attempts to address a backlog of surgeries while grappling with COVID-19 and the coming flu season.

“We put a billion dollars into testing and tracing, which is absolutely imperative. We also have the immunization program for the flu vaccine which is 5.1 million doses. That is the largest ever in Canadian history,” Ford said.

While virtual care has reduced in-person appointments, Collins said doctors still need to see some patients face-to-face.

In addition to PPE, she said each visit requires cleaning supplies to sanitize between visits and time and staff to do that work. Collins said that all costs money.

“Doctors need to know … that there’s a concerted effort to co-ordinate (resources) amongst those different bodies and to communicate clearly to physicians what is available and to support those physicians,” she said.

“There are people with all kinds of other health-care conditions that need to be seen, they need to be assessed. And so there needs to be protection for them, protection for the doctor seeing them.

“Because COVID is among us.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.

By Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, September 29 – Bring Me The News

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The death toll has reached 2,020.

Five more deaths has brought Minnesota’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,020. The newly reported deaths released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Tuesday include one person each aged in their 60s, 70s and 80s, respectively, and two patients who were in their 90s. 

Of the 2,020 total deaths, 1,449 have been residents of long-term care, including two of the five newly reported cases Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized is unclear because the MDH stopped publicizing that data last Thursday. Instead, the MDH is only releasing new admissions to the hospital and ICU in its daily report, and on Tuesday it announced six new hospital admissions. There were also 20 new ICU admissions in Tuesday’s report. 

According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, the maximum ICU capacity of Minnesota’s hospitals is 2,158 – 1,071 of which are currently occupied (this is for all ailments, not just COVID-19). That’s an increase from 1,063 in Monday’s update. 

Tuesday’s update includes 817 new positive tests for the coronavirus, eight of which have been removed for an official count of 809 cases. Those positives are the result of 8,713 people tested, creating a 24-hour reporting period test positivity rate of 9.28%.

The positive test rate is lower from the perspective when the number of individuals producing positive tests (809) divided by total completed tests (15,257). In that case, the positivity rate is 5.30%.

The “tests completed” number is always higher than the “people tested” metric because some people get tested multiple times and those who test positive are only counted once, so it produces a less accurate positivity rate.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:

  • Total tests: 2,017,350 (up from 2,003,115)
  • People tested: 1,406,578 (up from 1,397,865)
  • Positive cases: 98,447 (up from 97,638)
  • Deaths: 2,020 (up from 2,015) 
  • Hospitalized (cumulative): 7,633 (up from 7,627)
  • ICU admissions (cumulative: 2,129 (up from 2,109)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 88,380 (up from 87,330)

There have also been 52 deaths where COVID-19 is listed by doctors as the “probable” cause, though it’s not included in the official COVID-19 death toll.

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105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols – Golden Star

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B.C. reported 105 new COVID-19 cases and one death over the past 24 hours in a joint statement released by health officials Tuesday (Sept. 29).

In the statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown said there are currently 1,268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 9,013 cases of COVID-19 and the death toll has reached 234. The most recent death was of a person in Fraser Health.

There are 69 people in hospital with the virus, 20 of whom are in ICU.

Officials said there is a new outbreak at Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 14 health-care facilities with outbreaks at this time.

In their statement, health officials reminded British Columbians again that this fall will not look like that of years’ past.

“We have had to change our special celebrations and gatherings to keep the people we care about safe,” officials said. “This same approach is how we need to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Rather than travelling to see friends or hosting a large family dinner, make it small this year and plan to connect virtually instead.”

The province also extended its state of emergency Tuesday, allowing the province to continue using its expanded powers under the Emergency Program Act. B.C. has been in a state of emergency since March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

ALSO READ: National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

VIDEO: Ottawa unveils guidelines, deal for rapid COVID-19 tests as calls for approval mount


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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