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Edmonton long-term care facility has 10 COVID-19 deaths, dozens of cases

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EDMONTON — Alberta Health Services says it is working closely with an Edmonton long-term care home to manage a COVID-19 outbreak.

The agency said in a statement Wednesday that South Terrace Continuing Care Centre, which is owned and operated by Revera, has had 66 cases among residents and has 66 active staff cases.

It said 10 residents have died.

The numbers were among 8,090 active cases — including 3,255 in Edmonton — reported Tuesday in Alberta. Another 672 cases were added Wednesday, but no details were provided on how many people have recovered from the disease.

A total of 383 Albertans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

The Alberta Health website also shows there are at least 20 long-term care homes and many other supportive living facilities dealing with outbreaks across the province.

No one from Revera returned a request for comment about the South Terrace outbreak Wednesday, but the company told CBC there are 90 residents in the home.

Revera also owns a Winnipeg care home that called paramedics on the weekend to deal with a crisis of sick and dying patients during a COVID-19 outbreak.

The company initially said there were 13 of the normally scheduled 19 health-care aides working the evening shift on Friday, but the Winnipeg Health Authority determined that seven people were working in the 200-bed facility.

Revera, which operates long-term care homes across Canada, said the erroneous information was a mistake.

Susan Slade, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, said she doesn’t want to see a similar situation at the Edmonton care home.

“We are monitoring it very closely,” she said Wednesday.

Slade said a total of 70 staff at South Terrace have contracted COVID-19 and four have recovered in the last few weeks.

The union, she said, has reached out to its local at the home and is offering support to the 146 health-care aides and other support staff who work there.

“We will make sure the staff are getting the resources that they need.”

Slade said South Terrace has been given an exemption to a rule that prevents long-term care employees from working at more than one facility. The rule was brought in by the province during the pandemic’s first wave last spring to try to stem spread of the COVID-19 virus by staff moving between care homes.

“There just isn’t enough staff,” said Slade, who noted that Revera is expected to bring in workers from its other facilities and has promised to reinstate incentive pandemic pay during the outbreak.

Alberta Health Services, which delivers health care in the province, said it has also been working with South Terrace to monitor staffing levels and is adding to the workforce as needed with nurses and other health professionals.

AHS said in its statement that it is meeting daily with the care home to provide direction for and support with outbreak management, resident and staff swabbing and testing, and care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2020.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Source: – Red Deer Advocate

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COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Canada remains on a troubling path for new COVID-19 infections as case counts continue to mount, the country’s top doctor said Saturday.

The most recent infection rates indicate Canada is on track to hit as many as 10,000 new cases a day by next month, Dr. Theresa Tam said.

“If we continue on the current pace, our longer range models continue to forecast significant increases in daily case counts and estimate that there could be up to 10,000 cases reported daily by mid-December,” Tam said in a written statement.

“Right now, we have a window of opportunity to act collectively together with public health authorities to bring the infection rate down to a safer trajectory.”

Canada is currently recording caseloads at about half that level, with the most recent seven-day average standing at 5,335 between Nov. 20 and Nov. 26.

Tam said Canada is also averaging 76 deaths a day and more than 2,100 people in hospital.

People 80 years and older are experiencing Canada’s highest COVID-19 death rate, and there are now more and larger outbreaks in long-term care facilities, hospitals, group living settings, Indigenous communities and remote areas, she said.

“Those developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies,” Tam said.

Her assessment came as case counts continued to soar in numerous provinces.

Quebec set a new single-day record with 1,480 new infections Saturday as the provincial death toll crossed the 7,000 threshold.

Ontario logged case numbers just shy of Friday’s one-day record as it reported 1,822 new diagnoses in the past 24 hours.

Case numbers also jumped sharply in Manitoba, where officials recorded 487 new infections and 10 new deaths.

Among those who died was a boy under the age of 10, officials said, though they offered no other details.

Saskatchewan reported 197 COVID-19 cases and one death Saturday.

The province ordered the suspension of team sports earlier this week until Dec. 17 after confirmed COVID-19 cases among several minor and recreational hockey teams.

The Saskatchewan suspension applies to hockey and curling leagues and dance studios.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority posted notices Saturday of COVID-19 exposure risks at curling and recreation centres at Christopher Lake and Shellbrook. Those curling or socializing at either of the two facilities last month must self-isolate for 14 days, the health authority said.

In British Columbia, Fraser Health announced the closure of an elementary school in Surrey after confirming 16 COVID-19 cases.

Newton Elementary School will close for two weeks, said Fraser Health.

B.C. reported a daily record of 911 COVID-19 cases Friday. The province will update its numbers Monday.

People must continue to practise physical distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home as much as possible, said a newly appointed member of B.C. Premier John Horgan’s cabinet.

“I just think it’s important for us to be thoughtful and caring, but at the same time it’s critical that people follow the rules because it’s vital to be able to keep our schools open and keep as many of our business open as possible,” said Ravi Kahlon, whose ministry includes economic recovery.

Figures from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador show more modest increases of four and two cases, respectively.

Prince Edward Island reported two new COVID-19 cases, but they involved young males aged 10 and 19.

There were 14 new cases in Nova Scotia and five COVID-19 cases in Nunavut.

Tam redoubled her calls for Canadians to heed public health advice, limit their social interactions and practice physical distancing in a bid to bring surging case counts under control.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.

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Here is why team sports are allowed to continue in B.C. under the latest COVID-19 restrictions – The Tri-City News

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While the latest provincial health orders restrict several indoor activities, many team sports have been given the green light to continue by health officials. 

Travel to, from and between communities for team athletic activities like games, competitions, training and practice is prohibited under the latest order. However, this order does not apply to individuals who need to commute out of their home health authority to participate in a team sport. 

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So, while a team from Abbotsford cannot attend a training session in Chilliwack, an individual who lives in Vancouver can attend one in Surrey. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told Vancouver Is Awesome in the daily coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing Friday afternoon that physical fitness, particularly children’s outdoor sports, is an important part of health. Further, she stressed that transmission is more likely to take place on the sidelines, rather than during the game. 

“What we have said is we’ve looked at where the the issues are around transmission and they mostly are on the sidelines–before and after. So, that’s why we made some restrictions around team travel,” she explained.

“No spectators, and to try and at least give opportunities for people to have some activity physical activity in a structured way of their lives because we know that’s important.”

Under the current order, no spectators are allowed at any sport activities. The only people allowed to attend sport activities are those that provide care to a participant or player. For example, providing first aid. 

‘We want people to stay in their community’

In terms of travel, Henry added that people should focus on communities rather than health authorities when it comes to sports: “We want people to stay in their community.”

“We’re not letting teams play in different communities because we know that means that they might have to carpool. But we know that individuals, particularly in the Lower Mainland, may live in one area and work in another area.

“You may go to school in a community that’s adjacent to where you live, so it doesn’t make sense to not allow somebody to play in a team in a community that might be across the street, but in a different health authority.”

With this in mind, Henry emphasized that people need to “pull it back” and ensure they aren’t doing a great deal of travel. Individuals who need to travel to games should go alone or with their immediate families or household.  

Team sports should also be played in a “way that minimizes contact, because we know that there’s still transmission happening in our communities,” added Henry.

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“But it is important for people to get out…and not just for team sports. Everybody should get outside and go for a walk, take your family, take the dog go for a walk 15 minutes a day.

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Canada surpasses 360K coronavirus cases as Quebec, Alberta break daily infection records – Global News

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Canada added 5,757 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, as well as 82 more deaths.

The country’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 now stands at 364,501, though 290,693 of those patients have since recovered. A total of 11,976 have died from the virus in Canada, while over 14,407,000 tests have been administered.

Read more:
Support for mandatory coronavirus vaccine keeps falling even as cases spike: Ipsos

Saturday’s data paints a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across Canada however, as British Columbia and both the Yukon and Northwest Territories do not release updated COVID-19 testing data on the weekend.

As new cases of the virus surge in communities across the country, new Ipsos polling released Saturday suggested Canadians were also moving away from the idea of mandatory vaccinations.

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According to the poll, 59 per cent of Canadians agreed that COVID-19 vaccinations should be compulsory — a decrease of 13 points since July.

CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs Darrell Bricker has since told Global News that the drop over the last several months was due to a number of reasons which include the perception of the vaccine being rushed as well as its potential side effects.






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Coronavirus: Support for mandatory vaccines weakens among Canadians


Coronavirus: Support for mandatory vaccines weakens among Canadians

It’s a sentiment that was also shared by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who told Albertans that coronavirus vaccines would not be mandatory during a live question-and-answer period he hosted earlier this week.

“COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory, not in Alberta,” he said. “In fact, our government will amending the Public Health Act early next year, when the legislature comes back. We’ll be making a number of amendments to the Public Health Act.”

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In a statement Saturday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam reaffirmed earlier projections of the country being on track to hit as many as 10,000 new cases a day by mid-December.

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According to Tam, the most recent seven-day average count of new COVID-19 cases stood at 5,335 between Nov. 20 and Nov. 26, with more and larger outbreaks occurring at long term care homes, hospitals and Indigenous communities in remote areas of the country.

Read more:
Why are they still sick? The search for answers inside Canada’s first post-COVID clinic

“These developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies,” said Tam.

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Tam also said new cases were increasing among adults, with those aged 80 years and older now having the highest incident rate across the country. Canada is averaging 76 deaths a day, while more than 2,100 people have been admitted to hospital due to the virus — 432 of which have been placed in ICU.

“If we continue on the current pace, our longer range models continue to forecast significant increases in daily case counts and estimate that there could be up to 10,000 cases reported daily by mid-December,” said Tam.

“Right now, we have a window of opportunity to act collectively together with public health authorities to bring the infection rate down to a safer trajectory.”


Click to play video 'Planning the COVID-19 vaccine rollout'



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Planning the COVID-19 vaccine rollout


Planning the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The grim warning from the country’s top doctor comes amid surges of newly reported cases being identified across the country.

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Quebec reported its highest ever single-day record of new infections Saturday with 1,480 more lab-confirmed cases, bringing its total COVID-19 caseload to 139,643. Deaths from the virus also crossed the 7,000 threshold after the province reported 37 additional fatalities, of which 10 occurred over the past 24 hours.

Alberta added another record daily high of 1,731 new virus cases Saturday, as well as five new deaths. The data pushes the province’s cases to 54,836 and its death toll to 524.

In Ontario, new cases of the virus dipped just below the single-day record that was set Friday with 1,822 new infections. Another 29 deaths were reported by the province, pushing its COVID-19 fatalities to 3,624.

Manitoba also reported a sharp increase in cases after health authorities added 487 new infections and 10 deaths. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan announced 197 more cases as well as one new death from the virus. Caseloads in both province now stand at 16,118 and 7,888, respectively.

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One of Manitoba’s new deaths was also attributed to a boy under the age of 10 — the province’s youngest fatality to date.

All provinces in Atlantic Canada reported new cases on Saturday as well, with Nova Scotia adding 28, New Brunswick announcing four and both P.E.I. and N.L. reporting two additional cases.

Nunavut also announced five more cases from the virus, raising its provincial case total to 164.

New cases of the coronavirus continue to grow worldwide after countries reported a total of 62,065,000 infections, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Over 1,449,000 deaths attributed to the virus have also been recorded, with the United States, Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths globally.

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

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