OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Canada’s top doctor is acknowledging sex can be challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so she’s recommending you skip the kissing and wear a mask to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 or spreading it.
Through a statement Wednesday, Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam says she understands being intimate during the pandemic is complicated, “Especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for COVID-19.”
But she says sexual health is an important part of our overall health.
Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, has a tip for anyone trying to get intimate with a new partner during this pandemic; Consider wearing a face-mask, or just skip kissing altogether. @NEWS1130
— Jonathan Szekeres (@jonszekeres) September 2, 2020
“Like other activities during COVID-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus.”
If you are engaging in sexual activity with a partner in person, Tam says, “The most important step is to establish a trusting relationship with your sexual partner.”
When engaging in sex, limit the number of sexual partners and not drinking too much on your date, “so you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions.”
She also recommends using a mask that covers the nose and mouth to avoid “face-to-face contact or closeness.”
Also, monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms, don’t have sex with someone experiencing symptoms, and be aware if you or your partner are at a higher risk for more severe outcomes of COVID-19, Tam adds.
People who are high risk include obese people, anyone with underlying medical conditions, and those with compromised immune symptoms.
Lastly, as usual, practice safe sex. Use condoms and know your and your partner’s STI status, she says.
But of course, at this time, the lowest risk sexual activity involves just yourself.
“Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids. However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing. Remember as with all social interactions, try to keep your number of close contacts low if possible,” she says.
“By taking these precautions and staying conscious of the risks we assume, Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19.”
This is not the first time B.C. has been given tips on being intimate during the pandemic.
In July, the BC Centre for Disease Control suggested using glory holes as a way to limit physical contact during sex.
Source:- News 1130
Dynacare says to expect longer hours, estimated wait times at new Manitoba coronavirus test sites – Global News
As long lines at testing sites and days-long waits for results continue to plague Manitoba’s COVID-19 testing efforts, the private lab company tasked with helping to relieve some of the pressure is revealing details about its plans for more testing sites.
This week, the province announced it has contracted Dynacare to open and operate several new testing sites across the province. The initial plans would see testing capacity increased by 1,400 tests a day with the ability to eventually increase to 2,600 more, the province said.
Dynacare’s Winnipeg-based chief scientific officer, Dr. Jenisa Naidoo said Wednesday the company — which has already been processing tests alongside the Cadham Provincial Laboratory — eventually aims to be able to report test results in a 24-hour timeframe.
However, she said there’s a backlog of testing they’ll have to get through first.
Manitoba still working on getting COVID-19 contact tracing app
“There’s been a higher demand — the volumes of tests have gone up significantly in the last few weeks or the last month,” Naidoo told 680 CJOB.
Currently, Naidoo said the company is getting results out within 24 and 48 hours.
But she hopes that will change as the new sites open, including two in Winnipeg and one in Brandon, which go into operation in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, the province said Dynacare may also have a mobile site open in Winnipeg as early as Sept. 28.
The mobile site — essentially a clinic on wheels — will be able to quickly head to areas of need or hotspots around the province, Naidoo explained.
COVID-19 testing lines
Further sites — including both walk-ins and drive-thru locations — in Winnipeg and others in Winkler, Portage la Prairie, and Dauphin are also planned, she added.
Naidoo couldn’t yet say where exactly the new sites will be located, but she stressed Dynacare’s COVID-19 testing will not be done at the company’s current lab facilities in Winnipeg.
She said Dynacare plans to have many of the new testing sites open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The hours of operation will vary from region to region, but in Winnipeg we’re hoping to actually have longer hours and extended hours at these COVID assessment centres,” she said.
Naidoo said each of Dynacare’s COVID-19 testing sites will be able to give an estimated wait time for those who come in for testing, and the company plans to update their website with expected wait times for each site as well.
Winnipeg testing sites hit capacity
Over the last week, some of Winnipeg’s testing sites have reached capacity by mid-afternoon, forcing staff to turn away those still waiting in line for testing.
That’s led to grumbling on social media about both the long lines at sites and the long wait for results after being told by health officials to socially isolate until getting news of a negative test.
There’s also reports of long wait times for callers to Health Links, as calls come in from those with questions about COVID-19 and other issues, and others anxious to get their test results.
A spokesperson from Shared Health said Wednesday Health Links is seeing higher than normal call volumes. It’s something that’s “being monitored closely with consideration being given to how current wait times may be addressed,” they said in an emailed statement.
As for test result wait times Shared Health said the average timeline from a sample being taken to the result being available is currently two to three days, although some additional time may be added for transportation, depending on where the test is taken.
“Test result turnaround times across the province have remained stable even with the increased volume,” a provincial spokesperson said.
COVID-19 testing sites swamped
“Positive COVID-19 test results are communicated immediately by public health and the process of rigorous contact tracing begins at that point.”
Negative test results are made available for Manitobans with a Manitoba Health card online, and the spokesperson said only those who are not able to access the results after five business days, or those without Manitoba Health cards should call Health Links for the results.
Meanwhile Shared Health says while no Manitobans are necessarily being prioritized for faster testing, samples from health-care workers are being marked “in order to minimize their turnaround at the lab wherever possible.”
The spokesperson said samples from transport workers, educators, and child care providers are also being identified at testing sites, but only “for the purposes of tracking the presence of COVID-19 in Manitoba.”
Provincial data shows 1,703 tests for COVID-19 were completed Tuesday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 170,045.
Are young people taking COVID-19 seriously?
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
News Releases | COVID-19 Bulletin #199 – news.gov.mb.ca
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COVID-19 outbreak declared at fifth Ottawa school, 52 schools with a COVID-19 case – CTV Edmonton
With COVID-19 cases reported at 52 schools across Ottawa, public health officials warn staff and students are beginning to contact COVID-19 while at school.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Lycee Claudel, the fifth outbreak at an Ottawa school since the start of the school year three weeks ago. Ottawa Public Health reports two students at the French private school have tested positive for the virus.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health says it’s starting to see that some students and staff are getting sick from interactions at school.
“The first handful of cases were of students and staff that went to school unknowing that they were sick with COVID, meaning they became infected with COVID outside of the school setting,” said the statement from Ottawa Public Health.
“Over the last couple of weeks, OPH is starting to see that some students and staff are now getting sick from interactions at school. These are situations when OPH declares an outbreak.”
COVID-19 cases have been reported at 52 schools with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, Ottawa Catholic School Board, and the French public and catholic school boards.
Speaking on CTV Morning Live Thursday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said her goal was to keep schools open during the pandemic, adding that takes limiting the COVID-19 transmission in the community.
Ottawa Public Health says once an outbreak is confirmed in a school, it reaches out to parents of close contacts to let them know and help them with the next steps, which include staying home, monitoring for symptoms and presenting for testing when it’s appropriate.
COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at the following Ottawa schools:
- Ecole elementaire catholique Montfort
- Gabrielle Roy Public School
- Lycee Claudel
- Monsignor Paul Baxter School
Ottawa Public Health ordered Monsignor Paul Baxter School closed for at least two weeks following four cases of COVID-19. Two students and two staff members have tested positive.
Ottawa Public Health says in the event of a school outbreak, the ability for the school to remain open will depend on how many groups of students are affected. Some cohorts may be advised to go for testing and to self-isolate at home until a date determined by OPH.
“If there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there is risk of spread to additional cohorts, there may be a decision to close the entire school in order to stop transmission in the school.”
Here is a breakdown of the COVID-19 cases in Ottawa’s schools:
Ottawa Carleton District School Board: Nine students (eight students, one teacher tested positive)
Ottawa Catholic School Board: 11 schools (14 students, two staff members tested positive)
Conseil des ecole Catholique Centre-Est: 21 schools (32 cases in all schools)
Conseil des ecoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario: 11 schools (15 student cases in schools)
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