LONDON, Ont. — A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a Western University residence where four students have tested positive for the illness.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit declared the COVID-19 outbreak at the residence where the four live on Sunday.
The four students have been isolating outside of residence, according to a statement from the school.
The associate vice-president of housing at the London, Ont. university said meals are being delivered to the students and staff are in regular contact with them.
“We know this may be concerning for our students,” Chris Alleyne said in a statement from the university Sunday. “We have extensive plans in place to support them through this.”
Alleyne said some close contacts of the four students have also been moved to a quarantine location as a precaution.
Students who live in the residence, London Hall, were being notified of the outbreak.
The public health unit said it is following up with close contacts and advising them to quarantine and get tested.
“This outbreak highlights the need to limit close contact to only those within your dorm room, maintain two metres physical distance, wear a mask and stay home or in your suite if you feel unwell,” associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers said in a Sunday statement.
It’s the latest outbreak among the student population at Western since classes resumed this fall.
In September, the health unit declared two COVID-19 outbreaks among students who lived off campus. Dozens of students tested positive.
The university scaled back its reopening plan at the time, shutting down non-academic, in-person activities such as clubs and athletics.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 11, 2020.
The Canadian Press
COVID-19 Bulletin #226 – news.gov.mb.ca
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Calgary wedding resulted in at least 49 COVID-19 cases: Alberta Health – Global News
Alberta Health says 49 active COVID-19 cases have been linked to a wedding in Calgary earlier this month.
The health agency says the wedding had a large number of Albertans from different households.
Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan says aggressive contact tracing is underway to identify anyone who may have been exposed to make sure they are isolating and getting tested.
What’s a COVID-19 close contact?
He did not say how many people attended the wedding and says specifics about individual cases cannot be disclosed because of patient confidentiality.
COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the province say a maximum of 100 people can attend outdoor and indoor seated events, such as wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances.
“COVID-19 loves parties and we need to keep this in mind [when] planning social events,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said during her Tuesday update on COVID-19 in Alberta.
Albertans with COVID-19 becoming more uncooperative during contact tracing: Hinshaw
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said this case is only one of several across the province linked to private gatherings.
She stressed Albertans should work to keep their gatherings as small as possible and that being outside is always preferable to being indoors.
“Perhaps people were trying to stay distanced or there wasn’t hand sanitizer available and some were wearing masks but not all and some of that distancing wasn’t possible,” Hinshaw said.
“l don’t have granular details, but a common element seems to be people were indoors together in a social context and unfortunately enough of those layers slipped enough that widespread transmission happened.”
McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings.
“This is a reminder to all Albertans that this virus is still here and any social gathering carries a risk of exposure,” he said in an email Tuesday.
“It is important that nobody attend if they are feeling ill with even mild symptoms, or if they are awaiting test results.”
He says it is also important that organizers do everything possible to comply with the public health guidance in place, including having enough space for physical distancing between cohorts, following gathering size restrictions and avoiding sharing food and utensils.
– With files from Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED
© 2020 The Canadian Press
Alberta adds 323 COVID-19 cases, Dr. Hinshaw 'concerned' about hospitalizations – CTV Edmonton
Active cases of COVID-19 saw another increase Tuesday after Alberta’s top doctor reported 323 new cases of the disease.
There are now 3,203 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Alberta, with 1,607 in the Edmonton zone and 1,043 in the Calgary zone.
Alberta Health also reported one more death as a result of COVID-19 in a man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at Edmonton’s Terra Losa Lifestyle Options retirement home.
Eight per cent of schools across the province have been affected by the coronavirus since September, with 512 active cases and 96 outbreaks.
Alberta has reported 22,996 cases and 293 deaths since March.
Hospitalizations decreased slightly to 116, including 16 patients in ICU, but the chief medical officer of health is concerned about the current numbers.
“Last week I mentioned the trend in higher hospitalization numbers is something that we are watching closely,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “We are currently at a compounded daily COVID hospitalization rise of 3.1 per cent across the province in the past two weeks, which is getting closer to the five per cent trigger threshold.”
Hinshaw previously announced a five per cent hospitalization rate would trigger mandatory restrictions.
The factors for the increase in hospitalizations, she said, are mainly community spread and several hospital outbreaks.
Alberta is currently using 23 per cent of the 70 ICU beds allocated to COVID-19 patients.
EDMONTON ZONE DATA
The chief medical officer of health is also concerned about the Edmonton zone having just over half of Alberta’s COVID-19 infections.
It has been two weeks since she introduced some voluntary restriction in the capital region. The situation has improved slightly — but some worrying signs remain.
Hinshaw revealed the Edmonton zone’s reproduction value has decreased from 1.35 to 1.17, but that isn’t good enough.
“This is a good start, but the bad news is that anytime the R-value remains above 1, the number of cases is still growing. We need to bring this value below 1 to reduce the burden on our health system.”
The city of Edmonton has 1,318 active cases.
NEW TESTING CHANGE
One month ago, Hinshaw changed Alberta Health Services’ testing strategy to focus asymptomatic testing solely on priority groups.
But with cold and flu season, wait times have not decreased as much as health officials hoped.
So, effective immediately, AHS will only test Albertans with symptoms and people with close contacts and linked to outbreaks.
“The evidence is clear: Asymptomatic individuals without known exposures are not driving the spread in Alberta,” Hinshaw said.
Asymptomatic appointments already booked will be kept until Nov. 4.
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