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Fraser Health outbreaks push active COVID-19 infections in B.C. to all-time high of 2390 – North Shore News

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B.C. has never had more people actively battling COVID-19 infections, as new government data showed a total of 2,390 people suffering with the virus that has spurred a global pandemic. 

That’s 46 more people suffering with the illness than was the case yesterday and it comes as 272 people were newly identified as infected in the past 24 hours. With 10,420 tests conducted, the day’s positive-test rate was 2.6%.

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The hotspot for new infections remains the 1.8-million-resident Fraser Health region, which includes much of the eastern and southern Lower Mainland, including 20 communities, such as Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, but not Richmond or Vancouver.

Only about two-thirds of the new cases are from Fraser Health today, however. That’s down from the average in the past week, which had seen about three-quarters of all new cases located in the Fraser Health region. 

Here is the breakdown of all 14,381 detected COVID-19 cases in B.C., by health region, with new cases identified overnight in brackets:
• 4,664 in Vancouver Coastal Health (76);
• 8,219 in Fraser Health (183);
• 256 in Island Health (no change);
• 741 in Interior Health (seven);
• 412 in Northern Health (six); and
• 89 people who reside outside Canada (no change).

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital fell by six to 78, with 25 of those people having infections serious enough to be in intensive care units. 

The vast majority of those infected are self-isolating at home. Health officials are keeping tabs on a record 6,003 people because those individuals have come into contact with others who are known to be carrying the virus.

The vast majority of COVID-19 patients recover: 11,670, or more than 81%.

One new death was recorded overnight, pushing the provincial death toll from the disease to 263. That leaves 58 patients unaccounted for, and health officials have told BIV that it is likely that they left the province without alerting authorities.

“There has been one new community outbreak, at Suncor Firebag Oil Sands,” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. “There continue to be exposure events around the province.”

One hospital in Fraser Health, Surrey Memorial Hospital, has had an outbreak for weeks. That health authority earlier this week declared that the outbreak at Delta Hospital is over.

There are three new outbreaks at seniors’ homes and healthcare facilities:
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community in Port Coquitlam;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey; and 
• Queen’s Park Hospital: Unit 3C NMSK 2.

Three such outbreaks have been declared over: 
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• The Village in Langley.

Fraser Health yesterday declared that the outbreak at Good Samaritan Victoria Heights, in New Westminster, is over, and the province confirmed that news today.

Other seniors’ long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C. that have active outbreaks, include:
• Gateway Assisted Living for Seniors in Surrey;
• Mayfair Terrace Retirement Residence in Port Coquitlam;
• Louis Breyer Home and Hospital in Vancouver;
• Revera Lakeview long-term care home in Vancouver;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• Queens Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Three Links Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home in Vancouver;
• Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion 4 West in Vancouver;
• Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Zion Park Manor in Surrey;
• Laurel Place in Surrey;
• Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Baillie House in Maple Ridge;
• Fellburn Care Centre long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• St. Michael’s Centre long-term care facilityin Burnaby;
• Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge in Burnaby; and
• Agassiz Seniors Community in Agassiz.

“As we all enjoy Halloween tomorrow, make it about the treats and not the tricks,” Henry and Dix said.

“Respect homes that are choosing not to participate this year and give everyone the space to stay safe, both indoors and outdoors.”

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

 

 

 

 

 

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19 test positive for COVID-19 at Toronto's Thorncliffe Park Public School – Toronto Sun

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Eighteen students and a staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 at an east-end Toronto elementary school.

A spokesman for the Toronto District School Board says the staff and students at Thorncliffe Park Public School were tested for the virus as part of a new pilot project.

Ryan Bird says 14 classes have been asked to self-isolate, but the school will remain open.

In a letter to parents sent Sunday night, the school principal says that’s because four per cent of the school tested positive, compared to a 16 per cent positivity rate in the broader Thorncliffe Park community.

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He says he understands the cases are worrisome, but notes the school is actively monitoring the situation and communicating with Toronto Public Health.

The Ontario government announced Thursday that it was introducing voluntary testing for asymptomatic students, faculty and staff at schools in regions with high infection rates.

The expanded testing will be provided for four weeks in schools in Toronto, Peel and York regions, and Ottawa. Those who show symptoms or have been exposed to a COVID-19 case should continue to stay home and get tested at an assessment centre, the province said.

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COVID-19 Update: Alberta reports 1,608 new cases on Sunday | Nine new deaths | 95 people in ICU – Calgary Herald

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The province also recorded 29 more deaths related to the virus since its last daily update.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 566 of the new cases are in Toronto, and 516 are in Peel Region.

Both regions were placed in the grey or “lockdown” stage of the province’s pandemic plan on Monday, but officials have said it could take at least two weeks to see any improvements related to the tougher restrictions.

Another 145 of the new infections are in York Region, with 105 and 102 in Waterloo and Hamilton, respectively.

Today’s numbers show that 595 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, an increase of 54 since yesterday.

The province says 155 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units at this time, and 99 are on ventilators.

It says nearly 55,100 tests were completed since the last report, and 1,510 more cases are considered resolved.

– The Canadian Press


Saturday

With its high concentration of essential workers, northeast Calgary vulnerable to COVID-19

Commuters at the Rundle CTrain station. A researcherbelieves COVID-19 rates are higher in northeast Calgary because more people are exposed to the virus as they use public transit to get to work. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said that as someone raised in northeast Calgary who lives there to this day, the torrent of cases feels personal.

Many people living in the region have working-class jobs at places like grocery stores, warehouses and continuing-care centres, he said.

“These are my neighbours. And I get frustrated when people say, ‘We have to protect the economy at the expense of mental health because we have to protect the poor and vulnerable,’ because many of my neighbours work in essential services,” Nenshi said.

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‘Long-term care facilities are at a breaking point’: Calls for action as more deaths linked to Alberta continuing care centres – Global News

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COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths at Alberta’s long term care centres are causing alarm among doctors and families.

On Sunday, Alberta Health Services announced nine additional deaths linked to the virus. Eight of those deaths were at continuing care, long-term care or retirement centres.

Alberta Health has been notified of 41 cases linked to the outbreak at Clifton Manor in southeast Calgary, and a man in his 80s who was connected to the outbreak died Sunday.

“The people who are in these facilities who are truly vulnerable — we have again disregarded,” said David Cowling, whose brother Donald has been living at Clifton Manor for a year-and-a-half.

Read more:
‘Unclear processes’ led to days of delay for critical asymptomatic testing at long-term care homes

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Donald was recently transferred to a Calgary hospital because of medical issues. Cowling said his brother is well enough to go back to Clifton Manor but there’s an outbreak in his unit.

“Society has paid a tremendous price for this and yet we haven’t protected the vulnerable. That’s the irony in all of this,” Cowling said.

“I think it has been outrageous, how this has been handled.”

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine assistant professor Dr. Tehseen Ladha said hospital bed capacity is being affected by the outbreaks in long term care facilities.

“The situation is so dire in these long-term care facilities and it’s not getting a lot of attention,” Ladha said.

“We are basically taking up many hospital beds just because long-term care facilities are at a breaking point where they have no staff.

“They have COVID outbreaks and they simply can’t manage and they can’t accept residents back to the facilities.”

Read more:
Increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alberta pushing ICUs to 90% capacity

The president of the Brenda Strafford Foundation, which operates Clifton Manor, Conroy said the province should have brought in tougher restrictions to help stop the spread of the virus.

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“I think what is required is the circuit breaker approach. Respecting the economic impact of the pandemic but if you just saw the information over the weekend in terms of shopping, the ski hills, the (anti-mask) rallies etc.,  I’m not sure it’s enough to influence behavior,” Conroy said.

He said asymptomatic testing has been “incredibly effective.”

“Over three-quarters of the positive cases we have found have been asymptomatic which is an incredibly high number,” Conroy said.

Conroy is concerned there is a bias when in comes to the age of the people who are dying from COVID-19. In Alberta, the average age is 82.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s explicit; it’s implicit systemic ageism. I find that to be very unfortunate,” he said.

“We know who the most vulnerable in our society is based on the learning from the first wave of the pandemic and I think we could’ve done more to prevent the vulnerability of those in continuing care centers.”

READ MORE: More calls for additional health measures in Alberta’s continuing care homes

On Sunday, AHS said one person has died and there are 11 active cases linked to an outbreak at Generations Calgary — a combined long term care and supportive living facility in the northeast end of the city.

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Alberta Health has been notified of 110 cases linked to the COVID outbreak at Mount Royal Revera in Calgary. There are six active cases, 93 recovered and 11 people have died.

Cowling is calling for more resources, including more asymptomatic testing, to be provided to continuing care centres.

“There’s no reason for why this should be happening. There’s no reason why all of the suffering that we as a society have had to take to deal with. We didn’t even put in remotely the adequate resources to protect the vulnerable,” Cowling said.

There are a total of 45 outbreaks in Calgary zone long term care and supportive living facilities and 47 in the Edmonton Zone.

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

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