For the third day in a row, the Outaouais region set a new record for a single-day increase of COVID-19 cases.
It comes as Gatineau begins a 10-day lockdown period, enforcing an 8:00 p.m. curfew and preventing indoor shopping and dining.
Elementary and secondary schools in the city are also closed.
“It certainly is concerning,” said Dr. Matthew Oughton, Assistant Professor of Medicine at McGill University and infectious disease physician.
“This surge in cases seems to be driven by these more transmissible variants and these variants are more infectious,” he added.
For local retailers, the shutdown comes at an inopportune time.
“Last year, in April, we lost 30 to 40 per cent of our business, easily. I think this year it will be even worse because there’s more people running, more people into it, so I think it’s going to affect us a little more,” said Alain Poirier, owner of La Foulée Sportif.
Poirier says he’s had customers calling all day, wondering whether or not he’s closed or why they can’t shop in his store.
“I think this time of year people want to go out, they want to try on their stuff before spending the money and the fact that they won’t be able to do that will be an impact on us,” Poirier said.
One concern among businesses is that customers may choose to travel to Ottawa, where looser restrictions allow for some indoor shopping.
“I don’t want to say, ‘Oh my customers are going to go there.’ Maybe…If they really want to go out and shop in the store they’ll go,” said Marc Gagné, co-owner of Le Local.
Gagné says his fashion boutique has focused on their online presence amid the pandemic; something he says has helped keep their customer base during lockdowns.
“It’s like owning a secondary store, another retail address almost, you I just have to be there as present online and trying to offer the same experience online as in the store,” Gagné said.
Dr. Oughton says the concern people will cross the provincial border is a valid one, both financially and epidemiologically.
“It’s very tempting for people to want to go to a place where they can have a little more liberty,” Dr. Oughton said.
“The risk is if you have a higher prevalence of the disease in the Gatineau area compared to Ottawa, it doesn’t take much for these easily transmissible variables to tip the balance,” he continued.
Oughton says more should be done to restrict travel between Ottawa and Gatineau
“Ottawa and Gatineau are so closely linked for many services that that restriction itself is not something that’s easy to do but if you can’t achieve that then certainly I think there’s a very real risk of seeing spillover of cases, in particularly cases driven by these more infective variants coming into Ottawa,” he noted.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has asked residents not to cross the provincial border. It’s a message Gatineau residents are hoping the curfew will reinforce.
“I don’t think anyone from Ottawa should come here either and I think that’s what (Premier Francois) Legault’s whole purpose of shutting us down and putting in a curfew, it’s going to stop people from Ottawa coming over,” Gatineau resident Deborah Hale said.
Hale says she hopes the lockdown will lift on April 12, when it’s scheduled to end. However she expects the new restrictions may be in effect even longer.
“Somebody had to put the foot down and it’s a pandemic so just abide by the rules and we’ll get through it,” Hale said.
Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids? – Delta-Optimist
Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?
Experts say there’s no strong evidence that it makes children and teens sicker than earlier versions of the virus, although delta has led to a surge in infections among kids because it’s more contagious.
Delta’s ability to spread more easily makes it more of a risk to children and underscores the need for masks in schools and vaccinations for those who are old enough, said Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Weekly infection rates among U.S. children earlier this month topped 250,000, surpassing the wintertime peak, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association. Since the pandemic began, more than 5 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19.
The delta variant has been identified in at least 180 countries, according to the World Health Organization. In many of them, the spike in infections has also meant an increase in hospitalizations in young children and teens.
In the U.S., the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 was less than 2 per 100,000 children in late August and early September — similar to the peak last winter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the portion of kids hospitalized with severe disease hasn’t changed significantly.
The sheer numbers can make it seem like children are getting sicker with the delta variant, but experts say that does not appear to be the case. Most infected kids have mild infections or no symptoms and do not need to be hospitalized.
COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide protection against delta. Among children 12 and older — who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations — the weekly hospitalization rate in July was 10 times higher for the unvaccinated than those who have had the shots, CDC data show.
The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:
Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press
Data from 3 major hospital systems reveals how many COVID-19 patients are fully vaccinated – Bring Me The News
While the COVID vaccines are shown to be effective albeit not bulletproof at preventing infection from the virus, their effectiveness at preventing hospitalization and death is much greater.
Four Minnesota healthcare institutions provided specific data that shows the percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are fully vaccinated, and how many are unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated.
Allina Health, which has 14 hospitals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, reports that almost four out of five COVID-19 patients hospitalized through Sept. 20 were unvaccinated.
Its data show that of 176 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Sept. 20, 32 were in the ICU and 21 required a ventilator. Hospitalized patients who were fully vaccinated represented 22.7% of the total, and just 15.6% of the ICU cases and 9.5% of the cases with a ventilator.
HealthPartners, which has nine hospitals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, told Bring Me The News that it has cared for 338 COVID-19 patients in the past 30 days and 53 of them (15.7%) were fully vaccinated.
“Of those 53 patients, only six required intensive care, two needed the support of a ventilator and nobody died. Year-to-date, 6.3% of hospitalized patients have been fully vaccinated,” a spokesperson from HealthPartners said.
Sanford Health, which operates 22 regional hospitals, is reporting that 10.1% of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Sept. 21 were fully vaccinated. Only two of 45 in the ICU and one of 34 patients on a ventilator were fully vaxxed,
More of the same from CentraCare, which operates eight hospitals in the region. The latest data provided Thursday (it changes daily and even hourly) had six of 67 COVID-19 inpatients documented as fully vaccinated.
To recap, that’s four major hospital systems that are reporting between 9% and 22% of all COVID-19 patients being fully vaccinated, with even lower percentages of vaccinated patients in the ICU or on a ventilator.
“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be our best tool in stopping the spread of infection and preventing serious illness and death,” the HealthPartners spokesperson said.
Bring Me The News has requested vaccinated and unvaccinated ratios from other major providers, including Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Hennepin Healthcare and Essentia Health.
330 people are in BC hospitals with COVID-19 – MY PG NOW
B.C. is reporting 832 new cases of COVID-19, 117 in Northern Health, 153 in Interior Health.
There are 5,697 active cases in the province, of those cases, 330 individuals are in hospital and 148 are in intensive care.
The north has 977 active cases, and the interior has 1,181.
87.3% of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a vaccine and 79.9% received their second dose.
The new/active cases include:
* 377 new cases in Fraser Health
* Total active cases: 1,932
* 114 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health
* Total active cases: 909
* 153 new cases in Interior Health
* Total active cases: 1,181
* 117 new cases in Northern Health
* Total active cases: 977
* 71 new cases in Island Health
* Total active cases: 654
* no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada
* Total active cases: 44
There were five new deaths reported, one was in Northern Health.
From Sept. 15-21, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 75.5% of cases and from Sept. 8-21, they accounted for 82.6% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (Sept. 15-21) – Total 4,417
* Not vaccinated: 2,996 (67.8%)
* Partially vaccinated: 342 (7.7%)
* Fully vaccinated: 1,079 (24.4%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (Sept. 8-21) – Total 437
* Not vaccinated: 327 (74.8%)
* Partially vaccinated: 34 (7.8%)
* Fully vaccinated: 76 (17.4%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Sept. 15-21)
* Not vaccinated: 289.0
* Partially vaccinated: 87.9
* Fully vaccinated: 27.0
Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Sept. 8-21)
* Not vaccinated: 46.5
* Partially vaccinated: 13.3
* Fully vaccinated: 1.8
After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 25.8 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.
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