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Hamilton reports 105 new COVID-19 cases, more in-person city services return next week – Global News

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As the city moves closer to entering the ‘red-control’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Tuesday, city administrators have revealed the return of some city services that will allow in-person visits once again.

City Hall says a number of services will soon be available for in-person by-appointment-only visits as early as Wednesday including planning & economic development, the business centre service counter, municipal service centres, provincial offences administration office, animal services and licensing counters.

Select Hamilton museums are also expected to open by appointment in early March, as well as the Gage Park tropical greenhouse.

Read more:
Ontario reports 1,300 coronavirus cases, 19 deaths

Some indoor arenas will also be accessible for ice rentals on Feb. 22 with additional arenas becoming available on Mar. 1, depending on demand.

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Indoor pools will begin a phased reopening approach in early March, gym programming in mid-March for groups of 10 or less, and seniors services for small group reservations in mid-March.

The city will restrict recreation programs to just residents of the city and Hamilton-based organizations or sports clubs.


Hamilton reports 105 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Hamilton saw significantly more new COVID-19 cases day over day reporting 105 new cases on Saturday up 78 from Friday.

There were three new deaths and two new outbreaks: at a shelter in Central Hamilton and a workplace on the Mountain.

Public health revealed information about two of the three deaths involving a pair of people over 80 at health care facilities.

One of the deceased was a patient at the Juravinski Hospital in unit E2, the other a person from the 5th floor of the satellite health facility downtown. Both agencies are in outbreaks with the Juravinski unit accounting for three deaths from 43 coronavirus cases and the satellite unit two deaths from 16 cases.

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Read more:
Coronavirus: Ontario announces framework designations for regions to reopen Tuesday

A new outbreak at the Good Sheppard shelter in the cathedral boys school involves just a single case with a resident, while the new outbreak at the Domino’s Pizza location on Upper James near Rymal Road affects three staff members.

Outbreaks at the Alexander Place long-term care home (LTCH), Highgate residence in Ancaster and the 6th floor of the satellite health facility were declared over on Friday.

The surge at the unit of the health facility encompassed 42 COVID-19 cases and four deaths. The outbreak at Alexander Place saw five people die among 11 cases.

The city now has 18 outbreaks involving 250 total cases and 25 deaths. Twenty-four of those are connected to seniors’ homes.

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Hamilton’s active cases were up 32 cases day over day to 347 on Saturday. The weekly rate of new cases is now at 49 per 100,000 population, an increase of six since Friday.

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Hamilton has had 9,766 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

The city has administered 21,857 COVID-19 vaccine doses, 15,411 at the HHS fixed clinic and close to 6,446 through the mobile clinic.

About 14,000 doses have been given to health-care workers, with about 5,000 tied to a staffer at an LTCH or retirement home. Just over 4,400 shots have been given to residents in homes and almost 900 to essential caregivers.

Hamilton will move to the ‘red-control’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Tuesday.


Halton Region reports 36 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Halton region reported 36 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and three more deaths for the second day in a row.

All three were the first recorded deaths from the outbreak at the Amica Georgetown retirement home which now has 69 cases involving 52 residents, three staff, 14 other people connected to the home.

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The region has 30 open outbreaks in the community with 11 tied to an LTCH or retirement home.

There were no new institutional outbreaks announced nor any declared over on Saturday.

Halton’s active cases went down for the third straight day in a row from 309 on Friday to 288 on Saturday.

Read more:
Ontario government reports 945 new coronavirus cases, 18 new deaths

Halton has had 8,974 total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began and 185 deaths.

The region will move to the ‘red-control’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Tuesday.


Niagara reports 22 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Niagara reported 22 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and a drop in active cases for the 20th straight day.

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As of Feb. 13, the region’s active cases were at 473, a drop of 17 day over day.

Public health says there was one more virus-related death in the past few days.

The region has had 359 deaths and 8,332 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Read more:
Fully vaccinated people can skip 14-day quarantine after exposure, U.S. CDC says

There were no new outbreaks were declared at health-care facilities on Saturday. An outbreak at the Oakwood Park Lodge in Niagara Falls was declared over on Thursday according to Niagara Heatlh. The surge lasted 61 days at the LTCH and accounted for 34 deaths and close to 250 cases.

Niagara has 39 total outbreaks made up of surges at 19 health-related facilities, which includes seven in St. Catharines and three in Niagara Falls.

Public health administered just 18 COVID-19 vaccines on Friday. Close to 7,700 doses have been given out in the region as of Feb. 13.

Niagara will be placed in the ‘grey-lockdown zone,’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Tuesday.


Haldimand-Norfolk reports 1 new COVID-19 case, active cases drop for 7th day

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit reported just one new COVID-19 case on Saturday.

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The region has had 1,380 total coronavirus cases and 39 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

The region’s active cases dropped for the seventh day in a row from 39 to 27 as of Feb. 13.

Public health has now reported the outbreak at the Edgewater Gardens LTCH in Dunnville is over. The home had three positive COVID-19 cases among staff during the surge.

The HNHU is dealing now with three institutional outbreaks involving 10 total coronavirus cases among 9 staff and just a single case among residents.

The outbreaks are at Delhi long-term care home, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital in Dunnville, the nursing home in Norfolk General, and Norview Lodge.

The region will move to the ‘orange-restrict’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Tuesday.


Brant County reports four new COVID-19 cases, over 1,000 vaccinated

The Brant County Health Unit reported four new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

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The region’s active cases dropped slightly for the sixth day in a row from 14 cases on Friday to 13 on Feb. 13.

Read more:
Ontario universities urge students not to travel during reading week amid COVID-19

Public health is managing three outbreaks in the community at the John Noble LTCH, the Stedman Community Hospice in Brantford and one construction site involving six workers.

Public health says more than 3,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the region with over 1,000 people having completed their vaccinations as of Feb. 13.

The county has had 1,388 coronavirus cases and 12 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began last March.

The region will move to the ‘orange-restrict’ level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework on Tuesday.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine reduces transmission after one dose – UK study – Reuters

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LONDON (Reuters) – A single dose of Pfizer and BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, results of a UK study found on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Researchers analysed results from thousands of COVID-19 tests carried out each week as part of hospital screenings of healthcare staff in Cambridge, eastern England.

“Our findings show a dramatic reduction in the rate of positive screening tests among asymptomatic healthcare workers after a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” said Nick Jones, an infectious diseases specialist at Cambridge University Hospital, who co-led the study.

After separating the test results from unvaccinated and vaccinated staff, Jones’ team found that 0.80% tests from unvaccinated healthcare workers were positive.

This compared with 0.37% of tests from staff less than 12 days post-vaccination – when the vaccine’s protective effect is not yet fully established – and 0.20% of tests from staff at 12 days or more post-vaccination.

The study and its results have yet to be independently peer-reviewed by other scientists, but were published online as a preprint on Friday.

This suggests a four-fold decrease in the risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection amongst healthcare workers who have been vaccinated for more than 12 days, and 75% protection, said Mike Weekes, an infectious disease specialist at Cambridge University’s department of medicine, who co-led the study.

The level of asymptomatic infection was also halved in those vaccinated for less than 12 days, he said.

Britain has been rolling out vaccinations with both the Pfizer COVID-19 shot and one from AstraZeneca since late December 2020.

“This is great news – the Pfizer vaccine not only provides protection against becoming ill from SARS-CoV-2, but also helps prevent infection, reducing the potential for the virus to be passed on to others,” Weeks said. “But we have to remember that the vaccine doesn’t give complete protection for everyone.”

Key real-world data published on Wednesday from Israel, which has conducted one of the world’s fastest rollouts of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, showed that two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman

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’We need this’: Getting COVID-19 vaccine to remote and urban Indigenous populations – Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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Chief Chris Moonias looked into a web camera as he prepared to get a COVID-19 vaccine just after precious doses arrived in his northern Ontario community.

“I’m coming to you live from Neskantaga First Nation community centre where our vaccines will be administered,” a jovial Moonias, wearing a blue disposable mask, said during a Facebook live video at the start of February.

Moonias was first to get the vaccine in the fly-in Oji-Cree First Nation on the shores of Attawapiskat Lake north of Thunder Bay.

The vaccine had arrived by plane earlier in the day after weeks of planning, and the chief’s video was part of a campaign to get community members on board.

Moonias said in an interview that he had done his own research, had spoken with medical professionals and wasn’t concerned about getting the shot.

About 88 per cent of eligible on-reserve members have since received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Second doses are to arrive Monday.

However, earlier this week, the reserve declared a state of emergency due to a COVID-19 outbreak, with some cases linked to the Thunder Bay District Jail.

Moonias said four off-reserve members in Thunder Bay, all under the age of 40 — including his nephew — have died. And he’s worried about the 200 other members who live off the reserve — almost the same number as those on the reserve — and when they’ll get inoculated.

“I even thought about flying my people up … to get the vaccine,” said Moonias, who added it’s unlikely to be an option because of cost.

Canada is in the midst of the largest vaccine rollout in its history. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Indigenous populations much harder and Ottawa says they are a priority for vaccinations.

The actual distribution remains complex and varied across the country.

Neskantaga is one of 31 fly-in First Nations included in Operation Remote Immunity, part of the first phase of Ontario’s vaccination rollout. The operation was developed with Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Ornge, the province’s air ambulance service. The goal is to provide mass vaccinations by April 30 and it is having early successes.

There are challenges getting the vaccine to remote First Nations and questions about distribution for urban Indigenous populations.

The Assembly of First Nations says most Indigenous communities haven’t received sufficient supply to extend doses to their off-reserve members. The National Association of Friendship Centres says there is no national vaccination plan for urban Indigenous people.

There’s also concern there is no national plan to tackle decades of mistrust created by systemic racism and experimentation on Indigenous people.

There are many examples throughout Canadian history of scientists sponsored by the federal government or the government itself doing medical experiments on Indigenous people, including children, who were the subject of a tuberculosis vaccine trial in Saskatchewan that began in the 1930s.

Ontario New Democrat Sol Mamakwa, who represents the electoral district of Kiiwetinoong, said some constituents tell him they are scared to take the vaccine. They don’t trust it.

He has been travelling to communities to help promote it and received his first dose alongside members of Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation.

Community engagement has been key in vaccine uptake, Mamakwa said. Promotion begins weeks before vaccine teams arrive and includes radio campaigns, social media posts and live online question-and-answer sessions.

It’s about giving people information, he said.

“One of the only ways out of this pandemic is the vaccine,” said Wade Durham, Ornge’s chief operating officer, who added it’s key to have Indigenous people involved in vaccine planning.

Each First Nation in Operation Remote Immunity has a community member responsible for answering questions and setting up a vaccination site. Immunization teams are required to take cultural training and, when possible, include Indigenous medical professionals and language speakers.

Indigenous Services Canada said it is aware that a history of colonization and systemic racism has caused mistrust, so campaigns are being developed specifically for First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities.

Michelle Driedger, a Metis professor of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba, said experience has shown that stakes are high when it comes to Indigenous communities.

During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the Public Health Agency of Canada prioritized vaccines by geography. A main lesson learned was to increase Indigenous representation at decision-making tables, she said.

At the time, Indigenous people were over-represented in hospitalizations and intensive care stays, as well as in deaths. Those living in remote and isolated communities experienced worse outcomes.

Driedger said the vaccine response is better now, but there is “rational skepticism.” There needs to be a transparent vaccination plan for Indigenous communities — no matter where they are, she said.

The Matawa First Nations tribal council said its four communities reachable by road are not getting the same vaccine access as its five fly-in ones, and more needs to be done.

Provincial officials have said that remote First Nations received priority for the vaccine rollout because of less access to on-site health care and increased health risks. Chief Rick Allen from Constance Lake First Nation has said the vaccine needs to go where the outbreaks are.

Back in Neskantaga, Moonias said he’ll do anything he can to protect anyone he can.

He continues to give updates about his vaccination. In another Facebook video posted soon after he received his shot, the chief gave a thumbs-up and said he had no pain or discomfort.

“We need this. We need to beat this virus.”

First Nations

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’We need this’: Getting COVID-19 vaccine to remote and urban Indigenous populations – Salmon Arm Observer

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Chief Chris Moonias looked into a web camera as he prepared to get a COVID-19 vaccine just after precious doses arrived in his northern Ontario community.

“I’m coming to you live from Neskantaga First Nation community centre where our vaccines will be administered,” a jovial Moonias, wearing a blue disposable mask, said during a Facebook live video at the start of February.

Moonias was first to get the vaccine in the fly-in Oji-Cree First Nation on the shores of Attawapiskat Lake north of Thunder Bay.

The vaccine had arrived by plane earlier in the day after weeks of planning, and the chief’s video was part of a campaign to get community members on board.

Moonias said in an interview that he had done his own research, had spoken with medical professionals and wasn’t concerned about getting the shot.

About 88 per cent of eligible on-reserve members have since received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Second doses are to arrive Monday.

However, earlier this week, the reserve declared a state of emergency due to a COVID-19 outbreak, with some cases linked to the Thunder Bay District Jail.

Moonias said four off-reserve members in Thunder Bay, all under the age of 40 — including his nephew — have died. And he’s worried about the 200 other members who live off the reserve — almost the same number as those on the reserve — and when they’ll get inoculated.

“I even thought about flying my people up … to get the vaccine,” said Moonias, who added it’s unlikely to be an option because of cost.

Canada is in the midst of the largest vaccine rollout in its history. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Indigenous populations much harder and Ottawa says they are a priority for vaccinations.

The actual distribution remains complex and varied across the country.

Neskantaga is one of 31 fly-in First Nations included in Operation Remote Immunity, part of the first phase of Ontario’s vaccination rollout. The operation was developed with Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Ornge, the province’s air ambulance service. The goal is to provide mass vaccinations by April 30 and it is having early successes.

There are challenges getting the vaccine to remote First Nations and questions about distribution for urban Indigenous populations.

The Assembly of First Nations says most Indigenous communities haven’t received sufficient supply to extend doses to their off-reserve members. The National Association of Friendship Centres says there is no national vaccination plan for urban Indigenous people.

There’s also concern there is no national plan to tackle decades of mistrust created by systemic racism and experimentation on Indigenous people.

There are many examples throughout Canadian history of scientists sponsored by the federal government or the government itself doing medical experiments on Indigenous people, including children, who were the subject of a tuberculosis vaccine trial in Saskatchewan that began in the 1930s.

Ontario New Democrat Sol Mamakwa, who represents the electoral district of Kiiwetinoong, said some constituents tell him they are scared to take the vaccine. They don’t trust it.

He has been travelling to communities to help promote it and received his first dose alongside members of Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation.

Community engagement has been key in vaccine uptake, Mamakwa said. Promotion begins weeks before vaccine teams arrive and includes radio campaigns, social media posts and live online question-and-answer sessions.

It’s about giving people information, he said.

“One of the only ways out of this pandemic is the vaccine,” said Wade Durham, Ornge’s chief operating officer, who added it’s key to have Indigenous people involved in vaccine planning.

Each First Nation in Operation Remote Immunity has a community member responsible for answering questions and setting up a vaccination site. Immunization teams are required to take cultural training and, when possible, include Indigenous medical professionals and language speakers.

Indigenous Services Canada said it is aware that a history of colonization and systemic racism has caused mistrust, so campaigns are being developed specifically for First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities.

Michelle Driedger, a Metis professor of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba, said experience has shown that stakes are high when it comes to Indigenous communities.

During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the Public Health Agency of Canada prioritized vaccines by geography. A main lesson learned was to increase Indigenous representation at decision-making tables, she said.

At the time, Indigenous people were over-represented in hospitalizations and intensive care stays, as well as in deaths. Those living in remote and isolated communities experienced worse outcomes.

Driedger said the vaccine response is better now, but there is “rational skepticism.” There needs to be a transparent vaccination plan for Indigenous communities — no matter where they are, she said.

The Matawa First Nations tribal council said its four communities reachable by road are not getting the same vaccine access as its five fly-in ones, and more needs to be done.

Provincial officials have said that remote First Nations received priority for the vaccine rollout because of less access to on-site health care and increased health risks. Chief Rick Allen from Constance Lake First Nation has said the vaccine needs to go where the outbreaks are.

Back in Neskantaga, Moonias said he’ll do anything he can to protect anyone he can.

He continues to give updates about his vaccination. In another Facebook video posted soon after he received his shot, the chief gave a thumbs-up and said he had no pain or discomfort.

“We need this. We need to beat this virus.”

First Nations

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