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Health officials respond to criticism over BC's back-to-school ad (VIDEO) | News – Daily Hive



BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Monday that the scenes depicted in a new ad from the BC government shouldn’t be taken as a literal representation of what to expect.

“It was not a commercial about what a classroom was going to look like,” said Henry.

“What that was, was me as the public health officer talking with children and their parents about the things that they can expect in the new school year – about some of the public health issues, and it was a conversation that I had with – there were more than six children – we had it in a classroom because that’s what the children wanted, and it was an opportunity to answer the many questions that I was getting from children.”

Her comments come after the video face some criticism that the images in the ad did not paint a realistic picture of what people can expect once school is back in session.

Henry said the ad was an opportunity “for us to speak to children about some of the things that will be new and different, and help answer their questions they had about what would happen.”

She stressed again that the ad was not meant to represent every learning environment.

“We recognize that every class around the province looks different,” she said.

During the filming of the ad itself, Henry said, “we all had masks, and there was a conversation about when we were going to wear them, but each child made their own decision about when they were going to wear a mask, and some of them wore them the whole time we were together, and some put them on and off at times when they needed to wear them. This again reflects what we are going to be seeing again in a few weeks.”

For his part, BC’s Health Minister Arian Dix said he thinks it’s important for people to recognize that “this ad is a public health ad, and its intention is to deliver a public health message about what people can expect when they return to school.”

The effort of the ad, he said, “is not to engage in – let’s face it – a robust debate about the back to school plan,” but instead “for the public health officer to deliver a public health message to people in the province who may not hear us here at 3 o’clock, but need to hear that message, because school will look different this year, we all know that, [and] we know there is very significant anxiety around back-to-school.”

Dix and Henry’s comments come the same day it was announced that 294 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed in the province since Friday.

Henry said this includes 86 new cases between Friday and Saturday, 107 new cases between Saturday and Sunday, and 101 new cases between Sunday and Monday.

By specific health region, Henry said this equates to 1,900 known cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 3,042 in Fraser Health, 175 on Vancouver Island, 440 in Interior Health, 154 people in Northern Health, and 79 from those who reside outside the province.

The latest cases bring the total number of recorded cases in the province to 5,790.

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42 new coronavirus cases in Manitoba Wednesday, mostly in Winnipeg – Global News



A total of 42 new coronavirus cases have been identified in Manitoba as of Wednesday morning, bringing the province’s total to 1,674.

Public health officials said 30 of the new cases are in the Winnipeg area, with six more in the Southern Health region, three in Prairie Mountain, two in Interlake-Eastern, and one case in the Northern Health region.

Read more:
COVID-19 cases reported at four more Manitoba schools, 24 new cases identified in province

There are currently 418 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 11 people hospitalized and five in intensive care.

There is confusion over the number of COVID-19-related deaths in Manitoba thus far. A news release from the province said there have been 18, but according to the provincial data site, there have been 19.

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After Global News inquired about the discrepancy, the site was updated to say there have been 18 deaths.

Global News reported a 19th death Tuesday at Parkview Place Long Term Care Home in Winnipeg.

Read more:
Winnipeg long-term care home reports Manitoba’s 19th coronavirus death

However, the death has yet to be officially confirmed by provincial health officials, resulting in the discrepancy.

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“There was a data error on the dashboard and it will be updated to reflect the bulletin,” said a spokesperson for Shared Health.

“Public Health announces COVID-19 related deaths when investigations are complete. We would not comment until that time and an official announcement is made.”

Revera, the company that runs the home, announced the death in a media statement Tuesday afternoon.

“We regret to confirm that a resident previously tested and confirmed as COVID-19 positive at Parkview Place Long Term Care Home has passed away,” Revera’s chief medical officer, Dr. Rhonda Collins, Chief Medical Officer, said in the statement.

Health officials are strongly encouraging Manitobans — especially Winnipeggers — to stay home if sick and follow precautions like hand-washing and wearing a mask to prevent any further spread of the virus.

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COVID-19: North Dakota vs. Manitoba

COVID-19: North Dakota vs. Manitoba

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

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'It can be COVID-19 when it's just sniffles': Ottawa's top doctor – CTV Edmonton



Ottawa’s top doctor is defending the Ottawa Public Health isolation warning for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, saying “we have seen it can be COVID-19 when it’s just sniffles.”

And Ottawa Public Health is requesting a scientific review of the COVID-19 symptoms to clarify who should and should not be isolating during the pandemic.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches faced questions at Council one day after invoking a Class Section 22 Order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. It states that people must self-isolate for 14 days if they:

  • Test positive for COVID-19
  • Has signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for novel coronavirus
  • Are waiting for the results of COVID-19 test
  • Have reasonable grounds to think they have COVID-19

Failure to comply with this order could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.

Dr. Etches told Council that she understands people want clarity on what the order means, adding it was issued with goal of keeping schools and businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I do want to go back to the goal here; which is we want to keep schools open, we want to make sure people can go to work. And right now we’re in a time where the number of infections in our community is high, so high that it’s effecting schools,” said Dr. Etches.

“We want to turn that around.”

Ottawa Public Health has requested a scientific review of the COVID-19 symptoms.

“The goal is: when people have symptoms or respiratory illness, we need to make sure it’s not COVID. I do understand that people have questions, ‘what if it’s sniffles, it’s just sniffles.’ We’re asking for a scientific review of the symptoms,” said Dr. Etches Wednesday morning.

“Right now, we have seen it can be COVID when it’s just sniffles.”

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit has said a staff member at Fellowes High School in Pembroke that tested positive for COVID-19 thought the symptoms were seasonal allergies.  The school has been closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak since last Wednesday.

“When COVID enters the house with someone with symptoms, it’s very hard not to pass that on with someone in the house,” said Dr. Etches.

“So that’s the root of why we ask a family to stay home when someone has symptoms, because it could be COVID and it could spread in the house and then pass on.”

Ottawa Public Health lists the COVID-19 symptoms as:

Classic symptoms: Feeling feverish, new or worsening cough and/or difficulty breathing

Other symptoms: Sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory (smell) or taste disorder, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, runny nose, or nasal congestion

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Code Red for COVID-19: Ottawa's top doctor warns COVID status "close" to most severe level – CTV Edmonton



As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Ottawa, the medical officer of health is on the verge of moving Ottawa’s COVID-10 overall status to the most severe warning level during the pandemic.

“We are close to ‘Red,'” said Dr. Vera Etches when asked during Wednesday’s Council meeting about the current COVID-19 status in Ottawa.

The medical officer of health also warned that Ottawa could introduce a “targeted approach” to new restrictions and closures if the COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The Ottawa Public Health coloured coded system indicates the status of COVID-19 in Ottawa by “Green,” “Yellow,” “Orange” and “Red.”  Ottawa is currently in the “Orange” status for COVID-19, one step below the most severe level of the COVID-19 status. 

The “Orange” status signals decreasing spread and few outbreaks, some hospital capacity and some health care worker infections. A “Red” status means “increasing spread and outbreaks. Limited hospital capacity and many health care worker infections. Limited or no ability to isolate cases/quarantine”

“We’ve spoken about whether we’re ‘Red’ now. Why I have not moved us into red as a global assessment is because our hospitalizations have stayed stable. This is good news, right?” said Dr. Etches.

“So the people who are testing positive are younger on the whole, so we’re not seeing the more serious complications that lead to hospitalizations.”

Ottawa Public Health reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the second highest one-day total of COVID-19 cases in September. On Tuesday, a record 93 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa.

Councillor Diane Deans asked Dr. Etches if it’s possible for Ottawa to avoid the Code “Red” status.

“I have a lot of confidence that the people of Ottawa can do this. We can turn the curve because we have done it before.”

“I don’t want to have to shut things down”: Dr. Etches

During Wednesday’s Council meeting, Councillor Mathieu Fleury asked Dr. Etches about the possibility of new closures and restrictions due to the rising number of cases. Dr. Etches said Ottawa Public Health would take a “targeted approach” to addressing possible sources of COVID-19.

“We will risk going into having to do more closures if we don’t turn the curve,” said Dr. Etches.

“I’m not interested in creating more economic damage. That harms our health as a population; we need to keep places open that are employing people. We’ll need to take a targeted approach if there is a type of business that’s causing more challenges.”

The medical officer of health said Ottawa Public Health is speaking with officials in cities seeing a large spike in new cases, including Toronto and Peel, about possible steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re all interested in a targeted approach to tackle where infections are spreading. For the most part, it’s really the social gatherings, in people’s homes.”

Last Thursday, Ontario announced new limits on social gatherings across the province. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, while outdoor events can have 25 people.

“We need to then make sure that we’re adhering to the new provincial regulations of no more than 10 in a gathering, but really as few as possible.  So your household and the people who are important to support you in your life. Whether they’re your grandparents or child care,” said Dr. Etches.

“I don’t want to have to shut things down.”

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