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Hinshaw cuts runny nose, sore throat from list of COVID-19 symptoms forcing kids to isolate: Groundwork – Gananoque Reporter



Parents running out of paid leave to care for a child with a simple runny nose or sore throat caught a break Thursday when Dr. Deena Hinshaw struck those from the list of core COVID-19 symptoms.

Mirroring updated regulations in B.C., Quebec and Ontario, children in Alberta will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days or get tested for the virus if they have only a sore throat or runny nose, two symptoms that are more likely to indicate a common childhood cold.

Taking effect Monday, the new requirement sends these children home for 24 hours instead, monitored in case symptoms get worse.

“Runny nose is a very, very common symptom, as is a sore throat, and it’s not very specific for COVID,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said in an interview before Thursday’s announcement.

Alberta residents will be coping with COVID-19 restrictions for months, Hinshaw said. This change is part of trying to make that burden as light as possible and gain maximum compliance.

“Measures that are in place that make peoples’ lives more difficult but don’t actually help that much to prevent COVID, we need to lift those when we have the evidence to do so,” she said.

There is still a mandatory 10-day isolation or testing requirement for children with a cough, fever, loss of taste or smell and/or shortness of breath.

Runny nose and sore throat are included in a longer list of secondary symptoms. If a child has one symptom from that list on the Alberta Health website they must stay home for 24 hours to see if the symptom worsens or more symptoms develop. If nothing gets worse, a child may return to school and other children’s activities, even if the symptom hasn’t resolved.

For students with two or more secondary symptoms, testing is still recommended. A child must stay home until symptoms go away or they test negative. The relaxed rules do not apply to adults yet.

Existing rules cause hardship

Many parents had been struggling with the isolation requirements, particularly when schools sent students home for a simple runny nose.

In the Edmonton Journal’s Groundwork engagement project, parents reported having to call in more vulnerable grandparents to help when kids come down with a cold. They’re being forced to call in sick themselves, which creates additional staffing challenges for schools, hospitals and other workplaces.

Isolating a child is really tough when parents have to keep leaving the house to get groceries or bring other children to school, said Laura Shyko in an interview. Her three elementary-school aged children came down with runny noses, testing negative for COVID-19, one after the other.

She didn’t have the heart to drag the last one, a five-year-old, kicking and screaming to get the nasal swab. “It was all so clear she just had a cold,” she said.

By now, parents are running out of paid leave themselves, said Joanna Coleman, who has had to leave work four separate times so far, with three children off school 13 days, for a variety of headaches and colds that tested negative for COVID-19.

At one point, the school sent her daughter home simply because her nose ran for 15 minutes after coming in from the cold. A single mom, she is now out of paid vacation and sick days. “I do understand the need for this,” she said. But anything that can safely streamline the process is appreciated. “We’re not going to be back to normal for a very long time.”

Data driving the change

Hinshaw said Alberta Health feels confident about making this change based on three different data sets — data showing a similar change did not significantly increase transmission in Ontario schools when it was made Oct. 1, symptom descriptions collected since the start of the pandemic after children test positive, and new data from Alberta on the children with a runny nose or sore throat who test negative for COVID-19.

On that last data set, technical challenges meant Alberta Health Services only recently started asking for a full list of symptoms from each person requesting a COVID-19 test online, Hinshaw said.

But in the last week, for example, 3,300 children under 18 said they had a runny nose when they applied for a test. Of those, 600 children had no other symptom. Two of those children then tested positive, and only one of them had no known connection to a positive COVID-19 case.

Under the new rules, only the child with just a runny nose and a close contact must stay home and get tested. The rest of the 600 could simply monitor for symptoms, then head back to school after 24 hours if symptoms didn’t worsen.

Alberta Health is still analyzing this type of data for adults and asked its science advisory panel to help. The current change does not apply to adults because they can have different symptoms, are at a higher risk of getting seriously ill from the disease, and are more likely to pass it on to others.

The risk is not zero

But it’s a difficult subject. The risk is not zero and Alberta has had record numbers of new daily COVID-19 cases lately. Of that group of 600 children with only a runny nose, one child still tested positive and that child would be at school, potentially infectious, under these new rules.

Through the Groundwork surveys and virtual office hours, the Edmonton Journal also heard from parents with children in school who were already anxious about peers not following the daily wellness check recommendations.

Many parents with children studying online say this is because they don’t trust that the in-school environment is safe enough. Some of them have medically-fragile family members to protect, and some wish they could let their children study safely at home but their jobs, children’s needs or the family situation makes that impossible.

“I completely understand that concern,” Hinshaw said, adding that this change is about balance and trying to gain compliance, knowing there will always be some risk at school because of asymptomatic transmission. “We’re not throwing caution to the wind, but saying: How can we make sure people can live with this for several months to come?”

This article is part of Groundwork, an Edmonton Journal engagement initiative. Read more at


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What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Nov. 26 –




  • 738 new cases of COVID-19 were announced on Wednesday, along with 13 more deaths.
  • There are now 29,086 confirmed cases in the province to date.
  • 294 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 61 in intensive care.
  • 371 people have now died of the disease.
  • Masks are mandatory for everyone in indoor public spaces and retail environments.
  • Anyone who does not comply could face a $230 fine.

British Columbia added another 738 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as the province continued to urge everyone to pause social interactions and said there could be fines for those who don’t wear masks.

The Fraser Health region continued to drive the spike in new infections, with 443 or 60 per cent of Wednesday’s new cases.

Data correction

On Wednesday, Provincial Health Minister Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced a data correction for results from Fraser Health over the past week due to an data glitch.

Daily numbers from Fraser Health changed from Nov. 16 to Nov. 24. On Tuesday, 678 cases were originally announced for the region. The accurate number is 432. That meant the overall number of new cases in B.C. on that day was revised down to 695 from what was reported as a record high of 941.

The B.C. government has published a full list of corrected data online.

Overall, the corrected data still showed the province’s COVID-19 curve trending up, but at a slower rate than originally reported.

Fraser Health spike ‘didn’t happen’: health officer

Fraser Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin said the correction shows that the case numbers in that health authority have stabilized rather than spiking.

“That spike […] didn’t happen. Our case counts are fluctuating at around 500 cases a day. That number has been stable for a couple of weeks,” she said on CBC’s The Early Edition.

Brodkin said the majority of transmission in Fraser Health continues to be in private homes, with individuals becoming infected in the community and passing the virus on to their household contacts. She said transmission is also occurring in essential workplaces and gyms, and that in 20 per cent of cases the source of transmission cannot be identified.

But she said there has been no transmission as a result of community events like Diwali, and that contact tracers are still able to find 95 per cent of contacts within 24 hours.

“The current restrictions are working. The exponential climb has stopped,” she said.

Brodkin said the glitch in reported numbers happened as a result of an error with a lab information system, and was a one-time incident that was “identified quickly and has been corrected.”


What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

There have now been more than 348,944 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.

A vaccine is expected to become available in the coming year, but Canada has not yet specified how it will be distributed, aside from a promise to work with provinces and territories to buy cold storage. 

The federal government has procured 358 million doses of vaccine from seven companies, an insurance policy of sorts in case some of the vaccines in development prove to be ineffective in clinical trials.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they’re mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or o​​​​​​ther extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

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COVID-19 update for Nov. 26: B.C. records deadliest day so far in pandemic with 13 deaths – Standard Freeholder



The latest case numbers, exposure alerts and guidelines: Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C.

The latest case numbers, exposure alerts and guidelines: Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C.

Handout via REUTERS

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 26, 2020.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on Nov. 25:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 29,086 (7,616 active)
• New cases since Nov. 24: 738
• Hospitalized cases: 294
• Intensive care: 61
• COVID-19 related deaths: 371 (13 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 10,270
• Recovered: 19,814
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 63

IN-DEPTH: COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

12 a.m. –B.C. records 738 new cases, 13 additional deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday that a further 738 people tested positive for COVID-19 and an additional 13 people have died from the respiratory disease. It was the pandemic’s deadliest day so far in British Columbia.

Of the new cases, 443 were recorded in the Fraser Health District, while 169 tested positive in Vancouver Coastal Health.

There are 294 people being treated in hospital with 61 in critical care.

There has been total of 29,066 positive tests and 371 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C. since the start of the pandemic. There have been more than 100 deaths in November alone.

There are 7,615 active cases in B.C.


COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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Vancouver doctor, patient raising awarness about dangerous condition linked to COVID-19 – CTV News Vancouver



There’s a dangerous complication from COVID-19 you might not know about.

But 29-year-old Jordan Hoey and doctors at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver are trying to raise awareness about what it is and how serious it can be.

“Honestly, I was terrified. It was nothing I was expecting when I first got that positive diagnosis,” Hoey said in an interview with CTV News.

Last May, Hoey ended up testing positive for COVID-19 .

“My partner works in health care. There was an outbreak in her workplace,” he explained. “I was pretty scared. It was quite shocking, for sure.”

He battled the virus, but just as he thought he was turning a corner in the right direction, his health took a turn for the worse.

“A couple days after the fevers ended, I started getting a bit of chest pain and then noticing a little bit of red when I was coughing.”

And it didn’t improve.

“I coughed, filled the whole inside of the mask with blood. We knew it was time to go to the emergency room right away,” he said.

At St. Paul’s Hospital, he says, a CT scan revealed multiple pulmonary embolisms.

Dr. Anna Rahmani of the hospital’s thrombosis clinic said they’ve been seeing an increase in blood clots associated with COVID-19 infections.

The doctor told CTV News that while incidents of blood clots are higher in COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized, they are also seeing the condition in patients like Hoey who are young and otherwise healthy.

“Blood clots don’t really discriminate. They can affect any age, race,” Rahmani explained.

She said it’s crucial that people know the warning signs.

“Signs and symptoms of blood clot in the leg include tenderness, redness, increased swelling and pain,” Rahmani said.

But she said there are other signs people might be less familiar with.

“Symptoms and signs of blood clot in the lung (like Hoey experienced) include increasing shortness of breath, cough, bloody cough. Some people even experience dizziness and light headedness,” she said, urging anyone with symptoms to seek medical help right away.

Meanwhile, Hoey has only recently returned to working from home on a part-time basis as he continues to recover.

“I’m getting better but I’m not what I used to be yet,” he said.

“People need to be more aware of the serious side effects and serious complications of COVID itself. It’s not just a flu. It will take you out.”

On Thursday, Nov. 26 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., the thrombosis clinic at St. Paul’s will be presenting a free public Zoom session. You can find out more information here.

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