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Hinshaw says 'situation is still serious' as Alberta adds 1240 COVID-19 cases – CTV Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
Alberta’s top doctor announced 1,240 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest one-day count since Nov. 27, and nine more deaths Monday afternoon.

The province’s positivity rate is at 6.8 per cent after Alberta Health Services conducted 18,306 tests on Sunday.

The R-value for the province is 0.92, while Edmonton and Calgary’s are 0.89 and 0.97, respective, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

“The positive signs that I mentioned on Friday have continued through the weekend, but our situation is still serious,” the chief medical officer of health said. “Our case numbers are still extremely high and our health care system remains under severe strain.”

Of the 19,165 Albertans diagnosed with COVID-19, 795 are in hospital and 151 of them in intensive care.

“This week we must redouble our efforts and celebrate this early trend downwards by continuing the action that will eventually bring our hospitalization and ICU numbers low enough to support access to the system for all health care needs.”

Alberta has reported 91,459 cases and 860 deaths since March.

Hinshaw will give another update Tuesday afternoon.

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Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine – WellandTribune.ca

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WHITEHORSE – A cabinet minister says a couple from outside Yukon travelled to a remote community in the territory this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Community Services Minister John Streiker says he’s outraged the man and woman allegedly chartered a flight to Beaver Creek, the most westerly community in Canada near the border with Alaska, to get the shots.

Streiker says he heard Thursday night that the Canadian couple arrived in Yukon on Tuesdayand declared they would follow the territory’s mandatory two-week self-isolation protocol, but instead travelled to Beaver Creek.

He says the two people have been charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for failure to self-isolate and failure to behave in a manner consistent with their declaration upon arrival.

Streiker says the couple allegedly presented themselves as visiting workers, misleading staff at the mobile vaccination clinic in Beaver Creek.

He says territorial enforcement officers received a call about the couple, who were later intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon.

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail.

The RCMP have been notified, he said in an interview on Friday.

Streiker hadn’t confirmed where the couple are from, but he said they didn’t show Yukon health cards at the vaccination clinic.

Yukon has two vaccination teams that are visiting communities throughout the territory with priority going to residents and staff of group-living settings, health-care workers, people over 80 who aren’t living in long-term care, and Yukoners living in rural, remote and First Nation communities.

Beaver Creek was chosen as a priority community to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine because it’s a remote border community, he said.

Yukon’s chief medical officer of health has indicated he believes the risk to the community as a result of the couple’s visit is low, Streiker added.

Streiker said there may be more scrutiny at vaccine clinics when people show up from outside Yukon, but officials are still working through options to prevent such a situation from happening again.

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“I find it frustrating because what that does is it makes more barriers,” he said. “We’ve been trying to remove all barriers to get the vaccine for our citizens and so if there’s another sort of layer of check, I just don’t want it to make it harder for Yukoners to get their vaccines.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.

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Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine – Canada News – Castanet.net

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A cabinet minister says a couple from outside Yukon travelled to a remote community in the territory this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Community Services Minister John Streiker says he’s outraged the man and woman allegedly chartered a flight to Beaver Creek, the most westerly community in Canada near the border with Alaska, to get the shots.

Streiker says he heard Thursday night that the Canadian couple arrived in Yukon on Tuesdayand declared they would follow the territory’s mandatory two-week self-isolation protocol, but instead travelled to Beaver Creek.

He says the two people have been charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for failure to self-isolate and failure to behave in a manner consistent with their declaration upon arrival.

Streiker says the couple allegedly presented themselves as visiting workers, misleading staff at the mobile vaccination clinic in Beaver Creek.

He says territorial enforcement officers received a call about the couple, who were later intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon.

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail.

The RCMP have been notified, he said in an interview on Friday.

Streiker hadn’t confirmed where the couple are from, but he said they didn’t show Yukon health cards at the vaccination clinic.

Yukon has two vaccination teams that are visiting communities throughout the territory with priority going to residents and staff of group-living settings, health-care workers, people over 80 who aren’t living in long-term care, and Yukoners living in rural, remote and First Nation communities.

Beaver Creek was chosen as a priority community to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine because it’s a remote border community, he said.

Yukon’s chief medical officer of health has indicated he believes the risk to the community as a result of the couple’s visit is low, Streiker added.

Streiker said there may be more scrutiny at vaccine clinics when people show up from outside Yukon, but officials are still working through options to prevent such a situation from happening again.

“I find it frustrating because what that does is it makes more barriers,” he said. “We’ve been trying to remove all barriers to get the vaccine for our citizens and so if there’s another sort of layer of check, I just don’t want it to make it harder for Yukoners to get their vaccines.”

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Alberta records its youngest COVID-19 death to date, online searches for vaccines spike – Edmonton Journal

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The Alberta government has said the vaccination timeline for seniors 75 years or older not living in long-term care as well as those 65 and older living in First Nation communities is subject to change depending on vaccine supply. Those vaccinations were originally scheduled for February.

Elsewhere in Canada there are signs people may be starting to take matters into their own hands. The CBC reported that a Vancouver pair has been charged after allegedly flying to the Yukon, not following the isolation requirements, and travelling to a community 450 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse in a chartered plane where they managed to get themselves vaccinated at a mobile clinic.

Searches by Canadians looking online for COVID-19 vaccines have nearly tripled in popularity in January compared to the month before, according to one cybersecurity company, suggesting some Canadians could be vulnerable to COVID-related scams.

NordVPN used search volumes reported by Google from Oct. 1 to Jan.15 for the term “Covid vaccines online” and found that the popularity of the search jumped 264 per cent in January compared to December.

“Wherever there is demand, fraudsters’ reaction is swift. Sadly, those who will try to get the COVID-19 vaccine under the counter will fall victim to a scam,” Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN said in a statement.

For the first half of January, most searches for “covid vaccine online” were coming from Alberta and Saskatchewan, said spokesperson Vita Zaliauskiene. When data up to last Thursday was included, Alberta dropped to fourth, she said.

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