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Hookah Lounge in Regina suspends services as COVID-19 outbreak declared

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The Hookah Lounge has suspended its services on Saturday, the same day the Saskatchewan Health Authority declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the nightclub.

An outbreak is declared when two or more people test positive for COVID-19 and are linked to a specific setting.

On Saturday, the Hookah Lounge posted a message on its business Facebook page announcing its temporary closure.

“The Lounge has been informed a recent customers (sic) has tested positive for COVID-19 during a time they were asymptomatic and unknowing of their condition,” reads the post.

“In an effort to keep all of our customers/staff healthy and safe, we have made the decision to suspend our lounge services for 2 to 3 weeks, pending the climate of the city’s infection rate.

“We look forward to hosting you again soon.”

The nightclub asks people to be diligent with their health and to seek testing if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

The SHA has issued potential COVID-19 exposure alerts for the nightclub in recent days. Anyone who was at the lounge on Oct. 31 between 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and on Nov. 1 from 9:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., is asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after their visit.

Global News reached out to the business for further comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Public health says outbreaks are issued to mobilize and coordinate a response to the infection. It is not necessarily an indicator of risk to the public.

Several COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to nightclubs in Saskatchewan in recent weeks, primarily in Saskatoon.

On Oct. 28, the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab implemented further restrictions on Saskatoon restaurants, bars and nightclubs after community transmission of COVID-19 was linked to after-work socializing among young adults.

In Saskatoon, nightclubs can no longer serve alcohol past 10 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. the following day. Furthermore, they must close to customers by 11 p.m. No such restrictions exist elsewhere in the province.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in Saskatchewan.

Shahab said this is the province’s first “true wave” of COVID-19 as previous cases were linked to travel or localized outbreaks, like in the north or southwest regions.

“I think the difference now is we’re seeing sustained increases in several parts of the province,” Shahab said during Tuesday’s provincial update on coronavirus.

“Now our peak is getting higher, so I would actually argue this is our true first wave and this is our first true test as a province in turning this around.

“This is a bit broader, and that’s why it needs all of us to pull together and practice all these layers of protection more consistently.”

As of Sunday, there are 1,122 active cases in Saskatchewan with the majority of the cases existing in the Saskatoon, Regina and North Central zones.

 

 

Source:- Global News

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More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, BC provincial health agency says – Nanaimo News Bulletin

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The health of B.C. residents would be jeopardized if it provided more data about how COVID-19 was affecting individual cities, according to the provincial health agency responsible for the BC Centre for Disease Control.

The mayors of several Fraser Valley municipalities have written the province, saying better city-level data would help municipalities better respond to the pandemic.

But the Provincial Health Services Authority has justified redacting city-specific data in documents released to The News by saying the information could threaten someone’s “safety or mental or physical health” if it was made public. The province also suggests individual’s privacy could be compromised by the release of city-level data – even for those municipalities with hundreds of cases.

Last month, The News filed a freedom of information request more granular data on how COVID-19 is affecting different parts of Abbotsford and the Lower Mainland. Currently, the province only provides daily data on the B.C.’s six provincial health authorities and weekly data on 16 “Health Service Delivery Areas,” most of which span multiple cities and are home to hundreds of thousands of people

The province responded to The News’s request with figures for individual Local Health Areas – which roughly correspond to the boundaries of Abbotsford and hundreds of other B.C. cities and towns. But the information only includes monthly data for August and September. The BC CDC has also released community-level figures for October. But the province has balked at releasing more information about how COVID-19, despite pleas by politicians and journalists who have asked for more comprehensive and timely city-level data.

Recently, the mayors of several Lower Mainland municipalities jointly wrote a letter to the province saying better city-level data would help.

“A better understanding of community transmission levels will help us make informed decisions regarding our facilities and the associated safety plans,” they wrote in a letter to Premier John Horgan. “More detailed local COVID-19 data will also guide our decision-making and resource allocation processes while working with local businesses and community organizations as they work to stay safe, open and economically viable.”

The Kootenay East Regional District made a similar plea to Interior Health. That health authority responded that they are following the provincial rules for reporting COVID-19 cases.

“As this is a provincial approach to reporting, I have asked that our Medical health Officers and Epidemiology team raise this issue with their provincial counterparts and colleagues in other health authorities for further discussion,” chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers wrote.

So far the province has deemed that releasing any more detailed information would jeopardize the health of some people. It hasn’t clarified how, exactly, releasing any municipal information would hurt people.

In the document released to The News, officials redacted the number of cases confirmed in each Local Health Area during two two-week time periods in September and October. Officials cited two sections of British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacty Act for the redactions. The PHSA declared that the redactions were necessary because the release of the figures would “be an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy” and/or “would be harmful to a third party’s personal privacy.”

The News has asked the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the redactions.

It’s not clear why information cannot be released for at least some of the Local Health Areas. Regular data is already released on a weekly basis for Richmond and Vancouver – the only two municipalities that are also considered Health Service Delivery Areas. The province already releases data regularly for such HSDAs, the size and population of which very vary greatly.

While the BC CDC releases data on the number of people in the Northeast health region, where fewer than 80,000 people live, it says privacy and safety concerns prohibit it from providing the same information for Surrey, where more than half-a-million people live.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 – moosejawtoday.com

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020.

There are 402,569 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Canada: 402,569 confirmed cases (69,977 active, 320,096 resolved, 12,496 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 6,300 new cases Friday from 86,410 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 7.3 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 43,505 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 6,215.

There were 89 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 602 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 86. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.24 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 11,826,099 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 343 confirmed cases (27 active, 312 resolved, four deaths).

There were three new cases Friday from 304 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.99 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 63,887 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 73 confirmed cases (five active, 68 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 425 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 62,046 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,358 confirmed cases (117 active, 1,176 resolved, 65 deaths).

There were 15 new cases Friday from 1,014 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 92 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 13.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 151,573 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 528 confirmed cases (111 active, 410 resolved, seven deaths).

There were eight new cases Friday from 727 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.1 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 51 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 104,518 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 147,877 confirmed cases (13,145 active, 127,549 resolved, 7,183 deaths).

There were 1,345 new cases Friday from 10,981 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 12 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,714 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,388.

There were 28 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 199 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.34 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 84.66 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 2,226,791 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 123,526 confirmed cases (14,997 active, 104,792 resolved, 3,737 deaths).

There were 1,780 new cases Friday from 54,170 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 3.3 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12,310 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,759.

There were 25 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 142 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 20. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 25.65 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 6,251,327 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 18,069 confirmed cases (9,172 active, 8,535 resolved, 362 deaths).

There were 318 new cases Friday from 3,075 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 10 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,437 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 348.

There were nine new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 82 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.86 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.43 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 357,524 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 9,527 confirmed cases (4,116 active, 5,356 resolved, 55 deaths).

There were 283 new cases Friday from 2,048 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 14 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,836 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 262.

There was one new reported death Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.68 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 267,348 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 64,851 confirmed cases (18,243 active, 46,018 resolved, 590 deaths).

There were 1,828 new cases Friday from 6,850 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 27 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,746 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,678.

There were 15 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 71 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 10. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 13.5 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 1,502,472 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 36,132 confirmed cases (9,982 active, 25,658 resolved, 492 deaths).

There were 711 new cases Friday from 6,753 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 11 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,248 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 750.

There were 11 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 97 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 14. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.27 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.7 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 822,120 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 51 confirmed cases (11 active, 39 resolved, one deaths).

There was one new case Friday from 34 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.9 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been nine new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. 

There have been 5,522 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed cases (zero active, 15 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Friday from 29 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 6,511 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 206 confirmed cases (51 active, 155 resolved, zero deaths).

There were eight new cases Friday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 47 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. 

There have been 4,384 tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Dec. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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COVID-19 patients transferred to Vancouver Island to ease stress on northern ICUs – Toronto Star

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The increasing number of people with severe COVID-19 symptoms is stressing ICU capacities in the north and patients have been transferred to other regions to ensure adequate critical care services can continue to be provided in Northern Health, said a spokesperson.

“We are seeing increased need for hospitalizations and patients needing critical care,” said Eryn Collins, Northern Health media relations manager.

On Dec. 4, there were 39 people with COVID-19 listed in Northern Health, with 11 of those patients in critical care. Almost 70 per cent of the total 101 hospitalizations in Northern Health have taken place in the last 34 days.

“We still have capacity to provide critical care in our northern system,” said Eryn Collins. “But we’re also seeing an increase in that level of need, so we’re accessing that capacity elsewhere in the province.”

Recently, two patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were transferred to a Vancouver Island hospital.

“It’s very important in some of our regional hospitals, such as Mills Memorial, that we ensure there is adequate ICU capacity in case of other circumstances that occur,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix on Dec. 3. “For example, the potential – especially this time of year – of a major accident on the highway.”

According to the Ministry of Health, as of Nov. 30, 17 of the 41 ICU and critical care-type beds in Northern Health were vacant and an additional 23 ‘surge’ beds could be deployed, if necessary.

Northern Health has the fewest beds of all the health authorities but it also has the smallest population.

“The capacity and occupancy varies, not just for us, but for every health region in the province,” said Collins.

The ministry’s latest count indicated two of five beds were unoccupied in Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace; three of four ICU beds were vacant in Fort St. John; eight of 23 beds were vacant at University Hospital of Northern BC in Prince George, and four of 9 beds were open throughout the rest of the north. There were also 100 ventilators across the region, according to Northern Health.

“Where appropriate, patients are moved,” Dix said. “Sometimes from the north to Vancouver Island or Metro Vancouver.”

The ability to transfer patients across health authorities is an essential aspect of the government’s pandemic response plan released in March by Dix, Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“It was made clear at that time that this was the potential that we would be looking at if we started to see a certain trajectory of COVID activity and hospitalizations,” said Collins. “And we are, along with the rest of the province, seeing those increases.”

About 56 per cent of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the north (and in B.C.) had done so since Oct. 31. Provincially, almost 50 per cent of all hospitalizations have taken place in the last month or so.

As of Dec. 4, in Northern Health, 978 people had tested positive, while 36,132 people had been diagnosed provincially.

Despite the added pressure of COVID-19 patients on the healthcare system, the province continues to have 76 per cent occupancy rate in its critical care beds. When surge beds are included in the ICU count, the occupancy rate drops to less than 65 per cent, said Dix.

The province-wide pandemic strategy outlined how the healthcare system would maintain 17 COVID-19 care sites and ensure adequate capacity under a range of potential pandemic scenarios. The plan revealed the number of acute care beds, ICU-type beds, ventilators, and additional surge beds that could be deployed to meet evolving healthcare demands across B.C. during the pandemic.

“We are using, as is the rest of the province, the capacity that is in the provincial healthcare system… to make sure that we can continue to care for everyone’s needs, not just COVID-related,” said Collins.

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Patients are commonly transported to other regions for specialized treatment, such as cardiac care in Vancouver or other reasons not to do with COVID-19, Collins said.

“That’s something that happens all the time in health care,” said Dix. “What you are seeing is the public health care system working as it should in a pandemic.”

Fran@thegoatnews.ca / @FranYanor

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