With a COVID-19 outbreak declared at Timmins and District Hospital, president and CEO Blaise MacNeil said it’s not confirmed if the patient acquired the virus at the hospital.
The outbreak at the facility was announced yesterday after a woman in her 80s who’s a patient at the hospital tested positive. The Porcupine Health Unit said the investigation into the case is ongoing.
“At this moment it is not confirmed if the individual acquired the virus while in hospital, but the decision to declare an outbreak was made in consultation with the health unit and is being done out of an abundance of caution and all patients and staff will be contact-traced,” said MacNeil in today’s daily health table update.
He said enhanced screening measures at the hospital resulted in staff quickly identifying the change in her symptoms.
“The patient was immediately moved to an isolated location in the hospital while awaiting results. Access to the affected unit has been restricted and enhanced surveillance measures continue throughout the hospital,” he said.
If you have a need for the hospital, MacNeil isn’t discouraging anyone from going to the hospital.
At the facility, he said there is more vigilance in the screening areas, and the question section is much longer.
“But it’s extremely important that the public be forthright and frank about their health status. This disease presents like any number of common respiratory diseases that we see everyday in the community and it’s very important that people be very frank with the screeners at any entrance to the hospital,” he said.
The TADH outbreak is the fourth at a facility in Timmins.
Ministry of Health guidelines require an outbreak to be declared if a patient or staff member test positive.
While hospital staff never wish for an outbreak, he said it is something that healthcare facilities plan for.
Before the outbreak was declared, MacNeil said vistors and volunteer programs at the hospital were restricted. There has been and will continue to be screening at all entrances, and patients attending the hospital must wear a mask. He said enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements have also been developed for staff throughout the pandemic, and will continue to be implemented as per the ministry guidelines.
“We understand that this is a stressful time for those who require hospital care or who have loved ones currently receiving hospital care. We want to reassure the community that our focus remains on doing everything we can to ensure continued safety of all patients and staff,” he said.
MacNeil also noted the high-skilled staff and physicians on the frontlines.
“And while they have been professional at all times, I think it’s important to recognize that they have friends and family that they are concerned about just like everyone else, as well as themselves, and their anxiety levels are running very high,” he said.
Cochrane District Social Services Board CAO Brian Marks also gave a brief update today.
Last night, he said 70 meals were served at the Lord’s Kitchen and the remainder were sent to Living Space.
For homelessness, about 60 people are spending the night at the shelter, McIntyre Curling Club and Northern College student residence. He said they have registered more than 100 people who are homeless locally, though.
“Despite the fact that we house 60 per night, there are more than that that are homeless on a nightly basis,” he said.
In the Porcupine Health Unit region, there are currently 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Of those, 30 people have recovered and three people have died. The third death in the region was reported yesterday and is a man in his 70s who tested positive April 5.
The health unit is aware of 1,141 tests being done in the region. That is an increase of 70 over yesterday’s report. The testing for 361 of the tests is in progress.
For the local cases, 28 are in Timmins and 17 of those are resolved, 21 are in the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, and Smooth Rock Falls and 12 of those are resolved, and one is in the area of Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, and Fauquier-Strickland and is resolved.
BlackburnNews.com – Six more COVID-19 recoveries in Lambton – BlackburnNews.com
Six more COVID-19 recoveries in Lambton
June 6, 2020 7:02am
Lambton Public Health is reporting six more COVID-19 recoveries.
The health unit reported Friday night that of 267 confirmed cases, 223 have now recovered.
The death toll remains unchanged since Tuesday at 24.
Lambton Public Health has now received the results from 7,861 tests, 96 per cent of which have been negative for COVID-19.
Bluewater Health reported Friday that 12 patients were in hospital confirmed to have the virus, and 26 were in hospital suspected of having it with tests pending.
Trucker brings in another case of COVID-19 as two new cases emerge Friday – Winnipeg Sun
Another case of COVID-19 in a truck driver, and one in a close household contact of that driver, were reported by public health officials on Friday.
The two new cases bring the province’s total to an even 300 since the outbreak began in early March. The cases are both from Winnipeg. One is in a man in his 30s and another in a man in his 20s.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said the trucker who tested positive had travelled outside of the province.
Other details were sparse, including if the driver had self-isolated or not.
“I don’t have a lot of details on that as of yet, the public health investigation is ongoing,” Roussin said.
Last week, two cases in truck drivers that had travelled into the U.S. for work were also reported.
Roussin said no new measures are going to be implemented in terms of testing truck drivers or requiring them to self-isolate upon return from international or domestic travel.
Currently, all truck drivers can access asymptomatic testing, but Roussin said they cannot disrupt supply chains into the province.
The province’s active caseload jumped to nine with the two new cases as no new recoveries were announced. There have been 284 total recoveries thus far.
The death toll in Manitoba remains at seven, and no one is in hospital at the moment.
The Cadham Provincial Laboratory processed 671 tests on Thursday, bringing the running total since early February to 47,372.
Meanwhile, changes to the hours of operation at community testing sites in Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and Winkler, as well as at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg, come into effect this weekend.
Due to low patient volumes, these sites are now closed on Sundays.
KNOWLEDGE, ROAD TESTS RESUME
Manitoba Public Insurance is resuming knowledge tests for all licence classes and road test bookings for Class 1 licences effective immediately, a release said on Friday.
Customers are encouraged to book Class 5 and 6 knowledge tests online. For those who cannot book online, MPI is allowing customers who phone their Autopac agent to perform certain critical transactions over the phone or by email.
For Class 1 road tests, drivers will be required to provide and wear their own mask, be screened prior to the test and sanitize all touchpoints in their vehicle.
Knowledge test customers will be asked to arrive on-site 15 minutes prior to their appointment.
Ripples from coronavirus research scandal rocks global scientific community – RFI English
Issued on: 06/06/2020 – 12:02Modified: 06/06/2020 – 12:02
The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say.
This as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the center of the affair.
On Thursday, most of the authors of major studies that appeared in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) retracted their work.
The issued apologies, saying they could no longer vouch for their data after the firm that supplied it — Chicago-based Surgisphere — refused to be audited.
At any other time the matter might have led to hang-wringing within academia, but it has taken on a new dimension as the world grapples with a virus that has claimed some 400,000 lives.
Of particular interest was the paper in The Lancet that claimed to have analyzed the records of 96,032 patients admitted to 671 hospitals across six continents, finding that hydroxychloroquine showed no benefit and even increased the risk of death.
Its withdrawal is seen as a boost to backers of the decades-old anti-malarial drug, who include US President Donald Trump and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro.
“It’s very politicized — there is a group, probably not particularly small, who have learned to mistrust science and scientists, and this just feeds into that narrative,” Gabe Kelen, a professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University, told French new agency AFP.
This is despite the fact that even without The Lancet paper, evidence has been building against hydroxychloroquine’s use against COVID-19.
On Friday, results from a fourth randomized controlled trial — carefully designed human experiments considered the most robust form of clinical investigation — showed it had no impact against the virus.
The Lancet, which first published in 1823, is one of the world’s most trusted medical journals.
As a result, the hydroxychloroquine paper had an outsized impact: the World Health Organization, Britain and France all suspended ongoing clinical trials.
But things soon began unravelling after researchers noticed numerous red flags, from the huge number of patients involved to the unusual level of detail about the doses they had received.
Both The Lancet and the equally prestigious NEJM, which had published a paper on whether blood thinners elevated the risk of COVID-19 that relied on the same company, issued expressions of concern — before the authors themselves pulled both papers.
Role of Surgisphere
Surgisphere, founded in 2007 by vascular surgeon Sapan Desai, had refused to share data with third-party reviewers, saying it would violate privacy agreements with hospitals.
However, when science news site The Scientist began reaching out to hospitals throughout the US to ask whether they had participated, it found none.
Surgisphere’s internet profile has also raised numerous questions. Only a handful of employees could be found on LinkedIn, and most have now deactivated their accounts.
According to the Guardian newspaper, its employees included an adult model and until last week the contact page on its website redirected to a WordPress template for a cryptocurrency website, leaving it unclear how hospitals could have reached out to them.
Meanwhile Desai, who according to court records has three outstanding medical malpractice suits against him, has written extensively in the past on research misconduct.
“The most serious cause of fraud in medical publishing is manufactured data that authors use to support high impact conclusions,” he said in a 2013 paper.
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