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'Hot unit' opens as Windsor Regional Hospital prepares for more Omicron cases – CTV News Windsor

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Windsor, Ont. –

Windsor Regional Hospital is preparing for the possibility of an influx of Omicron variant cases and has opened up a dedicated “hot unit” for COVID-19 patients.

WRH chief of staff Dr. Wassim Saad said they are always prepared for waves of patients and have learned from what is happening in other parts of the world.

“Windsor seems to sometimes be effected, in terms of health care crunches, after other areas,” he said.

Saad said about seven to 10 days ago they opened a COVID-dedicated unit and he expects it to be open through the holidays. The hospital is also shifting resources away from elective surgeries.

“We are doing what we can to ramp down elective procedures and anything that is not an emergency,” he said.

He added elective procedures will likely remain ramped down into January as the hospital could be dealing with another possible surge in COVID cases.

As of Wednesday, WRH still has space in the ICU and inpatient units. The hospital is reporting 23 people with COVID in hospital – 20 are unvaccinated, and three are fully vaccinated. There are eight unvaccinated patients and one fully vaccinated COVID patient in the WRH ICU.

Saad said the best way for residents to protect themselves from the virus is to follow public health measures and get vaccinated.

There are currently two reported cases of the Omicron variant in Windsor-Essex, but it is spreading rapidly in other regions and Saad said individuals should not wait for a specific brand of vaccine.

“It’s going to be way too late because Omicron will have swept through the area,” he said.

Due to the shortage of Pfizer vaccines in the region, the Windsor-Essex mass vaccination site is offering Moderna to individuals 30 years and older for their third dose booster shot.

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Moderna CEO says data for Omicron-specific shot likely available in March

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Moderna Inc’s vaccine candidate against the Omicron coronavirus variant will enter clinical development in the next few weeks and the company expects to be able to share data with regulators around March, CEO Stephane Bancel said on Monday.

“The vaccine is being finished … it should be in the clinic in coming weeks. We are hoping in the March timeframe to be able to have data to share with regulators to figure out next steps,” Bancel said at the World Economic Forum’s virtual Davos Agenda conference.

Moderna is also developing a single vaccine that combines a booster dose against COVID-19 with its experimental flu shot. (https://reut.rs/3FAeyya)

Bancel said the best case scenario was the combined COVID/flu vaccine would be available by the fall of 2023, at least in some countries.

“Our goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter.”

Many countries are already offering a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to their citizens, especially to older individuals and those who are immunocompromised, while Israel has started offering its citizens a fourth dose.

Earlier in January, Moderna’s CEO said people may need a fourth shot in the fall of 2022 as the efficacy of boosters against COVID-19 was likely to decline over the next few months.

However, booster programs have met with skepticism from some disease experts over whether, and how widely, additional doses should become available, including the European Union’s drug regulator, which has expressed doubts about the need for a fourth booster dose.

Speaking at the same event, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said there was no evidence that repeat booster doses would overwhelm the immune system.

“Giving boosters at different times, there is really no evidence that’s going to hinder (immune response).”

Fauci said the goal should be to have a booster that induces a response against multiple potential variants.

 

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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COVID outbreak declared at Barrie hospital's Dialysis Clinic – OrilliaMatters

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NEWS RELEASE
ROYAL VICTORIA REGIONAL HEALTH CENTRE
*************************

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), in collaboration with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, has declared the COVID-19 outbreak in Surgery 3 over and a new outbreak in the In-centre Dialysis Clinic. 

It is important to note that when an inpatient tests positive, they are moved to a unit that specializes in caring for COVID patients. All other patients on the unit are isolated, on contact precautions, tested frequently and closely monitored for symptoms as well as caregivers tested and monitored closely. Each unit is closed to visitors and enhanced cleaning protocols are in place.

Current situation – COVID-19 positive cases related to unit outbreaks:

RVH – IOOF
24 patients
15 staff

Transitional Care Unit
4 patients
6 staff

Cardiac Renal
7 patients
6 staff

In-centre Dialysis Clinic
2 patients
2 staff

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Health officials in Prince Edward Island report 231 new cases of COVID-19 – The Record (New Westminster)

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CHARLOTTETOWN — Health officials in Prince Edward Island are reporting 231 new cases of COVID-19 today, including new infections at two long-term care facilities.

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says there has been an average of 215 new cases per day over the last week.

There are 1,934 active reported cases on the Island.  

Morrison says there are seven people hospitalized with the disease, including one in intensive care.  

The outbreak at the Atlantic Baptist Long Term Care Facility has six new cases, for a total of 25, while the Garden Home Long Term Care Facility has two new cases, for a total of 15.  

Morrison says there are also five new cases, for a total of 15, among people who regularly access shelters and outreach services in Charlottetown.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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