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Hundreds of unvaccinated Island Health workers fired for missing deadline – CHEK

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More than 4,000 unvaccinated healthcare workers in British Columbia, including hundreds in Island Health, are out of a job.

The deadline for those working in healthcare settings,  including students, doctors, contractors, and volunteers, to get vaccinated was Tuesday (Oct. 26).

Adrian Dix, the province’s minister of health, announced during a press conference Tuesday all of those healthcare workers who aren’t vaccinated should look for new employment because they’re now out of a job.

“All of us are very solemn about this moment because the requirement to get vaccinated is an absolute necessity in our healthcare system,” Dix said, adding. “Those who are not able to work at present, and today and over the next couple of days, those will be formally losing their employment.”

The vast majority of B.C. healthcare workers did indeed get the jab, according to provincial figures, which show that a total of 126,343 workers received at least one dose.

Of those workers, 119,627 have received two or more doses while 2,626 remain partially vaccinated. However, 4,090 healthcare workers in B.C. remain unvaccinated.

Within Island Health, 678 workers are not vaccinated, representing just three per cent of the total workforce of 23,000 workers.

That includes nurses, doctors, care aides, and those working in administration.

While 97 per cent of doctors working in hospitals and clinics run by the health authorities are vaccinated, the province is working to extend the vaccine mandate to include those working in private practices, according to the President of Doctors of BC, Dr. Matthew Chow.

“Eventually we have been given fair warning, as healthcare professionals, that this will eventually apply to private practices as well,” said Dr. Chow.

Dix said if the now unemployed healthcare workers do get vaccinated, they can return to work.

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WATCH: B.C. introducing COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health-care workers

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COVID-19 shows up in Canadian wildlife for first time with three Quebec deer infected – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – For the first time, the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Canadian wildlife.

Environment Canada says the virus was detected late last month in three wild white-tailed deer in Quebec.

The department says the deer all appeared healthy and showed no clinical signs of COVID-19.

The discovery follows recent reports of the virus spreading among white-tailed deer in the United States.

There has so far been no known transmission of COVID-19 from deer to humans and Environment Canada says it remains “largely a disease of human concern and typically spreads from human to human.”

Still, until more is known, it says anyone exposed to respiratory tissues and fluids from deer should wear a well-fitting mask and avoid splashing of fluids as much as possible.

COVID-19 has infected multiple species of animals, including dogs, cats, farmed mink and zoo animals. But this is the first time in Canada that it has spilled over into wildlife.

Deer in the Estrie region of Quebec were sampled Nov. 6 to 8. The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease confirmed the virus in three of them on Monday. The World Organisation for Animal Health was notified on Wednesday.

“As this is the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife in Canada, information on the impacts and spread of the virus in wild deer populations is currently limited,” Environment Canada said in a news release Wednesday.

“This finding emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2021.

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KFL&A reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, 304 active – Globalnews.ca

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The Kingston region is once again over the 300 active cases mark, as Wednesday’s 34 new cases bring the daily active case count to 304.

Of the new cases, 10 are in the five-to-11 age group.

Nineteen people remain in hospital, with 11 of those cases are in the intensive care unit. Six people are on ventilators.

Read more:

COVID-19 — Influx of cases causing strain on Kingston hospitals

The cases per 100,000 over the past week is up slightly to 104.7, from 102.8 Tuesday.

The rise in cases locally has also forced the postponing of at least one local event. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes was scheduled to have its grand opening on Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant impacts throughout our communities, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston is committed to supporting the community through this time of heightened risk and uncertainty,” the Marine Museum said in a statement Wednesday.

“We consider the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors paramount.”


Click to play video: 'As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts'



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As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts


As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Roussin takes aim at HIV stigma – Brandon Sun

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Wednesday was World AIDS Day and the province is getting behind the message to end the stigma of the disease.

There were 117 new cases of HIV identified in the province in 2020, slightly fewer than in 2019.

“Even though there are fewer cases, there was also significantly less testing,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said Wednesday.

“Around 25 per cent of people with HIV are unaware they have it, and that can contribute to the spread.”

The stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS continues to be a significant public health issue in the province. Roussin said the populations most at risk are also facing problems of accessibility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roussin urged people who may be at risk to get regular testing and speak to their health-care providers regarding prevention, testing and treatment options.

All these services are confidential and free of charge.

Those living with HIV are also encouraged to stay connected to care and treatments.

Roussin said it is considered a chronic infection and there are effective treatments for HIV, with many being able to get the virus level down to undetectable levels and minimizing risk of transmitting it to other people.

» The Brandon Sun

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