With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the province, people living in Manitoba Hutterite communities are ramping up public health measures but as increased testing identifies more positive cases they’re worried stigmatization will continue.
Thirty-one of 49 new cases announced Monday and 47 of 72 cases announced by Manitoba public health Sunday were in communal living communities. They include but aren’t limited to Hutterite colonies.
Kenny Wollmann, a member of the Hutterian Safety Council’s COVID-19 task force, said communities have been taking precautions since early on in the pandemic
“These have now intensified,” he told CTV News on Monday. “I always say that what we did back in March, April, May was a good practice run for what we now have to urgently do.”
Photos provided to CTV News show people husking corn outside wearing masks. The same goes for those preparing food in shared kitchens.
Wollmann said it’s all part of precautions put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has significantly changed the way Hutterites live.
“Because of COVID-19, a lot of our communal kitchens, where we eat three meals a day, have been closed and now meals have to be prepared there and distributed or they have to be prepared in-home,” said Wollmann.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, said since the start of the pandemic there have been 236 cases in communal living communities. Of those cases, 148 are active, representing a little more than a third of all active cases.
Many of the recent cases were identified during a testing campaign launched by the province – testing which took place through the usual process and right within communal living communities.
“The results over the weekend were actually mobile testing where we actually went to communities to perform testing,” said Roussin. “So we got a high amount of testing done and then a significant amount of cases were identified by that.”
The province came under fire earlier in the pandemic for identifying confirmed cases in people from Hutterite colonies.
There were reports Hutterites experienced stigmatization in surrounding communities, which Wollmann said is once again a concern as cases rise.
“These people are doing everything right and everything by the book but simply because they’re part of a visible minority, they’re being singled out unjustly,” he said.
Wollmann said like all other segments of society, people’s response to the pandemic in Hutterite communities has varied but he said many have taken the virus seriously from day one.
“And if they believed that wearing two masks would help people, they would wear two masks,” said Wollmann. “On the other end of the spectrum, we have people who could be called COVID deniers or people who think it’s a scam or a scheme cooked up by somebody, somewhere to do bad things.”
Hutterite leaders are continually working at bringing people together to do the right thing, he added and encouraged compassion at a time of crisis.
“Hutterites are Canadian citizens and they must also be treated with respect and with dignity,” said Wollmann.
Given the success of the mobile testing, Roussin said he expects plans will be made to do more of it in communal living communities.
Nine deaths linked to COVID-19 at Ottawa long-term care home – CTV Edmonton
Nine residents of an Ottawa long-term care home have died due to COVID-19 in the most serious outbreak of novel coronavirus in Ottawa in months.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, West End Villa confirms that nine residents have passed away from complications related to COVID-19.
“As of (Friday), there have been 52 cases of COVID-19 among residents, and 26 cases among staff, including one agency employee,” said Kelly Keeler, Administrator at West End Villa.
“All employee who have testing positive are isolating at home. Three residents are being treated in hospital and four resident cases have been resolved.”
Keeler says West End Villa is working with Ottawa Public Health and will remain in “close contact” with family members.
Earlier this week, West End Villa said a second round of COVID-19 surveillance testing had been conducted to help ensure cohorting efforts are as effective as possible.
Ottawa Public Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at West End Villa on Aug. 30.
The first novel coronavirus outbreak at West End Villa in May saw one staff member test positive for novel coronavirus.
What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 18 – CBC.ca
What’s the latest?
Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, said Friday the city is in its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged 63 more people with COVID-19 in Friday’s report. This is the highest five-day average of newly confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
In a news conference Friday, Etches defined the second wave as a rising percentage of people testing positive, along with an increasing number of people getting tested.
She said it would be a challenge if the numbers keep going up, and hopes Ottawans will continue to physically distance and wear their masks to curb the spread.
WATCH: Rapid rise in cases triggering second wave:
Ottawa is one of three regions where Ontario’s new limits on some gatherings are now in place: 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
Premier Doug Ford said Friday he hopes pharmacies can start administering COVID-19 tests by the end of next week.
Police across Quebec will check more than a thousand bars and restaurants this weekend to make sure health rules are being followed, particularly crowd limits and masks.
This week that province banned sales of food and drink after midnight.
WATCH LIVE | Ontario, Quebec premiers talk to media:
How many cases are there?
Testing has confirmed 3,549 people in Ottawa have had COVID-19.
Of those, 458 are active cases, 2,718 are considered resolved and 273 had died.
Overall, public health officials have reported more than 5,500 people with COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,300 of them considered resolved.
COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.
What’s open and closed?
Ontario is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan and in most regions, gatherings can’t be larger than 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors. Ottawa is the only local exception because of its scope of COVID-19 spread.
Test sites in and around Ottawa have been very busy this week and wait times have been very long, with some reaching their daily capacity well before their usual closing time.
Ottawa’s test site on Moodie Drive was at capacity by its official opening time of 9 a.m., according to the Queensway Carleton Hospital.
The Heron Road location has more capacity today.
Today the team of the Ottawa East COVID-19 Care Clinic, on Heron Rd, is very happy to welcome the additional capacity created by <a href=”https://twitter.com/OntarioHealthOH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@OntarioHealthOH</a> mobile pop-up testing site. Working together, we can tackle the lineups – and COVID-19! <a href=”https://t.co/g5d2V9QGYY”>pic.twitter.com/g5d2V9QGYY</a>
Ottawa will resume ticketing drivers who park longer than allowed in unmarked areas on Oct. 1, with warnings starting Monday.
That province has warned some regions are close to having gathering sizes shrunk and losing dine-in service at restaurants.
Every local school board or service centre has now brought students back.
More than 2,000 students in Ottawa’s English school boards don’t have their usual school bus because of a shortage of bus drivers.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.
People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.
That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don’t live with or have in your social circle, including when you have a mask on.
WATCH | Prominent COVID-19 benefit ending soon:
Ottawa’s medical officer of health is pleading with residents to reduce the number of people they’re in close contact with as new cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.
Quebec has given police the power to fine people ignoring mandatory mask laws.
Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can’t stay the proper distance from others.
Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.
In Ontario, that’s the same period of self-isolation for anyone with symptoms. When self-isolating, only leave home or see other people if it’s critically important, such as to go see a doctor.
Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.
Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be as useful since it takes about that long for the virus to grow to be detectable by a test, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Vera Etches in early September.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
In Ottawa any resident can get tested, but record wait times have led Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to ask that testing be limited for now to people with symptoms or who have been referred for a test because of contact tracing.
Testing for the general public happens at one of four sites, with health officials promising more capacity soon.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
There is a pop-up clinic at the Wabano Centre in Vanier Monday and Tuesday.
Book now! Wabano will be offering COVID-19 testing on-site for First Nations, Inuit & Métis.<br>Sept. 21 & 22<br>9:30 am to 4:00 pm<br>299 Montreal Rd<br>*By Appointment Only*<br>Call 613-748-0657 ext. 456 to book your appointment.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Indigenous?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Indigenous</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/IndigenousHealth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#IndigenousHealth</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ottawa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Ottawa</a> <a href=”https://t.co/GMbObapNVN”>pic.twitter.com/GMbObapNVN</a>
The University of Ottawa has a test site open weekdays by appointment at its Lees campus for students and staff.
There’s also a mobile testing van operated by Inner City Health that mostly serves people experiencing homelessness and some tests done in hospitals.
In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and walk-up site in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.
Others in Alexandria, Rockland, Cornwall and now Winchester require an appointment.
In Kingston, the Leon’s Centre is hosting the city’s test site though Gate 2. There’s another test site at Queen’s University’s Mitchell Hall open 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
Napanee‘s test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.
You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.
It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.
Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.
People can also visit the health unit’s website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.
They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.
It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
In early September, it expanded its gathering limit to 50 people, then ended its curfew. Its schools start bringing students back next week.
Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.
People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.
For more information
Ottawa in second wave of COVID-19 pandemic: Dr. Etches – Newstalk 1010 (iHeartRadio)
Ottawa’s medical officer of health says Ottawa is now in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, after people got a little too relaxed with COVID-19 measures in August.
Dr. Vera Etches announced Ottawa was in the second wave shortly after Ottawa Public Health reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 in the capital on Friday.
Dr. Etches says the current rise in COVID-19 cases is unsustainable, but residents can help flatten the second wave if they increase physical distancing practices and limit contacts.
Speaking with reporters after meeting with Premier Doug Ford, CTV News Ottawa’s Christina Succi asked Dr. Etches if Ottawa is in the second wave of the pandemic.
“Yes, we’re seeing a rise in cases and it’s the speed of the increase that concerns us,” said Dr. Etches Friday morning outside the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
“We can’t sustain a rapid rise in cases, we need to be able to keep it to a manageable level.”
Ottawa has seen at least 60 new cases of COVID-19 three days this week, including 61 cases on Monday and 63 on Friday.
The medical officer of health says she believes Ottawa residents can help flatten the curve and limit the spread of COVID-19.
“I do believe that people in Ottawa, they’ve done it before. They did it in the first wave, but they did it in July as well. When we started to see an increase in July it came back down when people increased their distance between each other,” said Dr. Etches.
“In August, we got a little too relaxed, we had too many gatherings and we need to do it again.”
New social gathering limits are now in effect for Ottawa. Starting today, gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors at homes and private setting.
MORE: I ask “Are we in a 2nd wave” @VeraEtches “Yes. We are seeing a rise in cases and it’s the speed of the increase that concerns us, we can’t sustain a rapid rise in cases we need to keep it to a manageable level”
“Can we do that?”
— Christina Succi (@CTVChristina)
September 18, 2020
Dr. Vera Etches told reporters there will be “multiple waves” of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa.
“In July, we saw a small wave, now we’re seeing another wave. We don’t know how big it will get,” said Dr. Etches.
“When people talk about the second wave, they’re talking about is it going to be crisis again. That’s what we want to change. We want to flatten it, keep it a small bump.”
Speaking with reporters Friday afternoon, Dr. Etches suggested the actions of residents could help stem the second wave of COVID-19.
“The actions we take today could make that wave flatten, that curve flatten again within the next two-to-three weeks,” said Dr. Etches.
“That’s what I hope is that this is another peak that will not last longer than the next two weeks and it is up to each of us to make that happen.”
The medical officer of health urges people to practice COVID-19 measures, including physical distancing, limiting contacts with others and wearing face masks in public spaces.
Ottawa Public Health blamed private gatherings and parties for a rise in cases in mid-July.
This news should not come as a surprise…and neither should this: you already know what to do. Wear a mask, stay home if you’re sick, maintain distancing & wash your hands.
Remember: limiting close contacts = reducing COVID-19 transmission.
This virus is not stronger than us. https://t.co/hCymKt6x53
— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth)
September 18, 2020
This is a developing story. CTV News Ottawa will have the latest as it becomes available
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