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Isolated Abbotsford doctor issues desperate plea for the public to take drastic COVID-19 action – Maple Ridge News

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Dr. Brian Driedger.

An Abbotsford doctor is pleading with Canadians and his fellow Fraser Valley residents to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

Dr. Brian Driedger, a member of Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s maternity ward, self-isolated in his home on March 18 after working a 24-hour shift at the hospital. He says if the public doesn’t follow the government’s warnings, hospital capacity, healthcare workers and their families will be put at risk.

In a series of Facebook posts – which have shared by well-over 2,400 times – he describes the situation at the hospital, and the tenacity of his fellow healthcare workers.

“The COVID onslaught is here in our hospital… This is a battle in a war that is just beginning,” Driedger said. “Today I was fighting back tears in my office as I communicated with two of our true heroes – ICU nurses who are on the front line… They both have little ones on the way, as well as little ones at home. They are the soldiers in the first wave, running out front into battle facing a hail of deadly bullets.”

After returning home to self-isolate after his full-day shift, Driedger said he was disturbed from seeing restaurants and businesses open, and people walking around the city, acting as they normally would.

“Please look at the numbers. We are in a state of emergency now, and we all need to act,” he said. “Please, please, please take this virus seriously. We should not wait for the government to tell us to shutter all non-essential businesses, and should lock ourselves down at home in isolation if we are able.

The province has “precious few” ventilators which will be needed by the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the next two weeks, according to Driedger.

“The time for drastic action is now. Do not be lulled into complacency by the seeming calm right now,” he said. “Take every precaution possible immediately for the sake of yourselves, your family, our patients, and our country and tell all of your loved ones to go into isolation as they now are in Italy and France.”

Driedger said his decision to self-isolate was not taken lightly, but he did so for the safety of his family. He says there are many others in the health-care field who are having to make this difficult choice.

“There is a whole cohort of ER and ICU nurses, docs, RTs, unit clerks, and cleaning staff that are now are facing a living hell… They are moms, dads, sons and daughters.” he said. “It is brutal for those with young kids. For the sake of these families, please immediately take action.

“It is our one and only chance now to slow this pandemic.”

RELATED: Pregnant in a pandemic: Expectant B.C. moms change birth plans due to COVID-19

RELATED: Fraser Health limits hospital visitors to slow spread of COVID-19


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patrick.penner@abbynews.com

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Here's what you should know about wearing cloth face masks – CollingwoodToday

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Medical officials are still stopping short of recommending the general public wear homemade masks, but they are suggesting a cloth mask could help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said today a homemade cloth mask could help someone who doesn’t know they have the virus keep from spreading it to others.

“People should be aware they’re not of proven value,” said Gardner. “If there is any value in them it’s more from the point of view of avoiding infecting others.”

A cloth mask could keep droplets from your nose and mouth from entering someone else’s airway or landing on and contaminating a surface.

“They have not been shown to prevent respiratory viruses from entering your airway,” said Gardner.

But it shouldn’t replace any of the other preventative measures being recommended by public health organizations in the province and country.

“What’s really important is that people do their physical distancing and their handwashing,” said Gardner.

He also recommends people stay home, think twice about whether or not they need to go out, and if they do, to focus on quick trips for essential items while still maintaining a two-metre separation with any other people.

“The more we do, the better we do this, the less that surge will be,” said Gardner. “April is a very key month for us in this outbreak. This month we’re going to see the extent to which the surge occurs. If we were very successful it will be a limited surge. If we were less successful it will be a bigger surge more likely to overwhelm our healthcare system.”

There are now 98 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region, more than 10 of those at Bradford Valley, a long-term care facility.

Gardner stressed members of the general public should not be wearing medical-grade masks.

“All of those we really need to retain for healthcare workers because of a limited supply,” he said.

Additionally, there are specific fits and protocols that make surgical masks and N95 masks effective PPE. Without following those specifications, a medical-grade mask will not offer effective protection.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 including coughing and sneezing, stay home, indoors, for at least 14 days.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer of health, said today people can use homemade cloth masks to prevent spreading the virus to others. She said there is increasing evidence people can transmit the virus before knowing they are sick, and keeping their mouth and nose covered while in public – in addition to frequent handwashing and physical distancing – could help reduce spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted some tips on its website on using cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC says to use a mask that fits snugly, is secured with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric, and can be laundered and machine dried without changing shape.

If you are using a cloth mask, put it on before you go out in public, and then don’t touch it or your face again. Once at home, remove the mask without touching your face, and put it in the laundry. Wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect surfaces you touched on the way in.

The CDC also states a cloth face mask is an additional, voluntary public health measure and should only be used with proper handwashing and physical distancing practices.

You can find sewing and no-sew instructions for cloth face masks on the CDC website.

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Homemade face masks can protect others, but not you: health officials – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The increase in demand for personal protective equipment has led to an increase in demand for homemade face masks.

Monday both the Federal and Provincial Government said there’s a benefit to wearing homemade masks when in public.

Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer for Canada, said the Special Advisory Committee for COVID-19 concluded wearing a non-surgical mask can help protect those around you, but it doesn’t protect the person wearing it,

“Wearing a non-medical mask in the community does not mean you can back off of the public health measures that we know work to protect you,” said Tam.

She said we can’t “relax” any of our physical distancing efforts, but added people who want to wear masks as an extra precaution can make them out of household items.

”Simple things, not complicated,” said Tam. “If you can get a cotton material like a t-shirt, you cut up, fold it, (and) put elastic bands around it. Those are the kind of facial coverings we’re talking about.”

Some Manitobans have been pulling out the needle and thread to craft homemade face masks.

Grace Webb, the creator of the Facebook page Face Masks for Manitoba, said she got the idea to sew masks and donate them after reading a U.S. article.

She said the idea snowballed and she started the Facebook group so other mask makers could join her.

“From there it became apparent that people wanted to do this but didn’t have material,” said Webb. “So I thought, why don’t we (build) a kit we can send to people with everything they need to make mask.”

Webb said she’s donating the masks to care homes and people in the community.

Each mask comes with instructions on how to clean them properly, along with a reminder to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer for Manitoba said wearing a non-surgical mask is like coughing into your sleeve.

He said he doesn’t want this information about homemade masks to distract from the most important message.

“If you were staying home before, stay home now,” said Roussin. “Don’t go out now because somebody has said we can use cloth or non medical masks.”

Webb said she’ll continue to sew homemade masks as long as there’s a need.

“I hope it gives them some comfort and a little bit more security,” Said Webb. “I would love to say that we did something to help slow the spread.”

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Erie County offers information on public face masks – Niagara Frontier Publications

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Mon, Apr 6th 2020 08:50 pm

The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is making the following announcements.

COVID-19 Data Update

As of 5 p.m. Monday, we have received reports of 1,148 total positive lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Erie County residents. Of that, 30 Erie County residents have died, and 206 people have recovered. There are currently 912 people in isolation.

We reported 1,149 cases during our live video today. Through our contact tracing process, we discovered that one of those cases is outside Erie County. Our total is 1,148.

Online Case Map

The Erie County Online COVID-19 case mapping tool has been updated with a ZIP code layer. Access this map at www.erie.gov/covidmap.

Cloth Face Coverings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended cloth face coverings (masks) for individuals when spending time in public spaces, like stores, where keeping a six-foot distance from others is not easy or possible. These coverings should:

  • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape

Most people will be able to make these from materials around their home. There are no-sew methods described in detail on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

If someone is ill with respiratory symptoms, they should wear a cloth covering over the nose and mouth when around other people or in public spaces. Masks can also help people avoid touching their faces – which is another way to reduce the risk of infection.

An important note from CDC: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Cloth face coverings are a risk reduction tool and should be used along with frequent hand washing, good respiratory etiquette and cleaning/disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

Age and Gender Information

The following are tables that reflect the age and gender distribution for cases up to and including April 6.

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