With Alberta’s COVID-19 cases climbing, the amount of cases with an unknown source is also on the rise. One infectious disease expert says untraced cases will make it more difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It’s a big concern,” said Dr. Craig Jenne with the University of Calgary’s department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases.
“You can imagine if there are this many untraceable sources, those all present a risk to hospitals, to long term care facilities, to patients who are at risk and trying to limit contacts,” Dr. Jenne said.
The province says a lot of the recent spread of COVID-19 is attributed to private gatherings and family events.
But 67 per cent of the cases reported between Oct. 27 and Nov. 2 were spread from an unknown source.
Of the 6,110 total active cases in Alberta as of Nov. 2, 52 per cent are unknown.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, admits the unknown cases are a concern. But she says contact tracing takes time and that’s why more of the recent cases are still listed as unknown.
“Because the volume of cases we’ve been seeing every day has been rising, and because when we get a new case reported, of course, a public health investigation has yet to take place,” Dr. Hinshaw said Wednesday.
Alberta introduced a mandatory social gathering limit of 15 people in Calgary and Edmonton just over a week ago and Dr. Hinshaw says they’re closely monitoring the effectiveness of those measures.
Premier Jason Kenney isn’t ruling out any more “targeted measures” in the near future. But determining the correct response can be more difficult without proper contact tracing, Dr. Jenne explained.
“We don’t know exactly which things are leading to the most infections, where we can target restrictions. As a result, we end up having to bring in broader restrictions instead of surgical strikes to reduce specific transmission events,” Dr. Jenne said.
BC health officials to provide COVID-19 update on Tuesday afternoon | News – Daily Hive
Health officials in British Columbia are scheduled to provide a written update on COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.
The announcement comes after 1,933 new test-positive cases were announced between Friday and Monday. During a press conference on Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 713 cases reported from Friday to Saturday, 626 from Saturday to Sunday, and 594 from Sunday to Monday.
There are currently 7,360 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 10,200 people are under active public health monitoring due to identified exposure to known cases.
Additionally, 277 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 59 of whom are in intensive care.
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On Monday, Dr. Henry also clarified the kinds of events that would be suspended under the new COVID-19 health orders.
The new order includes gatherings at hotels, restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and cinemas. Henry added that popular seasonal holiday events are also included.
“I know this means delaying the opening of some very great and well-thought-out seasonal events like the Holiday Train in Stanley Park and the Bouchart Garden Light Display, among many others, that had previously been approved across the province,” she said.
The few exceptions to cancelled events include funerals, weddings, and ceremonies such as baptisms, although those will have “increased restrictions on them.”
Events like City Council meetings and support group meetings have also not been explicitly cancelled, although Henry strongly advised hosting them virtually, if possible.
More than 100 pregnant Manitobans have contracted COVID-19 – CTV News Winnipeg
More than 100 pregnant Manitobans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to new numbers from the Manitoba government.
In the province’s latest surveillance report, which covers Nov. 8 to 14, it says 102 pregnant people have contracted the disease, which is 19 more pregnant cases than the week before.
The surveillance data, which monitors the intensity, geographic spread, characteristics and transmission of COVID-19 in the province, also shows that the number of outbreaks increased from 75 to 93 compared to the week prior. Of these 18 new outbreaks, 15 were in long-term care facilities.
One statistic that did not increase in this week’s report, but in fact decreased, was the number of healthcare workers who have tested positive for the disease.
Last week, the province reported a total of 403 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19, but this week is saying it is 402, as it removed a nurse/licensed practical nurse from the numbers. A total of 395 of the healthcare workers have recovered from COVID-19.
Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 14, Manitoba reported 2,841 new cases of COVID-19, which is an increase of 785 cases from the week before.
Though the volume of testing decreased to 3,018 people per day, the test positivity rate saw a sharp increase from 9.3 per cent to 12.9 per cent.
Of the 2,841 new cases, 60 per cent were from Winnipeg Regional Health and 24 per cent were from the Southern Health – Santé Sud Regional Health Authority. The Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority reported six per cent of the cases, as did Northern Health Region, with Prairie Mountain Health accounting for four per cent of the cases.
Since March, 52 per cent of Manitoba’s cases were contracted through close contact to other cases, and 2.5 per cent were from travel. For 22.9 per cent of cases the source is unknown, and for 22.6 the province is still investigating.
1/3 of Canadians report gaining weight during coronavirus: poll – Global News
A new poll suggests many Canadians are gaining weight because they’re eating more and exercising less during COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly one-third of respondents in the survey conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they have put on weight since March, compared to 15 per cent who said they lost weight over that time.
As well, about one-third of respondents said they’re exercising less, while 16 per cent said they’re working out more since the first wave of the pandemic landed in Canada in the spring.
Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, suggested that one reason may be a rush for comfort food to deal with pandemic-related anxieties.
Respondents in the survey who said they were “very afraid” of COVID-19 were more likely to report gaining weight, eating more and exercising less.
“The more anxiety you have, the more likely it is that you know you’re eating more,” Jedwab said.
“People who are least anxious about COVID (are) the ones that are not eating more than usual and are not gaining weight.”
The online survey of 1,516 Canadians was conducted Oct. 29-31 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.
UBC study reveals new impact of self-isolation and quarantine on mental health
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, said there are plausible reasons to connect weight gain or loss with the pandemic, but he hadn’t seen any studies to convince him that’s the case.
Some people are “not reliant on restaurants constantly” and “cooking more frequently in their homes,” which Freedhoff said may be leading to weight loss or better dietary choices. Others are eating more, he said, relying on comfort food “because they’re anxious as a consequence of the pandemic, or the tragedies that have gone on in their lives.”
Jedwab said the country needs to also be mindful of mental health issues that can affect the physical health of Canadians.
“With the winter coming, it’ll be even more challenging, in some parts of the country, to maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of walking, in terms of doing basic things that will help us address our anxieties,” he said, pointing to lack of access for some to gyms subject to local lockdowns.
Some of those exercise classes have gone online. Gabriel Shaw, a kinesiologist from Victoria, B.C. said he has offered virtual classes to give his clients a chance to be physically active.
Shaw said the classes don’t provide people with a sense of community like in-person classes, which he said is important for some people to exercise consistently.
“The best bet for people is to find a way they can enjoy it. That might be going out for a social distance walk or hike or run or bike with a friend,” Shaw said. “That might be finding a Zoom thing that you can get on like dancing or even other activities where you have friends.”
Shaw said people should also try learning a new skill like dancing, yoga, rock climbing, or take up running to keep things fresh and enjoyable, which is key to exercising long and well.
© 2020 The Canadian Press
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