Lapses in compliance with some COVID-19 protocols were among the causes of the fall outbreak at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre that infected 95 and killed 12, according to internal Alberta Health Services emails.
The emails, obtained by Postmedia through a Freedom of Information request, cite information provided by AHS Infection Prevention & Control on the origin of the outbreak.
“Main contributing factors are discontinuation of precautions, transferring of patients without maintenance of precautions, and wandering patients with cognitive issues,” the email from Sept. 27 read.
The Foothills hospital outbreak was among Alberta’s largest at an acute-care setting.
It began Sept. 19, when outbreaks were declared on two cardiac units. Four more units would see outbreaks by mid-November, though AHS said only one case on these units was linked to the outbreak on the cardiac units.
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In all, 47 patients, five visitors and 43 health-care workers were infected. Twelve patients died.
AHS said this week a team has been further investigating the origin of the outbreaks, but said no single, definitive answer has emerged on where they began.
The initial units declared on outbreak were related to patient transfers and health-care workers switching between units, AHS said, but outbreaks on other units are considered independent events.
The provincial health authority identified a long list of possible sources of transmission, including lapses in PPE compliance, failure to promptly isolate symptomatic patients and contamination of surfaces in patient rooms. They also posited that symptoms of COVID-19 in patients or health-care workers could have gone unrecognized, and added the hospital outbreak coincided with increased rates of community transmission last September.
Dr. Joe Vipond, an emergency room physician in Calgary who has called for more transparency from health officials over COVID-19 outbreaks in hospitals, said he worried lessons aren’t being learned from major outbreaks to limit future spread.
“The Misericordia outbreak (in Edmonton) was in July, and yet we’ve still had multiple outbreaks across the acute-care facilities,” Vipond said.
In outbreaks detected since mid-November, Foothills has seen 44 more COVID-19 cases among patients, 11 in workers and two in visitors. Ten more have died.
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AHS said the agency has used the lessons learned from the fall Foothills outbreak to “further ensure the safety of patients, visitors and health-care workers by developing and implementing enhanced infection prevention and control measures at all acute care sites in Alberta.”
That includes more visitor restrictions, better PPE protocol and improved screening for symptoms.
A vice-president of the union representing more than 3,000 staff at Foothills praised efforts by management in bolstering engagement and communication with those working through the outbreaks.
“We are very happy with the way Foothills is now dealing with outbreaks and situations that are COVID-related within the facility,” said Bobby-Joe Borodey with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.
“What we really appreciate and feel they have done quite well is actually reaching out to individuals who we would consider to be experts in this field, which is people working on the front line.
“They’re now doing what we feel they should have been doing all along.”
[Vipond raised concerns over airborne transmission of COVID-19 as a possible factor in the outbreaks.
“We’ve been seeing transmission events that just can’t be explained by contact droplets,” he said. “There’s increasing recognition that this is an issue, but I have not seen use of that knowledge being applied to policy.”
AHS said all potential paths of transmission were considered, including relating to ventilation.
“With respect to ventilation in the affected units, technicians performed tests and the air exchange systems were found to be performing properly,” AHS said. “There is no evidence to suggest inadequate ventilation was a factor in transmission.”
The health authority said a draft report on the outbreak had been shared internally to help mitigate future outbreaks.
Foothills is now outbreak-free after an active outbreak was declared over this week. In Calgary, only Peter Lougheed Centre has an active outbreak, with three cases linked to a general medicine unit.
The Huawei AppGallery has seen great growth over the course of a year. The app ecosystem has achieved a new milestone, with its app distribution numbers nearly doubling within just 12 months.
For those unaware, the AppGallery is the Chinese tech giant’s proprietary app store, which is the world’s third largest at the moment. Currently, the platform has over 2.3 million registered developers. This is up by 77 percent from last year, along with a diverse global audience of more than 530 million active monthly users. Furthermore, the platform’s app distribution reached 384.4 billion in 2020, which was more than last year by 174 billion. Notably, gaming was at the forefront of this explosive growth.
As of right now, AppGallery has over 500 percent more games available on the the app store compared to the platform last year. The AppGallery has also helped over 10,000 Chinese apps enter the global market, further diversifying its global userbase’s app experience. Top performers in this regard include apps like Banggood, Pascal’s Wager, and Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade. Interestingly, this also highlights the company’s efforst into bringing the “Global + Local” strategy to its platform.
According to Zhang Zhe Director of Global Partnerships & Eco-Development Business Development at Huawei Consumer Business Group, “At the end of 2019, there were 25 countries around world which had over a million AppGallery users. That number has now grown to 42 and we continue to see strong growth across markets in Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. It’s not just about quantity, and the fact that the number of apps integrated with HMS Core has more than doubled in one year shows that more developers are looking to Huawei’s on-device capabilities to drive innovation and provide better and more unique user experiences.”
Riot is set to launch the Prime 2.0 skin bundle in Valorant with the next patch update on March 2nd.
Ever since its release, the Prime 1.0 skin bundle has been one of the most favoured skin bundles to ever exist in Valorant. With its fluid exhausts, dynamic controls, FX, and audio, it instantly won the hearts of most of the community, if not all.
With the next iteration of the Prime skin bundle, Valorant developers wish to add more aggression to the previously existing design.
The aggressive design of the Prime 2.0 skin bundle in Valorant
This time around, the developers aim to add a bit of aggression to the design of the Prime 2.0 bundle. They are looking to make a skin bundle that would stand out, while still keeping the basics of the Prime 1.0 bundle intact. Upon being asked what their motive was, Chris Stone, Senior Weapon Artist for Valorant, answered that the upgrade would feel like the evolution from a luxury sportscar to a hypercar.
In order for them to succeed in this matter, they took inspiration from various hypercar designs showcased in the Geneva Motor Show. With the Prime 2.0 series, they added additional exhaust ports and FX, which itself were direct inspirations from the hypercar exhaust backfire.
The aggressive design is being brought upon by incorporating more angular shapes into the models and emissive systems spanning from the front to the back of the weapon. Even with the introduction of the karambit knife, they aim to bring aggression to the usual melee variant.
Upon asking what their biggest constraint was in the face of the aggressive design, Chris Stone added,
“We want players who own the Prime Vandal to feel like the Prime 2.0 Phantom offers something new but still feels cohesive with their collection as they play. In terms of color, originally in development, Prime//2.0 was rich dark blue, gold, and white, but after looking at it with the team for a while, it didn’t feel premium enough. I ended up going back in to adjust the textures and I’m happy where it landed with black, gold, and white. We also made the decision to not include Prime’s signature purple accent color this time around.”
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau is teasing a “moonshot” announcement on March 8th, when the company expected to reveal details about its next flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 9. “Something new is on the horizon” a teaser site reads, alongside a photograph that looks an awful lot like the famous “Earthrise” photograph from the Apollo 8 mission. That photo was taken with a Hasselblad camera, the 180-year-old Swedish company rumored to be partnering with OnePlus on its upcoming phones.
In the past, manufacturers have also used photographs of the Moon to advertise the capabilities of their phones’ zoom cameras for astrophotography, indicating that this could be a key feature of the OnePlus 9 lineup.
The tease comes days after tipster Ishan Agarwal told 91Mobiles that the company would be announcing three new smartphones — the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro, and 9R — and a smartwatch in mid-March. According to tipster Max Jambor, the company will announce the launch date of the OnePlus 9 series on March 8th.
Other rumors about the upcoming OnePlus 9 Pro include wireless fast charging at 45W. The step-down OnePlus 9 is expected to have a flat 6.55-inch 120Hz 1080p display, according to Android Authority, while the 9 Pro will reportedly have a 6.78-inch 120Hz 1440p display. Both phones are expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor. A third phone, rumored to be called either the OnePlus 9R or OnePlus 9 Lite, could also be announced with an older Snapdragon 865 processor, Android Central reports.
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