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Look after each other on COVID-19, Hinshaw tells Albertans – St. Albert TODAY

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says Albertans can’t let the COVID-19 pandemic divide them.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says people in small towns where infection rates are low have to remember those rates can spike very quickly.

And she says young people who may be socializing with friends need to be careful about making older members of their family sick.

Hinshaw says she’s not trying to create an us-versus-them mentality between urban and rural people or between younger and older Albertans.

She says it’s easy for young people to feel invincible or for small-town residents to feel like COVID-19 is a city problem.

But she says everybody has to keep their guard up or the virus gets an opportunity to claim a new victim.

“We all still have a responsibility to protect each other,” Hinshaw told reporters Monday.

“Our caring actions are still each other’s only protection.”

Hinshaw says Alberta reported 258 new cases over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There were four deaths.

Alberta now has 1,172 cases, with 45 requiring hospitalization and nine in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2020

The Canadian Press

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Second COVID-19 case in a Simcoe County school confirmed in Barrie – BarrieToday

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Simcoe County’s second case of COVID-19 in a school has been confirmed – this time at St. John Vianney Catholic School in Barrie.

The case marks the first for a school in the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.

“There is an individual at that school who has tested positive,” said Donna Lorenz, communications specialist with the SMCDSB.

The school board declined to comment on whether the infected person was a student, teacher or staff member, citing privacy concerns.

“We’re taking direction completely from the health unit. So, today the whole student body was notified by a letter. A separate letter was also sent to all the kids’ (parents) who were in that class, and the (Simcoe Muskoka District) Health Unit was to reach out to the parents and guardians of those students by phone this afternoon,” said Lorenz.

Lorenz said that as of Friday, this is the only case of COVID-19 in any schools in the Catholic board of which they have been made aware.

“Because it’s our first case, we’ve been super careful to work hand-in-hand with the health unit to make sure we handle this in the way they’ve identified is the most appropriate,” said Lorenz.

People in the affected class have been asked by the Catholic board to stay home and quarantine for 14 days, and the classroom has been closed. The school itself will remain open for all other classes.

“It’s under an abundance of caution. The risk is minimal but the safety of our students is always our top priority,” she said.

The county’s first case of COVID-19 in a school was reported earlier this week, in a teacher at Twin Lakes Secondary School in Orillia.

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COVID-19: Etches says 'second wave' has begun but can be controlled; City readying more test centres, mayor says – Ottawa Citizen

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Article content continued

Watson said he’s been told by health officials that up to 90 per cent of people in the lines have no symptoms.

Watson said Ottawa Public Health has stepped up to help, but the primary responsibility for testing is with the hospital network.

“To their credit now, and I’ve talked to all four hospital presidents, they understand the urgency and frustration and they have to get this problem fixed.”

While the city remains in an emergency situation, Watson said there’s no need for logistical assistance from the military as there are no additional sites yet to set up testing facilities.

Meanwhile, two schools in Ottawa will be visited by mobile COVID-19 testing sites this weekend, with tests made available only for staff and students with symptoms or those at the school who’ve been identified as high-risk contacts of a confirmed case and haven’t yet been tested.

One of the pop-up sites appears to be Collège catholique Franco-Ouest, a French Catholic high school in Nepean where the province has reported three cases of COVID-19 among students.

The second site, for staff and students at De La Salle High School, has been set up at Jules Morin Park and will also operate Friday through Sunday, according to an OPH notice to families. Two people associated with De La Salle, including one staff member, have tested positive for COVID-19 according to provincial data.

In a statement to this newspaper, Ontario Health explained that three mobile testing teams have been deployed to Ottawa “to targeted areas with known prevalence,” including some schools where students have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Ottawa Public Health is supporting these teams by working with the schools and families to determine who might need a test at the schools. It’s important that the public do not seek out these pop-ups as they have a limited capacity and are focused on targeting the school population.”

The location of these mobile teams “could change in the coming days and weeks depending on need; they may continue to target schools or other specific centres with known prevalence – or they may set up near an assessment centre that’s experiencing very high volumes in order to better support a broader population.”

Ontario Health will be working with local partners to “identify new places that might benefit from these teams,” the statement noted.

The third team appears to have set up Friday at the Heron Road care clinic to add additional testing capacity at this location.

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One-hour British DnaNudge COVID-19 test is accurate, study finds – Reuters UK

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LONDON (Reuters) – A British COVID-19 test known as DnaNudge that gives results in just over an hour and which requires no laboratory was accurate in almost all cases, an academic review in the Lancet has found.

Slideshow ( 3 images )

Faster testing could allow more people to return to work or permit testing on entry to hospital, thus slowing a second spike in coronavirus infections.

The new test, based on the design of a DNA test developed by a professor at Imperial College London, received approval for clinical use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at the end of April after successful trials.

In a study in The Lancet Microbe, the test was found to have an average sensitivity – the ability to correctly identify those with COVID-19 – of 94.4% and a specificity – correctly identifying those without the disease – of 100%.

“These results suggest that the CovidNudge test, which can be performed at a patient’s bedside without the need to handle any sample material, has comparable accuracy to standard laboratory testing,” Professor Graham Cooke, lead author of the study from the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, said.

The Lancet paper described the test, which requires one nostril swab, as “a sensitive, specific, and rapid point of care test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 without laboratory handling or sample pre-processing”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told LBC radio that Britain was rolling out the tests across hospitals.

“The critical thing in terms of usefulness is that the machine doesn’t need to be in a lab – it is about the size of a shoebox – therefore you can put one, say, in an A&E (accident and emergency) department and they can know whether people coming in have got the coronavirus or not,” Hancock said.

Hancock said the machines could also be deployed at other locations such as schools.

Each box can run one test at a time so could process about 16 tests per day, said a spokeswoman for the company that produces the tests.

For the text of the Lancet paper: here

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton and Gareth Jones

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