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Mandatory masks decision possible today – CBC.ca

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New Brunswickers could find out this afternoon whether masks will become mandatory in indoor public spaces, regardless of whether physical distancing can be maintained.

The COVID-19 cabinet committee and cabinet were scheduled to discuss the issue at 9 a.m. and Premier Blaine Higgs said Wednesday he expected a decision to be made.

The outbreak at Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton, where 19 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, would “definitely be a factor in the discussions around the future requirement for masks,” he said.

Before the meeting, Interim Liberal Leader Roger Melanson told CBC he would support mandatory masks, if that is the recommendation of Public Health.

“I mean, when you see the inconsistency ….there’s some private companies that do enforce it, some are suggesting we do wear one, we’re seeing more municipalities now in their locations going forward to wear a mask. It’s very inconsistent and people have their different interpretations — Should I wear one? Should i not wear one?

“So I think we have to have a provincial policy and make it clear if you should or should not.”

Higgs and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell will hold a COVID-19 news conference at 3 p.m. in Fredericton.

Russell said Wednesday the province is now into the second wave of the virus, but its full extent won’t be known for another two weeks, the incubation period of the virus.

There are now 22 active cases in New Brunswick — 20 in the Moncton health region (Zone 1) and two in the Saint John health region (Zone 2).

Seventeen new cases were announced Wednesday, the province’s largest single-day increase since late March.

All of the new cases are in the Moncton health region and connected to the Manoir Notre-Dame outbreak, which was declared Tuesday after two residents tested positive.

Thirteen residents, four staff and two family members who were close contacts of a resident have tested positive, said Russell.

The first two residents who tested positive are in hospital in stable condition, she has said.

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have already implemented mandatory orders for masks.

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News Releases | COVID-19 Bulletin #232 – news.gov.mb.ca

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Need More Info?

Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.

Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.

Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-794-0732.

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October 25, 2020 – Update on COVID-19 from Dr. Theresa Tam – Net Newsledger

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OTTAWA – In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:

“As the resurgence of COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are tracking a range of epidemiological indicators to monitor where the disease is most active, where it is spreading and how it is impacting the health of Canadians and public health, laboratory and healthcare capacity. The following is the latest summary on national numbers and trends, and the actions we all need to be taking to maintain COVID-19 at manageable levels across the country.

Since the first cases were reported in March 2020, there have been 211,732 cases of COVID-19, including 9,888 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date. Though the cumulative number is high and continues to increase, it is important to remember that the vast majority of Canadians remain susceptible to COVID-19. This is why it is important for everyone to continue with individual precautions that will keep ourselves, our families and our communities safer.

At this time, there are 23,965 active cases across the country. The latest national-level data indicate daily averages of 2,488 new cases (Oct 16-22) and 74,719 people tested, with 3.1% testing positive (Oct 11-17). Outbreaks continue to contribute to COVID-19 spread in Canada. These vary in size from just a few cases to larger clusters occurring in a range of settings including long term care and assisted living facilities, schools, congregate living settings, industrial work settings and large social gatherings. Larger clusters tell us those closed and crowded settings and/or not sufficiently maintaining public health practises, such as physical distancing and mask-wearing, can amplify spread of the virus.

The number of people experiencing severe illness continues to increase. Provincial and territorial data indicate that an average of 1,010 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (Oct 16-22), including 209 of whom were being treated in intensive care units. During the same period, there was an average of 23 COVID-19-related deaths reported daily.

As hospitalisations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity. As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the Fall and Winter, placing increased demands on hospitals. This is why it is so important for people of all ages to maintain public health practises that keep respiratory infection rates low.

Canada needs a collective effort to sustain the public health response through to the end of the pandemic, while balancing the health, social and economic consequences. We can all do our part by keeping our number of in-person close contacts low and committing to proven effective public health practises; stay home/self-isolate if you have any symptoms, maintain physical distancing, wear a face mask as appropriate, and keep up with hand, cough and surface hygiene. Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practises and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities and by downloading the COVID Alert app to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 Information and Resources on ways to reduce the risks and protect yourself and others.”

 

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B.C. flu vaccine: Here's what you need to know – Vancouver Sun

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Article content continued

Getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Receiving the flu vaccine can protect you and others around you from the spread of influenza.

Who should get a flu shot?

Health officials recommend that everyone six months of age and older should get a yearly vaccination, particularly if you or someone in close contact with you is considered high-risk, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with medical conditions.

Those who work in health care or who spend time in care homes or health-care settings should also get the vaccine.

Is the flu shot free or will I have to pay?

The flu shot is publicly funded and free for those who are eligible. The full list of eligible individuals is available online here but includes:

• Anyone at high risk of serious illness such as children, pregnant women, seniors over the age of 65, residents in care homes, etc.

• People able to transmit or spread influenza to those who are high risk such as household contacts of high-risk individuals or care workers.

• Essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics and corrections workers.

To find out if you are eligible, talk to your healthcare provider to call HealthLink B.C. at 811.

If you are not eligible for a free vaccine, it can be purchased at most pharmacies and travel clinics. Some employers also provide the vaccine free to employees and may set up a flu clinic.

Where can I get the flu shot?

The free flu vaccine is available from public-health clinics, some doctors’ offices and most pharmacies.

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