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Manitoba sees more COVID-19 cases, but test positivity rate drops – Virden Empire Advance

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is reporting 32 new COVID-19 cases, and says the percentage of people testing positive has started to drop from a recent spike.

Health officials say the five-day test positivity rate now stands at 2.3 per cent, down from three per cent earlier this week.

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The number had been higher after mobile testing units were sent to communities where outbreaks had been reported.

Of the new cases, 18 are in the Prairie Mountain health region in the west where, since Monday, people have been required to use masks in public places and limit public gatherings to 10 people.

Seven of the new cases are in Winnipeg, six in the Southern health region and one is in the Interlake-Eastern region.

Starting Saturday, the city of Winnipeg says everyone will be required to wear masks while riding transit buses or upon entering city-operated facilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020

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Manitoba murder trial to continue with 11 jurors after one shows COVID-19 symptoms. – rdnewsnow.com

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Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the jury Thursday he received advice from public health that it is safe and prudent to continue.

Toews says even if the juror tests positive, it doesn’t mean the remaining jurors would need to self-isolate given the steps taken in court, which include physical distancing.

“It is not prudent to wait any longer,” said Toews.

Moar, 23, is accused of killing Hibi at the foster home he ran for boys.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

They resumed in Manitoba earlier this month with Moar’s trial.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre, there has been physical distancing in courtrooms and masks became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Toews said Wednesday that he was optimistic that jurors would soon hear his charge in the case before beginning deliberations on a verdict. (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)

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

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COVID-19: Gov. says parties, weddings, gatherings putting people at risk – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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The province has only issued such fines four times since a state of emergency was declared in March. Two were for people who failed to self-isolate while they had COVID-19. A third was for the host of a large gathering in Saskatoon attended by more than 40 people, which has since been linked to more than 21 cases. A fourth was for a business that was charged $14,000 for operating despite restrictions ordered by the province.

Premier Scott Moe has recently warned that tougher fines may result for people who either blatantly put others at risk or host gatherings that flout public health orders. The maximum allowed at an indoor gathering is 30 people, and only if there is room for each of them to be six feet apart.

The province reported five cases of COVID-19 and eight recoveries on Thursday. Two of the new cases are in the Saskatoon area and one each are in the central west, Regina and south central regions.

The province also reported that 24 schoolchildren tested positive for COVID-19 between Sept. 14 and 20, the first full week of in-person instruction since classes were moved online near the end of the last school year.

The province said 4,106 children and youth were tested last week, mostly in Saskatoon (1,598) and Regina (825).

Thirteen of the kids who tested positive were in Saskatoon, five were in Regina and three each live in the central and south zones of the province.

There are currently 130 known cases that are considered active in Saskatchewan, eight of whom are receiving in-patient hospital care.

Since March, 1,835 cases have been reported in the province.

On Wednesday the province tested 1,578 people for the virus.

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Fort McMurray reports six recoveries, nine new cases; FMCSD reports more cases at schools – Fort McMurray Today

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Elsie Yanik Catholic School in Parsons Creek in Fort McMurray, Alta. on May 16, 2018. Laura Beamish/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at Sister Mary Phillips, making it the third school in Fort McMurray to have an outbreak.

The outbreak was announced Wednesday after two people tested positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, FMCSD announced a third person had tested positive for COVID-19 at Holy Trinity High School, where an outbreak on Sept. 20.

On the same day, a second case was recorded at Elsie Yanik Catholic School, while St. Martha School identified its first case.

Contact tracing is still being conducted, but in all cases health officials say there is no evidence the cases come from in-school transmission.

AHS has allowed the schools to remain open.

In her Thursday update, Dr. Deena Hinshaw assured Albertans that schools remain safe for students.

Since schools started earlier this month, Hinsahw said Alberta has seen a week-over-week decrease in cases per week in school-aged children.

“I remind everyone that although two confirmed cases in a school may qualify as an outbreak, it is not a sign that a school is unsafe,” she said.

To date, there are 32 outbreaks in schools across the province and 163 active cases related to schools.

Hinshaw also addressed Wednesday’s report on opioid deaths in Alberta, which found opioids killed more Albertans between April and June than COVID-19 has since March.

Health officials blamed the social and economic fallout of lockdowns for the surge in deaths.

“The rise in deaths from opioid poisoning is reminder that the ripple effects of COVID-19 are large and that we need to continue seeking a balance in our response,” said Hinshaw.

“We must embrace two needs at once. The need in minimize the impact of COVID-19 and to minimize the impact that these restrictions have on the rest of our health.”

Provincial COVID-19 updates for September 24:

  • A total of 17,190 people have been infected with the virus. The earliest known COVID-19 case in Alberta was detected in a blood sample collected on Feb. 24. The first case was announced on March 5.
  • Of those cases, 15,467 people have recovered, or roughly 89.9 per cent of all cases.
  • There were 158 new cases reported across Alberta in the last 24 hours.
  • There are 1,462 active cases in Alberta.
  • There are 58 cases hospitalized, with 14 people fighting the virus in intensive care units.
  • There has been one new death related to COVID-19, bringing Alberta’s total to 261.
  • 8,371 tests for COVID-19 were completed in the last 24 hours.
  • To date, 1,255,039 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out on 958,534 people.

COVID-19 in Fort McMurray:

  • There were six new recoveries in Fort McMurray in the past 24 hours, bringing the total recoveries to 194 since the first case was reported in the city on March 19.
  • There were nine new active cases in Fort McMurray in the past 24 hours, bringing the known total to 48.
  • There has been one death related to COVID-19 in Fort McMurray reported since Sept. 8.

COVID-19 in rural areas:

  • No new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Wood Buffalo’s rural areas in the past 24 hours, keeping the total active cases at four.
  • There were no new recoveries in Wood Buffalo’s rural areas in the past 24 hours, keeping the total at 61 recoveries.
  • AHS has not confirmed which rural communities had active COVID-19 cases, only community leaders have.
  • Fort McKay’s First Nation and Métis leaders have made it mandatory to wear masks in the community.
  • There have been no deaths related to COVID-19 in the RMWB’s rural areas.

Local COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • Information on school outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services. No school in Wood Buffalo has been ordered to close.
  • Information on workplace outbreaks can be found online from Alberta Health Services.
  • An outbreak at Canadian Natural’s Albian site was declared after five workers tested positive for the virus on Aug. 13.
  • A precautionary outbreak was declared at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre’s Medical unit when a patient tested positive on Aug. 21.
  • An outbreak at the Syncrude sites north of Fort McMurray was declared on Sept. 3 when 11 workers tested positive for the virus. As of Sept. 14, 15 workers have COVID-19 while 13 have recovered.
  • An outbreak at Suncor’s base plant was declared on Sept. 4 after five workers tested positive for the virus.
  • An outbreak at Earls Kitchen and Bar on Morrison Street was declared on Sept. 14. As of Sept. 23, all staff have recovered. The restaurant has been allowed to remain open.
  • An outbreak at Holy Trinity High School and St. Gabriel’s School was declared on Sept. 20. At both schools, at least two people tested positive for the virus.
  • An outbreak was declared at Sister Mary Phillips School on Sept. 23. There have been two positive cases for COVID-19 reported in relation to the school.
  • St. Martha School reported its first COVID-19 case on Sept. 24. 
  • Two positive cases at Elsie Yanik Catholic School were reported on Sept. 24. 
  • An outbreak is declared when five people at a public site, such as a workplace, test positive for COVID-19. At continuing care centres, the number is two. However, AHS chose to declare a precautionary outbreak when one person tested positive for the virus at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.
  • An outbreak is over when no new COVID-19 cases have been reported after 30 days.

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